Trip reports

Beccles Marsh Trail Monday December 7 2015

Beccles Marsh Trail Monday December 7 2015
Andrew chilvers

Monday, 7 December 2015

The overnight rain had cleared, leaving a rather cloudy but very mild early-December morning.
Before setting off a kestrel was noted in a nearby tree.
We first made our way towards the river, where several people commented on the height of the water. This was probably due to recent rainfall and high tide. Along the river we hoped to see a kingfisher but it was not to be. At the sailing club's clubhouse we stopped to view the swans and other birds in the meadows across the river. All the swans were of the mute variety and there were also three white geese. A mixed gull flock consisted mainly of black-headed, with a few common, a lesser black-backed and one or two herring. On the mast of one of the sailing boats was another (or the same as earlier) kestrel, which was not at all bothered by our presence.
From the clubhouse our route took us away from the river and across part of the marshes along a well-defined path. The birding was rather slow but several common species were seen along the way. At one point there were at least two marsh harriers above the trees in the distance. The path eventually brought us back to the river, approximately one mile downstream from the clubhouse we had left earlier. The path again turned away from the river and soon joined a wide track, which I learned from one of the members, is the course of an old railway line. On checking an OS map of the area later, I could see there used to be a line joining the Norwich line at Haddiscoe to the current line at Beccles.
This track brought us back past the paddocks, where several horses are kept, and also by the fishing lakes. Along this stretch we saw two or three siskins, and just before reaching the car park a goldcrest was found. Altogether a total of thirty four bird species was seen on a most enjoyable walk. There is another section of the marshes, which can be good in spring for waders and passage migrants, so this could form part of another walk - something for the future.
Species seen were: Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mallard, Pheasant, Grey Heron, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Woodpigeon, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, Goldfinch, Siskin and Reed Bunting.

Phil Jackson