I am a little spoilt by my location, but I have to admit to being a little uninspired by local birding over the last few weeks. I have been out and about as usual, seen the odd addition to the patchwork year list, but not a lot to write home about. If you are dead keen on Surlingham and the surrounding area, do read on, for here is a comprehensive guide to what has been lurking amongst frozen bushes and reeds for the last few weeks.
A high count of 30 Egyptian Geese were recorded on the 3rd, and most of them remain as of today. A Skylark was a first for the year, as was a Little Egret which was again present this morning, in the company of 3 Greylag, 2 Egyptian and 2 white farm yard type Geese. An odd little grouping.
Redpoll seem to have disappeared, I could hear nor see any this morning at both Wheatfen or Church Marsh. However, on the 3rd males were exhibiting bright pink plumage and looking fantastic. Stock Dove are now singing and have been all month, and Treecreeper are also making themselves known. Still no sign of a Nuthatch at Wheatfen.
Rockland Broad is proving unproductive, despite a snowy visit at the start of the month when I had hoped for a wildfowl movement. A Barn Owl hunting just before midday must have been hungry, on the 3rd. 2 Common Buzzard have presumably paired up and are displaying over a small copse between Surlingham and Rockland.
Today, the familiar piping sound of an Oystercatcher rang out from across the river. At least 2 birds have returned. A single Little Grebe was on the lagoon, not common here. At Wheatfen, a Great Black-backed Gull was heard and then seen circling near Rockland Broad, a year tick.
In other news, the Norwich Bat Group have published the results of last year's Big Bat Project, results here. They are hosting a talk on the 26th, sadly for me this has clashed with The Eels at UEA!
Crazy month coming up, 2 Stags (one in Lisbon, any birds I should be looking out for?) a Wedding and hopefully Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers before long.