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Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Synergy: live at Heathlands!

Every five or six years Linda, Peter, Sue and I organise an Autumn fundraiser for Friends of Hemblington Church. In the past this has been either a musical variety show or a musical quiz: all have been sell-outs and have raised a decent sum in aid of the church repair fund. This year, on October 15th, my rock and blues band Synergy will be offering three hours of your favourite classics, including hits by the Stones, Free, Clapton, Hendrix and Them. Tickets are limited and are already beginning to sell, so phone or e-mail either Linda or Sue - details below!



Tuesday, 30 August 2022

Whinchats at Winterton and Hickling - but no Eleonora's

Brian, Norman and I made an early start, parking at the end of the Nelson Head road and walking north to the dunes. After some delay (bullocks blocking the path!) we reached the blue container and headed south. A brief seawatch revealed a few seals and a close-in flock of Common Scoter. The first passerine we saw was a Whinchat - one of perhaps half a dozen. This was followed by a similar number of Stonechats, but, apart from Goldhinches and Linnets that was it.

We decided to visit nearby Hickling, but the Eleonora's Falcon didn't put in an appearance while we were there. We did come across an unexpected Wheatear and two more Whinchats, as well as the more predictable Cranes and Great Egrets...









Monday, 29 August 2022

Hummingbird Hawkmoth

There's been at least one Hummingbird Hawkmoth in the garden for the past ten days: often there's been a pair. This must surely be the best Summer on record for this charming species. 
Tonight our visitor found the Phlox nectar irrestible!





New residents for the reef tank

We've added two colourful new fish to our marine nano-tank: both just a couple of centimetres long, to reduce the 'load' on the biological filtration (Corals need absolutely clean water.)

The blue Neon Goby is an 'ambush predator' and spends his time lurking on the rock work: when Linda puts a few mysis or copepods in, he launches himself like a little missile! The Yellow Blenny is a delightful little fellow, who likes to snuggle down inside one of the large discs...




Sunday, 28 August 2022

First of the Few...

This afternoon (on Freeview) I watched the old Leslie Howard / David Niven biopic about R J Mitchell, the designer of the Spitfire. Mitchell basically died from overwork, creating (in the nick of time) one of the  iconic fighter planes that - along with Sidney Camm's Hurricane - won the Battle of Britain. Actors Howard and Niven were both important factors in the British war effort: Howard was shot down by the Luftwaffe, while Niven served as a Commando. As a patriot and ex-Naval pilot, I was almost in tears.....

Where have sense of duty, pride in our nation, work ethic and self-sacrifice gone? Have we really  become a nation of selfish, whining snowflakes?



Saturday, 27 August 2022

Synergy at Sutton Staithe: farewell to Buddy Bell

Well-known Norfolk biker and mineral dealer 'Bell' recently passed away and we were asked to play at his after-funeral wake at the Sutton Staithe Hotel. 

The evening went very well and the crowd of bikers who arrived to celebrate Bell's life were most appreciative of our choice of music, especially his favourite number 'Bad to the Bone'.








Thursday, 25 August 2022

The new garden furniture: dinner for four!

Peter and Sue came round last night to help us 'christen' the new patio set we bought at Beccles Antiques Fair. It was a warm - if somewhat muggy - evening, and the chilled Winbirri fizz was the perfect aperitif!

After a few glasses we moved indoors for dinner: a retro meal of avocado prawn cocktails, followed by Quorn 'chicken', leek and mushroom pithivier with a tarragon and sherry sauce, washed down with a delightful bottle of Saumur. Linda's pudding of raspberry cranachan was a sublime way to finish...





Wednesday, 24 August 2022

New Buzzards on the block!

For the past few days a 'new' pair of Common Buzzards have been displaying over the garden: I wonder if they've displaced our previous couple that included the beautiful white male...




Cattle Egret and Green Sandpiper at Cley: short video

Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Cattle Egret and other 'goodies' at Cley!

Brian, Norman and I enjoyed a morning at Cley (with a quick dash along to Kelling for coffee, the NWT visitor centre being closed!) 

Some excellent bits and pieces from Dauke's Hide : Green and Wood Sandpiper, lots of Greenshank and Ruff and three distant Little Stints. A stroll along the East Bank added Bittern and Bearded Tit for the day, but little else.

Following our coffee break, we walked out to Dauke's again, to be greeted by a beautiful summer-plumaged Cattle Egret: we'd seen this earlier - and very distantly - from the veranda at the visitor centre, so it was great to get close views.