I’m leaving for a while. I’ll be back though. At the end of the month. By necessity I have to cease posting on Letter from Norfolk and Facebook until then. All will become apparent towards the end of January. In the meantime I’ll leave you with a sort of clue. See you at the end of the month … with a slightly different format.
Tags: Birding With Wildlife Tours and Education, Cuvier's Beaked Whales, Happy New Year
The end of another year is almost upon us. Goodbye 2016 and hello 2017. Thinking back through the last twelve months there’s been so many good sightings; so many good times. It really has been a good year.
The Geese and Goosanders on the Solway Tour performed for us as did all the specialities on the April Scotland Tour. The Mull tour was spectacular; eagles, whales and more. Canada leaves Humpbacks breaching through my memories for many years to come. Scilly was a classic. Orchids, butterflies and Nightjars all played a part during the year. So many sightings, so many places.
If I was to choose one moment; one sighting above all others, it would have to be seeing Cuvier’s Beaked Whales in the bay of Biscay. Beautiful, enigmatic, specialised life forms that we can only peek at through tiny keyholes in time before they descend once more to the depths.
Happy New Year… have a good one.
More reminiscing. Another photo from Grand Manan this summer. A Cedar Waxwing.
Looking at the birds white under-tail coverts, rather than the chestnut of our own ‘Bohemian’ Waxwings was a sort of double reminder. I recall going to Nottingham. It must have been in 1996. God that’s 20 years ago. Early in the year maybe … probably February. My friend Ken Laban and I set off to search the huge flock of about a thousand or more Waxwings for the Cedar Waxwing that had turned up among them. We found it … eventually. The flock was very mobile. After an initial brief glimpse the whole flock took flight but eventually settled a mile or so away on the outskirts of the city in berried bushes surrounding an industrial estate. This enabled us to have really good views. Those were the days. Nothing like a spot of dirty twitching!
Chinese Water Deer are one of those animals that doesn’t like daylight. It’s not until dusk starts to creep into the equation that it start to come alive. I saw this one as I was walking back to the car last week. The day had been unusually mild. It had obviously been laid among the sedges absorbing the warmth from the winter sun. As the shadows got longer it was starting to cool. The deer stood up and shook itself before slipping away behind the vegetation again.
Let me take this opportunity to wish all Letter from Norfolk readers a very Merry Christmas and remind you all we’ve turned a corner …the days are now getting longer!
Passing Salthouse duckpond yesterday I stopped the car and had a good look through the gulls perched seemingly everywhere. One almost immediately stood out from the congeries. There had been an Iceland Gull seen here in recent days … it was back. Stood in short grass the disarray in its plumage was obvious as was it’s reluctance to fly. It also had a gammy leg, was heavy with feather life and spent much of its time with its eyes closed. the bird had obviously seen better days.
Moving the vehicle and walking down the shingle ridge nearby the antics of a 40+ strong flock of Snow Bunting were a delight to watch. On returning to the vehicle the Iceland Gull had moved into the field adjacent to where the car was parked. It was now in longer grass but was closer; although still reluctant to fly.