January 31st- February 2nd 2022

Another 3 day Winter tour, similar to the previous 5 day tour but covering a little less ground.

Day One – The Brecks was again successful with all the target species being seen, with the excpetion of Woodlark, which were sitting quiet in the cool grey weather! The day started with some lovely feeding Brambling, Siskin, Chaffinch at a feeder area, quickly followed by nice views of Marsh tit. Next stop was a raptoir watchpoint where we had a bit of a wait for Goshawk, but eventually nice views of both a 2cy male and then a 2cy female Goshawk. Also here stunning views of a Peregrine, plus Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and nearby a Red Kite. Nice flock of winter thrushes close by too with over hundred in the area, as well as Fieldfare and Redwing, there were also several Mistle Thrush as well.

The next stop nearby produced great views of a stunning Firecrest, as well as nearby Nuthatch, Treecreeper and several Long-tailed Tits.

Lunch and then on to look for Hawfinch which today produced just two birds, brief but scope views, here were nice close views of Marsh Tit and lovely views of more Brambling and Yellowhammer feeding on the ground.

Day Two – North Norfolk today, we were treated on arrival to lovely close views of c110 White-fronted Geese and of course close by were skeins of skeins of Pink-footed Geese. Along the parking area at Holkham, the wildfowl are present in vast numbers, the Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, Gadwall etc all incredibly tame as well affording lovely views, also Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff and Grey Partridge all noted. Marauding Buzzards, Marsh harriers and Red Kites overhead and then a Peregrine all causing regular clouds of birds into the skies, including thousands of Lapwing and several hundred Golden Plover. Out on the shore we managed to soon locate a lovely close flock of c80 Snow Bunting, though the Shorelarks were less obliging today. Plenty of Rock Pipits, Linnets and Sanderling as we walked out and distantly out on the sea there was a small group if Common Scoter with one just identifiable Velvet Scoter amongst them.

We rounded the day off at Titchwell with plenty more waders and wildfowl but memorable last off were 2 ringtail Hen Harriers and several Marsh Harriers into the roost.

Out for a group evening meal!

Day Three – Broads

A really successful day out East, we started with a small group of Cranes, nice scope views, we then moved on to Rollesby Broad, there were lots of Goldeneye, Tufted Duck, plenty of Great Crested Grebe plus a few Pochard here, no sign today of the Red-necked Grebe but a flyover Mandarin was a nice bonus. Next stop was Bewick’s Swans, still a nice group of c20 and 2 Whooper Swans, but looks like numbers are starting to drop already, so early! We then headed to Winterton, the Purple Sandpiper was present again on arrival, a few Red-throated Divers offshore, but the real highlight was rounding off with 3 Short-eared Owls hunting and at times coming quite closer and affording great views!

© Short-eared Owl Janet Pawley