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Sunday, 13 January 2013

Great Northern Diver & Chedgrave/Haddiscoe Marshes goodies

A mid morning look at Hamilton Dock, on Sunday 13th January, revealed the Great Northern Diver again at mid- distance but it swam along towards the wooden pontoons and boats and was soon lost to view. A Shag swam along the northern edge of the dock also. Dick W was also present. a quick look at Lound lakes and around 100 or so Greylag Geese were asleep on the islands and as a result I couldn't pick out either the WF Goose or the neck- ringed Greylag on this brief visit. parking at the northern edge of Fritton woods, Tony B & I walked out to the mound, meeting Pete M on the way who'd just seen the Ross' and RLB. Just before the mound by the edge of the clearing by the conifers around 5 calling Goldcrest seen flying right here along the Conifer edge. As soon as we got to the mound, we looked straight out (as directed by PM) and scanned just right of Cantley Sugar Beet factory and just right of 3 distant houses together. In the far fields (Haddiscoe marshes) we saw several hundred 200 Pink- footed Geese and within ten minutes walking left of a mound with 6 Barnacle Geese was the excellent Ross' Goose, a small Goose all white with black primaries. After a while, it walked back right and disappeared behind the mound. After half an hour all the Pink- feet including the excellent Ross' Goose flew towards us, the Ross' Goose showing its black tipped primaries well in flight and settled much closer on Chedgrave marshes but the Ross's disappeared from view as soon as it landed. A Barn Owl hunted by the river, as did 3 female Marsh Harriers. Along the north of the marshes. More birders were arriving and a raptor was pointed out just right of a mill perched on a gate, it looked big but looked very dark brown on the back and tail (it sat back on) and had a light head. Initially we couldn't rule out female Marsh harrier or Buzzard, (it was very, very distant!) although its size to me seemed to weigh against the Harrier option. Sadly Tony B left before the "raptor" turned around. When it moved it showed white in the tail but only when it turned around showing pale head and upper breast and 2 diagnostic dark patches either side of the mid/ lower breast and white tail with black band at the tip proved conclusively it was the excellent Rough- legged Buzzard. Suddenly a birder yelled out male Hen Harrier, and straight out right at the back an excellent male Hen Harrier, pale silvery grey with white rump and black wing tips flew left and then flew in close towards us over the Haddiscoe cut and the footpath and then flew right much closer over the reeds just the other side of the river and right ie north and out of sight. Finally 2 Short- eared Owls seen one straight out at the back over Haddiscoe marshes and a second Short- eared Owl flying along the northern part of Chedgrave marshes. A great afternoon's birding, which finished with 300 Pink- footed Geese seen flying north- west over Somerleyton village green. A Jay was seen in the back south- west corner of the garden feeding on the remnants of the fat balls on the ground late afternoon.

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