Saturday, 6 February 2010


Today we visited Norfolk for the first time in months.
While filling up the feeders in the garden just before seven, I noticed the Space Station rise in the west over the Moon. I quickly set up the scope and at 50x the main body and the solar panels showed very well.
The trip to Norfolk was very pleasant with the Sun burning off the mist and we arrived at Snettisham to a heavy frost. Skeins of Pink Footed Geese were flying over, as were parties of Curlew. A Barn Owl hunting over the sea wall was nice. Then the wind picked up and a sea fog blew in.
We arrived at the beach and joined a few birders looking for Shorelark. After about twenty minutes they were found and showed quite well in the murk. A scan of the shore revealed small numbers of waders, including an Avocet and a few Knot.

A quick stopover at Hunstanton cliff-top was worthwhile for the Fulmar, but the sea fog was just as bad, and we did not intend to stay long at Titchwell.
A chat with Ray Tipper in the picnic area, and a meeting with William Bishop revealed that no-one had seen the Mealy Redpoll all morning, so we intended to leave. However someone came up to say it had been seen by the approach road so we headed there, and eventually got very good views.

As the fog seemed to be lifting we decided to head to the beach with William. Bad move as it came back again. It was a case of can anyone see a bird. We did pick up a few things including a few Spotted Redshanks and Brent Geese. The beach was empty and the sea was barely visible.
On the way back, a few Water rail were entertaining and we saw The Mealy again.

We decided to head inland to Whitlingham Country Park in Norwich in the hope of escaping the fog, and it seemed to work for a while, but it eventually arrived. A close inshore Great Northern Diver was nice, and the Red Necked Grebe was even better as it is a not an easy bird to get now. The female Ring Necked Duck was rather distant but I managed to get a few decent images.

Finally since they were so approachable I decided to get some images of the Egyptian Geese.

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