No Garganey, but Potter marshes provide a diversity of species.....
A Jack Snipe, Kingfisher and a Chinese Water Deer were the highlights from an early morning visit to the reception hide at Strumpshaw Fen (13th) and this was followed by a visit to Buckenham Marshes.
A look at any suitable area for a Garganey at Buckenham failed to find one, but worth a try, with 5 reported from Potter Heigham the previous day. Several Ruff, 2 Avocet, Little Egret, Brown Hare and a Peregrine perched in the rookery trees were of note here.
Another look for garganey at Potter Heigham Marshes also drew a blank, with no sign of one, let alone five reported yesterday! A good selection of duck were here, with Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Wigeon, Pintail (8), Pochard and Tufted Duck making a fine collection. A Great Crested Grebe was seen on one of the pools, as were Little Grebes, which were heard calling (or should that be singing!) on several occasions during the visit.
Still scanning the pools for a garganey, Little Egret, Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, 2 Reed Bunting, Cetti’s Warbler were all seen and a Water rail was heard, as were several ‘bursts’ from the Cranes.
A look across the river at the flooded area of the fields (leaving no stone unturned for garganey) found approximately 100 White-fronted and 6 Barnacle Geese, but later due to a passing light aircraft the geese took to the air revealing that 100 was an under-estimate (although difficult to view through the reeds etc) and there were at least 150 white-fronts, possibly more.
With the sunshine and warmer temperatures insects were active and the Blackthorn flowers were attracting Honey Bees, Buff-tailed Bumblebee (queen) and the first Tree Bumblebee (queen) of the year. Also attracted to the flowers were 4 Small Tortoiseshells, Eristalis tenax hoverfly and a fly species, possibly a Pollenia (Cluster Fly) species, a very difficult insect family to identify and some only possible with a microscope!
A little bit easier insect ID task later at Burgh Castle, when a shieldbug was found and was found to be a Common Green Shieldbug, but a winter adult, which was mostly dark and not like the green Spring individuals.