Archive for August, 2017

29
Aug
17

Spoonies

After the first breeding a few years ago spoonbills are now very much a part of the Norfolk bird-scape. On tours last week it didn’t matter where we went, east , west, coast, Brecks or Broads there they were. These two, an adult and a rather vocal begging youngster, were at Holme.

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26
Aug
17

A Mothers Love

Young life is precious. I was on Madeira a couple of months ago. Well, to be accurate I was at sea off the south west corner of of the island. We came across a very young Sperm Whale. It was flanked by two grown up females. Presumably one was it’s mother; the other maybe an aunt or sister.  This is an animal with the largest brain of any organism on earth including ourselves. This complicated and advanced species has a developed social infrastructure. Any which ways it was obvious this young fella was being protected and defended from all comers.

23
Aug
17

Turn Turtle

The way we treat our land and the wildlife that occupies it is coming to a watershed. Some would say we have already reached a point of no return. One bird that has become very scarce in the UK is the Turtle Dove. A massive reduction in numbers has been caused by insecticides in the UK, destruction of their wintering habitat in Africa and sky pointed guns in the Mediterranean. This is a bird that’s onto a loosing streak wherever it goes.

This summer a pair have sought breeding sanctuary at Titchwell RSPB here on the north Norfolk coast and have been frequently visible in the car park. I photographed one there last week. Reading old copies of the Norfolk Bird and Mammal Report it wasn’t uncommon to see hundreds during a day on the coast. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a sizeable flock of these birds. Do I think they will be seen again in the UK in those numbers? No; but we can hope.

18
Aug
17

Magnificent Beast

He may look a little coy but don’t let him fool you, this magnificent beast is a predator. He’ll have one of your fingers off in heartbeat. This large male Grey Seal was basking off the boat on one of our tours the other week.

15
Aug
17

Charming Choughs and Delightful Dolphins

As one of my guests put it this weekend: “Charming Choughs and Delightful Dolphins”. She was referring to the Wild Weekend in Wales tour we were on. We got to see both Choughs and Bottlenose Dolphins. Among everything else we saw for me it has to be the Red Kites that topped the list. They are so enigmatic and powerful. To see 250+ of these birds wheeling in a kettle above us is just one of the UK’s wildlife spectacles. Next year’s tour is up on the website and open for bookings.

12
Aug
17

Flity

There have been a few sightings in coastal locations of Broad Bordered Bee Hawkmoth this year. We encountered this individual on tour the other week and although a bit ‘flity’ he did hang around long enough for us to photograph him. Wonderful little beasts.

 

09
Aug
17

Foodsource

On the Butterfly Tour last week we encountered a tree full of Purple Hairsteaks. Now anyone familiar with these butterflies will know that watching them usually requires a considerable amount of ‘neck craning’. More frequently that not they are in the very tops of trees. Not so this tree-full. They were more than obliging; coming down to bask in the sheltered sunshine on an Ash tree.

Now, I’m reliably told Purple Hairstreaks don’t as a matter of course visit Ash. They are more associated with Oak and indeed there were Oaks nearby. However apparently they will visit Ash to take the sugary honeydew secreted by Aphids. Aphids being particularly fond of Ash. Well I searched that tree carefully and I couldn’t find a single aphid. Although I did see the hairstreaks sipping the sap from the tree at leaf buds.

We encountered 23 species of butterfly during the day; perhaps a little below what we could have expected had the cloud not set in during the afternoon. Next years day is up for grabs if you wish to come along make a booking https://www.wildlifetoursandeducation.co.uk/tours/special-day-tours/




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