Author Archive for Carl Chapman

02
Jun
21

Whale Whispering

Just finished the penultimate day of our UK mammal tour. We went whale whispering to the East of the Isle of Staffa. Managed to call up three separate Minkes feeding in what was obviously a food rich area.

30
May
21

Hares

Some cracking numbers of Hares around the Norfolk fields at the moment. At Kelling the other week we saw around 20 in one field.

27
May
21

Redbreast

Not a Robin. A Linnet. I couldn’t resist photographing this cock Linnet. he looked like he’d been hit in the chest with a cricket bat. What a colour!

24
May
21

Tigers and bees

Cliff Mining Bee … active on the cliffs at the moment. Green Tiger Beetle active almost everywhere. Been seeing lots of them the last couple of weeks.

21
May
21

Early Purps

Roadside nature Reserves are such important little havens. Someone ought to produce a book on them … now there’s a thought.

Last week I went back to my old stomping grounds to see the regular Early Purple Orchids flowering along the country lanes. I didn’t quite get the spike count to a full ton … but 91 isn’t bad. Such a beautiful orchid holding so many promises of spring.

20
May
21

A Morning to Remember

This morning was a ‘red letter’ visible migration day. Stood at what is fast becoming the UK’s Golden Oriole corridor I had arrived to ridicule. I had missed the first good bird of the day; an Oriole had made it’s way west at stupid o’clock in the morning.

‘It’s all quiet’, ‘not much about’ and ‘should have been here earlier’ were the phrases cast my way. However, the day had an air of ‘rare’ in the wind. This little corner of Norfolk had high misty coverings but no rain. The cooling wind swung around to Southerly, perhaps with a touch of East and ‘BANG’ stuff started to move. An Osprey picked up by Ian at incredible distance slowly worked its way towards us moving up and ever westward it eventually passed us 2Km out to sea. A cuckoo moving west dropped into trees and later leapfrogged into the paddocks. A smattering of Yellow Wagtails, a Couple of Marsh Harriers and Hobbies with a suspect pair of Barnacle Geese was set against an ever increasing number of Swifts and Hirrundines.

Then the icing on the cake. Again Ian called it first. A large swift coming in low over the fields. When I saw front on those languid wings generating a breakneck speed I knew it could be nothing other than an Alpine. It passed in a few seconds and was later picked up at various points further West before it left Norfolk at Hunstanton.

Now where’s that Collared Pratincole up the coast at Blakeney?

18
May
21

Migration

A few migrants were making themselves known on the coast this last week. Seeing the Lesser Whitethroat was particularly nice.

15
May
21

On the wing

A walk along the coast this week produced a smattering of butterflies where the sun lit up sheltered spots. We came across eight species in all. The most common by far were the Painted Ladies. These migrants leapfrogging their way north from the Nile Valley in Egypt were mostly travelling at some speed; but one or two took breath to give a chance of a photo.

12
May
21

Pairing

This pair of Little Ringed Plover were in spring mode last week … eggs next.

10
May
21

Thunbergi

The flava wagtail group is a somewhat complicated one. At West Runton yesterday was a very smart Grey headed jobbie … thunbergi. That bright yellow base topped with a grey crown and nape with slightly darker ear coverts underlined with a white mustache. A smart bird if there ever was one. As Tania and I looked on it played hide and seek in among the grass and dandelions; at times becoming almost invisible.




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