Stubbs mill


On Sunday the 13th of February nine members met at the Burgh Valley Car Park for a Wildlife Society outing to Stubbs Mill, near to Hickling Broad. Stubbs Mill is a site renowned for its roosting harriers and cranes, mainly Marsh Harriers but there are a few Hen Harriers amongst them.

We left Burgh Valley in three cars and met up at the Hickling Broad Reserve car park with those who had made their own way there. From Hickling Broad we walked to the Stubbs Mill viewing area, a distance of about a mile. The weather could have been better for viewing, it was dull and overcast with a strong wind blowing.

We arrived at the viewing area at approx. 3.30pm and saw two or three Marsh Harriers drifting about in the distance. Over the next hour the numbers built up to 20 or thereabouts, it was difficult to make an accurate count because they circled round, sometimes dropping down onto the ground while others were joining them from behind you.

The highlight of the afternoon for most people was a male Hen Harrier which flew past quite close to the viewing area. Unfortunately it continued on and was never seen again. There was only a brief sighting of cranes. A couple were seen in the distance but not everyone managed to get onto them before they were lost to view. Other birds seen were Fieldfares, a Grey Heron, Mute Swans, Starlings and various finch flocks.

Due to the very poor light conditions the smaller birds were only seen in silhouette. Because of the poor visibility (and getting cold) we called it a day at 5pm, which was fortunate as when we got back to the cars it began to rain. On the whole it was an interesting outing seeing that number of Marsh Harriers plus the beautiful male Hen Harrier, just unlucky with the weather.

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Stubbs mill