I headed with the group straight to Holkham again, revisiting the Hawfinches seen in the last week. We stopped off en-route for a nice group of around c200 Fieldfare, the largest group I’ve seen so far this autumn. There was as expected a few Redwing scattered in amongst them.
Once at Holkham we headed straight to the favoured Hawfinch area, as we arrived I was slightly concerned as 4 Hawfinches flew and disappeared into the tops of the nearby deciduous trees, in the very windy conditions they would be tricky to see! Fortunately several more were still in the Yew and after a patient wait 2-3 appeared out in the open and we had nice views as they fed on the Yew Berries and perched in the nearby Beech trees.
Nearby there was Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit and Nuthatch.
We then headed to Burnham Overy, there was several skeins and some small groups of Pink-footed Geese feeding on the ground. Out on the mud there was a good selection of shorebirds, with 80 Dunlin, Knot, Turnstone, 10+ Grey Plover , several Ringed Plover a few Knot, 2-3 Bar-tailed Godwit and numerous Redshank. There was a distant bunch of c100 Dark-bellied Brent Geese out on the salt-marsh. Vast groups of Wigeon and Teal were out on the grazing marsh, and the Cattle Egrets were soon found at the feet of the cattle and several Little Egret in the channel, at least one Great Egret more distantly. A Red Kite was hunting over the marsh as was 2-3 Marsh Harrier. There was also several groups Golden Plover joined by flocks of Lapwing in the distance. Rock pipits, Linnets and Goldfinches were were in evidence and a fine male Stonechat was showing very well close by.
We then headed to Cley for lunch, with just enough time to take a good look at the still present Lesser Yellowlegs, still showing ridiculously well!
We then took an hour to look at the sea, despite the Southerly wind not being the best of conditions. But we still managed to add Gannet & Red-breasted Merganser.
With just enough daylight left we headed for the raptor roost, which also included a spectacular number of Pink-footed Geese with several. thousands out on the shoreline. Raptors performed well tonight with 2 ad male Hen Harriers a late incoming ringtail Hen harrier plus a dashing Merlin which we did have perched up!