Sunday, 20 March 2011

Surlingham Church Marsh Wader Scrape!

The reserve seemed a little quiet on entrance at around 4.30pm yesterday; the usual Tits were calling but no Bullfinch from the usual spot or Siskin.
Viewing the marsh across to Wood's End got the pulse quickening: 4 small waders were on the muddy puddle! At first glance I was convinced there were 2 Green Sandpiper and 2 Redshank, since 2 birds were bobbing up and down, and 2 just weren't. However, the birds soon took flight and began calling, heading in the direction of the main lagoon.
On approaching the lagoon, I could hear Lapwing displaying and there were now 4 birds here. The water levels do change frequently, so I would be a little concerned if they did nest here, but at the same time hopeful! the 4 waders were here, and they were indeed Green Sandpiper. A site record! Gadwall, Teal and Mallard dabbled here and there along with the usual 2 pairs of Coot and a pair of Moorhen. The first of the days mammal sightings was a Chinese Water Deer, a large individual and probably a male. The waders fed for a while as the light faded, eventually flying off high towards Wheat Fen.
A Long overdue year tick then arrived in the form of 4 Snipe, grunting as they flew over head. A Meadow Pipit was seen in the old roost spot and a Pied Wagtail was heard. Continuing round, the sun now setting, another Water Deer was seen feeding, this time most likely a female. 13 Fieldfare were on the hill, and I wondered if these would be the last I would see until the Autumn. A fitting finale was a Barn Owl hunting over the reedbed.
Driving home, 2 Bats were out and about hunting a hedgerow near Bramerton. The marshes at Rockland and Claxton were quiet save for a gathering of Mute Swans.
Barn Owl at dusk

Yet to be Identified!

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