Monday's lunchbreak was shorter than usual but I still managed to notch up 2-3 Barn Owls and a Grey Wagtail.
Grey Wagtail, Ingoldisthorpe, 11th January
For Tuesday's lunchtime excitement I tried to find something interesting among the Greylag Goose flock at Raynham Lake. No luck there but that left me time to pass through Tatterford Common and there I found a large flock of finches including at least 70 Bramblings. Very nice too.
Wednesday was better. I headed up to the Brancaster Road where I stopped to check the Pink-feet. Jim S was stopped there too, forcibly thanks to a blow-out, and he'd seen 2 Rough-legged Buzzards. They didn't show for me but heading back to work I passed a Short-eared Owl in the hedge next to the track. Having taken a record shot through the back window I reversed back past it and was surprised it didn't fly off. Drawing up next to it I was amazed that it stayed put while I took scores of photos. Eventually it did slowly move, but just flipped over the car and went behind the hedge the other side.
I thought it might have continued on down the hedge slightly so I drove the short distance to the end of the hedge where I discovered it sitting on a post, posing for more photos from a different angle. If it had flown from here I might have done a better job at getting some flight photos but if I'd stuck it out any longer I'd have been late back to work. Fantastic experience though - never been so close to a Short-eared Owl - or probably any wild owl - for such a prolonged period.
Short-eared Owl, north of Stanhoe, 13th January