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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 ...

13th - 19th July

The wind at the beginning of the week had an element of north in it but from Tuesday they shifted back to west then south-west, finishing a touch north of west at the end of Saturday. Temperatures were good to start with, cooling slightly from the middle of the week and the period ended with frequent showers.

The sea again provided most interest with lots of Terns to look through, the most interesting of which was a 1st or possibly 2nd summer Common Tern, the likes of which should be much further south than the UK still. The 2 Shags remained for the week and on Sunday 3 adult Arctic Skuas were offshore; two dark and one pale phase birds. From midweek a dark phase Arctic Skua was offshore most days, often sitting on the sea waiting for a Tern to pass with a fish. Skuas feed mostly through parasitising other seabirds, usually Terns, and these ‘pirates of the seabird world’ have a terrific turn of speed when they spot a victim. They are fascinating to watch and can often be seen during the late summer as they chase a hapless Sandwich Tern over the sea. Auks started to appear offshore too, both Razorbill and Guillemot often accompanied by their slightly smaller young, having left the breeding colonies in Yorkshire and further north. A small number of Gannets were also seen passing by, 2 adult and a 1st summer Kittiwake were seen and a couple of Curlew flew north.

Amongst other sightings worthy of mention were Hobby on the 16th and 19th, causing panic amongst the House Martins, a Sparrowhawk through the garden with an unfortunate, small passerine in its talons and at nearby Bacton Wood, a party of c.30 Common Crossbills were seen in flight only.

This Hobby frequently harassed the House Martins here. If unsuccessful it would head for the Sand Martin colony along the cliffs.

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