It was another grey day in East Norfolk but the day brightened considerably when, whilst eating my breakfast, the sound of a purring Turtle Dove permeated the kitchen through the double glazing. This dove had to be close. Grabbing my bins and dashing outside I tracked the dove down to the rams paddock from where it flew towards our house and garden. Heading home and into the bedroom I found it feeding under the bird feeder on our patio before it flew to the feeder on the lawn before being flushed by a Jackdaw. My husband said it had been purring on both the roof and the privet hedge before dropping down to feed. Being now a scarce bird I do feel privileged to be able to count them as a garden bird. A little while later when out feeding the rams I saw it again a little further up the road and as I watched a Hobby hammered past it.
In the afternoon I went down to Southwold to see the Marsh Warbler that had been found there this morning by Brian Small, a bird I haven't seen in the UK since 1990! I could hear the bird singing enthusiastically as I approached, a jumbled blend of numerous bits of other birds songs and calls. At first it was quite elusive but then gave prolonged views singing just below the tops of the reeds. It was as good hearing it as it was seeing it. A Turtle Dove also flew past here while watching the warbler.
This evening Water Voles were performing well in the dyke at the bottom of the garden. The numerous holes in the bank suggest a good population. I saw one adult and a youngster, and my husband saw 2 further adults a short while later. This dyke is also favoured by nesting Moorhens as it tends not to be patrolled quite so regularly by quartering Marsh Harriers and stalking Grey Herons. Only last week I saw a Heron grabbing and swallowing a large Water Vole further out on the marsh, and the Marsh Harriers can be regularly seen carrying vole-shaped prey items.