Sunday, 17 January 2010

17 Jan 10 - An afternoon round The Norfolk Broads

My main mission today was to go and have a look at Barton Broad, which had Ferruginous Duck and drake Smew there. I tried last weekend, but it was blowing a NE gale right across the ice-covered broad straight into my face and I really couldn't be bothered to stand there in the freezing-cold looking right across the other side of the broad in the fading afternoon light. Today though, was to be different. With most of the snow gone, ice melted and the sun in the sky, I diverted to Wroxham Broad to have a quick check. Not much going on there. Lots of Tufted Ducks and lots of small gulls roosting, but not much else.

I arrived at Barton Broad at about 1.30pm and the 'Fudge' Duck, along with 3 drake Smew were showing really well in the, now ice-free, bay in front of the the observation platform. 

Then it was off to Rush Hills Scrape where there was quite a lot of coming and going of ducks (mainly Teal and Shoveler). A nice Lesser Redpoll stopped to feed in a nearby Alder giving some nice photo opportunities. A walk a little further along the Weavers Way provided more Redpoll, a fly-over drake Goosander and a couple of roosting Tawny Owls.

On the way back, the number of duck had risen quite markedly up to 250 Common Teal, but Andy Kane appeared on the opposite bank (presumably to do some maintenance work) and all the duck got up and flew off. Presumably there was a redhead Smew with them as one was reported there around the same time. Anyway, a nice day around the broads and it's good to see the back of the snow and ice.