30
Jul
14

Spot on

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I was beginning to get that jaundice feeling on Monday. Too many hours on the laptop. I needed to get out and take a few pictures. I made Tuesday an official day to myself.

Titchwell looked good; it had a Spotted Crake and a Long tailed Skua around. I had another call to make on the way and arrived during the warm afternoon.

The Crake had not been seen all day and the Skua had disappeared early morning … typical.

There were folks in the hide that had been there for hours that were giving up on the ghost of the crake. I was a little disappointed for them as no sooner had they left than the Crake ran out from the reedbed and did all but a song and dance act out in the open; in fact everything a crepuscular Crake is not supposed to do. I took some rather distant shots as it came and went a few times and then moved on.

There were other things around; some nice Wood Sands and an absolute cutlery drawer full of Spoonbills but I decided to walk to Thornham Point. Mainly because I hadn’t been there for years and secondly that’s where the Skua was last seen.

I met and talked with a few others but all that was seen were a few distant Arctic Skuas and a bevy of shorebirds. It was a long way carrying a tripod and heavy lens but I so enjoyed the walk.

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Spotted Crake

2014 07 29 Thornham Point looking east Norfolk!cid_80A688F8-AC6D-42EA-B900-5E5E0EA6D6DF

Any twitchers here? – I don’t think so!

2014 07 29 Thornham Point looking west Norfolk!cid_8F800B4F-FC3D-4F3C-81EA-12D17E783665

 

29
Jul
14

Spoonprints

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A good number of Spoonbills started to gather at Cley last month. Evenings seemed to be best to see them. As I sat in the hide photographing them I began to notice the intricate patterning on the bills of the adults and wondered if they are unique to that individual. In other words can we identify individuals by their bill pattern? A bit like fingerprints. A nice spot of study for someone?

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Spoonbill1

Spoonbill3

27
Jul
14

Narthecium ossifragum

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Narthecium ossifragum means ‘Brittle boned’. It’s the Latin name of Bog Asphadel a plant of our boggy areas with subtly beautiful yellow flowers. The name came from the belief that the plant made the bones of grazing sheep weak. As always there’s some truth in these old fables. The sheep would be grazing grass on wet acid soils where the Asphadel grows. The acid soil would have yielded grass with low calcium content that would ultimately have had an impact on the calcium in their bones.

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Bog Asphodel 1

 

Bog Asphodel

25
Jul
14

A Warm Summers Evening

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In the warm light of the summer evening on Wednesday we watched a Buddleia bush come alive with butterflies. White and Red Admirals, Brimstones, Peacocks, Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers as well as the odd Grayling.

I thought the stars of the show were the Silver Washed Fritillaries; three on one flower was good. That was until a couple of White Letter Hairstreaks came down from the treetops to feed. 

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Silver Washed Fritillary

White letter Hairstreak

23
Jul
14

Laden

We saw this Bee species the other day. It was so laden with pollen it could hardly fly.

Bee sp

21
Jul
14

Eye Eye

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It never ceases to amaze me what flies around in the darkness of the night. A beautiful Eyed Hawk Moth in the moth trap the other day. Exquisitely beautiful.

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Eyed Hawkmoth

 

19
Jul
14

Brilliant just brilliant

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Identified from Downy Emeralds by their yellow frons (nose) we saw several Brilliant Emeralds hawking around a small secluded stream in a deep heathland valley the other week. Anyone who has tried to photograph any one of the Emerald Dragons will know how secretive and elusive they can be; often only perching high within trees. We were just lucky I suppose but towards the end of the day one individual at least was more than obliging.

Several Keeled Skimmers were also in the area as was a nice Emperor, several Four Spot Chasers, Large Red and Azure Damselflies.

I have to thank my friend Dawn for giving directions to the stream where the Brilliant Emeralds were patrolling.

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Brilliant Emerald

Brilliant Emerald 1

 




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