A two tick week at Strumpshaw was a welcome change to the usual winter suspects. The bird patch tick was a female Red Crested Pochard, as always it spent the majority of the time asleep or behind an island in front of reception hide. I am fairly sure its a female but am not too sure what a 1st winter male would look like at this time of the year so cant be too positive. The second patch tick was a Grey Seal! It took me quite by surprise, I was looking over the river towards Surlingham when a loud snort emanated from the water in front of me! I wasn't sure what I would be looking at or for, the sound reminded me of a cetacean, but the more likely mammal was swimming right in front of me a very large adult Grey Seal. There have been reports of them in previous years but was great to actually see the thing myself.
Other highlights of this evening (Post Australian open final 15.00) included 3 Hen Harriers (ad female, juv female and juv male) 8 Marsh Harriers, Kingfisher, 2 Bitterns and a lot of very vocal Chinese Water Deer and Water Rails. A very nice still evening where you could hear every little rustle in the undergrowth and every peep from a bird.
On a final note I managed to get my micro moth yearlist off to a start with Caloptilia stigmatella, a very well marked purple and lemon yellow individual, I found it on the wall of the toilet while having a pee break, sometimes they just come to you.
EDIT: It would appear that there are now 2 (1st Feb) and at least 1 has a shiny blue ring on it, some say they are both ringed.... so -1 for the mid yare list afterall