Friday 24 February 2023

Four Days in East Anglia - Day 1 - 21st February 2023

Another planned weekend in Norfolk saw me heading up via Suffolk on Tuesday morning.  It was an uneventful drive with just a few Buzzards and two Red Kites of note before I got to Carlton Marshes early afternoon. It was quite still and ended up being a glorious walk with the sun behind me and an illuminated marsh in front. 

It was very much as my first visit back on the 10th with good numbers of all the dabbling ducks and actively feeding flocks of probing Black-tailed Godwits and Snipe.  The odd Godwit was starting to colour up with a few barred chestnut feathers starting to appear.  Two Oystercatchers piped overhead as they dropped into Petos and were shortly followed by a pair of Med Gulls that could be heard calling long before they came into view on gleaming white wings. My quest for the pesky Eastern Yellow Wagtail ended in frustration though as I heard it call twice but could not pick it up. Nevermind. 

Black-tailed Godwit demonstrating distal rhynchokinesis


Shoveler, Teal, Snipe and Dunlin

Med Gull

Med Gulls

I found two Water Pipits and amongst the Lapwings there were three Dunlin and three Ruff with one of the latter being blinged up to the hilt.  Another birder on site was going to submit the details along with those of the colour ringed Godwits seen.

Three Great White Egrets were stalking the margins but I contrived to miss the ringtail Hen Harrier that flew under my nose! As I ambled back it was good to catch up with the Greens and Prestons and I left then to continue to search for the Wagtail – saying that it would undoubtedly appear once I got back to the car which of course is precisely what it did.

Punked up Little Egret

Great White Egret - already with pale legs

Great White Egret

As the evening approached the Wombat faced Chinese Water Deer rose from their slumbers in the grass and started to wade about and graze and I even found the same buck with the mis-matched canine as before.  A Chiffchaff called stridently and Water Rails and Cetti’s Warblers became vocal while the odd Reed Bunting was in hesitant song.

Chinese Water Deer 

Chinese Water Deer 

I walked back with Marsh Harriers quartering the marshes and the Barn Owl appeared in exactly the same spot as ten days ago as a nice send off while a full breeding plumaged Grey Heron patently stalked prey in he closest ditch and glowed in the low light while a Muntjac fed quietly just a few paces further on.

Barn Owl 


Grey Heron 

It was time to move on and a casual glace at the Hollow Grove Rowan tree revealed those two pesky Waxwings that I had repeatedly missed perched up on top but I could not pull over and had to be content with drive by punks on my way to Wymondham.  It was a pleasant hour cross country with more raptor action and a Great White Egret on the marshes at Beccles.

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