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Thursday 30 May 2024

Feed the birds, tuppence a bag...

I wish! Linda (and occasionally I!) spend a bit more than tuppence, especially at this time of year when parent birds seem to depend on the fat balls, crushed nuts and other treats they are offered.

Wednesday 29 May 2024

Morning on the north coast: rain (nearly) stopped play!

Despite a very gloomy weather forecast, Norman, Brian and I made the half hour drive to Cley, arriving in warm temperatures and bright sunshine. This didn't last long: every now and then a fine drizzle would pass over, with heavier showers visible to the west. Nevertheless, we managed visits to Bishop's, the Coastguards and Arnold's Marsh, where three Little Gulls, Grey Plovers, Barwits and flight views of a Little Stint made it worth the trip. A pipit that flew in from the sea seemed to have features of a Tree Pipit...

After coffee we headed west to Burnham Overy, walking the muddy track out to the estuary. Apart from two fly-over Spoonbills, there was little to see, highlights being Little Tern, Little Egret and Yellowhammer. Just as we reached the end of the path the heavens opened, so we scuttled back to the car and headed for home, picking up a bonus Raven as we approached Wells.

Tuesday 28 May 2024

Ospreys at Ranworth: will this be the year?!

This morning I left home early to unlock the Church: I took a looping route via Ranworth NWT Reserve to see if the recently reported Osprey was present: it was, and it had a mate! Having been trying to convince myself that the brownish blob on the very distant nest platform was an Osprey, I was delighted when it stood up to greet a second bird that flew in and promptly mated with it! I watched for a further thirty minutes before leaving them to it, during which time I added Sparrowhawk, Kingfisher, Great Spot and Common Tern to the morning's haul!

Monday 27 May 2024

Acle Gin Festival

Another terrific evening with Synergy at the annual Gin Festival. We played a storming three hour set for a good-humoured crowd, who danced and sang along right until the end!

Saturday 25 May 2024

The assassin is never far away!

Our resident Sparrowhawk spent most of yesterday and this morning lurking among the foliage in the garden: his favourite trees are the Chusan Palm, large Cotoneaster and Magnolia. Meanwhile, Great & Blue Tits, Jackdaws, Dunnocks and Blackbirds have all bred in or around the garden, while Goldfinches, House Sparrows, Stock Doves and Collared Doves are already bringing young to feed.

Friday 24 May 2024

May survey at Hemblington Church

Since the early morning was bright and warm, Linda and I carried out the May survey today. In truth the birds were a little thin on the ground: we had to work hard to find a few! The exception, as always, were the raptors: plenty of Kites and Buzzards.... We wondered if the somewhat severe recent hedge pruning might have had an impact on the passerines, particularly those that nest around the churchyard.

Thursday 23 May 2024

Sun in normal light and H-alpha

As well as using a Baader solar filter to photograph the Sun with my DSLR and 300mm lens, I have a Coronado Solarscope, which allows you to see (and image) the Sun in just the spectral wavelength of Hydrogen. I was hoping to capture the large prominence that others have reported, but no luck... Still, I managed several nice little sunspot groups.

Tuesday 21 May 2024

Turtle Doves and Woodlarks on a Norfolk Heath

The 'Summer Wine Crew' headed north through the early morning tractor traffic, arriving at Cley at around 8.00am. Visits to the Coastguards, middle hides and Bishop's were pretty unproductive: just a pair of Little Ringed Plovers and some Bearded Tits. After coffee we headed inland to a traditional site for Turtle Doves where, after a false start, heard two birds purring deep in cover with a third right by the road in full view! A Woodlark collecting grasshoppers was good to see, but only Norman managed a Dartford Warbler.

On the way home we stopped at Hickling in hope of a Swallowtail, but it had grown quite cool and there were no butterflies of any sort on the wing. We did see lots of Chiffchaffs, a Cuckoo and a couple of distant drake Garganey.