Early this morning I took a walk down to the river. There were plenty of juvenile Sedge Warblers amongst the Reeds, whilst any Reed Warblers were still busy singing. A Barn Owl and Marsh Harrier hunted the marsh. 2 broods of Cygnets are currently being raised, and the parents will have to keep a close eye on them if they are to avoid falling into the clutches of a Mink or Otter. On returning home, I changed and went for a job whilst it was still cool. In Carlton St. Peter, I came across 2 Barn Owls together. One was much higher than the other and appeared a little uncertain, perhaps a youngster in training?
Before lunch I made my way down to Ducan's Marsh, and area of land I have kindly been given year-round access to. Today was an open day, and myself and a small group helped undertake an Orchid Count. In the main, we were counting Common Spotted, Southern Marsh and Early Marsh. Difficult to separate when so many have hybridised together. We ended up walking a transect of the marsh, anc counted 1,961 Orchids between us. As well as these flagship species, I was also able to acquaint myself with Marsh Fern, Yellow Meadowvetch, Marsh Mint and Sanicle amongst other things. Whilst walking the marsh, we put up a Meadow Brown Butterfly, my first of the year. A Broad-bodied Chaser hunted the dykes, and on the walk back I came across a Black-tailed Skimmer on the road, another first. Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler were still singing, and a family of Bullfinch moved through unseen.This is a real gem of a site and I am lucky it is but a short walk from my front door.
Elsewhere, I have been fortunate enough to happen across 4 Red Kite on my travels, and this is a site I intend to return to in order to establish if breeding has actually taken place. A Little Owl was in the village on Friday evening, taking the parish Owl count up to 4.
Rockland Broad last week
Ragged Robin, Ducan's Marsh
Marsh Fern with unknown Sedge/Rush?
Early Marsh Orchid, I think.
Ducan's Marsh- the area to the right held 1,961 Orchids!