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Monday, 26 October 2015

Owls, Shrikes and Egrets: great day on the North Coast

Taking advantage of a good weather forecast, Linda and I and our chums (and neighbours!) Sue & Peter headed north to Holkham, picking up a Rough-legged Buzzard near Houghton on the way.

A walk to the Jordan Hide and back wasn't without interest: several Buzzards, six Red Kites and a heard-only Yellow-browed Warbler being the highlights. The others were interested in the large Metasequoia I pointed out at Meols House...

After lunch at Brancaster, we arrived at Titchwell with around an hour's usable light, but managed to find (and photograph) a good variety of birds. Linda and Sue's favourites were the two Short-eared Owls that we first saw perched on a fence near Reception and later hunting over the rough grassland north of the path. My eighth Great Grey Shrike of the month posed distantly by the Brackish Pool, which also held Grey Plover and Spotted Redshank.

As the sky darkened, we carried on round to Fen Hide, where we watched a pair of Stoats collaborating to hunt a rabbit: it escaped by running in between Linda and me! One by one, Little Egrets dropped into the pool and nearby trees, finally numbering 25 birds: great sight! A decent roost of Starlings built up before being scattered by a marauding Sparrow Hawk.

Supper at 'The Red Lion' Coltishall was a perfect end to the day!

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