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Thanks for taking time to visit the 2008 Happisburgh Bird Diary, we hope you enjoyed reading it. To find out what Ossie and I see this year please visit the Happisburgh Parish Bird List 2009 ...

27th January – 2nd February

A glorious start and end to the week’s weather was spoiled rather by the middle which was at times very windy, cold and saw some fog and frequent heavy showers.

With the days lengthening noticeably, it seems that our winter visiting thrushes are continuing to slowly filter back towards the east coast in preparation for a North Sea crossing and on to their Scandinavian and Russian breeding grounds. A walk along the paths near Lower Farm allowed me to appreciate 10+ Fieldfare, 7 Redwing and 2 Mistle Thrushes brazenly feeding on the short turf there along with 3 Blackbirds which avoided the open grass and foraged near the hedgerows. The Mistle Thrushes are likely to be a local breeding pair, males of which have been very vocal recently, proclaiming their territory and availability as a prospective mate with a song similar to the Blackbird but less varied, more haunting and much further carrying. Other birds that seemed to be proclaiming the wonderful weather of Sunday 27th as the start of the Spring with their song were Robin, Dunnock, Chaffinch and Greenfinch.

The distinctive grey head, rump and rufous back can be clearly seen on this Fieldfare.

For 3 days from the 28th I was unable to see Happisburgh in daylight at all, due to work commitments, and Oswald had a different companion for his daily walk. On the afternoon of Thursday 31st things were back to normal and we both headed out to stretch our legs and see what was about. The 3 Blackbirds were still close to the hedges as before but the numbers of Fieldfare had increased to 28, Redwings to 14. Around the nearby horse paddocks were 10 hyperactive Long-tailed Tits accompanied by a minute Goldcrest, my first of the latter in the Parish this year. Both of these can often be fearless and inquisitive and will approach closely if the observer makes a repeated ‘pishing’ sound.

February kicked off very windy but sunny and cold. Snow was forecast for much of the UK although we fared rather well here with barely a dusting falling after dark. Another flock of Fieldfares appeared, this time 24 were on a winter cereal field by Willow farm. Dredging of the dykes around the Lower Farm meadows had perhaps spooked the Redwings there but 22 remaining Fieldfares were oblivious as were almost 100 Lapwings that had joined them. Rounding the corner here the following day I was pleasantly surprised to see 2 Grey Partridges spook from the field edge calling ‘kik-ik-ik’, the dark horseshoe mark on their bellies obvious to the naked eye as they banked away. With the population of this native species reduced by as much as 80% over the last 25-30 years, it is nice to see them so close to home. I’ll be listening out for the distinctive grating ‘keearrick’ song of the male in weeks to come.

1 comment:

Tim Allwood said...

Hi James

excellent site

good to see another local birding site too

I'll be checking in regularly to see what's been happening a few miles up the road...