Sunday, 8 January 2012

Arctic Roll

Hoping to carry on from yesterday's success, we were out early again but failed to find Golden Pheasant or Hawfinch around the Brecks.  In fact the day didn't really get going until we left the Brecks and headed north to the coast and the RSPB's Titchwell reserve.  The main attraction here was an Arctic Redpoll along with a few Lesser Redpoll and a Mealy Redpoll that showed well on the path by the visitor centre, though the light wasn't the best from the position we were in away from the rest of the crowd.

Arctic Redpoll

and a Mealy for comparison

 A bit further down the path a Chinese Water Deer showed well on Thornham Marsh, looking a bit worse for wear with a torn ear and bald patch on its back, presumably from a scurmish.

The rest of the reserve was fairly quiet, other than a Scaup on one of the pools, several Ruff and best of all an adult Yellow-legged Gull found amongst a mass of other gulls on the freshmarsh along with a very photogenic Black-tailed Godwit.

With the afternoon fast racing away from us, we headed east to Holkham, stopping briefly to watch 3 Barn Owls by the road at Burnham Overy Staithe.

One of the best finales of any days birding on the North Norfolk Coast is the roost of tens of thousands of Pink-footed Geese, and although numbers have been lower in recent years, it really is quite a spectacle, especially when they take to the air.

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