Just time to fit in a last post for the year after ten minutes of animal magic at Hethersett’s nearest RSPB reserve at Strumpshaw Fen. This reserve is perfect whether you have hours to spare or just minutes. With just minutes handy today I popped in to the reserve reception and straight away a large dog otter sent the ducks flying as it ran across the cut reeds in front of the Reception hide. Otters are something that generally requires patience and fieldcraft to get good photographs of and this one was no exception, by the time I had got my camera out he was off into the reeds reappearing again later to fish nearby. The best shot I could get a least gave an impression of its size.
The serpentine form of the dog otter
Seconds later and much less of a nuisance to the Mallards, shoveler and delicate teal outside the hide was a Chinese water deer. These are another speciality of the reserve and are regulars but don’t often give grandstand views. For more about them check out the British Deer Society link (here)
Chinese Water Deer looking cute if a little scarred
Chinese Water Deer struggling with hairy and clearly itchy ears
The deer fed in front of the hide until it was time for me to leave and check out the feeders by reception. The backdrop to the deer were whirling Marsh harriers with mobbing crows so all together a great few minutes. The feeders were full of blue tits, great tits, chaffinch and a brief great spotted woodpecker. My favourites were the cock pheasants who were in full voice and breeding colours.
There was also time for a quick look at nearby Buckenham marsh but it was quiet with only a handful of wigeon some flocks of lapwing and starling. No sign if the local specialty bean geese just the usual greylag and the confusingly coloured one which I am sure has been called a snow goose on more than one occasion.
Happy 2016 from a couple of greylags including the imposter snow goose and don’t forget to make time for nature even if it is only a few minutes.