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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 ...

30th November - 6th December

Without any doubt winter was with us as it remained cold throughout the week, although there was a mixture of grey, dry days, spells of rain and sleet, a midweek dusting of snow and a couple of brighter, frosty morns. Saturday had a slightly milder feeling to it though.

Braving the very cold ENE'r around midday on Sunday, I headed to the RNLI for a quick seawatch. As expected, wildfowl were passing although not in particularly impressive numbers. It was nice to see a total of 50 Eider passing north in a few parties, the flocks being made up of gleaming black-trimmed-white adult males, some immature males and some dowdy brown females. 5 Brent Geese, 20 Wigeon and 45 Teal were on the move too and 4 Red-throated Divers were diving offshore as a few more passed up and down the coast. The continuing cold weather was probably the cause of an apparent Lapwing movement early in the week when I noted 78 heading roughly south over the garden with a couple of flocks totalling c450 westward the next day. A few Redwings, Blackbirds and a Fieldfare were along School Common Road as I took Ossie for his morning walk on Tuesday and a Redpoll bounded over calling. Having only recently added them to my parish list, 8 Waxwings flying over lifted my mood from my dreadful cold.

Quietly unassuming, Bullfinches are probably not given the credit they deserve as a 'wow' bird. © Arthur Grosset

Our walk out on Friday after a few early spots of rain was brightened by the sight of 2 male Bullfinches in the thicker hedgerow along the lane towards Lessingham. Although still a common british bird, they are often overlooked as they tend to be rather quiet and secretive, so I took some time to study these closely for a while and really appreciate their contrasting clear grey, jet black and bright rose pink plumage. Further round our circuit a few Snipe flushed from a ploughed field close to the footpath, then a few more until a total of 18 had flown up and across the field settling at, for them, a more comfortable range. A limited amount of shooting takes place in this general area and, with breeding Snipe numbers suffering a decline in recent years, I hoped that the guns involved would spare the birds in this nice wintering flock...

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