Monday, March 31, 2008

Doesn't make a summer

What a difference a week makes! Seven days ago we were in the grip of a blizzard, today it was beautifully sunny and warm! A look from the garden late afternoon sighted a Swallow, obviously new in winging around the barns off the A148. Presumably a breeding bird rather than pasing through, this is my first March Swallow for many a year.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

They're Coming!

SW Force 3-4 Mild Overcast then bright and sunny 0830-1330

First migration watch of the season from high point on the track (High Point). There was just one bird on the prediction list for the day and bang on cue it drifted through mid morning, I love it when that happens!

Fieldfare 11w
Sand Martin 5w
Grey Heron 3
Cormorant 1w
Common Buzzard 3 (resident)
Marsh Harrier 1w (old male along the ridge)
Red Kite 1e. Drifted high and at distance along the ridge at 1000.
Golden Plover 150
Mediterranean Gull. 2nd c/y flew north over fields towards pig fields north of A148
Peregrine 1 drifted in from the east along ridge before going away south east over the village.

All in all a classic early spring haul, whetting the appetite for more to come (hopefully!)

Common Buzzard (hope the wing damage isn't gun shot Mr Gamekeeper)


Red Kite at a trillion miles!

Peregrine...not much closer!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spring Arrives-Official!

Although there was a forecast of a weekend of heavy rain, this morning arose bright and sunny if not a tad breezy, but was good enough to replenish the low levels of Vitamin D! A brief scan from the garden saw the Golden Plover still in residence, though with numbers dropping off, and a Chiffchaff singing from the meadow opposite was a welcome sound. My now regular weekend visit to Felbrigg lake saw that much was still in order bird wise, with a couple of expected though welcome sights.
Tufted Duck 13
Mallard 6
Shoveler 4
Teal 2
Coot 7
Mandarin c5
Grey Heron 2
Buzzard 3

Over the lake a lone Sand Martin wheeled around constantly. Constant scanning of the horizon to the south paid off with the first Marsh Harrier of the season seen achingly distant before struggling for twenty minutes passing directly overhead. True to form as always for a first for the season it was a male.

Garden Spider with lunch

Jew's Ear fungi in the garden

Male Shoveler

Common Buzzard

Common Buzzard with Carrion Crows (one of which is doing an impression of a Raven!)

Different Buzzard

Marsh Harrier



Monday, March 24, 2008


Winter was back with a vengence this extended weekend, and with one not due this early for another couple of hundred of years time, I'm glad I wont be about to see it!!

Golden Plover on fields

Someone enjoyed it!

Had a new mammal sighting for the house list this evening. Whilst wiping up in the kitchen a fine buck Muntjac came into veiw feeding on the Strip of Doom, the fourth species of deer we've seen now.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

World Wide Web.

It was grottsville here over the weekend-cold, breezy rainy and very grey- all the conditions I hate! Walking the dog on a soggy Sunday morning, we ended up in Felbrigg where it was very quiet, so much so that a Muntjac was caught unawares out in the open before bounding off with a flappy buff undertail. Managed to finish my Australia trip report (at last!) which included some more pics. I very occasionally get asked if my photos can be used for some web site or to be posted somewhere, but my farthest flung yet came from Washington State, US where I was asked if I would allow use of a dragonfly photo I took in Arizona to be used on a wildlife interpretation board. I was sent a copy of the finished article which apparently credits me for the photo -cool!

pic 2nd from left, Common Green Darner

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Put the trap on last night as it seemed promising. March Moths were in abundence with at least 7, and firsts for the year included singles of Common Quaker, Clouded Drab and Double-striped Pug with Early Grey(2) Oak Beauty(2) and a Dotted Border. Best of all was a Yellow Horned, which was a new one for me and the garden list. I thought initially it was a Frosted Green but was pleased to see that was something less expected!
Oak Beauty

Double-striped Pug
Common Quaker

Clouded Drab
Yellow Horned

Friday, March 14, 2008

Late Afternoon

After a busy week with work, family life etc. I decided to shoot down to Felbrigg lake on the way home late this afternoon. After the strong winds at the beginning of the week it was most tranquil down here, and just what was needed after a weeks work. Wildfowl were well represented with Pochard (4), Tufted Duck (8), Gadwall (2), Shoveler (4), Shelduck(2), Mandarin (7) Mallard(6) Mute Swan (pr) and the ever present Grey-lags. On the marshy field to the south a male Stonechat was still present with a Barn Owl quartering this obviously productive feeding area. 10 Fieldfare and a Redwing flew east over the lake. I did find a pair of Long-tailed Tit nest building and vowed to get a few pics before the foliage has grown around too thick.
Midweek Sunset

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Not a great deal of observing today, a walk along the Church track was apparently timed to perfection as a 2nd c/y Mediterranean Gull drifted south down the side of Felbrigg Park, into a blustery wind. A walk in to the park produced little except a handful of Siskins.
Victory V beech avenue in Felbrigg Park

Thursday, March 06, 2008

No pics

No piccies today, but whilst at work down at Kenninghall near Banham, I was cursing the fact that a customer was late home for my appointment when a Little Egret flew over the fields and headed west towards the village. Must be the most southerly Norfolk one I've seen so far.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Monday, March 03, 2008


No reports today, just a stunning sunset out of the back garden.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Felbrigg Lake

The track yielded nothing this morning other than a distant Common Buzzard. Took a walk over to Felbrigg from home this morning, connecting with 3 Bullfinch and a Barn Owl on the way over. At the lake a second Barn Owl flew over, and on the water were Tufted Duck 11, Mallard 8, Mandarin 4, Pochard 2 and Teal 2. An added bonus, in the form of a Kingfisher flew up from the stream and rested on the far side of the Lake. Saw the first bees of the spring feeding on the gorse, don't know what type, hopefully Dean will enlighten us!

Felbrigg Lake


Fly sp.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

Mans best friend

Woke up this morning to the sight of next doors trampoline hanging, shattered and torn, up their Oak tree! I think there was a bit of a blow last night! Although it was mild, the blustery wind put pay to any bees or early butterflies in the garden. The pooch, what ever the weather, whinges for her walk every morning, which I duly oblige, mindful of the fact that if she didn't drag me out every morning I probably wouldn't see half the stuff I do, and for that I'm thankful to her.