Sunday, 9 June 2013

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 hunt earlier in the week, a positive sign considering the scarcity of sightings from here this year.

Away from Norfolk, a wedding in Harrogate involved a stop at a friends in Oundle. We took out a canoe and paddled down the Nene one evening. A fantastic experience, not least because the wildlife accept a much closer encounter than if one were walking. We saw Kingfisher, Common Tern, Bullfinch and distant Red Kites throughout the valley. A stop at a lock for a beer and crisps with 2 of my best mates was pretty much my idea of perfection. Need to start saving for a Kayak, I've done enough talking about it!

On the Bat front, a very early individual left a roost somewhere near Surlingham church at 8.30pm on Wednesday the 5th of June. I would guess Natterer's based on flight pattern. The weather is slowly improving, so the various surveys I have signed up to should begin soon. This coming Thursday, the 13th, is Norwich Bat Group's Big Bat Hunt at UEA. Passive detectors will be used which record every Bat pass, and computers will be available to help assign the recordings to species level that night. If you are interested, we are meeting at North Park Avenue carpark at 9pm.

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