Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Two Shorties

Monday June 8

The afternoon was due to be spent gardening, so we went to Cley early morning, after emptying the moth trap. A few nice moths over the last two nights, one new for the garden, a beautiful Puss Moth. 

Our first Privet Hawk-moth of the year too.

The highlight was this Seraphim, a 'good' moth which we had difficulty in identifying. I posted it on the Norfolk Moth Facebook group pages and  Greg and Andrew ID'd it - it's notoriously variable. We weren't such idiots !

We made ourselves walk out to Daukes in a cold north easterly wind. June ! 
The only birds we saw on the way out were three Reed Buntings. Even more disappointing was flower free verges. The water levels and the marsh in general look very neglected at the moment, the Iron Road area is much better managed. Everyone is complaining......Poor visitors are wandering around, spending a short time looking -at not a lot- from the hides, before moving on.
We sat it out  in Daukes for half an hour, until my eyes were watering in the teeth of the gale coming through the flaps and, I'd got goose bumps under my fleece.
Apart from Avocets, Lapwings, Black-headed Gulls and a couple of Gadwall, interest was provided by two Greenshanks, one making hard work of swallowing a large fish.
This less than sharp photo of a punk Little Egret shows the strength of the wind.

Tuesday June 8

It was sunny - and cold - when we set off for moth-ing at Natural Surroundings, overcast with spots of rain by the outskirts of Holt.
More moths than of late, with some new for the year. Four Water Carpets and two new ones for us.
We were all pleased to retire to the cafe for the usual drink and chat - plus eats for most. We still needed to keep coats on though.
The plan to go on an orchid hunt at Holme was aborted after a stop at Sculthorpe Mill. As I left the car, a worker left his and asked if I'd seen the Spotted Flycatcher. Not this year I said, nor last year either. As we spoke, the male Grey Wagtail flew onto the restaurant roof.
I was told that the Flycatchers had returned on June 4th and were using the outhouse again. He also said that there was a pair in Syderstone churchyard.
Not seeing any birds here, we drove to Syderstone and spent half an hour in the churchyard, to no avail. Orchids ? No, back to Sculthorpe Mill. Pam hates the wind especially when it's so cold. She should have put a vest on.
Two Spot Fly's appeared as soon as we drove up but then, went missing for 40 minutes. I could hear them utter their high pitched squeak of a call from the yew trees above......
Eventually they both returned to make visits to the outhouse, probably carrying nest building materials. We tried some less than excellent photography whilst one was perched on a rough brick.

Such a pleasure to see them here again. The worker confirmed that they were not in the area last year.

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