February Highlights

February has again been a busy month with far too little wild time, brief visits to Pensthorpe to check out the ducks now in full breeding finery and the North Norfolk Coast at Holkham again populated by fine ducks and some pairing  egyptian geese have been the exception to the rule.


My 7 year old assistant and troll mesmerised at a close encounter with some of Holkham’s hundreds of fallow deer

Holkham still holds a hundred or so Russian white fronted geese, wigeon flocks and the odd lapland bunting and shore lark so well worth a visit.Locally I have been monitoring the Great Melton Heronry and a couple of weeks ago there was no activity at all just cold swaying trees with last years sad empty nests but what a difference a week makes and I took the opportunity to re check them a week later and was treated to seven grey herons on their nest and a similar number of birds feeding nearby. If you have a pond locally nesting herons get hungry so with the recent warm weather and emerging frogs your fish will need all the protection you can give them.

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Snow drops below the heronry somewhat more photogenic than the birds themselves

After a heronry count I travelled to the nearby West Hethersett Loop to the sound of calling pheasants. I was hoping to catch up with a number of local birds and the added calls of jackdaws and carrion crows wetted my appetite. My first stop was at a small pond and whilst  a calling moorhen stayed out of sight there were good views of a charm of goldfinch some wheezing greenfinch and last but not least a pair of bullfinch which are my most regularly seen and heard bird locally. This is a good time of year to catch up with bullfinch before spring leaves start to hide them away. Great tits and blue tits were also feeding in the same area.

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Blue tit ready for take off

As I strolled toward the Great Melton Reservoir I could here some mallard calling and see in the distance that there were more than usual on the fishing lake. there was also some goose interaction with a couple of canada geese hiding amongst the overgrown islands and then a couple of greylag geese hiding amongst the local reed beds.

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Greylag geese pairing up for the Spring

 The walk finished off with some exceptional views of flocks of goldcrest and long-tailed tits as well as the last finch of the day a fly over linnet. I leave this post with trailcam video of the week a cock pheasant which was the birding start to my local walk.


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