Sunday, 4 December 2011
St Benet's, Ludham.
One of very few places I have visited that has a genuine ethereal aura to it, St.Benet's Abbey near Ludham has in the past been privy to a raptor roost of sorts.
Bit of history here, and I like the fact that the Abbey moreorless survived the dissolution under Henry VIII due to its near inaccessible location!
On arrival, Debs and I were greeted with a flock of Cormorants overhead (see above), and in our short time here many more would head west; must be a sizeable roost somewhere. Two Marsh Harriers drifted through, and distantly around 17 wild Swans were seen, probably Bewicks, which favour the marshy areas around Ludham during the winter.
The real star of the show was a Short-eared Owl, remarkably acrobatic in the wind, considering the bulk of the bird. A Barn Owl was seen briefly, and a Kestrel made up the remainder of our bird of prey species. Two more Marsh Harriers arrived as darkness fell over the ruins, and I would say that these birds did indeed roost in the small wood over the other side of the river.
Two distant shapes looked big, and I had my suspicions that they were not Geese. On arrival back home two Common Cranes had been reported to RBA.
Finally, more Cormorants overhead followed by Fieldfare and Redwing.
Driving back up the track, at least three Chinese Water Deer were seen, and interestingly two Skylark were flushed from the verge, in the darkness.