A weekend of monotony and illness on the couch has crept into this very week dear reader, however I did sneak out to the patch on Monday night. A walk could lead to sickness and definitely sweat, but a short hike and a stand at the vis-mig hotspot of the ruins was manageable.
As the light dimmed, a Kestrel flew through purposefully, hoping for a last minute snack. Watching a Little Egret fish, my attention turned to a silent flap of wings: a Short-eared Owl, briefly, spooked by a dog walker, flapped over the hedge and was lost to view. But, what a few seconds! No doubt the bird heard me exclaim "yes!" and thought better of hanging around.
As the mist began to settle over the marsh, Snipe began to grunt in the air, unseen. Wigeon and Teal arrived to roost on the lagoon, the Wigeon particularly audible as they arrived. In the distance, but growing ever closer, the Greylag flock. Numbering around 300, it seems the group are continuing the current trend of roosting on the lagoon. Their arrival set against the backdrop of moonlight and Water Rail calls made for a memorable end to a cracking hour on the reserve.
Walking back in the dark, a plop louder than a Water Vole could possibly make in the adjacent dyke. Surely an Otter, but this elusive mammal flatly refuses to give itself up here at Surlingham.