The six Konik ponies were standing in full view of the visitor centre (above). Many Swifts and House Martins, with some Swallows and a few Sand Martins flew low over the reeds and the water. I had good views of a male Marsh Harrier and then moved onto the east side of the reserve. It was very quiet at Townend and ended up at Singleton for a while. The Cuckoo had just been seen nearby and it flew onto the reeds close to the hide, starting to call. Not long after, someone spotted a distant Montagu's Harrier, the female that has been about and pointed out the differences with the Marsh Harriers. The Montagu's landed in a bush and hunkered there and we could see her through a telescope. I took a hundred terrible photos of the bush that I won't share.
The lack of recent rains meant that the west end of the reserve was very dry, with just a few puddles. From Ousefleet Hide, highlights were a flock of Dunlin and Ringed Plovers, two Yellow Wagtails and an Avocet feeding near the hide in a puddle. Even the Gadwall were walking in between puddles, some sight! I managed to miss a food pass by the Marsh Harriers.
In between hides, it was warbler fest, with at least a Cetti's calling in amongst them, but no Grasshopper warbler to be heard.
Despite the damp, a good day indeed!
Male Marsh Harrier.
A very handsome adult Grey Heron.
Female Montagu's Harrier.
Female Marsh Harrier with Alkborough in the background.
Swallows preening on the reeds.
Gadwall on a muddy walkabout.
Freshly killed mole. The predator appeared to have just eaten the brain and left the rest.