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February 3rd

With the recent snow all gone my chances of seeing Woodcock in the parish again have been much reduced, so I was pleased to see one as it flew out from a neighbours garden this morning as I went to let our chickens out of their coop. I don't know who was the more startled, it or me, but it flew very close by then sharply jinked away and headed off in the direction of Lessingham. It became a welcome addition to my garden bird list too, species number 105 to have been seen either in or from the garden since September 2006. I walked Ossie out shortly after and we didn't go too far. We took a footpath across fields just along the lane with the rising sun behind us. It was very cold and the road was terribly slippery due to the hard frost which followed yesterdays persistent rain. I spied a face watching me from the long grass near Moat Farm's moat but had been half expecting to see the Chinese Water Deer anyway. I stopped to briefly look and the deer remained motionless, perhaps thinking I hadn't seen it. Maybe it recognised me and felt that I was no real threat to it as our paths have crossed numerous times. Walking a little further I let Ossie off the lead so he had the chance to stretch his legs a bit more. Hearing the deep 'honk' of a Goose I thought, "That's no Pink!" Looking back, three stocky Geese were passing south and they proved to be Greylags, a common enough feral species in the county but a quite irregular visitor to Happisburgh. Were these wild ones or just wandering Broadland birds? I'll never know, but they definitely hold more interest for me here compared to seeing them in the Broads.

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