Heading south to Cantley enabled me to have an hour watching a field full of 3,000 Pink-footed Geese, which was wondrous. Incongruous, however, was the Ruddy Shelduck in their midst (thanks to Steve Smith for the find and gen).

I finished the afternoon at St Benet's Abbey, which last winter held England's only remaining Taiga Bean Geese. Short-eared Owls were on constant view - I reckoned six individuals, two of which came pleasingly close - and other interesting fare included a dozen Cranes, four Chinese Water Deer, three Whooper Swan and an escaped Eastern Rosella whose owners (alerted by an article in the Eastern Daily Press, it seems) had come to try and catch it. I had the 'wrong' camera body with me (my 7dii rather than 1dXii), but nevertheless the shots came out OK.


26 Nov 2023 Owl wings

Northerly winds Friday and Saturday coaxed me out seawatching yesterday morning. A nice passage of wildfowl was about as good as it got, however, although a close-ish Great Northern Diver was pleasing. As I was walking back to the car, the local sea watchers had a Little Auk, which was a bit frustrating. Thereafter, I focused on recce'ing a few sites ahead of a Wildlife Travel tour I'm hopefully helping with in a fortnight's time. Two Ferruginous Duck ( an adult drake and a female type) were still at Filby Broad, with a drake Greater Scaup on the other side of the road on Little Ormesby Broad. 

More locally, my part of Norwich has been home to a flock of Waxwings for a few days. Initially, three adults on Thursday. But 72 today, according to those who can count better than me. Thursday's light was lovely, but I managed to crash my card and lost 90% of shots taken. Today's light was dreary, but the birds chaotically wonderful.


James Lowen