November 21st continued......
A Black-throated Diver had been reported at Burnham Overy Staithe, but the latest report said it had headed out towards Scolt Head Island. Nevertheless, we called in and the Black-throated Diver surfaced just out from the shore! Our second diver of the day and needless to say a good number of photographs were taken.
Next stop Thornham, where a Glossy Ibis had been reported and sure enough, albeit at distance it was feeding on the wet fields, west of the flood bank. Several Curlews were here too, taking advantage of the wet soil (field capacity-all water soil-pores filled) making probing for food relatively easy, at least if you are a Curlew!
The area around Choosley Barns was next on a ‘wild goose chase’; Pink-feet with Tundra Bean Geese in their midst, reported from the 20th. However, the search for the geese was delayed when 2 Red Kites flew up from a field, where as it turned out were feeding on a dead Pheasant along with 2 Magpies. We decided to park up and see if the kites would return and although they flew over the area, with one landing briefly, but not near the pheasant they didn’t return whilst we were there, so we decided to go and look at the geese we could see in the distance.
Eventually, we found the area, a harvested Sugar Beet field where the majority of at least 1500 Pink-feet were feeding and a scan through the many geese began.
2 Barnacle Geese were found by Jase, but we couldn’t find any of the reported Beans, at least amongst the geese we could see. However, after pulling the car forward Jase spotted an ‘orange-legged goose’, which sure enough was a Tundra Bean Goose. Although only one Bean could be seen in the resulting photographs there may have been 2-3 bean geese present.
The geese were very ‘jumpy’, probably not surprising with the number of ‘large’ birds of prey in the area, with at least 3 Red Kites seen here, but may have been more and a total of 7 kites were seen during our travels along the North Norfolk coast.
A Sparrowhawk twice landed on the nearby hedgerow, but only on the second time was it actually visible, all too briefly.
A stop at ‘the gate’ at Holkham Freshmarsh found a distant Great White Egret and at least 6 White-fronted Geese, with both Marsh Harriers and a Common Buzzard over the area.
Hearing that the Rough-legged Buzzard had been seen again at Wells we stopped for another look, but it could not be found, but a Muntjac was once again present.
Nevertheless, a very productive and enjoyable day; a rare Wheatear, Snow Buntings, 2 species of Diver, a ‘hat-trick’ of Egrets, 8 species of Geese and much more besides.
Pheasants & Red-legged Partridges, but 'Can you spot the Sparrowhawk?
Curlew Glossy Ibis Red Kite Sparrowhawk