Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Evening marsh walk

After another frantic day at work (Lunch-break? What's a lunch-break?) I decided a relaxing amble around the marshes in the beautiful evening sunshine was definitely called for. This morning, as I was doing the feeding rounds of sheep and pigs, a Brambling wheezing in trees near the back door had started the day off well. I was hoping for something new so I squelched around the neighbours marsh. The shallow pools among thick rush clumps look ideal for garganey or a passage wader but I drew a blank on new birds, finding just a pair each of Shoveler, Teal, Mallard and Coot. I moved on flushing a couple of Snipe from one of the foot drains on our marshes and alarmed a hare which made its escape via one of the liggers across the dykes. Then I noticed a Lapwing getting agitated with something. Lifting my bins I found the object of its ire was a Peregrine circling low over the marsh. It was fascinating to watch the Lapwing persistently dive-bombing the larger falcon, at one stage being briefly joined by a Marsh Harrier, until the Peregrine moved on eastwards up the valley. I wonder if this is one of the Lowestoft birds?
One bird noticeably absent at the moment is Barn Owl. Barn Owls are almost 99% guaranteed here in the evening but I haven't seen one for at least 2 weeks and the Barn owls usual nest hole is being prospected by Jackdaws. Sadly I think they have finally succumbed to the cold windy conditions of the late spring having survived the earlier snows of winter. I hope I'm wrong.
On the last leg of my walk coming back past the rams paddock I spotted 4 Redwings feeding on the short grass here. I had hoped for Ring Ouzel as there seem to be have been a lot going through locally in the last day or two but no luck so far.

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