This morning Dave Gray, Steve James and I headed off to Norfolk for a spot of birding. Colin Green had gone down with the Jimmy Smits and The Llama thought the weather wasn’t going to be any good. As we headed through the fens we did wonder whether Andy was right but in Norfolk it was a pretty nice bright morning.
Our first stop was Holt Country Park. Here we took radios with Steve walking the park and Dave and I headed to the Edgefield sign clearfell. After a good hour we’d seen or heard nothing Crossbill like so set off back to the car to think about strategy. There’s an awful lot of good habitat there…
Dave and I found a Fly Agaric that looked like something had been munching on it.
Just as we set off towards the car park a flock of Parrot Crossbills over unseen but calling loudly. We radioed Steve and headed back out on to the Heath where I picked up a few in a lone pine. Steve joined us and we started to move closer. The birds soon settled in a stand of trees and started to demolish the cones. Snipping them off, then trapping the cone with their feet before demolishing it to get the seeds.
We counted 15 at this point but as a Sparrowhawk went through it was clear there were a few more. We were joined by Richard Millington and finally arrived at a total of 23 Parrots and one Common Crossbill… in flight it looked tiny by comparison. There were also a few Brambling knocking about.
After lunch we stopped in at Holkham and had Pink-footed Goose and White-fronted Goose.
Our last stop was Roydon Common where we were treated to five Hen Harrier roosting including a beautiful ghostly male. Not a day of quantity but hey, feel the quality.