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Showing posts from September, 2011

Good Vibrations on the patch

With a series of busy weekends coming up at precisely the wrong time of year, it was essential to squeeze in a visit to Surlingham on Friday night before leaving for London on the Saturday. 
I left it late, purposefully, to get a taste of what might be around for next weekend's RSPB Moth and Bat night on the reserve. Before the Bats came out, I enjoyed excellent views of a Kingfisher, first perched and preparing to fish before being spooked by a boat and flying off downriver. Continuing round the river bend, my first Bats of the evening. A purposeful flight, swooping down to grab insects from the surface of the Yare. One would associate Daubentens with water, but these mammals were flying high over the river rather than feeding close to the water. In short, I couldn't identify them! Natterers perhaps, sizewise. 
The lagoon was busy with wildfowl, Teal arriving in the gloom. As I left, the first of the Egyptian Geese began flighting in. A Tawny Owl called from the pine plantation…

....and then onto the patch

Seeing rare birds does have an inspirational effect on me, and riding high on the buzz of seeing a Little Bittern earlier in the morning I headed to Surlingham Church Marsh that evening, eager to find some birds.
The male Marsh Harrier was back, drifting over the reed bed as the light began to wane. The muddy margins really should hold some Waders, but I had to be content with watching the Ducks for a bit. 
The main points of note came whilst watching the dark descend from on high, next to the ruins. On approaching, a few Mistle Thrush exited a large Oak. By the time they had all left, I had counted 29! Maybe I had disturbed their planned roost site, but hopefully this was usual behaviour for this time of the day. I reckon there were more, too. Pleased with a record count for the site, I was preparing to head back to the car when a Hobby appeared, like only Hobbies can do. High, over my head, then onto the reserve. A final foray before bed no doubt. Now very satisfied, I did head back t…

Titchwell: The Reaction

With the Little Bittern showing well (albeit occasionally) yesterday, I was in no doubt as to where I would be birding today. Arriving fashionably late, Debs and I joined the throngs that were cluttering the main track and raised bank, scouring the small pool for the juvenile Bittern. Ricky informed us there had been little action so far this morning, but a brief flight and the bird had everyone on their toes. It even had some on their backs, and bums, sliding down the bank for a glimpse. Not cool guys, the tracks are there for a reason. We did not have to wait too long before the bird moved again, and I was looking the other way, Debs with the first view as it flew low across the pool. I uttered a few expletives, fearing this could again be another dip balanced precariously on 299 BOU. Scanning the reed edge, a snake-like movement, and the Little Bittern was fishing. I had the views I was desperate for! Beautiful streaking on the breast, and a bright yellow bill. A landmark bird for …

Surlingham update and Cantley Waders

Waders galore
Common Darter
Sunrise over Surlingham Village
A flurry of recent visits to Surlingham have come about I believe due to the realisation that a return to work looms. An Autumnal twist has been noted on the reserve: Mixed tit flocks roving far and wide through the scrub, and 4 Snipe were feeding at the rear of the lagoon on the 31st oAugust. On the 1st of September, a flock of c.50 Lapwing were at Wood's End, and a Chinese Water Deer was feeding at the edge of the lagoon. These mammals do seem to be more visible at this time of year. 3 Cormorants were on the river, returning for the winter. Other bits and bobs included a coming together involving a Marsh Harrier and Sparrowhawk (no harm done) and a Heron carrying away a Grass Snake.On the 2nd of September, I was a busy birder. I began at the patch, arriving on site at 5.30am. I was keen to see what wildfowl used the lagoon overnight. As I walked towards my target, at least 2 Bullfinch called persistantly, but I was unable…