The strong westerlies have finally subsided and been replaced by east winds, although not that strong. I met dad at North Walsham Station and we headed to Cart Gap. With a few birds out to sea we started with a sea watch for about an hour. Redwing came in off all the time along with Goldfinch and a few other small birds. A single Sooty Shearwater was at mid-distance and 2 Pomarine Skua passed north and a few Arctic Skua were at distance. Brent Geese streamed through along with large numbers of Wigeon, but also Tufted Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, Shoveler, Shelduck, Common Scoter and ~Pink-footed Goose. For no apparent reason we then decided to walk the clifftop near Paston rather than the dunes towards Sea Palling. This proved to be a good choice. Walking the stubble fields we first came across a group of 100+ Skylark and a couple of large groups of Meadow Pipit. I then noticed a Short-eared Owl come in off before it was mobbed by crows and moved back out to sea. In the scrub we found lots of Winter Thrushes, Redwing, Fieldfare and Blackbird no doubt new arrivals and 2 Song Thrush came off the sea. Single Wheatear, Whinchat and Firecrest were also probable new arrival, joined by the local Linnet, Dunnock and Wren. Probably the same Short-eared Owl was then flushed from the cliff, but with c50 arriving at Titchwell and groups of 3/4 elsewhere it could have been a second bird. A Golden Plover was frantically drinking from a pool on the 'carpark' and could easily be approached, another tired new arrival. We then clambered down to the beach where dad trawled for shrimp in the shallows before we headed home, content with out haul, of birds and shrimps.
WHITLINGHAM: January wildfowl count
12 hours ago