Saturday, 25 February 2017
Breydon & Haddiscoe island
Later on on Saturday 18th February, a walk along Breydon south wall and looking across from Humberstone path looking in a south easterly direction, I counted the distant flock of 102 Geese, 99 were Tundra Bean Geese, 1 a Taiga Bean Goosewith paler plumage and more orangey bill and 2 White- fronted Geese. A Marsh Harrier flew over here too. A walk out to Fritton woods, just before we joined the area of trees by the mound, we heard the excellent "chip chip" calls of Crossbills and we saw 4 birds fly over the clearing, over our head and alight onto the tops pines by the copse edge adjoining the clearing, one was a male and another an immature bird, great to see this quartet of birds my first since the decimation of many pines and the much missed heather by the power lines. Looking out over Haddiscoe island, up to 3 Short- eared Owls were hunting one dropped down and we saw it spend a little time on the deck plus 2 Barn Owls (my belated first of the year) and then suddenly a resplendent dapper looking male Hen Harrier, always a joy to see (no surprise when these were also new for the year) and especially so when they are this close flew over the reeds by the river from right to left. We then spent some time admiring it as it hunted the fields further away. Not to be out done, later on a ringtail Hen Harrier flew left to right although a little further out. 1 Buzzard seen perched on a post and another came into roost as the light was going. The inevitable sighting of half a dozen Chinese Water Deer too. Finally walking back through the clearing a Short- eared Owl flew past and 2 Woodcock flew together (yet another new 2017 bird) and away. A great end to the day which started not so well at my hoodoo site of Sotterley.