Flitcham and other NW Norfolk sites, 31 December 2015

With the forecast good at last for a day I had free it was a whole day birding to finish the year off.

Leaving early I was at Abbey Farm, Flitcham just as the light was coming up. A 30 minute sit in the hide produced a couple of Common Buzzards and a nice ringtail Hen Harrier through but apart from the usual wildfowl nothing else to trouble the scorers. Back out on the lane I then joined a small group scanning the rolling fields to the north where we initially had c4 Common Buzzards, a male Sparrowhawk, a flock of c60 Linnets, several Bramblings and Fieldfare ,  large flocks of Pink-footed Geese heading out to feed for the day and then at 09.55 someone called the Pallid Harrier and it showed briefly distantly to the NW. About 45 minutes later I showed again for longer and better in the same area before once again going down in fields. It was nice to catch up with both Craig Shaw and Paul Varney there but with time getting on I quit the scene. A quick stop by the barns along the road gave me more Bramblings, Tree Sparrow and Grey Partridge.

On to Holkham where despite having been seen earlier I failed with the Red-rumped Swallow. Plenty of Marsh Harriers there, 2 Barn Owls, a good flock of White-fronted Geese and of course loads of Pink-footed Geese.

Choseley Barns were my next port of call and as I was conscious of the time gettign away from me. Luckily a superb 1w Rough-legged Buzzard showed quickly flying and perched on a hedge c400 yards SW of the barns. A real good lookingwhite-headed, dark-bellied individual.

A cut through the lanes and then the King's Lynn traffic took me to my final destination of the day, the Fisher Fleet in Lynn. After my failure here a week or 3 back it was great to clap eyes on the 1w Iceland Gull as soon as I got out of my van.

A great way to finish the year and judging by reports from today (1 Jan) quite a bit of what I'd seen hasn't been seen by the yearlisters today so for once I may have got it right!    


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