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Showing posts from June, 2012

Upton Fen

Every time I come here, I tell myself I must come more often!
Despite the breezy conditions, plenty of Odonata were on the wing. Lots of Black-tailed Skimmers were basking on the boardwalk. A couple of Hairy patrolled their territory, but best of all were a handful of Norfolk Hawker. These Dragonfly rarely land, but hover briefly, allowing for good views and a terrible in-flight shot posted below! I watched one individual for a while, a proper 'Norfolk' wildlife experience. Damsels were less obvious in the wind, but I did manage to track down Common Blue, Azure and Variable amongst the sheltered vegetation.
Butterflies were harder to come by, although I did manage my first Meadow Brown of the year. Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood and Red Admiral were the other species I saw; one chap showed me his picture of a Ringlet, and another walker reported a single Swallowtail.
2 Marsh Harrier were hunting over the reedbed, although surprisingly I could not find the Hobby. Both Reed…

Just went to the patch.

Wearing shorts was probably an error, got stung a couple of times, but opportunities have been few and far between lets be honest! The remaining heat meant that a few Dragonflies were still on the wing tonight, including a female Keeled Skimmer and a few Hairy.
17!!! Lapwing was a patch record for me. The flock may well have been on the lagoon as I could hear some calling as I walked round, but only saw them in the air moving away. The mother and 2 chicks stayed on the lagoon of course; looks like one of the 3 has copped it. Kingfisher and the unattached male Marsh Harrier were the other highlights this evening. 2 broods of Gadwall, 4 Egyptian Geese and a couple of vocal Sedge Warbler completed the 'action'.
A Hobby was reported, yesterday.

The week past, and some Moths to look at.

Blyth's Reed has to be the toughest bird I have ever twitched! I expected a tough time of it, and got off lightly compared to some. This was of course Saturday 10th, and after news broke and some dithering I set off solo for this elusive acro. The bird began to sing not long after I arrived, various whistles and peeps interspersed with some top Tit mimicking. Eventually, a few glimpses as the bird moved quickly through the undergrowth. A 'decent' view of 5 seconds in the pit was as good as it got! Not a looker it has to be said, but worth it for the song alone.
Surlingham was actually decent this last week, a couple of visits provided good views of Kingfisher, Cuckoo, Marsh Harrier and the Lapwing chicks (3). The forecast for the week ahead doesn't look too bad, so hopefully some glorious evenings in the sun.                                                                               Cuckoo!
Stayed with the parents last night, so despite the wind the Moth trap was se…

The Hide

I don't know if any readers have seen the wonderfully dark film The Hide, but those that have will understand when I say that something like that could feasibly occur at Breydon Water, such is the bleakness of the place (and the fact that I have been on a Stag in Great Yarmouth, and on a separate occasion been sworn at by pupils from one of the local schools at a rugby tournament. I was expecting my students to step in for me, they were perhaps a little scared). Anyway,  it is well worth a watch. Trailer here, time well spent and an amazing twist which the trailer in no way divulges:

Watch the film, go birding at Breydon, don't go to the dog track.

Debs and I left wader-less in the large, some stuff was distant but these seemed to be Curlew and Ringos. In contrast, such high counts at Titchwell of Knot (600) and Barwit (950) have certainly got me thinking about Wader migration.
Instead of a planned visit to Strumpshaw for the showy Crossbill flock, we diverted to Winterton Dun…

Damsels, and we're going on a Quail hunt.

So, what's new? Damselflies that last year would have just gone down as 'Blue' are now being assigned to species level by this amateur naturalist! The last couple of days at Surlingham and Claxton have thrown up Common Blue, Azure, Banded and Large Red Damselfly. Photo below is I believe a smart looking Azure. The wind has forced our local Butterflies to hunker down, but my unusually good track record with Wall Brown continues, one on the wing at Claxton yesterday. Photo below.
Met Ricky yesterday evening for a quick jaunt round his patch. Proper 'good to be out' evening. Hobby in amongst the Swifts and Cuckoo over the obvious highlights. Ricky also pointed out the key spots for Waders around the reserve and river bank, I am jealous!
We then set out on a Quail hunt amongst farmland near Norwich. Another Hobby passed through, hunting Barn Owl, calling Tawny and a few farmland birds but no Quail....yet. I am sure this species goes under-reported so hopefully the mis…