Monday, 2 January 2017

Norfolk beckons

Having delayed the Norfolk trip because of heavy rain forecasts, we made the trip this morning, leaving at 5.15am. the first bird I encountered was in semi darkness when a Barn owl flew very low across the road in front of the car. 
A quick stop at Thornham added a small flock of Twite and my first Brent Geese of the new year. From here we continued our day with a seawatch from the beach at Titchwell. This produced large flocks of Common Scoter and several Velvet Scoter were among them with one individual showing extremely well relatively close in. A small flock of Long-tailed Ducks were also seen along with two Eider and several Red-breasted Merganser. The shoreline held good numbers of Sanderling and Turnstones and a Peregrine hunting, catching and releasing a Pigeon was fantastic to watch. It certainly made the freezing conditions and light rainfall much more tolerable.
Several more birds were added on the walk out and back, Water Pipit, Ringed and Grey Plover, Greenshank, Dunlin and Brambling to name a few.
We failed to locate any Bean Geese or the Red-breasted Goose among several flocks of Pink-footed Geese, but a bonus came in the shape of two Red Kites flying low over the hillside as we searched through the geese flocks.
A stop at Salthouse at first failed to find the reported flock of 50 Snow Buntings, despite walking the length of Gramborough Hill searching for them. As we headed back towards the car a juvenile Glaucous Gull dropped onto the pool at the end of Beach Road. A second Glac Gull  in two days! A couple we were standing with headed off towards Cley and as luck would have it they flushed the flock of Snow Buntings which promptly headed back towards Gramborough Hill directly over our heads.
A late dash to try to find the Wawings at Cromer proved fruitless, but a Woodcock flushed from the roadside on the way home was a very nice end to the day.

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