Monday 3rd May
A return to Swanton Morley after a call about a Sandwich Tern, lead to a dip, but compensation was encountered in the form of a flyover calling Greenshank, which nearly came down on Holkham Lake, in the midst of a heavy storm. At least six Common Tern were still present (and 'another' Arctic Tern reported), along with 100+ swift, new in from yesterday and plenty of hirundines. Garden, Reed and Sedge Warbler were singing, despite the cold wind, along with other commoner species.
Sunday 2nd May
I decided to visit Swanton Morley after a quiet day and was pleasantly surprised to find 9 terns over Holkham Lake. After heavy scrutiny at least 2 were found to be Arctic Tern, but the light and mobility caused difficulty on certainty. I called DA and as he arrived a pair of Arctic Tern flew NW calling as they went and he saw another bird that he seemed happy was a Arctic. Only 5 Common Tern were left present, so we circled to other lakes in search of others. Returning to Holkham Lake 9 birds were again present, all but one definitely Common. One bird was puzzling, seemingly looking good for Arctic on the under wing, but occasionally showing more extensive black than expected on the upperwing - trick of the light?
The question is; did I manage to get pictures of the Arctics? We believe so, but comments welcome!
News of 3 Common Cranes heading E at Titchwell, had me heading upto Walsey to see if I could intercept them for my Route Patch list (having already missed plenty of others!) A single Hobby was amongst the birds to keep me occupied whilst I waited. Time passed and, with no news from elsewhere, I assumed they had deviated from the coast. However, at 12.58 a single bird was seen distantly looking south, slowly moving E - perhaps not one of the three, but the single bird that seems to have been in the area for a while.
After this I decided to go and see the male Montagu's Harrier that had been seen for a week or so. Whilst waiting, news that the Dotteral had been refound, so I headed over and saw the two birds distantly W of Chalk Pit Road. One bird was reasonably bright, but the other was still predominately in winter plumage. Back looking for the Montagu's, the bird was picked up in the W and then moved E along the periphery of the fields, a cracking pale adult.
Norfolk Bird Info to:
Norfolk 376 UK400, 364 BOU, Year 204, Route 153, Sp 105, SM 109, SF 50