Monday, 6 February 2012

In Search of Winter Birds, Norfolk 2012 (Day 4)

Today was the final day of our winter trip to Norfolk, so our agenda was aimed around getting us back home and in a reasonable time. Our first stop was to be the village of Flitcham, where a population of Tree Sparrows are present, but as we loaded up the cars a flock of Goosander flew over, which was a nice start.

Thick snow was still covering the ground, which made picking out Grey Partridges and Brown Hares very easy, we must have seen over twenty Grey Partridges en route. The Tree Sparrows were easy to find, loafing around in the road side hedges, and a visit to a wildlife hide that a local farmer has erected produced yet more Grey partridges, a Little Owl and a Brown Hare trying to find shelter under some rushes.

Brown Hare, Norfolk
Our next stop were the gravel pits at Pentney. They were mainly frozen but once again the unfrozen parts were attracting large numbers of birds. A red head Smew was our target bird and we quickly found it, along with a Long-tailed Duck and an adult Mediterranean Gull. There had previously been a Great Northern Diver reported from here but we could not find it so we headed on south to Lynford Arboretum.

Our target birds at Lynford were Hawfinch and Common Crossbill, but despite a thorough search we could not find any. However we did manage to add a few woodland species that had eluded us so far, namely Marsh Tit, Treecreeper, Nuthatch and Great Spotted and Green Woodpecker, but by far the strangest species recorded was Bewick's Swan.

So that was the final stop of our trip before heading home, in the four days we have seen 135 species of bird, and some cracking ones at that, but during our trip our thoughts were with one of our usual team who sadly could not be with us.

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