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Saturday, 4 February 2017

East Norfolk trip

Norfolk First stop was Mautby pig fields, where predictably enough , when I had just arrived by a side road overlooking pig fields to the right, west of the road, the Iceland had just flown. Driving down to the far end, you could look back up the fields and pig field area but again as I arrived the Gull flock took to flight again and I missed it again. Heading back to where I started up to 5 Mediterranean Gulls seen. The first bird seen was an adult winter- plumage bird wheeling around, another adult winter bird seen, plus 1 adult partial summer plumage, developing a black hood, 1 2nd winter bird and 1 1st year bird. Looking immediately right/ west a fine Hooded Crow was seen black head, grey mantle black wings & jaggy black breast, contrasting with the pale grey underparts including crucially the grey undertail coverts. It flew and perched near the top or crown of the field before disappearing. It was later seen perched in the crown of a tree before it flew down before finally flying west again. We decided to check the far end. When Justin's friend rolled up saying it just come in a bare field west of the pig fields. Looking we could see a few heads of gulls almost totally obscured by the brow of the field edge. Driving around, we saw a small group of birders and parking just past them I ran down and was directed to the bird which was the 7th bird in from the left. It was an adult Iceland Gull sitting facing us showing yellow bill and greyish nape. After a few minutes the flock flew and the bird flew back to the pig fields briefly settling before it flew left and around over a house and then disappeared with the flock in a north- westerly direction. Next stop was the Clippesby fields near the church and a car was parked by the side of the road and a birder was scoping them from his car. I parked just behind him and counted 205 Geese, there were Pink- footed Geese and at least 20+ Tundra Bean Geese with orange legs a darker brown plumage and dark bill with orange near the tip, but most of the flock were Pink- feet. Next stop Filby, we saw Jeremy G by the bridge (finder of a magnificent BN Grebe by the side of Gorleston Pier) and who better to point out the fine Black- necked Grebe behind the orange floaters, it swam first right past the tern platform and the left. It showed a slim upturned bill and typical winter plumage. Another birder said he had just seen a Red- necked Grebe and sure enough one was seen in the far south west corner of the broad this bird was also swimming left showed typical winter plumage with black/ yellow two- tone bill. Male Goldeneye also seen. On Ormesby Little Broad 2 male and 2 female Goldeneye plus several 8 Great crested Grebes seen.seen. driving back no Cranes in the usual place but driving back along the Acle strait, a large flock of Swans seen a mile west of the Man Dir Hindu Temple (formerly the Stacey Arms/ Cadillac Roadhouse) flock and 2 fine Bewick's Swans seen together at the western end of the flock. Driving back to Lowestoft, I checked the Blood moor road area and struck lucky again, driving up Lansdowne road, I turned right into Kilbourn road and by the junction opposite Honeysuckle Close, perched in a tree on the right were an incredible 27 Waxwing, I counted them 3X to check I had counted them correctly, it tallied each time. They suddenly started trilling in unison and the flew west.

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