With Debs away with friends for the weekend, the opportunity to disturb nobody but myself arose, so I headed to Surlingham at dawn on Saturday morning. I like to make at least 2 early visits around this time of year.
The weather was chilly and overcast, and therefore birdsong was not at quite the heights I had hoped for. However, 2 Grasshopper Warblers were reeling in front of the hide, unseen. 2 Garden Warbler were picked up on call near the Ferry Inn, a year tick and not the easiest of species here or anywhere. Brief glimpses were all I could manage, but at least I know where to look once breeding commences. A Barn Owl was out hunting at half 5, and on the lagoon of note were 3 Lapwing and 6 Tufted Duck (5 Drakes). 2 House Martin in the village were also NFY. Perhaps my favourite moment of the morning was a Cuckoo, calling in flight over my head near the pub. He was cuckoo-ing so fast that it sounds almost as if the bird narrowly avoids choking. Clearly a bird desperate to make itself heard.
Yesterday, I was overwhelmed by the 100's of Swifts I encountered around Langley, Claxton and Rockland. There were probably 1000's in the Yare valley. 6 Kestrel, 2 Marsh Harrier and a single Lesser Whitethroat (NFY) were the other highlights. Finally, a Kingfisher was seen in a small dyke not far from the road. Not the first time, so maybe a breeding bird.