January 1st continued.....
Driving towards Ludham, Fieldfares were seen exiting a tree to land on an arable field, but with traffic close behind and nowhere really to stop a look for the other familiar winter visitor, Redwing was not possible.
Along the narrow roads to St Benet’s Abbey Bewick’s Swans (14) were found and a male Kestrel, which had caught a Bank Vole, conveniently landed on a fence post to carry out the butchering and consumption and was duly photographed with the now very wounded camera equipment and a flock of Whooper Swans flying over completed the ‘swan trio’.
At least 1500 Pink-feet were on a field between Waxham and Horsey, where our final avian species of the day was seen, a Grey Heron alongside the distant hedgerow, behind the pink-feet.
A Barn Owl was of note as it flew across the road, just before Sea Palling village and a Roe Deer was browsing on a field at Horsey.
The day ended after 10 hours ‘in the field’ with 87 Birds and 8 Mammal species seen during the day. A really good day out (despite the camera episode!) and thanks are due to Jason for the driving, his company and his skill in spotting things I don’t!
Breydon Water Wader spectacular!
Kestrel with Bank Vole
Grey day, but still good finds in North Norfolk....
What looked like fairly promising weather conditions, degraded rapidly throughout the day (5th). However, Jason Nichols and I still found a selection of animals in north and north-west Norfolk.
Abbey Farm, near Flitcham is a good place to look for ‘farmland’ birds and indeed mammals, with at least 8 Brown Hares present, some already in pursuit of each other.
A flock of at least 60 Fieldfares was good to see and a Stock Dove, 2 Bullfinch and 20 Curlew followed.
A look along the hedgerow where feeders were put out found a charm of around 100 finches, mostly consisting of Chaffinches, with lesser numbers of Greenfinch, Goldfinch and one Brambling. Nearby, were two Tree Sparrows perched in a Hawthorn in front of a barn, with another seen along the hedgerow.
Heading towards the coast, a male Yellowhammer was seen flying along the hedgerow, just before Brancaster
No Twite were seen at Thornham Harbour, but the first Brent Geese (Dark-bellied) were, along with Grey Plover, Curlew, Common Redshank, Dunlin and a Little Egret.
At Titchwell, Reed Bunting, a Water Rail calling and 10+ Goldeneye on the sea were of note but the lack of a scope at the beach did have its limits!
A Barn Owl was seen hunting over some ‘rough pasture’ at Burnham Overy and apart from the Brent Geese, waders were in short supply at Brancaster Staithe and the main highlights were a Goldeneye in the channel and a Grey Plover with a small fish, relentlessly pursued by Black-headed Gulls.
What was thought to be the outline of a Great White Egret was seen on Holkham Freshmarsh, whilst travelling in the car and a stop further along confirmed this. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard drumming in the wood and two White-fronted Geese were seen from the ‘gate pull-in’, whilst at least 8000 Pink-footed Geese were scattered over the freshmarsh and a Muntjac was seen from Lady Ann’s Drive. Two ‘pale’ Common Buzzards were seen (at least 11 Common Buzzards seen during the day) perched in the hedgerows here and a male and juvenile Marsh Harrier were of note.
With the road apparently closed further up past the entrance to the park, a very long diversion ensued. By the time the diversion had been undertaken, very little time or daylight remained and with the weather now rather ‘grey’ and with darkness ever growing closer we called it a day.
Brown Hare Curlew