Thursday, 16 August 2012

16th of August: Migrants galore

Yesterday's easterly winds brought in a variety of special birds from the continent. Two Honey Buzzards, a Purple Sandpiper, two Wood Sandpipers, a Curlew Sandpiper, two Black Terns, a Little Gull, two Wrynecks, two Tree Pipits, three Wheatears, a Redstart, four Whinchats, 15 Willow Warblers, two Reed Warblers and twelve Pied Flycatchers were all recorded. Although a small number of Honey Buzzards breed in Norfolk, migration along the coast is almost zero unless birds from the continent are drifted over by easterly winds, the birds we saw were almost undoubtedly continental in origin, as were all of the other migrants mentioned.

Honey Buzzard (Joe Cockram)

Black Tern (Joe Cockram)

Another arrival was Patrick Barkham, a journalist for The Guardian. It's not often that the author of the book you've just read comes to stay with you. His book 'The Butterfly Isles' tells of his quest to see all of the UK butterfly species in one year. Patrick was here to research the history of Blakeney Point and the value of nature reserves in the UK. He will produce an article very soon.

This morning, Patrick accompanied us around the reserve. Whilst going about our morning rounds, we observed three species of falcon (Kestrel, Hobby and Peregrine) and a few lingering migrants (a Pied Flycatcher, Garden Warbler and four Willow Warblers). We crossed Pinchen's Creek on foot at low tide, where the previous evening Patrick had arrived by boat, and took him on a tour down Far Point to see the now vacated Sandwich Tern colony. Patrick seemed to have a wonderful time and we look forward to reading his article.

Hare (Joe Cockram)

- Joe

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