A diary of my birding activity covering highlights and photos from my birding adventures. Mainly Norfolk (UK), occasionally beyond. I might mention the odd thing that isn't avian, but for moth and other insect news check out my mothing diary.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Stork surprise

Went to Strumpshaw today with the group.  A couple of Marsh Tits were at the feeders on our way in but there wasn't much excitement in front of reception hide.

 Marsh Tit, Strumpshaw Fen, 7th March

This Marsh Harrier showed a white belly patch. I think it's been around for a while - I'm sure I've seen photos of it if I haven't seen the bird itself before.

Marsh Harrier, Strumpshaw Fen, 7th March

 Gadwall, Strumpshaw Fen, 7th March

Chinese Water Deer, Strumpshaw Fen, 7th March

Round at Fen Hide 2 Chinese Water Deer showed but birdlife was pretty much limited to Marsh Harriers and a Sparrowhawk.  Then that changed when I picked up two birds soaring in the distance.  The way they were flying and the seemingly white forewing left few options and a scope view confirmed my suspicions - they were 2 White Storks.  Presumably the escaped birds from Thrigby that have been seen further east but a surprise to see them this far along the valley.  They were circling around the other side of the river - perhaps over Surlingham - and gradually heading towards Norwich but soon lost to view behind the riverside trees.

As we walked along the river we discussed how much better the views would have been had we seen them from here, and I speculated that they might come back.  As we entered Tower Hide it quickly became clear that the occupants were watching the storks right over the reserve.  I was at the back of the hide which was full and as they seemed to be coming back towards the river I went out to look from outside.  I should have stayed in the hide as they continued circling in front of the hide giving the occupants good views and me no views.  By the time I realised what was going on they had become quite distant heading off over the visitor centre and beyond.

Coots, Strumpshaw Fen, 7th March

Canada Goose, Strumpshaw Fen, 7th March

  Black-headed Gulls, Strumpshaw Fen, 7th March

 Mistle Thrush, Strumpshaw Fen, 7th March

On the way home I paused at Bylaugh Sewage Treatment Works where 2 Grey Wagtails, Sparrowhawk, Treecreeper and Little Owl were all seen or heard.

 Grey Wagtails, Bylaugh, 7th March

 Sparrowhawk, Bylaugh, 7th March

 Goldcrest, Bylaugh, 7th March

When mothing later on at Beetley Common Dave and I heard Barn Owl calling - a call I've very rarely heard before.

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