Distant Drums

Nuthatch, Santon Downham
        What a difference the Sun makes!
        Saturday was limited to a couple of hours at Titchwell & Thornham Harbour. I headed straight for the beach to have a gander on the sea. A huge raft of Common & Velvet Scoter  seemed to stretch from horizon to horizon. There were literally thousands of birds. It was surprising to find what was mixed in with them, for example, Shoveler &  Pintail. There was also a fair number of gulls present. Best amongst them was an immaculate juvenile Iceland Gull. That was Saturday.
         On the advice of some friends I took off to Santon Downham on the Norfolk Suffolk border. An absolutely amazing Sunday.
         First of all I walked downstream about a mile to a well watched stand of Poplars. Birds everywhere. Long-tailed Tits, Treecreepers and Nuthatch all seemed to be collecting nesting material. While the Great Spotted Woodpeckers drummed everywhere. There were two pairs of duck chasing each other around the area and these turned out to be Mandarin.
         Then a different, quite distant, drumming was heard...weaker and longer...and it got closer. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker! it played hide and seek for about 15 minutes allowing a few, brief, views. Still smilin'.
          I walked back along the river stopping now and then to look at Lesser Redpoll & Siskin. Then I saw a bird, I thought was a crossbill, land in a tree in front of me. I scoped it only to find it was a Hawfinch. Very nice and unexpected. As I got to the bridge at Santon Downham I had a taste of spring with a Chiffchaff in full song. Only a few feet further on a Redwing and a pair of Brambling made me stop. I looked at a pair of Goldcrests and discovered, to my delight, that they were Firecrests. I knew they were around but I had never seen them here.
           And to finish off? Well, you can't beat a Goshawk for that.
Nuthatch, Santon Downham
Wren, Santon Downham
Little Owl, Abbey Farm, Norfolk