With migration now well underway and large numbers of migrant waders building up on the east coast, it didn't take much of a discussion to think where we would be heading for the weekend.
Frampton Marsh RSPB was our first destination, a new reserve for me, and I very quickly became impressed! Walking from the car park to the sea wall, a small flooded pool held a pair of juvenile Little Stints and a great flock of 8 Curlew Sandpipers. Both of these species were very well represented on the reserve, with a good number of 4 Little Stints, but the real highlight was the outstanding count of 30+ Curlew Sandpipers, which were plastered on every puddle on site!
This was part of 16 wader species that were present on site, including 4 Spotted Redshank!
The long staying Glossy Ibis put on a brief showing as we were on the sea wall. The marshes were packed with waders! Away from passerines, great numbers of Yellow Wagtail were flicking about in the late summer sun and a Wheatear flicked off the track in front of us.
I was very impressed by the reserve, the only downside being that I only managed 'untickable' views of the Barred Warbler on site, which after a brief flight view, and a bit of calling, completely disappeared!
With a Bonelli's Warbler having been seen at Kelling in Norfolk, we next headed there, but we were in for a dip (and didn't see much at all!) so we moved around for a quick look at Cley before deciding what to do.
A flock of 5 Spoonbills were viewable distantly from the carpark but we didn't venture any further and went to Salthouse, again with no reward.
So, having had a phone call from Jim Almond (who was having a rather good day!) saying that a juvenile Red-backed Shrike was still present at Blakeney Freshmarsh, and so we headed that way to salvage something from the latter part of the day.
My first Red-backed in the UK, and it showed superbly sitting on Reed stems and small hawthorn bushes in the Reeds. It flew around a few times, each time more distantly, and it was around this time we decided to cut our losses and head back.