November 23rd continued......
Little Egret Dark-bellied Brent Goose Muntjac-Holkham
Oystercatcher Grey Plover
Curlew Bar-tailed Godwit
Parrot Crossbills in the Brecks & wintry showers in the east......
West to the Brecks today (30th) with Jason Nichols to look for some reported Parrot Crossbills at Santon Downham. However, with ‘wintry showers’ beginning to appear and some traffic delays, arrival at St. Helen’s Picnic site was not until just before 10.0, despite setting off just after 07.00.
On arrival at St. Helen’s car park, the presence of the ‘parrots’ looked promising as several cameras were pointed at the top of the pines. Indeed, there were parrot crossbills feeding on pine cones in the pines at the back of the car park, near the railway line. A Great Spotted Woodpecker put in a brief appearance before it was heard tapping the trees in search of food and a Grey Squirrel had similar designs on the pine cones to the crossbills.
Some of the crossbills flew over the car park and perched in some pines on the other side of the car park, before coming down to the ice-broken puddles to drink, whilst others were seen to be picking up something off the ground, probably grit.
Eventually the crossbills flew off to some other pines towards the river, with 20 counted as they exited the pines.
Hoping that they would return to drink from the puddles, the car was re-positioned so we could photograph them from a far warmer place, but after a couple of cups of coffee it was clear they were not returning (if at all) anytime soon so we left Santon Downham and headed towards a site for Willow Tits.
The road between Munford and Cockley Cley produced a Red Kite next to the road and a Common Buzzard flying low over a field before a look for willow tits along a forest ride. However, on this occasion, just one Wren represented the avifauna!
Driving back towards Great Yarmouth, showers containing sleet, snow and hail were encountered, worsening the further east we travelled. Nevertheless, a look around the Thurne area found a Chinese Water Deer browsing in a field and during a hail storm 4 Golden Plovers, were forced to relocate from the field where they were getting ‘ice-balled’ and a total of 4 Common Snipe were also seen as they flew up from alongside the road.
A drive back along the coast road from Hickling to Ormesby St. Margaret found very little, but three Roe Deer were seen at Waxham, presumably the same three seen here previously-buck, doe and fawn.