Thursday, December 29, 2016

Diary Update #57~2016

A stop off at Eldernell, Cambridgeshire on route to Norfolk for a few days really paid off today! According to the weather forecast we should have encountered dense fog on route but what transpired was glorious wall to wall sunshine. Even when we arrived at RSPB Titchwell in the late afternoon, not a sign of any fog!

One of four Short-eared Owl today!
Almost immediately on arrival at Eldernell a Short-eared Owl was quartering the area directly in front of the car park. Within minutes the count was up to four, all showing brilliantly. We spent ages watching, the birds occasionally fighting with each other for territory and indeed seeing off a Marsh Harrier and Buzzard on one occasion.

Short-eared Owl
Across in the distance nine Crane in flight and after dropping down among others, an amazing count of at least twenty birds. Several Fieldfare were ground feeding, a single Stonechat and at least three Kestrel! Out among the many sheep a bird I first thought to be a Little Egret turned out to be a Cattle Egret once in the scope, a bird which I think has been hanging about now for a while!

Record shot: Cattle Egret, Eldernell!
RSPB Titchwell next, arriving about an hour before sunset and setting off straight away for the beach. With the sun setting and the tide turning we managed a half hour sea watching. This produced Goldeneye, several large rafts of Common Scoter, two Velvet Scoter within but little else! On route back to the car a stop for the Marsh Harrier roost, with over twenty during our stay and just prior to leaving the footpath a Woodcock.