Monday, 14 December 2015

Last Birding of 2015?

Sunday December 13

As Pam is due to have a hip replacement on Friday, we decided to have a day's birding. It may be our last opportunity for a few weeks. This week is full every day and - if it's the same as last time - riding around in the car will not be comfortable for Pam, on Norfolk's bumpy roads.
It was still dark when we left at 6.45 and then, we hit patchy ground fog, which became ever denser as we drove west.  After an hour, we saw our first bird, a Barn Owl. What were we doing out? We'd started so we'd finish. We managed two Tree Sparrows at our usual spot, two Redwings and a few Red-legged Partridges. Reaching Dersingham, the fog went away and we had a dry, not too cold, day until mid afternoon drizzle.
The tide at Snettisham was well on its way out, having reached a low peak at 7.20. Our first Goldeneye, two females, of the winter, on the pits, all the usual waders apart from Ringed Plover and Sanderling on the mud.  We did not walk to the far marsh where Dawn B had Great White Egret, Waxwings and the Pallid Harrier later in the afternoon ! Too far to-day.
A lone patrolling Fulmar and a small flock of Common Scoter at Hunstanton - and too many dog foulers. 
Holme Broadwater held many more ducks than usual, Shovellers, Gadwall, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Tufted and Pochard. Lovely. One Marsh Harrier scattered them into flight as it flew through, ignoring them all.
Negotiating the speed bumps on the way out, very near Bob's caravan, Pam noticed a Barn Owl sitting on a post. Surprisingly, it didn't fly when we stopped. I made a few mouse type noises and it turned and looked at me. Waw.

Many photos later, it flew rapidly away.
The Buzzard we saw at Choseley was much too distant to ID.
On to Brancaster Staithe  for lunch, where there were fewer birds than usual. Low tide, so no sign of the Red-necked Grebe but, a male Red-breasted Merganser glided by on the ebb, distant and frequently snorkelling. Not the best of photo opportunities.

When the drizzle set in we drove home, having listed about 70 species on an apparently poor yet enjoyable day.

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