Holkham Park Duckfest and the Pallid Harrier again, 2 February 2016

Making the most of a dry sunny (if rather windy) day I headed for the North Norfolk coast today after some work-based chores in B&Q!

Holkham Park Lake was my main destination and it came up trumps with the female type Ferruginous Duck seen on arrival near the monument. Loads of Pochard, Tufties, Gadwall and Teal, a single female Goldeneye, Little Grebe and a few Shoveler were seen too but a large flock of aythya ducks flew towards the south end almost as soon as I arrived so I had to hike up to that end as well.
Luckily the 3 Scaup (2 first year drakes and a female) were in the first group I came to and into the bargain a strange and educational presumed Ferruginous x Pochard hybrid was also in the same flock. With not much other action in the woods apart from the feral herd of Fallow Deer, I walked back to head west along the coast. A close perched Barn Owl on the edge of Holkham Freshmarsh gave me my first ever half decent shots of the species!

A quick pop into Brancaster Staithe next and this time the wintering Red-necked Grebe was showing very nicely close to the carpark where there were also a couple of Red-breasted Mergansers, Grey Plover and common waders loafing about. It was blowing a hoolie there though!

I'd planned to finish the day at Roydon Common but with a little time to spare I called in at Abbey Farm, Flitcham. And low and behold the Pallid Harrier showed briefly within just 10 mins! It very quickly flipped over a hedge and wasn't see again though so I filled my boots with views of c20 Tree Sparrows and c40 Bramblings before heading to Roydon.

I'd not been to Roydon Common for years and the roost tonight was mega! Within 10 mins of arrival the Pallid Harrier sailed in from the NE and showed superbly (the first really good views I've had!) and 4-5 Hen Harriers (all ringtails) showed equally well in the sun. Yellowhammer and Snipe rounded off a great days birding. 




1 comment:

  1. B and Q or birding - I know which way I would go! Great set of pictures. I was in North Norfolk last June on a return trip to the UK - what a place to go birding.

    I run a bird blog 'link up' called "Wild Bird Wednesday' on my photo-blog that is open between Wednesday (!) and Sunday Australian time - and it would be great if you would join in by linking up your blog. About 50 bloggers link in already - why not make it 51!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne