Saturday, 30 December 2006

3 Days in Norfolk

Thursday 28th December

The trip started off well with the Great Grey Shrike at Santon Downham, appearing briefly in gorse bush area by track before flying into trees without relocation. A small feeding flock of Brambling were further up the road.

There was no sign of any Hawfinch at Lynford Aboretum in horse paddocks, although a large finch flock in the field behind a large house could have held Brambling and Redpoll. Too distant for positive ID.

Next stop was Cantley Marshes, where good views were sustained of Taiga Bean and Eurasian White-fronted Geese.

Taiga Bean Geese in scattered groups, this group of 5 were observed quite close to the main track (c) Ashley Howe.

A Barn Owl was seen at 13:30pm while looking for Bewick's Swan at Catfield.

We finished the day off at Stubb Mill, where 2 Cranes were immediately located infront of the view point. About 50 Marsh Harrier came into roost that evening, as did a Peregrine in the facinity. A further c30 Cranes came in later on with a maximum of 4 Barn Owl seen.

Friday 29th December

Again the day started of well 4 Golden Pheasant seen at Wolferton Triangle. A group of three by the road consisting of 2 males and a female. A further fourth Golden Pheasant ran across the road (female) on our departure.

The drake Smew managed to elude most at Snettisham but the Scaup, a Peregrine hunting through the masses of waders, Kingfisher and Partridge kept us entertained for a while.

Red-legged Partridge infront of the southern most hide, can't remember what it was called (c) Ashley Howe

The day got worse, with little else seen all day in bad weather until we arrived on the East Bank of Cley. The Black-eared Kite was located for the first time since the morning over Blakeney Freshmarsh. It gave better views than it did in Lincolnshire follow this link for that trip>

Black-eared Kite at Holbeach, Lincs

Black-eared Kite at Cley before roosting in Woods by East Bank (top 2 photos) and a Marsh Harrier over the reserve, one of nine in the air at once with the Kite (bottom) (c) Ashley Howe

A late afternoon search for the White-rumped Sandpiper a Salthouse was a waste of time.

Saturday 30th December

Again there was no sign of the White-rumped Sandpiper on the flood by Salthouse, however a group of Dunlin were distant could have held the Sandpiper.

Holkham gave flight views of a dozen or so Shorelark, Merlin and Snow Bunting on the beach, little of interest was on the sea. White-fronted Geese were at Lady Ann's Drive.

Snow Bunting and White-fronted Geese at Holkham (c) Ashley Howe

Titchwell wasn't much better, though weather was deteriorating quickly. Spotted Redshank was one of the highlights, meanwhile the sea offered the usual suspects. Red-throated Diver, Scoters, Merganser and a few Long-tailed Duck flew past.

The Spotted Redshank and Teal at Titchwell (c) Ashley Howe

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