Monday, July 28, 2008

Parish Tick!

Seeing a new species of bird either from the garden or in the parish is an irregular occurrence these days, so when it does happen its a thrilling experience! On Saturday I had to go to work out at Ely then back and across to Overstrand. Many possibilities for 'extended' lunch breaks along this route came and passed, and before I knew it I was on my way home, so decided to drop in to the Lake at Felbrigg to look for dragon flies. The lake was rather disappointing on this front with just Black-tailed Skimmers being prominent along with 'Blue' damselflies. What were apparent however were some Sandpipers, in the form of 8 Common, 4 Green and best of all a smart WOOD SANDPIPER! The birds were all feeding along the sandy bank side , taking advantage of not being disturbed within this fenced off area, so even with plenty of people about the birds seemed settled. However a visit early (ish) on Sunday morning found not a single wader present!

Wood Sandpiper (left) with Common Sandpiper

Green, Common and Wood Sandpiper

...not Cley!


With the warm weather this past week I've run the trap on a couple of nights (Tuesday and Saturday) The main bulk of species being Large Yellow Underwing, Clay, Smokey Wainscot, Uncertain, Common and Dingy Footman and Poplar Hawkmoth.Scattered amongst these were Black Arches, Broad-bordered and Lesser Yellow Underwing, Scalloped Oak, Gothic, Olive, Rosy Footman, Maple and Coxcombe Prominent, Pine Hawkmoth, Buff Arches, Dark Arches and Common Rustic. Additionally there were 3 species new for the garden on Tuesday, a Lilac Beauty and two each of V Pug and Dingy Shears.


Maple Prominent


Chinese Character

Dingy Shears

Pine Hawkmoth

Rosy Footman

Lilac Beauty

V pug

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Small Red Damselfly

Norfolk has a rich variety of damselflies and dragonflies and today my travels around the county took me past one of these sites. Scarning Fen near Dereham is the best place to see Small Red Damselfly, an uncommon little damselfly, in the county.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Montagu's Harrier

Work took me out to west Norfolk today, so a lunch break along a certain road, afforded me some good views of the local Montagu's Harriers in this area. Managed to see 2 females and excellent views of a male carrying food.

female Montagu's Harrier

Male Montagu's Harrier

On the way home a look in at the lake revealed all was quiet at Felbrigg, though a juvenile Grey Wagtail put in an appearence.

juvenile Grey Wagtail


First sighting of a Common Buzzard locally for a while, the same roost site used this time last year has once again came in to favour. Another first sighting (for the year anyway) was a Turtle Dove that flushed out of the ready-to-cut oil seed rape field.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


After spending all day in the company of three female retail 'therapists' in the fine city of Norwich, we arrive home, and on letting the dog out, at that precise moment, an adult Mediterranean Gull flies over the back door... unreal!

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Ran the trap on an unseasonally cool night last night, but it was the first dry one in a while so needs must. Not surprisingly a fairly poor haul considering the time of year, inbetween Common and Smokey Wainscot, Yellow Underwing, Dark Arches and Uncertains were 5 Clay, 3 Mottled Rustic, Buff Ermine and a Buff Arches, the latter eluding a photo op by flitting off!


Mottled Rustic

Buff Ermine

Saturday, July 12, 2008


After a prolonged period of heavy showers today (including my first ever sighting of a funnel-cloud over the Cromer-Holt Ridge) late afternoon brightened up a little so an evening visit to Felbrigg was in order. Mallard and Mute Swan the most prominent birds on the lake but a hoped for Green Sandpiper was new for the year. Most interesting was the sight of a female Mandarin taking flight from some long grass with two well grown youngsters, nearly, but not quite, following her off in the distance. I left well alone and retreated from the area. A Grey Wagtail is still present along with two Barn Owls. Back at home and the Strip of Doom is full of Ringlet and Meadow Brown butterflies, a Large Skipper was seen well.

Funnel Cloud remnent. The dark line out of the bottom of the dark cloud was initially twice as long. When these touch the ground they form 'twisters!

Large Skipper

Friday, July 11, 2008

Red-backed Shrike

My work appointments took me down the east coast this morning, and after a brief stop at Happisburgh for an unsuccessful search for Roseate Tern, I ended up at Sea Palling. Pretty soon I was watching the long staying male Red-backed Shrike that's been here since May.

Red-backed Shrike

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Grey Wagtail

Single Grey Wagtail flew west over the church this morning, probably indicating typical mid summer dispersal of locally bred(?) bird.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Rounding a hedgerow along the track this morning a pair of Muntjac went bounding off along the edge of the field, the buck with his tail held skyward, the doe, quite rightly looking a little more ashamed at being caught out in the open!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Took a quick look in at Felbrigg Lake prior to picking my lad up from Aylmerton Field Study centre where he's doing some work experience. Not alot on the lake due to two inflatable boats on it! I think they were on there doing some water/ecological study or something, but any way they ensured there was nothing on the lake except the Mute Swans and their five cygnets. However around the edge a delightful flock of five Common Sandpipers wing-flicked low over the water to feed, bobbing incesently on the opposite bank.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Aylmerton's Admirals

After a fruitless hour along the cliffs at Sheringham Bird Obs. this afternoon I took a walk along the wooded path where last years White Admirals were seen. At least 4 were seen to be in attendence along a short strip,one of which had a favoured resting spot not too high up. Dad said there were plenty in Sheringham Park this weekend too.

White Admiral


Friday, July 04, 2008

Felbrigg Lake

Took a walk down to the lake on the way home from work (after nearly mowing down a Little Owl on the road near Sustead!) Being mid summer, nothing was expected but, that doesn't stop you still looking hard! The Lake was dominated by Mallard with about 40 present, and amongst them were Tufties 5 and a single duck Mandarin. Around the edges, a pair of Oystercatcher soon scooted off, but an adult Grey wagtail with a juvenile was surely proof of successful breeding not to far away. A migrant Greenshank could be heard moving west high up in the sky somewhere. Dragonflies were represented by a dozen or so Black-tailed Skimmers.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Away from Home

Monday and Tuesday saw me working away in the Bucks/ Oxon area this week. Now, regular visitors to this blog will have probably gathered that I have a bit of a soft spot when it comes to Raptors, with one of my personal favorites being Red Kite. Whilst travelling around on Monday, particularly along the A40 corridor I saw more Red Kites in one day than certainly anywhere else that I've been, both home and abroad! Saw easily at least 40 individuals including several wheeling low over housing estates in small towns and villages- you lucky, lucky bar stewards! Along with the kites picked out a couple of Common Buzzards and, at our digs for the night, a nice garden provided a little moth called Pyrausta aurata along with Grey Wagtail and some classic English countryside full of House Sparrows, Swallows and Greenfinches lurvely!

Pyrausta aurata