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Monday, 25 January 2016

Notts the best of starts but ended with Norfolk magic

Me and Mark had been thinking about going for the Hawfinch’s at Rufford CP this last weekend then as Paz and Pete decided to join us meaning we had a full car plus there being a few goodies in Norfolk we decided on an early start at Rufford then  carry on to Norfolk. As is so often the case though things don’t go quite to plan, we arrived at Rufford for first light but apart from a brief sighting early on by Paz and Pete it was to be mid-morning before we got decent views although we had at least six birds in the end, then the second part of the plan was put in doubt with negative news of the Serin at Downham Market and no news on the Pallid Harrier at Flitcham however with there being no particular alternative we decided to risk going anyway. As we reached Kings Lynn there had still been no news on the Harrier so we carried on to Wolferton and spent some time looking for Golden Pheasant, no sign though so we moved on to Choseley Drying Barns where a Rough Legged Buzzard had been reported this morning, no sign of that neither but the others had a male Hen Harrier then we got the news we’d been waiting for, the Pallid Harrier was showing, we high tailed it over to Flitcham but then had a bit of a wait, a couple of Egyptian Geese were on nearby Abbey Farm Pool, there was a nice mixed flock of Linnet and Twite in the scrubby field, Chaffinches and Bramblings in the hedge, a Chinese Water Deer made its way through the field then the shout went up, a ringtail Harrier was making its way across the back field, it never came close and although some were avidly claiming it as the Pallid it was eventually deemed to be imm Hen especially when a couple of mins later the Pallid whipped over the hedge behind us and flew across in front of us no more than 20 yards away, there was no way the first bird could have got back behind us so quick, a bit later it came back and gave us another close fly past, absolutely amazing, after all the disappointing dips I eventually get my second ever sighting of this species and boy what a view. Receiving news that the Rough Legged Buzzard had been relocated sat in a field feeding on a rabbit we made our way back to Choseley and although distant we had good scope views of it, we then carried on and ended the day at Titchwell collecting a few more year ticks and good birds such as Marsh Harriers, Little Egrets, Barn Owl, Water Pipit, Kingfisher, Cetti’s Warblers, Avocets, Black and Bar Tailed Godwits plus Spotted Redshank and a good few Geese heading off to roost.
when the Pallid Harrier first flew across I raised the camera and rattled off a series of shots but was horrified when I reviewed
the pics to find a totally dark screen, I obviously had not given the camera enough time to set the right exposure,
however I managed to salvage a few in photoshop

the second fly past, better exposure but further away

Black Tailed

and Bar Tailed Godwits at Titchwell

some handsome drake Pintail but it was quite dark by this time

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