Monday, 16 January 2012

Arctic Roll

I had a very nice day up in North Norfolk on Saturday; I decided to treat one of my residential volunteers to a day out at some of the finest birding sights in the country. It was a beautiful sunny windless day which made it all the more worthwhile. For some reason I did not take a single photo, possibly because we were on a search and trying to get as big a day list as we could.
Highlights of the day included;
-Great Grey Shrike en route at Fakenham,
-A stop of at Wells produced no rough legs or brant but we did get 2 Shag fishing from the sea wall.
-On to Holkham where I found and got very brief but pretty good views of the Ross's Goose in with thousands of pinks, would have loved to stay here longer but the parking attendant wasn't having any of it, he collard us when we went to have a brief look from the car at the geese, it seems you are not allowed to put your coat on without a ticket, you're certainly not allowed to lift your bins to the geese without already paying. I'll continue parking by the estate entrance in the future far less stress!
-Stop at the Burnham Ovary pull in produced a flock of Skylarks which we had brief flight views of Lap Bunts, also I picked out another very distant Ross's Goose as well as a plethora of other geese, again no rough leg.
-Next stop and with the aim of spending more time in one place we stopped at Titchwell. Lots of additions to the year list here- (not seen the sea yet) best bits included Arctic Redpoll, it took its time to show but I just got onto an extremely pale bird at the back of an Alder and sure enough minutes later the bird was located, very good bird, not sure what all the fuss is about, looked pretty good to me, also a Mealy in the flock. The fresh marsh was packed, additions for the year included a pair of RCpochards, the sea held a few distant ducks inc goldeneye, c scoter, rb mergs, Eider, a diver that resembled a black throat (not countable at that distance), eventually i got onto 4 LT ducks flying in from Brancaster which settled not too far out.
Yesterday was Hen harrier roost count day, I decided to check Buckenham where I was rewarded with one ringtail, Barn owl, Short Eared Owl as well as LWFG, Beans, 12,000 Starlings going to roost and about 15,000 noisy corvids going to roost, lots of people out and about late afternoon too, I counted 78 people in the last hr of light, for Buckenham thats pretty busy.
All in all a very good weekend, the type where you cant help but think Norfolk's great!


  1. So do you tick the Ross's Goose at Holkham? I have seen them in the past but they are not on my list. Am I missing out on a tick here?

  2. I think you may well be missing a tick here then, it depends on how strict you are with your ticking and how the bird you saw was behaving. As far as I am aware their population is increasing rapidly so the number of individuals coming over has also increased. They appear to behave like wild birds, are unringed, come in with the pinks and leave with the pinks too, some have been tracked from North Scotland travelling South down the East Coast with the pinks.
    I guess if there is a tickable Lesser White front with the Taiga Beans, then there is nothing wrong with at least some of the Ross's. I'm not sure what the BBRC think on the matter but you may be +1.

    All the best- Ben

  3. Thanks Ben, that'll be my 3750th species then.