Trip reports

Visit to RSPB Strumpshaw Fen & Buckenham Marshes

Visit to RSPB Strumpshaw Fen & Buckenham Marshes
Confiding wigeon and yachts on the River Yare [Photo: Peter Berrill]

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Plenty of water visible in the fields around the Norwich area and approaching the Reserve, part of Low Lane was completely submerged, it was well named.

The group split up on leaving the visitor centre. Some went around to Fen Hide and immediately saw bittern, barn owl and otter while the majority took a walk down the lane to Buckenham Marshes. A large flock of long-tailed tit were foraging in the trees and after crossing the railway track dozens of pheasant were seen in the roadside fields.

At the Marsh we followed the track from opposite Buckenham Station and a sparrowhawk passed overhead disappearing into the distance. We then spotted a single pink-footed goose with some greylag. In the centre of a large oak tree a peregrine fed on a recent kill watched from above by two crows.

Large groups of wigeon loafed by the waterside oblivious to our presence and a flock of spooked teal zapped about, (maybe the peregrine had finished its meal).

While heading towards the Ferry Drainage Mill we saw several marsh harrier and two buzzard flew up and perched in a distant tree. A Cetti's warbler called from a ditch and a female stonechat sat atop some reed stems. Hundreds of lapwing were spread across the grassland and occasionally erupted into the air to be joined by smaller flocks of golden plover.

Over lunch at the Mill we sorted through the geese finding Canada, greylag, barnacle, white-fronted and Egyptian. On a distant pool sat a dozen shelduck.

Retracing our steps towards the station a ruff landed among the lapwing and several overflying snipe together with a single skylark were noted. Pausing briefly at the railway crossing a pair of marsh tit fed with blue and great tit.

The weather had now become overcast with light poor and light rain started to fall as we boarded the coach for home.

Peter and Lesley Berrill