Being away at the weekend and the short winter days meant I had an anxious wait before I had some free time to nip across the border into Suffolk and see this bird, and what a bird. "Wow" was the word that passed my lips when I first set my eyes on it. It was simply stunning. It wasn't just that it was a fantastic looking bird but it also was giving tremendous views as it fed, seemingly utterly unconcerned by its close audience, on the seeds of Yellow Horned Poppy. Bins and scope were unnecessary to see the bird but scope views allowed the detail of every feather to be scrutinised if you so wished. I simply admired the iridescence of its red crown as it shimmered in the winter sun, the frosty plumage and its glowing white rump. Who cares if its just a race or colour morph? It will be one of my birds of the year regardless.
Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll Chris Allen
On the home front, the pre-work "bedroom scan" came up with a flock of about 500 Pink-feet, 30 Golden Plover, Lapwings, Barn Owl and Marsh Harrier on the marshes. As I drove to work along the Haddiscoe Dam several skeins of Pink-feet were passing low overhead (making my driving a little less safe than usual!) and by the time I returned at lunchtime the flock had increased to several 1000s spread across the entire width of my view of Thorpe Marshes, a spectacular sight.