Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Something rare in Surlingham? And weekends away.

On the 5th of June, I was down at Church Marsh in the evening doing some light maintenance of the bushes and scrub. It was my better half who first signalled to me that something of interest was in the sky, so I dropped my saw and headed to the river bend where she was standing. A large dark Raptor, having just been harassed by a Kestrel, was heading away from us towards the pub. Although overall plumage was dark I could make out a pale head and a hint of a fork in the tail. Could this have been a Black Kite? It certainly had the jizz of a Kite species, but unfortunately with the bird heading away I was never able to get the clinching views I needed.

Struggling to shake off the thought of the one that got away, we were treated to fantastic views of 2 Fox cubs near the gun club- just the antidote after a near miss. The 2 played and cavorted unaware of our presence not too far from the earth.

Both here and on the Ellis Marshes nearer to home, Marsh Harriers and Barn Owls are now both regular day hunters with mouths to feed no doubt. Cuckoos continue to sing, although a poor flight view at Church Marsh is all I have actually seen of them this year. The expected Warblers also continue to sing, but our reedbed specialists appear to be quietening down now as they tend to nests.

I was away in the Peak District the weekend of 13th and 14th, during which time I clocked up a good few miles on foot and a good few pints of ale too. I have grown very fond of Derbyshire, and I enjoyed watching Raven, Curlew and Common Buzzard amongst the peaks. Other birds of note over the weekend included Common Crossbill, Lesser Redpoll, Grey Wagtail, Kingfisher and Mandarin Duck. Red Kite were more common on the way home; I encountered one bird in the middle of a housing estate in Oundle!

Finally a weekend at home coming up, although even that was not intended. I wish you a successful recovery Mr. Grohl and hope to see you back on stage soon!