Saturday, 24 June 2017

Another Shorty

Friday June 23

Mid morning until tea-time excursion as far as Sculthorpe and,  back along the coast - purely for our own pleasure. 
Nik Borrow had posted a photo of a giant stinking flower in the cage at Natural Surroundings. I guessed that it was down the hill and stayed in the car whilst Pam went to see and photograph it. Am I growing sensible? One of the Grey Wagtails showed in the stream beside the road bridge.
Somewhere between Burnham Market and Holkham, Pam had her first Hobby of the year having missed the one I saw. North Creake produced Red Kite and Marsh Harrier. 
Where is Selbrigg pond? Ah yes, big enough to be a small lake, along Selbrigg road on the outskirts of Holt. We knew we wouldn't get close-ups, but, with patience we had identifiable views of a Lesser Emperor Dragonfly amongst a myriad Blue Damselflies.
I tried a few close-ups with my new camera - replacing the pocket one which came apart in Thailand. I'll post one or two here if I was successful, I'd forgotten until now.

Norfolk in Summer


 Full zoom from the car, the Bee and Hoverflies were not visible to me !



 

More good moth-ing. Two macros new for the garden on Thursday. 
Red-necked Footman - too flighty to take out of the pot as was the Dart




and Sand Dart - an Immigrant.



We've seen both elsewhere.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Waw

Monday June 19

Worthy of a post of its own.
After a very long and exceedingly hot, 34C, three hours undergoing tests at the NNU hospital  (pre-op), we sat on the patio emptying the moth trap. 
We were not in a good space having found that next Monday's arthroscopy on my left knee is deferred as I showed high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation. Most impressed that we got home to find a message from my doctor making an appointment for the next afternoon. I am already on remedial medication. The arthroscopy was a check for infection before a knee replacement.
Harrier, called Pam. It was a male Montagu's Harrier  making its way, tree height, above our garden.
Elation.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

This and That

Suinday June 18

No big days out, no 'special' birds nor moths, a very enjoyable month of general Natural History. 
New for the garden

Three Nuthatches minimum, parents and offspring visiting the feeders.
4 Oystercatchers flying over, shouting at each other.
3 Water Ermine in Saturday's trap

This morning

A terrific moth session at Catfield Fen, a joint Butterfly Association/ RSPB event. 7 traps overnight plus heat and cloud, produced an enormous quantity and variety of moths. Daunting for the namers and recorders, very rewarding for the large number of attendees which included four well-behaved children. Good moths were also brought in for our enjoyment, many of them unusual Micros.
New for us included :

Olive Crescent (Suffolk trapped)
anana pintulata
brachmia baldella
Dentated Pug
Golden Plusia (James Lowen) 
tortrix viridiana  

It was a long session that included two led butterfly walks in the usually no access reserve and a chance for a short boat trip along a dyke. Most people stayed with the moths.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Broad-bodied Chasers

Monday May 29

Broad-bodied Chasers and  Blue Damselflies emerged from our small garden pond to-day.
The Dragonflies were very actively mating, the female ovi-positing immediately, the male flying restlessly around the garden, occasionally resting for a few seconds. Looks good for more of this species hatching next year.The yellow bodied are females, the blue are the male.




 

Bank Holiday Sunday?

Sunday May 28

Norfolk roads and coast at Bank Holidays are teeming with cars, people and caravans. To-day was dry too. The birding call was too strong. Maybe if we avoided the main attractions all would be well. As it turned out, the roads were not bad at all, the only crowded place was Snettisham chalet park, where Pam counted over 50 parked cars. Good to see so many chalets/caravans/ cottages being used.
Sculthorpe Mill, our usual banker for Spotted Flycatcher, did not oblige to-day. We both enjoyed watching a pair of Grey Wagtails carrying food for their young. At last a few photos where the tail wasn't wagging all the time.




Two birders already ensconced in Abbey farm hide, had enjoyed watching a Little Owl, perched on a nearby post, from which it had recently 'dropped down'. Not seen by us. Mandarin Duck was a surprise year tick, well hidden, grazing in long grass.
We couldn't have reached Snettisham on a lower tide. Miles of mud with a few scattered birds - not even the usual surfeit of Shelduck. A couple on the ever picturesque mud (my opinion).


 One pretty sick looking Knot, a few Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Sanderling  and Turnstone. 
I have to photograph an Oystercatcher sitting tight on eggs, the challenge lies in finding the most attractively situated. They're not fussy.

 
 Why isn't there a notice asking the public to keep dogs and children on leads to protect nesting birds?

The Horned Poppies are bursting into bloom.


Marsh Orchids at Holme are all in meadows behind roadside fencing.Parking is not allowed, we err on the side of 'just stopping briefly'.


 We ended with over 70 species seen from the car, so good to be out and about.

Thursday June 1

Two Turtle Doves at White Horse Common on the way to mothing at Cley. Red Kite, Buzzard and Marsh harrier seen from the cafe platform.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Back Home in Norfolk

Saturday May  27

We've been home less than a week, since Monday in fact, it seems like we've never been away. I persuaded Pam not to go to Bird Club on Monday night after driving down from Carlisle! Nothing would deter us from moth-ing at Natural Surroundings on Tuesday morning. It's always better than Thursdays at Cley, in both number and variety of moths trapped.
We've  spent the week catching up with laundry, planting my chitted vegetable seeds in root trainer pots (it was 100F in the greenhouse), moth-ing every night  at home and, doing some birding after our half-day North Norfolk sessions.
We've added Nightingale and Cetti's  in Sewage Works Lane, Swift and House Martin in the village, Garden Warbler in our garden and the following photos are of some of the garden moths we have trapped.

Light Emerald

Oak Hook-tip

Puss Moth -male

Eyed Hawkmoth


Elephant Hawkmoth

Lime-speck Pug

Lime Hawkmoth

 
Brimstone

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Rough Summary!

Sunday April 16

In short....... 
We have now seen several Swallows, the first last Tuesday when we drove the north coast after moth-ing at Natural Surroundings. All the Ring Ouzels now passing through need walking e.g Gun Hill and Holme Dunes. We haven't seen any.  We keep driving Beach Road Cley and Salthouse before and after moth-ing, always seeing Wheatears. Last Thursday, there were four, one a male, at Salthouse, and another four at Cley. 


Despite freezing in the northerly blast from open car windows, no Whimbrel heard either.
A muddy Avocet at Brancaster Staithe, watchful eye skywards, asked for a photo.

 
 We've done rather better on the moth count. Despite cold moonlit nights, we have trapped a larger number and variety of moths than others in Norfolk - according to Facebook postings anyway.
The best for me was a White-pinion Spotted (what an odd name) on the night of Thursday April 13th., new for the garden and a tick for us.


Other goodies were:

Brindled Beauty

Oak Beauty

Iron Prominent

Scalloped Hook-tip
   Otherwise... potatoes and onion sets have been planted and liberal amounts of Ibuprofen gel administered to my knees and Pam's shoulders !