Thursday, 21 November 2019

Pot of gold!

A beautiful double rainbow during the brief period of Sun today! Until I had a decent DSLR (eight years ago!) I had never noticed that the sky inside a rainbow is brighter than that above it! I'd love to know the reason for this!

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Seconds of the Isabelline Wheatear and odds & ends elsewhere!

With a sunny day promised, Brian and I started the morning at Titchwell. A walk out to the sea produced some decent seaduck (Goldeneye, Pintail and Merganser) as well as a dapper Spotted Redshank lurking among the Godwits! A Muntjac fed close to the path in the 'Water Rail Ditch'!

After a detour to retrieve Brian's phone from where he'd lost it at Syderstone, we stopped at Wells Sewage Works to look for the long-staying Rough-legged Buzzard. We saw several Commons and Red Kites, as well as a pale-headed individual that some people claimed as the Rough-legged...

Last birds were at Cley, where the Isabelline Wheatear seemed much fitter than last week as it fed happily among the shingle and grass.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Silver wedding!

Today is Linda and my silver wedding anniversary. It seems astonishing that we've been married for a quarter of a century - two years longer than we managed with our previous partners!

There've been plenty of hard times, but even more good ones... I put our 'success' down to the fact that we both share passions for birding and astronomy, but also have other interests: Linda has her bees and I have my guitars!

Together we've run five successful businesses, seen well over 400 species of birds in the UK and made some incredible friends. We've travelled the length and breadth of Britain and visited France over 100 times, enjoying some fabulous birds, amazing food and memorable wines together.

To everyone who has been part of our wonderful journey: many, many thanks from both of us!

Monday, 18 November 2019

Snow Buntings at Cley and a special birthday!

Yesterday was our great friend Sue's birthday: since it was a 'special number', she decided to throw a lunch party at the delightful Pheasant Hotel at Weybourne. It was a lovely occasion with great food and great company.

Here are just a couple of videos of some of the fifty or so Snow Buntings that have taken up residence nearby on the shingle between Cley and Salthouse.

Sunday, 17 November 2019

The International Astronomy Show - an incredible weekend!

Linda and I are giving serious consideration to retiring from full-time dealing next year, so this weekend's IAS might well be our last... We've attended every show since the start and, thanks to our good friends the organisers Graham and Martin, we've had plenty of laughs and put a few bob in the kitty!

This weekend the event was held in a new, more intimate venue and was thoroughly rewarding in every way. To our surprise, the IAS team (having discovered that this week is Linda and my silver wedding anniversary) decorated our pitch with balloons and banners! What's more, they'd had a beautiful cake made for us, which was presented at the traditional buffet at the end of the first day's trading: many, many thanks to everyone for their good wishes!

Since it was a special weekend, Linda and I stayed at a beautiful hotel nearby: the Mill. As the name implies, the hotel is a converted watermill, and the continuing floods had brought the river levels perilously close to the building!

Old friend Paul came down from Derby to visit, and we had a lovely day of 'catch up' with him: he enjoyed the opportunity to hold the UK's largest lunar meteorite (worth a six-figure sum!) courtesy of Graham Ensor, its owner. The vintage car was Sir Patrick Moore's lifelong ride, which was on display in Rother Valley's large trading area...


Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Isabelline Wheatear, a jingle of Buntings and a snowstorm of Egrets!

Brian and I had just half a day at our disposal, so we headed north, arriving at Cley around 8.00am. A brisk walk along the East Bank and a short wait rewarded us with close views of the long-staying Isabelline Wheatear. After twenty minutes close study of this charming vagrant, we headed back to the car, finding a flock of 50+ Snow Buntings on the way. The immature Long-tailed Duck was still present west of the East Bank, but too far to bother with photographs!

Next stop was Wells North Point Pools: here, as we were drinking our tea, the first of the day's five Great White Egrets flew overhead. Next stop was Burnham Overy, where a short walk provided us with views of a pair of Red Kites, more Great White Egrets and five or six Cattle Egrets. As we were walking back to the car a low-flying raptor caught our attention: the sub-terminal tail band seemed suggestive of a Rough-legged Buzzard: correspondent Keith Bilverstone assures me it's a Common, however.... And so home!