Sunday, 8 February 2015

WeBs at Church Marsh and Rockland

The first day of the year I would describe as pleasant today, and with both Mistle and Song Thrush in the vicinity of the garden I was optimistic for the WeBs counts.
Church Marsh totals:
Teal 21
Mallard 20
Mute Swan 6
Tufted Duck 1
Moorhen 1
Greylag 2
GC Grebe 1

Away from the water, and a passing Pink-footed Goose was a decent year tick for the reserve list, and a large group of Thrushes have amassed on the hill across from the ruins. Mistle, Fieldfare and Redwing all busying themselves feeding, an excellent flock. In previous years the flock have roosted in the surrounding trees and Redwing have even begun to sing, something to listen out for especially if the weather continues to warm up. Elsewhere, a smattering of common birds and residents including Treecreeper, Skylark, Kestrel and Reed Bunting. I must applaud the team from Strumpshaw for doing some scrub clearance this last week, good for the wildlife of course but allowing the visiting birdwatcher better views across the marsh and deeper into the scrub. Plus, the sightings board is back- cheers Ben! Made sure I got the first bits scribbled down, not much competition admittedly.

Rockland totals:
Mallard 2
Coot 7
GC Grebe 2
Greylag 10
Cormorant 1
Tufted Duck 7
BH Gull 9
Little Grebe 3
Common Gull 2
Grey Heron 1
Mute Swan 4
Teal 1

Yesterday, I took a walk round Wheatfen and namely Surlingham wood. Muntjac and Chinese Water Deer both disturbed, and very little bird activity on a typical muddy and cloudy February day.

A nice variety of common birds this weekend without anything outlandish and/or scarce, but the highlight were 3 Little grebe right in front of the hide at Rockland. Diminutive little birds, full of character.


  1. Jim. Have you missed the Great White Egret? Posted on Yare Valley. Chris In Great Yarmouth

    1. Hi Chris. Thanks for your message. Unfortunately I was on the east coast when the bird was reported. Typical. I went to Church Marsh the following day in the hope of a repeat but nothing doing. I have seen GWE at Claxton but not Surlingham. The wait goes on!

  2. It will come round again. Me and my girlfriend made a visit to Church Farm last year and Ted Ellis's place lovely place you live my friend

    1. I'm sure it will. And agreed- it is a lovely spot, very lucky to live on my patch.
      Happy birding.