With a rare a day off work, i agreed to met James at the station and head to Buckenham to look for the Lesser White-fronted Goose that appeared last week. We got of the train at Cantley and planned to walk back via Buckenham and Strumpshaw. From Burnt House Road we located the main flock of Bean Geese, but due to the lie of the ground couldn't see the whole flock. Moving further along the footpath we got better views and located the Lesser White-front with 100+ Bean Geese. A Barn Owldrifted along the railway hedge line and a Buzzard was perched up on a nearby gate. Approaching the river a ringtailHen Harrier flew east and 2 Peregrine were perched up in a dead tree. A second Barn Owl flew along the river bank nearer Buckenham, before the elevated position gave us better views of the geese. On the Buckenham side of the reserve most of the Wigeon had been forced onto the river along with a few Shoveler and a Black Swan. 2 Dunlin flew over the new hide as we gave it a one over and a single White-fronted Goose was with a small splinter of Bean Geese. Walking back through Strumpshaw we met Ben, and discussed the merits of the Lesser White-front. I would like to think that historical evidence of the species at this site, the weather when the bird arrived and the fact it seems to have arrived with Bean Geese and associates with them should be enough to suggest it is a genuine bird. But with many feral geese now in Norfolk, it looks like it is guilty until proven innocent.
With working unusual hours at work, Christmas shopping, and recent spell of cold weather, i have manged all but no bird watching in the past few weeks. I have had to make do with glancing out at the feeders during the few hours of daylight i seem to see! A few new birds were added to the 'Garden List' while snow was on the ground. A Mistle Thrush flew over the back of the house on 25th Nov while on the 3rd/4th Dec a female Brambling was under the feeding station. In the large tree opposite a Nuthatch was seen with a tit flock on the 5th Dec Waxwings have been in the area with a single over as i put the bins out on 3rd Dec and other small groups over since. Walking to work via the back streets between Unthank Road and Newmarket Road i have found the main Waxwing flock on a few occasions recently, sadly i could only watch them a few minutes before having to carry on. A brief walk around the back of the UEA, revealed the feeders in the compound to be empty, but large numbers of tits were still sifting through the detritus under them, there included my 1st Marsh Tit at the site for some time and Laura's first Nuthatch.
I recently moved back to North Walsham and needing a new local patch, I soon settled on a few of my old favourite sites, but they were spread around town. All are close to the old railways track beds and my new house sits at the apex of all 5 lines that once radiated out from North Walsham, these form the arteries joining everything up. My 'Birding Alone Old Lines' patch was born, revisiting the old birding sites of youth, via the Old Railway Newtworks.