On the 28th Debs and I visited Ludham and the area around St. Benet's Abbey, without doubt one of my favourite places in Norfolk. On arriving in the small car-park, a Short-eared Owl was hunting right out front, cruising by scanning the long grass. A superb start! We enjoyed the Owl for a while before heading back down the track towards where we had seen a group of wild Swans on the drive down. Sure enough, there were 36 Bewick here and further towards Catfield we could hear the call of a group of Whoopers. A single Barn Owl hunted the far river bank, and the Cormorants headed to roost overhead. There is something eerie yet familiar about the Abbey, and the big skies and open country make for an evocative cocktail of the best of Norfolk.
Yesterday, the final day of 2014, Debs and I walked round the marsh (quite literally round the block) and enjoyed calls of a 1/2 pinging Bearded Tit. This is the first time I have had them so close to home, and hopefully they will stay to breed this year, be it here or Church Marsh.
This morning I blew the cobwebs away and walked round the block again. 27 Species which for a change have all been Birdtracked! Highlights were a male and female Bullfinch feeding with a mixed Tit flock, Sparrowhawk and calling Water Rail and Cetti's. Not a bad start to the year, and I hope to have that total up to at least 50 by the time I go back to work on Monday.
For me on a personal level, 2014 will be tough to beat having married Debs and moved to Surlingham. This year, I am looking forward to our main honeymoon in (Thailand?) and a trip to Scotland in April. I want to make the most of the breeding season in both the Brecks and The Broads, and ultimately have a good year at Church Marsh after a couple of leaner years. I continue to meet some top folk through birding and hopefully this will be the case again in 2015. All the best guys and girls. To all readers of my blog- I wish you a happy and bird filled 2015.