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Monday 30 September 2013

Deer me!

Amazingly close views of a Muntjac feeding under our bird tables tonight! First time we've seen one in broad daylight - she was completely unworried by us, although a little wary of next door's cat!


Saturday 28 September 2013

Second innings!

If you think I know little or nothing about Odonata, let me assure you I know even less about Orthoptera! This cricket was on my wall this afternoon: I'm assuming it's an Oak Bush Cricket....

Thursday 26 September 2013

Cricket season!

Another interesting walk around the Fen, today in the company of bug-expert Mike and the always affable Brian! Lots of Migrant Hawkers still, as well as several Dark Bush Crickets and a very obliging Willow Emerald.
No birds close enough for me to photograph well, but several Kingfishers, lots of Ruff and at least fifteen Snipe were good to see.

Wednesday 25 September 2013

A stroll in the Autumn sunshine....

A snatched five miles with Kim (and for a while Ben!) at the Fen today. Nothing 'crippling' but then, that's not what patching is about! Just some beautiful birds & insects: Southern & Migrant Hawkers still, Snipe everywhere Kingfisher, Marsh Harrier and large flocks of Lapwing, Wigeon and Shoveller....

Tuesday 24 September 2013

More carp!

Another couple of hours at my favourite little lake produced these three carp as well as a female Emperor dragonfly, several Kingfishers and a flock of Golden Plover.

Monday 23 September 2013


Just back from quality-time with three Apollo Astronauts:
Walt Cunningham (Apollo 7)
Rusty Schweickart (Apollo 9)
Gene Cernan (Apollo 17 - last man on the Moon)

Monday 16 September 2013


Grabbed a couple of hours at the Fen today, following a weekend down in Oxfordshire / Bucks. Few nice odds and ends: an Otter swam through Fen Hide scrape, a Kingfisher flashed away from the Sluices and the Snipe were still loitering in front of Tower Hide.

On the Hawker front: chatting to Ben, I'm resigned to spending more time at Winterton next year trying to nail Common Hawker. I'm still confused by the DFs I photographed at North Pool: they were both much too big to be Migrants, but seem to have lacked most of the necessary features to be the target species. Perplexing that the ones I saw look very much like some of the Commons on Wikipedia and other online resources, and aren't significantly different from some of the images in my field guides.....

While we're being technical: the guides say that a narrow bar joining the eyes is a discriminator for Variable Damsel - so is this one?

Just outside my office window is a Bay Tree which has an old Blackbird's nest in it: several Wrens roost in it every night, ignoring the purpose-built box that Linda put up!

Friday 13 September 2013

Mists and mellow fruitfulness!

Well Autumn seems to have properly arrived: nearly time to turn on the heating and find a low-cal alternative to salad!

Nevertheless, there are still bits and pieces to see: two Ospreys flew high over Blofield Heath at 2.00pm today and there are still Small Torts on the Buddlleia and Migrant Hawkers on the neighbour's Leylandi. Furthermore I've discovered a new walk that starts at the front door: there's a small local nature reserve about 3 miles from Blofield Heath which apparently has produced some good records. Too late for the Lepidoptera and Odonata this year, I should imagine, but I'll go and investigate next week.

Thursday 12 September 2013

Snatched goodies at Strumpshaw!

The usual suspects (minus Norman!) met up at Fen Hide for a couple of hours craic and birding!
Surprisingly, Kingfisher, Bittern & Otter found their way onto the day list really quickly, but the squealing Water Rail refused to come out to play! Nuthatch & Common Lizard were bonuses...

A walk round to Tower Hide revealed that the high tide had raised water levels enough to attract some birds, among them a Wisp of ten+ Snipe!

For those who might be interested, ALL the Dragons on the previous post are online as Commons! LOL!

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Common misconception!

I have received a couple of very friendly and helpful PMs suggesting the Common Hawkers in a previous post were in fact Migrant Hawkers...
I have seen & photographed literally hundreds of Migrant Hawkers this year alone - they are smaller, have a 'messy' thorax and fly in a completely different manner.

Just for fun: here are four photos 'borrowed' at random from the web (one from Birdforum, which was positively identified by a County Recorder!) See if  you can spot a Migrant Hawker among them!

Carping again!

Managed to fit in a couple of hours with Phil at our favourite little carp lake: we had two each, both getting a ten pounder. Lots of close fly-bys by Kingfishers and a late Emperor, and a flock of Pinkfeet flew over West at dusk!


Tuesday 10 September 2013


A few photos I received from Mike (One of the Thursday Crew at Strumpshaw!) They seem to confirm that the small wader was, indeed, a Little Stint. Also his are the Kingfisher & Sedge Warbler pictures. I add a close up of a Damselfly from the early Summer which I reckon is a Variable, a Treecreeper and another Willow Emerald shot!