Roy's UK Diary February 2012
6th. Harpers Lane and Gapton Marshes, Bradwell, Norfolk. With remains of the weekends snow obviously affecting the birds, with Snipe much in evidence and Lapwings also unsettled. Raptors were much in evidence with Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Marsh Harrier sighted. Plus especially pleased to see another of my favourite birds a Hen Harrier this individual seemed to have especially light underwings or was it just the snow reflected?


In the distance I noticed a Hen Harrier, it is extreme left in above photo, fortunately it came somewhat closer see photos below:

The Hen Harrier with one of several mobbing Crows

7th. Harpers Lane and Gapton Marshes.
Plenty of snow still, but lovely and sunny as yesterday. Species seen much as yesterday but 3 Marsh harriers. Great to see a Hen harrier again, and a single Redwing spotted. But bird of the day was a Woodcock, photos below. Good numbers have been arriving from the continent because of the weather there. This individual did several circuits of a thicket of trees at bottom of Harpers Lane

The Woodcock

8th Bradwell, Breydon Water, Burgh Castle and Back.

View across the marshes, looking N. E. from Burgh Castle.


Black-tailed Godwits seen above, seemed perturbed by the continuing cold weather, spread across the marshes with some even under a hedgerow, but some feeding as usual on the Breydon Mudflats!

Muntjac near the corner of a small wood.


Song Thrushes near Breydon South Wall were hopefully finding enough snails to survive on, seems likely given the evidence above. The large stone in the centre is their anvil on which they smash the snail shells to get at the meat.

Other sighting included several Marsh Harriers, 1 Woodcock, 1 Fieldfare and two hunting Barn Owls.

9th Harpers Lane, Sandy Lane and Gapton Marshes. 11.30/1pm
A Barn Owl and two Male Marsh Harriers were hunting the area and a Peregrine flew past low and close. A Chinese Water Deer also noted.

The Barn Owl

10th Harpers Lane.
Barn Owl seen hunting for around three quarters of an hour! 2 Fieldfare in middle of field, 2 Redwings near Horse Hay feeder. Juvenile Male Marsh harrier in area 2.30pm ish.
11th. West end of Breydon South Wall.
Male Stonechat, Barn Owl. To the west large flock Brent and a Marsh Harrier catching what was almost certainly a Redshank. The Harrier flew over the river bank and snatched it from the mud edge exposed by the tide.

Some of the Brent Geese

12th. Harpers Lane, Gapton Marshes and Sandy Lane.
Gapton Marshes waders spread over the marshes Lapwing, Snipe, Redshank, Curlew and Golden Plover. Two Sparrowhawks seen from Sandy Lane and c.20 Fieldfare. Even had a Snipe in my relatively small Bradwell garden.

One of the Sparrowhawks.

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