11.6.12

Norfolk

So I realise it's been months since I last blogged. I've finished university now for the year so I really don't have an excuse not to any more. 
      Last weekend was my second trip to Norfolk. We arrived at Lakenheath on Friday night, where we began the trip with an unsuccessful badger walk. Early the next morning, it was time to go out an look for the Orioles, amongst other things. Before we had even left for the walk, I got a life tick which I'd wanted for a while in the form of a Jay, but as yet I'm still to get a decent view of one. The walk was full of great things with plenty of Bitterns booming, various types of warbler, and much singing from the Golden Orioles, (although only a fleeting view of a male in flight). Next it was on to Strumpshaw Fen for Swallowtail butterflies, where we were treated to amazing views, and a spot of pond dipping resulting in several new Odonata species; Banded Demoiselle, Four-spotted Chaser, and Broad-bodied Chaser. Our final destination of the day was Winterton Dunes, where after following another birder we got great views of a young Woodchat Shrike, a lifer for me, and the first of two Shrikes for the week. After the excitement of the Shrike, we walked for a while over the Dunes in search of Natterjack toads. Unfortunately our timing had backfired somewhat as we arrived far to early, and the weather wasn't exactly helping, but regardless we waited and searched. The visit resulted in a total count of one injured frog, and one dead Natterjack toad. Not so successful. 
      After a short and cold night's 'sleep', Sunday morning consisted of a combination of sleeping and birding in a hide at Titchwell. This added a few more birds to the trip list including Little Egret, and for James and I, a Temminck's Stint, as well as a couple of Muntjac deer earlier on in the day, but sadly, no Chinese Water Deer. Since the weather seemed to be getting worse if anything, we decided to cut short our trip, but stopped off for one last bird on the way back; the Roller. Luckily, it was really easy to locate, and despite the conditions, still amazing to look at. A nice way to end a fun trip, sleep deprived or not. 

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