Author Archive for Carl Chapman

15
Sep
22

Autumnal Visitor

The lack of steeply wooded valleys contributes to the lack of breeding Pied Flycatchers in the East of England. Although they have bred in a couple of coastal locations in the past in Norfolk they are mainly known as an autumn migrant. Last week a splattering of what were presumably Scandinavian birds occurred along the coast. This particular bird made Beeston Heath, just up the road from us, its temporary home for a few days.

09
Sep
22

Six Whistler

When staring out to sea, as I often do, looking for cetaceans, birds often attract my attention. These Whimbrel flew West the other week when watching at Cley.

05
Sep
22

Wild Ken Hill

One of the best places in the county to see Grey Partridge is Wild Ken Hill between Snettisham and Heacham in the West of Norfolk. Book yourself on a ‘Big Picture Tour’ for a trip around the estate and learn what good work the WKH team are doing on the farm and in the rewilding area to look after our wildlife and produce our food sustainably.

30
Aug
22

Migration

Swallows are not our birds; we only borrow them. Soon to be lost to foreign shores. Drink these beauties in while you can.

26
Aug
22

There be dragons

A wonderful dragonfly walk at the start of the month by Steve Rowland of the NWT (Norfolk Wildlife Trust) accompanied by Di his lovely wife. I was delighted to be Steve’s guest at Royden Common as he showed members of the NNNS (Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists’ Society) and allcomers, the heath and what thrives there. Some excellent conservation work by excellent naturalists.

I managed to get some half decent photos of Black Darter that were flying around the pools. Remember anyone can attend the NNNS events usually (but not always) at no cost. See http://norfolknaturalists.org.uk/wp/events-page/#main for details.

23
Aug
22

First for Britain

As that temperature contour continues to flow North aided by global warming, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that new species for the UK will move on its crest. I found myself to the South of King’s Lynn the other week. Unusually, I had a little time to spare. A visit to Graffham Water was on the cards. The Cape Gull showed admirably.

I’m not so sure I would have pulled that giant bill out from the flock. I would probably have passed it over as an odd Greater-Black Backed. Well done to the finder… and thank you.

20
Aug
22

Aberration

The Chilterns is a wonderful place for butterflies. One of the reserves we called at was Aston Rowant NNR. The reserve slopes are great for Silver Spotted Skipper, and we saw many of them. However, it wasn’t just about one species … we managed 15 in all, including Adonis Blue, Brown Argus in spades as well as Brown Hairstreak which is the first time I’ve seen it there. It’s ironic really as on the following day I ran a Brown Hairstreak tour when we didn’t see any at all. However, as I’ve constantly reiterated to those that follow this blog and come on the tours … there’s always something to look at.

Perhaps the best find at Aston Rowant, for me, was an aberrant Chalk Hill Blue. I find these variations to the norm fascinating – as yet I’ve not been able to tie it down to type and give it a name (possibly Ab. postico-obsoleta) but I’m sure someone out there will be able to; although there are more than four hundred named varieties of this beautiful species (Russwurm, 1978)

17
Aug
22

Hawkeye

15
Aug
22

Beauty and the Beast

Roaming across the Chilterns this week in search of Silver Spotted Skippers we happened upon Beauty and the Beast. A Robber Fly in an embrace with an Adonis Blue Butterfly … invoking the kiss of death.

05
Aug
22

Wader-fest

The reserve at Frampton in Lincolnshire without doubt will become an RSPB showpiece. There are certain improvements going on at the moment that will make it irresistible to visitors. Both avian and human.

Barbara, Carol, Richard and Ross accompanied me on a tour there last week. We had a good number of passing Yellow Wagtails but without doubt the highlight was the wader-fest presented before us. A wide range of species in great numbers.




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