Monday, 10 November 2014

Patch update and Carlton Marshes

It has been a while since I have added a new species to the year list let alone updated the blog. The latter will have to suffice for now!
I parked up at the top of the hill, Church Marsh beneath me, Saturday the 8th on a mild November day. A Thrush fest ensued of the good kind, with Mistle, Song, Redwing and Fieldfare all bursting out of the berry bushes they had been feeding on. It is also a good time of year for Corvids too, with Jays popping on on both fat balls in our garden and in their usual spots around the reserve. Elsewhere, the WeBs count was poor, with just 20 Tealthe only Duck encountered. I wonder how saline levels are in the lagoon, post-flooding a couple of weeks ago.
Onto Rockland, and the count was restricted to GC Grebe and a Cormorant. 2 Crows gave the local Buzzard hassle over the small wood in the marsh. Interesting to note a sightings board discussion that had taken place in the hide "What a joke, cow shit everywhere", followed by "What do you expect, this is the countryside. Try Eaton Park".
Driving home, a large flock of 50+ Fieldare nervously exploded from an Oak in the village, and an evening walk round my new stomping ground Surlingham Marsh (Coldham Hall, for those who don't know where this is) produced a Woodcock after dark.

I had been meaning to explore some Waveney Valley habitat for a while, so on Sunday I ventured to Carlton Marshes. A super reserve with bags of potential. The scrape reminded me of the Argentinian Pampas, so desolate and open. Here, a Redshank and 2 Little Egret probed for food but according to the sightings board, Jack Snipe has been regular of late. Walking the full circuit (just shy of 2 hours) I encountered a pair of Stonechat, Bearded Tit, Siskin, Goldcrest, a Stoat and Chinese Water Deer. Plenty more to see here, I will be back.

I had hoped to go on to see the Lowestoft Desert Wheatear, but by the time I had finished at Carlton dusk was arriving, and I had to pick up dessert. In a way, glad I didn't go. A lovely bird from the photos, but the behaviour I have read about sounded appalling, and I really hope this wasn't so and instead Chinese Whispers. Images of a person laying across the concrete reaching out to the bird were almost laughable were they not genuinely concerning.

Some awesome Cetacean sightings over the weekend, Humpback and today Pilot Whales moving through. Fascinating and a privilege to share our waters with these beasts.

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