I enjoyed the warmest day of the year so far at Surlingham Church Marsh yesterday, and it was great to hear the songsters punching out a tune or two. Song Thrush, Dunnock and Wren are proving easier to see than usual, singing from a favoured perch for all to see. A Treecreeper heard from the trail was the latest bird added to the 'in song' list. But, signs of Winter still remain. Following the trail down from the church before the river, a twittering Siskin alerted me to the presence of 6 Lesser Redpoll amongst the former birds. They allowed close scrutiny; one bird was so pale underneath, barely any streaking on the flanks, but the colouration on the back and lack of white rump proved this to be 'just' a Lesser.
Not much doing at Wood's End, no sign of the Oystercatcher as yet this year. However, the call I have been lucky to have become almost used to stopped me in my tracks: the Northern Bullfinch was still present! c2 Eurasian birds were seen, but the Northern again proved elusive, calling again before presumably heading off deeper into the scrub. Perhaps an early morning effort next weekend would pay dividends?
The lagoon was devoid of Duck bar 2 Shelduck, hopefully back to breed. A single Lapwing was on an exposed spit of mud, awaiting his/her partner to try again this Spring. Reed Bunting and Cetti's Warbler were both vocal.
The Little Egret appears to be resident at the moment, again fishing from a dyke viewed from the ruins. Also seen from here were 5 Common Buzzard, ever so high over the river and Wood's End. New one for the year list!
I opened my Butterfly year list account with a Peacock. Always a significant moment in the year, seeing that first Butterfly.
Debs and I went to Strumpshaw Fen this afternoon, and witnessed the comings and goings of a very confused and nervy flock of Wigeon. The birds had presumably been disturbed by a low flying microlight, and they were not able to settle the whole time we were there. Other wildlife of interest included 19 Ruff, Common Snipe, Marsh Harrier (pair, in courtship) Stock Dove and 2 Chinese Water Deer. Few pictures from today: