Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Jan 25th Strumpshaw Fen

Fog at Strumpshaw this morning
It was a dull, gloomy morning at Strumpshaw today. The fog was so thick that it was hard to see anything at all. It did improve around 11:30 this morning, but for the majority of my time at the reserve was this depressingly miserable scene. It was also pretty cold today and most of the broads and pools were frozen over yet again.

View from Reception Hide
View from Fen Hide
Marsh Harrier in the gloom
Thanks to the poor visibility, there wasn't much to see during my morning walk to Fen Hide. I could just barely make out the marsh harrier sitting on a tree in front of the hide. On the walk back, another harrier flew over my head, looming out of the grey like a ghost. I also heard some bullfinches in the woods, but their whereabouts was anyone's guess.

Song Thrush

 At Reception Hide, the fog worsened for a while, but I was able to see the shovelers, mallards, teal, gadwalls, mute swans and coots standing and skating about on the ice and on the water of the ice-free half of the broad and there was a sparrowhawk that made a quick flight over them, spooking them up briefly. The coots, in particular, were very territorial today and kept chasing each other on the ice, slipping all over the place in the process. When the fog finally began to lift, I was rewarded with brief glimpses of bearded tits in the reedy islands and then a bittern flying by in the distant reed bed. A couple of good highlights on a not so memorable day.
Cobber the Black Swan

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