Longhorn Cattle, Great Pingo Trail, 4th April
Next up was another site-tick - Cranberry Rough. More Chiffchaffs, a flock of Siskins, Marsh Tit and a couple of Little Egrets was about the lot but it's a site with good potential - the mere is one to watch.
A quick drive by Threxton Hill produced both male Reeves's Pheasant x Pheasant hybrids but the surrounding area failed to deliver any pure Reeves's Pheasants again - is anybody still seeing them? A Stone-Curlew and a pair of Tree Sparrows were nice to see in the process of looking.
At Santon Downham Keiran had seen a hybrid goose that from his photo looked likely to be Swan Goose x Canada Goose. We arrived just in time to see it flying over.
presumed Swan Goose x Canada Goose hybrid (with Greylag Goose), Santon Downham, 4th April
The riverside path also produced 2 pairs of Nuthatches, 3 Mandarins, Kingfisher, Water Rail (heard), 8 Siskin, more Chiffchaffs but Green and Great Spotted were the only woodpeckers.
Mandarins, Santon Downham, 4th April
Another hybrid goose flew over the fishing lakes at Wissington, this time a domestic Greylag x Canada. A wander down the path produced another singing Treecreeper, at least 4 more singing Chiffchaffs and a flock of 40 Fieldfare. Back at the fishing lakes a Kingfisher called and the domestic Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid was now settled.
domestic Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Wissington, 4th April
I was surprised to see 5 Pink-footed Geese at Pentney though Dave tells me they're often seen there. We decided to head up to Leziate/Bawsey area and on the way discovered a fantastic lake that we didn't realise existed. It's presumably fairly recently flooded - it's not on the maps and it certainly wasn't there last time I birded this area, though it didn't look very fresh so has presumably been there a while. It's near Ashwicken - not 100% sure but I'm guessing it's Ashwicken Fen, a site I've heard mentioned in reports a few times. As we headed to a viewing point from the car we flushed a Small Tortoiseshell, only my second butterfly this year, and a Barn Owl paraded up and down giving us some nice views.
Barn Owl, Ashwicken, 4th April
Looking out across the lake I picked up a female Goldeneye and a dozen Curlew flew over with more on the bank across the lake - at least 26 Curlew in total. As we scanned through the many large gulls (I imagine they're birds off the tip at Blackborough End - perhaps a good place to watch them from) a pair of adult Mediterranean Gulls flew over, along with a first-year bird. Round the other side we saw more Treecreepers and Chiffchaffs.