Monday, 11 January 2010

Swanton Morley: Local Patch #2

Finally managed to get out to Swanton Morley for a few hours this morning. Formal permissive footpaths and Bridleways are now in place:

There were few surprises, with the complex being nearly completely frozen over. The Wensum flows through the area and I was hoping that this would provide some interesting sightings, but little was present, except a few Moorhen and a group of 15 Coot. Small numbers of Greylag Goose and Cormorant flew over, hunting for that illusive open water. Groups of 4 Gadwall and then Bullfinch flew over, with another grunting Woodcock (I was hoping to find some on the deck, but it wasn't to be). A couple of Snipe whisted away, with one landing in the river for a swim! Water rails squealed with one scuttling over fallen reeds and another walking over frozen ice (see if you can spot the pic!) The first open water held 4 Tufted Duck, Little Grebe and, more surprisingly, a fem Goldeneye. A single Great Crested Grebe was on the only other open water - about 4 foot square!

As is often the way the highlight of the visit came right at the last. I was just returning to the first open water, looking for more water fowl, when they took flight, quickly followed by a brute of a Peregrine (the first I've seen here). It took a swoop at a Mallard, before banking straight toward me! It circled, then departed NW. It was presumably an imm female, barred and brown!

Norfolk Bird Info to:
Mobile: 07749779149

Norfolk 364 BOU, 376 UK400, Year 102, Route 60, Sp 25, SM 47

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