Sunday, 6 February 2011

Stubb Mill Roost and Broads

Saturday evening and a visit from a friend, so an ideal opportunity to show off one of Norfolk's finest spectacles- The Crane and Raptor roost at Stubb Mill. Walking up the track, I informed him of the high likelihood of a gang of numpties at the watchpoint. He responded with "I'll just tell them all about the Cock Of The Rock I saw". Fair shout. After a slow start, the birding soon picked up, and we were able to count a total of 41 Marsh Harriers in the air, battling against the wind. A shout from next to us alerted us to a low flying Male Hen Harrier. I spied a small falcon with his back to us- I would guess Merlin, but must I have been looking away when he took off. As the sun set, a Woodcock blazed through, and despite my shout out, it seemed very few of the crowd knew what a Woodcock was. Muppets. We caught a glimpse of c14 Cranes landing far away to our left, and right on cue the crowd dispersed. Realising there was some light left and relishing the peace and quiet, we waited a little longer. Following a flock of Pink Feet, something bigger behind them, coming into view....more Cranes! 18 in total, and they gave us a lovely view flying across the horizon, the mill and darkening sky a beautiful backdrop. Walking back, a second Woodcock fought fiercely against the wind, flying at an impossible angle over our heads. Smug as hell!
Today began with a headache, talks of travelling the night before had led to a late one. We did manage to get out however, and had a wander round Wood's End, a part of my patch I rarely step foot on. A Kestrel was added to the year list, and the Greylag flock were present but smaller in number. Snowdrops were out, a Song Thursh was singing Spring. We bought refreshments from the Wood's End pub, which we agreed needed a little work but could be quite good.
Rockland Broad was disappointing, a Little Grebe was all we saw. Little point investigating Surlingham on shooting Sundays, so a more thorough search will be conducted next Saturday.

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