Thursday, 29 December 2011

Sperm whale at Hunstanton

You'd think that having nearly 2 weeks off over Christmas would allow at least a few days birding in Norfolk - but it seems that today was going to be the only one free.  As it was we didn't leave the house until after lunch.  We thought we would go to have a look at the sperm whale which was washed up at Old Hunstanton on Christmas Eve, as reported in the EDP:

There were a lot of people there, braving a sharp westerly wind.  I felt it was interesting how the majority were respectful in their behaviour, and it was a great opportunity for the children to realise that wildlife is really out there, not just something to watch on TV.  

By the time we left it was late afternoon and we wanted to see the geese flying to roost at Snettisham.  We had a brisk walk along the beach, seeing a big flock of snow buntings, I would estimate at least 50 birds.  All the usual species out on the mud, and a few goldeneye on the pits.  I was rather taken by a chalet for sale, but don't know if it would be very practical.  I want somewhere I could live in if necessary, not just a holiday home.  

After the sun disappeared we waited for the geese to show.  They were quite late, I think because it had been a bright afternoon, and eventually it was nearly 5pm before the main flocks came over.  It was a bit disappointing though because the majority flew south of the reserve, seeming to head towards the marshes at  Gedney rather than out to the banks.  I suppose they knew as well as we did that the tide was coming in.  Still we did have good views of some birds flying low over the sea from the Hunstanton direction.

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