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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 ...

22nd - 28th June

The week kicked off with plenty of sunshine and a strong SW’ly breeze; it was a really good drying day as your Gran may have said. On the whole the winds were rather variable for the period and they were light in strength compared to Sunday. Tuesday saw a misty start to the day and it was chilly first thing on Thursday, this day ending with rain after dark. Other than this, and a shower Friday pm, it stayed dry.

The grass fields along our lane were cut and quickly baled this week and it was strange to be able to see the local Hares again as they made the most of the open space and the rapidly growing and greening grass. They should be quite safe here as long as Oswald doesn’t get it into his head to give chase, although I am very careful about when and where he can be given time off the lead. And when he’s off, boy does he love to run! A Hobby passed through again one evening. I had walked to the top of the lane noting lots of Swifts and Hirundines over the village when one came in fast and low from the direction of the cliffs. It disappeared behind some trees but then burst into view where I had anticipated, my binoculars trained in readiness. It quickly disappeared to the south but not before I had taken in its white cheek and throat, black streaked breast and red ‘trousers’. Shortly after, 2 Lapwings flew across towards Lessingham, the first I had seen here for some time, probably non or failed breeders and perhaps heralding the beginning of the return passage of waders.

A birding friend from Surrey had been staying fairly locally for a few days and it was good to catch up with him on Friday; a couple of years must have passed since I saw him last. We walked out across the green lanes towards the lighthouse and on to the clifftop to check the groynes for Terns, noting a female Yellow Wagtail in the wheat field on the way. We were lucky in respect of numbers of Terns with 100+ Sandwich, 2 Little and a few Common present but nothing unusual was with them. Of most interest was a first summer Little Gull, one that had hatched last year. They don’t breed in the UK anymore but, following a failed nesting attempt in the Broads a few years ago, there is always hope that this most dainty of gulls will one day return. 2 other gulls heading directly out to sea proved to be Kittiwakes and 2 juvenile Black-headed Gulls on the beach were looking much smarter with their chocolate and ginger tones than the weary adults there. We also saw a returning Guillemot on the sea, resplendent in full summer plumage still.

Oswald didn’t get a walk until late on Saturday and walking along the lane I could hear the calls of a Tawny Owl. I kept mimicking it to try and maintain its interest and reaching a gap in the hedge near the paddocks I could see it was sitting atop a telegraph pole in open view. It was just after 10pm but the equinox was barely a week past and it was still light enough to see him well. “There’s the last bird of the day Ossie” I said, only to hear the harsh call of a Grey Heron a few seconds later…

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