Over the weekend of 5th to 8th February I spent my time birding with a few mates in Norfolk. This is an annual outing and we stay in a great little cottage in Great Bircham which proves to be an ideal base for our forays out into the field. A few beers, some great craic, full English breakfasts and top birding always combine to make a memorable weekend.
This year we met at Lackford Lakes, not too far from Thetford, so that we could stick Long-tailed Duck on our list. The bird was easy enough to find but distance and poor light meant that I could only get a record shot. Still a good bird to kick off with.
|Long-tailed Duck - Lackford Lakes.|
Roydon Common was next for Harriers. This was a brilliant birding experience as we saw Pallid, Hen and Marsh Harriers at one time all together in a single scope view. Generally the birds were always too far away to photograph but I managed a decent record shot of Hen Harrier earlier.
|A blurry shot of a distant Hen Harrier.|
Saturday morning saw us at Choseley Drying Barns where we connected with not one but two fantastic Rough-legged Buzzards as well as a couple of Common Buzzards and a mad Peregrine trying to chase everything away. Loads of Grey and Red-legged Partridges around these parts too. I managed to get a decent shot of a Grey later in the day at Lady Anne's Drive.
|Grey Partridge - Lady Anne's Drive, Holkham.|
|Hello...is there anybody there? An original but ultimately flawed way of checking for owls.|
|The tide is out at Wells.|
On the way back to Burnham Overy we located a small flock of Barnacle Geese. To tick or not to tick? We did!
|Amazing Bark of a Sweet Chestnut Tree in Holkham Park.|
|...and a row of Badger Bums at the same place.|
The usual Water Rail site produced the usual Water Rail.
|The usual Water Rail in the usual lace at Titchwell.|
We ended the day in the Joe Jordan Hide down at Holkham Pines. Here we had nothing short of a Raptor fest with another completely bonkers Peregrine belting about, along with over a dozen Marsh Harriers, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Common Buzzards and five Barn Owls. Another Great White Egret put in an appearance as well as over 100 European White-fronted Geese.
The day finished with us debating the identity of a white blob sat up in a tree by the A149 some mile or so away. One of us was convinced it was bird A, another was certain it was bird B, two of us kept swapping between both until eventually we nailed it. Here is a picture exactly as we saw it...what do you reckon it is?
|ID this bird! It's the white dot roughly in the centre.|
|Brent Goose Thornham|