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 the Alders leave one with a rather sore neck. One large flock which also contained Siskin just wouldn't rest for views. Although not really cold enough, this reserve surely represents my best chance of a Mealy or something rarer.
Inspired by recent discussion on Birdforum, I have taken to snapping the odd toadstool. Using a rather old ID guide, the closest I can get to assigning this to species level is Mycena Inclinata, but I will seek further clarification.
Another couple of Fungus, the to photo could be Meripilus Giganteus:
This evening I took in the dusk at Strumpshaw Fen, with a particular focus on goings on across the river at Wheatfen. A male Hen Harrier was absolutely cracking, and typically the last bird into roost.