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Sunday, 12 January 2014

Stiffkey Fen & A Frenzy of Birds!

A stunningly beautiful, frosty start to the day – some of the roads were treacherous this morning.

Met up with Pete Snook at Stiffkey Fen this afternoon. The path to the fen was very water-logged and the wet, muddy stiles were a challenge to climb over! Lots of Greylags on the field west of the path. A Rock Pipit flew over calling as we walked past the fen. At least 300+ Lapwing on the Fen itself. Stood by the boats, slightly east of the fen and joined Paul W. and together with two other birders a bit later, we watched: 2 Black-throated Divers, several Guillemots, at least 6 Red-breasted Mergansers, 1 Golden Eye, *3 Long-tailed Ducks, *1 Kingfisher, *Peregrine (*not seen by me!), 2 Marsh Harriers, several Grey Plovers, Redshanks, several Pintail, Teal, Wigeon, Shelducks, Knot and Turnstones. Also 2 Little Grebes were ducking and diving in the creek next to us. It was bitterly cold when we left. The wavering reeds shimmered gold as the sun was setting. An excellent selection of birds here!

Pete went home east and I went on to Stiffkey Campsite where I saw 1 Barn Owl, 1 Merlin and at least 20+ Little Egrets flying east to roost. I missed a Hen Harrier which had flown through east, moments before I arrived. I left to drive along the coast road to Holme – on route I saw a Barn Owl flying across the road at Holkham.

Went to visit my parents. Father was sitting on the sofa in his shorts with a blanket over his knees with a hot water bottle. He's been wearing shorts since the summer and every time I ask him 'why....?' and 'are you not cold?' he just smiles and says 'no.... it's just my hands that get cold'. Crazy!!! I really don't get the shorts and blanket!!! Incidentally, I suddenly realised the other day that its my parent's GOLDEN WEDDING ANNIVERSARY on 30th March this year! I got a very blunt reply of 'NO' when I asked them if they wanted any celebrations – which is the reply I expected really!

I went home via Ringstead and saw my third Barn Owl sitting on a post and also a Muntjac Deer in a hedgerow. Three Barn Owls in one day was a real treat!

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