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Saturday 31 May 2014

Suffolk encounters

Linda & I had arranged to meet our good friends Paul, Jason & Tom at Rendlesham Forest for a night investigation in this paranormally active location: on the way we stopped at Dunwich for a quick walk on the Heath. Despite time-pressure, we still managed to see two Hobbies, Stonechat, Dartford Warbler and a newly-emerged Black-tailed Skimmer.

A lunchtime stroll eastwards from Orford Quay produced Buzzard, Cuckoo and, perhaps surprisingly, a group of Pink-footed Geese: I don't think I've ever encountered these at the end of May!

Rendlesham Forest itself didn't fail to surprise and delight, but there were some decent birds too, including Nightjar & Woodlark.

If you're interested in the strange goings-on that still occur at Rendlesham, you might enjoy a glance at one of my websites:

Thursday 29 May 2014

Family visit!

Although the Turtles are, of course, our star Summer visitors each year, we are always thrilled when our regular Pheasants bring their babies to visit! On this occasion there were five: we have had up to a dozen!

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Still here!

The Turtle Doves are present at some point every day now: they display for a couple of minutes, then get down to the serious business of feeding! They are very timid: the slightest sudden movement by a Wood Pigeon or Collared Dove is enough to send them up into the Sycamores at the end of the garden.

Monday 26 May 2014

Booted? Sorted!

Stuck in a traffic jam on the A47 near Whitlingham Lane at midday, Linda & I were astonished to see a small eagle circling overhead! We watched it for around five minutes before it disappeared behind the trees, and conjectured that it could only have been a Booted Eagle. Imagine our pleasure when we arrived home to find that a BE had been reported by others at the same time!

When we arrived home, we found both Turtles on the lawn, carrying out a really cute display: they walked two or three metres parallel to each other, then turned and rubbed necks. The larger then fed the smaller with little titbits! Cute!

Sunday 25 May 2014

Butterflies, Turtles and Orchids!

A super walk around Strumpshaw Fen before lunch was rewarded with terrific views of plenty of mint-fresh Swallowtails, several Brown Argus and a group of Bee Orchids. Plenty of dragonflies, too: dozens of Norfolk Hawkers, Hairies and Scarce Chasers.

The male Turtle Dove came to feed and stayed for an hour: much more pugnacious than last year, he drove off any Collared Dove that came too near!

Saturday 24 May 2014

It's a pair!!!!!!!!!

For the ninth year in a row, we have a pair of Turtles in our tiny garden! What a total privilege - and all credit to Linda (Mrs B!) who spends £20+ pw on birdseed!

Friday 23 May 2014

Turtle !!!!!!!!

After a great day out with Brian (nearly ten miles around Winterton, Horsey & Strumpshaw) I arrived home to find a Turtle Dove at one of our feeding stations! We had a visit by a duller bird a week ago, so maybe we have a pair again: fingers crossed!

Our East Coast ramble produced several families of Stonechats, hundreds of Little Terns, a Red Kite, a Hobby and some good butterflies, including Wall and a very early Dark Green Fritillary. Nothing much at Strumpshaw except lots of mating Hairy Dragonflies and plenty of newly-emerged Swallowtails.

Thursday 22 May 2014


Just a brief foray to Strumpshaw today (still dripping with cold!)

I met up with Brian & Kim in Fen Hide, who said there had been a 'flock' of three Cuckoos flying around: this is something I'd never seen before. I didn't have to wait long: everywhere we walked / looked there were Cuckoos! I reckon there were more than just the three individuals that flew around the reed beds: there were others along the river bank and towards Brundall. The Harriers seemed to be irritated by the Cuckoos, chasing and mobbing them continually.

A Bittern took us all by surprise, flying in from behind the hide and dropping into the reeds: this was emulated later on by another that popped up and down to the west of Lackford Run. Lots of Marsh Harriers displaying and food-passing, as well as Whitethroats, Reed & Sedge Warblers, a Gropper near Tower Hide and the first three Red Admirals we'd seen this year.

No sign of any Swallowtails (or Cranes today) but all three of us had to leave before midday, so maybe other people were more fortunate later.....The best Cuckoo shots courtesy of Brian Tubby!

Wednesday 21 May 2014

A Garland moment!

Working in my office tonight, I heard the familiar sound of Cranes trumpeting. I picked up my camera and ran out into the rain, in time to see three birds disappearing behind the hedge under this rainbow!