Saturday, 21 July 2018

Go Go Hares, Norwich and a Black Redstart

Every so often beautifully decorated animal statues appear on the streets of Norwich (and, latterly, other cities!) In the past there have been elephants, gorillas and dragons: this year it's hares!

Norfolk artists submit designs which, if successful, are sponsored by local firms: the results are almost always stunning! Norfolk schools can join in, but their Hares are somewhat smaller and in a different pose!

Maps and online apps are available to help searchers find the Hares, and people spend several days tracking down all fifty or so. This year the task has become slightly more demanding, because fifteen of the statues are located around the county in towns such as North Walsham, Fakenham and Cromer. Here are the first twenty five: ultimately I'll probably post photos of all of them!

While we were walking around the city, Linda and I frequently heard and saw Black Redstarts: I only had an 18mm - 135mm lens, so no great photos! This male was on top of John Lewis.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Hairstreaks, Fritillaries and other excellent insects: a day in Suffolk

Linda and Sue had organised a day out birding for the four of us: in the event the stars of the show turned out to be insects rather than birds!

A latish start saw us arriving at Theberton Woods around 10.30: we were just in time to see a Purple Emperor flitting over the clearing, but it never came close enough for a photograph. Lots of dragonflies did, however: Southern Hawker, Migrant Hawker, Brown Hawker and Emperor being the pick. A few Purple Hairstreaks put in an occasional appearance: we were to obtain better views later on.

As midday was approaching, we decided on a move to Minsmere, enjoying a relaxed lunch before walking down the Sandy Path to the sea. Not unexpectedly, on the way we added Jewelled Wasp, Bee Wolf and Six-belted Clearwing to the day's tally. Lots of Little Gulls and Kittiwakes on East Scrape, as well as an adult Yellow-legged Gull and several species of returning waders.

Next move was to Dunwich Forest, where a false start down the wrong trail gave us splendid views of White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary, as well as literally hundreds of the more-expected species of butterfly. Having found the right Elm bushes, a little patience eventually rewarded us with excellent views of a White-letter Hairstreak.

Supper in the 'Red Lion' in Dunwich before returning home - what a terrific day out in great company!


Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Red Squirrels!

I just realised that I forgot to post any photos of the two delightful young Red Squirrels that Linda and I saw on the last day of our Northumberland holiday. The hide - in the woods at Wallington, near Morpeth - is terrific and allows wonderful views of these charming little creatures, as well as many excellent woodland birds.