I wasn’t going to write-up a post this evening because it didn’t really add much to what has already been seen this week. But a chance encounter leaving the marsh made me think again!
On my arrival at No.6 tank after 4.30 pm saw yesterday’s RC Pochard was no longer to be found but 9 Common Pochard were. There was 300 Common Teal, 120 Shoveler, 13 Pintail, 60 Tufted Duck, 10 Common Shelduck and 7 Mute Swan. The congregated Black-headed Gull pre-roost build up reached 679 birds. A single Avocet was new in, 10 Ruff and two Black-tailed Godwit were the only additions to my watch.
A Chiffchaff and a small flock of Long-tailed Tit were active along the track while loose flocks of Raven were heading through to the south.
While I was driving onto Marsh Lane from the marsh my attention was drawn to a pair of piercing yellow eyes glaring at me from the base of a garden fence. I parked up and grabbed my camera and peeped my head around the corner and found a young Sparrowhawk trapped at the base of a fence that was covered in chicken wire. I can only presume that the raptor had crashed through the hedge after a sparrow (which they often do along the lane hedges here) and then It was obvious its escape route was blocked. After grabbing a pair of gloves (that I borrowed from MacDuff sometime ago), I attempted rather gingerly to extract the ball of fury from the netting. This in truth was rather harder than I first envisaged. After peeling back the wire and lifting it up from the base and receiving several well-aimed beak stabs I coaxed it from between the wires to the bottom of the fence. After one last beak thrust at my hand the raptor made its escape…the ungrateful sod!