Field trip: North Norfolk Coast – 27 March 2011

Field Trip:  North Norfolk Coast – Salthouse to Kelling (2.5 miles) 27th March, 2011

reporter Jacquie Fenn

After a pleasant week of mild and often sunny weather we met on Sunday at Salthouse with a fresh and cold tinge to the morning air. A group of over 30 members turned out for the walk along the coast to Kelling where tea and lunch awaited us.

Jackdaws cried out overhead as we congregated on the green and Goldfinches were to be seen in the garden of the Dun Cow pub. On the walk from the road down to the beach we stopped to look over the salt marshes to see Lapwing, Black tailed Godwits, Avocets and the first of several smart male Stonechats in bright breeding plumage.

At the beach the air definitely became fresher and gloves and hats were donned. We marvelled at the dedication of the fisherman sitting in the cold wind for hours at a time. In the pools behind the pebble bank we watched Dunlin Turnstones and Ringed Plover feeding. The Dunlin were so absorbed in their feeding that they came almost to our feet before they noticed us.
Up on the bank we looked out over a very grey and inhospitable looking sea. Some Great Crested Grebes were seen not far from the beach and Cormorants, Brent Geese and Common Scoter were also spotted at various distances from the beach to the far horizon. No one fancied a dip so we continued our walk behind the bank and on to Kelling.

A few people grabbed coffees from the mobile coffee van, more to warm their hands than quench their thirst! Walking along the path and looking inland we saw some very smart Wheatears, many Meadow Pipits and enjoyed the melodious song of the Skylark over head. As we neared Kelling Quaggs we came across another group of six Wheatears and a small flock of Linnets. Looking over the lake we noticed Mute Swan, Gadwall and Mallard.
Our pace noticeably quickened as we came onto the path leading up to the café. But we had to stop when the Firecrest was spotted. It was also here that we heard the Chiffchaff. Away from the beach the wind dropped and the sun broke through. [Doesn’t it always shine on the righteous?].

We sat eating our lunch and sipping our hot drinks in the garden of the café ticking off Greenfinches, Chaffinches and Dunnocks. A shuttle service of drivers was organised which enabled everyone to get back to Salthouse.
Thank you to Alwyn and Colin for the help with spotting. Good to see some new faces in the group and we hope to see them on future outings.

Jacquie Fenn

Species List :-
Greylag Goose; Greenfinch; Moorhen; Reed Bunting; Jackdaw; Coot; Carrion Crow; Grey Heron; Little Egret; Skylark; Stonechat; Linnet; Goldfinch; Black-tailed Godwit; Great Crested Grebe; Mute Swan;
Wood Pigeon; Avocet; Ringed Plover; Gadwall; Black-headed Gull; Shoveler; Turnstone; Wren; Lapwing; Wigeon; Dunlin; Firecrest; Oystercatcher; Teal; Rook; Chiffchaff; House Sparrow; Common Gull; Brent Goose; Robin; Shelduck; Herring Gull; Common Scoter; Chaffinch; Mallard; Redshank; Cormorant; Dunnock; Starling; Meadow Pipit; Wheatear

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