Thursday, 25 August 2011

Burnham Overy Dunes

With the wind turning to the East Monday afternoon, I made the decision to travel back up from Bedford Tuesday morning, to make the most of the promising weather conditions, by spending the afternoon walking Burnham Overy Dunes, at the western end of Holkham pines. The rain had eased off by the time I had reached Gun Hill, and though it wasn't anything like as bad as I was expecting, it quickly became apparent, that the fall of common migrants which I had hoped for, had failed to materialise. A male Redstart, in the privet bushes around the small red brick tower at the far western end of the dunes, gave a welcome boost of confidence, but proved to be short lived, when a further search of the dunes revealed little more than a couple of Lesser, and a handful of Common Whitethroat. A return visit to Gun Hill found a second Redstart and at least one Garden Warbler, in the Elder and Privet Scrub, below the tallest dunes (an area that had been devoid of birds first time around) before having to make a retreat, back along the coastal path to Burnham Overy town.

Despite the conditions, I never saw another birder, during the 5 hours that I spent in the dunes, something that was even more surprising, given the afternoon arrival of migrants, further along the coast. What more incentive do people need, to get them out in the field?! It would be easy to think that this was a wasted journey, but to demonstrate otherwise, I shall offer up my own positive outlook, on the days events...

Picture the scene... Stuck at home in Bedford looking at the computer... Greenish Warbler, Wryneck and Red backed Shrike on Blakeney Point. Wrynecks at East Hills and Gramborough Hill (2), Icterine Warblers at Wazham and Minsmere.... What could I have found if I had gone to Burnham Overy?! The fact that it proved to be an ultimate disappointment can be forgottton with one simple reassurance... I wasnt stuck with the gnawing though of "what if?"

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