Sunday, 6 January 2013

Suffolk and Norfolk

Saturday 5th January 2013. A trip to Suffolk and Norfolk with Paul. Brendan, Ephraim and Tony.
First stop was Hamilton Dock, Lowestoft. Here we were hoping to connect with Great Northern Diver. We arrived slightly later than expected due to the fact that Brendan’s new sat-nav has a woman’s voice and we all chose to ignore her instructions! 
On arrival we parked up and were soon viewing the Great Northern Diver. Also of note here were Great blacked-Backed Gull.
Tony arrived shortly after and we walked the short distance to Ness Point in the hope of Purple Sandpiper. First birds were Turnstone and then after a short while, 2 Purple Sandpipers arrived. Also here Red-throated Diver.
Great Yarmouth Beach was next up. Mediterranean Gull our target here. A short walk from the car to the beach and we immediately connected with 8 Mediterranean Gulls. Also of note here several Red-throated Divers
Caister Beach at the end of Second Avenue was our next stop. Again we struck lucky with our target birds. We walked a few hundred yards in a northward direction and soon located a flock of c40 Snow Buntings.
Over to Buckenham Marshes next in search of Taiga Bean and White-fronted Goose. However, neither species could be located. By way of compensation we did manage; Wigeon, Teal, Ruff, Peregrine (pair). Tony thought that the geese may be viewable from Burnthouse Lane at nearby Cantley . On the way to Cantley we made a quick stop at Strumshaw Fen. We only viewed the feeders near the information centre here but we did connect with Marsh Tit and Coal Tit. Whilst at Strumpshaw we spoke to an RSPB warden who had just come back from Cantley. He confirmed the geese could be seen from there.
On arrival at Burnthouse Lane, Cantley we walked a few hundred yards and were soon viewing both species of our target birds. Taiga Bean Goose (36) and White-fronted Goose (3). Also here several hundred Golden Plover. Tony had to leave us here but we weren’t finished yet as there was still some daylight left in the day!
To finish the day we went to Hickling Broad, Stubb Mill raptor roost. On the longish walk to the view point from the car park we had good views of Barn Owl and Marsh Harrier. From the watch point we connected with; Marsh Harrier (30+), Barn Owl (2 maybe 3), Common Crane (8 or 12, two or three groups of 4), Hen Harrier (4, 1 ringtail and 2 or possibly 3 males), Stonechat (pair).

Pics below; GND at Hamilton Dock, Med Gulls at Great Yarmouth, Snow Buntings Caister and distant Taiga Bean Geese at Cantley. Paul's Barn Owl at Stubb Mill.



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