Superb Snettisham

Black-necked Grebe, Snettisham RSPB
Still feeling stuffed from all that Christmas food & alcohol. Time for a stroll!
I decided on Snettisham RSPB as I hadn't been there for quite some time. I parked the car at the fishermen's car park and headed South to the Wash and the hides. There were a few flocks of Fieldfares overhead but little else. The Wash held its usual, amazing, variety of waders and wildfowl. Hundreds of Knot, Oystercatcher, Sanderling, Golden Plover, Teal, Wigeon and others all competing for the best feeding grounds. Two Avocet and five Pintail just added to the mix. I turned around to view the pit behind me and as I did so a female Long-tailed Duck took off and flew slightly inland over the sea wall, probably to the small river there.
I carried on to the Shore hide as a Stoat played hide and seek amongst the Brambles. The name "Shore Hide" is, perhaps, a misnomer as, although it sits almost on the shore, it faces in toward the south end of the Southern pit. The light was almost perfect as I joined an old friend trying to find the Black-necked Grebe. We looked everywhere and then it appeared almost in front of us. It was most obliging, as you can see. There were also several Goldeneye, Wigeon and Little Grebes amongst the resident feral Greylag Geese.
Black-necked Grebe, Snettisham RSPB
Goldeneye, Snettisham RSPB
After the hide I spent a fair bit of time looking over the saltmarsh and farmland that runs between Snettisham and Lynn Point looking for raptors. Marsh Harriers and Common Buzzards were the commonest there was also a ring tailed Hen Harrier, Peregrine and Kestrel. There were no Short-eared Owls to be seen. Little Egrets in abundance but also something that looked like a "long, white, snake" stood out above the saltmarsh vegetation. My suspicion was confirmed as a Great White Egret took off and flew towards Lynn Point. It landed between the two sites. This is probably the same bird that has been noted at Admiralty Point, across the river, during the past few weeks.
Great White Egret (honest!), Wootton Marsh Farms saltmarsh
I wandered off back on the return journey to the car and I had reached the north end of the south pit when I looked at the pager. You all know "Murphy's Third Law of Bird Watching" the one that means something will turn up when you leave. Never fails. "Glaucous Gull on saltmarsh at Snettisham" was the message (near enough). Up goes the scope and sure enough there sat a juvenile Glaucous Gull. Easy enough to find as it was almost the only Gull there. A very nice day out.
Sanderling, Snettisham RSPB
Great Grey Shrike, Roydon Common