Tuesday, 17 January 2012

January 14th -15th

Looking out from the inner bank across Ken Hill Marsh

A glorious weekend of light winds and largely clear skies, reminiscent of the early spring days that you hope for in February or March. Saturday was spent around Snettisham, with an early morning look at a calm sea producing six Red-throated Diver, five Eider, an adult Kittiwake, two Guillemot and a single Razorbill, with a group of four Bewick's Swan flying South overhead.

An afternoon exploration of Ken Hill Wood yielded two pairs of Nuthatch, at least five Treecreeper, three Marsh Tit, a single Woodcock, and a mixed flock of Goldfinch, Siskin, and Lesser Redpoll feeding in the Larch Trees close to the main road. Twelve Woodcock were seen late afternoon, coming out to feed, and at least 17 Bulfinch were recorded throughout the day.

Sunday morning started out at Snettisham, with at least 5 Grey Partridge heard calling in the half light on the way through to Hunstanton, where an adult Black-throated Diver, developing traces of striped breeding plumage along the flanks, gave excellent views from the cliffs feeding close inshore. A Red necked Grebe and an Egyptian Goose (!) flew south and three close Velvet Scoters flew North.

Black -throated Diver My 5th Norfolk record of the autumn/winter period!

Holkham produced decent views of both the Rough-legged Buzzard and four Shorelark, though the sea proved disappointingly quiet, despite the ideal viewing conditions, with just two Great Crested Grebes, three Red-breasted Mergansers and a single Eider on the sea, as well as the usual Scoter flock. A ringtail Hen Harrier was hunting the grazing fields to the East of the pines and 25 Barnacle Geese were seen in flight with at least 250 White fronts.

The Coues's Arctic Redpoll showed on arrival at Titchwell, feeding in the alders alongside the main path, and a Short eared Owl was perched on top of one of the roadside hedges between Chosely crossroads and Docking village on the way back to Snettisham.

A view from the sea wall at Burnham Ovary dunes looking back towards Holkham Park

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