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Monday, January 11, 2016

A long weekend in Norfolk

Norfolk 8th to 11th January

It is always worth spending a few days in Norfolk and now that my wife has stopped working having a long weekend in Norfolk is something we will now be able to do.

The weather wasn't the best but we did have almost 2 dry sunny days but due to the amount of rain we had some areas were to muddy or flooded.

Below are a few of my better photos or one's that highlight the richness of the area east of the Norfolk Broads. I resisted the temptation to drive almost 2 hours to see the Pallid Harriers. I hope it hangs in for the rest of the winter, which should allow me to pop over at the end of February. 

Whooper and Bewick's Swans at Ludham airfield

 Snow Buntings on the coast near Sea Palling

 Common Crane's in one of their favourite fields by the Horsey Straight  

 Golden Plovers were also in a soggy field near Ludham airfield with Lapwings

 There were a couple of odd looking birds in the flock

 There was a flock of at least a 1000 Pink footed Geese by the Horsey Straight, careful scanning yielded 2 Taiga Bean Geese. A juv female Peregrine flew over but the flock stayed put.

This Barn Owl was at Stubbs Mill raptor watch point. While there at least 30 Marsh Harriers, 1 ring-tailed Hen Harrier and 3 Crane's were came into roost. I left before they had all arrived so mist the later arriving Merlins and possibly male Hen's.


James Campbell said...

Hi Tony - Thank you for the superb blog and photos, which I follow regularly. I'm always amazed at the number of species you not only see but manage to photograph. (Today's Common cranes are a marvel.)
I'm not very familiar with Regent's Park but went there on Saturday (Jan 9) and I think saw some Smew and Ruuddy Shelduck at the waterfowl site near the Long Bridge. Is this likely? Also saw a colourful duck (not a Mandarin) with a black mane stretching from the crown all down the nape. Slightly smaller than a Mallard. Can you help?
I mean to go to the Park more often. Could you give me some simple tips for the best viewing places, for songbirds, Little Owl etc?
With best wishes,
Jim Campbell

Tony Duckett said...

Hello James, thank you for following my blog. I do it to let people know what they are missing
in Central London. For some reason we do not see that many birders here, even though if you regularly bird it 115 to 120 species is achievable. The area where you saw the Smew, Ruddy Shelduck and Carolina Wood Duck(very colourful) or Falcated Duck if it looked like an odd shaped Mallard is where we keep nearly all the ornamental waterfowl. If you are looking for Song birds Queen Mary's has most of the common garden birds but area 31, 39 & 40 are better for common birds and warblers on migration.

James Campbell said...

Thank you, Tony. I went again to the ornamental waterfowl enclosure yesterday (Wednesday)and identified some more species - but not the little fellows with the wispy crest and long beak.
Does it mean that carolina Wood Duck the crested one I've just mentioned don't qualify as "British birds"? I don't find them in Holden & Cleeves.
Second question: How do I navigate my way to those numbered areas you give?

Much appreciate your guidance.

Tony Duckett said...

Hi James.

The little fellows with wispy crests and long bills are probably Hooded Merganser. Nearly all the waterfowl on the main lake are wild apart from Whooper Swan, Bar-headed Goose, Barnacle Goose, female Lesser Scaup, and Argentine Ruddy Duck Apart from the obvious are birds to look out for that can be included on a Britsh Birds list are Common Shelduck, Mandarin Duck, Gadwall, European Wigeon, Common Teal and Red crested Pochard. The species do fly in and feed with the collection birds, so in the case of Wigeon and Teal if you are able to see their primaries birds from the collection will only have one set, whereas on wild birds you will see that as the have not been pinioned they will have a both sets of and you will see them crossed over the tail.