Monday, 20 October 2014

The One That Got Away!

Dad took me up to North Norfolk on Sunday to try and see one of my bogey birds, Pallas' Warbler. This was the first time we had twitched one, and we were hoping for the Holkham bird to put in an appearance, so that's where we started.

We arrived at Lady Annes Drive at about 11am. Loads of birders and dog walkers walking about, and a strong wind blowing too which weren't ideal conditions. A Pallas' Warbler had been seen at the west end, which was a long walk, so we decided to risk the Cley bird in the afternoon. However, we managed to find a Firecrest and a vocal (but hidden) Yellow-browed Warbler just west of the road, but apart from about 100 Goldcrests (!!!) not much else.

ALERT: It had just came in on the pager that a LONG-EARED OWL had been seen at Walsey Hills! OMG! This had been a target bird for Dad and I for years, and now a twitchable one turned up, wow!

On the way to Walsey Hills, we went to Eye Pool, Cley, and caught up with the Grey Phalarope. Very obliging bird, even in the gale force winds...

We then headed to Walsey Hills, but the car park and surrounding road was full of cars, so we had to park in the Cley Visitor Centre, and walk back! Anyway, as soon as we got into the bushes, we could see about 20 birders looking at the Long-eared Owl, but we couldn't see it at first. I scanned with my bins, and couldn't believe I was looking at my first ever LONG-EARED OWL!!!! What a bird. It was much larger than I expected. It was only about 12 yards away. INCREDIBLE!!! That's what you call a bird!

We then went to look for the Pallas' Warbler where we joined the throng of birders at the back of Snipes Marsh, and waited. There was a brief sighting while we were there, and I think Dad got a glimpse of it, but unfortunately I didn't see it :-(. Oh well, there is always a chance that another may come in, but hopefully a bit nearer home. Still though, a great days birding, plus probably one of the best birds of my life so far!

Happy Birding!


  1. Well done Ben , wow great photos of the LEO , what an exciting birding session .

  2. Superb photos of the LEO mate! A great bird to see ��