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Saturday, 2 February 2013

Saturday 2nd February 3 Day Norfolk Winter Tour

Day 2 of 3 South Norfolk/Suffolk

The day started with lovely views of yet another hunting Barn Owl en-route to the Brecks, probably the 6th bird of this tour!

The first stop at a Hawfinch stake out proved fruitless for this species  & for the first half an hour the birding proved quiet & tough, a brief flyover Bullfinch, then the brief call of Firecrest, but no further sight nor sound. Slowly we teased a few birds out, a Nuthatch appeared, then a Marsh Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, a flock of c40 Siskin were overhead eventually settling & a thorough search revealed some beautiful, "rosy" Lesser Redpolls amongst them. Hanging from the lowest branches we had scope filling views, most of them were Lesser Redpoll, but one bird with white underparts, white undertail coverts & a paler ground colour to the mantle looking good for a Mealy Redpoll. 

We then headed to Thetford & met up with Nick Moran (my local source of info down here!) we scored easily & had wonderful close views of the Black-bellied Dipper (the Continental form of this species, incredible they cross the North Sea!) it was feeding, preening & doing everything that we all love to watch Dippers do!

We stopped off for some local Waxwings, but no sign, did a circuit of the local berry bushes still  no sign! We started driving south for our next stop, the mobile rang - I pulled over & could see it was Nick, which probably meant head back for Waxwing! Indeed I was correct, he had found a single Waxwing whilst walking back to his house. Five minutes later we pulled up & was relieved to see the Waxwing still sat atop of the trees, providing wonderful views for everyone of this exceptionally beautiful bird, Nick & I pored over the detail & decided on 1st year male!

We continued south to our late lunch stop, this proved very successful. Eating lunch whilst watching c50 Brambling & c20 Tree Sparrow, plus Siskin was a real treat all from the comfort of the minibus.

We had a decision to make now, Bittern or Hawfinch retry? We plumped for the latter & arrived in nice afternoon sunlight - after 20 minutes of tantalising views near the ground a single Hawfinch gave itself up allowing everyone good scope views. 

Good decisions all round as a call to Nick reported the Bittern not seen!! Another great day. Total for 2 days 99 species




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