A cracking weekend – Saturday 23rd November, Glyn, Richard and myself decided to head off to Norfolk and try for the small flock of Parrot Crossbills that had been frequenting the Car Park of Holt Country Park. Our arrival was impeccable, as we pulled into the car park, bright sunshine, blue sky and nine Parrot Crossbill performing. No arguments with these birds, straight from Scandinavia or Northern Russia, big billed and a brute of a crossbill. A nice mixture of males, immature males and females, showed well for at least 45 minutes as they were feeding in oaks and pine trees around the car park area. We then set-off to Holkham and the coast. Good numbers of Pink-footed Geese were in fields along Lady Annes Drive and I discovered a juvenile Gannet sat down in the grass on the edge of the flock of Geese. Eventually the bird took flight and the whole flock of Pink-footed Geese erupted, a most spectacular sight.
Heading out across the Gap towards the sea the weather was horrid, so we high-tailed it back to the car for some shelter until the rain had passed over. Eventually we made it to the shore line and scanned the large flock of Common Scoter off shore. Several Red-throated Diver, 2 Great Northern Diver, a single drake Red-breasted Merganser and several Eider were also on the sea. Unfortuantely we couldn't find any Velvet Scoter. On the way to Titchwell we stopped to scan the fields near Holkham Fresh Marsh and I eventually located 6 White-fronted Geese, my first for the year, as was four Grey Partridge at Choseley. Lots of birds coming into roost at Titchwell but sadly no Hen Harrier or Short-eared Owl.
Sunday 24th up at 4:30am and my wife and I made our way to the far tip of Pembrokeshire, to St.Brides near Marloes, for a Western Orphean Warbler that had been spending the last 2 weeks feeding in a local's garden. The 250 miles took exactly 4 hours and by 9:30am I was watching the bird, after an agonising journey of not knowing if the bird was there or not as Mobiles & Pagers don't seem to work very well in this neck of the woods! I had previously put off the trip several times and eventually decided to "bite the bullet". Western Orphean Warbler was a new bird for Britain for me, so I'm glad I made the effort. The bird had an obvious well rehearsed circuit and showed very well every 30 minutes or so but trying to photograph it, well I found extremely difficult. Any how I managed a few record shots. Along with 10 or so Red-billed Chough at Wooltack Point, we had an excellent day and my wife enjoyed her third major twitch!! The year list hits 259 and my British Life List moves on very close now to the magic 500. (According to the pager on 25th November 2013 – the bird was not seen!!!!!)
Above six Images – Parrot Crossbill – Holt CP, Norfolk – 23rd November 2013 – Tony Davison©
Gannet – Juvenile – Lady Anne's Drive, Holkham, Norfolk – 23rd November 2013 – Tony Davison©
Above two images – Pink-footed Goose – Lady Anne's Drive, Holkham, Norfolk – 23rd November 2013 – Tony Davison©
Above seven images – Western Orphean Warbler – St. Brides, Pembrokeshire, Wales – 24th November 2013 – Tony Davison©
Above two images – Red-billed Chough – Wooltack Point, Marloes, Pembrokeshire, Wales – 24th November 2013 – Tony Davison©