Having missed out on some Waxwing in Surlingham, it was law of sod that Debs and I should bump into a group of 7 at Buckenham station on the 27th! Some pictures of these characterful critters below. On the marshes, the Taiga Beans were present but a little distant, so we drove round to Cantley where we enjoyed a closer look of the Beans and White-fronts together.
That evening, I elected to take in Strumpshaw and the evening commute. Here I had smashing views of 2 Otter: one on the river and one from reception hide. Whilst watching the river-crossing Otter, the Harrier roost was building up over at Wheatfen, some birds heading across to Strumpshaw but others staying put. Amongst the 10+ Marsh Harrier was a Ringtail Hen Harrier. 3 Bearded Tit pinged as they moved through, and a Tawny Owl began to hoot. Last to go over, other than the usual Corvids, were 2 Grey Heron.
Today, I met with Ricky nice and early at Buckenham. The wind whipped into us across the open spaces, of which Buckenham has many. Taking shelter behind the hide, I picked out a smart Water Pipit creeping amongst the tussocky grass. Also of note were around 10 Ruff in amongst the Plover flock, 2 Marsh Harrier, Kestrel and Common Buzzard on the approach road. The feral Barnacle Geese were not too distant, but the 'good' Geese must have been over at Cantley for we saw no Beans or White-fronts today.
Having started early we had a few hours still to play with, so a stop off at Strumpshaw was rewarded with views of an Otter from reception hide, tangling with an eel before swimming off to feed away from the giant lenses, don't blame him/her. The reserve itself was quiet, very little was on show from Fen Hide but we did luck in once again with the Otter on our way out.
Crossing over the Yare we headed down the Covey only to find that Wheatfen was closed due to flooding. Nonetheless, the Fieldfare and Redwing flock remains in one of the larger paddocks, so we stopped awhile and watched the birds search for worms in the saturated ground.
Church Marsh was decent despite the guns, a lovely male Marsh Harrier hunted and inadvertently flushed 6 Common Snipe. A Little Grebe was on the river, Mistle Thrush in the churchyard and Common Buzzard over the car-park.
All kinds of Flotsam and Jetsam wash up on the river bank, but this has to be the best find so far:
And that is nearly 2012 finished. I hope to get an evening visit in tomorrow but that looks unlikely due to the poor weather. Either way, I shall no doubt pull off an end of year highlights blog post before much longer.
To finish with today, some of those Waxwings.