Trip reports

Visit to Strumpshaw Fen and Buckenham Marshes

Visit to Strumpshaw Fen and Buckenham Marshes

Sunday, 20 January 2008

From the visitor centre we headed towards Buckenham Marshes, half a mile we were told; it seemed longer, maybe because of the frequent stops. Firstly, a flock of tits busily feeding along with siskins, then a charm of forty goldfinches and four mistle thrushes.

Down the track opposite the railway station we flushed several redwing and fieldfare from a large hawthorn bush. Beyond them thousands of wigeon grazed and small numbers of teal, mallard and shoveler mingled with others on open water. A flock of golden plover flew back and forth before coming to rest behind a couple of thousand lapwing.

Suddenly, every bird seemed to be in the air, the sort of panic induced by a bird of prey, but we failed to spot it. Eventually things returned to normal.

Forty-five barnacle geese had arrived during the melee and on closer inspection an odd goose stood out, a blue morph snow goose. Lunch was taken opposite these geese, we sat sheltered from the wind against the bund supporting the River Yare.

Back along the lane to Strumpshaw Fen, a barn owl fluttered along the hedgerow passing within thirty metres of the lucky observers.
At the Fen, marsh harriers floated back and forth across the reed tops. Suddenly, a female hen harrier swept across the reedbed, appearing very slight and pale against her accompanying marsh harrier.

The incoming rain held off long enough for us to reach the coach for a well satisfied journey home.

Peter & Lesley Berrill