Originally this was planned as a three day trip but as I was enjoying it so much and also had nothing planned at home I had arranged to sat on for a fourth day. the plan was first to go back to Flitcham for another go at the Pallid then onto Downham Market for the Serin and to finish up at WWT Welney for Whooper Swan. I left the B&B well before eight on a cold bright sunny morning. Just before Holkham I saw a Barn Owl hunting. On the estate itself just beyond the wall was another and then over the next three next three miles I saw two more. Four in less than ten minutes. Back at Flitcham I joined the rank of birders to wait for the Pallid. After an hour I was getting cold so it was time to leave. A good move as apparently it wasn’t seen until mid afternoon. So on to Downham Market where I soon found the location for hopefully seeing the Serin. It was pretty obvious that many birders feet had passed this way. So another cold wait started. With very few birds around entertainment was provided by the occasional train on the nearby line and several F15s, Tornados and typhoons passing overhead. After forty minutes or so I decided to go for a stroll. Ill-timed as it happens for I was a little way along the path when I saw a lone bird flying in. I got it in the bins and yes it was the Serin. Arriving back on the mound I was informed that it had given a good but brief perched view before diving into cover. It was another fifteen minutes or so before it reappeared but when it did it showed well. This one was a UK tick rather than a lifer but none the worse for that. Next stop was the nearby nbakers for a hot sausage roll and a chunk of bread puddding to sustain me on the short drive to Welney. This was only intended to be a short visit to tick off Whooper Swan and hopefully Ruff. The Swans were easy, big and white you can see them miles away in the Fens. The Ruff took a little longer but good views were had.
Then it was time to head home where I arrived at five o’clock. In all I managed ninety-five species. A little short of my expectations but the weather, especially the wind was the reason, certainly not a lack of effort or time in the field on my part. Of the ninety-five species seen, eighteen were year ticks, two were lifers and one was a UK tick. Also noted were many Hares and a couple each of Roe and Muntjac Deer. With no more birding planned for the month I shall be ending January with a list of a hundred and fifty-one! A figure I usually reach in April.