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Tuesday 29 October 2013

I see the Moon, the Moon sees me....

The sky was dazzlingly bright at 4.30am, so I tried out my new lens on the Moon and the Pleiades - not brilliant, but promising!

Unusual Darter?

Looking through my pictures from last week's jaunt with Martin, I found this Darter: it was perched on a reed stem along the Fen Trail (?) at Titchwell - just one of dozens of Darters I photographed. But am I right in thinking this is a Black Darter? Do they occur in October? Well: it looks the part!

Friday 25 October 2013

North Coast sunshine!

Great day out in the sun, missing all the rare birds, but picking up some nice images..... Best was, I guess, a flock (somewhat distant!) of 7 Slavonian Grebes at Titchwell! Distant views of a Jack Snipe, but better ones of all the expected waders:- several parties of Buzzards over.

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Rose-coloured Starling!

Having realised that Martin & I were at entirely the wrong Beach Car Park at Caister last week, I had another bash today! The weather was foul, but I managed to find the long-staying Turkish Tweet and got a few pictures....

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Last knockings of the carp season....

Unless, of course, we have an 'Indian Summer'
Lots of runs, but only this super 10lb-er on the bank... Nothing for Phil, although he missed a screamer!

Thursday 17 October 2013

A halcyon day!

A great morning in the sun at Strumpshaw: chilly, but productive with the usual Thursday Team!
Fen hide produced good views of two confiding Kingfishers as well as plenty of Marsh Harriers - no Bitterns today, though....
The walk around to Tower Hide gave us dozens of both Migrant Hawkers & Hornets as well as a large, long-tailed accipitor....

Monday 14 October 2013

Some you win......

..some you lose!
Martin Read & I decided to spend the day on the East Coast. We started at Waxham, where we had frustratingly brief views of a Pallas' Warbler and a possible Dusky Warbler: despite a three mile trudge along the scrub to the south of Shangri-La, that was it, apart from lots of Redwings, Swallows and Pinkfeet.

A move to Winterton posed the question: north or south? We went south and, looking at the reports online, seem to have missed quite a lot! We did connect with Wheatear, 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, 2 Velvet Scoters, and a Peregrine.

We moved on to Caister, failing to locate the RCS, before finishing off the day at Yarmouth : nothing new in the Cemetery, but lots of Med Gulls on the seafront.

Sunday 13 October 2013


Just back from a mini lecture tour, culminating in a talk at the Cambridge Institute of Astronomy, where I had the pleasure of following the Astronomer Royal, Lord Rees onto the podium! A terrific event, organised by the Society for Popular Astronomy: I was chuffed by the reception and positive feedback I received - well worth the struggle back through the windy & rain-swept backroads demanded by the A11 weekend closure!

Thursday 10 October 2013

Wet & windy!

What a difference a day makes (as somebody once sang!) My walk around Strump today was curtailed because:
1) There was a work-party wandering about in front of Fen Hide
2) A full storm with rain squalls was threatening to turn my binoculars into a portable aquarium!
3) The River Yare had decided to claim back the paths to Tower Hide & Lackford Run!
Nonetheless, I did manage to grab a couple of shots of Nuthatches at Reception, as well as the extraordinary sight of 25 Coots and 2 Cormorants huddled against the reeds!

Monday 7 October 2013

Trying out a new lens!

Linda (Mrs B!) bought me a Pentax f4.5 500mm lens for my anniversary at the weekend (a real bargain, too!) so I snatched a few minutes at Strumpshaw this morning to try it out! Fortunately, a very obliging Kingfisher posed in front of Fen Hide long enough for a few shots. (The lens is 'manual everything', so it's going to take a while to get quick!)