Sunday, 5 February 2012

Patch Tick!

Surlingham CM: Icy, cold, -1 Degrees C say my notes. Read: perfect opportunity to notch up a few year ticks.
The first birds of note were 11 Wigeon, pushed onto the Yare by the hard frost. Here also were a Coot and Moorhen. The feral Greylag flock appeared in its entirety, the 3 white farmyard birds standing out even more so than usual. Walking the hard mud, a call alerted me to a long hoped-for patch tick and I had to get the bins on them to believe it: yes, 6 Lesser Redpoll feeding high in the trees! I watched them until my neck ached, unable to conjure up a Mealy or something even better! Nearby a Marsh Tit called with enthusiasm.
The lagoon was not up to much, no patches of broken ice there. However, continuing the circuit I did manage to flush 3 Snipe in different spots, one bird at a glance smaller than the rest and silent. A channel next to Surlingham land spring was alive with birds; Teal, Mallard and a swimming Water Rail, perfectly timing its jaunt across the water. Believe it or not, this is the first ever Water Rail I have actually seen on the patch. So many birds seen well today that I wouldn't usually, away from their usual feeding haunts due to the ice.

I had hoped for more time in the field today, but thought better of it upon hearing a number of wheelspins on my street in the city. Today it struck me how urban my location is, and I look forward to a more rural location at some point this year. For now, an icy Surlingham from yesterday:


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