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Sunday 31 March 2013

Odds and ends!

Very busy still with our new store-room, but Linda & I did manage a trip to the Antiques Fair at the Showground: who should we meet but Richard 'The Hat'! There's still a few of we old timers around!

On the bird front: our garden is still being visited every day by Siskins and today (Sunday!) a Little Egret flew over. I remember driving all the way to the Ouse Washes to add LE to my Norfolk list - now they're everywhere!

Thursday 28 March 2013

All alone and palely loitering....

Never seem to meet anyone at the Fen or Buck at the moment: could be the cold or lack of incoming migrants, but yet again had the place to myself today. At least ten Marsh Harriers, eight of which were males, as well as a curious pale Buzzard. Managed a decent couple of photos of the Redshanks outside Fen Hide, while the fields along the road to Buckenham still held 60+ Fieldfares. In the garden, a different Siskin and a dinky little Wren...

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Roll on Spring!

It was absolutely bitter at Strumpshaw today, with just a few birds to liven up the walk.
At least eight Marsh Harriers were 'skydancing', while a patch tick for 2013 came in the form of two Redshanks. Lots of wildfowl and winter thrushes still, and a couple of dozen Snipe....

Monday 25 March 2013

Acle Cranes

I have bitter-sweet memories of Acle: I taught at the primary school for 18 years, all but the last two being very happy.....
So although not in my patch, Acle is close enough to warrant a whizz out to see the group of Cranes that have taken up residence. Oliver Reville had kindly pinned them down, so ten clicks and I was back home in time to let the builders in!


We're having some building work done and my van is trapped on the drive! This means walks have been sporadic and confined to the Heath and surrounds: pretty barren at this time of year - just Partridges and Buzzards yesterday! So, this ultra-bright Siskin was a very welcome visitor to the niger seeds outside my office window this morning!

Friday 22 March 2013

Glimpse of the comet!

Last night's view of the comet (panSTARRS) The tail has grown longer, and the sky is darker....
(This image has been 'stacked', so it doesn't look like this to the naked eye! My guess would be mag 3 - 4)

Thursday 21 March 2013

Buzzard passage

A six-mile stroll around Pedham & Hemblington produced distant views of at least six Buzzards, as well as Yellowhammers, Skylarks and (still!) two big flocks of Fieldfares. Spring is approaching: the Violets are in flower! The Blackbirds by my office window have been very industrious today: they lined their nest with a strip of polythene!

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Stir crazy!

My transport is currently blocked in by a skip: we're having a clear out of the garage! Hopefully the weather will improve soon and I can get out for a walk!
Today I was astonished to note that a pair of Blackbirds are building a nest in the small Bay tree by my office window: perhaps three feet from where I am currently typing! While I was holding my camera, trying (in vain!) to photograph them, a male Sparrowhawk tazzed through!

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Award-winning photo!

Who says Norfolk folk lack imagination? This piece of rustic understatement is at Buckenham..... No birds, though, aside from Skylarks and the usual hedgerow species.

Friday 15 March 2013

Do drop in!

This female Marshie nearly alighted in our oak tree this morning! I've seen a few close to or over the garden, but this was virtually in it!

Thursday 14 March 2013

Catching up with the Gos! in gossip (having met Brian at Buckenham) and Goshawk, as in a pair of large, apparent accipiters displaying over woodland in the Yare Valley!
The six-mile walk was fun, if not desperately productive: Tuesday's Stonechat was still around, and a passage of Buzzards and Marsh Harriers seemed to be taking place: perhaps half a dozen of each. The promise of Spring was in the air, causing a pair of Water Deer to enjoy a litle alfresco smooching!
Best bird at Buckenham was the drake Pintail, which flew so close that even Brian recognised it!

Wednesday 13 March 2013

Comet Pan-Starrs

Linda and I (having been defeated by a narrow cloud belt last night!) caught up with this elusive celestial visitor just before nightfall tonight. My 17th Comet! Roll on November!

Tuesday 12 March 2013

At last! Out and about again...

A ten-day bout of  'man flu' kept me in the warm (apart from business trips) so it was really great to get out on the patch again, despite the snow and bitterly cold wind.
Against all expectations, I grabbed two 'patch ticks' for the year -  Little Grebe and Stonechat: I bet Ben hasn't had one of those at the Fen this year! It was at the end of the Sandy Wall and put on a great display in the brief sunshine interval.
Apart from a Buzzard and Marsh Harrier at Buckenham, the only other notable bird was a pure white Starling: only distant views, but an interesting find...