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Tuesday 30 May 2023

Our own murmuration!

Linda is in the habit of putting fat balls along the garden path: this always attracts a good selection of garden birds: Blackbirds, House Sparrows, Stock Doves and the usual pigeons. This time of year, though, these are shouldered out of the way by flocks of young Starlings: often fifty or more, supervised by just one or two adults. The mystery is: where do they come from? I know of no local colonies...

Sunday 28 May 2023

A fabulous gig! Thankyou Lowestoft!

Despite the heavy traffic and lack of car parking, a terrific crowd turned out to watch SYNERGY at the Blues Bar today. We played for three hours and had everyone on their feet: what's more: we were immediately rebooked!

Saturday 27 May 2023

The Blues Bar, Lowestoft

Final reminder! SYNERGY, the Rock & Blues band of which I have the honour to be lead vocalist, are gigging in Lowestoft tomorrow afternoon. Should be fun!

Friday 26 May 2023

Black-winged Stilts at Hickling

Despite the appalling traffic, I managed to grab a quick hour at Hickling NWT Reserve to catch up with the newly-arrived Stilts. There were at least three birds present: others reported two pairs. I wonder if these are last year's returners or their offspring?

Also on view through the heat haze was a female Ferruginous Duck (apparently paired with a drake Pochard) a Whimbrel, several Greenshank and Richard 'the Hat' from the North Coast!

Thursday 25 May 2023

Great Reed Warbler at Strumpshaw

I dashed out before tea to spend an hour at Strumpshaw Fen - a venue I haven't visited for a long time. After a brief wait the reported Great Reed Warbler began singing in front of Reception Hide, but it took another hour to get brief views of the bird perched and in flight. Pleasant to chat with some other old timers, including Drew L, while we waited in vain for better views!

Spoonbill at Cley

 This handsome individual spent some time feeding in front of Bishop's Hide yesterday...

The Moon and Mars

The crescent Moon continues its drift eastward, bringing it close to Mars in the evening sky last night. Honestly: this gathering of three bright celestial objects is well worth a look!

Wednesday 24 May 2023

Fourteen Glossy Ibis at Cley!

Yes: really!

Brian and I had a morning on the north coast, starting at Kelling Heath, where we saw Dartford and Willow Warbler and several Stonechats: we heard Turtle Dove and Woodlark. On the walk back to the car we came across an Elder bush that was heaving with Green Hairstreaks!

A move to Cley saw us in Bishop's Hide just in time to watch a flock of fourteen Glossy Ibis (and a Cormorant) powering westward. They were tracked all the way to the wash! A Spoonbill was good to watch, with it's saffron-coloured bill tirelessly sweeping the water.

After coffee we visited the centre hides, where Pat's Pool held distant Common and Wood Sandpiper as well as both Little and Temminck's Stint. A distant Bittern flew high towards Blakeney. And so home!


A terrific planetary grouping

Last night the Moon continued to move east through Gemini, and was nestled in between super-bright Venus and fading Mars: the 'Heavenly Twins' Castor and Pollux formed a great stellar background. Tonight, if clear, the Moon will have moved close to Mars.

Tuesday 23 May 2023

Curlew Sandpiper at Buckenham Marsh

Record shots? I'm the master of the record shot! Normally I wouldn't bother to try for a photograph of a small wader half a mile away in the heat haze, but Curlew Sandpiper is quite a scarce bird in the mid-Yare Valley.

I felt a bit sorry for LGRE who arrived after having dipped the long-staying Caspian at Hickling: still, he seemed genuinely pleased to see the CS and to hear about some nearby Spotted Flycatchers.

Other birds included two Yellow Wagtails and four or five distant Hobbies