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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 ...

14th - 20th September

'Wind in the east, dry at least'. And so it was. By the end of the week southerlies had established, remaining light in strength as it had been all week.

Although Happisburgh lacks suitable habitat for it to breed, the Reed Warbler still doubtless passes through the parish in small numbers on it's migrations each year. Seemingly not as common on passage as they used to be, the nearest reedbeds at East Ruston seemed to be thronging with singing males this summer, and one in the thorny thicket in the SW corner of the Decca site on Sunday morning was a welcome local record. Yellow Wagtail, 3 Wheatears and a Common Whitethroat were also around the general area and when I looked out of our living room window later in the day, a flash of a red tail dropping out of the Eucalyptus alerted me to a Common Redstart which spent the remainder of the day in local gardens. This individual may have been the forerunner of events to come, for the following day when I arrived home early afternoon, the rear gardens held Spotted Flycatcher, 1+ Pied Flycatcher, 2 Redstarts and single Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff. It felt almost as if my garden was a coastal bird observatory! The Scandinavian high pressure and associated easterlies had worked their magic and a huge fall of migrants had taken place. Ossies walk along the lane turned up at least 2 more Pied Fly's, 4+ Redstarts and 2 Willow Warblers. Over the next few days, birds continued to arrive and many coastal Norfolk locations scored some good double figure counts of such commoner migrants as well as small numbers of scarcer ones such as Wryneck and Red-backed Shrike. Wheatear was another bird involved and at least 11 were in clifftop fields south of the village on Tuesday afternoon.

Once again this week, the Hobby showed over the garden and there was still a Redstart, perhaps the same, frequenting mine and neighbouring gardens throughout. Friday 19th saw an event that all Happisburgh residents can't fail to become aware of each autumn; the first Pink-footed Geese returning from their summer away. I was in the back garden when at 5:45pm I became aware of the distinctive sound of Pinks and looked up to see c.100 just south of School Common Road flying not SE towards the broads, but NW up county. I'd not seen any previously this autumn, nor heard of any other sightings, and naturally expected that the first birds would be moving down the coast. Perhaps these ones had migrated into continental Europe before relocating across the southern North Sea into East Anglia and were heading on to one of their favoured roosts along the north coast. I saw two more small parties the following day heading 'the proper way' towards east Norfolk.

Pleased at the previous week's raptor sightings, a larger bird of prey than the more usual Kestrel, Sparrowhawk or Hobby was spotted from the garden on Saturday afternoon. Circling just south of the village, I managed to get it through my binoculars before it disappeared. It was a typically plumaged Common Buzzard, a probable continental migrant utilising the same favourable weather conditions that were bringing the smaller birds across and several others had been seen in recent days across the eastern counties. Shortly after 2 Swifts slowly but purposefully headed over southwards, the shortening daylight hours urging them to seek warmer climes.

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