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We leave Norfolk but lots more birds

Sadly we had to leave our wonderful, if tempoary home, in Burham Overy Staithe and head for home after a brilliant week full of birds. A huge thank you to Barry and Wendy, Brian and Helen and Paul and Shirley for making "The House Party" such a pleasure and the house was full of laughter all week, just as we like it! Hopefully you will have read about the amazing birds we enjoyed, if not check back through the previous posts.

Just because we were heading for home it did not mean the birdwatching was over. In just over an hour we were at Welney WWT reserve on the Ouse Washes, and boy were they a wash with water!

Welney flood 1
As you can see the paths were just a tiny bit damp!

Welney flood 3
The view from the observatory at Welney, or a new inland sea!

This view is often of pools and grazing marshes but it was a real shock to see it so deep under water.

Welney flood 2
We scanned the vast water for birds and there were plenty out there.

Pochard going left Welney
Huge rafts of diving duck were enjoying the new sea, including these Pochards.

Pochard drake Welney
A drake Pochard is a very handsome bird in winter sunlight.

Whoopers and Pochard
Not sure if these Whooper Swans were as impressed, seem to looking down on him!

Whooper family Welney
This family of Whoopers were swimming along "the path" behind the hide.

We also picked out a Scaup on the far side of the huge flood, amongst hundreds of Tufted Ducks, also loads of Wigeon and Teal with small numbers of Shoveler, Pintail and Goldeneye. A Marsh Harrier hunted over the fields behind the Visitor Centre where more Whoopers grazed and hundreds of Fieldfare hunted for worms in the sodden grassland.

After a cuppa and a cake we were off again heading west, but not quite ready for home yet. Ahead lay Bedfordshire where a drake Ferruginous Duck was waiting, Barry and Wendy had gone straight there and reported the bird showing well.

At Priory Country Park, on the outskirts of Bedford, we were dismayed to see motorboats dashing around the lake and no birds in sight! Oh no, had we arrived to late? Then Ruth spotted a gang of Pochard near the far bank. Alan quickly had them in the scope and there amongst the Pochard was the fine drake Ferruginous Duck, whew!

Ferruginous Duck Bedfordshire
As you can see it was rather distant for photos.

We walked around the lake for a closer look but the ducks were flying and landed on the side of the lake where we had been! The flock was very mobile, due to the motorboats tearing about. With patience we had great scope views, the Leica APO scopes are amazing at pulling in the bird for crystal clear views. We also had a bonus of a Black-necked Grebe fishing not far from the Ferruginous Duck, very nice.

We were just about to head for home when Alan noticed a gull flying low over the lake, a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull!

Yellow legged Gull Bedfordshire
Yellow-legged Gull taken by Brian Burnett, thanks Brian!

Luckily the gull stayed around, landing on the water at times and we all enjoyed great views. So at last if really was time to head for home, what a brilliant finale to our "Norfolk House Party" so many great birds and so much fun!

We have lots more trips coming up throughout the year, drop us a line for details

We look forward to hearing from you soon!


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