Author Archive for Carl Chapman

16
Nov
18

Pupping

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.

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12
Nov
18

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!

 

08
Nov
18

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!

05
Nov
18

That’s gota hurt

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

29
Oct
18

Head in a box

We were walking on St Agnes within the Isles of Scilly archipelago earlier this month when we saw something unusual. Three grown chaps on their knees with their heads in a box.

As we walked closer I could see it was a moth trap they were peering into. “Anything good?” I asked. To which I was greeted with big smiles. Three very obliging guys then proceeded to show my group the contents of their moth traps; but they kept the best until last. A Silver Striped Hawkmoth. This was the first time this species had been seen on the Scillies. Although we get around 10 a year arriving throughout the UK from their normal southern Europe and North African range they still remain a good find for anyone running a moth trap.

My thanks to the guys once more.

26
Oct
18

Closer Still

Did I say in an earlier post this month that I’d got as close as I’d ever been to a Merlin? Well on the last day of our Scillies tour this year … this happened.

23
Oct
18

Bar tailed

Another regular on the first trip to Scillies this October was a Bar tailed Godwit that could be found with some regularity either on Porthcressa or Porthloo Beach. H(sh)e had a friendly character and performed admirably for photographers.




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