Sunday, January 27, 2013

Norfolk - Common Cranes

Had a nice weekend in Norfolk with my wonderul wife Lori. We headed out at midday from Woking and arrived at Hickling Broad in Norfolk at about 16:00. Hicking Broad is a National Nature Reserve and is probably the most reliable sites in the U.K. to see Common Crane.

The area we walked out to from the car park (3/4 mile and wear wellies) was to the Stubb Mill lookout; one of the best winter raptor sites in the county and also a great lookout to see Common Crane come in to roost. On arrival there were already 30 or so birders in position; neatly lined along the look out area. Two Common Crane were already on the ground, though they were only view-able with a scope. This was no problem. so within minutes both Lori and I got to see our first Common Crane!

There wasn't any chance of photos as they were too far away and, as you can see, fading light. Raptors included as massive roost of Marsh Harriers (55 individuals) many of which were in the air at one time, an amazing site. Also, 2 Kestrel, 1 Merlin and Barn Owl. Some one shouted Hen Harrier but no one else go on the bird. Lori and I were nearly the last to leave; which worked out well as we got to see four of the Common Crane fly off the site and vocalize  En-route back to the car Lori rounded the day off by spotting a fly over Woodcock!

Before departing Hickling Broad we popped into the Greyhound Inn for a quick pint before heading for Mundesley. We arrived at Overcliff Lodge in Mundesley at about 18:30, our accommodation for the night. We were welcomed warmly by our hosts: Dave and Lena Robson. They absolutely spoiled us rotten and I cannot express how impressed we were with every detail at this wonderful guest house. The atmosphere, decor, food and service were second to none. I would highly recommend anyone to stay there. We finished our evening with a meal the Ship Inn in Mundesley; a ten minute walk from the lodge. Great food, good staff and nice atmosphere, again, I would recommend this pub to traveling and weary birders.

All Saints

The Ship Inn

The following morning we started our day with an amazing breakfast and 7 Waxwing outside the front door!


Headed north up the coast through Cromer, past Cley and onto Tichwell RSPB reserve.

Brent - Cley Marshes


Never did connect with the reported Lapland Bunting, seen everyday for the last week except for when I turned up...that's birding.

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