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.
More Bats flew past at head height, these ones much smaller, Pipistrelle sp. One definite ID was a single Noctule, which bombed past across the reedbed. Lovely stuff!
A Snipe was flushed from the puddle at the foot of the ruins, and by now I was struggling to see any further than 20 metres ahead, so back to the car I went.
Me and Debs enjoyed Brian Wilson in concert last night, the old boy has still got it!
Depending on the United result, I may well pop out again after tea.