Sunday, August 27, 2006

Norfolk



It's a bit silly to go to the north Norfolk coast on a Bank Holiday weekend and then moan because there are lots of people about...

Anyway...

Lots of birds at Titchwell, too. Mixed flock of Dunlin and Curlew Sandpipers

Curlew Sandpiper with Phragmites in the way...


Bathtime for Ringed Plover


Redshank

Teal dabbling

Snipe probing

Will Bowell and David Roche had counted 24 species of wader on the lagoons and beach, which I think would have been...
  1. Dunlin
  2. Curlew Sandpiper
  3. Black-tailed Godwit
  4. Bar-tailed Godwit
  5. Lapwing
  6. Golden Plover
  7. Grey Plover
  8. Sanderling
  9. Temminck's Stint
  10. Little Stint
  11. Redshank
  12. Spotted Redshank
  13. Curlew
  14. Snipe
  15. Green Sandpiper
  16. Common Sandpiper
  17. Oystercatcher
  18. Avocet
  19. Ringed Plover
  20. Turnstone
  21. Greenshank
  22. Ruff
  23. Knot?
  24. Wood Sandpiper?
Before hitting Titchwell, we took a walk along the hedgerows at Burnham Overy Staithe, only to find it congested with dog-walkers and a selection of eccentrically-dressed birders, and devoid of birds. Nice Migrant Hawkers, though.

Lunch was had at The Chequers Inn, Binham, and was very good. I can recommend the steak and ale pie. Am I getting middle-aged?

Nearly forgot to mention that I had a Titchwell tick - a small boy having his bum wiped by his mother, on the main path to the beach, fully exposed to the cold north-westerly wind. Poor sod. No wonder he didn't look very happy. Is there anything people won't do on nature reserves? It seems not...

digiscoped photos taken with Nikon Coolpix 995 + Leica Apo Televid 77 with 20x eyepiece

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Know your root vegetables




[female?] Woodchat Shrike, Sea Lane, Friskney, Lincs.

On the way home from Gibraltar Point, we dropped in at Sea Lane in Friskney to see if the long-staying (since 29 July) Woodchat Shrike was still hanging about. To start with, we couldn't find it, and it was only after we gave up and drove back towards the A52 that Darren spotted it sitting on a fence.

This is where your knowledge of root vegetable crops is put to the test. Do not look around the edge of the sugar beet field, for the bird will not be seen there. No, you must use your veg ID skills and look on the fence surrounding the potato field, and then you will be rewarded.

digiscoped photos taken with Nikon Coolpix 995 + Leica Apo Televid 77 with 20x eyepiece

Gib


Tempted towards the east coast by yesterday's reports of juicy migrants (Wrynecks, Barred and Greenish Warblers, flycatchers of varying hues, and just... stuff), we went to Gibraltar Point today.

Speckled Wood

Green Sandpiper

Fortunately, there was more than a Green Sand there (though it was the only wader to pose for photos). The Long-billed Dowitcher and Lesser Yellowlegs were in front of the same hide (Jackson's) and showed reasonably well, if a bit distantly. Also a gaggle of Greenshank, a large gang of Black-tailed Godwits and a slightly more subtle Garganey.

There was a constant stream of Swallows passing south, along with a few Swifts and House Martins, and a Hobby. As we wandered along the shore, we watched a couple of Red Admirals fly ashore - into the wind - presumably just having crossed The Wash from Norfolk!

Not much else about, though.

digiscoped photo taken with Nikon Coolpix 995 + Leica Apo Televid 77 with 20x eyepiece

Friday, August 18, 2006

Raindrops keep falling...



We've had a lot of rain over the past few days...


And now autumn is firmly on its way...

Some tasty-looking blackberries - migrating warbler fodder

Acorns in the making

photos taken with Nikon Coolpix 995

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Prionus coriarius

Tanner or Sawyer Beetle, Prionus coriarius

What a beast! This huge beetle - one of the UK's largest - was on the outside of a building at The Lodge for at least a couple of days. It's shown roughly life-size in this photo, or perhaps a bit smaller...

There's not a huge amount of information about them on the web
but there is a distribution map (not sure how complete it is)

photos taken with Nikon Coolpix 995

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bugs




These pesky shieldbugs are still at it, sunbathing away on top of the poppies.

I spent quite a while watching them this lunchtime, and I'm pretty sure that's all they're doing. They didn't appear to be feeding or interacting, despite the fact that they often congregated on the same poppies.

  • Big thanks to Fiona for lending her bug identification know-how - these are Sloe Bugs, Dolycoris baccarum
photos taken with Nikon Coolpix 995

'flies

Small Copper

Painted Lady. After a lull last week, there seems to be more of these about today. Another 'wave' of migrants?

Brown Argus. These seem to be everywhere I go at the moment - can't remember the last time I saw a 'blue' butterfly that wasn't one.

(Now someone will probably tell me this isn't a Brown Argus...)

photos taken with Nikon Coolpix 995

Waterlilyfest



photos taken with Nikon Coolpix 995

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Gardenage


Red Admiral

Green grapelets growing


Male Black-tailed Skimmer in the ha-ha

Sunlit oak leaf

Today's crop of photos from the gardens at The Lodge

photos taken with Nikon Coolpix 995