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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Goosanders on the river

Today, I was using up some of my annual leave and you take pot luck with the weather, after 2 brilliantly sunny but cold days we had a cold misty murky day. First stop was the Oulton Broad, a juvenile Cormorant was on the jetty by Mutford Lock but no sign of the mega elusive Shag. Next stop was the Little Owl site at North Cove and no surprises when it wasn't showing. I decided to park at North Cove stature as I though the path would be easier to follow to the riverbank. Having reached the railway line, I was dismayed to see a car already parked probably a dog walker/ birder and guaranteed disturbance if the Goosanders were on the river. Sure enough, a dog walker with 4 dogs and also predictably no Goosanders on the walk down. I did however see 3 separate Water Pipits flying up from the recently enlarged dykes by the river path, great habitat creation from SWT, their white bellies noted and white supercilia clearly seen too plus different flight call i/d'd them. I also saw first a male then a female Stonechat. I met Carl B, who was also after the Goosanders and he decided to walk east. Ten minutes later at 11am, I suddenly stumbled on a lone female Goosander on the river looking very wary and swimming away, I saw 2 further Goosanders and I slowly dropped down but too late, all 6 female Goosanders took to flight and flew west a long way up river. Shame they were so wary I didn't get a chance to get any pics. I couldn't get hold of Carl so I walked back. Opposite North Cove turn, around 12 Red- legged Partridges in the field, Back at Lowestoft at Asda, as I walked to the river, I heard the screeching of a Peregrine calling and a magnificent male Peregrine flew around the grain silo twice and then flew half way over the river before heading east. That was to be it for my birds of today because apart from plenty of Cormorants on the river, 12 , not much else seen, still no sign of any Shags. In the afternoon, another stop at the railway bridge revealed 5 Little Grebe and more Cormorant, but still no Shag, will it be a case of 13th time lucky (in 2017) next time I check? No sign of any Waxwing at or around the vicinity of 99 Oulton Road.

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