3rd January 2020

Exclusive days guiding – Holkham NNR & Raptor roost

We started the day at Holkham, there was masses of wildfowl from the car park plus Snipe, Ruff, Redshank, close Brents & Pink-footed Geese. We then walked out on to the beach at Holkham where we soon found the Snow Bunting flock of around 60 birds, they were delight to watch and we had nice views, eventually quite close. The other birds of course to see were the Shorelarks and today they behaved perfectly!

The Shorelarks were within minutes on view, walking along the tops of the saltmarsh and then lifting and flying only to drop just 25m away, there was 5 Shorelarks and through the scope there beautiful black masks, set against their bright lemon faces were a delight. Also c50 Linnets, Meadow Pipit and 2 Rock Pipits.

Shorelark – five showed well today.

It was pretty windy but we headed out over the dunes to look on the sea. Here we faced the full force of a very cold and brisk Northerly wind, the sea was choppy but the big slick of c5000 Common Scoter were plain enough to see. There was also Great Crested Grebes, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, and a Velvet Scoter flew briefly by. The sea was v choppy and we couldn’t see the Slavonian Grebes or Long-tailed Duck, albeit the conditions were probably the reason, as I had seen them the previous day.

We then headed down to the Jordan hide, from here there was just a magnificent spread of birds, thousands of Wigeon, Teal, plus a few Pintail, Shoveler, Snipe and around 160 White-fronted Geese. Red Kite, Marsh Harriers, Kestrel, Common Buzzard and a Peregrine all put in appearances!

As we walked back we cam e across a nice flock of Tits, complete with Goldcrest, 3 Treecreeper and Long-tailed Tits.

We had a late lunch and a coffee at The Lookout and then headed early 2.30pm to the raptor roost. This proved a good decision with 2 Merlins perched and in view on arrival, shortly followed by a male Hen Harrier and then 3 ringtail Hen Harriers later, when a 3rd Merlin arrived late in on the show. A Short-eared Owl and Little Owl rounded off an excellent day!