Happy New Year…happy old year!

Our special year ends as the New Year begins sadly the last few days saw us shrouded in fog so the conclusion was not what I had hoped for. I had planned to repeat January 1st with a visit to Titchwell and Holme but instead I stayed home!

I have really enjoyed the year and am very pleased that we decided to take a year out pursuing wings…and other things! Now the time has come to look back and see how it went, the good bits and the even better bits. Time to check through the lists and make sure nothing has been left off or doubled up and maybe pick out some best bits.

What a difference a year makes, last January 1st was bright and dry, today has been wet all day long! I was glad that no outings were planned instead we have had a lovely day with family around.

Lists have been checked and I can reveal that our total number of things seen both winged and otherwise, is 729 and the nearest guess to that was 750 given by Peter so he is the winner!!!

I am pleased to say that we saw 257 different birds, 26 of them were life ticks for me so 10% much higher than I would have imagined. Peter asked how many things in total were life tics for us and when we looked that shot the percentage way up.

We had 4 new mammals out of a total of 25, 53 new insects from 85, 77 new macro moths from 245, whilst micros was 58 new from 70! Now some of these figures may not be entirely accurate but if I can’t recall seeing things before and have no record of them I am counting them as life ticks. Carrying on, 7 dragonflies out of 10 were new, 4 damselflies from 7 and 12 butterflies from 25. No new amphibians or reptiles, to be honest we failed miserably in that category!

Now totalling it all up that makes 241 life ticks from a total of 729 things seen, almost exactly one third!!!

It is hard to pick favourites but I will try just a few. I know Ian’s favourite picture of the year is this one.

IMG_2446 pine martin

It was taken in Scotland on a wonderful day, we got three of our four mammal ticks that day! This Pine marten plus beavers and Daubenton’s bat and really was a day to remember!!!

Our week on Mull with Ruth, Stu and Sprocket was brilliant, the company and the things we saw, smashing!

A few weeks spent ‘down south’ gave us chances to spend time with Brian and Margaret and ended with a week spent down in Devon with Janice and Chris. Excellent to catch up whilst seeing new places and spotting birds, finding a new-born calf in the New Forrest was an unexpected bonus!

It is difficult to choose favourite birds but I will pick a few out, I dare say if I were to pick them another day I may make different choices! If you click on a photo they should tell you what they are

I selected these fairly swiftly just scrolling through the photos I have used on here before. Some were chosen for rarity others I simply love!

Another highlight have been the occasions that our grandchildren have been out with us and less often Peter too. One special day was spent at Minsmere the day we saw the purple swamphen another at Burnham.

We have spent time with Alan and Judy both in Norfolk and Gloucestershire, all very enjoyable and Alan’s new-found love of insects gave our list a boost!

An all too brief visit to Stephen and Pauline did at least mean we saw all of our siblings which was lovley but an all too rare occurance!

Just a few moths so they don’t feel left out!

 

I had better stop reminiscing my way through the year and get some lists posted! I may do another blog or two and tel you about some faourite places and things etc but not today.  Before the lists I just want to thank you for reading my blogs, it is appreciated as are any comments (on here please not FB as they get lost!)

A big thank you to friends and family that encouraged us to take this year out and have not minded me either not making arrangments in the first place of cancelling them to go and see a bird!

The biggest thank you goes to Ian, doing this year would not have been half the fun. His golf has gone by the way side which I didn’t think would ever happen and I hpe it picks up again now we have crossed into 2017! We have managed no to tfall out (although a couple of motoring incidents came close!!!) and have spent more time together than I can remember.

So I wish you all a happy 2017, may you find peace and happiness and enjoy the living creatures you encounter. Hope to see you before too long 🙂

Now the lists and you alread know they contain a totola of 729 living creatures!!!

First the birds 257 of which 26 were life ticks!

  1. Mute Swan
  2. Bewick Swan
  3. Whooper Swan
  4. Bean Goose
  5. Pink-footed Goose
  6. White-fronted Goose
  7. Greylag Goose
  8. Canada Goose
  9. Barnacle Goose
  10. Brent Goose
  11. Egyptian Goose
  12. Common Shelduck
  13. Muscovy duck
  14. Mandarin Duck
  15. Eurasian Wigeon
  16. Gadwall
  17. Eurasian Teal
  18. Mallard
  19. Pintail
  20. Garganey
  21. Shoveler
  22. Red-crested Pochard
  23. Common Pochard
  24. Ferruginous Duck *
  25. Tufted duck
  26. Greater Scaup
  27. Common Eider
  28. Long-tailed Duck
  29. Common Scoter
  30. Velvet Scoter
  31. Goldeneye
  32. Smew
  33. Hooded merganser *
  34. Red-breasted Merganser
  35. Red Grouse
  36. Black Grouse
  37. Goosander
  38. Red-legged Partridge
  39. Grey Partridge
  40. Common Pheasant
  41. Golden Pheasant
  42. Little Grebe
  43. Great Crested Grebe
  44. Red-necked Grebe *
  45. Slavonian Grebe
  46. Black-necked Grebe
  47. Fulmar
  48. Manx Shearwater
  49. Gannet
  50. Cormorant
  51. Shag
  52. Bittern
  53. Cattle Egret
  54. Little Egret
  55. Great Egret
  56. Grey Heron
  57. White Stork
  58. Glossy Ibis
  59. Spoonbill
  60. Red Kite
  61. White-tailed Eagle
  62. Marsh Harrier
  63. Hen Harrier
  64. Pallid Harrier *
  65. Goshawk *
  66. Eurasian Sparrowhawk
  67. Common Buzzard
  68. Rough-legged Buzzard
  69. Golden Eagle
  70. Osprey
  71. Kestrel
  72. Merlin
  73. Hobby
  74. Peregrine Falcon
  75. Water Rail
  76. Corn Crake
  77. Moorhen
  78. Western purple swamphen*
  79. Coot
  80. Common Crane
  81. Great bustard *
  82. Oystercatcher
  83. Black-winged Stilt
  84. Pied Avocet
  85. Stone-curlew
  86. Little ringed Plover
  87. Ringed Plover
  88. Dotterel
  89. European Golden Plover
  90. Grey Plover
  91. Lapwing
  92. Great Knot*
  93. Knot
  94. Sanderling
  95. Little Stint
  96. Temminck’s Stint
  97. Pectoral Sandpiper
  98. Curlew Sandpiper
  99. Purple Sandpiper
  100. Dunlin
  101. Broad-billed Sandpiper *
  102. Ruff
  103. Jack Snipe
  104. Common Snipe
  105. Long-billed Dowitcher *
  106. Woodcock
  107. Black-tailed Godwit
  108. Bar-tailed Godwit
  109. Whimbrel
  110. Curlew
  111. Spotted Redshank
  112. Common Redshank
  113. Common Greenshank
  114. Lesser Yellowlegs
  115. Green Sandpiper
  116. Wood Sandpiper
  117. Common Sandpiper
  118. Ruddy Turnstone
  119. Grey Phalarope
  120. Arctic Skua
  121. Mediterranean Gull
  122. Little Gull
  123. Black-headed Gull
  124. Common Gull
  125. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  126. Herring Gull
  127. Iceland Gull
  128. Glaucous Gull *
  129. Great Black-backed Gull
  130. Kittiwake
  131. Caspian Tern *
  132. Sandwich Tern
  133. Common Tern
  134. Arctic Tern
  135. Common Guillemot
  136. Razorbill
  137. Black Guillemot
  138. Puffin
  139. Rock Pigeon
  140. Stock Pigeon
  141. Wood Pigeon
  142. Collared Dove
  143. Turtle Dove
  144. Rose-ringed Parakeet *
  145. Cuckoo
  146. Barn Owl
  147. Little Owl
  148. Tawny Owl
  149. Short-eared Owl
  150. Common Swift
  151. Common Kingfisher
  152. European Bee-eater *
  153. Hoopoe
  154. Wryneck
  155. Green Woodpecker
  156. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  157. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
  158. Wood Lark
  159. Sky Lark
  160. Shore Lark (horned lark)
  161. Sand Martin
  162. Swallow
  163. Red-rumped Swallow *
  164. House Martin
  165. Tree Pipit
  166. Meadow Pipit
  167. Rock Pipit
  168. Water Pipit
  169. Yellow Wagtail (Grey-headed)
  170. Grey Wagtail
  171. Pied Wagtail
  172. Bohemian Waxwing
  173. Dipper
  174. Wren
  175. Dunnock
  176. Siberian Accentor*
  177. Robin
  178. Common Nightingale *
  179. Bluethroat*
  180. Red-flanked Bluetail
  181. Black Redstart
  182. Common Redstart
  183. Whinchat
  184. Stonechat
  185. Isabelline Wheatear*
  186. Desert Wheatear
  187. Wheatear
  188. Ring Ouzel
  189. Blackbird
  190. Fieldfare
  191. Song Thrush
  192. Redwing
  193. Mistle Thrush
  194. Cetti’s Warbler
  195. Grasshopper Warbler
  196. Sedge Warbler
  197. Eurasian Reed Warbler
  198. Great Reed Warbler*
  199. Dartford Warbler
  200. Barred Warbler
  201. Lesser Whitethroat
  202. Whitethroat
  203. Blackcap
  204. Yellow-browed Warbler
  205. Eastern Crowned Warbler *
  206. Radde’s Warbler*
  207. Dusky Warbler*
  208. Wood Warbler
  209. Common Chiffchaff
  210. Willow Warbler
  211. Goldcrest
  212. Firecrest
  213. Spotted Flycatcher
  214. Red-breasted Flycatcher
  215. Pied Flycatcher
  216. Bearded Tit
  217. Long-tailed Tit
  218. Marsh Tit
  219. Willow Tit
  220. Crested Tit *
  221. Coal Tit
  222. Blue Tit
  223. Great Tit
  224. Nuthatch
  225. Treecreeper
  226. Penduline tit *
  227. Red-backed Shrike
  228. Great Grey Shrike
  229. Jay
  230. Magpie
  231. Jackdaw
  232. Rook
  233. Crow
  234. Hooded Crow
  235. Common Raven
  236. Starling
  237. House Sparrow
  238. Tree Sparrow
  239. Chaffinch
  240. Brambling
  241. Serin *
  242. Greenfinch
  243. Goldfinch
  244. Siskin
  245. Linnet
  246. Twite
  247. Lesser Redpoll
  248. Mealy Redpoll
  249. Common Crossbill
  250. Bullfinch
  251. Hawfinch
  252. Lapland Longspur
  253. Snow Bunting
  254. Yellowhammer
  255. Cirl Bunting
  256. Reed Bunting
  257. Corn Bunting

Mamals next 4 of the 25 were new

  1. Rabbit.
  2. Stoat
  3. Hare
  4. Grey squirrel
  5. Common seal
  6. Roe deer
  7. Red deer
  8. Muntjak deer
  9. Sperm whale *
  10. Grey seal
  11. Otter
  12. Weasel
  13. Bank vole
  14. Fallow deer
  15. Red squirrel
  16. Pine marten *
  17. Beaver *
  18. Daubenton’s bat *
  19. Common pipistrelle
  20. Common shrew
  21. Water vole
  22. Hedgehog
  23. Pygmy shrew
  24. Field vole
  25. Chinese water deer

Insects and other bits and bobs  53 of the 85 were new to me    the ones marked with * are the ones NOT new

  1. Common Wasp*
  2. Ladybird 7 spot*
  3. Ladybird harlequin
  4. Lacewing green*
  5. Lacewing brown
  6. Bloody nosed beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa)
  7. Red tailed Bumble bee
  8. White tailed Bumble bee*
  9. Honey bee*
  10. Hornet*
  11. Garden snail*
  12. Slug*
  13. Wood ants*
  14. Scottish wood ants
  15. Mining bees
  16. Froghopper
  17. Hawthorn shieldbug
  18. Two banded longhorn beetle
  19. Poplar leaf beetle
  20. Woodlouse*
  21. Earwig*
  22. Earth worm*
  23. Wolf spider
  24. Green dock beetle
  25. Green leafhopper
  26. Bee fly*
  27. Green sawfly
  28. Dark bush-cricket
  29. Pantallon bee
  30. Bee-wolf
  31. Daddy-long-legs spider
  32. Ophion obscratus (wasp)
  33. Cock chaffer
  34. House spider*
  35. Money spider*
  36. Zebra spider
  37. Green fly *
  38. Black fly*
  39. Red spider mite*
  40. Red ant*
  41. Helophilus pendulus (Sun (hover) fly)
  42. Dasysyrphus albostriatus (hover fly)
  43. Sphaerophoria scripta ( long hoverfly)
  44. Eupeodes luniger (hoverfly)
  45. Common field grasshopper
  46. Meadow grasshopper
  47. Mottled grasshopper
  48. Centipede*
  49. Millipede *
  50. Harvestman *(Dicranopalpus ramopus)
  51. Common sexton beetle* (Nicrophorus vespilloides)
  52. Black sexton beetle (Nicrophorus humator)
  53. Common green shieldbug*
  54. Buff tailed bumble bee
  55. Southern oak bush cricket
  56. Pond skaters*
  57. Water boatmen*
  58. Caddisfly
  59. Bradycellus verbasci (moth trap invader!)
  60. Common green grasshopper*
  61. Sitona Lepidus (small beetle)
  62. Nowickia ferox (fly)
  63. Tachina grossa (bee-face fly!)
  64. Sargus flavipes-( Yellow-legged Centurion)
  65. Common Carder Bumblebee
  66. Garden spider*
  67. Red-legged shieldbug (Pentatoma rufipes)
  68. Black Kneed Capsid (Blepharidopterus)
  69. Nigma walckenaeri (little green spider!)
  70. Ladybird 2 spot*
  71. Birch shield bug
  72. Eupterx urticae (tiny nettle bug)
  73. Speckled bush-cricket
  74. Chrysolina americana ( Rosemary leaf beetle )
  75. Crane fly*
  76. Box shield bug
  77. Grove snail
  78. Small black ant *(Lasius niger)
  79. Large black ant *(Formica fusca)
  80. Nemorilla floralis (black and white fly)
  81. Devil’s coachhorse (Ocypus olens)
  82. Nursery spider (Pisaura mirabilis)
  83. Scorpian fly (Panorpa communis)
  84. Long-winged Conehea
  85. Dock bugMacro Moths    245 which includes 77 new ones

    Angle shades

    Autumnal moth

    Autumnal rustic

    Barred sallow

    Barred straw

    Barred yellow

    Beaded chestnut

    Beautiful golden Y

    Beautiful hook-tip

    Black arches

    Black rustic

    Blackneck

    Blair’s shoulder-knot

    Blood-vein

    Bordered beauty

    Bordered pug

    Brindled beauty

    Broad-bordered yellow underwing

    Bright-line brown-eye

    Brimstone

    Brindled beauty

    Brindled pug

    Brown rustic

    Brown-line bright-eye

    Brown-spot pinion

    Brown-tail

    Buff arches

    Buff ermine

    Buff tip

    Burnished brass

    Cabbage moth

    Canary-shouldered thorn

    Centre-barred sallow

    Chestnut

    Chinese character

    Cinnabar

    Clay

    Clouded border

    Clouded drab

    Clouded silver

    Clouded-bordered brindle

    Coast dart

    Common carpet

    Common emerald

    Common footman

    Common marbled carpet

    Common pug

    Common Quaker

    Common rustic

    Common swift

    Common wave

    Common wainscot

    Common white wave

    Copper underwing

    Coronet

    Coxcomb prominent

    Currant pug

    Cypress pug

    Dark arches

    Dark-barred twin-spot carpet

    Dark Spectacle

    Dark spinach

    Dark/grey dagger

    December moth

    Dewick’s plusia

    Dingy footman

    Dot moth

    Dotted chestnut

    Double square spot

    Double-striped pug

    Drinker

    Dun-bar

    Dusky brocade

    Dusky sallow

    Dusky thorn

    Dwarf cream wave

    Ear moth

    Early grey

    Early moth

    Early thorn

    Early toothed-stripe

    Elephant hawkmoth

    Emperor moth

    Engrailed

    Eyed hawkmoth

    Fan-foot

    Feathered gothic

    Feathered thorn

    Flame shoulder

    Flounced rustic

    Four-dotted footman

    Foxglove pug

    Frosted green

    Frosted orange

    Garden carpet

    Garden tiger

    Ghost moth

    Great prominent

    Green-brindled crescent

    Green carpet

    Green pug

    Green silver-lines

    Grey pine carpet

    Heart and club

    Heart and dart

    Hebrew character

    Herald

    Hummingbird hawkmoth

    Iron prominent

    Juniper carpet

    July highflyer

    Knot-grass

    Latticed heath

    Large emerald

    Large nutmeg

    Large twin-spot carpet

    Large wainscot

    Large yellow underwing

    Least black arches

    Least carpet

    Least yellow underwing

    Leopard moth

    Lesser cream wave

    Lesser broad-bordered yellow underwing

    Lesser swallow prominent

    Lesser yellow underwing

    Light arches

    Light brocade

    Light emerald

    Lilac beauty

    Lime hawkmoth

    Lime speck pug

    Lobster moth

    Lunar underwing

    Lychnis

    Magpie moth

    Maiden’s blush

    Mallow

    Map-winged swift

    Marbled beauty

    Marbled brown

    Marbled minor

    March moth

    Marbled white spot

    Merveille du jour

    Miller (caterpillar)

    Mottled beauty

    Mottled pug

    Mottled rustic

    Mottled umber

    Mouse moth

    Muslin

    November moth

    Nutmeg

    Nut-tree tussock

    Oak beauty

    Orange footman

    Orange sallow

    Orange Swift

    Pale brindle beauty

    Pale eggar

    Pale mottled willow

    Pale prominent

    Pale tussock

    Pale-shouldered brocade

    Peach blossom

    Pebble hook-tip

    Peppered moth

    Pine hawkmoth

    Pink-barred sallow

    Plain golden Y

    Poplar grey

    Poplar hawkmoth

    Powdered Quaker

    Purple bar

    Red-green carpet

    Red-line Quaker

    Red twin-spot carpet

    Riband wave

    Rosy footman

    Rosy rustic

    Royal mantle

    Ruby tiger

    Rustic

    Rustic shoulder-knot

    Sallow

    Scalloped oak

    Scarce footman

    Scorched wing

    Setaceous Hebrew character

    Shears

    Short-cloaked moth

    Shoulder stripe

    Shoulder-striped wainscot

    Shuttle-shaped dart

    Silver Y

    Silver-ground carpet

    Single-dotted wave

    Six-striped rustic

    Slender brindle

    Small angle shades

    Small blood-vein

    Small brindled beauty

    Small dusty wave

    Small fan-foot

    Small fan-footed wave

    Small Quaker

    Small rivulet

    Small square-spot

    Small yellow wave

    Smoky wainscot

    Snout

    Spectacle

    Spinach

    Spruce carpet

    Square-spot rustic

    Straw dot

    Straw underwing

    Streamer

    Swallow prominent

    Swallow-tailed moth

    Tawny speckled pug

    The flame

    Treble bar

    Treble lines

    Triple-spotted pug

    Turnip moth

    Uncertain

    V moth

    V Pug

    Vapourer

    Varied coronet

    Vestal

    Vine’s rustic

    Waved umber

    Webb’s wainscot

    White ermine

    White satin moth

    White-point

    Willow beauty

    Winter moth

    Yellow-barred brindle

    Yellow-line Quaker

    Yellow shell

    Yellow-tail

     

    Micro moths    58 from these 70 I am counting as new!

    1. Apple leaf miner (Lyonetia clerkella)
    2. Ash-bark Knot-horn (Euzophera pinguis)
    3. Barred marble (Celypha striana)
    4. Beautiful china-mark ( Nymphula nitdulata )
    5. Bee moth ( Aphomia sociella)
    6. Bird-cherry ermine ( Yponomeuta evonymella )
    7. Bordered carl (Coptotriche marginea)
    8. Brown china-mark ( Elophila nymphaeata)
    9. Brown house moth (Hofmannophila pseudospretella)
    10. Chequered grass veneer ( Catopria falsella )
    11. Codling moth (Cydia pomonella)
    12. Common drill ( Dichrorampha petiverella )
    13. Common grey (Scoparia ambiguallis)
    14. Common marble ( Celypha lacunana )
    15. Common nettle-tap (Anthophila fabriciana)
    16. Common plume ( Emmelina monodactyla)
    17. Cyclamen tortrix ( Clepsis spectrana )
    18. Dawn flat-body (Semioscopis steinkellneriana)
    19. Diamond- back moth (Plutella xylostella)
    20. Dingy dowd (Blastobasis adustella)
    21. Dotted oak knot-horn ( Phycita roborella)
    22. Double striped tabby ( Hypsopygia glaucinalis )
    23. Elbow stripe grass-veneer (Agriphila geniculea)
    24. Elder pearl (Anania coronate)
    25. Fenland pearl (Anania perlucidalis)
    26. Florida pink scavenger (Anatrachyntis badia)
    27. Garden grass-veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella)
    28. Garden pebble (Evergestis forficalis)
    29. Garden rose tortrix ( Acleris variegana )
    30. Golden argent (Argyresthia goedartella)
    31. Gold triangle ( Hypsopygia costalis )
    32. Grass-veneer (Crambus pascuella)
    33. Horsechestnut leaf miner (Cameraria ohridella)
    34. Large fruit-tree tortrix ( Archips podana)
    35. Large Ivy Tortrix (Lozotaenia forsterana)
    36. Large tabby ( Aglossa pinguinalis)
    37. Light brown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana)
    38. Little grey (Eudonia lacustrara)
    39. London dowd ( Blastobasis lacticolella)
    40. Long-horned flat-body ( Carcina quercana )
    41. Many plumed moth (Aluctia hexadactyla)
    42. Maple slender (Caloptilia semifascia)
    43. Marbled orchard tortrix (Hedya nubiferana)
    44. March tubic (Diurnea fagella)
    45. Marbled piercer (Cydia splendana)
    46. Marsh dwarf (lachista alpinella)
    47. Meal moth (Pyralis farinalis)
    48. Mother of pearl ( Pleuroptya ruralis )
    49. Narrow winged grey ( Eudonia angustea)
    50. New oak slender ( Caloptilia robustella )
    51. Obscure agg. ( Oegoconia agg. )
    52. Ox-tongue conch ( Cochylis molliculana )
    53. Pale straw pearl ( Udea lutealis )
    54. Privet tortrix (Clepsis consimilana)
    55. Red-barred tortrix ( Ditula angustiorana )
    56. Ringed china-mark ( Parapoynx stratiotata )
    57. Rough-winged conch (Phtheochroa rugosana)
    58. Rose tabby ( Endotricha flammealis )
    59. Rusty dot pearl (Udea ferugalis)
    60. Small grey ( Eudonia mercurella )
    61. Small magpie (Anania hortulata)
    62. Spindle ermine (Yponomeuta cagnaglla)
    63. Sulphur Tubic ( Esperia sulphurella)
    64. Triple-blotched bell (Notocelia trimaculana)
    65. White-bodied conch (Cochylis hypridella)
    66. White-faced tortix (Pandemis cinnamomeana)
    67. White-shouldered house moth ( Endrosis sarcitrella)
    68. White-headed Ermel (Paraswammerdamia alibicapitella)
    69. Yellow-faced bell (Notocella cynosbatella)
    70. Yellow-spot tortrix (Pseudargyotoza conwagana)

     

     

    Dragonflies  10 with 7 new ones

    1 Golden banded dragonfly *

    2 Keeled skimmer*

    3 Migrant hawker

    4 Black-winged skimmer*

    5 Scarce chaser*

    6 Common darter

    7 Broad-bodied chaser *

    8 Southern hawker*

    9 Brown hawker*

    10 Ruddy darter

     

    Damselflies 7 with 4 new

    11 Azure damselfly*

    12 Common blue damselfly

    13 Large red damselfly*

    14 Small red damselfly

    15 Blue-tailed damselfly*

    16 Banded demoiselle

    17 Beautiful demoiselle*

    Butterflies  12 of these 25 I have counted as new to me

    Red admiral

    Brimstone

    Peacock

    Small tortoiseshell

    Speckled wood

    Green-vein white

    Orange tip

    Small white

    Holly blue

    Small copper

    Small heath

    Dark green fritillary

    Common blue

    Large heath

    Small pearl-bordered fritillary

    Green hairstreak

    Painted lady

    Ringlet

    Large skipper

    Large white

    Gatekeeper

    Small skipper

    Comma

    Grayling

    Clouded yellow

    Reptiles and Amphibians …I really failed to get going here so just the 5, nothing new!

 

  1. Grass snake
  2. Smooth newt
  3. Common frog
  4. Common toad
  5. Slow worm

So that’s it folks, 729 seen and identified, 241 for the first time by me!!!

 

Again a big thank you :o)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The day I was beaten by a goose!!!

The past few days have been brilliant! Following on from our quiet Christmas day we travelled down to see Roo and Stu and had a brilliant time there including a lovely walk out with the gorgeous Sprocket. Still plenty of autumn colours around.

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Smashing company, excellent food, incredible gifts (!!!)  quizzes, games all followed by a very good nights sleep! Thank you very much Roo and Stu.

The bent morning we drove back up to Norfolk to spend another smashing day this time at Janice and Chris’. We all went to panto at Sheringham, along with Peter, Lynn and the children. Here is Daniel ready for the show to begin.

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A good time was had by all but I think it may be fair to say the chances of that particular production moving on to the London stage are slim!!! Back to J & C for a splendid tea and another night spent away from home!

This morning we decided to go in search of the red-breasted goose that had been seen in the company of thousands of pink-footed geese near Docking. We found the area and joined the others trying to see the goose but there was a problem … fog!

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At first we couldn’t even see a goose let alone the right one. Later through the fog we saw geese, many, many geese but no sign of a red-breasted one. Suddenly they took to flight so please let me know if you can spot the one we are looking for in these pictures!!!

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We were eventually beaten by the cold and the fog so we headed for home instead. fireSo fire alight we are back in the cosy warm and heading nowhere else tonight! Maybe we will see the goose another day but for now it has beaten me!

 

Happy Christmas

I couldn’t resist dropping by to wish you a very happy Christmas. So far ours is going fine, a tad on the quiet side but fine! The tree is up, the decorations are too as are the cards so we were all set for the festivities to begin.

Yesterday, Christmas Eve, was our Christingle service which traditionally I lead and this year was no exception. It was just about the only thing all year that I was committed to doing and was pleased to have the opportunity once again. (A photo will appear here in a few days)

After church this morning we decided to go for a walk at the arboretum. 13 degrees seemed most unusual for a Christmas walk but it was certainly very pleasant and brought lots of people out. Surprisingly what it didn’t bring out was many birds it was very quiet on that front, but… we did get a tick! Down on the edge of a stream we saw a Crossbill, a first for the year. Sadly it was the only sight we had of it but we were pleased non the less, you will have to imagine it there as it had flown by the time I got the camera ready!!!

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Thankfully a Christmas Robin did make an appearance, always a treat. img_2290-robin

 

Mostly there were no birds on the water at all, just some Canada geese that had managed to avoid peoples ovens!

A couple of small Christmas trees seemed to have sprung up since our last visit and some seasonal holly added a splash of colour.

I had just said to Ian that I thought we would have seen some winter thrushes when, from what had seemed to be a carpet of autumn leaves dozens of thrushes took to the wing. They were no sooner there than they had disappeared high into the trees and out of sight. Oh well it was good to at least see them.

img_2305I didn’t think we had walked far enough to encounter Highland cattle but it seemed we had! Away in a manger came to mind!

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The next thing we saw surprised me even more than the cattle, believe it or not we saw a butterfly! I think it was a large white but I was astonished to see one right at the end of the years, the weather certainly has gone crazy!

So Common Crossbill became bird number 257, I am hoping to make the bird count to 260 by the end of the year but we will see.

So however you are spending these few days I hope they are filled with love and peace as that  was what the very first Christmas was to bring, so to quote Tiny Tim, “God bless us everyone!”

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Short and sweet!

Short and sweet is what this blog entry will be and most certainly is what the bird I have seen today is!

If you have kept with me on this journey you will know there is a bird that I have been quite embarrassed not to have seen all year. It was becoming ridiculous to have to admit that I hadn’t and I was beginning to fear that I might not get it al all. The fear is over, the bird has been seen and here he is!

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A Little owl has become the 256th bird of the year! Considering we have had them in the garden in the past it is ridiculous to have taken this long but never mind, he was all the more welcome for being a late arrival!

This morning I popped out with Peter to Dereham as he had a few things to get and I wanted to go to the bead shop. Well when we arrived the bead shop was gone so that was the end of my necklace making plans!

It was really good to have the chance to chat to Peter about a decision I need to make and to get a fresh perspective. So in spite of no beads I knew the morning was time well spent (to be honest time spent with family is never time wasted) but I didn’t know that he would spot me a tick on the journey home.

Up until today the nearest I had got to a Little owl was this fella!

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A present from a dear friend given out of sympathy for my lack of Owl spotting skills, thank you Sheila!!!

Had I not been with Peter I wouldn’t have seen it today, he really does have brilliant eyes and can see birds I would never notice. It was on a fence post, back form the road and really not obvious to most, but to an ace spotter, no problem! The next problem though was that Ian wasn’t with us, oh no should I brake my own rule and count it or not? A quick phone call and he was on the way, bringing my camera with him.

“Please don’t fly off, please don’t fly off, please don’t fly off” and it didn’t. Well not before Ian arrived and saw it, passed me my camera and I got a quick shot. It did however fly soon afterwards hence just the one picture but I really don’t mind, we both saw it and that is what counts.

So a short sweet bird and I feel I have been saved any humiliation on December 31st when I see my year end list.

No, No, November!

I am rather late with my end of the month blog as we have been without Wi fi for several days! In our family November begins with a very special occasion, Daniel was five on the first of the month!

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November has been a lovely month; still full of beautiful colours.

It has however been a very quiet month as far as our numbers have been and it is sad to say we have only added two birds and one mammal!  Don’t think we haven’t had a good time though, we have. Our impromptu trip to Wensleydale was a real treat which included a trip to the Thorp Perrow Arboretum where the pictures above were taken.

The weather has been mixed but I think it has given us more sunshine than showers and of course now and then they come together to provide us with a lovely rainbow.

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Back home and there were lots of reports coming about Waxwings arriving, we eventually caught up with some in Holt. Beautiful birds and I would have been very disappointed not to get them this year.

We took a day out from wild creatures to visit some captive ones. A smashing day out with Peter, Lynn and the children, seeing the young Red panda was a highlight!

It was at the zoo that we got a new mammal, keen eyed Lynn spotted it first, a field vole and it was certainly not captive!

We added Bean goose at Titchwell having been out many times for them earlier in the year. Another day I went out with Peter and our cameras and were rewarded with some Bramblings and a last minute treecreeper.

So we have arrived at our last month and I confess we have begun December by being rather lacks as we have been in Norwich for a few days without the pager!!! Still let’s wait and see how we do over the next few weeks. I am going to save lists until the end of the year now and then we will see whose guess was closest.

 

Beans for breakfast?

Yesterday morning was beautifully bright so the chance of getting better Waxwing pictures was appealing. I went out with Peter, we didn’t find any but did find birds to photograph! A mixed flock of Chaffinches and Bramblings teased us by flitting among the trees and then landing mostly where we couldn’t get an angle on them! But…sometimes they were more co-operative, first some Chaffinch shots.

This lone Brambling had us wondering if it was okay, but it flew off so seemed it could take care of itself.

I don’t know how many were in the flock as they were so mobile, but a good number were present. When they landed among the autumn leaves they looked stunning!

These were all at Santon Downham which is, to the best of my knowledge where I saw my first Brambling some years ago; at least they were the first I remember seeing. I was amused by this nearby sign, the first time I remember seeing it!

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We may have lost out on Waxwings but were happy to have been out in beautiful light  but the weather changed so back home we headed for late lunch! Just as we were heading off we spotted this rather distant  Tree creeper.

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Now I move on to today and my title, Beans for breakfast. Earlier in the year we tried several times to get Bean geese but failed each time, not today! Off we headed, first thing in search of Bean geese in the fields at Titchwell and we got it! I have to confess that had I been alone I would not have had the confidence to pick one out from the numerous Greylag and Pink foots but Ian did and others around us were independently choosing the same bird which was encouraging.

Having ticked Bean goose for number 255 we headed to the sea on what turned out to be a much brighter day than forecast. I spotted this little bird half hidden at first but them boldly out in the open, a Reed bunting.

Geese and Lapwing flew over as we walked down to the sea and I couldn’t resist a Curlew shot as I passed!

 

When we reached the sea there were Long-tailed ducks and Scoters sitting on the sea but no sign of divers which I had hoped for.

Our time was limited at Titchwell as we had some things to attend to in Holt, thankfully we were on the road before the rain came and provided us with another rainbow.

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Holt was finished with and there was time for a visit to Janice and Chris which is always a pleasure and as we left the sun was out again, low in the sky and we had some lovely skies.

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We did detour when nearly home and drive around locally looking for the elusive Little owl, no luck, oh well about six weeks left to find one!!!

 

The untickables!

Unless we were about to go up to the highlands and islands of Scotland there hasn’t been much to tempt us out in the cold or wet. That hasn’t prevented us from have a good weekend though and thankfully on the days that mattered the weather was kind.

Friday saw Daniel enjoying a firework party to celebrate his fifth birthday, good friends, food, games and explosive devises made for a good time!

Today, following a service of remembrance, where Alice and Matilda were on parade in their St John cadets uniforms we all headed for the zoo. We had no thought of adding to our number today but in fact we did. Eagle eyed Lynn first spotted what we identified as a field vole which was a new one for us so that was a bonus!

Exotic birds and butterflies fly free in ‘Eureka’

A trip to Banham zoo would not be complete without a ride on the train and today the driver got Daniel to help check everyone was safe! img_1914

Walking round and there is plenty to see here are a few bits and pieces. Since our last visit the penguins have a new home, having seen them above groun the children took time to see if any were swimming.

As well as the animals there was quite a good variety of fungi including some classics!

We watched part of the flying display and these were two of the stars, a European eagle owl and a saker falcon. The bald eagle wasn’t flying just lurking for people to take his photos!

Another change since our last visit means that you can now get closer to a heard of deer.

I have saved a couple of my favourites till last. This first one was new to me and I was very taken with him, he is a rhino iguana and what a handsome fella he is too. I am sure this will sound strange but I was really surprised to see the emotion he seemed to portray in his looks. WHo knows if he really was or maybe it was just the way I read him but I wasn’t the only one that thought he looked like he wanted someone to pet him!

Thi snext one has always been a favourite and today was no exception in fact the addition of a baby one makes them even more appealing. Red pandas are adorable!!! Sadly by the time they wanted to show the light was fading making photography a bit of a no starter, maybe we will return another time.

I will leave it there, so of course these don’t go on our year list but they did add to the fun!