18
Sep
18

Spat

The feeding behavior of waders here in North Norfolk is sometimes interesting to watch. It’s not impossible to find a flock of Ruff feeding in complete harmony side by side and then on another occasion it seems as though they’re at war. These two Ruff were having a particular vicious spat with one limping away from the encounter.

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15
Sep
18

Don’t start

I went to Leeds this week. My god it’s changed since my business development days. I was a stranger in a ‘hip’ city full of instrument carrying bearded students wearing converse footwear without socks. I don’t like cities. Too many people. Too much traffic. Too few green places and not enough connection with the real world that should matter; but sadly doesn’t. This was the realm of a disjointed population. A developing culture determined to be set apart from its origins.

As Holly, my daughter, and I walked from the university to her halls of residence I heard familiar noises. It’s like hearing your name mentioned in a crowded room. It stood out. I looked up to see a small gang of Pied Wagtails flutter down from the escarpment of a Victorian facaded building into a sparse ornamental tree being choked at the roots as it bulged the edges of surrounding designer brickwork. The crowds around us oblivious to their presence. Even here nature was taking a stand; trying to compete with the noise of traffic and pushing back the paving. The tree and the wagtails brought a smile to my face.

Holly was just asking me if I thought the name of the nearby café would have been purposely named based on it’s address when I heard another sound. Less familiar … but I recognised it. It took me a little time to locate the Black Redstart calling high above the café. A bird of scree and rocky valleys had found a home here in a concrete and plastic pretence.

A migrant … or even a breeder perhaps?

 

12
Sep
18

Cutie

Young Avocets. Cute or what?

09
Sep
18

Silver Y

Earlier this year we had an influx of these day flying moths. I guess it’s easy to see why they call them Silver Y’s

06
Sep
18

Life is Golden

I know they are released exotics but ‘by-heck!’ Golden Pheasants are full of colour. When we saw this one a lady nearby wanted to know what sort of chicken it was!?!?!

03
Sep
18

Streaking Again

I found myself in Gilbert White’s patch a few weeks ago. The 18th Century naturalist was a pioneer in natural history. I thought I’d retrace his steps and have another go at Brown Hairstreak before the season ended. Walking on the dew laden heath I was trying to find an optimum spot for a phone signal when a hairstreak shot by me at break-neck speed. I chased it but it disappeared into impenetrable blackthorn. A spotted flycatcher sallied down and caught something but I’m not completely sure it was ‘my’ butterfly. It took me a further two hours to find another. Eventually I managed to get close enough for a half decent shot but it evaporated before I could get the underwing. Difficult subject this species. Ah well! Maybe next year.

31
Aug
18

Transatlantic dots

It’s been a long time since I’ve visited the Lincolnshire coast to do a little birding. The occurrence of two scarce birds on the UK list at Frampton Marsh RSPB was an opportunity to put that right. A Stilt Sandpiper and a Long billed Dowitcher both from across the Atlantic made landfall on the reserve of late and on Thursday I had the chance to pop around the water and see them. It’s always galling that I can see the reserve across the Wash from the Norfolk coast but it’s a two hour drive to get there.

Instantly on arrival it became obvious that photographing both birds was not really possible without a substantial wait or multiple visits; both waders were extremely distant. The Stilt Sand may as well have been on the Norfolk side of The Wash and it was feeding so vigorously it took on the appearance of a singer sewing machine. The Dowitcher however woke up from its slumber behind a stand of rushes and began a slow walk towards us. 30 minutes later it had halved its distance. It was still a good chuck to reach it but at least was more than a dot on the focusing screen.

Nice reserve Frampton. May go there again.

It wouldn’t surprise me if both birds turned up in Norfolk in the next week or so.

 




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