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Wednesday 28 February 2018

Feed the birds!

There's been a lot of chat online and on the TV about the importance of feeding wild birds during the current spell of cold weather: but, IMHO, our garden birds benefit from feeding all year round. Linda and I spend £30+ a week on seeds, fruit, suet and so on, with the result that we really do have a good number of visitors to the garden.

Today there were up to 30 Blackbirds, as well as Rooks, Fieldfares, Pied Wagtails and the usual Robins, Doves, Pigeons and Tits. Water is really important too: but why wait until a spell of bad weather? We have three bird baths, a pond and a splash pool in our little garden. Despite being surrounded by an arable 'desert', we have had Redstarts, Turtle Doves and Spotted Flycatchers nesting in our trees and hedges...

Tuesday 27 February 2018

Snowy Strumpshaw: Bitterns and Buzzards!

Well: in the event I couldn't resist a trudge around the Fen! The snow was pretty much undisturbed, and it was fascinating to pick out Otter, Stoat and even Bittern tracks.

Having bumped into Brian near Tower Hide, we carried on around Lackford Run, enjoying the very confiding Robins and Coal Tits as we walked. Several Buzzards and Marsh Harriers tussled with each other, including one well-marked Buzzard that I'm sure is being variously reported as a Rough-leg and a Hen Harrier!

From Reception Hide we enjoyed distant views of Snipe, Water Rail and Bittern: my first at the Fen since Christmas!

Deep pan, crisp and even!

Ah: the old 'What was King Wenceslas' favourite pizza?' joke gets its annual airing!
Today we find out whether the UK transport system has finally learned anything from the previous century of late winter snowfalls!

Don't think I'll be 'doing' Strumpshaw today...

Monday 26 February 2018

Fabulous lunar craters tonight...

A beautifully clear (if cold) sunset allowed some good views of some of the Moon's larger craters: Copernicus, with its terraced walls and four central peaks and Tycho, with its striking ray system were particularly well-defined.

These images were with my 300 prime and 1.4 converter: those of you with really big glass should be able to see a few Clangers!

It begins....

The snow arrived here just after dawn: the birds seem less than impressed!

Sunday 25 February 2018

No Glaucous Gull at Waterworks road, but winter species at Ludham still...

John Hanson (author of the excellent 'Haunted Skies' series) had asked me to take some photos for a forthcoming volume, so Linda and I carried on from our usual Sunday carboot towards Ludham.

We stopped and checked the lake and surroundings at Norwich Waterworks: lots of gulls, but no sign of the recently-present Glaucous. Having taken John's pictures at Neatishead and Ludham Airfield, we back-tracked to St Benet's Marshes to see if any owls were on offer: they weren't! We did find a herd of a dozen or so Whooper Swans, as well two flocks of Fieldfares. Lots of Buzzards, too...

Saturday 24 February 2018

Beautiful crater fields on the Moon...

When the terminator passes down the centre of the Moon, some of the richest crater fields on the lunar surface are thrown into sharp relief.