Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Rockland Broad and a night time expedition

Not as exciting as it sounds unfortunately, so I will get the night it out of the way before reporting on some proper birding.

Connor and I continued our intrepid search for the elusive Long-eared Owl in The Brecks last night, visiting 7 different locations in and around the forest with no joy. We did enjoy a classic view of a Tawny (incidentally Tawnys were calling at each location), heard Barn Owl and saw a couple of Woodcock. Came away disappointed, but some really interesting habitat was looked over and of course, so much more still to do!

Today was more standard fare, an afternoon visit to Rockland Broad. I counted c1000 Black-headed Gulls on the broad itself, clearly potential for something rarer here amongst the roost but usually rather distant. 26 Tufted Duck was a record count (!) and a single Pochard was a welcome year tick, never easy to pin down. A second year tick flew north towards Buckenham in the shape of a Shelduck, and as dusk fell 4 Marsh Harriers passed through, a Common Buzzard headed to roost and a Barn Owl left its own to hunt. Classic birding on my doorstep. of note on the drive home was a single Roe Deer in a field between Surlingham and Rockland; the 2 Chinese Water Deer grazing amongst the marsh at Rockland are much less remarkable in these ere parts.

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