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January 2008

 

Tuesday/Wednesday 29th/30th January

Lunchtime snaps:

Grey Squirrel, Sandringham, 29-Jan-08 Great Tit, Sandringham, 29-Jan-08

Grey Squirrel (left) and Great Tit (right), Sandringham, 29th January 2008

 

Oystercatcher, Brancaster Staithe, 30-Jan-08  

Oystercatcher, Brancaster Staithe, 30th January 2008

 

Sunday 27th January

Sparham Pools was quiet apart from 5 Goosanders but before that Swanton Morley was far from quiet. Unfortunately the non-quiet was mostly created by a working party hacking down the vegetation round Holkham Lake rather than any avian activity, but it wasn't a wasted trip. From the far north end of the fishing lake complex, looking north across the B1145 between Worthing and Billingford a ringtail Hen Harrier was quartering the fields - a new species for the local area for me. Also flushed a Water Rail from the edge of Holkham Lake - usually heard only but I've seen them several times lately - one day I might even get a photo... A Cetti's Warbler was singing from the east end.

Cormorant, Swanton Morley, 27-Jan-08 Tufted Duck, Swanton Morley, 27-Jan-08

Cormorant (left) and female Tufted Duck (right), Swanton Morley, 27th January 2008

 

Saturday 26th January

Too much socialising this week-end to do much birding so far, so here's a pair of Collared Doves from the garden:

Collared Dove, Bawdeswell, 26-Jan-08 Collared Dove, Bawdeswell, 26-Jan-08

pair of Collared Doves, Bawdeswell, 26th January 2008

 

Wednesday 23rd January

Lunchtime snaps from Brancaster Staithe:

Common Gull, Brancaster Staithe, 23-Jan-08 Cormorant, Brancaster Staithe, 23-Jan-08

second-winter Common Gull (left) and Cormorant (right), Brancaster Staithe, 23rd January 2008

 

Monday 21st January

Not many geese found during a wet and windy lunch break but a first-winter Mediterranean Gull was flying around some fields at Flitcham.

 

Saturday 19th January

Once the rain stopped and I'd finished faffing around I has a look round Sparham Pools where there was 1 Goosander, Tawny Owl, Nuthatch and 2 Marsh Tits. Popped in to Swanton Morley but didn't spend long there as it started to rain again - 32 Gadwall and 3 Shoveler were with the Pochards.

Tawny Owl, Sparham Pools, 19-Jan-08 Bracket Fungus, Sparham Pools, 19-Jan-08

Tawny Owl and Bracket Fungus, Sparham Pools, 19th January 2008

 

Friday 18th January

A Pale-bellied Brent Goose was among the Pink-feet near work - is this the same bird that's been returning since at least 2003? Didn't leave me much time to look through the flock near East Rudham but as well as a leucistic Pink-foot there was at least one small white bird hiding at the back of the flock. Probably a Ross's but most of the time it was completely obscured by Pink-feet and I never saw its head.

Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Bircham, 18-Jan-08 Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Bircham, 18-Jan-08

Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Bircham, 18th January 2008

 

Pink-footed Goose, East Rudham, 18-Jan-08  

leucistic Pink-footed Goose, north of East Rudham, 18th January 2008

 

Monday 14th January

Three Roe Deers quietly overlooked the flock of Pink-feet between Docking and Bircham. Nothing unusual among this relatively small flock, but four neck-collared birds was a high proportion.

Roe Deer, S of Docking, 14-Jan-08  

Roe Deer, south of Docking, 14th January 2008

 

Saturday 12th January

A fine specimen of a Peregrine was the highlight at Swanton Morley this morning. Other than that not much of note apart from a couple of Water Rails (both away from the usual spot) and a Chiffchaff.

Despite the beautiful weather I didn't manage to obtain any photos worth sharing this morning. What a contrast though between this morning's calm, clear and frosty morning after the howling wind and torrential rain that kept me awake for most of last night.

 

Tuesday 8th January

The old hybrid goose that's presumed to be the offspring of a Barnacle x White-front pairing at Raynham Lake a few years ago was still present at Flitcham today and 3 Buzzards were messing around overhead. Unfortunately most of the wild geese are not visible from the road at present due to the number of birders that have been looking for them recently. A Woodcock flew up from beside the road.

hybrid goose, Flitcham, 8-Jan-08 hybrid goose, Flitcham, 8-Jan-08

Presumed hybrid Barnacle Goose x White-fronted Goose, Flitcham, 8th January 2008

 

Monday 7th January

Half a dozen Fallow Deer ran across the field where I was watching geese near Amner today. This is a species of deer I only ever see in parks where they're semi-tame - in fact I'm not sure if I've ever seen them in a completely wild setting before.

 

Sunday 6th January

News of a White-crowned Sparrow at Cley scuppered plans for a nice afternoon's local birding, but I wasn't complaining. Once I'd fought my way near enough to the front and centre of the crowd to have half a chance of seeing anything apart from people's heads, I eventually got a couple of brief views of this ace North American vagrant, the first to be seen in Norfolk. I even got a photo (well, sort of). Not a good bird to go and see if you don't like crushes, but well worth it if you don't mind standing on tip-toes for hours only to find someone move in front of you just as it pops out for the first time in half an hour.

White-crowned Sparrow, Cley, 5-Jan-08 White-crowned Sparrow, Cley, 5-Jan-08

White-crowned Sparrows, Cley, 6th January 2008 (left) and Point Lobos (California), 29th April 2005 (right). Note the difference in bill colour and loral pattern - birds from the east of the Rockies (simplistically) have pink bills and black lores, those in the west have yellow bills and pale lores.

 

Saturday 5th January

The group I sometimes help out with were going to Cley today so, as they weren't starting until 10.30 I decided to have a lie in and still have time to pop in to see the Lapland Buntings at Salthouse. A flock of about 150 Pink-footed Geese flew behind the house while I was having breakfast - a few days too late to make it on to my local year list effort. I saw some fly over the house in the autumn of 2006 shortly after moving in but hadn't seen any in the valley since then.

Salthouse produced the 2 Lapland Buntings and roughly 50 Snow Buntings as expected, and provided such good views that I took the group along to see them once we'd finished at Cley. Cley itself was fairly quiet, highlight (for me) being a first-winter Pale-bellied Brent Goose although the group enjoyed things like Pintails and Avocets just as much.

Lapland Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08 Lapland Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08
Lapland Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08 Lapland Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08

Lapland Buntings, Salthouse, 5th January 2008

 

Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Cley, 5-Jan-08 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Cley, 5-Jan-08

first-winter Pale-bellied Brent Goose (left) and adult Dark-bellied Brent Goose (right), Cley, 5th January 2008

 

Linnet, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08 Linnet, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08

Linnet, Salthouse, 5th January 2008

 

Teal, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08 Teal, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08
Teal, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08 Teal, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08

male and female Teals, Salthouse, 5th January 2008

 

Turnstone, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08 Turnstone, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08

male and female Teals, Salthouse, 5th January 2008

 

Avocets, Cley, 5-Jan-08 Avocets, Cley, 5-Jan-08

Avocets, Cley, 5th January 2008

 

Common Gull, Salhtouse, 5-Jan-08 Black-headed Gull, Salhtouse, 5-Jan-08

adult Common Gull (left) and first-winter Black-headed Gull (right), Salthouse, 5th January 2008

 

Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08 Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08
Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08 Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08
Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08 Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08
Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08 Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08
Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08 Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08
Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08 Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08
Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08 Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08
Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08 Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08
Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08 Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08
Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08 Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08
Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08 Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08
Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08 Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08
Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08 Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08
Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08 Snow Bunting, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08

Snow Buntings, Salthouse, 5th January 2008

 

Lapland and Snow Buntings, Salthouse, 5-Jan-08  

Lapland Bunting (centre) and Snow Buntings, Salthouse, 5th January 2008

 

Wednesday 2nd January

More poor attempts to photograph flying waders at Brancaster Staithe in my lunch break. A flock of 14 Twite was nice even if my photos aren't.

Dunlin, Brancaster Staithe, 2-Jan-08 Sanderling, Brancaster Staithe, 2-Jan-08

Dunlin (left) and Sanderling (right), Brancaster Staithe, 2nd January 2008

 

Knot, Brancaster Staithe, 2-Jan-08 Bar-tailed Godwit, Brancaster Staithe, 2-Jan-08

Knot (left) and Bar-tailed Godwit (right), Brancaster Staithe, 2nd January 2008

 

Turnstone, Brancaster Staithe, 2-Jan-08 Twite, Brancaster Staithe, 2-Jan-08

Turnstone (left) and Twite (right), Brancaster Staithe, 2nd January 2008

 

Twite, Brancaster Staithe, 2-Jan-08 Twite, Brancaster Staithe, 2-Jan-08
Twite, Brancaster Staithe, 2-Jan-08 Twite, Brancaster Staithe, 2-Jan-08
Twite, Brancaster Staithe, 2-Jan-08 Twite, Brancaster Staithe, 2-Jan-08

 

Tuesday 1st January 2008

Barely worth a diary entry as today's briefer-than-usual trip to Swanton Morley was so unremarkable. A Water Rail was calling and 200+ Golden Plover flew over, but nothing unexpected there. Hope the rest of the year's better than this!

Kingfisher, Swanton Morley, 1-Jan-08 Collared Dove, Bawdeswell, 1-Jan-08

Kingfisher, Swanton Morley, 1st January 2008

Collared Dove, Bawdeswell, 1st January 2008

 

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