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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 December

A dull and grey Sunday was relieved after dark when thinning cloud revealed a large but waning moon. It was quite mild too, and several moths on the wing were providing a food source for a late season Pipistrelle. Temperatures had dropped by Tuesday, Wednesday saw a frost and rain arrived later on Thursday. Following a bright, frosty start to Friday the wind picked up from the south-west, bringing with it rain, and it was generally rather damp for the rest of the week.

The biggest avian feature this week was the number of Pink-footed Geese flying overhead daily. Each morning and evening large noisy skeins totalling some 2,500 - 3,000 birds would head west in the mornings, returning eastward later in the day. As always they provided a real spectacle and I heard my neighbours come outside to marvel on more than one occasion. I soon guessed they were feeding on a suitable field not too far away, and following the morning school run on Wednesday I located a flock numbering c.2,500 in a harvested sugar beet field between East Ruston water tower and the Stalham to Walcott road. A couple of scans somewhat disappointingly revealed no other Goose species in their midst but some nearby 'brown clods' catching my eye proved to be 5 Grey Partridges; a nice little covey. Whether genuine wild individuals or bred and released I know not, but a group like this is a welcome sight these days.

Part of a large flock of Pink-footed Geese taking flight from a feeding session on some local sugar beet tops, a favourite and valuable element of their winter diet.

Aside from the Pinks the only other sightings of note were c.300 Lapwings which flew west over School Common Road later in the week and a hunting female Marsh Harrier which was quartering fields just over the parish boundary in Lessingham one morning...

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