A diary of my birding activity covering highlights and photos from my birding adventures. Mainly Norfolk (UK), occasionally beyond. I might mention the odd thing that isn't avian, but for moth and other insect news check out my mothing diary.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Quiet day in the Broads

Dave and I headed off to the Broads this morning for a change.  Wroxham Broad at dawn was quiet - 2 Kingfishers being the highlight.  Near Hoveton we flushed a Woodcock and got a few glimpses of a Cetti's Warbler.  Salhouse Broad was the first of at least 4 sites where we saw or heard Treecreepers today.  Also 2 Siskins here.

Great Crested Grebe, Salhouse Broad, 21st February

Pochard, Salhouse Broad, 21st February

On the river at Horning were 36 Tufted Ducks which, incredibly given the number of broads we visited, was the highest count of the day.  As we walked to Cockshoot Broad we heard Water Rail calling, more Cetti's Warblers and saw a Marsh Tit.  A Kingfisher sped past the hide and this grebe popped up in front of us briefly:

Great Crested Grebe, Cockshoot Broad, 21st February

As we headed back to the car Bearded Tit(s) called from the reeds.  This interaction between a Grey Heron and several Black-headed Gulls kept us amused for a while:

Grey Heron with Black-headed Gulls, Horning, 21st February

A longer series of photos of this interaction on this post if you're up for it.  Ranworth Broad had plenty of wildfowl - at least 115 Shoveler and 159 Wigeon among them.  4 Goldeneye were lurking at the back and another Cetti's Warbler was singing here.  There wasn't much on Malthouse Broad but we enjoyed watching the displaying Great Crested Grebes.

Great Crested Grebes, Malthouse Broad, 21st February

A longer series of photos of the displaying grebes on this post if you're interested.  Next we headed round to Potter Heigham from where we walked out to Rushill Scrape.  A raft of 350 Teal were on Hickling Broad but we failed to find any Green-winged among them.  We heard a Crane calling and Dave picked up an interesting Buzzard with extensive white at the base of the tail.  He thought it was nevertheless just a Common Buzzard and I agreed, but I could well imagine that being claimed as a Rough-leg sometime.  At least 2 Stonechats were feeding around the perimeter of Rushill Scrape, at one point passing a Chinese Water Deer.

Fish and chips at Martham were followed by a drive up to Waxham and back, during which the most interesting sighting was of Tim A.  Had a good chat with him before cutting our losses and deciding to head back via the patch.  I had a feeling that the 3 grey birds in a field as I sped past Billockby weren't herons so having woken Dave up I u-turned to have another look.  As suspected they were 3 Cranes.

Cranes, Billockby, 21st February

On the patch Creaking Gate Lake was full of wildfowl.  Mainly dabblers but 7 Pochard and 35 Tufted Duck were good counts of Aythya for this site.  12 Shelduck and a Marsh Tit were the best we could manage at the private site I'm now allowed to access, but close by 2 Pintail were much better - not often recorded on the patch.  Also 120+ Teal here.  Along Rawhall Lane there was nothing of note on the gravel pits but an all-white Pheasant was in the field opposite along with a herd of 21 Roe Deer - the largest herd I've ever seen.

white Pheasant, Beetley, 21st February

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