A local look around (7th) did not start too well at Filby, where yet again an angler (same individual as before) was moored in front of the viewpoint, with another boat further out still. This really puts into question the whole point of having a viewpoint (and indeed a screen) and the incursion into Alder carr (via hard landscaping) in the first place.
This is yet another example of how the Broadland ecosystem is continually being fragmented by commercialisation, mismanagement and poor decision-making. The incidents occurring here on the Trinity Broads (particularly Ormesby Little Broad) have been reported to the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, but responses thus far have clearly demonstrated that anglers rule and that they must not be challenged!
With no point in staying at Filby, a visit to Horsey was not much of an improvement. However, the Cranes were calling and dueting and that in itself is worthy of note.
Driving back towards Acle, a decision was made to look for the Little Owl at Strumpshaw and a visit to Buckenham Marshes.
On the way there it was nice to ‘bump into’ a good friend, not seen for a while Survival producer and award-winning wildlife film-maker Mike Linley. A bit of ‘name-dropping’ on my part admittedly but it is someone who is a privilege to know and his knowledge especially on reptiles and amphibians is rather impressive!
No Little Owl at Strumpshaw but Buckenham Marshes was very active and full of birds, with Rooks calling from the rookery, and flocks of Golden Plover, Lapwing, Wigeon and Starlings flying around. The main reason for the birds’ constant unrest was due to several predators in the area. A Fox was seen in the distance, 2 Marsh Harriers and a Common Buzzard were hunting over the marshes, a Peregrine was perched in a tree at the edge of the rookery, whilst another was far more active, out hunting and causing pandemonium amongst the flocks of birds.
Along with the lapwings and golden plovers, waders here were also represented by 3 Avocet, 5 Ruff including a satellite male, at least 6 Dunlin and 6 Common Snipe flushed by a potential predator.
Three Chinese Water Deer were grazing, as were a good number of geese including at least 60 Pink-feet. A Cetti’s Warbler was singing, but as usual from cover and several Linnets and Goldfinches were seen.
On the way back through Buckenham, a Brown Hare was seen in a winter wheat field, not far from the road and with the help of the bank and staying in the car fairly close approach was allowed as this charismatic mammal grazed on the growing wheat’s green leaves.