Aylmerton Nature Diary

Sunday 10th December

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Distant male Parrot Crossbill – Santon Downham

Yesterday we took a trip to the Brecks to look for the Parrot Crossbills at Santon Downham. It was very cold but mostly sunny all day. When we arrived at the car park the birds had just flown off, but a birder helpfully pointed out the direction they’d headed in, so I went in pursuit – unfortunately, Jane, Bob and Sue failed to follow! I eventually located them in some dead Poplars, coming down to a stream to drink. Good, if rather distant, views of a dozen or so birds, including several bright males. Alas, by the time the others caught up, they’d departed – not to be seen in the next three hours of generally standing around 😦 Later a pager message announced that they had reappeared at the car park, just ten minutes after we left – gnash and double gnash! We called in at Stiffkey campsite on the way home and managed to see a female Hen Harrier, Merlin and possible Peregrine which, together with the four Purple Sandpiper, Rock Pipit and dozens of diver – all Red-throated except one Great Northern at Sheringham first thing, made for a pretty good December days birding.

Today it’s WeBS count at Felbrigg – oh joy, since it’s currently raining and forecast to continue till dark!

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