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Sunday, April 27, 2014

27th April

I have not really had much time to bird this weekend having been looking up in Norfolk looking at a house we hope to buy. I did get out for a couple of hours on Saturday and Sunday morning my targets were Ring Ouzel and Dotterel. When my kids were much much younger and we stayed at my in-laws house I stumbled across these species particularly Ring Ouzels most Aprils, even finding them in their garden. Dotterel were slightly harder to find but I have found several small trips of this species in fields alongside the coast road from Sea Palling to Horsey Corner. After lots of scanning on Saturday morning my only encounter with a Ring Ouzel came when took off from a gateway to a bungalow along a green lane near Happisburgh. I had great rear views but she then banked and flew to a hedge on the far side of a field. She was to distant for even a record shot but it is good to know that this area still attracts them. My search for a Dotterel drew a blank, even though birds were found on the west side of Norfolk.

I had a heart stopping phone call on Saturday morning from a friend telling me that an Alpine Accentor had been seen at Holme Bird Observatory. That was almost a 2 hour drive away and I had a house to look at.  I new that the birds location could make viewing it with possibly hundred or so birders would be difficult, so I decided not to travel. Luckily for me the bird was only seen by one person, before disappearing never to be seen again. Well not yet anyway.

I was only able to take a handful of photos at not particularly close quarters.

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A male Marsh Harriers chases a crow from what look like a Chinese Water Deer carcass.

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Sand Martins dig out new nest chambers on the fragile sandstone cliffs between Happisburgh and Eccles on Sea

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Whimbrel seemed to in many of the coastal grassland fields, other birds could be seen coming in off the sea.

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Wheatears were also plentiful.

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Yellow Hammer were once quite plentiful along this stretch of coast but no longer. Corn Bunting could also be found here, but I haven’t seen or heard one for many years.

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