After a few days of decent easterlies it looked promising, a YBW and /or Firecrest was almost guaranteed (ahem!)..
We parked up at the Nelson's Head Pub at 8am and started towards Horsey Gap. The wind was from the east but it was blowing strong, seeing or hearing anything would be tricky. We walked all the way to the pipe dump past Waxham Sands caravan park and the best we had was a Chiffer calling, a single Wheatear and a passing flock of about twenty Brents. We took a short break at the carpark at Horsey Gap, where I enjoyed a bacon butty and coffee from the mobile cafe. We headed back via the road to the car and from there headed to check the paddocks at Sea Palling.
The path behind the dunes at Sea Palling holds a row of sheltered gardens and looks like it could be excellent in good fall conditions. Today was quiet though, save for the strong wind.
After a thorough check we decided to give up searching for our own birds and go and see someone elses. We headed to Caister-on-sea to look for the Rose-coloured Starling.
We parked in front of the sea-front cafe, the second Wheatear of the day bobbed about on the roof of the nearby public toilets. I scanned the few gulls out on the surf and was pleased to pick up a single Little Gull amongst them.
We wandered around to the beach car park and I managed to locate the Rose-coloured Starling sitting on a roof-top amongst all the Common Starlings.
|A juvenile Rose-coloured Starling amongst the European Starlings, Caister-on-sea, Norfolk - 29th September 2013|
We took a short lunch break and then headed to Great Yarmouth Cemetery to look for Firecrests. But this was where our luck disappeared. Despite there being several reports of Firecrest and several birders saying they had seen at least one Firecrest there, we couldn't connect with them. The best we had in the hour we spent there were two Chiffchaffs, a female Blackcap, a Goldcrest and a mixed flock of Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits.
|Chiffchaff, Great Yarmouth Cemetery - 29th September 2013|
We called it a day around 4pm. The day didn't deliver as we had originally hoped but it was still good to be out.
I had just got home when I noticed a tweet saying Rufous-tailed Robin at Overstrand, Norfolk. Drat and double drat! However the report was subsequently withdrawn as the observer had only flight views. At this stage I believe it had been seen this morning by three very experienced birders, so watch this space!