It was dense fog when I peeped out of the curtains first thing this morning, so I returned to snooze and then woke up ridiculously late – I obviously needed the sleep. With the sun now blazing and a stunning day to be enjoyed, I headed east to Burnham Overy Dunes.
Fog was looming as I headed out to the dunes. A Blackbird was in the big sallow just past the hedge-lined track. A massive flock of at least fifty Redwings flew west over my head. I had just climbed over the stile and was scanning the marsh, when a fabulous Short-eared Owl came into view – sitting at the bottom of the hedge that runs east of the 5-bar farm gate. For a moment I was thinking Long-eared, but shape and yellow eyes confirmed Short-eared Owl.
I continued along the sea wall to the bushes at the end and found only a Hedge Sparrow. One hundred and fifty Cormorants flew over east – not in all one go I hasten to add! Nothing skulking in the apple tree sadly. I headed east, following the path along the fence and found a lovely female Stonechat perched on a bramble bush. I walked down the dune slope to the hollow with bushes, but no birds here at all. I headed back and spent the rest of the time trying to find something in the good bushes/apple tree. I managed to see a good little selection of birds in here by the time I left: a Male and a female Blackcap creeping in and out of the brambles, 3 Hedgesparrows, Chaffinches x 2, Blackbird, Wren, Blue Tit and also at the last second a Goldcrest appeared briefly in the apple tree! Funny how I didn't see any of these when I searched the first time – it does make you wonder what else was in the depths of the brambles – maybe something bright yellow and garish or then again maybe not!
The fog was dense now and with the pink streaks of the sunset, it looked very atmospheric. I saw a Short-eared Owl hunting in the midst of the foggy marsh and skeins of Pink-footed Geese flew over as I walked back in the icy cold air. Two Bats (smallish) were flying around my car just before I left – don't know what they were – not very good on bat ID!
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