short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Festive round up!

So it's that time of the year again. This time instead of visits to the patch and strumpshaw fen it was  trips to the inlaws and a magical wonderland walk  at Thursford including  a visit to the grotto to meet Santa and the elfs (little George loved it almost as much as mum and dad!)
But I have had two trips out , one to Buckenham and a mornings visit to strumpshaw and surlingham with Jim. 
  Last Sunday after a super meal round caterinas dads house we decided to nip up to buckenham to catch the Corvid roost something me and caterina have done around this time of year for the past 3 years. We arrived around 4 as it was getting dark in our nice warm car, George not lasting the distance from grandads and now fast asleep . We parked up watched as they poured in and gathered over the barn/ Large  shed  area but as quick as they started it all come to a holt. I knew that there were many more yet to arrive so decided to investigate . We drove east along the road and then to our left was an endless line of corvids making there way to roost  just as the light was disappearing - an awsome sight- one that we never get tired off. A few birders there said they estimated around 15,000-20,000 -it was a Superb 30 minutes of birding and worth another visit next month for sure!
 Now to this Sunday's trip out. I met Jim at buckenham hide for quick scan before shooting off to strumpshaw fen. He had already picked up a rather smart Water pipit , fairly close to the hide it's self . Also the expected wildfowl were present all looking superb in the mornings sunlight.
 We soon arrived at Strumpshaw where Jim and i was hoping to see the Otters. As soon as we arrived at the reception hide there it was,a gorgeous Otter making its way across the water with a huge Eel in it's mouth. What a mammal !
We managed to pick up a few marsh harriers but nothing else of note although as we left we did pop our heads back into the reception hide to be greeted with yet another stunning view of the Otter ,this  time though even closer views. 
We decided to end the morning off with a trip to Surlingham via a stop of at a field Jim had been keeping an eye on lately. It was worth the look as hundreds of Redwings and plenty if Fieldfare were feeding along with some gold finches, song thrushes and blackbirds- along with a few Teal too. 
At surlingham we picked up a nice Little Grebe along river and then with the sound of gun fire from the gun club a rather smart Marsh harrier was hunting over the reed bed. Also of note  6 x Common snipe took to the air which made for a nice sight,then as we made way back to car, we caught up with a large Tit flock. Mainly long tailed tits and blue tits with some great tits. Nothing else of note untill we were about to leave and I spotted a Common Buzzard over head.  
Here's to 2013!
Happy birding,
 Shaky
 

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