I arrived at my usual patch around 8 am and made my way straight to the pool of water (is it a lagoon ?) and checked out the scrape and spit. A single Common Sandpiper was bobbing and a Moor hen among the reeds . No sign of the Green Sandpipers or the Greenshank flock i picked up last week There were8x Egyptian Geese on the water and my first returning Tufted Duck was at the waters edge among the reeds. Other then a Green Woodpecker and a calling Reed Bunting all was quiet so i headed off to Surlingham !
I meet up with Jim at 9.15am and we headed of to the hide (more of a bus shelter) which looks over the pool. There were Tufted, Shovelers and Teal among the usual stuff. Further along we picked up some bathing Butterflies, Red Admirals, Gate keeper and Small Whites. The circuit wouldn't be complete without the Little Owl showing for us in the dead tree & it didn't disappoint. We decided to check out Rockland broad which is just up the way .
We made our way up along the path with the wall one side of us and the marsh the other, in the beautiful sunshine and picked up a hovering Kestrel and a flying Cormorant and then rustle in the reeds along the wall.....a pair of Mink were running through.Me and Jim quickly followed there path and luckily had them come to a clearing out in the open in front of us! It was my & Jim's first sighting of one. I think it was a American Mink as it showed no white patch under its mouth (although apparently this is not always totally true as European and American Mink can ocassionally lack this patch) they are viewed as a pest and responsible for the decline in Water Voles and many water fowl but it was still a experience to see. We made our way to the hide and got gassing to a couple of birders from Beccles and as we did we picked up a male Marsh Harrier , Common Tern fishing in front of us and a close flying Kingfisher. As we left we picked up Chiffchaff, Bullfinch and a Chinese Water Deer. It was a good mornings work.
Also of note , on monday last week i had a flock of 23x Mistle Thrushes in some paddocks where i was working.I thought this was unusaul for the time of year and mention it to Jim & he later informed me, through checking some previous norfolk records that in 2009 there was a few sightings of flocks gathering of between 20 -40 birds in August and in 2008 a flock of 45 at the Norfolk Showground!
So keep an eye out when out and about birding this month for these cracking Thrushes as they go worm hunting !