Saturday, 6 January 2018

Winter update

A quick pictoral update..

Christmas was spent in the Lake District with my parents sister, and of course Lizzie and Toby. After a very poor end to the year (for various reasons, but if bad things happen in threes, the week leading up to Christmas covered all very three well!)... a much needed escape was in order. We all had a great time and managed a few decent walks, one of which on the tops by Hawswater was particularly good in the snow. A walk around brothers water rewarded us with a nice great northern diver too.

Hawswater- where eagles once roamed





Unfortunately we left a few things behind at the cottage so my father very kindly offered to meet me halfway (from Essex, thanks Dad!) so we opted for Hazelwood in Suffolk so we could catch up with the arctic redpoll... this showed very nicely!






Finally most of east anglia seems to be flooded at the moment so its no great surprise that the fen has been quite badly affected too. I took the picture of the young pike on the middle of the footpath! A waxwing was also briefly seen along Sandy Wall, which was very nice.



a young pike on the footpath!

The path at Strumpshaw- its been flooded more than usual in the past 4 weeks!

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Easterly wind, migrants, 2 good walks and a rare wood wasp

 A promising looking week with easterly airlflow made me book monday and wednesday off in the hope of finding some drift migrants. I was largely successful in finding the more frequently encountered migrants, but rarer species illuded me. I was surprised that there was nothing particularly rare found in norfolk over the week.

Blakeney point Monday 25th September
whinchat-10
redstart-4
spotfly-2
brambling-1
wheatear-1

A good walk from Waxham to winterton via sea palling
YBW-2
spotfly-2
redstart-5
whinchat-4
wheatear-15
brambling-1
redpoll-3
hobby-3
mipit-141South
willow warbler-2,
blackcap-3

Matt Stainthorpe and I had another visit to East Hills on 30th September, a very pleasant day, starting with a yellow browed warbler in the dell before making our crossing.

East Hills
YBW-3
ringtail hen harrer
chiffchaff-6
goldcrest-4
wheatear-2
pintail 1 over

The most interesting sighting of the day at East Hills was an insect, a wood wasp, sirex notilio. This is a rare insect not encountered frequently at all. It is unclear just how rare it is in Norfolk, or indeed if it haseven been recorded before in Norfolk! An amazing beast whatecver its status and a good spot by Matt, the insect is about an inch and a half in length!














Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Southern migrant hawker

On my way to Dungeness I nipped home as it was en route, I also had the chance to finally catch up with a new dragonfly...Southern migrant hawker.
The habitat, wedged between a tidal creek and busy Canvey Island road, did not exactly shine as being overly interesting, but the rushy ditch was certainly very appealing for the SMH. I got there quite early as wanted to spend the majority of the day at Dunge, I managed to find at least ten SMH's in around half an hour, one of which I found before it saw me (they were quite flighty, especially when warmed up).
As soon as I saw one in flight, I instantly knew I had got lucky, the amazing blue eyes, thorax side and very blue abdomen really stands out, far more even than the photos show. A truely stunning dragonfly, I hope they follow others and spread a little further North, would very much like to see these again.




Sunday, 27 August 2017

Caspian/yellow legged gull?

On the evening of 13th August Dave Hawkins and I were watching the gull roost at Titchwell.
We soon noticed the gull pictured below, which stood out as looking a little different. The features that made it stand out were- paralel sided pale horn coloured yellow bill (quite different to all other gulls in the area), upright stance with high chest and bulging feathers behind the legs, leg colour was a pastey pinkish colour and mantle colour looked paler than yellow legged, but slightly darker than herring (although light was harsh and mantle colours were changing as the gulls turned etc.) I am no expert at large gulls and with this gull in wing moult (two primaries missing?) I am not sure about the open wing formula.
I must admit that in 'real life' it appeared a better fit for Caspian than the photos suggest, especially the high chested elegent upright appearence, I dont seem to have captured this at all well, however I guess the camera doesnt lie when it comes to the wing formula!
Can anyone help with the identification?












Here pictured with a yellow legged gull preening on left (appears darker grey in pic and in observation through scope)