Sunday, February 1, 2009

23rd January, 2009.

Mobile again we retraced our steps to Felbrigg in rather grey and dismal weather. I really like this area with the mature deciduous woodland, the secluded lake, all overseen by the imposing hall.
We had excellent views, and on several occasions, of Hawfinch with the closest flight views I've ever secured. Really good. A walk down to the lake produced an assortment of common duck species but also a pair of Mandarin skulking in the shelter of the flooded woodland. Nuthatch and other common passerines were seen and a mutual resolve to spend a complete day here on some occasion.
Moving south we took the obligatory breakfast sandwiches at the Kingfisher Restaurant at Walcott ( which means you can seawatch at the same time from the car!)
A Black-throated Diver and a couple of passing Guillemots were all we managed as things were very quiet.

Passing through Great Yarmouth we had good views of several adult Mediterranen Gulls hanging around the carparks but nothing else offshore. The weather was now deteriorating with the wind rising and stinging rain showers. A call at Lowestoft produced no Black Redstart but a walk along the dockland foreshore showed Sanderling, Turnstone and some exceptionally close Purple Sandpipers, somewhat marred by the worsening weather. A single Shag graced the inner harbour.
Moving on we had a flock of 23 Waxwing in trees adjacent to the main road south, resulting in some ( I thought expert! ) vehicle manouvering, which left a local lady and her dog considering their lives were in jeopardy!! Seamless execution I thought, ... oh dear, that's perhaps what she was thinking!!!

A final visit to Kessingland, on a day when you'd to keep moving to survive ( it's that woman with her dog again!! ) and with the cold wind really cutting across everything, our attempting to find Firecrest at the local sewage works was perhaps ill-fated from the begining. A Chiffchaff was but small consolation following a very brief glimpse of a "crest" which never called and couldn't be relocated. Our return journey, with the weather relenting slightly, saw us looking, in a relaxed fashion,
at some large flocks of Pink-footed Geese. Whilst we got nothing special it was exciting to be parked up in close proximity to them and to watch all the squabbling and strife within this very large feeding flock.
And so, an evening spent getting ready for an early departure to enable us to call in at various places on our return journey. A good week, not perhaps progressing as smoothly or successfully as some in the past, but one with some nice surprises, some excellent views of good birds and one having provided an opportunity to catch up with friends too. In that context, may I say, " Thanks, Patrick", for a variety of help and information throughout the week.

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