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Showing posts from June, 2013

Caspo or not so?

With seemingly ideal conditions I headed to Buckenham Marshes RSPB just after lunch for a spot of Raptor watching. I found a suitable vantage point and parked up, overlooking woodland and the marshes. By 2pm, I had seen little to get excited about, 4 Common Buzzards the sum of my efforts. However at just after 2pm, I picked up what I initially assumed was a Gull distantly, but heading towards me. I soon realised this was a Tern, the flight too languid for a smaller Tern species but still distinctive. This was bigger than a Black-headed Gull. Soon enough, the bird was above me. I expected to see a black bill of a Sandwich tern, but instead got a carrot-coloured bill. Surely not? A Caspian?! Sadly the bird was lost to view heading north over Buckenham Woods. I calmed myself, and phoned RBA requesting the bird go out as a possible.

Why not a definite for me?

The bright sunshine I was staring into meant that the full suite of ID features could not be obtained. I could not see the primaries…

Some recent goings on at Church Marsh.

Stepping back into last week, I had a good evening session at Surlingham Church Marsh. Whilst I have not yet been able to catch up with the Fox cubs again, a few markers have been laid down suggesting we are now into Summer. 2 Green Sandpiper were on the lagoon on the 19th, returning birds. Hopefully this is a sign of a decent Wader passage this year. Also on the lagoon was the first returning Teal of the Summer, a still smart drake. There were also 5 male Tufted Duck. Not sure if these chaps are returners or not, since Tufted Duck do breed on the reserve. Perhaps they are first Summer birds and/or local failed breeders.

Walking back through the churchyard, I heard the familiar squeak of a young Tawny Owl. The adult was seen briefly, chased into the pines by a noisy Blackbird. This left the young somewhere high amongst the leaves, and try as I might I could not find them! Plus, the adult would clearly have wanted to return, so I didn't look for too long before heading home and lea…

NBSG Survey

Out last night with the Norfolk Barbastelle Study Group surveying a transect within Lower Wood NWT, Ashwellthorpe. By the time we had walked the route in daylight, the hazy evening that had perhaps been in the offing had turned rather damp and overcast. 14 Degrees was warmer than recent weeks however, and Moths were on the wing which was a good sign.

We recorded 10 known Bat passes within the transect, the majority Common Pipistrelles along with a couple that were a little faint and therefore unidentified. Walking back to the car park, we encountered both Soprano and Common Pipistrelles. I love the peace and stillness of a woodland at night, but seemingly Bats aren't quite so keen. The woodland edge and gardens were predictably the best spots.

Despite the Bats not playing ball, Lower Wood is a super reserve nonetheless and access has been made easier thanks to a carpark just off the road through the village. The evening bird song was super, and the smell of wild garlic almost omni…

Keep Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'!

Saw an awesome bird today! Having been unable to connect with the Roller at Edgefield on Sunday due to family commitments, my personal day out from school could not have been better placed. I arrived at the clearing near Holt Lowes this morning and the Roller was on show, atop a tall tree stump. The bird continued to show albeit distantly, and was observed in flight and feeding. I left when the bird seemed settled on the ground. I remember as a child leafing through my Reader's Digest Birds of Britain, and thinking "What on earth is that doing in here?"whilst looking at the Roller image. Now, I have seen one for myself. Many thanks to the finder. Also at Edgefield, 2 Crossbill (!m) and a singing Woodlark.

Working backwards, I opted for a quiet potter around Wheatfen on Sunday, and arrived to find their busiest day of the year in full flow, Swallowtail Day. I tagged on the end of a guided walk and got to see 3 or 4 Swallowtail Butterflies, my first this year. Someone had …

Retracing my steps.

Another crazy few weeks has led to the absence of an update. I am pleased to report that I have been out and about, and looking back over the pictures Debs and I took has reminded me of a few gems over the past few weeks.
A highlight for me has been the emergence of Dragons and Damsels. At Wheatfen, Large Red and Azure Damselfly were on the wing on the 26th of May, along with Hairy Dragonfly. Better late than never! This was a particularly fine day, in which we also heard Cuckoo and saw a Grass Snake.
At Rockland on the 2nd of June, 4 Spotted-Chasers were new for the year, striking looking beasties these. Red-tailed Damsels were also a first of 2013. On the birding front, a distant Hobby was a year tick and 2 Common Terns were hawking over the broad. Met a thoroughly decent chap who was convinced he had seen a Lynx here a few years back.
Evening visits to Surlingham Church Marsh have thrown up the expected breeding birds at this time of year. Debs and I enjoyed watching a Barn Owl hun…