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Saturday, 4 July 2020

If you've ever promised him or her the Moon....

Excellent new stock!
I've just managed to locate a source for small, complete examples of the lunaite NWA 11788 (from Mali!)
These are the best value lunars I've ever offered: £55 each! They come with an A4 factsheet / CoA: real little chunks of the Moon!

Friday, 3 July 2020

Spoonbills at Potter Heigham

Having business over near Potter Heigham, I took an hour to walk around the Marsh. What a delightful walk: I had the reserve entirely to myself and - although there was nothing rare to be found - I did enjoy finding a few nice odds and ends. I reckon Spoonbills must be breeding nearby, because I rarely visit the Marsh without coming across a few. Today there were eight, including one carrying green - black - yellow rings. Over sixty Black-tailed Godwits were spread out over the pools, including one or two I assume were limosa forms. Several Ruff and a dozen or so Little Egrets completed the day's list...

Thursday, 2 July 2020

A bright comet for 2020? Third time lucky?

Here we go again! A potentially impressive comet, Comet Neowise, is currently swinging around the Sun. It's brightening steadily and has reached magnitude 1 now: that's ten times as bright as the four brightest stars in Ursa Major!!!
It's too near the Sun to see yet, but fingers crossed for a week or two's time.

Image of Neowise: NASA

Spoonbills at Cley

Despite an unpromising weather forecast, Brian and I met at the beach car park at Cley for a walk around the perimeter of the reserve.

In all honesty, we weren't expecting too much: the wind - such as it was - had moved round to the south west and July is rarely a productive month. Our intention was to enjoy the walk in hope of a sunny spell, so that we could then move the short distance to Holt Country Park (see below!) We did manage a few bits and pieces though, best probably being a flock of six Spoonbills, five of which were immatures. Single Mediterranean Gull, Whimbrel and Fulmar slid by westwards, and Sedge and Reed Warblers were singing here and there.

Having detoured to avoid a family party of Mute Swans that had taken up residence on the path at the end of the East Bank, we were brought to a halt by birdsong from a patch of scrub and nettles. Both of us were pretty sure this was being produced by a Marsh Warbler, but despite a ten minute wait, the bird never showed itself.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

White Admirals meet Red Admirals!

Sounds like a scene from 'Battleship Potemkin', but it was, in fact an encounter at Holt Country Park this morning. Brian and I took a walk around on our way back from Cley, eventually seeing a few White Admirals, Silver-washed Fritillaries and Keeled Skimmers: the latter absolutely refused to settle down for photography!

Lots of Sundews and a handful of what I assume were Southern Marsh Orchids. Not sure about the small, pink sorrel-like flowers: suggestions welcome!

The International Space Station

For those of you who like this stuff (and who get up at 1.00am!) here are the forthcoming transits of the International Space Station:

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Yare Valley Peregrines

Since Linda and I were in the area, it seemed rude not to pop in and say hello to the successful pair of Peregrines that have established themselves in the valley. Having no desire to upset anyone (which, God knows, is easily done these days!) I haven't mentioned their location, nor included photos with recognizable features such as TV masts, cathedral spires or football stadia!

We enjoyed incredible views of this hunting falcon for nearly an hour until it started to rain: the toe-nail clipping was the best bit!

Monday, 29 June 2020

Spotted Flycatchers in the Yare Valley

Spotted Flycatchers are pretty hard to find in the Yare Valley these days: even the traditional churchyard locations seem to have been deserted this year. I was thrilled, therefore, to have recently come across a pair feeding young just a short drive from my front door. Today Linda and I dodged the showers to take a (suitably distant) peep at them. Although the relevant photo is not very good, you can just make out the unfortunate Norfolk Hawker that one of them caught and battered to death on the road!