Tour At A Glance

Cost:

499.00

Deposit:

100.00

Single Room Supplement:

None

Tour Code:

Intermediate with one late evening finish and average 5 miles walking per day

Group Size:

Eight plus Leader

Stone Curlew Red-backed Shrike Little Tern Montagu's Harrier Little Gull Eurasian Hobby

Norfolk - Summer Breeders & Late Migrants

Date: 24th - 27th June 2019 [SPACES]
Leaders: Jason Moss

Itinerary

 

DAY ONE
Arrive at The Blue Boar Inn at approximately 1800, where you will be met by your guide for an informal chat about the holiday.
 
DAY TWO
We spend our first morning at the internationally famous Titchwell RSPB reserve. The paths out to the scrapes hold common summer migrants such as Reed and Sedge Warblers, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat and possibly Eurasian Turtle Dove. With luck, we may also encounter Bearded Tit, as they feed their newly hatched young, and Red Crested Pochard occasionally breeds. The scrapes are a cacophony of noise and activity at the large Black-headed Gull and  Pied Avocet colonies. Black- tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Northern Lapwing, Ringed Plover, Little-ringed Plover and Dunlin are all usually present. Breeding wildfowl include Gadwall and Northern Shoveler and there is always the chance of a Garganey, Eurasian Spoonbill or Little Egret. Regular visitors include Black Tern, Little Gull, Common Greenshank and Common, Little and Sandwich Terns. If we are fortunate and get winds with an easterly bias, we may encounter a rare shorebird such as a Broad-billed Sandpiper. Marsh Harriers can normally be seen from here and Eurasian Hobby can sometimes be noted hawking insects. Making our way to the beach, we scan offshore for Northern Gannet, Common Scoter and Common Eider whilst specieson the beach should include Sanderling, Red Knot and Bar-tailed Godwit. From here we make the short drive to Choseley Farm where Yellowhammer, Yellow Wagtail, Red-legged and Grey Partridges, Stock and Eurasian Turtle Doves and small numbers of Corn Bunting keep us entertained. 
 
DAY THREE
A full day in the Norfolk and Suffolk Brecks today, we visit the RSPB reserve at Lakenheath Fen where the Black Poplar stands have in the past been home to one of Britain’s rarest breeding birds, the Golden Oriole. In recent seasons the species has become extremely difficult to connect with and is probably extinct as a breeding species at the site [no sightings since 2013 for our groups] but a reappearance is always possible. Grasshopper Warbler, Marsh Harrier, Bearded Tit, Cetti's Warbler and Great Bittern all breed, while other species could include Garganey, Common Crane, Common Kingfisher and Common Cuckoo. Eurasian Hobby is a speciality and several birds can often be seen hawking for dragonflies over the lagoon. Nearby on the open sandy heathlands the cryptic Stone Curlew occurs, and we will look for this mainly nocturnal member of the African thick-knee familyhere in its UK stronghold. Santon Downham is a great location for a range of woodland birds such as Great Spotted Woodpecker, Common Treecreeper, European Nuthatch, Eurasian Siskin, Garden Warbler and Marsh Tit, as well as Firecrest. Nearby forest tracks can also be checked for Woodlark and Tree Pipit. Nearby areas also hold Common Redstart - in fact Breckland has so many superb spots that we certainly wont have time to visit them all! In the evening, we will operate an optional excurion to search for European Nightjar in its heathland habitat in west norfolk. Although midges can occasionally be a nuisance, we often enjoy great views of the birds perching on overhead wires as well as delivering their bizarre churring call. Eurasian Woodcock, Barn, Tawny and Little Owls might also be seen.
 
DAY FOUR
If possible, we will make an effort to try and connect with Montagu's Harrier today. This incredibly rare and sensitive breeding bird still clings on in North Norfolk each year but like several of the trademark birds once on offer during summer, the species has become more difficult to connect with in recent years [not present in 2018]. Normally the nesting area is not in a place suitable for viewing, but we may encounter the male out hunting over surrounding farmland if we are lucky.  Afterwards we head up the coast and Cley NWT reserve visiting as many sites as time allows.  Salthouse Pools and the Iron Road are good spots for Wood Sandpiper and there are a few pairs of Pied Avocet as well as the noisy groups of Sandwich Terns from nearby Blakeney Point.  Along the East Bank Sedge and Reed Warblers are busy feeding young and this is the best time to see Bearded Tits as they have young on the wing and are constantly busy making dashing sorties across the reed tops. A wide variety of species should be encountered here in the excellent mixture of habitats. Shorebirds could include Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Whimbrel, Common Greenshank, Little Stint, Little Ringed Plover and several commoner species. Wildfowl might include Egyptian Goose, Common Teal and Gadwall and Eurasian Spoonbills are often present.  Congregations of moulting large gulls on the pools have frequently included Yellow-legged and Caspian as well as the more common Mediterranean and Little. We will also try locally for Dartord Warbler, and in some years at this time the same locality can be good for flocks of Common Crossbills. Perhaps a roosting Tawny or Little Owl, or now resident Red Kites, will round off what will surely have been an excellent few days in Norfolk.We make our way back to the hotel in the early afternoon where we conclude the tour.
 
*Please note that the weather is crucial for our success with seeing many of these species, and as such our itinerary will be flexible to take this into account.
 

 

Additional Information

 

ACCOMMODATION
The Blue Boar Inn and The Dower House B&B in Great Ryburgh with en suite rooms throughout.
 
WHATS INCLUDED
Three nights en suite accommodation, meals from dinner on day one to lunch on final day, transport, services of leader and reserve entrance fees.

NOT INCLUDED
Transport to/from Norfolk, travel insurance, drinks and any items of a purely personal nature.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT
King’s Lynn

 

Tour Reports

 

 2013a  2013b

 

2014a   2014b

 

2015    2016    2017   2018

 

Testimonials

 

" Everything was first class - Ashley is a marvellous guide - if there are birds there he will find them, and this was a superb birding holiday" A T Darwen
 
“I hugely enjoyed the trip, and was delighted with the range of species seen and habitats covered” S. G. Oxford
 
 “Our holiday provided many hours of enjoyable bird watching. Neil and Ashley were excellent tour guides with a vast knowledge of the birds and where to find them. We would most definitely participate on another of your holidays and would recommend others to do so too” C & S C. Darlington
 
" The evening trip for Nightjars, the company and Cley in the sunshine were very enjoyable aspects. The leaders outstanding knowledge and friendly approach have made both our Oriole Birding holidays a delight " M & S D Lancashire
 
" We loved this trip and are already looking forward to joining you again in 2018 when we are next in the UK "
R & GJ Queensland Australia
 
" Ashley is always an excellent guide and good company. As ever, we really enjoyed the tour despite the difficult weather this year" G & MS Kent

 

" The skills and knowledge of our guide who knew all the best places to take us to was particularly enjoyable. He tirelessley worked to show us the best and succeeded. The food and accommodation were of a good standard too"  S.D. Liverpool

 

"An excellent trip with great views of all target species. Ashley's local knowledge and birding experience made the tour. The sight of a male Golden Oriole feeding it's young in my scope will live with me for ever as will the raptors. Over all an excellent time with everyone on the trip being good company. Also the the accommodation was comfortable and service was excellent with very tasty food" A.M. Glamorgan

 

" We really enjoyed the close up views of the speciality species and the scenery. You were very welcoming hosts, informative and helpful and ashley was very focussed in his quest to find everything for us. The food was very good too" S & LH Northants

 

"Just a brief note to say how much I enjoyed the last few days - despite the weather on most of 29 May!! You certainly ensured everything went as smoothly as possible, and although there were a few 'misses' they were more than compensated for by other birds we saw. And thanks for your expertise and unfailing help. I'll most certainly book with Oriole again."  B.S, London

 

" I'm already eyeing up my next trip. Ashley was very knowledgeable and approachable and made sure everyone saw everything. I also really enjoyed the small group size. L. M. Cardiff

 

" Thank you for all your attention, pateince and hard work - we were totally cared for form statrt to finish" P C Hertfordshire

 
 
 
 
 

 

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