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March 7th

Sheringham was my destination this morning. I had to drop the girls off at the Little Theatre for the day and whilst there I thought it would be rude not to stop at the seafront and see if the juvenile Glaucous Gull was still around. It had already been reported from early on and a scan from the clifftop near the Esplanade enabled me to quickly locate it on the sea in the company of a few Herring Gulls, probably somewhere opposite The Crown PH. I spent a short while watching it on the sea and flying around a few times before it landed on a groyne post. Back in the 1970's-1980's an individual returned each winter for many years, scavenging the shoreline between Blakeney Point and Weybourne and earning the affections of locals who knew him either as 'Weybourne Willie' or, more latterly, 'George'. It would be nice to think that today's bird will return to this piece of coast in winters to come and earn it's place in birding lore.

This 1st winter Glaucous Gull is a popular attraction at Sheringham. © Bob Cobbold

Seeing scarce or rare visitors is always hugely enjoyable, but a greater thrill comes from finding your own good birds. As I was approaching Happisburgh on my homeward drive a movement over the 'allotment' at Whittletons Farm caught my eye. It was instantly recognisable as a male Hen Harrier and judging by its full adult plumage, a different bird to the one I saw at Cart Gap in February. For birding enjoyment, it just edged the Glaucous for me...

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