Trips to Norfolk are a real joy. Opting to head north rather than do battle with the multitudes of Christmas shoppers, I chose wisely. Not that today was a rip-roaring success, trips to Norfolk don't have to be. Just being here is enough to satisfy that longing for escape.
There were a few things I wanted to see and while it didn't all go to plan, it was a good day. That said, the wind was a little keen, particularly in the morning at Choseley Drying Barns where a single juvenile Rough-legged Buzzard was seen stalling on the wind, and a brutish female Peregrine was in pursuit of a Marsh Harrier that was just going about its business. The breeze had me leaning sideways.
The wind did not abate, and a walk round Holme Dunes was a challenge but worth the effort for the three Shore Lark that were present along the beach on the retreating tide.
At Brancaster Harbour, the Red-necked Grebe was still present, but remained distant and frequently submerged. Not a bird I see very often.
A quick walk onto Titchwell where a Red-Rumped Swallow had been seen earlier but had disappeared by the time afternoon set in. Two male Marsh Harrier quartered the reedbed, a flock of Snipe flicked overhead, and there were plenty of wildfowl on the Marsh.
Then it was down to Flitcham, not enough time to have a real go at the Pallid Harrier, but this covey of Grey Partridge was another bird I don't often catch up with.
And so it was back to the Wolferton Triangle where it all started this morning. Another search for this wretched Golden Pheasant that continues to elude me despite the multiple visits made over the years. Arriving just before sunrise, Brambling were calling from the conifers, and a Woodcock took flight as I made my approach. A male Reeve's Muntjac fed along the verge with complete disdain, but the pot of Gold I was searching for remained hidden for another time.