Archive Page 2

24
Oct
17

Rut

The Fallow Deer rut is well under way. The stags are full of high energy testosterone. This one was squaring up to another and pawing the ground in anger. He even donned some ceremonial headdress … or maybe he thought if he wore a few weeds we couldn’t see him?

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20
Oct
17

From “nowhere”

We were waiting by the lake in Holkham Park on the north Norfolk coast the other day; waiting expectantly for a returning Osprey. Ospreys don’t commonly hang around in the county so you do have to have a little luck to see one and this individual had been present a couple of days so was a good bet. When we arrived we were told it had just caught a fish and flown off south so the possibility of seeing a large fish eating bird of prey return with a rotund stomach to fish again was somewhat remote. But we stuck it out and gave it a try.

The Jackdaws in the distance seemed to be playing up a little which raised my hopes. Alex my competent young guest was the first to see a Red Kite and then a Marsh Harrier flying through. I naturally assumed they were the reason for all the corvid consternation. However when I looked behind us I was delighted to see the Osprey had returned. A young female she was quite inexperienced and we saw her attempt to strike fish three or four times without success before resting in a nearby tree. We were all appreciative of the excellent views and the length of time she allowed us to watch her.

 

16
Oct
17

Elusive

I’m not sure if the term ‘elusive’ is always applied properly or not. On Scillies last week the Spotted Crake took some seeing. It was broadcast as ‘elusive’. Now does that mean only showing distantly? or does it mean it only shows briefly and is somewhat furtive? Well, neither applied to the Spotted Crake. It just didn’t show for long periods. It took us around four visits to connect. But when we did see it … the thing was all over us for what seemed like ages.

10
Oct
17

Portuguese Man O’ War

Massive influx of Portuguese Men O’ War into Scillies waters at the moment. We’ve seen them on the beaches, in harbours, between islands and out in the open ocean on the way here. A very painful stinging jellyfish is not something I would like to come across on my morning swim in the sea … as if!

 

07
Oct
17

Love of life

Whenever dolphins appear it shines a light into peoples lives. So it was yesterday.

Travelling out to the Isles of Scilly on the notorious Scillonian III conditions were flat calm. Ideal for seeing cetaceans. Bottlenose Dolphins were the first to appear; slow methodical, bulky dolphins these, we had around four of them. Harbour Porpoise were almost omnipresent and numbered in the 30’s. As we were watching them a large dark animal broke the surface. A Minke Whale gave four or five opportunities for us to get a glimpse…. and then they arrived!

In typical spectacular fashion Common Dolphins gatecrashed the party; leaping and bounding into centre stage. Everyone loves a playful dolphin!

 

04
Oct
17

In flight

A good number of eclipse duck at Cley marshes the other week. Their true identity a pitfall for those new to birding, as new feathers, with their brown tips, mask the full colours beneath. The full splendour of our ducks doesn’t come to light until the brown tips wear away revealing fresh new colours. In flight however the speculum colours within the wing are bright and diagnostic. This Shoveler and accompanying smaller Teal were just two among many.

28
Sep
17

Regular

It seems to be a regular occurrence at this time of the year that we get a smattering of Phalaropes along the north Norfolk coast. This Grey Phalarope (or Red Phalarope if you are at the other side of the Atlantic) was at Salthouse when we were on tour a week or so ago. This individual seemed to be suffering a little, perhaps from being wind blown in the Autumn storms; it just wasn’t as active as it should be. However, it was feeding and wasn’t there the following day. So it either succumbed or left!




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