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Norfolk Coast Rarities (1 Viewer)


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Today's bike ride stretched from Sheringham to Warham Greens, near Wells next to the sea, and back. Compared to my other bike rides, most notably the 60-80km ones in Spain, this was shorter but the amount of steep hills made it an absolute nightmare!
Part 1. Cley Marshes

After arriving at Cley, I went to the Eye Field to see the red-breasted goose which arrived here in a flock of brent geese. It was there, but it was very distant, and I had to move around a bit before I got closer to the flock, watching them from the beach. I was unable to see anything but brent geese until I just happened to find the red-breasted goose and was amazed how well it blended in. After this one view, however, it vanished, like a ghost. It is in the center of the photo, with its head down
Part 2. RAF intervention

Naturally after it vanished, I wanted to see it better. As I tried to observe it, I noticed an F-35 approaching the marshes. Almost overhead, it turned on full afterburner. And the entire flock stampeded. Part of it flew where I was initially standing, but most of it flew into another field. After scanning the first flock and seeing it was not there, I found the other, much bigger flock, and there it really stood out, glowing red in the sun. I have seen a red-breasted goose once before, and it was a near-dot in the distance. Now, there was a red-breasted goose 30-50 meters from me, surrounded by brent geese. Curiously, the jet was the reason I actually got these views!

Part 3. Warham Greens
Satisfied, I got back on my bike and cycled to Warham Greens, where I began waiting. Interesting things seen as I waited for a glimpse of the pallid harrier was a bridge full of kites in the distance, a close fly-by of a hunting barn owl (I just love these beautiful owls), and a very close fly-by of a beautiful rare curlew
As I watched, ringtails started arriving. One of these flew close to us, just as I was trying to get photos of a hunting peregrine. I took a few pictures of it. Only then did I realise that the ringtail harrier in front of me had 4 primaries and looked much slimmer than the 3 hen harriers flying about in the distance. It was the pallid harrier
Part 4. The pallid harrier
As I watched the harrier, I noted its 4 primaries on both wings, a much narrower wing than the ringtail hen harriers, orange tones in the chest, and also, as I later checked my photos, I noticed that on a few very distant ones, it appears to have a whitish 'collar' around the neck. As if just to show off to me, the pallid harrier approached us, circled once, and was lost behind the trees. This is a very rare bird in the UK.

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