Sunday, 12 January 2014

Happisburgh then back to the patch

Made and early-ish start today and decided to head to the coast and take advantage of the glorious if chilly conditions. Happisburgh is always a favourite destination, and we were not disappointed for as well as blue skies and a bracing sea breeze we were treated to close views of 12 Snow Bunting on the cliff face 50 yards or so from the beach car park. The reported Black Redstart was easy enough to find on the rocks beneath Doggerts Lane, but he did not hang around long enough for a picture. I blame the local Robin and Stonechat for hassling him.

Late afternoon and a trip to the patch beckoned. I love the evening commute over Church Marsh and with it being January there were still a few obvious year ticks missing. Most pleasing were not 1 but 2 Barn Owl hunting either side of the river, one showing well from the hide. A Sparrowhawk was disturbed from its roost, silently gliding across the marsh to find a sheltered spot. A few Herring Gull flew over, and once the gloom had reduced the birds to dark shapes I relied on my ears to pick out Wigeon, Teal, Snipe, Water Rail and finally a Little Owl. A great selection. Glad the Little Owl/s are still around, for they appear to have vacated the trees behind the gun club for now; this individual was heard calling from somewhere behind the lake adjacent to the footpath that leads up the hill to the church.

The previous weekend, Debs and I made a genuinely early start and beat the crowds to the seals at Horsey. A few pictures below. We also saw a single Snow Bunting picking through the flotsam along with the expected but hardy Turnstones.
We stopped off at Barton Broad on the way home and enjoyed Goldeneye and Tufted Duck, nothing scarce doing however.

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