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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Wednesday 15th January - Exclusive Day for 2 persons in NW Norfolk

A great day with slightly challenging driving conditions in the morning, with snow & ice still affecting roads!

Our first port of call was Snettisham, but en-route we stopped off for nice views of 2 groups of  10+ Grey Partridge, Yellowhammer & several Brown Hare.

We eventually reached Snettisham after a slightly prelonged drive on the icy roads. We were just in time to see some nice big flocks of shorebirds swirling around in the skies, a great mix of Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Oystercatcher, Golden Plover & Dunlin with the masses summing around 100,000 shorebirds albeit they were distant as it wasn't such a high tide the spectacle was still fantastic! The birds were performing "mexican waves" with some regularity & eventually I found the two culprits - Peregrine & a Merlin, the latter passing by closely in a swift flyby.
The spectacle lasted for a good 45 minutes, but in a temp of -10c it was soon time to move! 

We headed round to the nearby hide & from hear we had great views of 100's of Wigeon, Teal plus 1200+ Oystercatcher & 3000 Knot all carpeting the pits edges. Also several Goldeneye & many more commoner species. The whirl of feathers as they took flight was their reaction as 2 Marsh Harrier flew overhead.

As we walked back, Snipe, Skylark, Lapwing & Reed Bunting were much in evidence as they sought areas free from ice to feed, 2 Snow Bunting also dropped

As we headed back we stopped for closer views of Grey Plover, Curlew, Dunlin, Turnstone, Golden Plover & a group of 5 very confiding Snipe.

We lunched & enjoyed hot drinks before heading back out into the freeze, still -3c!

We then headed out on to the saltmarsh at Holme, good numbers of Fieldfare & Redwing were now feasting on the sea buckthorn berries. On the shore where a nice flock of Knot,100 Curlew, 100 Oystercatcher. It took quite a long search but eventually  c50 Snow Bunting were found giving excellent views. Also evident were c25 Skylark, c10 Reed Bunting, plus nice groups of Goldfinch & Linnet. The walk back proved fruitful with great views of both Barn & Short-eared Owls hunting in front of us!

We then finished the day at Titchwell with an excellent raptor roost of c23 Marsh harrier, 3 R/T Hen Harrier, 1 Buzzard & Merlin. Plus 10 Bewicks Swan flying SW, several Cetti's & Water Rail were heard.

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