Tuesday 5th January 2021

A bitterly cold day made even colder by a brisk north-easterly wind. There seemed to be few passerines around, I saw very few tits, pipits or finches.

In contrast the Peregrines were very active. I saw one or both of them in four different places including displaying and calling over the S Hide, dashing towards B Water, jostling with the Marsh Harriers over the DL’O scrape and even coming in off the sea. From MM’s the pair of wintering Sandwich Terns commuted back and forth but there were no grebes or divers here.


Dad joined me at the sailing club where there was no sign of the Pale-bellied Brent. We could see a distant female Eider on the sea diving with wings half open and a Great Northern Diver was fishing in the mouth of the river. Seven Avocet were roosting way up the river on the far bank.

Spoonbill photo by Ian Williamson

There’d been a notable arrival of thrushes with at least 50 Song Thrushes and similar numbers of Redwing. Fieldfares were in double figures along with a handful of Mistle Thrushes. A Green Woodpecker near the JV hide was only the second I’ve seen at NO.

Kestrel, Reed Bunting & Wigeon photos by Ian Williamson

After lunch we headed to P Shore to check the geese flock at the top of P Lane. The 1,000 strong flock of Dark-bellied Brent Geese contained the four Russian White-fronts and as on my previous visits they were very distant but we managed some record shots. After a much longer look and with the light fading I managed to relocate the Pale-bellied Brent Goose towards the back of the flock.

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