Autumn Birding, Rare Wheatears & Waxwings

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Isabelline Wheatear Burnham Overy

As autumn approaches and the butterflies disappear, thoughts turn to what rare birds will turn up along the coast.  Being Norfolk born and bred I sometimes take the wonderful bird life for granted, for many others who visit the county these are exciting times as you never know what will be found.  Now, I am of the opinion that the more people out in the field the more will be discovered, I don’t think Norfolk is too different from many other areas and in recent years the north east has been turning up some cracking rarities, why? because more people are out looking!

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Desert Wheatear Salthouse

October and two rare wheatears are along the coast, nice weather and a day off who could resist?  My main target was an isabelline wheatear at Gun Hill in the Burnham Overy dunes.  It’s  a long walk from the A149 lay-by but it was warm, sunny and no wind, beautiful!  Plenty to see and photograph on the way but the star of the show was very obliging, I laid on a small slope with the wheatear a few yards away at eye level and reeled off dozens of shots.

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Beautiful Waxwing outside Martham school

Onto Salthouse for the desert wheatear.  I have seen several of this species over the years but this is the first in almost full adult male plumage, a beauty.  It showed really well posing on various posts, pity the sun had gone by now.

Waxwings are looked forward to every year, some years very few are recorded but on occasions we get an invasion of these Scandinavian beauties.  This year was average but I managed some lovely images of two at Martham.

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Part of a flock of 40+ Snow Buntings at Salthouse

It is not all about rare birds however and I have uploaded some of my favorite images of commoner species seen this winter.

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A trio of Dunlin on a shore pool at Salthouse in November
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Female Stonechat at Dunwich in January
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Turnstone  Walcott  Always a good photo opportunity as they can come very close
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Over-wintering Chiffchaff Kessingland January
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