Wednesday, 8 April 2015

April 8th Strumpshaw Fen

The Pumphouse
I went for a walk around the woods, to the pumphouse and back this morning. It was pretty lively with nuthatches, great spotted woodpeckers, cetti's warblers, chiffchaffs, goldcrests and a song thrush. There were a few sounds of spring including woodpeckers drumming, marsh harriers mewing, green woodpeckers yaffling and the songs of blackcaps and willow warblers adding their tune to the chorus after returning from migration. A pair of great crested grebes were courting on the river and a mute swan was resting nearby to the pumphouse. Butterflies were also out in force with plenty of brimstones in particular giving a splash of yellow to the increasingly warm morning air.
Song Thrush
Chiffchaff (again)
New Hazel Leaves
Mute Swan
One of Strumpshaw's Highland Cattle
Great Crested Grebe

It was quite busy at Reception Hide today with families arriving for the Easter Trail. I had to help out by showing children and adults alike the wildlife they could see from the hide. Marsh harriers proved to be very popular with them, as there were several displaying for them. Some of our harriers gave the families close views by flying over the broad. Pochards, little grebes, coots, Canada geese and greylags were also about for our families to see.

Coots making a nest
I managed to see my first swallow of the year today, though apparently one was seen last week on Thursday. It made a few fly overs over the water and the islands of reeds. By the pond behind Reception Hide, a pair of coot were building a nest. It is a raft of reeds attatched to the bases of reed stems. One of them was busy collecting more material, while the other was doing a bit of improvements by pulling a few of the reed stems down to become part of the nest.

Home Improvements!
A Blackbird enjoying a bath nearby
There was a bit of a commotion when news of an injured swan on the road leading to the reserve caught my attention. None of the main staff seemed to be around, so I went to see what the swan's condition was. I met the owner of the house in which the swan was at. She seemed to be worried about it and wondered what I could do about it as a volunteer of the RSPB. Across the narrow country road from her front gate was the swan struggling to climb over an embankment to a field. From what I could see, the swan was a female (short black knob on the top of it's bill) and it had a broken wing and a broken leg. The swan was clearly hit by a car. At least there was no blood and the swan seemed okay, no sign of shock, etc. It was just trying to get over the embankment like nothing had happened. I told the house owner to call the RSPCA and I think she did as the swan was gone when I left for home.

White-lipped Snail
Herb Robert?
A social bee of some kind
Fly on a sign
As I walked towards Brundall Station on my way home, a flash of chestnut brown with a black-tipped tail ran across the tarmac of the road and crossed my path in front of me and into vegetation. It was a stoat! Quite a big stoat too! Back in Norwich, I popped over to the Hawk and Owl Trust tent at the Cathedral to see how the peregrines were doing. One was visible at the top of the spire. The news was that there are now four eggs (1st on March 19th, 2nd on March 21st, 3rd on March 24th and the 4th on March 26th) and it shouldn't be too long until the first chick hatches.

It has been a busy day, but I am not done yet. Later tonight I have a night with badgers (hopefully). I will tell you all about it later tonight or tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

No comments:

Post a Comment