Off early eastwards through Norwich where we called in at a residential area to see a flock of 36 Waxwings that had been there a few days. Some police operation nearby indicated we didn't tarry but, by then, we;d had good views of the birds perched and in flight! Onward to Whitlingham Country Park in reasonable weather but with the wind rising. The site, a lake surrounded by deciduous woodland, and doubtless having the potential of holding a variety of interesting birds, was increasingly wind swept which fed frustration into our intended attempt to locate the male Ferruginous Duck which was apparently in residence. A slow walk around one side of the lake produced a good variety of duck, a male Sparrowhawk but showed that most of the waterbirds were confined to a bay which had a wooded island at its centre.......not the easiest scenario in which to locate a single bird!
Gradually we went through the various groups of duck, but to no avail. Suddenly the movement of several Grey lag Geese and an Egyptian Goose on the island disrupted things generally and then, suddenly, the bird was there, rising from rest and moving out on to the water. Over the next few minutes it simply moved around in a fairly restricted area and showed absolutely every feature, colour, shape to best effect. Stupendous, and then, as if on cue , it went back to its original position and resumed its slumbers!!
We moved on to the Buckenham / Cantley area to look for the Bean Geese and the Lesser White-fronted Goose which were present. The wind was near gale force and it was even difficult to hold a tripod stable! Whilst we located some distant geese it was clearly not going to work out so we moved on to the coast. At Great Yarmouth we enjoyed close views of several Mediterranean Gulls in the area immediately north of the Pleasure Beach and then, just to the south, a Velvet Scoter just offshore. Moving further south to Lowestoft docks we found an immature Yellow-legged Gull in the harbour area and had good views of Purple Sandpipers, besides Turnstone , Redshank and Oystercatcher along the coastal walkway.
A good day despite the best efforts of the weather!!
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