Nineteen members from Sandwich Bay met at Hanningfield Reservoir in Essex on monday morning,some,the early ones were lucky enough to see the ring billed gull,the later arrivals had to make do with a slavonian grebe and little stint as consolation.After this it was a treasure trail to the Ouse Washes in Cambridgeshire for tree sparrows and the first whooper swans of the winter.
From here we made tracks for our hotel in Old Hunstanton.
On Tuesday morning we all set off for Titchwell RSPB reserve,by the time we got there the car park was already overflowing,and the hides and footpath down to the beach were like the M25 on a friday afternoon,not my idea of birding at all,but we did manage a spotted redshank and a jack snipe,taking photos was not really an option here as the birds were distant and you risked being pushed into the water by uncompromising old ladies armed with walking poles and camouflage clothing,if you stopped for any time.
After lunch a visit to Holkham Hall gave us good views of Fallow deer and two new birds for the trip Nuthatch and Egyptian geese.
Wednesday found us at Cley,the Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve,again it was pretty crowded,but not as bad as yesterday.NWT have built a large new HQ over the road from the reserve,its a bit like a motorway services with shop cafe and toilets,marvellous you can sit and watch the birds from the grandstand,no need to get cold or wet or muddy!is this the future?armchair birding.Not for me.
Late afternoon found everyone at Holcomb Gap to watch the spectacle of thousands of Pink Footed Geese coming in to roost,well we saw them in the distance,they would choose a different roost today wouldn`t they.