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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 ...

29th June - 5th July

Again we enjoyed a mostly dry, fine week due to the anticyclonic conditions with just some light overnight rain in the middle of the week. Winds were generally rather light and at times variable.

Individuals and small parties of Swifts were passing westward along the coast as Oswald and I took our Sunday morning walk and offshore 2 medium rather slow, steadily flying birds were Curlews perhaps returning from the continent. A squabble ‘kicking off’ on the beach amongst 4 Ringed Plovers was no doubt territorially inspired. Several almost daily visits to scan the sea saw the usual Sandwich and Common Terns in varying numbers, including a juvenile Sandwich on the 1st July, but an immature Shag on a groyne on the 30th was mildly surprising. Almost exclusively a marine species, Shags are annual in the county, mostly as winter wanderers and I wasn’t really expecting to see one until the autumn. Like any bird species though, non-breeders can be prone to unseasonal wanderings. 2 female Eider also appeared here at the same time and could be seen feeding close in around the groynes. A distant small raft of c.30 duck on the sea south of Cart Gap, but viewed from Happisburgh, had disappeared when I had driven there and were most likely to have been Common Scoter. I also watched a Porpoise determinedly heading southwards down the coast quite close inshore the same morning.

Immature Shag just north of Cart Gap. Breeding adults are much more resplendent with green glossed black plumage, a bright yellow gape and a crest on the forehead.

I saw Turtle Dove again on three occasions this week, a singleton then a pair near Whimpwell Green. The third sighting was of a pair flying up over the cliff and inland and I wondered if this was the same pair, having perhaps been after grit on the beach in the same way other Pigeons will often do. Slightly unexpected, at least during the summer, was a female Reed Bunting along the green lane by the lighthouse for two days. Reed Buntings probably don’t breed within the parish so are therefore most likely to be encountered either in winter or as passage migrants, so why this one was here is a bit puzzling. The numbers of Starlings are noticeably increasing as summer progresses and several small flocks containing many greyer looking birds of the year have been evident of late too.

Bird of prey sightings were represented by Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Hobby and Marsh Harrier; the Hobby soaring amongst totally unconcerned Swifts and Hirundines on June 30th and female Marsh Harriers through the same day and July 3rd when another flew through from west to east causing pandemonium amongst the Jackdaws and Rooks…

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