Norfolk Wildlife

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Re: Norfolk Wildlife

Postby Easternbushchat » Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:14 pm

Who amongst us doesn't regard long-tailed tits as charming little birds? They would, I imagine, be considered a common enough inhabitant of our woodlands and wayside, but just how numerous they really are was brought home to me on a visit to Strumpshaw Fen earlier this week. A stroll around the reserve on a dull day was brightened considerably by watching the nest building antics of several pairs of these perky little birds as they buzzed through the still bare trees looking for lichens and spiders webs with which to construct their well-hidden domed nurseries......

Read more in my latest blog post at www.easternbushchat.blogspot.co.uk
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Re: Norfolk Wildlife

Postby Easternbushchat » Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:04 pm

Easter has struck early and with it a new season of family events has kicked in at nature reserves all around the county, in fact for some Easter has marked their opening for the summer season. I've spent time over the last week helping out at both Norfolk Wildlife Trust Ranworth Broad and RSPB Strumpshaw Fen. The welcome onslaught of visitors has been at times akin to a tornado touching earth; the respective visitor centres awhirl with holidaying families, keen birders and local people who, having spent a long winter imprisoned by winter's chill, have at last been released to savour the singular sense of light and space these slices of Broadland can offer. Brief impressions of time I spent at these excellent local venues are clumsily given below....

Read more on this in my latest blog at www.easternbushchat.blogspot.co.uk
Hope you enjoy reading it, please feel free to share if you do :)
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Re: Norfolk Wildlife

Postby Easternbushchat » Sat May 07, 2016 6:06 pm

New blog post summarising a week of brilliant wildlife watching in beautiful Norfolk...

...Back from New York to a freezing cold house, believable tales of snow and frost from relatives, huddling around the fire all day trying to keep warm and not succumb to jet lag. It could surely only get better. And it did. A lot better.

Sunday 1st May. The swifts have returned dead on time.

Tuesday 3rd May. A visit to RSPB Titchwell Marsh is always a delight and today whilst scanning through a patch of cut reed just east of the track I locked on to a cracking black-headed wagtail – a yellow wagtail of the eastern race feldegg. I’d heard about this bird being seen the day before, but obviously nobody had so far seen it today. I alerted those around me to the bird, a real stunner, and as far as I can tell the news went ape. Nice to find something a little unusual. We watched this perky little chap for a few minutes until the frantic hordes began to wet themselves and then moved on.

Other highlights here were a flighty female ring ouzel, a gorgeous drake garganey and a rather confiding songthrush that fearlessly hopped around our table whilst we were partaking of the customary hot chocolate and gooey cake. Personally the songthrush stole it for me. ...

Read the full post at www.easternbushchat.blogspot.com
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Re: Norfolk Wildlife

Postby Easternbushchat » Mon May 16, 2016 6:15 pm

New blog post with an account of the first day of a birding trip to Sweden.

'.....Enveloped by the gentle calm at the gloaming of a warm May day we waited at the edge of a damp meadow bordered all around by thick sentinel forest; a group of expectant birders, hushed and vigilant. And as the shadows of the tall pines crept slowly across the sward, one of our company caught a glimpse of something distant fly slowly across his field of vision. Something large: something special. Fifteen pairs of binoculars scanned towards the far end of the open space in the direction of his pointing finger, but there was nothing now to be seen. We moved along a track a few hundred metres, flanked all the way by towering pine and spruce, to recommence our watch from a more advantageous viewpoint. And there, after a short wait, the most beautiful of creatures drifted into view to perch atop a tree stump; a great grey owl, the bird we had been promised and the one atop everyone's most wanted list.....'

Read more at www.easternbushchat.blogspot.com
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Re: Norfolk Wildlife

Postby Easternbushchat » Wed May 18, 2016 7:58 am

Latest blog post - 2nd day birding in Sweden and some close encounters with owls.

'....A fire raged through a vast area of the forest hereabouts in 2014 causing immeasurable damage both ecological and financial. Strong summer winds whipped the blaze to an inferno which raged for weeks before it was eventually brought under control thanks to water carrying aircraft dragooned from France and Spain. Once the smoke had cleared and the devastation assessed it was decided to designate a large proportion of the affected area as an eco park and to let nature heal the wounds and green over the scars. Some two years on, the scene is still one of ranks of charred and blackened tree stumps, their singed roots wrapped around moss stripped boulders like a witches scrawny grip on the arm of her chair. Nothing has or will be done to clear the debris except to clear fallen trees from paths and roads; natural regeneration will be studied and valuable information gleaned from what transpires over coming decades....'

Read more at www.easternbushchat.blogspot.com
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Re: Norfolk Wildlife

Postby Easternbushchat » Sun May 22, 2016 7:01 am

Latest blog rounding up a birding trip to Sweden.

'...Almost the first bird we encountered was a red kite that cruised by at roof top level allowing impressive views of what is apparently a rare sighting in this part of the country. Good start. Hot on the heels of the kite an immature peregrine made an appearance scattering the gulls and waders into a frenzy. This bird loitered around the northern end of the lake for some time periodically stooping at groups of wildfowl or flocks of multi-coloured ruff, which although not especially pleasing for the hapless targets, did allow us to get a good idea of what birds were hiding away behind the amply vegetated small islands. Thanks to the over enthusiastic falcon we were able to add several species to the day list that may otherwise have remained absent: gorgeously black spotted redshank, a sprinkling of Temmincks stints, garganey, and several dainty wood sandpipers. Most of these birds are held up here because of the strong northerlies of the past few days hampering their sprint further north....'

Read the full post at www.easternbushchat.blogspot.com
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Re: Norfolk Wildlife

Postby Easternbushchat » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:14 pm

New blog post recounting the events of a week in June.

'....Such a busy time of year. So much activity, so many things to see. Let's lightly tread through the highlights of the last week or so and see if we can find something of interest....'

read the full post at http://www.easternbushchat.blogspot.com
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Re: Norfolk Wildlife

Postby Easternbushchat » Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:58 pm

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'Imagine waking up to the sound of golden orioles wolf whistling in the rustling poplars, nightingales stridently clattering behind screens of billowing ash and the ‘thrip thrip’ calls of bee-eaters slicing through the calm dawn skies. All of this bathed in golden sunlight caressing miles of dew-spangling grasslands bejewelled with myriad wild flowers. Sounds good, doesn't it? In fact almost too good to be true, but these things happened every morning of our stay at Kondor Lodge in the Kiskunsȃg National Park of central Hungary. There were times when literally the only things that could be heard were the calls of wild creatures; the chirruping of crickets, the croaking of frogs and the aforementioned birdsong which provided pleasant background music all day long. There were seldom any man-made noises to intrude. But I race ahead of myself and should really begin at the beginning and recount the events of our week long Honeyguide holiday to this beautiful area as they unfurled....'

New Blog post - read more at http://www.easternbushchat.blogspot.com
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Re: Norfolk Wildlife

Postby Easternbushchat » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:56 am

New Blog Post:

'Continuing the account of our recent trip to Hungary……..

Day 3 – 26 May
Today’s pre-breakfast stroll revealed a family party of black redstarts that had recently nested on one of the Lodge’s roof supports together with a lovely spotted flycatcher in the process of doing the same. As I pulled back the cloth flap of the pond hide I disturbed a large grass snake that had been resting in the cool interior. That specimen slithered away before I could have a closer look, but several newly hatched individuals provided very close encounters as they swam in the shallows and sometimes investigated the dark opening to the hide. On more than one occasion I had to give them a gentle tap to discourage them actually entering; I was more concerned for their safety than mine. These bright, inquisitive creatures provided great entertainment as they silently explored every niche of the pond surround, while the nightingales, golden orioles and hoopoe enriched the scene with their song....'

Read the full post at www.easternbushchat.blogspot.com
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Re: Norfolk Wildlife

Postby Easternbushchat » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:00 am

New Blog Post concluding the account of a recent trip to Hungary:

'Being out there in the unspoiled Puszta was an experience almost beyond the ken of a modern day UK based naturalist. The sheer profusion of plant and insect life was overwhelming. Sitting here back at home typing this account, it is not easy to convey the sense of abundance. Suffice to say anyone with an interest in botany or entomology could spend hours here discovering its inhabitants with a big smile on their faces. Over the course of the week we certainly did....'

Read the full post at www.easternbushchat.blogspot.com
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