Archive for the 'wildlife norfolk' Category

15
Mar
19

Swapping Continents

I arrived in Australia a couple of days after finishing the Southern Scotland Tour at the beginning of March. Having recovered from a bout of food poisoning acquired on the Cathay Pacific flight one of the first places Tania and I visited was the Werribee treatment plant. What a wonderful place for birds it is. For those that have never been imagine Titchwell RSPB … on steroids. It does however have the downfall of being wrapped up in colonial administration worthy of a banana republic. It reminded me of visiting a shrimp farm in Gambia thirty odd years ago when I had to offer everything I owned short of a pint of blood before I was allowed to enter. Anyways that’s a story for a different time. Having applied for a permit online to visit Werribee then travelled to pick up the gate key in a completely different location to the reserve itself, sat through a training induction for the third time in as many months, signed a disclosure document, offered up my ID and made a promise to change from my shorts into long trousers, I was on my way. … but not before being given the following parting shot by the lady administrator …. “I hope the Tufted Duck is still around for you” she said.

I had heard a Tufted Duck was floating around on one of the lagoons somewhere. Completely lost of course and way off it’s Eurasian home turf, it had even hit newspaper headlines here in Victoria. I reassured the lady that I would not be seeking any Tufted Ducks as I had in the previous few days been knee deep among them in the Scottish lowlands. I could see a moment of confusion on her face as she looked down at the Norfolk address I’d given her. I made her none the wiser as I picked up the gate key and fled the office. I can only conclude she thought Norfolk was perhaps in Scotland somewhere.

I was processing a few shots from the South Scotland Tour this week and I noticed this photo. A drake Tufted Duck, caught in the wind with a fraying hairstyle worthy of Donald Trump rather than Donald Duck. The Tuftie was sharing a pool with a rather secretive Green Winged Teal from America. It’s a small world… especially if you can fly.

Next years Southern Scotland Tour will be available for booking shortly.

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12
Mar
19

Otter and otter

For the second time in as many weeks we came across a very sociable Otter on tour. This time it was north of the border on our Southern Scotland tour last weekend. Amid a flurry of Goosander we watched this enigmatic mammal catching and eating fish.

02
Mar
19

A miss was a hit

Missing something by just minutes is always pretty galling. Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers had been seen shortly before we got to the site. By the time we got there I could hear nothing of them. Just the distant drumming of a Greater Spotted. However; there was consolation .

Lesser spot would have been the golden ribbon around a suite of Breckland birds on the ‘Breckland Birding Day’ a week or so ago. Some beautiful singing Woodlarks, best ever sightings of displaying Goshawk, crest raising Firecrests, a flock of leaf litter tossing Hawfinch, more Brambling than you could shake a hairy stick at and some of the reddest male Crossbills you have seen in your life! Throw in a bold Water Rail with black faced Siskins and a small flock of Marsh Tits and we had a day that was memorable.

For me however the thing that topped the lot were the two Otters feeding beside us as we waited for the Lesser Spots… beautiful.

26
Feb
19

Darting about in the bushes

We went to see the somewhat elusive Dartford Warbler occupying the dune bushes at Holkham last week; and had more success than some others!

22
Feb
19

Camouflaged

Some large flocks of Snow Buntings along the Norfolk Coast at the moment. These birds were within one of two flocks we saw on a coastal tour last week. Superbly camouflaged against the shingle they are just the pinnacle of evolutionary design; hardly perceptible until they moved.

 

18
Feb
19

Winter Visitors

There are a few Shorelark wintering along the Norfolk coast this year. Some in a variable numbered flock others as scattered individuals.

14
Feb
19

It was Sparrow with his Bow and Arrow

A valentine’s day bow and arrow from this Tree Sparrow.

Strange how this species seems to be doing better (ie: more common and more widespread) in Victoria, Australia as an introduction, than it is here in Norfolk. This individual was among what I would term as a ‘relict’ population at Welney WWT.




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