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Showing posts from January, 2013

Bat hibernation roost visit

Last Saturday, I met with fellow members of the Norwich Bat Group at Whitlingham to investigate 2 traditional Bat roosts in the vicinity. Even during the Winter, Bats become active every 20 days or so depending on temperature and and weather. What with the exceptionally cold weather, it was hoped that Bats would be using these tunnel roosts to keep warm, rather than the natural environment, for example trees.

The temperature was 1.5 degrees outside, and inside the first tunnel we registered around 6 degrees in the tunnel and it didn't take long until the first Bats were located. 2 Brown Long-eared, 2 Daubenten's, 1 Natt-Daub and 7+ Natterer's were found. Most were found inside purpose built Bat Bricks. Although some years ago I joined the Suffolk Bat Group in Thetford forest for a nestbox check, I have not observed these delightful creatures at such close quarters for some time. What became apparent were the similarities, and differences, between Natterer's and Daubent…

Some cold weather observations

Church Marsh itself is pretty barren right now, although areas of water or mud are proving a real draw for the residents of Surlingham. Yesterday, Debs and I braved the cold and were treated to excellent views of Fieldfare, Common Snipe and Robins, the latter very tame and clearly desperate for food. Bird of the walk was a Woodcock, flushed from a dyke which also held a small group of Teal. Arriving back at the car, a Great-spotted Woodpecker was drumming, unperturbed by the snow.
This morning, I made an early start in the hope of catching up with some of the smaller birds I had missed yesterday. I was lucky, for amongst the Alders were Lesser Redpoll, Siskin and best of all 2 Brambling! I have not recorded this species at Surlingham for some time and although views were of the back-breaking variety this is always a super finch to see.  With the hungry Robins in mind, I had taken some bread with me today which was enjoyed by all, including me. Elsewhere, a Snipe was flushed from the d…

New Page- Surlingham Church Marsh

Dear all,
just wanted to draw your attention to a new page I have added, which serves as a visitor's guide to Surlingham Church Marsh. Any comments welcome, and hopefully more of the like to follow this year e.g. 'The migration and behaviour of Green Sandpiper at SCM' and 'Bats of the Yare' (can but hope!).

Surlingham- first visit of the year.

Before the above is dealt with, a trip back to Claxton Marshes on the 3rd produced 2/3 Short-eared owl, a male Stonechat and a Barn Owl hunting early at 2.30pm. Strumpshaw at dusk threw up 2 Woodcock.

Yesterday I set off early and arrived at Wheatfen to a cloudy yet mild start. This is a gem of a reserve, and other than the volunteer workers who were dredging a dyke, I had the place to myself. I quickly picked up the expected common species around the car-park, and enjoyed the song of the not-so-common-anymore Song Thrush, something I have not heard since last Summer. Robins were vocal all over the reserve, as were Marsh Tit, an 'easy' bird here. Heading off on the trail, a familiar sound had me looking skywards, as c100 Pink-footed Geese flew Northwest. A great patch tick, considering I have only recently added this bird to my Church Marsh life list. Birds of the day for me were the small flocks of Lesser Redpoll. These birds feed silently until disturbed, and views high into…

Everything's new!

The one day of the year when even a Woodpigeon is greeted with enthusiasm. Well, for a brief moment anyway. I realised on our return we never actually saw a Dunnock, an early riser perhaps, which we certainly were not. Still, some great birds to get the Surlingham and South Yare list off to a good start.

We centered our New Year's Day stroll around Rockland to start with. On the broad were a pair of Goldeneye, a bird I would be unlikely to score on Church Marsh. Tufted Duck, LB Gull, Coot, Little Grebe and Greylag Goose added to the variety. A Kingfisher was vocal and we did manage to see him in flight amongst the scrub. The water level was as high as I had seen it here, perhaps the bird was varying his fishing strategies accordingly. Also amongst the scrub were Marsh Tit, Bullfinch, Goldfinch and a Stock Dove over. Driving between here and Claxton we picked up Common Buzzard and Marsh Harrier.

Viewing from the Beauchamp Arms, one can obtain views across the river to Buckenham Mar…