I actually managed to get to Stodmarsh before it got light today joining Martyn on the Lampern Wall to watch the harrier roost depart.
20 or so marsh harriers were seen during the next hour along with 2 ring tails and one very distant male hen harrier. Sue Morton managed to join us just as the action finished (her timing is “better” than mine!) and we soon departed to the Reed Bed hide.
During the next 90 minutes or so in the hide we saw 2 bitterns, one flying from left of the hide right across the front and eventually disappearing over the Lampern Wall and a second dropping into the reed bed in front of us.
Other highlights during our stay were a peregrine which seemed more intent on frightening the ducks rather than catch them, swooping down then rearing back up into the air, and a ring tail hen harrier that flew across the front of the hide along the edge of the reed bed nearest the main lake.
After last weeks fiasco today I was prepared with the camera primed and ready – the only problem was it was still pretty dark and I had to use ISO 200 and still only had 1/300th sec!!!!!
Also from the hide I had supern views of 2 Cetti's one displaying enthusiastically. I think the warmer weather must have confused them into thinking it's spring.
I departed for home at ~10.00 but on the way I checked for the St Georges waxwings and the Chequers white fronted geese but nothing doing however at the Chequers barn there were 7 corn buntings and 4 linnets feeding quite close to the road in amongst some new straw by the muck pile.
The afternoon was spent initially watching the Leicester pack being given a lesson in the fine art of crumaging by the
Whilst I have feeders with the normal peanuts and sunflower seeds etc nothing ever visits them and the seed I put out on a tray gets eaten by wood pigeons, collared doves and magpies. I have, however, had a few thrushes and a wren in the garden so during the snow I got in a stock of dried meal worms and I put a few out everyday. No sign of the wren or thrushes but the grey wag helped himself to several of the meal worms but seemed to be more interested in catching small insects around the pond. Still he was a welcome bit of colour and provided the best pictures of the day.