On the night of the 22nd, I headed to the patch after some Bats. As the light faded, the lagoon filled up with wildfowl. Egyptian and Greylag Geese noisily announcing their arrival amongst the quieter Teal and Gadwall. Nothing quite like watching Geese Whiffling by moonlight.
I picked up my first Bat around 8.50pm, a Pipistrelle sp. A further 9 individuals followed including Common and Soprano Pip, Brown Long-eared and best of all a Noctule. I was interested to observe both Soprano Pip and Long-eared hunting together around the same Oak tree, very different jizz to the pair, the long-eared being slower and more 'fluttery'. Walking back to the car I picked up one frequency I was unsure of, maybe a Natterers, and on referring to the sounds I had stored on my mobile this had to go down as one that got away. All great fun, if a little unnerving in the dark- but that is part of the buzz!
A day in the Yare Valley on the 24th was superb, accompanied by my Uncle and cousin Ben. We began at Surlingham which was on good form. 3 Common Buzzard were picked up high in the sky, the weather primed for Raptors. A Marsh Harrier drifted through. One of my Green Sandpipers showed up on the lagoon, followed by an uncommon bird at Surlingham: a Marsh Tit.
We then proceeded to Buckenham Marshes and the good birds kept coming: Yellow Wagtail (3+), Hobby, Green and Common Sandpiper, Common Snipe and Black-tailed Godwit.
A quick trip to Strumpshaw produced a lifer for all of us- 2 Superb Willow Emerald Damselfly. Check out the sheen on the wings and those golden pterostigma!
Our final stop, via a quick meet and great and Raptor scan with Ricky, was Cantley Beet Factory. The water level was frustratingly high, and the main pit itself held plenty of Lapwing but not a lot else. The mud flats to the north were decent though, and here we found Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Green and Common Sandpiper and a distant Water Rail.