Thursday, 31 December 2015

Review of the Year Part 2: the local patch.

Although there's been lots to tempt me (and my buddies Brian and Martin) away from the Yare Valley - and what a year it's been in Norfolk for long-staying rarities - I've spent plenty of time plodding around the local patch.

For much of the year Brian and I have been without our third 'Last of the Summer Wine' team-member: Norman had a quad by-pass operation and has been recuperating. Luckily everything went well and we should be up to complement again in the new year!

Strumpshaw & Buckenham can seem a little devoid of birdlife to first time visitors, but the wildlife is there: you just have to persevere! The following images are in chronological order and demonstrate the quality and variety of what can turn up if you're patient: there are a couple from other parts of the mid-Yare Valley.

I should say: many of these birds have been discovered by warden Ben Lewis: since his arrival the number of 'goodies' that are identified has increased dramatically...

Mediterranean Gull at Thorpe Green

Wood Duck 'nearby'

Pair of Mandarins that arrived on the Heath unexpectedly

Short-eared Owls graced the Fen and Halvergate Marshes

A personal favourite: Cetti's Warbler

Scaup at Cantley: a patch tick for many!

Little Owl at Strumpshaw

Turtles have bred for seven years in our garden!

Pectoral Sandpiper at Buckenham

Yellow Wagtail, Blofield Heath

Regular, but still uncommon to see well...

Red Kites may already breed in the Yare Valley...

It's been a good year for Swallowtails

White Admirals are annual at the Fen nowadays...

The long-staying Great White Egret

SF speciality: Willow Emerald Damselfly

Bearded Tits along the Sandy Path

Otters are easy to see at the Fen

One of three Great Grey Shrikes that visited the Fen

Another Strumpshaw 'banker'

Stonechats now breed at the Fen & Buckenham

Taiga Bean Geese: not easy to connect with!

Peregrines: breeders and visitors!


James Emerson said...

Some excellent photos. All the best for 2016.

David said...

And to you, James!

Anonymous said...

A most enjoyable read and overview of the year, thank you David. Also some lovely images too. Best wishes to you for the New Year and may 2016 bear us all many more continued happy memories of the Yare Valley and its numerous treasures ( even if one has to search for them ...but then, what is the fun if there is no challenge ? ;) )
Best wishes Carol Baldock ( nee Rushton ) and Rob Baldock :)

Ben Lewis said...

Thanks for the kind words David. Nice round up of 2015, a relatively quiet year in total, but it certainly had some highlights! Best wishes for 2016

David said...

Thanks Guys! :)
Happy New Year to you all! I'm hoping for clear skies pre-dawn to search for Comet Catalina!

chris said...

Great photo's my friend. Happy new year david best wishes chris

David said...

And to you, Chris