Thursday, 21 July 2016

In pursuit of Summer

The English football team have been knocked out of a major tournament, and we have left The European Union, since I last posted. A while ago, then. 

As the holidays approached, I appeased myself with decent views of the Caspian Tern at Breydon Water, a species that had given me the slip on more than one occasion in the past. Into activities week, and myself and a group of students witnessed a Marsh Harrier food pass at Cley, a Spotted Flycatcher at Flatford and a first for me- an Old Lady Moth in the trap at school. An excellent final week of work which the kids seemed to enjoy, particularly the bit where I handled a False Widow Spider, unaware of it's inherent danger. 

At Church Marsh, I am close to confirming the breeding of Bearded Tits. I recorded this species almost 5 years ago when I first began visiting Surlingham, and expected it to be elusive but annual. This did not prove to be the case, so this marks a welcome return for a Broadland specialist. I have seen 2 birds together, one of which was a juvenile/female, but better views needed. Elsewhere, the dearth in Waders continues, but both Reed and Sedge seem to have had a good breeding season. 

Notable, a Yellow Wagtail bathing close to the A146 at the start of the month. A return visit involved hiking along a field margin in a suit, with nothing for company but the Skylark's song. No Wagtail. 

Yesterday, I embarked on a walk from my house, down to the river (pub number one, excellent pint of Green Jack), west, taking in Rockland Broad, away from the river, pub number two (new Woodfordes ale, can't recall the name) and home. It was hot, with a welcome breeze. Highlights were being surrounded by Migrant Hawkers on the river bank, tracking a young Chinese Water Deer, and a Great-crested Grebe on nest close to the footpath. 10 species of Butterfly were recorded, along with the end of a Grass Snake.

Next week, return of the Moth Trap from work, and a foray out of Norfolk and into Northants and Cambs- In Pursuit of Butterflies. The book of the same title has got me all fired up, and whilst I have seen Purple Emperor before, a reconnection with his majesty is needed. Tie that in with a beer festival somewhere near Oundle, and Monday is made. 

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