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Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Weekend in Norfolk with my family

Easter in Norfolk

With winds from a northern sector but the weather relatively dry apart from rain on Friday evening and again late Sunday afternoon through to early morning. It was a family weekend and the fact that the winds weren't favourable I birded locally.

Highlights were:
2 Spoonbills and 3 Garganey Potter Heigham new marsh, 8 Ring Ouzels Waxham, Glaucous Gull 2nd winter following a plough near Stalham,  Woodlark and 7 Common Cranes Winterton North Dune's.

pictorial below.

We arrived at our house to be greeted by a pair of Red-legged Partridges. They would pop in at least twice a day, sometimes one or other might overshoot the garden and end up next door. 

I had virtually no internet access on my phone but late on Saturday afternoon I did manage to get a signal and was surprised to see news of a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull following a plough less than 2 miles away. I was soon in the lay-by that overlooked the field, there were several hundred gulls present, all sat in the field, the tractor wasn't moving and nor were the gulls. I scanned the field and it didn't take long before I spotted this huge pale lump sleeping among some Common Gulls. It also made the LBB Gulls that were nearby look small and less bulky. I grabbed the camera but they all took to the air as the tractor was ploughing again. I soon picked it out and took a few very distant photos, he/she then landed in a freshly ploughed area as the tractor continued on that run, as the tractor past going the other way the gull took off and dropped just out of sight over the ridge. I was happy with what I saw and it wasn't until I had posted the photos on twitter that Dante (wildLDN) posted back that he thought it was an Iceland Gull. Well I haven't seen many Icelands and none of the age of this bird but to me this bird was to large for that species.

Earlier that day I had to choose either an early morning trip to Cley or visit Waxham and the pipe dump. I chose the latter and spent an enjoyable hour watching 8 Ring Ouzels feeding sometimes distantly on a short grassy area before being spooked by the parties of nervy Linnet's that would take flight for no apparent reason. The ouzels would retreat to nearby sallow's until they felt any threat had passed. 

White Wagtail; there were a couple in a paddock by Winterton Dunes.

A Woodlark in good voice was something I wasn't expecting as we walked onto the dune's.

This Skylark shows the long tail, prominent white outer-tail feathers and trailing edge to the wings that the Woodlark doesn't have

There was a group 12 Northern Wheatears sheltering in the hollows in the dune system. 

I was lucky to see an uprising of 7 Common Cranes as we walked on to Winterton Beach.

This little Common Seal wobbled out of the sea as we walked, he then retreated but kept an eye on us.

The partridges returned to say goodbye to us as we packed the car.

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