Having done both of the 'main' reserves on the Norfolk coast I was keen to try birding somewhere where there were not many people and I might have a chance of finding something of my own. I decided to go to Stiffkey saltmarsh, as it was an area I knew a little bit from the red-flanked bluetail all those years ago.
It was fairly quiet on the bird front, although a couple of Blackcaps singing were my first of the year, although I could not see them despite trying. Three Goldcrests were a nice holiday tick, and there continued to be great views of Marsh Harrier and Red Kite to be had. Overall it was a nice walk through an area of fantastic saltmarsh. I managed to grab a few photos of a couple of Muntjac Deer sunning themselves along the edge of one of the fields, another species to add to the walk.
By lunchtime I decided to move on to Cley again on the way to going home. Fairly standard affair with lots of nice species on the scrapes: Avocets, Turnstones, Green Sandpiper and other waders, plus Swallows and Wheatears for the early migrants.
By mid-afternoon I had all but done at Cley, so decided to walk the shingle along to Salthouse in the hope of finding something along the edges on the fields. Nothing doing other than a couple of Wheatears. I did however pick up some 3G and was able to check out other sightings in the area. A couple of firecrest caught my attention at a site I was not familiar with 'Gramborough Hill'. A quick check of the map showed that it was in fact at Salthouse. Despite the birds not apparently been seen that day I decided to check it out anyway, in the off chance nobody had checked, or not put it out,
The wind made it difficult but with perseverance I managed to relocate one of the Firecrests, but it was very elusive and extremely tricky. I had fantastic views but as for the photos, well they were sadly not up to the same standard. I managed one photo which shows what it really is.
Still, only my third ever Firecrest and they really are stunning birds. To be honest its what I was hoping to find at Stiffkey so to get one here was a real bonus, even if it wasn't 'self-found'
By now I had to go as there was only one bus left to take me home. In the hour I waited I only managed to see the Firecrest four times, before each time it vanished into the shrubbery. What a tricky little bird.
Stiffkey NT: Starling, Jackdaw, Robin, Greenfinch, Woodpigeon, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Redshank, Brent Goose, Curlew, Black-headed Gull, Chaffinch, Pied Wagtail, Carrion Crow, Wren, Goldcrest, Meadow Pipit, Lapwing, Red Kite, Linnet, Dunnock, Long-tailed Tit, Herring Gull, Mallard, Common Buzzard, Skylark, Pheasant, Black-tailed Godwit, Avocet, Shelduck,
Cley Marshes NWT: Black-tailed Godwit, Shelduck, Mallard, Redshank, Ruff, Green Sandpiper, Avocet, Black-headed Gull, Greylag Goose, Moorhen, Teal, Little Egret, Marsh Harrier, Lapwing, Woodpigeon, Ringed Plover, Starling, Pochard, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Rook, House Sparrow, Collard Dove, Cettis Warbler, Swallow, Pheasant, Mute Swan, Skylark, Brent Goose, Wigeon, Shoveler, Cormorant, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Gull, Meadow Pipit, Turnstone, Sandwich Tern,
Salthouse and Gramborough Hill: Herring Gull, Redshank, Dunnock, Wren, Firecrest, Black-headed Gull, Linnet, Meadow Pipit, Oystercatcher, Little Egret, Canada Goose, Norther Wheatear, Ruff, Jackdaw, Rook, Wigeon, Shoveler, Shelduck,