Thursday, 1 November 2012

When in Rome....

Despite missing the Great Thrush Fall of 2012 (and anything else decent for that matter) there has to be life in this Autumn yet for me. It is a wonderful, restless time of year. I enjoyed a blustery walk round Surlingham yesterday afternoon, the first visit post-holiday. Church Marsh lagoon was devoid of Duck, but I was able to watch a Kestrel hovering over the marsh. The marsh adjacent to Coldham Hall was more lively however. I caught up with the escaped Harris Hawk, complete with Jesses, and what a fine looking individual s/he is. Desperate to get a photo, I headed to the marina but the bird was chased away by a pair of angry Rooks. A flock of 60+ Golden Plover over and passing Cormorants reminded me this was in fact British birding in Autumn.

So, Rome. The headline news on this ere blog is that Debs and I are now engaged to be married, so Rome turned into a kind of engagement-honeymoon. We packed in the expected sight-seeing in our short stay, overwhelmed by archaeology on such a grand scale and humbled by the Vatican and everything that goes inside of it. We did of course manage a bit of birding. On route to and from the airport, we saw both Cattle and Great White Egret. Common birds in and around the city included Yellow-legged Gulls, Hooded Crows and (Monk?) Parakeets. In amongst the remains of the Forum, we encountered a few confiding Black Redstart, pictures courtesy of Debs. Also at this site, a presumed escaped Cockateil called loudly and posed for some pictures. I say presumed, Australia is a bloody long way away.

Enjoyed a talk by a student from the University of Bristol last night, organised by Norwich Bat group. The topic was Bat roosts in churches. Whilst some interesting observations were made, what really concerned me was that in one area Soprano Pips are foraging some 14km from their roost site, crossing A roads in search of food. Presumably habitat is richer in food species elsewhere? Bats that roost in Cley church foraged much closer to the roost in the church, indicating that they are finding food closer to home in an area rich in biodiversity.

 Underbelly of the Coloseum. Ignoring the crowds and trying hard to picture what wildlife and Gladiators would have roamed underneath.
 Black Redstart, The Forum.
 Yellow-legged Gull, the new Caesar round these parts.


  1. Congratulations to you both on your engagement!

  2. Echo congrats.

    You should post the Black Redstart in The Forum on the 'Forum.

  3. Many thanks guys. Absolutely thrilled.
    I salute the Black Reds, for they have survived the rise and fall of an empire. There was a thread on Vatican City Birding on the forum, I shall seek it out and post there.