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Norfolk part three

Our third and last day birding in Norfolk began well before dawn and we headed south from Hunstanton in the dark. Fallow Deer stalked through the woodland in the first glimmer of light as a Tawny Owl called above us. But our target bird eluded us. We changed sites and immediately saw it!
golden pheasant one norfolk
A stunning male Golden Pheasant steps from cover

golden pheasant two norfolk
The early morning light was not great for photos but you get the idea!

What a beauty! We were all stunned by the technicolour bird before us. Breakfast was going to taste very good indeed!
barn owl norfolk
As we headed back we stopped to watch a lovely Barn Owl floating over a field.

The inner birder taken care of we headed out to the lighthouse at Hunstanton and scanned the calm sea. Fulmars whizzed back and forth right next to us. Four Velvet Scoter were picked out and with the Leica 82mm scope we could see the birds in detail, always a treat to see Velvets on the sea well enough to identify them.
We birded along the coast to Thornham enjoying a hunting Short-eared Owl, Marsh Harrier and thousands of waders and wildfowl. From here we headed west with the promise of some good birds to see on our way home.
bewicks swan norfolk
As we crossed the fens we happened across a huge flock of both Bewick's and Whooper Swans which allowed wonderful views from the car.

At Paxton Pits, Cambridgeshire, we were thrilled to have amazing views of a Green Woodpecker in the sunshine. But we were here for ducks, we walked down to the pit and quickly spotted our target bird.
ferruginous duck paxton
A female Ferruginous Duck a great bird for our huge weekend list

The Ferruginous Duck was a great rarity but it was over shadowed by a gang of seven simply stunning Smew!
smew paxton
Drake Smew are just amazing birds and soaked up the views
A Yellow-legged Gull dropped in and we saw three more Green Woodies - what an end to a truely amazing weekend of great birds, great weather and great fun!
We are planning at least one trip to Norfolk every month this year so if you would like to join us do get in touch, we know you will love it!


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