Our latest RSPB Group trip took us back to North Norfolk.
Starting off at Cley our first bird was a Marsh Harrier close to the visitor centre. It was then off down the East Bank, where a couple of hundred Black-tailed Godwits were feeding in the meadows, along with a few Ruff and probably 50 or so Egyptian Geese. Continuing down towards the sea we encountered Bearded Tits, Cetti's Warbler, Redshanks, an Avocet, various Ducks and 3 Pinkfeet.
We then spent the next half hour on the beach doing a bit of a seawatch where we saw 2 Gannets, 2 Arctic Skuas, and a Common Seal but not too much else.
There had been reports of up to 24 Lapland Buntings in the area recently, but we had to be content with just the one, that afforded very close views as it skulked in the rough vegetation on the shingle ridge - a very smart bird !
A Little Stint was the best bird seen from the North Hide amongst many Dunlin and good numbers of Teal.
Another quick seawatch from 'The Coastguards' produced another Arctic Skua and 3 Common Scoter on the water.
The Hooded Crow was still present in the Eye Field although I personally didn't see it.
The afternoon saw us at Thornham Harbour, where we took a walk up to Holme Observatory.
En-route we had seen several hundred newly arrived Pinkfooted Geese in the roadside fields - winter is definitely coming !.
The creeks around Thornham held good numbers of Waders with Redshanks, Knot, Turnstones, Bar-tailed Godwits, Grey Plovers and a single Spoonbill. Again there were large numbers of Black-tailed Godwits out on the Marshes.
Up at 'The Obs' we spent an hour or so staking out the area around the Dell Hide, but were unable to locate the Barred Warbler that had been seen just an hour or so earlier.
On the walk back 2 Yellow Wagtails, a Kingfisher and asmall flock of Linnets were seen. Also an odd looking Wagtail that was in every sense a Pied Wagtail, but seemed to have a Yellow tinge to its face - but definitely not a Citrine !