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Tuesday, 31 August 2021
Monday, 30 August 2021
Sunday, 29 August 2021
Some while back, when the last lockdown was about to be relaxed, we arranged to meet two of our oldest and dearest friends, Jane and Jason, on the Suffolk Coast. They live in Sussex, so we only get together a couple of times a year: always great fun, though.
We met at Minsmere and enjoyed a decent ramble around the reserve, picking up Stonechats, Linnets and Bee Wolves on the way to the East Hide. From here we added a good flock of Black-tailed Godwits, Ruff, and four Spotted Redshank, while from the so-called 'Wildlife Lookout' we glimpsed a Bittern, creeping furtively through the reeds!
After an enjoyable lunch at the reserve cafe, we headed south to Dunwich Cliffs for a sit and further catch-up. A really smashing day in wonderful company!
Saturday, 28 August 2021
Friday, 27 August 2021
Thursday, 26 August 2021
At the moment the farmer whose land begins beyond our garden fence is harvesting mint: I assume this is for the well-known Norfolk company Colman's. The smell is absolutely wonderful: 24 hours a day the aromatic scent fills the village - it must be driving local cats (and lambs!) barmy...
As Peter, Sue, Linda and I were putting the finishing touches to the Music Quiz plans this afternoon (still a few tickets available!) the Red Arrows flew over the mint field. I wonder if they caught a whiff?
While Garth and I were searching for Wasp Spiders at Caistor St Edmunds, we came across literally dozens of crickets of three different species: Roesel's, Speckled Bush and Dark Bush as well as a few Long-winged Coneheads. In the same way that other birders become interested in moths, I find that crickets add something to a day out, even if it's just another focus. Some other interesting inverts, including quite a few Small Heath butterflies: also lots of Goldfinches, but few other notable birds.
Wednesday, 25 August 2021
Well just possibly, if they're Wasp Spiders! My invertebrate mentor Garth Coupland knew that I'd long wanted to see a Wasp Spider (one of our largest orb web species) and picked me up this morning for a Safari just south of Norwich. Even he was amazed by the number we found: over 30 before we stopped counting! Several had outstanding stabilimenta: fluorescing filaments of unknown function: they may attract insects, or conversely warn off birds!
We also found dozens of Bush Crickets of three species: I'll post them later!