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Wednesday 31 March 2021

Spring arrives at Strumpshaw Fen

At just after dawn today, the 'Last of the Summer Wine' crew met for the first time in months at Strumpshaw Fen. To our delight, all of the trails (but not the hides!) are now open and the riverside walk to Tower Hide and Lackford Run turned up some very welcome new arrivals. Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were everywhere: perhaps more surprising were the Redpolls and Bramblings! 

My first Kingfishers of the year - a group of three - squabbled over possible nest sites, while other year ticks came in the form of Little Grebes and Reed Buntings. The drive home added Fieldfares and lots of Buzzards: even more of these featured in the quick trip LInda and I made to the cash and carry - we saw groups of five and six individuals.

A few wispy prominences visible at the Sun's north pole: I finally managed to see something interesting with my Coronado Solar Scope!

Tuesday 30 March 2021

Clear skies slightly spoiled by the Moon!

As the sun set last night the sky was completely clear and dark: conditions seemed ideal for a few more images of the M42 nebula, asteroid Vesta and the nova in Cassiopeia. In the event a friend phoned as I was grabbing a shot of the ISS and, by the time I was outside once more, the near-full Moon had risen. Its glare made long exposures nearly pointless, but I took a few anyway!

Monday 29 March 2021

Last few passes of the International Space Station for a while.

Here are details of the last few passes by the ISS: tonight's is a really bright one and - given how clear the sky is - it should be a cracker here in Norfolk.

No White-tailed Eagle: but a Red-tailed Hawk instead!

In the spirit of our new-found semi-freedom, I took an early morning run out to Horsey to look for the reported White-tailed Eagle. A longish walk failed to reveal this refugee from the Isle of Wight, but I did see a few other birds of interest: Osprey, Red Kite, Kestrel, Crane and what I at first assumed was a bulky Buzzard... But was it a Red-tailed Hawk? Seems probable. The first two Swallows of the year and a few Stonechats were the best of the rest.

I've never seen so many seals at Horsey - there were literally thousands hauled up on the beach, dozing in the sunshine! 

Sunday 28 March 2021

Garden tick!

Despite being not uncommon along the numerous small lanes near Hemblington Church, I've never actually seen a Linnet in or from the garden. I was delighted, therefore, when Peter phoned to say there were three in our Sycamore. I managed to catch a couple of grainy shots of one on the wires just beyond our garden fence...

Saturday 27 March 2021

Evicting a pair of squatters!

Regular readers will know that our 'owl' nestbox has, over the years, proven attractive to everything apart from Barn Owls (Although one sat near it the other night!)

This morning at first light one of the males of the two pairs of Stock Doves that have been prospecting arrived to find a pair of Jackdaws in residence. Now I tend to think of Stock Doves as being gentle creatures like Turtles: but no! He was in the box in seconds, shoving the Jackdaws out and driving them off! The Doves have been in or on the box all day now!

Friday 26 March 2021

The Rendlesham Forest Incident: next week's Zoom!

For those of you who have become regulars for my 'off the wall' Zoom broadcasts, the next one will be on Thursday, April 1st (!) The topic will be "An examination of the Rendlesham Forest UFO landing" I've been studying & writing about the RFI since 1981, so if you want a scientific perspective of what many believe to have been the UK's Roswell, why not join us!

David Bryant is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: The Rendlesham Forest Incident

Time: Apr 1, 2021 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

Hemblington Church bird count

Linda, Sue and I walked up to our beautiful local church to carry out the March bird survey: suitably 'distanced' of course! Together with friends Sue and Peter, we've maintained monthly records of birds, insects and wild plants for over three years. Sometimes it's a pretty dismal couple of hours: the church is in a somewhat exposed location. Today, however, the weather was glorious and spring-like and there were lots of birds to look at! A first for the survey was a Little Owl that flew into the little copse, while a flock of several hundred Golden Plover was noteworthy.