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Sunday 30 September 2012

Jay influx!

There must have been a movement of Jays into Norfolk: on our travels over the past couple of days we've seen literally dozens of them, including groups of eight and ten. We've also had several in / over the garden today, as well as a Common Buzzard.

Saturday 29 September 2012


Linda & I snatched an hour walking round the Fen this afternoon: lots of Migrant Hawkers still, as well as the regular Kingfisher!
As we were walking along the river bank, we noticed a large, darkish raptor crossing over from Rockland: a quick 'grill' with the binoculars confirmed the bird to be a  juvenile (?) Osprey! Distant views only: if we'd've arrived half an hour later, we'd have seen it fly overhead!

In other 'news', I've decided to turn my back on Birdforum for good: for me the vocal minority seem increasingly to be taking over, to the detriment of the BF experience.  Following the personal attacks I received after my Sabines posting, I'd sort of decided to give it just one more go: today Lin & I were among dozens (including numerous vols) who watched a juv Osprey fly over the reserve. Foolishly, I thought I'd have a bit of fun by posting some 'alternative' photos on BF: predictably the usual crew dived in! It's not as if any of this crowd ever comment favourably on the good birds / inverts / plants I've found & photographed over the past year: they just seem to feel the need to be negative and critical....  So I'll let them get on with it and stick to this blog!

Friday 28 September 2012

Welcome visitor!

Having not seen a woodpecker of any species in the garden for nearly a year, we've had two in two days! Yesterday a GSW, today a very nervous Green Woodpecker.....

Thursday 27 September 2012

Quick run-round...

No time (or diesel!) to drive north or east looking for Siberian waifs, so I took a therapeutic five-miler around the usual circuit. Today I broke my record: 15 consecutive visits to Strumpshaw with a KIngfisher on offer! Excellent!
Lots of Migrant Hawkers, Common Darters and Ruddy Darters, as well as this Common Blue.

Many, many thanks to the kind person who found my car-keys and left them in the van at Mill Hill, Buckenham: you're a STAR!

Wednesday 26 September 2012


Stuck indoors today, selling meteorites and arranging customer encounters with Apollo astronauts. I was frankly surprised by the degree of hostility generated from a few posters on BF following Martin & my i/d of a small, distant gull at Waxham yesterday. Some people were quite vituperative: others (Sacha / James etc) were more analytical and helpful. In the greater scheme of things, we reckoned we'd seen a Sab's Gull: we've seen around 100 between us and Linda & I have videoed them down to ten feet from the Scillonian, so it's not like we 're making an outrageous claim to add to our 420+ birdlists! But I do have to say: the black primary triangle and greyish mantle are not artifacts: they were obvious in the scope. Common Gull? Herring Gull? If you want, chaps!

My first Norfolk Sabine's, after the '87 hurricane

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Waxham with Martin...

A four mile trudge along the back of the dunes produced nothing of note apart from a huge passage of hirundines. The sea was better, with close-in Guillies and Red-throated Divers and a distant Sabines....
Continual streams of Pinkfeet were coming in off the sea all day: very atmospheric!


Monday 24 September 2012


I realised as soon as I reached the Reception Hide that my regular walk around the Fen was obviously not going to be uber-productive: fences were being put up, reeds were being cut down and the vol at the desk told me I was wasting my time!
Still: I did the circuit to Buckenham and back via Fen Hide and enjoyed the cool, drizzly autumnal sights, sounds and smells. No Magnolia Warblers or White's Thrushes, but Kingfisher, Buzzards (including this almost black individual)  and a late Migrant Hawker to liven up the morning!

Friday 21 September 2012

Friday: a halcyon day!

A quick run around the Fen produced fantastic views of posey Kingfishers: a pair were frollicking right in front of Fen Hide! All the usual suspects were in evidence: Little Egret, Buzzard, Water Rail, Water Deer. At the end of the Sandy Path, I was amazed to see a flock of at least fifty Bearded Tits: most I've ever seen anywhere! At times they were just a metre or two away, but they just wouldn't come up on the reed tops! Still A few decent-ish pictures. Last 'goodie' was a swarm of Hornets feeding on ivy flowers....

Thursday 20 September 2012

Winter draw(er)s on!

Decidely autumnal at Strump / Buck these days! Just a few Swallows getting a last feed before flying South...
If anyone has never been up close and personal with a Kingfisher, Strumpshaw is the place: you can't fail at the moment from any of the three hides! Also Otters, Chinese Water Deer and Buzzards are showing frequently.
I don't have any 'moff' books: anyone know what this is?
Obviously (?) a Hawkmoth, but quite small....

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Tuesday trek!

Strumpshaw can be hard work this time of year! Lots of butterflies still, plus Southern, Migrant & Brown Hawker... Only birds of note were these!

Monday 17 September 2012

Still a bit of Summer....

An eight mile trudge around Buckenham, Cantley & Strumpshaw produced few birds of note (apart from the now-predictable half-dozen Buzzards!) but there were still plenty of insects to brighten the day: I stopped counting Migrant Hawkers after 100, but it was good to see a few Southerns and a Black-tailed Skimmer, as well as a tidy little Small Copper and dozens of Commas....

Migrant Hawker

Black-tailed Skimmer

Little Egret

Ruddy Darter

Small Copper

Sunday 16 September 2012

Cute, but.....

While it was lovely to watch the antics of these beautiful young male
Red Squirrels at Kelling Heath, it was sad to reflect that I used to watch wild ones from my cottage in Hevingham 30 years ago....

Friday 14 September 2012

Now do I get into fungi?

On my walks I encounter some fabulous fungi: these were around Strumpshaw...
But there are just sooooooooooooo many species!

Thursday 13 September 2012

Just for you old-timers!

I wonder how many of you will recognise this charming man who bought a meteorite from me at the weekend?