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Sunday 30 March 2014

Keeping it local!

Funny thing: you can sit in a hide all day and see a coot and a mallard - OR: you can visit a couple of Yare Valley car boots and see five Cranes ( three going West, two going East) a Buzzard and a Treecreeper!

Also got some excellent broccoli, baby leeks and parsnips for tonight's Mothers' Day dinner!

Friday 28 March 2014


A lovely day down in the Brecks with Brian Tubby gave us great views of Firecrest, Two-barred Crossbill, Mandarin Duck, Parrot Crossbill and - best of all - two female Hawfinches at the Arboretum. The really good photo is Brian's!

Thursday 27 March 2014

Ten minute dash....

I had to stay in the office to wait for a parcel pick-up most of the morning, but managed a quick run out to the Fen, where I snatched a distant shot of Ben's 'funny' Aythea, as well as a couple of raptors.

Wednesday 26 March 2014

In support of Ben L and my favourite reserve...

On his excellent blog (see my list on the right) Ben reveals the hassle he and the RSPB have been getting from local landowners over the behaviour of some birders / photographers in relation to a Little Owl site near Strumpshaw. As unbelievable as it might seem, some people have been entering private property and even climbing the possible nest tree to obtain photos!!!! Now I've stopped for literally a couple of minutes and photo'ed a single owl from the end of the nearby lay-by and through the partially-open window of my car. I am utterly certain I didn't upset the LO, because it remained where it was when I drove away. However, I agree with Ben that, with nesting a possibility, enough is probably enough. If you know of the site, perhaps you'll take on board Ben's request that no-one else be told about it and, like me, undertake not to put the birds under any more pressure.

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Two-barred clean-up!

A lovely day out in the Brecks with my best chum Martin & his lovely partner Kerry! First stop was Linford Arboretum, where a little perseverance produced views of Crossbill, Siskin, Kingfisher, Two-barred Crossbill (possibly two different males ) lots of Buzzards, and a super pair of Firecrests.

Next stop was Santon Downham, where we added two Lesser-spotted Woodpeckers, pairs of both Grey Wagtails and Kingfishers, a flock of Bramblings and more Crossbills!

Monday 24 March 2014


A great weekend at Autographica: renewed acquaintances with Buzz Aldrin and Alan Bean (look 'em up!) and spent an excellent half hour with Hoot Gibson and his astronaut wife Rhea Seddon. Lots of actors too, but they don't count!

Thursday 20 March 2014


Several oddly-marked raptors at Strump today: two were the famous 'odd couple' of Marsh Harriers, but is the third the returning Harris Hawk? The one Ben saw had jesses, this one seems not to!

Potentially the best bird of the day was a Chiffchaff calling by the Swallowtail boardwalk: it sounded exactly like the three Iberians I've heard in years gone by....

The International Space Station

Here's a composite of the ISS sailing over Norfolk at 05.00: always a spectacular sight (mag -3 today!) The bright 'star' is Mars. The table shows when you can observe the ISS from Norfolk for the next few mornings....

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Yare Valley tick!

No photos - I was driving! But in a ploughed field by the A47 just west of Acle I saw a pair of Grey Partridges! Long overdue: I'll try and get a picture now I know they're about!

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Since I was driving past..... seemed silly not to stop! The obliging Little Owl posed for some more photos, and then I took a walk around the Fen. Two Bitterns were nice to see, as were nine Marsh Harriers in the sky together!Lots of Chiffs and WWs today and I even heard a Bearded Tit! The juv Black-headed and Kestrel just looked good against the sky!

Monday 17 March 2014

Snatched five miles...

Since the parcel delivery I was expecting arrived early (while I was in the bath, in fact!) I grabbed a couple of hours to enjoy the sunshine at Strumpshaw & Buckenham. Nothing outrageous, but Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, four Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers, Nuthatch, two Little Egrets and the Little Owl made the walk enjoyable. Lots of Small Torts & Peacocks around, as well as plenty of spring flowers.

Thursday 13 March 2014

Feels like Spring!

Really warm & sunny at Strumpshaw today: Cetti's Warbler, Goldcrest, Chinese Water Deer and my first Peacock of the year. Chiffchaff & Willow Warbler seen & heard too! Best bird was a fly-through adult Iceland Gull...