Photo Diary 11

February 15th - 16th

Waders & Gulls of note......


The Norfolk coast (15th) with Jason Nichols found two waders of note with a Spotted Redshank at Thornham Harbour (but no sign of any Twite) and a Greenshank at Brancaster Staithe, where there was also 2 Goldeneye in the channel.

At least 14 Brown Hares were on one field near Choosley Barns, going about their springtime business, but no sign of the reported Hooded Crow.

A return visit to Buxton (having been there in the morning, with no success with any of the rarer gulls reported there), eventually found the Iceland Gull and the Caspian Gull, amongst several hundreds of gulls resting on a playing field.

15th Feb (5) 15th Feb (6) 15th Feb (7) 15th Feb (1) 15th Feb (4) 15th Feb (2) 15th Feb (3)

Black-tailed Godwit

Common Buzzard

Brown Hares

Norfolk farmland birds......


From the usual vantage point overlooking the surrounding farmland in the Oby/Thurne area (16th) 22 Egyptian Geese were seen along with Wood Pigeon and Crow flocks (mainly Rooks with Jackdaws and Carrion Crows), plus at least 6 Stock Doves in the area.

A Chinese Water Deer was lying down on a field in the distance and at closer range 6 Pied Wagtails were on the waterlogged arable fields.

No sign of any Cranes, as yet and generally nothing else of note was seen, until a female Hen Harrier was seen flying low over the rough grass field boundaries, heading towards the road, where it flew to the other side and continued hunting low over the fields.

‘Birds of prey’ began to appear with a Sparrowhawk running the gauntlet of the crow contingent, immediately followed by a hovering Kestrel.  2-3 Common Buzzards were seen circling and one, which flew past, like the Sparrowhawk attracted Carrion Crows, which mobbed the buzzard until it flew off away from the crows’ territory.  Similar results occurred when two different Marsh Harriers flew past!

A distant skein of some 800 Pink-footed Geese were seen in the distance and 6 Red-legged Partridges made their way through the field, before finally at approximately 15.15 a single Crane flew past, heading for the distant fields, with both legs dangling and the plumage showing considerable wear.  Another 10 Cranes flew in and all the birds landed near a stand of Maize.

On the way back, along the Acle Straight a Common Buzzard was perched in a small tree beside the road.  Thoughts went back to when Common Buzzards were a very uncommon sight in Norfolk and this kind of encounter would only have been possible somewhere like Wales.  To emphasise the spread of this raptor further, another buzzard was perched on a gate post, near to the road further along the Acle Straight!

16th Feb (3) 16th Feb (8) 16th Feb (5) 16th Feb (2) 16th Feb (7) 16th Feb (6) 16th Feb (9)

Hen Harrier                                                                        Common Buzzard being harrassed

Stock Doves                                         Red-legged Partridge                                Crane (worn?!)