Winter Walk Claxton Dyke

The headcount was 33 as we left New Inn Hill, Rockland St Mary at 1pm, for our 5.5 mile Winter Wander.

We walked via the Hellington & Rockland St Mary Community Reserve crossing the Hellington Beck en route. After Kaarin thieved (collected) beautiful wood blewitt fungi( for consumption) we reached the hilltop church of Claxton.

Beyond, we descended to Claxton village via Peascod lane and the magnificent 500-600 year-old Peascod oak. A short road walk followed through the village and out towards the edge of the Claxton marshes where we took a break by the wondrous Beech tree (Fagus sylvatica chocolata), which magically produced a tin of Quality Street from amongst its root system.

The report from Peter Armitage of a female Hen Harrier urged us on to the marshes alongside the Carlton Beck. The weather held up fine for us to walk alongside the River Yare, with Chinese Water Deer and a variety of wetland birds being spotted. A couple of highlights were the now rare sight of a flock of around 150 Peewits (Lapwings), and a number of Marsh Harriers going to their roost at RSPB Strumpshaw Fen.

Dusk was falling as we walked the eastern boundary of Rockland Broad, and The New Inn was a welcome sight on the last stretch. The pub did us proud providing mulled wine and mince pies in the restaurant ‘side-room’.

Our primary bird recorder and SYWG committee member, Reg Land, illustrates what an ornithologically-rich landscape we live in – and just how effective a good pair of ears, eyes and binoculars can be… by recording a staggering 56 species! These are listed below.

All in all a very enjoyable and successful event – thank you to everyone who turned up.

Kevin Parker

Species spotted:

  1. Mute Swan
  2. Greylag Goose
  3. Egyptian Goose
  4. Gadwall
  5. Mallard
  6. Red-legged Partridge
  7. Cormorant
  8. Little Grebe
  9. Red Kite
  10. Hen Harrier
  11. Water Rail
  12. Coot
  13. Black-headed Gull
  14. Herring Gull
  15. Woodpigeon
  16. Kestrel
  17. Jackdaw
  18. Carrion Crow
  19. Blue Tit
  20. Coal Tit
  21. Long-tailed Tit
  22. Wren
  23. Blackbird
  24. Song Thrush
  25. Robin
  26. House Sparrow
  27. Chaffinch
  28. Goldfinch
  29. Pink-footed Goose
  30. Canada Goose
  31. Wigeon
  32. Teal
  33. Shoveler
  34. Pheasant
  35. Grey Heron
  36. Great Crested Grebe
  37. Marsh Harrier
  38. Buzzard
  39. Moorhen
  40. Lapwing
  41. Common Gull
  42. Stock Dove
  43. Collared Dove
  44. Magpie
  45. Rook
  46. Goldcrest
  47. Great Tit
  48. Cetti’s Warbler
  49. Chiffchaff
  50. Starling
  51. Fieldfare
  52. Redwing
  53. Dunnock
  54. Pied Wagtail(yarrellii)
  55. Lesser Redpoll
  56. Reed Bunting