After we had spent a while scanning , and waiting for the sun to come up , giving us some much needed light , we made our way to the new Parrinder Hide. Looking over to the Fresh Water & Island and then overlooking the Brackish Marsh which we choose to go to first.
As we walked along and passing the Tidal Marsh we picked out 6x Little Grebes and some Coots and a Pied Wagtail.
We set up at the Viewing Platform to scan the Sea.We immediately see 300+ Common Scoter riding out the waves , so we kept an eye out for a Velvet if/when they took to flight. A male Golden Eye was close in & pointed out a Red Necked Grebe also quite close. Along the shoreline was Dunlin, Sanderling, Knot, Oystercatchers, Turnstone, Herring & Greater Blacked Back Gull . We noticed some Waders take to the air and Yorkie soon tracked down why.There was a Peregrine Falcon out high above the skyline going east. Not as close as we would like but still a good day tick! Back to the now flying Scoter flock and Yorkie picks out a Velvet, i manage to pick up one too a minute later ,possibly the same one or maybe another ,either way i we got one!A good year tick and a more exciting for me . . . a Lifer!
As we headed back towards the car we checked over towards the Brackish Marsh in hope of Shore ;ark which had been reported there but no luck but as we got chatting to a birder we caught the Hooded Crow which had been lingering the past week or so .Worth sticking around for me thinks! As we passed back through the visitor centre we thought it was only right we both treated ourselves to a Hot Sausage Roll and a drink before heading to the car park.
Thornham- got ourselves set up behind a large Boat Shed out of the bitter wind and began to wait for the Northern Harrier to appear. While there, we were entertained by watching a couple of Curlews standing tall among the marsh & also a busy little Egret in the muddy water right in front of us.
Snettisham- Picked up Greeno at 6am and arrived at Snettisham for 7.20. The car park was rammed full and we had to park up along the road which meant a bit more extra walking time so we didn't wast any time. Quickly got our gloves and hats on to brace the cold wind & started the walk to the hides, witnessing hundreds of Pink footed Geese overhead as we go , but not coming inland as we expected but out towards where they roost? We later told that a few days around a Full moon geese well take full advantage and feed all day & through the night, hence why they were only now just coming back in! We passed a couple of huge water pools with huge amount of Tufted and Goldeneye to look at. I`d never seen so many Goldeneye before & would see loads more later on. We arrived at the main part of land where to one side you have the Wash & its mud flats where the flocks of Waders feed upon and then the other side you have the small pools with high banks surrounding it, where the Waders will roost up ,to keep warm & out of the wind ,while they wait for the tide to going back out so they can resume feeding.When this happens , thousands of Knots & Oystercatchers will fly low over the banks (and your head if your lucky enough to be in the right spot) and back onto the Wash! But before that happens me & Greeno checked out the Spit out to the Wash . We manage to find a bench and watch the Thousands of Waders begin to take to the air, shimmering across the sea & producing a real spectacle to the eye.
As they all started to sense the tide was going out they start to move one way and then the other, in doing so putting on a fantastic event to watch.This really was great to witness and as they started to get restless, we decided to move back to where we were previously, to catch the spectacular sight of them whizzing overhead back to the mud flats on the Wash! Will we timed it just right as about 2,000 went over where we were standing, the noise they made was from pure speed .A fantastic sight as another and then another flock came over our heads. . . `it don't get much better then this!` i shout to Greeno with a huge grin slapped across me face.We set off back to the van and as we did i caught sight of what i first thought was Snow Buntings landing along the shingle but when on closer inspection were in fact 30+ Twite! What a bonus to end the trip on !