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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

22nd February

I have just spent the last three days up on the east coast of Norfolk visiting my mother in-law. The weather was far from perfect, grey and a very chilly wind. I only managed to do some brief birding, along the coastal strip between Happisburgh and Great Yarmouth, though mainly around the Horsey windmill area. The key birds seen were Red throated Divers (lots), Razorbills, Whooper Swan (8), Bewick’s Swan (21), Pink-footed Geese (100’s), Common Crane (3), Marsh Harriers, Red Kite (1), Barn Owls, Golden Plovers, Chaffinch (400+).

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The smaller size, shorter straight neck, small rounded headed, with egg shaped yellow rather than triangular yellow patch on the bill separate the Bewick’s from the larger Whooper Swan

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Red Kite is not a common bird in the broadland area of Norfolk this birds was following the coastline to the north

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I am not sure whether this Kestrel actually killed this Wood Pigeon

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9 comments:

Marc Heath said...

Some nice shots there, well done.

Tony Duckett said...

Cheers Marc.

The light was really bad, so these will do until I get another chance.

Tony

The Urban Birder said...

Loved the Barn Owl with the windmill in the background. Beautifully composed.

I've never seen a Kestrel take prey so large, Maybe the pigeon was sick?

Tony Duckett said...

Hi Dave.

It is a very large prey item. It could have been one that had been shot, as guns were going off not to far away. I am sure that it was still a live when I first saw it.

Tony

jpalexa said...

Hi, Tony -- Great pictures, as usual. What time of day did you see the Barn Owl?

Tony Duckett said...

Cheers jpalexa.

The photos of the Barn Owls were taken between 1.30pm and 2.00pm. I saw owls throughout the day on my recent trips to Norfolk. I just wish that the light had been a little brighter. Most coastal areas of Norfolk are pretty reliable if looking for Barn Owls.

jpalexa said...

In the middle of the day, huh? How far are these Norfolk coastal areas from the coast itself? I need to try my luck at spotting a Barn Owl up that way.

No luck with firecrests on Thursday for me; will try next week.

Regards, JP

jpalexa said...

In the middle of the day, huh? How far are these Norfolk coastal areas from the coast itself? I need to try my luck at spotting a Barn Owl up that way.

No luck with firecrests on Thursday for me; will try next week.

Regards, JP

Tony Duckett said...

The area from the coast road to the sea, varies due to the fact that in places there is a wide expanse of salt marsh at some points. The distance to the sea can be less than 1/4 mile in some places. The area around Horsey Corner, Hickling Broad raptor watch point allows the chance to see a variety of birds. The watch point from 3.00pm onwards can be very good with Marsh and Hen Harriers, Merlin and Common Cranes. Several Barn Owls can be seen here. The site is best if the wind is from a SW to NW direction as it will not be in your face. Warm clothing is a must. Chinese Water Deer graze the reeds here. A short walk south from the beach car park Horsey Corner will reward you with close views of Grey Seals on the beach with last autumn young. There is an excellent pub in Horsey that provides good food and a roaring fire. The area is worth a look if you have never been before.