Archive for Nov, 2018


Koalas for Breakfast

When I went to Australia in January I was disappointed to only find a single Koala and that was a-ways-away. Venturing down under this month I thought about generating a bit more luck that we had on the Great Ocean Road and in the You Yangs. I thought a visit to Gippsland would be more profitable.. I couldn’t have wished for more Koalas. No sooner we arrived one was grunting in trees close by. More followed; at the tops of trees, at the bottom of trees, running on the ground, eating, sleeping … they were everywhere. All in all the first day’s tally was well over 30 animals … and a lot of other things besides Koalas too.




As we walked down the dunes in East Norfolk the other week a large raptor was hovering in front of us. Although Common Buzzards will frequently hover in a headwind the only buzzard to habitually hover kestrel style is a Rough legged Buzzards. A quick check with the bins and sure enough it was a Rough leg showing a nice black belly and a white proximal area on the tail. This winter visitor is a big bird but still warranted some mobbing by a Marsh Harrier as well as one of the local Crows.


Atlantic Greys

These adult Atlantic or Grey Seals were popping up around our boat the other week. When it comes to seals think ‘dog’ in terms of curiosity. They will always come close to check us out.



It’s that time of year again and those blonde babies are once more appearing on the beaches. The reason Grey Seal pups are white at birth is a hangover from the ice age when they would have been camouflaged among the ice. Camouflaged against predators. So far the seals in Norfolk have been predator free. However, it’s only a matter of time until an Orca finds the rookeries here. This was one of the first pups to be born on Blakeney point this year. Taken on a photographic tour last weekend.


Light and easy

Pallid Swifts within Norfolk during November are regular but always a little contentious. They are never easy to distinguish from Common Swifts. Even photographs can be a little confusing and it’s not too difficult to inadvertently change a common to a pallid during processing. Time must be taken to watch the birds in a variety of light from various positions. It’s only then that distinguishing features can be clinched such as the dark eye, the darker saddle and underbody, darker primaries and leading edge of the wing that contrast with paler coverts and secondaries, the paler head and throat and the slightly shallower tail fork as well as paler feather edgings on the flanks. The feature of a blunter wing tip on Pallid is not as easy to distinguish as literature states and in my opinion varies from bird to bird. I guess it is one of those features that is dependant on it’s attitude in the air.

A message from Ben today stating he had a Pallid hawking along the cliff top at Overstrand saw me make a diversion from the shops in Cromer to the cliffs above the golf course. The light was immaculate as it frequently is in Norfolk and we were looking north to watch the bird hawking in front of the cliffs. Although relatively distant the bird’s milky coloured plumage was immediately apparent. However it took a while for the bird to come closer so the other features could be seen but in the end the identity of the bird was unquestionable.

Today’s Swift was in the company of a white rumped hirundine. Shame it was only a House Martin!



Stealing the Show

We were waiting for the Stejneger’s Stonechat to come a little closer last week when this little chap decided to make an appearance. Not normally prone to dancing across sunlit meadows this Water Rail had obviously not read the books!


That’s gota hurt

Clash of the Titans. The Fallow Deer rut in full swing on Saturdays tour.

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Nov 2018


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