Friday, April 27, 2007

Norfolk trip

Editor Kevin Wilmot writes:

One of the more enjoyable parts of my job on Bird Watching magazine is that I get to on 'press trips' as they're called. This might be in the form of a fortnight in Peru which I enjoyed last November (you can read all about it in the June issue of Bird Watching), or something much closer to home.
My most recent invitation was to spend a couple of days in Norfolk in the company of German optics manufacturers Steiner and their UK distributors Intro 2020. Steiner had just released their new Discovery binoculars and were keen to show them to the birdwatching press.
Great! Two days of birdwatching in one of the prime locations in UK at the perfect time of the year for incoming migrants. Our base was the exquisite Titchwell Manor Hotel and after lunch and a short presentation from the lovely Stephanie from Steiner, we were on our way to the reserve at Holme-next-the-Sea.
A singing Lesser Whitethroat was hopefully a taste of things to come as soon as we got off the bus and we were delighted when this skulker showed well at the top of a bush for a minute or so before realising that it shouldn't have been there and disappearing down below.
Further along the path (and after I got a polite ticking-off from the warden for walking 10 metres across the grass) we saw a group of birders and were soon focussing the Steiners on a magnificent pair of male Ring Ouzels. Rumours of a male Redstart in the same area proved unfounded, though a particularly vivid male Chaffinch was about (hmmm).
Next day, the RSPB Reserve at Titchwell gave us a splendid Short-Eared Owl, Cetti's Warbler, Bearded Tits, the boldest Sedge Warbler I'd ever seen, three Marsh Harriers, Barn Owl, a glorious breeding-plumaged Spotted Redshank, and unfeasibly large numbers of mating Avocets.
Oh, and the bins were brilliant!

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