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Thursday, 29 December 2016

Docking Geese: all 'bagged' eventually!

Linda and I had arranged to meet good friends Sue and Peter for lunch and a hunt for the movable Red Kite roost near Stanhoe, so we made an early start at Docking, in hope of views of the Red-breasted Goose.

First interesting birds among the tens of thousands of Pink-footed Geese were a number of Tundra Beans: as I clicked the shutter a 'Card Fault' alert appeared on my camera screen! A check in my camera bag revealed that my spares were back home in the laptop. Oh dear.... We zipped down to In Focus. only to be told that they didn't sell SD cards - seems like a missed opportunity to me.

A frantic drive to Hunstanton revealed that the only camera shop on the North Coast - Wolfie's - had a good range at reasonable prices. Back to the birds! Since the RBG hadn't been seen yet, Lin and I dropped in at Titchwell. The sea was miles out, but a brisk walk across the beach provided distant views of Long-tailed Duck, Eider, Merganser and hundreds of Scoter, as well as some decent waders. The walk back to the car park gave us Water Rail for the day-list.

After lunch with Peter and Sue at 'The Jolly Sailors', we headed back to Docking, stopping along the low road where even more Pink-feet had congregated. Here we quickly found a lone White-fronted Goose and - amazingly - the Todd's Canada Goose. Peter, Sue and Linda left me and drove off to look for new binoculars. Predictably the Red-breasted Goose was found by the only other birders, a pleasant couple from Essex and Cambridge. Some confusion about which wind-turbine 'marked the spot' meant I only picked up the goose as it flew away...

And so to the Kite roost! In fact, the best Kite Linda and I saw was in the morning at Syderstone: none came in to roost at the spot near North Creake. However, excellent views of some Tundra Beans (around twelve, one with a 'beak saddle') and lots of Buzzards more than compensated.




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