After a frenetic Saturday's birding, I felt justifiably guilty having not been to Surlingham for over 2 weeks. I therefore made an early start on Sunday and began at Langley, the sun still low in the sky making for a beautiful morning.
Plenty of Geese over the river at Buckenham, some of these possibly the reported returning White-fronts and Beans. Underneath a gathering of Cormorants was a male Peregrine, perched and ready. There seemed to be plenty of birds about today and I was picking up Bullfinch, Pied Wagtail and Green Sandpiper overhead.
Onto Surlingham, and although the lagoon now appears devoid of quality for the Winter (the Teal are looking smart, though) the rest of the reserve is really showing its colours. The churchyard was an epicentre of activity, with a roving Tit flock that comprised at least 5 Goldcrest (no fire, yet) Marsh, Coal and Long-tailed Tit. Still by the church, a Brambling wheezed unseen, my first of the year here amazingly! Elsewhere, Redpoll passed overhead calling as did more Bullfinch. A flock of 90 Lapwing over at Wood's End was my highest patch count, get in!
After a highly recommended roast lunch at The Marsham Arms, Debs and I headed into The Broads in search of Cranes and Raptors, our first such trip of the Winter (?) period. Debs was on fire, picking up a group of 3 Cranes close to the car as we passed through a likely spot, and more distantly 16+ fly away from us. We did manage a single Barn Owl, Marsh Harrier and a Short-eared Owl (the latter in darkness as we drove home) but nothing quite on the scale of last Winter. Still, early days yet and without a severe frost the usual suspects are yet to move. Plus, it was such a clear evening I would expect Owls to emerge later and hunt throughout the night.