short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Patching and a trip to Surlingham Marsh.....

   I finally managed to meet up with Jim Bradley , we have been meaning to meet up for a while but on the afternoon of  the 26th October I found myself  finishing work earlier then usual and I meet Jim at car park and was soon watching a Tit flock making its way along the path when Jim picked out a showy marsh Tit . As we gassed away at the Hide we picked up nothing more then a few Teal and a Coot. Then as we completed the circuit we decided to take a different route.We were soon standing near some reeds and watching a pair of Bearded Tits fly over (cracking birds) and then a Common Snipe flew up as a Siskin called and soon gave its self away on the tree top. As Jim walked on he flushed a Woodcock up ,giving great views! Brambling called as we made our way back to the vehicles. A great hours birding and good to catch up with yeh Jim!

  So I decided to give a patch a real good go on Monday . Target birds were the expected Autumn birds:  Fieldfare ,Brambling,Siskin and possible Jack snipe  & woodcock among others.  I arrived at footbridge and immediately heard calling Grey wagtails . I picked  up 2 as they landed (a 3rd bird later joined em). This was my first on the patch proper as only up river previously and I'm very strict with my patch boundaries! Next was a Common Buzzard overhead being mobbed my some Rooks and jackdaws. I then made my way round checking out the  Tit flocks as I go.
On the Broad:-
3x Cormorants were fishing ,4x Gadwall,mallards, 3x Common Snipe and a large amount of BHGulls.....92 in total. I'll have to check through my records  but possibly my highest count. 4x Herring gulls, 3x LBBGulls and 2x Common Gulls & a single Lapwing . As I walked up Bungalow lane a small flock of 7x Fieldfare dropped in to the tree tops and around 12x Gold finches flew over and landed in the same tree . A Greater Spotted woodpecker called as decided to check the marshes again.  A good decision  as a pair of Meadow Pipits were flying over head and then a Skylark flew over East. 
Now to the bird of day ..... As I walked round I heard and then saw  A pair of Stonechats ! Now I know to lot of yeh reading this and it's a bird probably seen regularly but here on the patch it's proven pretty tough , well I say that a few lucky birders have picked em up but in the 5 plus years I've been patching Thorpe Broad/ marshes I've not ever seen one so this was a bloody good moment for me ! I literally stood there watching em both feed and call to one another.   I took some pictures as the male was still showing some nice summer plumage, a bit worn but looking smart.  After 30 minutes of soaking up these beautiful birds I wondered if I would have to wait a few more years before I see em again or weather they will stick for a while or possibly over winter ?

Male Stonechat

Female Stonechat

I finished off by watching 3x Grey wagtails flying off towards the river and a Kestrel along the railway track 
2x Patch ticks and a very happy patcher!
Happy birding 

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