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Tuesday 30 September 2014

Stone me!

Brian Tubby and I took a run down to 'somewhere in Suffolk' to see the pre-migration gathering of Stone Curlews. Arriving at 8.30am we quickly found 83 of these beautiful, reptilian birds standing around in the heather.

Never too close, but providing acceptable photo-ops, we were both really elated by such great views: much better than at Weeting Heath! (Brian's pictures with his superior equipment will be on his flickr pages soon!)

Other birds included Whinchat and, at Santon Downham, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail and Nuthatch.

The Southern Hawker was in the garden this afternoon while I was mowing the lawn!


Monday 29 September 2014

Foggy start at Strumpshaw!

Despite really poor visibility at 7.30, the morning brightened briefly, allowing views of Nuthatch (eating Yew berries by the dipping pool) at least five Water Rails, two Bitterns and some Marsh Tits. The only warblers (apart from Cettis) were a couple of yellow Willow Warblers. Lots of Bearded Tits  around the reserve and the usual waders at Tower Hide.

Still lots of Common & Ruddy Darters, and literally dozens of Migrant Hawkers, many still mating.


Sunday 28 September 2014


If you enjoy looking at all types of British wildlife, there's a great opportunity to get up close and personal with Red Squirrels at Kelling Heath Holiday Park.

Linda & I visit once a year for the Autumn Star Party and always make time to visit the holding pens for the breeding program. This very successful project has released many Red Squirrels back into the wild in areas where the local population is threatened or has even disappeared. Well worth a visit!


Thursday 25 September 2014

A bit of Fen' Shui!

What a lovely morning! I met Kim & Brian at Strumpshaw at 7.30 and the early start soon proved worthwhile: Water Rail, Bittern, tagged Marsh Harrier (green DZ) and Bearded Tit were the highlights.

The walk round to Tower Hide revealed that the vast Rudd shoal (which includes several over the lb mark) was still in residence at the sluice attracting the attention of a Grey Heron.

Despite the low water level, there were still plenty of things to enjoy on Tower Scrape: two more Water Rails, lots of Ruff and a few Snipe: a Kingfisher put in a very brief appearance...

As we walked back to Reception, a group (oh alright: a 'kettle'!) of six Buzzards jousted above the woods. These are possibly the two local adults with four well-grown youngsters. The local Little Owl obliged as usual!

Back home, I glanced out of the window to see a Hobby and then, as it grew dusk, a Marsh Harrier being mobbed by corvids. What a great place to live!


Wednesday 24 September 2014

A bit of local Gos!

This bird flew east over the garden this morning, shortly after four Buzzards going in the same direction: I reckon it was a Goshawk, but am prepared to negotiate! LOL!

I took the picture through the rain and a mucky window, but it was definitely Buzzard-sized and doing the languid accipitor  'flap flap glide, flap flap glide'


Tuesday 23 September 2014

Carpe diem!

A run up to the North Coast was a couple of days late, but I was away all weekend, so Martin and I seized the moment and enjoyed a walk in the sunshine.

First stop was Gramborough Hill, where a patrolling Hobby and a Wheatear were good to see. Moving to Walsey Hills produced another Wheatear, several Willow-Chiffs and lots of insects, including five Wall Browns and Small Coppers, as well as plenty of Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters.

After coffee at Cley (great idea digging up the car park at the busiest time of year!) we finished off at Kelling Water Meadows, enjoying great views of Stonechats (complete with 'bling!) & Whinchats (three of each) and a colourful, streaky pipit that kept us hoping for a while... Fleeting views of a Yellow-browed Warbler and a decidedly 'honey-ish' Buzzard completed the day out!