With the first day of my Christmas break off work heralded by blue skies I ventured up to the Hickling area today.
First port of call was the lane between Hickling village and Sea Palling where the Cattle Egret of the last couple of weeks performed very nicely in the winter sun. Not after an initial anxious 10 mins where the bird looked like it wasn't there only for it to 'appear' on cue! A Barn Owl was hunting over the back of the fields and c1500 Pink-footed Geese flew over.
The only other plan I had for the day was to do the Stubb Mill roost so I headed there mid afternoon after lunch at Winterton beach cafe (where I couldn't find any Snow Buntings on north beach).
The roost was nice, mainly due to the fact that I'd not been there for years and have been meaning to go back plus the sun was out. My totals were c18 Marsh Harriers, 2 Common Buzzards, 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Barn Owls, 9 Common Cranes, c150 Pink-footed Geese and a Chinese Water Deer. Strangely there were some nice passerines about too - several Bramblings, a large flock of Fieldfares with a few Redwings mixed in, 2 Stonechats, Coal Tit, a Redpoll sp over and a Carrion Crow with a white throat patch! Gadwall, Wigeon, Teal and Egyptian Geese also made it onto the day list.