Saturday, 17 March 2012

Surlingham delivers

I have been reading with envy of the glut of Waders present at Whitlingham/Thorpe this past week, so in hope of pulling my own Godwit out of the bag I employed the help of Ricky at Surlingham this morning.
The scrub was a little quiet at at first, no Siskin or Redpoll, and one wonders if that will be it til the Autumn. However, I did score my first singing Chiffchaff of the Spring which may well be a migrant rather than an over-wintering bird. Ricky also saw the back end of a Kingfisher at the landspring.
Across the river, a Little Egret landed in amongst the reeds and soon made itself scarce. Back to the scrub,and a Bullfinch called and flew deeper into the bushes. At least 3 Goldcrest showed really well.
On this note, Ben of Strumpshaw has alerted me to the varied calls of female Eurasian Bullfinches. My last visit yielded a Northern call, or so I thought. I had taken for granted that the slightly different tone was merely the Northern experimenting, but now I am not so sure. In conclusion, whilst the February bird was a Northern, last week's bird is a little in the balance. Still learning!
At the lagoon, it all kicked off. The sleeping Teal alighted, and our attention turned to the cause: a small, compact ringtail Hen Harrier! Presumably a male, we watched the failed hunt turn into a preening session. The bird was harassed by Lapwing before flying again, lost to view on the ground. Brilliant! Ben had this bird on the 13th, so a good opportunity to catch up with this species hanging on in Norfolk before the expected departure.
A Marsh Harrier, also juvenile, flew over looking interested briefly.
Unable to relocate the Hen, we instead picked up an Oystercatcher and Ricky got excited about a Squirrel. Treecreeper, Goldcrest and another Kingfisher completed the circuit nicely. A Pied Wagtail was a year tick, in the paddock by the church and a Kestrel flew over the new barn. Such a varied species haul today!
Pictures courtesy of Ricky.

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