Thursday, 30 November 2017

Bah, humbug!

Snow! The only people who might possibly be pleased to see the wretched stuff are kids and sled manufacturers! What we have now isn't even proper snow, it's just vile wet slush that threatens to freeze into slabs of ice on roads and - even worse - windscreens.

Let's hope you youngsters don't have to relive the winter of 1963, when it started snowing on Boxing Day and didn't stop until Easter!






Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Ambush in the mist!

I'm stuck indoors trying to shake off a rotten cold before the big charity gig on Saturday: all the tickets are now sold, so there's no question of baling out!

Whilst catching up on pre-Christmas orders in the office: I glanced through the window to see this beautiful Sparrowhawk perched on the Oak tree at the end of the garden. Even through the misty, rain-dappled glass, it was a terrific bird to watch - it stayed for five minutes before swooping down in pursuit of a Blue Tit (which, sadly, it caught!)





Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Parrot Crossbills at Santon Downham

Despite having a dreadful cold, the lure of a flock of Parrot Crossbills just forty minutes from home was too strong to ignore! Brian met Linda and me at 7.20 and I drove through the somewhat heavy A11 traffic down to the Brecks. As soon as we arrived at Santon we picked out a very distant (but unmistakeable) Parrot Crossbill at the top of a tree and could hear others down towards the car park at St. Helen's Well, so we carried on along the narrow road.

As we climbed out of the car some old friends from the Goshawk encounters earlier on in the year pointed out a group of Parrots in a nearby conifer and soon Brian, Linda and I were enjoying good views of 30+ birds (although the morning was still a little gloomy for perfect photography.)

After 'filling up', and wanting to avoid the inevitable road congestion that would result from the heavy crowds that were beginning to assemble, we moved northwards to Lynford. A walk round produced a few distant Hawfinches in the paddock, as well as a Kingfisher and the usual woodland birds coming to seed on the stone bridge. Following coffee at Brown's, we headed home, arriving back at the Heath before noon!


 






 
 


 
 

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Frosty morning at Strumpshaw Fen!

Linda and I took advantage of the bright, frosty early morning for a stroll around the Fen. Surprisingly, we bumped into quite a few other birders and - perhaps even more surprisingly - quite a few decent things at which to point the camera!

Along the Sandy Path there were several Fieldfares as well as a Sparrowhawk and a couple of pairs of Bullfinches, while from Fen Hide we managed distant views of Bearded Tits (4), Kingfishers (3) and a few Marsh Harriers.

Walking back along the eastern path we surprised a Stoat carrying a Bank Vole: shame he couldn't have chosen a rat instead...








Friday, 24 November 2017

Great night at the Heathlands Beer Festival

Just a few photos of Garth, Colin, Chris, Jann, Iain and others at tonight's well-attended event: we played to a large, appreciative crowd from 8.00pm through until 11.00.







Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Long-tailed Duck: best bird of a breezy day out!

After the usual 7.30 pick-up, Brian, Norman and I headed north to Cley, parking at the beach car park. Despite a walk right round the reserve, all we came across were a few Ringed Plovers, seals and Brent Geese - no Snow Buntings or white-winged gulls.

A move along the coast to Brancaster Staithe was instantly more rewarding, resulting in excellent  views of the recently-present Long-tailed Duck. Following lunch at Burnham Deepdale we spent an hour at Titchwell (Norman had to be back in Norwich early afternoon) Apart from a few waders and the ever-present Water Rail, nothing much else to report. A great day out, though, with over eight miles walked and the lawn mowed when I returned home!