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Sunday, 5 January 2020

Unexpected birds, including Bewicks and Whoopers, Barnacles and a Peregrine.

Linda wanted to visit Potter Heigham for some more bird food, so we took binoculars and camera 'just in case'! On the way, we searched the fields around Hemsby and Horsey, but couldn't find any obvious Bean Geese: lots of Pinkfeet and Greylags, as well as a large flock of (presumably feral) Barnacle Geese.

After shopping at 'Kens' we checked Ludham Airfield: just a single distant Whooper Swan, but a Peregrine covering its lunch was interesting and unexpected. We finished the 'loop', returning home via Ingham and Acle. Near Ingham, we stopped to enjoy a very confiding Buzzard and discovered the largest flock of Linnets - well over 500 - that I've seen for a long time. A little further along the frequently-present Bewick Swans were close by the coast road: I stopped to reminisce about the old days with a delightful couple who'd just been visiting the Desert Wheatear.

As we approached the famous barn near Clippesby, I noticed a group of three Cranes by the road: pausing in a convenient farm gate, we watched these fantastic creatures from the car for ten minutes or so, before a hooting truck horn scared them off. As we passed the barn itself, it was a shock to see at least ten cars pulled onto the farmer's access. A dozen or more birders were watching a group of perhaps twelve or so Cranes, before a couple with 'scopes spooked the flock by trying for a closer view. I can't imagine it'll be long before the landowner blocks off the gateway...

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