Sunday, May 14, 2006


Little Owl was out on guard duty again this morning, looking like a little sentinal surveying all before him. He actually moved this morning, dropping on to the field for food then back up on to his perch. The only other birds of note were a pair of Whinchat, initially in the Rape Seed field then on the hedgrows, making them a bit easier to see from the garden! GYL 80

Little Owl

Just 10 moths last evening, not surprising seeing as how cold it was:

Hebrew Character - 4
Flame Shoulder - 1
Shuttle shaped Dart* - 1
Tawny Shears* - 1
Muslin Moth - 1
Clouded Drab - 1
Chocolate-tip - 1


Shuttle shaped Dart

Tawny Shears

Will be away for a few days now, so unless the dog sitter has a crash course in Blogger there'll be no posts- hopefully I'll get some pics to put on next time.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Bit of everything

A good morning all round really considering that, bang on cue, after a glorious few days we arose to a dull and dreary Saturday! The first 'gettable' Brown Hare of the year was on the field outside the kitchen window first thing, the big well marked ears constantly twitching for sounds.

Brown Hare

The moth trap was a little light on numbers with just 13 trapped but another new one for me and some more for the year :
Streamer - 1
Scalloped Hook-tip*- 1
Hebrew Ch. - 2
Flame Carpet - 4
The Spectacle - 1
Mullein - 2
Chinese Character - 1
Clouded Drab - 1


Scalloped Hook-tip

Have updated the macro year list total 13/456/47

The Track was quiet, however a spell from the garden was rather productive:

Little Owl - roosting bird still visable through 'scope!
Willow Warbler* - An incredibly late FoTS singing from the meadows GYL 78
Lesser Whitethroat - at least 3 males singing.
Yellow Wagtail - pair still present and carrying food
Cormorant - 1 north
Red Kite* - 2 birds drifted west together at 1116 in the company of a Marsh Harrier!!! Initially I saw one bird as it was over the garden and whilst clamouring to get my scope on it the second bird then became apparent with the harrier below it! Both kites were in fairly heavy wing moult, nevertheless superb birds one of my very favorites.
Hobby - one distantly going south

I was drawn away into the next parish, West Runton, on report of a Black headed Wagtail there. Not the boy this time but a still smart looking Grey-headed Wagtail, being less rare and more likely, paraded around on the short grass, probably wondering why he wasn't in Scandinavia!

Grey headed Wagtail

shot below shows the velvety grey rear crown/nape

Thursday, May 11, 2006

At Last !

A garden tick! Managed my first garden tick this evening since last Octobers Teal, in the form of a LITTLE OWL*. I had initially seen it well from the top of the track sitting in a smallish Ash tree, so I zipped home, set the 'scope up and whacked it up to 60x and there he was still sitting in the sunshine! That puts the garden list up to 125. As I was watching the owl a Turtle Dove* zoomed purposely south over the distant wood - GYL 77.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

moth monday

Had a nice haul Tuesday morning of 35 moths including a pug sp. I've not yet identified!:

Pebble Hooktip* - 1
Mullein - 2
Swallow Prominent - 1
Waved Umber - 3
Streamer* - 1
Flame Carpet* - 2
Chocolate-tip - 1
Hebrew Ch. - 13
Early Grey - 2
Flame Shoulder - 1
Lunar Marbled Brown - 1
Muslin Moth - 1
Frosted Green - 2
Common Quaker - 2
Clouded Drab - 1
Angle Shades - 1
Chinese Character* - 1

Chinese Character

Swallow Prominent compare with recent Lesser Swallow Prominent

Pebble Hooktip

Lunar Marbled Brown

Flame Carpet

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Appendium + Weekendium!

Just realised that I missed off another two new macro moth species for the 5th, a Marbled Lunar Brown* which escaped as I was trying to get a pic, and this Pug, which I think is probably a Brindled Pug*

So to Saturday, and the day started fine and bright with a slight easterly breeze. My main objective today was to get Turtle Dove, hopefully on the GYL. Took my usual walk up the track, very little of note except 6 Tufted Duck flying around the copse pools in the middle of the potato field- if I was in the garden I would probably have just been able to see them!
From the garden aside from resident bird species there were also a few birds noted moving:

Cormorant - 4 west 5 east
Marsh Harrier - female east
Kite sp - A kite, most probably Red, was seen briefly at 0855 flying low east being harrassed by two crows. Its easy flapping flight mode, and sharply angled wings held pressed down wards in a glide were distinctive as it sailed behind a distant wood- then failed to reappear!
Osprey* - One was picked up high drifting west at 0920 (after a neighbourly tip off!) and was seen to continue over the horizon and was presumably the same bird that was tracked west along the Norfolk coast. GYL74
Hobby - Single bird circling over the Ridge with a Sparrowhawk
Whitethroat* - A singing male moved down the hedge behind the garden, and about time too! GYL 75
Disconcertingly I didnt manage to see any Turtle Doves, and this seems to be broadly the case on the North Norfolk coast at the moment, are they late or something worse?
Insect interest was confined to a Bee-Fly visiting the flowers in the garden, quick as lightening, I couldn't get a pic
After lunch the weather somewhat closed in so I took the opportunity to catch up on some stuff-like writing blogs!

Back to today and it was a murky start to the day, I decided to go down to my coastal patch but could only manage Black tailed Godwit (8) flying west as the most interesting. Back home it was quiet in the garden and the rain put pay to any visable migration, but not too rare birds! Late afternoon I sped over to Cromer seafront to see an american Laughing Gull which had just been found there. Sure enough it was there on a lamp post looking very dapper in its summer plumage before flying around several times and then heading of west. A first summer Mediterranean Gull was also present.

Laughing Gull

A power cut Sunday evening and blogger glitches last night are responsible for the late posting!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Ting, ting, ting Jackpot!

Oh yes! Pay Day! The one advantage of having a local 'patch' and religiously sticking too it is that chances are if anything good is on your patch you are going to see it, or even better, find it! I walked the Track this morning, as I do every morning and scanned the two bare fields, ever hopeful of a 'goodey'. On reaching the second field I scanned, with the same thought in the fore front of my mind as over the past two weeks, "this field is prime for a.........DOTTEREL! Yep, there they were in they're glory, two cracking Dotterel. I quickly took the dog home grabbed my scope and got back within five minutes! not to worry they were still here but looking a bit skittish. Definitely brighter than the Salthouse bird these two were possibly females ( Dotterel have a case of role reversal when breeding as the male does all the graft!). They remained fairly distant and flighty up 'til I had to leave for work at 0800.


Showing the two birds together

About the best shot I managed

Compare the extent and intensity of the chestnut underparts too the Salthouse bird

Showing the whitish outer primary shaft.

I managed to visit again around 0900 by which time several birders had arrived, but unfortunately the Dotterall were seen to fly west not long after I left. Not all was lost though as a mean looking Peregrine was scoped sitting on the same field, much to the disgust of the local Lapwings!
I even managed to bag two garden year ticks with the songs of both Lesser Whitethroat and Cuckoo heard this morning GYL73

I have got a little behind with the moths over the past three nights so will lump them all here, with some cracking new ones for my list I'm having trouble keeping up with them all!

May 2nd

Mullein - 1
Hebrew Ch. - 4
Common Quaker - 1
Small Quaker - 3
Clouded Drab - 2
Shoulder Stripe - 1
Dark Chestnut - 1

May 3rd

Brindled Beauty* - 2
Frosted Green - 1
Clouded Drab - 6
Water Carpet - 1
Hebrew Ch. - 9
Common Quaker - 2
Small Quaker - 1
Pebble prominent* - 1

Brindled Beauty

Pebble prominent

May 4th

Muslin * - 1
Flame Shoulder* - 1
Brindled Beauty - 1
Pebble prominent - 1
Waved Umber - 2
Hebrew Ch. - 8
Small Quaker - 3
Common Quaker - 10
Clouded Drab - 2
Nut-tree Tussock* - 1
Early Thorn - 1
Lesser Swallow prominent* - 1
White Ermine* - 1


Flame Shoulder

Nut tree Tussock

Lesser Swallow prominent

White Ermine - My new favorite! Wow! what a beastie!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Oh Deer!

I've said it before and no doubt I'll say it again,but it does not matter how much knowledge you have you always need a bit of luck! Dipped in on walking out the back door this morning with the distinct plaintive "tu tu tu" of a Greenshank* , and there he was flying NW over the garden tu tu-ing away GYL 70-nice! Not much from the track this morning, a couple of Wheatear being the highlight. Got home from work and seeing as it was still warm went to the top of the garden to scan the fields, my attention being immediately drawn to a bird of prey coasting then soaring over the track fairly low. Although looking into the sun it didn't look quite right for a Marsh Harrier and my initial thoughts were confirmed as it banked round in better light revealing a broad white rump, a ringtail ( female) Hen Harrier* GYL 71- nicer!
Sometimes I wonder if the title of my blog is a little misleading, as some people may think of 'creepy-crawleys' more of a nusuance than 'wildlife', and that birds are just birds, wild, but not really 'wildlife'. Some people may think of 'wildlife' as just the big animals, the stuff that is easy to see. Well for anyone who may blunder onto this blog and not like insects or can't get excited by birds, these next set of pictures, taken from the well trodden track tonight, are just for you!...........

Red Deer presumably two adults and two of last years youngsters

Don't think stags would be 'tooled up' with antlers this time of year

Nice shot of the young buck

Don't know if anyone could age/sex this group?

Britains largest native 'wildlife'! (land based, before you shout Fin Whale!)

Who needs the Rift Valley when you live in Aylmerton!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Observations May 1st/2nd

May 1st - The promised rain arrived and was set in for the morning so nothing seen a.m., despite a nose being pressed against an up-stairs window! As soon as there was a sign of a break in the clouds me and pooch were yomping up the track, immediately seeing another female Marsh Harrier quartering the fields (different bird) a Common Buzzard and a Whitethroat. A scan from the garden picked out a Common Swift* moving west GYL 69

After tea I decided to take a walk along the clifftops near Sheringham, not much in the way of birdlife but the Thrift is starting to come into bloom amongst the Marram grass.



May 2nd - Managed to get away from work an hour early this afternoon so I nipped down to the cliffs again, more birds about this time and thankfully a bit warmer too!

Wheatear - 12
Hobby - 1 east
White Wagtail - 5
Sandwich Tern - 300 west
Mediterranean Gull - 2nd c/y bird east
Dunlin - 8W
Ringed Plover - 1W
Marsh Harrier - female type flew in off sea then west over fields

The White Wagtails showed well, at least one was a 2nd c/y bird, the others looked like adults. The smart grey mantle contrasting with the sharply demarcated black head and white flanks makes the White Wagtail a distinctive bird in May

White Wagtail

Shot showing the white flanks, or, not another arse end shot!.....

...thats better!