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Sunday 1 January 2012

New Year's Day Bird Race!


King's Lynn Castle Rising Wolverton Sandringham Almer
Hunstanton Holme Choseley Titchwell RSPB

Penny Clarke and Eddie Myers

7.45am - started off with robin and blackbird in the garden. Stopped along the old Castle Rising road to attempt to see treecreeper by the Babingley River bridge, but no luck. Continued onto Wolverton and passed several cars of birders looking for golden pheasant - as we drove along the north east side of the triangle we stopped to look in a clearing on our right side and within seconds a stunning male golden pheasant appeared - if only the camera had been in the car instead of in the boot!

We continued on to the Sandringham bird table to find very little - no marsh tit or treecreeper to be found, in fact all we had here were blue, great and coal tit, wren, nuthatch and a jay! We had a better selection at the Sandringham Sawmill which produced a good tick of goldcrest, redwing, fieldfare, stock dove, common buzzard, egyptian geese, kestrel and common gull.

At Manor Farm we had house sparrow, starling and greenfinch and further along the road we had two grey partridge by a field entrance. At Amner we had several yellowhammers in the hedges and on someone's bird table we had chaffinch and brilliant views of a nuthatch on the table! In a ploughed field on route to Flitcham, we had an unusual find of a carrion crow, greater black-backed gull and a common buzzard feeding together on a dead rabbit! A sparrowhawk zoomed low along the hedge line.

10.00am - At Flitcham Abbey Farm we only saw a red-legged partridge - Abbey Farm was a complete waste of time, there was almost no water in front of the hide and I have never seen it so birdless!!! No sign of little owl, kingfisher or tree sparrows or anything else, oh apart from four common buzzards distantly.

10.50am - Hunstanton Cliffs - Oystercatcher, turnstone, fulmar, goldeneye.

11.30am - Holme Bird Reserves - Magpie, shoveler, wigeon, grey plover, redshank, linnets, barn owl, tufted duck, teal, coot, heron. Seawatching produced: cormorant, red throated diver, red-breasted merganser, great crested grebe, razorbill and a huge flock of bar-tailed godwits. On the way back down the Firs Road, Eddie was understandably furious when he discovered his passenger rear tyre was completely flat - but changed it much quicker than I would have done.

1.45pm - Choseley Drying Barns - Nothing!

2pm - Titchwell RSPB - Loads of birders looking at the feeders! Lesser Redpoll and Coues's Arctic Redpoll together in the Alder tree next to the visitor centre - thanks to Dave Holman for allowing me to look through his scope! Eddie found a frog! Water rail in the ditch. Got several ticks here including mandarin, yellow-legged gull, hen harrier. Walked to the end of the board walk and saw sanderling, knot, dunlin, long tailed duck. Walked back along the bank and into Parrinder hide to see a single avocet and mute swan. Stood by the Fen Trail path (off main path) and watched and waited - woodcock flew across us! This was the last bird of the day. Attempted to find a tawny owl but failed.

Had fish 'n' chips at Sunny Hunny and then went home.

Disappointingly, we did not see a single pied wagtail! We expected to see the following birds: great spotted woodpecker, treecreeper, eider, ringed plover, little owl, short-eared owl, snow buntings, stonechat, reed bunting, song thrush, mistle thrush, Cetti's Warbler, brambling, bullfinch, bittern.

Besides Eddie's very unusual find of a frog, we also saw a stoat, muntjac deer, hare, squirrel and a large bull with nose ring staring right in the hide window at Abbey Farm bird hide!

93 birds seen - listed in the order we saw them:
  1. Robin
  2. Blackbird
  3. Woodpigeon
  4. Mallard
  5. Herring Gull
  6. Collared Dove
  7. Jackdaw
  8. Rook
  9. Pheasant
  10. Hedgesparrow
  11. Pink-footed Goose
  12. Greylag Goose
  13. Black headed Gull
  14. Goldfinch
  15. Curlew
  16. Long tailed Tit
  17. Golden Pheasant
  18. Blue Tit
  19. Great Tit
  20. Coal Tit
  21. Wren
  22. Nuthatch
  23. Jay
  24. Redwing
  25. Fieldfare
  26. Goldcrest
  27. Stock Dove
  28. Common Gull
  29. Common Buzzard
  30. Egyptian Goose
  31. Kestrel
  32. House Sparrow
  33. Starling
  34. Greenfinch
  35. Grey Partridge
  36. Yellowhammer
  37. Moorhen
  38. Chaffinch
  39. Greater Black-backed Gull
  40. Carrion Crow
  41. Sparrowhawk
  42. Red-legged Partridge
  43. Oystercatcher
  44. Feral Pigeon
  45. Turnstone
  46. Fulmar
  47. Goldeneye
  48. Magpie
  49. Shoveler
  50. Wigeon
  51. Grey Plover
  52. Redshank
  53. Linnet
  54. Barn Owl
  55. Tufted Duck
  56. Teal
  57. Coot
  58. Heron
  59. Cormorant
  60. Red-throated Diver
  61. Red-breasted Merganser
  62. Great Crested Grebe
  63. Razorbill
  64. Bar-tailed Godwit
  65. Lesser Redpoll
  66. Coues's Arctic Redpoll
  67. Water Rail
  68. Marsh Harrier
  69. Black-tailed Godwit
  70. Little Egret
  71. Shelduck
  72. Golden Plover
  73. Pochard
  74. Pintail
  75. Gadwall
  76. Brent Goose
  77. Scaup
  78. Ruff
  79. Snipe
  80. Spotted Redshank
  81. Mandarin
  82. Yellow-legged Gull
  83. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  84. Canada Goose
  85. Hen Harrier
  86. Little Grebe
  87. Sanderling
  88. Knot
  89. Dunlin
  90. Long-tailed Duck
  91. Avocet
  92. Mute Swan
  93. Woodcock


  1. Well done. We managed 89, all but a dozen seen from the car !
    I have a Blog - nothing like as entertaining as yours which I may get around to writing up to-night - old and tired !!
    Saw you on Hunst cliffs and at Holme

  2. Hi Anne and Pam - well done - doing a list in one day is hard work isn't it!!! Ahhhh..... I know who are both are now! Blogs are hard work too, but can be very rewarding. I see mine as an permanent on-line diary and just hope that people find it interesting!