Sunday, 31 March 2019

Prof. Monica Grady: meeting a hero!

Yesterday Linda and I set up shop at the SPA conference at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge. One of the speakers was Monica Grady, Professor of Planetary and Space Science at the Open University. I've lectured on the same 'bill' as Prof Grady a couple of times, and once made an OU broadcast with her from the Natural History Museum: I was delighted to find that she remembered me in positive terms! An utterly charming (and under-acknowledged) scientist.


Saturday, 30 March 2019

I made the cover!

Well, to be exact: my December photo of the Carlton Marshes Cattle Egret made the cover. The magazine in question is produced by the Suffolk Women's Institute: very flattering to be asked to contribute the cover photo.

Friday, 29 March 2019

Interesting Buzzard

Steady passage of Buzzards high over the Heath today: perhaps a dozen or more. Among these was a group of four that contained a very beautifully marked pale individual: its shape was wrong for a rough-leg, but the colouration was close!




Thursday, 28 March 2019

Buckenham Marsh

A mild, overcast morning so I thought I'd pop down to Buckenham / Cantley to see if any of the recently-present Egrets and Owls were still around: they weren't!

However: lots of waders in evidence: Snipe, Avocets, Redshank, Ruff and Oystercatchers being most numerous. Still plenty of Wigeon and Teal, as well as Gadwall, Shelduck and Shovelers. Lots of Buzzards, including a very pale individual, and another with a bright pink rump! A Chinese Water Deer stood by the path to watch me walk by!











Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Last day in Sussex: raptors and another look at the Long Man

Before the long trek back to East Anglia, we had a day out with Linda's Mum. We drove along the coast to Shoreham, where a brief visit to Mill Hill added Red Kite to the 'trip list'. Lots of Buzzards, too, as well as poignant views of the site of the Shoreham Airshow disaster.

A run along Shoreham Harbour and Worthing seafront was followed by lunch at a delightful garden centre near Devil's Dyke. Before taking M-in-L back to her new home in Hove, we made another visit to the Long Man of Wilmington: lots more Buzzards and some delightful lambs.









The Long Man of Wilmington and a White Horse

During my sixty eight years roaming the British countryside, I've seen most of the well-known chalk hill figures. One that had so far eluded me was the - arguably oldest - Long Man of Wilmington. Since this is situated just north of Friston, Jason directed us there for a  long-overdue visit.

On the way we passed a smallish White Horse: we returned to Brighton by a route that let us actually walk  to it: the view across the Cuckmere Valley was incredible!











Monday, 25 March 2019

Glossy Ibis in the Sussex sunshine at Cuckmere!

A lightning trip down to Brighton to visit dear friends Jane & Jason and Mum-in-Law provided a brief window of opportunity to hunt for the long-staying Glossy Ibis at Cuckmere.

We initially parked by the road bridge and walked north, but the only things of interest were the many huge Grey Mullet in the River and a couple of Little Egrets. Jason suggested driving around to the Friston Forest viewpoint: a good move - I found the Ibis straight away! Always distant, but a great bird, shared with great friends!











Sunday, 24 March 2019

Raptors over the Heath

Interesting to watch a female Marsh Harrier circling and displaying with one of our local Buzzards today: they even did a spot of 'mock food passing', flying a few metres apart with talons outstretched. Alternatively, it may have been a territorial display, I suppose...