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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 ...

17th – 23rd February

Continuing with overnight fog and frosts we saw temperatures down to -5°C early in the week but with the winds veering through SE to SW and increasing, the associated cloud brought temperatures up and it felt much milder. Showers developed on 22nd and the week ended on a mostly cloudy note, the sun only occasionally peeking through.

Heading towards the village one morning I recounted “One for sorrow, two for joy….” but wondered what I’d get for the 9 Magpies I could see in a roadside field. At the same time, a Jay flew along the hedge, the crow family today represented by the more colourful members. Our ‘colourful’ woodpecker, the Green Woodpecker, was giving his laughing call from the row of mature trees along the bottom of the garden for a couple of days this week too. Indeed, he was joined later on by a Great Spotted Woodpecker, whom I see here much more regularly. Just along the lane into Lessingham is the nest hole of a pair of Great Spots, the young of which I could hear from a long way off last summer. Who knows, perhaps my garden visitor is one of these birds.

I didn’t venture towards Cart Gap this week but I did see another flock of Yellowhammers, 30+ that I hadn’t seen before despite driving past where they were nearly every day. Checking through them several times, they didn’t harbour anything unusual but were a welcome sight. Yellowhammers always seem to do well as breeders in pockets of suitable habitat here in NE Norfolk so perhaps a flock this size may have been a gathering of local birds. As I watched one day a Grey Heron overflew, perhaps heading for someone’s garden pond hoping for an easy meal. Shortly after this I saw another of our herons in the form of a Little Egret that initially masqueraded as a white plastic bag along the edge of a field close to home. No doubt it was the same one I have seen around here before but had disappeared when I returned with my camera.

Perhaps the same bird as at Happisburgh, this Little Egret was photographed at Wayford Bridge.

A large gull overflying my garden on Friday proved to be a Lesser Black-backed Gull, an addition to the 2008 list. Increasingly common as winter visitors, they can often be seen amongst the flocks of westward moving Herring Gulls that are a common springtime sight along the coast, but this individual was on a heading for Hickling and may have been bound for the Broad there as many do to bathe and sleep.

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