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Tuesday 26 June 2012

Summer at last! (But just for two days...)

The temperature rocketed to 26 degrees here in the Yare Valley today, so a seven-mile walk was really enjoyable for once!
A few more butterflies around: Small Copper, Small Tort, Large White, Ringlet, Meadow Brown and, amazingly, Orange Tip! Also lots more Dragonflies...


Norfolk Hawker


Meadow Brown

This Speckled Wood seems to have met heavy flak over the Ruhr!

Small Tortoiseshell

Where are all the butterflies???

A long walk around the Heath and Strumpshaw produced not a single butterfly today :(
Only 'highlights' were a confiding treecreeper at Strump and the ever-present Turtles...

Sunday 24 June 2012

Yet more rain!

Despite more days of torrential 'drought', I've put in at least 6 miles a day around the patch: lots of wild flowers (see appropriate pages!)  as well as plenty of raptors...
I've now seen Buzzards. Hobbies & Marsh Harriers on the Heath, as well as a Peregrine over the A47 at Trowse. This, I guess, must be one of the Cathedral birds.
At home: the Turtles are still happily feeding and visiting the bird bath!

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Before the storm!

The weather forecast for the rest of the week is terrible, so I took a leisurely 7 mile stroll around the patch. Best birds were raptors: 6 Buzzards, 2 Sparrowhawks and a squillion Marsh Harriers, but three Little Egrets were good as were the Sedge Warbler and Linnet

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Back on the beat!

A lovely, warm day here in East Norfolk, so I laced up the 'Trespasses' (which, according to my Fitbit, have just notched up 1000 miles since mid-January!) and took a stroll around Strumpshaw, Buckenham and Hassingham.
As you'd expect in June, only the breeders were in evidence, but they included Cuckoo, Garden Warbler, Hobby, Lesser Whitethroat, Bittern and Buzzard (Which yet again was identified as a Marsh Harrier by a group from North London when I pointed it out to them!)  Additionally, there were a few Swallowtails on the wing, as well as Damselflies (I'll let the experts i/d this one!) and a mint-fresh Large Skipper. I also managed a snap-shot of a weasel carrying what looks like a Water Vole.
One of our resident Turtles spent most of the afternoon sunning himself: this evidently got his juices flowing, because he then proceeded to hump a Collared Dove!

Monday 18 June 2012

A weekend away..

Linda & I were at a UFO conference in Suffolk, which gave us the chance to spend Saturday birding at Minsmere and in Rendlesham Forest.
Nothing spectacular in the bird line, unfortunately: some Hobbies, a few Little Egrets and so on...
Best finds were half a dozen Glow Worms along Track 10 at Rendlesham and a nice Spiked Speedwell.

Thursday 14 June 2012


Despite almost certainly being intentional releases. Marsh Fritillaries in Norfolk are worth going to see!
Took a cool three hours perseverance by Martin & me, but  (after a decent latte break!) we finally connected in the mid-day sunshine! Terrific!

Wednesday 13 June 2012

Sunny Wednesday!

What a pleasant change!
A walk around Strumpshaw and Buckenham delivered the usual species of warbler, as well as four fly-over Crossbills and a couple of Buzzards. The Meadow Walk is now open, but I didn't see a single butterfly: just a few dragons & damsels and the first Orchids of the year. A Wood Sandpiper flew across in front of Tower Hide, while a Chinese Water Deer was not unexpected at Buckenham.
Our garden is full of young birds feeding: Rooks, Wood Pigeons, Starlings and Blackbirds vie with the Turtles at the feeders....

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Darn sarf!

Just back from a  few days away from the patch (and a PC!) in Berks and Bucks. The weather there was no better than it is here, but Red Kites, Buzzards and Ring-necked Parakeets were, as always, much in evidence.
A ten mile walk around the lanes of Hemblington and Blofield Heath produced some additions to the wild flower pages as well as multiple views of a pair of Marsh Harriers hunting over the barley near Pedham and mint fields at Blofield Heath.
The Turtle Doves are now visiting the garden throughout the day and have grown far less timid: they will even 'see off' the grey squirrels!

Wednesday 6 June 2012


June is the month for irruptions of Crossbills from the continent: Linda & I heard that a few had turned up at Strumpshaw Fen on Monday night, and we caught up with them early on Tuesday on our way down to meet friends in Suffolk. When we went for a stroll on Hollesley Common, next to RAF Woodbridge, guess what we found? Correct! 200 of them!
We also saw a group of moths (?) with incredible antennae that they used in an amazing and beautiful display 'dance', as well as loads of gorgeous Banded Damselflies

One of six at Strump

Hollesley Common

Monday 4 June 2012

Heath tick!

This Hobby tazzed over Hemblington Hall Road about 10.30 as I was nearly home from my daily constitutional! (7 miles today!)
Only other birds of note were two more purring Turtles (north of Hemblington Church) and a Lesser Whitethroat.

It's Hammer Time!

We've had Yellowhammers breeding / feeding in our garden for seven years running.... I love them!