Sunday, 13 March 2016

Sentinel at the staithe

Looking back to last weekend, with the Penduline Tit still not pinned down at Strumpshaw I set out on my own search at Wheatfen, just across the river and of course on my patch. Treecreeper were probably the highlight of the visit, with 3 showing very well and 2 partaking in courtship chases. A close fly-by female Marsh Harrier, 2 Siskin, Mistle and Song Thrush and a couple of Reed Bunting made up the rest of the birds seen, and I retreated home just before 9 due to the onset of sleet turning to snow.

With the nights slowly pulling out, I was able to get down the marsh on Monday and take in the evening commute. 3 Barn Owl, Kestrel, Buzzard and 2 Marsh Harrier were an excellent but almost expected Raptor haul. A Shelduck had joined the gulls on the small flash that has recently opened up since the wet weather, and more of this species were across the river. Plenty of Wigeon remain loafing on the river and looking across the river at the array of Wildfowl and Waders (Dunlin and Golden Plover new for the year) I reminded myself to get across to Buckenham soon.

Yesterday, Connor and I spent most of the day in The Brecks. It was misty and murky all day, and my poor run here continued. We enjoyed views of singing Woodlark. At least 7 territories were recorded. Plenty of common species were seen well at feeding stations and various parts of the forest, Redpoll perhaps the scarcest of the common. Siskin were singing and accompanied us most of the day. We searched in vain for the likes of Goshawk and Golden Pheasant, the latter seen in a cage. 

This morning I had the WeBs count to do at Rockland, Ben kindly offering to take the Surlingham leg which had slipped my mind after a difficult week with one thing and another. As follows:
Black-headed Gull 53
Common Gull 2
Tufted Duck 11
Gadwall 2
Mute Swan 1
Water Rail 1

Elsewhere, a pair of Bullfinch, Cetti's Warbler and 2 Grey Heron. Anyone into their photography, there is an excellent subject currently at Rockland Staithe. I'm sure you can do better than the shots below. He has been there for at least a week now. 

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