Friday, 16 March 2018

Snowy Owl in North Norfolk March 2018

News of a possible Snowy Owl in Norfolk sort of filtered out during the week, and we sort of got our outfit washed and ready, polished our lens and chose our shoes, but it wasn't until Friday 9th March and pictures of a 1w female Snowy Owl on Scolt Head Island that the Clayheads stirred into action. A quick ring around and the car took an amazing three minutes to fill, and we were all treated to a ride in Lord Lichfield's new car. To say Lord Lichfield's videos have been a success is only half the story. He's now supplying videos to the rich and famous, but obviously I can't divulge who. Anyway, here's Lord Lichfield's new car - top of the range, all singing and dancing..

Anyway, Lord Lichfield, still wearing his tux from one of his celebrity bashes the evening before picked us up at 430am. The crew today consisted of The Angry Man, Lord Lichfield, The Stalker (due to potential legal action) and Grizz. Lord Lichfield did all the driving despite not having slept for three days.

We decided to head for the nearest car park to Scolt Head and wait on news. One member of the team suggested we sat in a hide in Titchwell, but The Angry Man's said "No you xxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx". So we sat in a side road near to Scolt Head and The Angry Man was given his tablets.

Then it happened. The Stalker suddenly blurted out that the SNOWY OWL was on Thornham Point. Lord Lichfield started his motor, and screamed off, wheel spinning as he went, burning rubber and filling the North Norfolk early morning air with diesel fumes. The rest of the birders milling around just stood and stared. For once, we were first with news. 

Unsure of where to go, we decided to head for Thornham Harbour. We were soon following a green car, and obviously it was in possession of the same news as we were. We tried to follow the car, but Lord Lich eased back when we reached 140mph. We later found out we were trying to follow Clayheads favourite North Norfolk female birder pin up babe Penny "'Hot Rod" Clark. 

The green car suddenly screeched to a halt, did a full handbrake-180-Top Gear style spin and headed back to Titchwell. Lord Lich calmly reversed into a side road and headed to Titchwell.

We were soon marching through Titchwell towards the beach, pausing briefly to watch a Woodcock a few feet off the path. The fast walking members of the crew soon reached a boy with a scope. And there was the target bird sat on top of a bush five miles away in the distance. It wasn't even 0800hrs and the Snowy Owl was in the bag. 

We stood on the beach and snapped away at the distant blob. There was small flock of Long-tailed Ducks just offshore along with a few Scaup to keep us amused, but after a while we headed into one of the hides, counting a nice 38 Mediterranean Gulls in the colony.

The Snowy Owl had finally dried out and started to move, so with news reaching us that it was sat on the beach, we went back for seconds. It sat on a post for two hours and then it sat in a bush for two hours and that was it really.

Initial view (copyright Lord Lichfield)
Snowy Owl sat on a post
Snowy Owl sat in a bush

As we walked back, a Snow Bunting was showing well on the beach

Snow Bunting by Lich

We headed round to Thornham Harbour and eventually found the nine Twite. Next stop was Holkham, where nine Shore Larks were showing well about 20 minutes walk out from the boardwalk.

Shore Lark by Lord Lichfield 
We stopped on the main road and a quick glance saw a Barn Owl, GWE, a few Y-fronts and an amazing 59 Egyptian Geese. All in all it was a jolly good day out.

Under a huge Norfolk sky, three Clayheads stroll along
Finally, today's song is dedicated to a recent Westport twitch. I could have chosen another Icelandic export with Bjerk and "Its oh so quiet" but in the end I went for this. Enjoy xxx