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Wednesday 30 April 2014

Grey, white and spotted!

A great day out in the sea fret along the North Coast: Martin and I started off at Choseley where the absence of any Dotterel was compensated by 50+ Hares in a single field, as well as a brace of Grey Partridges and a Wheatear.

A move to Titchwell continued the grey theme, with close views of lots of Grey Plover - some in Summer finery. Other birds of note included Bar and Black-tailed Godwits, a pair of White Wagtails, some lovely Spotted Redshank and a drake Pintail.

We headed eastwards to Cley, where (despite a long walk) we only added another White Wagtail and a Meadow Pipit to the tally: still - some great birds and great company!

Tuesday 29 April 2014


Just for a change, I took a stroll out to the windpump at Buckenham (note correct spelling, PC!) No sign of the reported White Storks, but I found a pair of Garganey on the large pool, as well as lots of newly-arrived Acros!

Other birds included Bullfinch, Avocet, Buzzard and an aerial combat between a Sprawk and Carrion Crow, both of which were missing tail feathers!

Walking back through Strumpshaw produced Common Sandpiper, Marsh Harrier and Nuthatch

Monday 28 April 2014

Crazylegs Crane!

An early start at Strumpshaw was still too late to walk round with Brian: he was on his way home as I arrived! Despite his gloomy report of 'Nothing about!' I sat in Fen Hide for longer than I had intended - chiefly because a Bittern was booming from the reeds just yards away: never showed itself, though!

Just as I was about to leave, Tim (the Boss!) arrived and we were enjoying one of those grumpy old men chats when a Crane came bugling by with a flock of Greylags: most interesting to witness this bizarre association!

I 'did the circuit' adding a few bits and pieces to the SD card..... a duck on the River Yare seemed to have Gadwall and Red-crested Pochard elements in its genome, while a couple of Green Sandpipers along Lackford Run were new for the year at SF

Saturday 26 April 2014

Late on parade!

Since Lin was attending a course in Norwich, I decided to beat the rain and take an early walk around the Fen. Lots of Blackcaps, a Garden Warbler, at least four Groppers and Cetti's everywhere.... but I missed the best birds on offer: a pair of Cranes in front of Fen Hide. I saw them leaving from reception as I arrived, but was slightly gripped off when I met Liz & Kim who'd watched them for half an hour at close range! I attach one of Kim's excellent pictures.

Thursday 24 April 2014

Gropper ungripped!

OK: not the best - but still, I was pleased with these images of one of the three Grasshopper Warblers I connected with at Strumpshaw today.

Good to meet Brian , Norman and Adrian: NT was able to sort out a lot of my initial teething problems with the new lens. Although we didn't see anything desperately unusual, it was pleasant to exchange stories and enjoy the craik...

Common Tern (and a possible Arctic) were new for the year at SF.

Wednesday 23 April 2014


A terrific day out in the sunshine with Kim & Brian, firstly at Dunwich Heath, then at Minsmere. Still much to learn about the new lens, but I think it will prove a good investment....

We enjoyed truly spectacular views of Dartford Warblers that were flitting about the car park, but my pictures don't do them justice. Minsmere was, as always, crowded, but delightful: no adders, however.

There was construction going on all around the reserve in preparation for Springwatch - I trust the BBC is paying, rather than the RSPB.

Monday 21 April 2014


An early start at Strumpshaw for Linda & me (before the expected holiday crowds) allowed frustratingly brief views, but sustained ears-ful of at least three Grasshopper Warblers: two along the Sandy Path, one near Fen Hide. We bumped into Kim, who got a terrific shot of one earlier in the week...

Lots of other things to point the new lens at: these were about the best efforts!

Sunday 20 April 2014

Whitlingham Lane Kite and a village tick!

No pictures: I was driving with the camera on the back seat (car boot!) but at 8.00am, Linda and I had excellent views of a Red Kite soaring over the River Yare at the Whitlingham Lane flyover: it drifted west towards the Broad.

On our way home, just as we entered Blofield Heath, there was a beautiful pair of Bullfinches eating buds right by the side of the road! This (perhaps surprisingly!) is a new bird for me actually in the village, although they seem to be becoming quite abundant in the Yare Valley.

Saturday 19 April 2014

Urban Peregrine!

Linda & I were in Norwich 'Elephant Hunting' today (if you know Norwich, you'll understand!) so it seemed a good chance to try out the new lens on an extremely distant subject - a female Peregrine sitting just below the top of the 360 foot spire!

All in all, I'm very pleased! I know these are what are referred to by the 1000mm/f 2.4 boys as 'poor record shots', but they fill me with optimism for future wildlife photography!