Lade - showers and sunshine, mild, w 4 - It was a grim start to the day with leaden skies and sporadic rain that aptly reflected the national mood following yesterdays announcement by the government of a Tier 4 lockdown Christmas and New Year (and probably beyond). Still, we are fortunate down here to have access to the National Nature Reserve with its wide open spaces and coastline. Once the rain relented a check of the local patch revealed three Marsh Harriers quartering the main reedbed and flushing the Coots and diving ducks hugging the margins. I was on the lookout (or listen out) for an unprecedented 16 Ravens seen earlier by CP at St Mary`s-in-the-Marsh that were headed our way, but without success.
This afternoon was the final harrier count of the year on Walland Marsh where five Marsh Harriers came to roost in our allotted reedbed site, along with five Great White Egrets roosting in nearby bushes. Also in the general area 22 Bewick`s Swans, three Buzzards, Teal, Lapwings and Snipe, while the spectacle was provided by hundreds of geese and swans flying to roost at sunset, and hundreds of `chacking` Fieldfares in the lanes hereabouts.