Saturday, 29 June 2019

Meteoric!

The sky last night was dark and clear, so everything looked good for another display of noctilucent clouds - I missed one on Thursday night because we had total cloud cover here in East Norfolk.

In the event (despite staying up until 1.00am) I didn't see any NLCs, but I did photograph a bright meteor and saw a couple more. The only 'scheduled' shower in June is the Bo├Âtids (meteor showers are named after the constellation from which they appear to originate) but all last night's came from the region around the bright star Capella: as such they were presumably very early Perseids…

Although it's hard to image galaxies and nebulae using a normal DSLR and lens, I've included a photograph of Cassiopeia (the 'W' shaped constellation) to show how to find M31, the Andromeda galaxy. At the moment, it's well placed in the north-eastern sky. I've also posted a couple of pictures of Cygnus (the Northern Cross!) and Ursa Major (the Great Bear)








Friday, 28 June 2019

Red-tipped and Currant Clearwings: it's all about the insects!

I grabbed a couple of hours at Strumpshaw this afternoon, taking along my box of clearwing lures. In fact I didn't need pheromones to find the first Clearwings: one or two Red-tipped Clearwings were loafing around on the brambles along the Sandy Wall...

A move to the Red Currant bushes on the Woodland Walk was instantly rewarded by another big count of Currant Clearwings (15+) as well as fleeting glimpses of a possible Yellow-legged. Other species included Black-tailed Skimmer, Variable Damselfly, Norfolk Hawker and several long-horn beetles.










Orchids at Holme Dunes

My relationship with Orchids is almost entirely aesthetic: ie, I can only identify the most recognisable species! I'm certain about the Marsh Helleborines, Bee and Pyramidal Orchids below and am fairly sure there are some Southern Marsh in there too: but what amazing colours!








 

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Wells North Point Spoonbills: video

Just a short video of three of the 21 Spoonbills that were on the pools yesterday...

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Good day on the North Coast: Spoonbills everywhere!

The usual early start saw Brian, Norman and me in the centre hides looking out at Pat's Pool before 8.00am The first birds of note were a dozen or so young Bearded Tits, followed by an immature Spoonbill: as it transpired, the first of thirty or so we came across during the day! A bit of searching eventually produced a 1st Summer Little Gull and the long-staying Green-winged Teal - both somewhat distant. The best-looking Black-tailed Godwit I've ever seen was in front of the hide: those are the actual colours!

After tea and scones we continued westward to Wells North Point pools. Here the Spoonbill count rapidly rose, with a group of 18 being joined by a further trio, made up of two very young birds and one of their parents. I would have thought it highly likely these had fledged locally...  A Green Sandpiper was a welcome addition to the day list.

Carrying on to Titchwell, further Spoonbills were in evidence, as well as a Hobby and a raft of five Red-crested Pochard: no sign of the Purple Heron, though.

Last stop was Holme (for another coffee!) No more new birds for the total, but some excellent orchids.
















Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Another milestone!

Just passed another major milestone with my blog! Thanks so much to regular readers and casual dropper-inners!

Monday, 24 June 2019