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Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Excellent raptor action at Strumpshaw Fen!

A very early start at the Fen was nor really rewarded until the Sun rose behind Strumpshaw Woods: the first arrivals in front of a very window Fen Hide were several Marsh Harriers, a Sparrowhawk and - best of all - a Water Pipit. In total, three of these delightful winter visitors flew through the pool without stopping, as did three Snipe. The resident Black Swan was in uber-aggressive mood, continually harassing a family of Mute Swans... Brian and I chatted to newcomer Frances, before walking round to Tower Hide. Here, the only birds of note were large groups of Gadwall, Shoveler, Teal and Mallard, which were periodically put up by a pair of Marsh Harriers.

Walking back along the river bank produced somewhat distant views of three Buzzards, at least one of which seemed, again, a good candidate for Rough-legged. In the woods the Hornets were still active around their head-height nest: what excellent creatures they are...

Last good bird was a Red Kite that was loitering near the level-crossing: it swooped down and took something: it could have been a young gamebird - or part of one!

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