Back to basics this morning, and an extra pair of eyes in the shape of Ricky allowed me to connect with a couple of good patch birds I may have otherwise missed.
The circuit began well, a Cuckoo on a dead tree above our heads emitted the weird guttural sound you only hear when the bird is close, before the expected notes of song. The scrub was still busy, both Garden Warbler and Blackcap singing. I couldn't see any Oystercatcher over the river, but perhaps they were wisely hunkering down in the drizzle.
At least 3 Lapwing chick remain, as do the broods of Tufted Duck and Shelduck. Ricky spotted a fast moving Hobby and a high flying Little Egret. The lonely Marsh Harrier was hunting with its usual grace, and a House Martin was hawking (can you use that verb for a Martin?)over the lagoon. Plenty of Swifts on the wing also.
We did the full version of the walk, round the back of the pub and onto the field. My Little Owl put in a timely showing at the front of the dead tree; the Egyptian Geese that were using the hole have since moved on, perhaps allowing the Owls a late chance to fledge young.
Back on the reserve, at least 2 Grasshopper Warbler were seen (at potential nest sites) as well as Reed and Sedge Warbler. A probable Treecreeper near the ruins added another territory to the reserve list, if indeed it was a creeper.
A good haul of species, and a nice antidote to the disappointment of yesterday. The summer slow down has not set in just yet! Thank goodness for Surlingham.