Monday, 19 January 2009


Yesterday we paid our first visit to Norfolk, stopping off at the Ouse Washes on the Norfolk/Cambridge border. The intention was to try and find the Great White Egret that had been seen yesterday. The washes were full of swans-hundreds of Bewicks and Mute, and over a thousand Whooper, which made finding a white heron extremely difficult. In fact after about half an hour in the cold wind we gave up.
Heading up towards Welney, one of the Barn owls was seen on a post ahead of us and Colin was able to get the car into a suitable position, but it took off, flew over to my side and hung in the air while I fired the shutter. Eventually it flew over into the fields and continued hunting.
Nearby, by some old farm buildings a flock of finches and sparrows held a number of Corn Buntings.
Titchwell on the Norfolk coast was very busy as usual. The usual selection of waders were present-many Ruff, Godwits and Plovers, as well as a few Avocets and Spotted Redshank. One of two Water Pipits showed very well, but too far away for the camera. The strong southerly winds had pushed most of the sea duck away from shore, and little was left, though a small flock of Snow Bunting in the dunes was nice to sea. Being high tide, most of the shore line waders had gone to roost but a few Bar Tail Godwits acted more like weather vanes in the breeze.
Back in the Washes, the Egret had been re-found so we headed off and eventually got to see it distantly in one of the drains.
We ended the Day at Burwell Lode near Wicken Fen watching the Short Eared Owls hunting over fields full of Roe Deer. One owl had caught a vole, but a Kestrel tried snatch it from the owls claws-very close to us but in with the sun going down no chance of an image.

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