Today Eleanor stayed local and birds in the Blueberry Farm area near Maidwell included a Short-eared Owl, a Peregrine and two pairs of Stonechat.
It was the day for the Northants Bird Club car trip and our car went to the Norfolk coast starting at Titchwell. A blustery south-westerly accompanied us all day but it remained mild and dry. Very few people were at Titchwell first thing and we quickly connected with Sparrowhawk, at least five Marsh Harriers, four Cetti's Warblers, a Woodcock and a Chiffchaff for starters. Plenty of Little Egrets and common waders occupied the salt-marsh and passerines included about five Rock Pipits.
The sea provided views of Razorbill, Common Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser and Red-throated Diver and the shoreline bustled with Bar-tailed Godwit, Sanderling, Dunlin, Grey Plover, Oystercatcher, Knot and Curlew. A seal pup was left high and dry on the high tide but didn't seem that bothered!
Plenty of waterfowl and waders inhabited the fresh-marsh and brackish lagoon, the best being Spotted Redshank, Avocet, Ruff and Pintail. Skeins of Brent and Pink-footed Geese whizzed about in all directions.
Our next venue was Holkham which was very busy with people, dogs and horses! Nevertheless our perseverance paid off with distant views of a Great White Egret, four Marsh Harriers, half a dozen Common Buzzards and a flying well-marked Rough-legged Buzzard. Efforts at checking the small bird flocks in the foliage failed to find much out of the ordinary but Jays were very high profile and flocks of Starlings swept past us all day.
Scanning the sea and we found some close-in scoters which included a couple of small parties of Velvet Scoter and a very smart drake Surf Scoter. More Red-throated Divers, a Gannet and a Razorbill fished the shallows off the beach.
We finished the day with skeins of calling Pink-footed Geese arriving to roost against a stunning rich pink sun-set.