Good job I checked the bird news today!
I had planned to do the patch mid-afternoon, but on hearing about a juvenile Surf Scoter at Sheringham I quickly changed plans. Luck was certainly with me today, for on arrival James and co recommended I avoided the long cliff-top slog and approached the cliffs from the west of Sheringham; sound advice. I had however heard a Richard's Pipit on the golf course and later discovered 2 birds were probably present.
Walking the footpath I saw Barn Owl hunting the scrub next to Dead Man's Wood (dare I ask?) and a small group of birders were looking out to sea. Before long I was watching a bird I had never seen before, a Surf Scoter! The profile view allowed a look at 'that' bill and the double cheek-flash was evident when the bird wasn't diving or looking the other way. Thrilled with that, I knew Ricky was on route so I spent some more time on the cliffs. I picked up a Red-necked Grebe, a nice self-find (although when I told one couple what I had seen, the response was "Yes, but we are here for the Scoter". Really?) and then a large Pipit species dive-bombed into a bush. I set my scope up, and sure enough onto the path crept a nice Richard's Pipit. Great views, I totally forgot I had a camera in my bag. Still, nice to be lost in the moment. Ricky arrived, I managed to get him onto both birds.
Walking back, we encountered a very pale female Chaffinch displaying migrant-like behaviour. She was feeding on the edge of a stubble field, never far away from us and only flying a short distance to keep ahead. Tame, but more likely very tired.
By the time I left Sheringham it was too dark to look for the Rosy Starling at Northrepps. No matter, for I cannot remember a better hour of birding this Autumn!