Posts Tagged ‘Tours


Imminent Tours – places available

Click on the link for details



I’ve seen bold kestrels fly up to Barn Owls and steal their catch. Until yesterday I’ve never seen a Kestrel do the same thing with a Short-eared Owl.

It was as if the marsh was giving birth to owls. They just kept springing up. First one, then two. Three, four five and maybe a sixth. They offered superb photo opportunities. I followed one through the viewfinder of the camera and watched it swing in an arc down to the ground. It jumped as a vole lept forward in a desperate attempt for freedom. The shortie cut off the escape route. A kestrel swung down from above and took the vole from under the owls very nose! … but not without a bit of a fight.



On our journey through the Bay of Biscay last month we came across a school of Pilot Whales. These are very social mammals; often touching as they swim together..

I shall be organising a trip through the bay next year in August let me know if you’re interested in finding out more



A ‘bit …’ more please

The tour to Minsmere earlier this month was a good one with some excellent sightings as well as good company. A nice drake Garganey put in an appearance as did a Little Gull close in front of the hide. Even a Hobby or two were putting on a show between the sauntering’s of Marsh Harriers. The few waders we saw were in full summer garb. The Knot in particular, dressed in brick red were impressive. The distant high-pitched reeling of a Savi’s Warbler even caught our attention. This irregular visitor is not often seen but we got half decent repeated views of him sitting in a bush singing away with his bill wide agape. However, it was the Bitterns that made us smile; beating their way across the reeds and pools they took on the appearance of modern-day Pterodactyls. Next years day in May 2020 is up for bookings


Silver Y

Earlier this year we had an influx of these day flying moths. I guess it’s easy to see why they call them Silver Y’s


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!



Jurassic Coast

Earlier this month I took a hike to the south coast with some guests for a tour in Dorset. A series of nature walks gave us some great Nightjar views, a Fox with cubs, some rare orchids, a family of Polecats put on a fatal performance; we had some wonderful seabirds and mammals and that elusive reptile the Sand Lizard gave us a few sightings. A few photos follow. Sadly I shan’t be running this tour next year but it will make an appearance in the future I’m sure.

Dartford Warbler

Garden Warbler

Marbled White

Musk Orchid

Pyramidal Orchid

Rosel’s Bush Cricket

Wall Lizard

Great Green Bush Cricket


Black Darter

Bog Ashphodel

Common Tern

Keeled Skimmer

Rose Chafer


Wolf Spider

Brown Long eared Bat

Harlequin Ladybird

Ruddy Darter

Small Red Damselfly


A juxtaposition of events

We went to watch ‘Kong – Skull Island’ the other night at the cinema. Give it a miss; thin non-captivating plot, mediocre acting and CGI worthy of no more than a computer game. It was a late showing so we drove back home quite late at night. I like driving in the dark. We went by the scenic route. Country lanes, field edges, roadside copses and overhanging trees. It was mild too. I expected badgers, deer, rabbits, hares and the odd owl. What did we get? … a single, lonely moth. Just the one!

And yet … earlier in the week we had been for a walk along the dunes to see the Grey Seals hauled out on the beach. We didn’t count them all but it was plain to see there were a lot. We estimated there to be 3000 over a mile or so of beach. It wouldn’t have been far from the true number. This is more than I’ve ever seen before… anywhere. The tide was high and it was a weekday with few people and dogs around. Seals will have been pushed here from the sandbanks off Yarmouth and there was little disturbance to push them back into the sea here so numbers would be at a peak. 3000 equates to 1% of the world population. Even this weekend when things were much busier with people I did a more accurate count on a lower tide and there was 1426. Less than half the number than a few days earlier but that’s still a lot of seal flesh perched on the sand. Nothing less than a wildlife spectacular. A scene from an Attenborough episode.

What a juxtaposition of events.

When we have such spectacles and numbers it’s easy to think everything is ok. To think things are on track; that nature is in balance and our wildlife is safe.



A Pair of Dotterel

It’s par for the course that golfers and bird photographers don’t always hit it off. A couple of Dotterel that turned up at the Sheringham course recently saw the patience of a few driven quite far. Some photographers had the balls to venture a little closer than others to bag a shot; leaving those that stopped a fair – way away a little more green with envy. I know … I know, but the situation just teed itself up.

dotterel-1 dotterel-2_z5a6894a dotterel-3


Dogs tooth

Churchyards are becoming something of a haven for things wild; an enclave away from herbicides and fertilizers. Often uncut and dare I say untended, these small corners of our countryside can harbour some wonderful sights.

Perhaps not truly wild, but a local churchyard I was told about last week had a display of Dog tooth Violets that were planted in the late 1800’s.

Having their origins in southern Europe they are actually members of the lily family; their name reflecting the resemblence of their corm to a dogs canine.

So beautiful, they just took my breath away.

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May 2023


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