GLORIOUS GODWITS @ HOLME DUNES (NWT)
On day one of my trip to Norfolk I visited Holme Dunes which is a National Nature Reserve owned and managed by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust since 1965. The reserve's habitats consist of sand dunes, salt marsh, pasture, grazing marsh and freshwater pools. The reserve has a visitor centre, cafe, three bird hides facing south and a path through a small woodland to the beach.
I was staying at the Caley Hall Hotel in Old Hunstanton and after arriving early in the afternoon, left my bags in my room, grabbed my camera and headed for the Holme Dunes Nature Reserve at the village of Holme Next To The Sea. It was a very cloudy day and upon my arrival I checked out the visitor centre and found out that a Ring Ouzel had been seen in the car park earlier in the day as well as Crossbills on the previous four days, sadly they did not make another appearance during my visit.
I started off by heading past the car park for Norfolk Ornithologists Association reserve at Holme Dunes to the start of the path which leads to the three hides. The path goes through an area of bushes in a south west direction before turning south and after about two hundred feet you arrive at the first hide. In front of this hide is the western end of Broadwater Pool which was awash with Teals and a few Shovelers and Wigeons. At the edge of the water nearest to the hide a Redshank was wading along the waters edge probing the mud for food.
To the right of the hide is Christie's Pool which was empty apart from a lone Redshank and a couple of Teal. In the distance a lone Grey Heron was sat on a fence on the banks of the River Hun and as a Buzzard flew in and landed on a fence in the far distance as a pair of Wood Pigeon looked on. As I watched the pools in front several groups of Starlings flew westwards over the reserve as well as several skeins of Pink Footed Geese with most landing on a pool just south of Christie's Pool.
Out on this pool there were several Black Tailed Godwits and more Wigeons, Teals and Shovelers. From here I returned to the path and followed west along the edge of a field to the second hide which is half way along Christie's Pool, this is a small hide about the size of
your average garden shed. A Redshank was still at the left hand end of the pool as a pair of Teals and a lone Shelduck patrolled the far side of the water. A second Grey Heron had sat on the fence next to the other Grey Heron and out on the pool beyond Christie's Pool the number of Black Tailed Godwits had started to swell and a small group of Knots & Greylag Geese had also arrived.
I moved on to the final and furthest west hide which is a short distance south west overlooking Hun Pool. Again in this pool there were Shovelers and Teal, but on the far side just over a small island a single Snipe was making its way along the edge of the water. I made my way back along the path calling in at the other two hides again where the number of Black Tailed Godwits had increased to over one hundred and as I made my way back through the bushes to the start of the trail a few Blackbirds and a pair of Goldfinches were flitting from bush to bush.
I made my way through the small wooded area, across the Norfolk Coast Path and onto the beach. Spread out along the edge of the out-going tide a few Curlews were probing the sand for food and after watching them for a few minutes I returned to the Norfolk Coast Path and headed east along it. A few dragonflies were still about flying back and forth across the path and a lone Great Tit was perched in a tree singing. After a few hundred yards the path goes up a boardwalk to the entrance to the Norfolk Ornithologist Association reserve entrance which is half way along Broadwater Pool.
As it was starting to get dark I made my way back to the car and headed back to my hotel. I have attached a few photos and a full sightings from my visit.