Tuesday, 7 November 2017

A quick scoot around Strumpshaw: Hawfinches, thrushes and a missed aurora...

With rain forecast for the afternoon, I made an early start at the Fen, arriving just after half past seven. As I walked through the woods to the Sandy Path I heard a group of four Hawfinches passing low overhead: a quick scan revealed the birds flying south towards the river. I clicked away, only to realise too late that the camera was still set up for photographing the Moon!

Along the path a female Great Spotted Woodpecker was headbanging in an Alder, while the first of many flocks of Fieldfares followed the Hawfinches. Norman  Brian S and I were the sole occupants of Fen Hide, but the only bird that came near enough for photography was a female Kingfisher. We were joined by Brian T and, after a fruitless hour, decided to walk around to Tower Hide. A reasonable mixed flock of  duck (Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler and Gadwall) was about the best on offer: two more Hawfinches flew high south over the water. We completed the loop, walking along the River Yare to the pumping station, picking up several Stonechats on the way.

I was amused and gratified to see posters advertising my up-coming talk to the Norwich RSPB group dotted around the reserve!

At seven tonight a red aurora alert was issued (activity guaranteed over the entire UK) Guess what? the sky was completely cloudy here...

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