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Saturday, 23 March 2013

Norfolk Break - An Otter but not hotter !!!

A nice break with Angela and the parents in Norfolk at Heacham.


Friday 15th March 2013:

Dersingham Bog:
Nuthatch, Sparrowhawk, 2 Woodlarks.

Castle Rising & Roydon Area:
4 Common Buzzards, Barn Owl.

Flitcham Abbey Farm:
4+ Egyptian Geese, Treecreeper, 2 Buzzards, 100's of Fieldfare, Bullfinch, 3 Grey Partridges.

Sculthorpe Moor NR:
Egyptian Goose, Oystercatchers 2, lots of Bramblings at the feeding stations, Little Egret, 2 Barn Owls, Marsh Tits, 2 Siskins, heard: Water Rail & Tawny Owl.


Reed Bunting (female/immature) & Chaffinch

Saturday 16th March 2013:

Titchwell RSPB (am):

Siskins & Bramblings on the feeders, Cetti's Warbler calling, Water Rail (spotted by Angela) and Chiffchaff showing well in the ditch by the footpath, several Pintail, a nice flock of Black-tailed Godwits & Avocets, 1 Ruff, 2 Spotted Redshanks, Common Buzzard, 3 Marsh Harriers, Little Egret.

Choseley Drying Barns:
2 Grey Partridges, 3 Corn Buntings with the Yellowhammer flock,

Holkham NNR:
Marsh Harriers, Common Buzzards, Avocets, 3 Pink-footed Geese, several White-fronted Geese, and a bonus in the form of 9 Crossbills chipping away in the trees by Bones Drift before flying off south towards Holkham Park. Still lots of Dark-Bellied Brents at Burnham Overy and Wells Harbour.

Then it was time for the Barn Owl show as the weather improved during the afternoon !!!

Burnham Norton:
Cracking close views of a Barn Owl hunting by the roadside - metal ring clearly viewable on the right leg, 2 Pink-feet and more Brents.

Thornham Harbour:
Barn Owl (no.2)

Holme NWT:
3 Barn Owls (no. 3, 4 & 5) showing together over the grazing marshes, Little Egret, Buzzard & 2 Marsh Harriers - all from the first car park.

Heacham - near the Lavender Farm:
2 more Barn Owls (a total of 7 for our trip back to the caravan) and a pair of Grey Partridge.

Another memorable afternoon on the north Norfolk coast.

 Sunday 17th March 2013:

Heacham - 2 Marsh Harriers past the caravan.

Then a day in the Brecks.

Lynford Arboretum:
Goldcrest, Redwings, Buzzard, a lovely ground feeding flock of Siskin & Lesser Redpoll, Nuthatches, Treecreeper and Marsh Tits.

Santon Downham:
St. Helens car park was holding a huge running/cycling event but the quieter areas along the Little Ouse and at Santon Warren held a Woodlark, Siskins, Nuthatches, Goldcrest, Marsh Tits, a Brambling and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

Thetford - Castle Street & Three Nuns Bridges:
Drew a blank on the then Black-bellied Dipper (now 2 birds present and seen by the parents later in the week) and Waxwings but lucked in on one of the superb Otters, that might be some of the tamest wild creatures of this species in the UK. 1-2 Kingfishers, Marsh Tit plus the usual Geese, Swans and Gulls noted too.

Otter - my first sighting in England - and almost taking fish out of the hand !!!

Mute Swan
On the way back to Heacham a nice sight of 3 male Reeve's Pheasants in a cattle field between Mundford and Swaffham, plus Green Woodpecker, Jay, Curlew and Red-legged Partridge.

Monday 18th March

Our final morning before a 3 hour eventful drive back to Kent. One of our Heacham Barn Owls was in view from the caravan during breakfast, sitting on a nearby fencepost. Then it was off to...

Ken Hill Wood
11 Egyptian Geese, Jay, Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Coal Tit, Green Woodpecker, Long-tailed Tit.

Snettisham RSPB
Skylark, 4 Reed Buntings, 2 more Barn Owls, 1 Pink-footed and 2 Barnacle Geese, Marsh Harrier, 2 Common Buzzards, 2 Grey Partridges and a cracking perched Short-eared Owl from the Rotary Hide. Huge numbers of distant waders out on the mud - 12 different species too.

The 3 hour journey home started well as we had only driven a mile down the road when a fellow motorist decided to reverse into me on a busy junction. Oh well not too much damage done and not my fault.

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