Monday, 19 February 2018

Hawfinch cracked

I began the half term week at Wrentham cemetery, whereby upon arrival I raised my head to the bare branches towering over the yews and there atop the tree was a Hawfinch, easy as that. I was starting to think this species was getting the better of me, having dipped at another Norfolk Churchyard on 2 occasions. This bird was soon joined by 2 more, and I enjoyed views of them feeding up high before flying low through the churchyard and disappearing into a Holly bush. Great to hear them calling too.

The weekend's WeBs counts were disappointing, and after a week of ice on the car early in the morning, I had hoped for more especially on Rockland Broad. Teal, Coot and Tufted Duck are expected species in small number. The Black-headed Gull pre-roost of 180 was more impressive. Teal and Mallard were the only birds I was able to record at Church Marsh, although the small private lake behind the church held at least 2 Wigeon and a male Shovelor, a first for the year. 2 Little Owl called from the gun club meadow, another first for the year and always nice to hear that they still hold onto this territory, seemingly not bothered by the full bore club. Lesser Redpoll, Siskin and Marsh Harrier the other bits of note. Singing and calling has picked up on the patch in general, and yesterday a singing Marsh Tit at Rockland was added to the list of songsters which now includes Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush and the odd burst of Cettis's Warbler.

A walk down to the river through Claxton Marshes yesterday, and a record count of 92 Mute Swans were loafing out on the grazing meadows and marsh. At least 4 Buzzards loudly proclaimed their presence, unsettling the gathered Corvids. A single Barn Owl hunted distantly as the light began to slip away.