Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Marvellous Mustelid!

Another brief window of fair weather opportunity - but still with outrageously high winds - saw Brian & me walking the four mile circuit of the Fen today. Not much to report at first: everything was hunkered down into the reeds and bushes.

Lots of Marsh Harriers, however, and all the usual ducks: sadly nothing unusual on a day trip from Hardley, nor any Garganey while we were there. Plenty of displaying Great Crested Grebes, Cetti's Warblers and a few Mistle Thrushes, but the highlight for me was a delightful Stoat that ran towards us along the eastern boundary path, allowing terrific views of this cute (but ferocious!) little mammal.








(This thrush in the 'Ouzel Field' isn't photoshopped either! LOL!)

Monday, 30 March 2015

No sign of Daffy!

Linda & I grabbed a quick couple of hours at Hardley Staithe, hoping for views of the Ring-necked Duck. Since it had been seen up until dark last night we were quite hopeful, but in the time we were there it failed to show among all the Pochard and Tufties. I suppose the most interesting thing we saw was a Grey Seal swimming strongly towards Cantley!

On the way home we diverted to the Beauchamp Arms: again, we blanked - no Black Redstart and no SEOs. However, there was a gorgeous male Green ('Chinese') Pheasant by the roadside. Why aren't these a separate species?






Sunday, 29 March 2015

Med Gull on the local patch...

On the way into Norwich this morning, Linda & I passed the golf driving range just west of Blofield (where the new Waitrose is going to be built!)

On the muddy ploughed field there were a couple of dozen gulls, of which one was a 2nd cy Mediterranean Gull, presumably our old friend from Thorpe Green. It wasn't there on the way home, so no photos. We also watched a Peregrine hunting from Bond's Car Park!

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Meteorites-R-Us!

Linda & I spent the day talking about and selling meteorites at the Society for Popular Astronomy lecture day at the Cambridge Institute of Astronomy.

Met lots of nice people and had an enjoyable - if tiring - show...






Friday, 27 March 2015

Goshawks! Finally some recognisable pictures!

Martin & I spent a day in the Brecks: I can't get enough of the place at the moment...

First stop was Grimes Graves, where the Shrike was always distantly visible, occasionally perched with a brave - or stupid - Chaffinch! Woodlarks and Stonechats were ubiquitous, as were Buzzards, but the star birds were two Goshawks. The closest was quite near when Martin picked it up, but I was looking at a second bird and only got onto it as it tazzed behind a stand of pines. Two Sparrowhawks came out to demonstrate just how different in outline they are!

Meanwhile, overhead, the USAF rehearsed World War 3....

After lunch at the fabulous Brown's Restaurant, we spent a Hawfinch-less hour or so at Lynford, adding Brambling, Siskin, Nuthatch and Treecreeper to the day list.












Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Brecks with Brian: Shrike, Woodlarks, Goshawk and an Osprey!

Today was forecast (correctly, for a change!) to be calm and sunny, so Brian and I went south yet again!

First stop was Grimes Graves, where we enjoyed great views of Woodlark and the long-staying Great Grey Shrike, as well as dozens of Buzzards (Up to seven in one 'kettle'!) We saw two distant Goshawks, one of which flew over Brian's distantly parked car allowing the worst-ever photograph of the species!

A move to Santon Downham added nest-building Grey Wagtail to the day-list, while Lakenheath gave us Kingfisher, Great White Egret (no- honestly!) and Osprey: the bizarre VTOL aircraft, not the bird!

















Tuesday, 24 March 2015

One Martin doesn't make a Spring!

I generally find that the first hirundines of the year are Sand Martins, followed by Swallows, then House Martins. This year I've already seen a Swallow and today this was joined on the year-list by a Sand Martin tazzing around over the sluice at Strumpshaw: no House Martin yet!

The weather was lousy, but Brian & I took a four-mile walk around the reserve, picking up a few odds and ends: a flock of Egyptian Geese were photogenic, as was a briefly interesting Teal. Everywhere, female gulls were getting the good news from their mates - despite the cool drizzle, it must be Spring!

Photo by Brian Tubby