Sunday, February 1, 2009

20th January, 2009.

Spent some time local to Holt looking for the black-bellied Dipper that was using a nearby stream as its feeding territory. Reports had come from widely spaced locations due, I suspect, to the stream having quite high levels in parts. Several people were about but the bird proved elusive.
Then went on to Sculthorpe Reserve, where I'd never been before. It's run by the Hawk and Owl Trust and is an absolutely delightful place. Located in the Wensum Valley it comprises saw sedge fen (an important habitat for preservation ) with accompanying woodlands. Facilities are new with extensive boardwalks, hides (web cam players, which include Marsh Harriers in the breeding season ) plus it's good for birds!!!! One of the more reliable places for Willow Tit in Norfolk, which we had, it also provided excellent views of many other feeding passerines, including Brambling. A single male Golden Pheasant was nice!! A place to revisit in the
Bill now had to leave so we revised our plans a little and went up to the north coast. Looked around the Wells area, which was quiet,although we did manage to find a Black Brant amongst a flock of dark bellied Brent Geese in that aarea. Moving east we scoped a large pack of Pink-footed Geese beyond Stiffkey and found two Bean geese amongst them, gaining much better views than we've usually achieved at Cantley!! It was surprising how easily they merged into the press of birds and were repeatedly
A seawatch at Salthouse produced nothing, but the nearby 1st winter Glaucous Gull was a positive diversion. A walk around Kelling Heath was pleasant in nice but cold weather but produced little other than foraging tit parties. Back to Cley where, at the Coastguards, we had some distant Common Scoter and a nice flock of 40 Snow Bunting containing at least three adult male birds. A little later we parked at the eastern end of the reserve intending to count in roosting Marsh Harriers. A year tick in the form of Chris Harbard appeared, who I've not seen for a few years, diverted things a little but we had a number of birds over the reed beds.
Returned to Holt to catch a part of the Inaugration Ceremony of Barack Obama, the new President in the USA. A real moment of history in my opinion, a black man as president with a newly awakened electorate, hopeful and proud. His statements already lend hope for a troubled world and will hopefully also result in the USA regaining a more dignified position and reputation, as much for its own sake as any other! God forbid the minority factions, in which that country seems to excel, will leave him alone to work at the opportunity he deserves.

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