What a Day to Go birding

Showers at first, clearing later. It didn't. We made it to the Frank Jarvis woodland hide at Sculthorpe Moor in the dry but bitingly cold north westerly wind. We at last ticked off Goldfinches (!!) en route - we usually have a flock in the garden. A wintry shower kept us sitting, admiring a male Brambling and chatting to Ray Kimber about the plans for Titchwell. A clear patch saw us leave to walk the boardwalk towards Whitley Hide, getting our first sighting of a big flock of Chaffinches and Siskin. Down came a deluge of first granular white stuff followed by a blizzard of the real McCoy. Hastening back to the car, it was too far to avoid a soaking.
A drive to Wells warmed us up a bit, eating lunch on the way. The Scaup on the boating lake were not viewable from the car but, it was dry so we walked to the woodland end to view a pair of lovely adult Scaup. Much too distant to photograph but that didn't deter me from trying.

Maybe we should try our luck at Sculthorpe again. As we walked from the car park to the entrance gate, a male Goshawk gave a short display flight before drifting off towards the river. We saw it again over the trees as we approached the drainage dyke on the way to Whitley. Only two others in the hide and they soon left. We sat for an hour enjoying the constantly changing hordes of birds coming in to the feeders. One Willow Tit, great. Many Marsh Tits, a tableful of delightful Long-tailed Tits to entrance us, a male Bullfinch and dozens of Chaffinches, Great and Blue Tits. As we reached the time we'd decided to leave, the wind increased and we waited out another blizzard, the snow settling on the trees and reeds and billowing in through the open viewing slots. Ad it stopped, a male Sparrowhawk gunned through, landed momentarily on a nearby bush and shot off again. Pam had a glimpse of a Water Rail, right place at the right time, it didn't re-appear. Nor did the spooked birds.
Seeing blue sky in front of us, we left the hide and walked briskly (well, I did) back along the path to warm up. I should have looked at the sky behind us...... Another blizzard. Bitterly cold too. A hot chocolate from the centre dispenser helped warm the insides, the AC on the way home, did the rest. And,....we really enjoyed the day.

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