Thursday, 26 December 2013
An early start on Christmas morning had me walking down to Covehithe Broad at first light and I was surprised to see 1 dog walker and 3 walkers/ sea dwellers already there, it was like Piccadilly Circus! An initial look on Covehithe Broad revealed nothing but another more extensive look in the far south western corner revealed 5 female Goldeneye and the excellent female Long- tailed Duck with them. They were constantly diving. Walking back to Benacre Broad, the recent sea surge had drained much of the water out, except a smaller pool nearer the beach, asleep on the southern edge were several ducks including 2 Pintail (male and female) asleep. On the pool both male and female Goldeneye were seen. A female Marsh Harrier quartered the reeds at the back. An incredible tally of c1900 Common Gulls seen in the field behind ie. just north of Covehithe church. Next stop was Pakefield beach just by the Jolly Sailors, the beach was full of walkers and I thought there there was no way I would see any Snow Buntings, when like a mirage, a flock of 64 Snow Buntings flew in and settled to any area which looks like it had been seeded especially for the birds. The walkers were constantly flushing them, they flew onto the pebbly beach before flying back to the seeded area. Next stop was the Oulton Marshes where just north of the railway line in he field, the fine Glossy Ibis was walking around feeding in a ditch. Resplendent in the sunshine with the especially the purple and some green iridescence showing well within the plumage. I was able to walk along the western edge and using the reeds as a blind was able to take some half decent shots with the bird walking towards me feeding by a pool area, until a walker walking along the top path stopped and shouted out "Anything special?" causing the Ibis to walk quickly back to the eastern fringes of the field. My cue to leave, I next visited Fritton Woods or should that be waste ground as a disproportionate amount of trees had ben chopped down, the enlarged clearing had led to around a further 8 trees being blown down by the high winds. On the marsh itself, a pale Common Buzzard sat on a nearby gate post showing a particularly pale cream belly and way in the north- west distance, a shape that looked suspiciously like the RLB proved to be a Rough- legged Buzzard when it moved showing pale head light on the mid back and when it flew the glorious black patch on the lower belly and black banded white tail seen clearly as it flew right a short way and onto another post. A Kestrel was also seen perched on a fence post plus 2 Chinese Water Deer. A real festive again treat!