Friday, 29 January 2010

Route Catch-up

No Barn Owls today! Not sure what is wrong! However, other sightings more than made up for this. A 'possible'(!) Little Owl was seen S of Broom Green and a Woodcock flew over N of Thornage. At Cley a (the?) Little Egret flew E and 17 Curlew W. Only 1 Marsh Harrier was seen. It seems, although duller they still left earlier again. This was backed up with another 3 E of Walsey Hills. Whilst watching groups of Brents going past, my attention was drawn to a smaller group of geese, which turned out to be 9 Barnacle (y'day evening a had a brief glimpse of a small group of 'black' geese descending on North Scrape, 'Barnacles?' I wondered)! Another 27 Curlew were counted and 8 Dunlin, along with a single Knot (the bird from Salthouse Beach Car Park from y'day?

A brief trip to the sea front at lunch time produced the usual Purple Sandpiper, and also a Rock Pipit.

A fantastic evening started at Salthouse with c 30 Black-tailed Godwit flying around (after the Snow Bunting were seen again in the Car Park, being blasted by big lenses in a car). 3 harriers hunting to the west drew my attention and I went down for a closer look. Whilst doing so a wonderful fem Peregrine joined in the fun then circled and did a fly past c 20 m from the car, wonderful! I continued to Walsey Hills pull-in and, again the Peregrine showed well, harassing the local Woodpigeons and swooping at a ?Skylark, which after a twist and turn it hit and knocked to the ground, not to get up again. However, presumably due to the speed of the action the fall went unnoticed and it continued off! Another 20 min watch from here produced 8 Marsh Harriers moving in from the E to their roost, but only 4 were seen over the reeds. The Peregrine appeared again and then began to tussle with the harriers over the reed bed. I decided on a change of viewpoint and parked up at the NWT Car Park. From here scanning kept on producing different counts of harriers, until the smaller more delicate shape of the Hen Harrier appeared. In better light it showed orange underparts, so presumably a juvenile. The Hen Harrier quickly disappeared, not seen to interact with the Marsh Harriers that hd been primarily distant. However, they suddenly appeared close to the road and an amazing 9 birds could be seen in one binocular view! Fantastic. The most counted at any one time was 11 different birds. Another Woodcock was seen on the way home by Park Farm.

Thursday 28th January
Barn Owls were seen at Broom Green and Thornage.
3 or 4 Marsh Harriers were seen from Old Woman's Lane, as well as c 20 Pied Wagtail. A pair of Gadwall flew over, as well as a small group of Bar-tailed Godwit and c50 Golden Plover (the group from last night?) 3 Dunlin flew around with a lapwing flock at Salthouse.

A lunchtime trip to Salthouse Beach Car Park was delightful. I was unaware that 'seeding' had been taking place on the east bank, so to find them aimlessly wandering around the car park (well obviously not aimlessly) was great. Plenty of others were taking advantage of their complicity and these pictures were taken from the car. A lone Knot was also present.
In the 'evening' 9 Dunlin were counted feeding on the pools at Salthouse, where plenty of Wigeon were feeding, with smaller numbers of Teal and 3 Shoveler. The Lapwing flock had increased to c 100 birds. The Little Egret fed in the channel until seen flying to roost at Cley. c2000 brents moved to Blakeney Harbour. A Water railed squealed at Walsey.

Wednesday 27th January
Being slightly preoccupied on the way to work probably led to the lack of Barn Owl sightings. A brief stop at Cley produced c 200 Greylags leaving their roost, along with 3 Marsh Harriers. A Muncjac ambled across the road at Muckleborough.

Later leaving school still produced my first flock of Golden Plover W of Kelling, which whirled over the fields. I only briefly stopped at Salthouse to my benefit, as with at least 7 Marsh Harriers seen from Walsey the slighter, smaller shape of a ringtail Hen Harrier was noted. Unfortunately no further plumage details were noted. c 2000 Brents were in the fields at dusk, with at least 1 Pale-bellied Brent amongst them. They departed to Blakeney.

Norfolk Bird Info to:
Mobile: 07749779149

Norfolk 364 BOU, 376 UK400, Year 145, Route 86, Sp 64, SM 61, SF 32

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