31
Aug
15

Ladies and their hair

I eventually found some Autumn Ladies Tresses to photograph the other week. This photograph shows how this orchid got its name. The spiral of flowers around this 10cm stem really do look like plaits of hair.

Autumn Ladies Tresses

29
Aug
15

Soon to leave us

Some marvellous warblers among the reed beds being less than elusive here on the coast. This Sedge and Reed Warbler will soon be gone and away to their dark continental winter home.

Sedge Warbler

Reed Warbler

 

27
Aug
15

A sandy bank, a wasp and lots of bees

A sandy bank in the dunes can turn up all sorts of wonderful bits of wildlife; but you have to watch carefully.

As if the honey bees don’t have enough of the odds stacked against them at the moment there’s a Honey Bee predator around … a wolf … a bee wolf.

The female European Beewolf Wasp predates on an unsuspecting bee as it gathers pollen. It immobilises it with an injection of paralyzing venom and then carries it back to her lair; a one metre tunnel into sandy soil. Flying back with a payload as big as you own body tucked up within your undercarriage can’t be easy but this predator does it repeatedly. She even has special plates on the underside of her abdomen to protect her from the sting of any protesting bees. She then tucks it away in her lair, not for her to eat, for this wasp is a pollen eater, but for her young grub to feed upon when they hatch out.

Once a great rarity in the UK they still have a Red Data Book Status of vulnerable but have now started to spread from their Suffolk and Dorset strongholds and apparently have reached as far north as Yorkshire.

Beewolf Wasp 1 Beewolf Wasp 2

25
Aug
15

A fall of Warblers

We’ve had a period of easterlies with some rain in the last few days. A combination to bring migrants to our coast. Here on the hill Redstarts, Pied Flycatchers, Whitethroats and Lesser Whitethroats were scattered among Phylloscopus Warblers.

Perhaps the best of the bunch was along the coast at Salthouse. Eddie Myers found a Booted Warbler. This tea coloured plain round warbler from central Russia is rare but annual in Britain. A harbinger of more, perhaps dare I say, even better to come?

I hope so.

Booted Warbler

23
Aug
15

The Marshes

Out on the marshes it’s wonderful what you can come across sometimes. This Sperm Whales skull is approximately 15 years old. Given the measurements, the animal was a sub adult and would undoubtedly have been a male. Almost without exception the Sperm Whales cast up on Norfolk’s shores are male. Come to the Cetacean Workshop at the end of October at NWT Cley to find out why. https://www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on/all-events/2015-10-31-cetaceans-workshop

Sperm Whale skull

 

21
Aug
15

Wet, wet, wet

A challenging day with almost constant rain last week. Not the sort of weather you wish for a Wildlife Photographic day. However we still managed a few interesting photos between towelling down our cameras and lenses.

This shot of Sanderling over the waves was my favourite.

Sanderling

19
Aug
15

Well … look who came-a-calling

Watching the feeders in the back garden at Falcon Cottage last week saw an old friend come a calling. The Putative Italian Sparrow put in a short visit of a few minutes and then disappeared again as quickly as he appeared.

I guess he must have bred again somewhere locally and just popped in for a bite to eat. This is the third autumn he’s called by. Luckily I had the camera handy to record the moment.

2015 08 16 Italian Sparrow Northrepps Norfolk_Z5A5792

 




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