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Saturday, 2 January 2016

New Year's Birding!

It rained on/off all day and the light was dismal. Started off at the Docks in King's Lynn where I had fabulous views of two Peregrines sitting together on the rail at the top of the tower. Unusually there wasn't a single gull by the fishing boats, never mind the Iceland Gull – only birds here were a couple of Turnstones. However, further along the road towards Lynn Point there was a small frenzy of gulls feeding on half a loaf of bread, but still no Iceland Gull.

At Wolferton there was no sign of the Golden Pheasant, mind you I shouldn't grumble, as I had fabulous views and photos of this on 13th December. Cruised along a ditch lined road in Snettisham, which normally produces a good selection of birds, but only one Blackbird seen.

Stopped in Hunstanton to pick something up for Mother. I was going to walk down to the cliffs, but with the clifftop road packed out with cars, this mean't I would be surrounded by dogs, so gave that a miss. Spent a long time at my parents assisting Father with his lunch etc. Father seemed quite with it today and as I left he said very clearly 'if you bump into Chris Knights, ask him to come and see me' – I said I would, but I rarely bump into Chris nowadays, so that could take a while!

I saw a Barn Owl fly across the road near the farm shop at Thornham. Headed for Choseley Barns (south of), where I stood with others to wait for a Rough-legged Buzzard to appear from some 'rough grass', which is where it was last seen to drop down, very distantly. I waited and waited, but didn't have much patience for what would be a naff view of a dot in the murky weather, so I left.

At Titchwell RSPB the car parks were packed out. In the shop I bought a reduced RSPB diary, said hello and Happy New Year to Warden Paul Eele and then headed off round the Meadow Trail. I walked up as far as the Fen Hide and didn't see a single bird aside from two Marsh Harriers by the dead trees beyond Patsy's Pool. Returned to the main path and saw four Marsh Harriers west of the path, two Little Egrets and a flock of Brent Geese. Chatted briefly to volunteer Tony. On the freshmarsh I saw a few Pintails, Teal, huge flock of Lapwings, Shelducks etc.

Went to Holme Marsh Reserve NWT at dusk. The track by the caravan site was atrociously muddy and I had a job to walk along there. Lots of Moorhens on the marsh before the first kissing gate. One Cetti's Warbler heard from the first hide. Cushions were scattered on the floor of the hide and the dustpan and brush sat on the chair!! I put that chair in the hide (a long time ago) to put the cushions on, so that people who didn't want them on the bench didn't put them on the floor! For goodness sake! I promptly moved the cushions onto the chair and the dustpan and brush onto the floor.

Spent early evening with my parent's and then spent the rest of the evening back at home snoozing on the sofa, again! Work all day again tomorrow.

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