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Thursday, 31 December 2015

Review of the Year Part 2: the local patch.

Although there's been lots to tempt me (and my buddies Brian and Martin) away from the Yare Valley - and what a year it's been in Norfolk for long-staying rarities - I've spent plenty of time plodding around the local patch.

For much of the year Brian and I have been without our third 'Last of the Summer Wine' team-member: Norman had a quad by-pass operation and has been recuperating. Luckily everything went well and we should be up to complement again in the new year!

Strumpshaw & Buckenham can seem a little devoid of birdlife to first time visitors, but the wildlife is there: you just have to persevere! The following images are in chronological order and demonstrate the quality and variety of what can turn up if you're patient: there are a couple from other parts of the mid-Yare Valley.

I should say: many of these birds have been discovered by warden Ben Lewis: since his arrival the number of 'goodies' that are identified has increased dramatically...

Mediterranean Gull at Thorpe Green

Wood Duck 'nearby'

Pair of Mandarins that arrived on the Heath unexpectedly

Short-eared Owls graced the Fen and Halvergate Marshes

A personal favourite: Cetti's Warbler

Scaup at Cantley: a patch tick for many!

Little Owl at Strumpshaw

Turtles have bred for seven years in our garden!

Pectoral Sandpiper at Buckenham

Yellow Wagtail, Blofield Heath

Regular, but still uncommon to see well...

Red Kites may already breed in the Yare Valley...

It's been a good year for Swallowtails

White Admirals are annual at the Fen nowadays...

The long-staying Great White Egret

SF speciality: Willow Emerald Damselfly

Bearded Tits along the Sandy Path

Otters are easy to see at the Fen

One of three Great Grey Shrikes that visited the Fen

Another Strumpshaw 'banker'

Stonechats now breed at the Fen & Buckenham

Taiga Bean Geese: not easy to connect with!

Peregrines: breeders and visitors!

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