Don't forget: you can click on an image to enlarge it!

Thursday 30 June 2022

A visit to the Winbirri vineyard

Yesterday afternoon, Linda, Sue, Peter and I made a long-anticipated visit to the Winbirri Vineyard just across the River Yare at Surlingham. (By taxi, of course!)

Owner and grower Lee Dyer welcomed us while we enjoyed a delightful glass of sparkling rose, before leading a tour of the vines and production areas. His talk was well-paced, informative and amusing and was followed by a 90 minute tasting of the winery's terrific output 

The half a dozen wines (including a single red) were all delightful, often featuring the estate's Solaris and Bacchus grapes. In fact all the grapes used in Winbirri's wines are grown in the Yare Valley: these also include Pinot Noir, Dornfelder, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.

A delightful afternoon: highly recommended if you're a fan of classy, award-winning wines at a realistic price.

Wednesday 29 June 2022

Nano Reef Tank update

Just a few photos of our little reef system. Frequent water changes, protein scrubber and various phosphate and nitrate filters seem to be keeping everything close to optimum at the moment. Like Linda's bees, it's a fair commitment and a few hour's work every week - but definitely worth it!

Tuesday 28 June 2022

Great Whites breeding at Hickling?

Norman and I made an early start, reaching Hickling NWT reserve by 07.30. A brisk walk around produced views (if not photos!) of Bittern, Hobby, Bearded Tit, Spoonbill, Green, Common and Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit and Great (White) Egret. The latter - far over the other side of Brendan's Marsh - appeared to be feeding a well-grown youngster: only a poor photo, but reasonable views. 

On the mammal front, six Brown Hares and a Chinese Water Deer enjoyed the sunshine, while a rare view of a Stoat was most welcome.

Monday 27 June 2022

Beez Meanz Hivez!

See what I did there? Well: perhaps only if you grew up in the fifties / sixties! Today Linda managed to scoop the second swarm into a carrying box and pass them on to a fellow beekeeper who has just added several more hives to her apiary. Normally speaking a 'fresh' queen will cost £40 or so, while a swarm like this might be worth £100: Linda always just passes them on to good homes!

Sunday 26 June 2022

Two swarms in two days!

It's the time of year when honey bees can get frisky and fly from their hives to look for new territories: poor Linda has had two swarms in two days from her four hives! The first she 'boxed up' for another lady beekeeper to take away, the second she's leaving for the time being: it's in the top of a crab apple tree and pretty much inaccessible. With a bit of luck the bees might push off tomorrow!

Saturday 25 June 2022


At the moment we have four Hedgehogs visiting the garden most nights: these appear on Linda's trailcam at the large floor feeder. One of the four is a bit of a bully, often barging the smaller Hogs away from the food. Interestingly, a couple of these have started arriving a little earlier, allowing them to enjoy a decent supper without interruption!

Friday 24 June 2022

Kelling Heath: Nightjars and Dartfords!

Most Summers Linda, Sue, Peter and I head north in the late afternoon to listen for Nightjars on one of the coastal heaths. Today we combined our visit with a visit to Holt Country Park, followed by a delicious supper at Byford's in Holt (including a bottle of Prosecco and 'naughty' puddings!) arriving at our usual spot around half past eight.

All the following photos were taken at high ISOs - it was pretty gloomy by the time birds began to show. Nevertheless, it was good to connect with Dartford Warbler, Woodcock, Woodlark, lots of Stonechats and Linnets and - best of all - two or three Nightjars.