|Black-bellied Dipper Cinclus cinclus cinclus Thetford|
|Otter Lutra lutra on the Little Ouse in Thetford.|
|Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus. The lone bird at Lakenheath|
The following morning saw a bitingly cold and strong wind with rain in the offing. But being as tough as commandos on a mission we were up and at it down at Titchwell RSPB reserve fairly early (After a leisurely full cooked breakfast, coffee, juice toast etc. - commando food) It was freezing and spitting with rain but we managed to rack-up a number of species including a female Red-crested Pochard, a good number of Brambling but unfortunately not a lot on the sea. Sea-watching was difficult as the sea was cutting-up and the wind was whistling in from the North-east blowing optics and people all over the place. It didn't seem to bother the birds though as this shot shows:
|Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus battling against the wind and waves at Titchwell|
Sunday and the wind was colder and stronger than yesterday and it was bloody freezing. Still being commandos we were out at Choseley drying barns early morning (after a leisurely full cooked breakfast, coffee, juice toast etc. - commando food). This was a good decision as we had great views of a Merlin as it came zipping through the fields and we passed a flock of at least 5 000 Pink-footed Geese searching for suitable feeding fields - a great spectacle as they flew over us in the early morning light. The hedges held good numbers of Yellowhammer and Brambling and there were a few Corn Buntings hanging about.
From Burnham Overy Staithe we walked the sea wall out to the dunes and saw virtually nothing apart from a couple of Common Scoter and a couple of Red-throated Diver out at sea. So we set off for Holkham Pines to look out from the Tower-hide for White-fronted Geese - duly found; Rough-legged Buzzard - not found and Barn Owl - found. There were at least seven Marsh Harriers competing for food over the marsh as well as three Common Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk, a couple of Kestrel and a Barn Owl. Who'd be at the bottom of the food chain?!
We twitched a Purple Sandpiper feeding in a pool in a field at Cley. Strange habitat for a Purple Sandpiper we thought but apparently feeding in freshwater pools by the sea is a well-known feeding strategy of these birds.
On the way back we had great views of a Barn Owl feeding by the side of the A149 and a number of cars had pulled over to enable the occupants photographic opportunities. So we joined them. Again poor lighting and poor photographic skills prevented me from securing some decent shots.
|Barn Owl Tyto alba feeding by the side of the A149|
|Pink-footed Geese Anser brachyrhynchus - Part of a flock of at least 5 000 birds near Choseley|