On Tuesday 13th I met James and we headed off for a mini tour of North Norfolk, the bird time I've taken the car out any distance to go birding. Our first couple of stops were speculative, calling in first at Sparham Pools hoping for a Goosander. There seems very few around this winter and unsurprisingly there were none here. A large group of Fieldfare were in a nearby field and 3/4 Shoveler the best of the wildfowl on the semi-frozen pools. Going back a few years Manderin used to be seen near Guist, I haven't heard of them here recently but it was on route to North Norfolk so worth a stop. No ducks but I did almost get us stuck while turning around in a gate way.
Near Choesley there was no sign on the previous days Hooded Crow, although James counted 15+ Brown Hare in one field, so we headed onto Titchwell RSPB. By the path to the visitor centre James IDed so fungi while I had a look through the large finch flock, containing mainly Chaffinch and Goldfinch, but a few Brambling, Greenfinch and Siskin were also seen. With high water levels we scooted past the Fresh Marsh and up to the sea. The tide was out so most birds were a little distant, the best birds offshore being Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser and Common Scoter. The New Tidal Marsh held a Ringed Plover and quite a few Knot on our way back, but we could not locate the reported Spotted Redshank despite out best efforts. The Meadow Trail did at least turn up a new year bird for me, with at least 4 Red-crested Pochard on the pool past the Fen Hide.
I drove the back roads towards Ringstead slowly in the hope of locating Corn Bunting or other finches but we only came across some commoner birds. Near Ringstead we located part of the Pink-footed Goose flock that has in recent times held a Bean Goose, but it was ease where on this day.
Final stop was Flitcham, and for the first time in ages the Little Owl was actually showing well in the fallen tree. A fellow birder pointed out two freshly hatched Egyptian Geese and a large Starling Flock drifted about. It had started to rain so we had to have an all to short look through the finch flock in the lane, with no sign of hoped for Tree Sparrow we headed back towards Norwich
22 hours ago