Archive for the 'norfolk' Category


‘B’ Fly

A buzzing insect interjects a certain unease into someones demeanour. It makes them wary. If you have ever been stung by an angry bee you’ll be well aware why.

Some insects have apparel that makes them seem more ferocious than what they are; a long pointy rear end or a probing proboscis strikes up a fear of being injected!

Give an insect both these things and you have a recipe for a would be predator or assailant to take a step backwards. A Bee Fly is one such species. Completely benign and quite endearing really … it’s all buzz and no bite.

2018 05 05 Bee Fly Minsmere Suffolk_Z5A4984


Taken to tusk

I quite like Chinese Water Deer. They are very ‘bambi’ like. Much cuter than the rather brusk faced Muntjac. This one appeared out of the reedbed as we were waiting for Bittern. Although he was be-tusked and moulting he didn’t lose any of his charm.


‘all white

On tour at Hickling the other week a large Egret flew up out of the reedbed. The yellow bill and completely black legs immediately confirmed it as a Great White. They bred in Norfolk last year. I suspect with the number we have around us the event will be repeated and become the norm.


Two’s company, three’s a crowd.

Three Little ringed Plovers were sparring with one another the other day. Things were getting a little agitated. I suspect the consternation centred around who was going to mate with whom. Anyways, amid the whole ‘she’s my woman’ thing one of the plovers tilted it’s head and looked up. A sure sign of a raptor. I looked up too. It was a Marsh Harrier passing through. maybe next time it’ll be an Osprey :0)



An entertaining couple of hours in Babcock Hide

“You wont need that” Marcus said as I grabbed my coat. He was quite right I wouldn’t need it. The day was warm and bright. Not a cloud in sight. However the forecast had said rain and I was being cautious as I intended stopping in the hide for a while. It was late Sunday afternoon and the sun was swinging into the west and people were going home after a weekend on the coast. I figured I might have the hide to myself for an hour or so. There was a popular Black necked Grebe on the scrape and I’d promised myself some time off from working at the laptop to do a little photography before I needed to get back and put the Yorkshire puds on. There isn’t a good hide on the North Norfolk coast that looks west; they all face east into the morning light. Afternoons are therefore usually best for hide photography here. Better light, fewer people.

The Black necked Grebe was indeed present. In full summer garb. Spikey gold headgear and all that. At distance. It was as far away as it could get. If the scrape had a far right-angle corner I’m sure the bird would have been cowering in it. I waited. People disappeared.

The storm clouds gathered and eventually, as promised, it rained. I mean really rained. It rained like someone had upended all the clouds and it rained hard. Thunder, lightning, the whole first scene of Macbeth.; and the migrants started dropping in. Grounded by the bad weather a couple of Sandwich Terns came to take cover, Wheatears appeared in their ‘just got out of the shower’ plumage and a Short eared Owl pitched in at the back of the scrape. Several Marsh Harriers battled away into the downpour and the Spoonbill thought ‘bugger this’ and flew off. Black tailed Godwits and a totally confused Dunlin pitched in too. All lovely birds to see.

As for the Black necked Grebe … it did come closer … but not much.


A Sea of Seal

Some big numbers of Grey Seals on the East coast at the moment. On yesterday’s tour we estimated we could see at least a thousand from one viewpoint. Lots of moulting moaning itchy pinnipeds.


A bone to pick and a beard to trim

Last week I was asked to identify a bone that had been found on Titchwell beach. If you are interested a photo and write up can be found here

The journey over to Titchwell from West Runton isn’t a short hop so I thought I’d go onto the reserve and take a few photos; making use of the time I had to enjoy myself. The sun was still low over the reserve, Titchwell comes into its own during the afternoon when the sun moves behind you; so conditions were not ideal for photography. However the Bearded Tit were performing so I fired off a few shots. I like the golden quality of ‘into the light photography’ that you often get in reedbeds.

It’s worth noting during my visit to Titchwell and the tour to Minsmere two days earlier I never saw or heard a Cetti’s Warbler. Purely anecdotal of course but I wonder if the recent cold weather has reduced numbers.

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May 2018
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