IT IS FOR seasonal bird migrations that this eastern coast of the UK is best known. The mudflats, saltings, marshes and shingle banks are on a flyway for migrating geese, ducks and waders, which come in their hundreds of thousands from Scandinavia, Siberia and Greenland as winter arrives there. One mid-winter day, I rise early, the sky vast and cold, and head for Flitcham, a few miles inland from the north Norfolk marshes. The roads are empty, save for ghostly barn owls and peering deer. At Abbey Farm, we make our way to a pine woodland on the hilltop, and settle by a hedge to wait for the first ...


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