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Sunday 31 July 2022

Ormesby musical picnic: It's only Rock & Roll....

 ...but I like it!
My new(ish) band Synergy played another open-air venue last night: the village green at Ormesby. The 'curtain sider' was probably the longest lorry I've performed on: it was huge! Mind you - the amount of kit we use needs a decent-sized venue!

A terrific crowd of well over 300 stayed until the end and demanded encores, so we ended up breaking down and packing stuff away in near-darkness. All good fun, though: thanks for inviting us, Ormesby, and thanks for the support!

Friday 29 July 2022

Wild Grebe Chase!

I was in the middle of some 'freezer cookery' when the pager chirped: a glance revealed that a Black-necked Grebe had been reported just two miles from my front door. The location was one of the numerous rainwater run-off reservoirs by the NDR: Linda and I have frequently seen Little Grebes there, so I wasn't desperately optimistic. I arrived just as well-known Norfolk birder Graham Etherington was pulling up. We scanned the pool for half an hour or so before concluding that the bird was probably a misidentified Little Grebe: Graham departed. I gave it another ten minutes before, finally, a small grebe appeared: a juvenile Little, naturally!
(The only other local bird on RBA was a reported Caspian Gull in Norwich: this turned out to be a Lesser Black-back!)

Only other birds were a couple of Lapwing, a few Lesser Black-backs, a flock of Linnets and both Grey and Pied Wagtails.

Thursday 28 July 2022

Beautiful pre-dawn sky...

As I was driving north to Titchwell yesterday (at around 4.00am!) I stopped to photograph the waning crescent Moon, just above the eastern horizon. Nearby, to the north (left) was Venus - incredibly bright, even as a thin crescent itself: around magnitude -3.8. Stretched along the ecliptic were three more planets: Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. An hour earlier, Uranus would have been visible too, just to the left of Mars!

Wednesday 27 July 2022

Titchwell Marsh: some decent (if distant) birds!

Since neither Norman nor Brian were free this week, I left home at 'stupid-o'-clock' and was at Titchwell by 5.00am. (The regular Barn Owl was hunting just east of the entrance.) The freshwater lagoon was about 30% dry, so lots of waders were huddled in front of Island Hide: mostly Black-tailed Godwits, Avocets and Ruff, but a dapper little Spotted Redshank was the first of three I eventually came across.

A move to Parrinder Hide produced very distant views of one - perhaps two - Little Stints, as well as a Golden Plover that had me considering Pacific GP... A Couple of Spoonbills, a Curlew Sandpiper and the first of two Great Egrets were also present.

A longish walk round to the Autumn Trail provided views of the far side of the Freshwater Lagoon: eventually I managed to find the Lesser Yellowlegs as well as two more Spotted Redshanks and a second Great Egret. Two Red Kites were sunning themselves by the path back to reception.

I stopped at Cley on the way home, on the offchance of a Night Heron, but managed only a Buzzard and Water Rail.  Pleasant to bump into Elizabeth and Barry (of Wingsearch fame!) while enjoying a cheese scone!

Monday 25 July 2022

Hemblington Church July wildlife survey

In all honesty: not much to survey! A combination of the present drought conditions, the time of year and the earlier working party restricted both the number of birds and species. There were a few butterflies and dragonflies, including Norfolk, Migrant and Southern Hawkers.

Hemblington Church work party

The northern wildlife meadow having been mowed, a small working party assembled to rake and remove the resulting hay. The job only took an hour or so, but it was quite strenuous work, even with slightly lower temperatures than last week's.