Thursday, 1 January 2009

New Years Day Tally

A very early rise paid dividends as before dawn two Barn Owls, amazingly two perched Tawny Owls (one rufous and one grey type) and even more pleasing a Long-eared Owl. The bird was 'flushed in complete darkness, flying from its perch - where its small size and long wings were immediately noticeable. Fortunately, it then twice reappeared in front of the breaking car, showing its streaked underparts and pale underwing with fine barring - nice! Dawn came at Warham Greens, where in the first light two ringtail Hen Harriers emerged and briefly tussled with a Short-eared Owl!

I decided to spend some time around Houghton St Giles where the Dipper had been reported. New river, same old story I'm afraid (only three other birders were seen whilst I was there). A number of other reasonable birds were added to the tally, including the Shag in Wells Harbour and two coveys of Grey Partridges - always good to see.

I eventually made my way to Salthouse, where the 1st winter Glaucous Gull was seen briefly on the beach before flying off strongly west towards Cley. It seemed to be holding one of its wings much lower than the other, but seemed to fly okay. Five imm/fem Snow Bunting and a cracking male Stonechat were also noted. At Felbrigg, three Hawfinches showed briefly, with a number of sightings of individual birds. I decided not to walk for a female Mandarin on the lake, expecting to find the Guist birds (which I failed to do)!

The day was rounded off with a local Little Owl, which made it five owl species in a day, rather pleasing!

Total Tally: 78 species

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