Monday, 2 August 2010

Buckenham Marshes

A wet morning led to marking, but the reappearance of the sun gave me the ideal excuse to toss aside the papers and get out and about.
Buckenham Marshes is just down the road from Strumpshaw, but despite living in Norwich for almost 3 years, I have never visited. The reserve information board rather nervously exclaims "The vast expanse of grass can appear rather quiet", or something similar, which basically means you are gonna have to work for your supper.
Eying up a potential walk back to Strumpshaw, I headed towards the Yare in hope rather than any great expectation. It was very quiet, an odd looking wagtail was presumably a juvenile Grey, and aside from Meadow Pipits and Goldfinch not a lot was doing. I clocked a female Marsh Harrier quartering a patch of dense grass, and seemingly out of nowhere a very dark Common Buzzard appeared. Landing gear out, the pair sparred in the sky, derelict windmill making quite a back-drop.
Walking back, a male Marsh Harrier made a lazy attempt at taking a Mipit mid air and a Water Rail was heard.
I arrived home to some fantastic news- a COLONY of Spoonbills are breeding at Holkham! How has this one slipped through unnoticed I wonder? To be honest, I have not been to Holkham for some time, and no doubt RBA did the right thing and filtered out any reports sent to them. 6 pairs, 4 have fledged young and 2 are now feeding young. Hot on the heels of breeding Purple Heron and Little Bittern this year, but this is the way to do it! Natural expansion as much as climate change I would suggest, although some experts may say otherwise......

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