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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 ...

8th - 14th June

Despite the continuing N’ly wind the week was mostly warm. The first couple of days brought practically cloudless skies but enough cloud had developed by Wednesday evening to give us some rain after dark. Friday and Saturday saw the wind revert to W’ly with temperatures picking up slightly and the week ended with a heavy shower.

Crossbills! This is what my inner voice shouted to me as I busied myself in the garden during the evening of the 8th. It was 7pm and I suddenly became aware of the loud, hard ‘chip, chip’ call of the Common Crossbill. Looking up I could see a small flock of these stocky finches flying directly over head on a SE to NW tracking, part of the recent irruption from the conifer forests of northern Europe. There were 14 in all, a respectable sized flock and a species I had been half expecting to encounter in the parish at some point this year. It is thought that such irruptions happen as a result of a shortage of pine cones in the species normal range and during invasion years they can sometimes be found in Bacton Woods where they tend to favour the stands of Larches there. They are fascinating to watch as they extricate the small kernels from the cones with their cross tipped bills, the resulting debris making a gentle rustling sound as it falls to the ground. Another new bird for my garden and parish lists.

Last year I made several sightings in and around Happisburgh of that agile, summer visiting falcon, the Hobby. My first Norfolk sighting this year came on the 13th June near College Farm, when one flew over in the direction of Lessingham. Hobbies have become a much more regular sight throughout Norfolk in recent years and I wondered if this particular bird would be summering not too far away.

The Great Spotted Woodpeckers near to home have gone very quiet so my feeling is that they have successfully raised the youngsters to the fledging stage so I’m keeping an eye out for them in our garden and on the daily walk. Birdsong in general has now become subdued as busy parents devote their energies to raising their offspring. A local pair of Pied Wagtails must have had some breeding success as during the week I watched a grey and white juvenile awkwardly catching flies on the paddocks at Whimpwell Green, his success rate down compared to that of his father close by...

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