Posts Tagged ‘Wildlife and Bird Tours

11
Jul
17

Lonely and Single

The single spike of Lesser Butterfly Orchid in the whole of Norfolk was in flower the other day. Or at least I don’t know of any others. It looked particularly lonely amid the Southern Marsh, Fragrant Orchids and the odd Marsh Helleborine. Lonely but beautiful.

23
May
17

Martins in the Morning

The wind was quite strong and on looking at the Sand Martins over the cliff they were hanging in the air. Well … hanging as much as Sand Martins do. I thought they would make an ideal subject for a bit of flight photography. One of the advantages we have here in Norfolk that as we look out to sea the sun is always over our shoulder. Not only ideal for sea watching but also great for photographers.

 

30
Apr
17

Craning our Necks

As we stopped for a look around on a tour in north East Norfolk a group of cranes could be heard somewhere in the distance. We waited and they eventually came right above us. Wonderful graceful birds.

29
Mar
17

Great Grey

Shrikes are always good value. This Great Grey was in the Brecks earlier this month.

 

05
Nov
16

One of Two

One of the Wheatears in Norfolk this October was the Desert Wheatear. Occupying the same dunes as the Isabelline this female was the forerunner of a male at Cley. I always feel that Desert Wheatears are the closing curtain on the autumn migration period. Once these late  migrants arrive on our shores  it’s more or less the end of bird migration until next spring. However; … I have a feeling there may just be a sting in the tail this year.

desert-wheatear

 

 

05
Jul
16

How cute is he?

A very young Eider Duck. How cute is he?

Eider

07
Jun
16

Chasing the aristocracy

One particular butterfly gets its first flight period during May.

Searching carefully the edge of the downs in Bedfordshire last month we eventually found a small colony. On brambles and nettles amid the deep chalk ruts, worn by hundreds of years of driving grazing animals over the escarpment, sat several Duke of Burgundies. Amazing small fritillaries these. Their modest upper wing conceals a church window of an under wing. A beautiful small piece of natural art that I would imagine the leaves of a Fabergé glass wind chime would look like.

I still have thorns in my legs from laying on the ground to photograph them!

Worth it though.

Duke of Burgundy 2Duke of Burgundy 1

08
Sep
15

A Holy place

I was watching Stephen Fry’s new six part BBC TV travel series to Central America the other night. He was visiting the Mexican valleys where the winter roosts of Monarch Butterflies occur.

We visited such a roost in early 2014 just a little further north in California. Successive generations of Monarchs make their way north, laying eggs and handing over the baton to their progeny who reach the upper reaches of the USA and Canada before breeding again and donating the return leg back to Mexico to the next generations. The last generation ‘hibernate’ in the forest until they wake the following spring.

Given the long migration these insects perform they occasionally find themselves swept up into transatlantic winds and deposited on this side of the ocean. I’ve seen them several times in the UK now too but only on the Isles of Scilly in Autumn.

It was interesting to listen to Stephen Fry’s commentary. He whispered it. As though he were in some reverent spot or worshipful place. He spoke quietly as though not to wake the clouds of insects festooned about the branches above him. I felt the same … as though I were in nature’s cathedral.

Monarch Butterflies

25
Aug
15

A fall of Warblers

We’ve had a period of easterlies with some rain in the last few days. A combination to bring migrants to our coast. Here on the hill Redstarts, Pied Flycatchers, Whitethroats and Lesser Whitethroats were scattered among Phylloscopus Warblers.

Perhaps the best of the bunch was along the coast at Salthouse. Eddie Myers found a Booted Warbler. This tea coloured plain round warbler from central Russia is rare but annual in Britain. A harbinger of more, perhaps dare I say, even better to come?

I hope so.

Booted Warbler

23
Apr
15

Are you dancin’?

Don’t you just love Great crested Grebes in spring?

Great crested Grebes_MG_3309




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