Friday, 10 February 2012

Many Miles, Few Birds - but Excellent

Friday February 10
Not too early a start, after last night's forecast, we decided to check the weather and roads first. All good so off we went  to find Saddlebow near Kings Lynn. We've failed to find it in the past but now we have a street map !
The dry roads and remnant snow gradually changed west of Fakenham. There had obviously been fresh snow and low temperatures overnight. Maybe it was wiser to turn round. The hedgerows and trees looked wondrous, fringed with crystalline frosted snow. The side roads were icy, impacted snow, a return journey along the main road then......
We took the Wells turnoff and joined the coast road at Holkham, driving on to Wells Beach Road car park and Abraham's Bosom. Waw. A pool of water in the largely frozen northern end, held 7 drake and 4 female Goosander, the most we've seen together in Norfolk. We once found over 40 east of Inverness. A further 4 were at the other end of the pool. Wonderful scope views of very actively feeding birds, costantly diving and coming up with beaks full of what looked like weed. I took some photos with which I was not satisfied - into the light and not absolutely sharp.

Baz and to-day's driver joined us, pointing out the 5 Redhead Smew which were circling the pool before re-settling. 
The most amazing thing to-day was not seeing a single goose until the field past Salthouse where there were 2,000 Brent - scanning found nothing 'different'. A Woodcock flew up from the verge as we drove up the hill there. I'd read that the cold weather had brought an influx of them + Song Thrushes and Blackbirds. We've certainly seen a lot more Song Thrushes than usual but the normal winter population of 16 or so Blackbirds in the garden.
The Rough-leg is still around at home, I saw it perched in a tree near the North Walsham road yesterday, Pam had spotted it en route to Sainsbury's.

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