The last words of my previous blog entry were an announcement to the birds that I was ready for them, a challenge that one bird in particular took up!!!
Yesterday was the first day this week that I woke feeling human as at last my migraine cleared up. I decided to catch up on a couple of things, so first I caught up on the blog and later I began sorting photos that had arrived for our scrap book. Before I got far with the book I got news from Peter about a brilliant bird that had flown in and his suggestion was that we should, “go, go, go!” The only catch was that it was in Yorkshire, what to do that was the question. Quick look on Booking.com meant we found somewhere to spend the night so we grabbed a case with a few essential, got optics and were in the car and off. We knew we would arrive after dark but also that we would be close by to strike early!
So what bird is that I hear you ask? Aha, what is the bird in question? Well it is a Siberian Accentor and it is the first on mainland Britain, the first for the UK was on the Shetland Isles only last week!
Bless Ian for driving as we arrived a couple of hours after sunset and found our place for the night. We received a lovely welcome and arranged a breakfast bag to take with us as we would be out before breakfast. Alarm was set but not needed we were awake and keen to get out. When we arrived at Easington (just a few miles away) it was manic! Cars and birders everywhere! We found a spot and walked to the site where a long queue was waiting for their turns to view the bird. We joined the queue!The picture shows a little bit of the queue but can you see the lack of women? Why is birding such a male heavy hobby?
The atmosphere was lovely and everyone co-operated with the system, wait in the queue, get ushered over in turn and after a very short while get moved on! Very funny but we all got to see the bird so no one was complaining and everyone was free to join the queue again if they wished. We didn’t but we did return later in the morning when this is how things looked!
So on our second visit we were free to enjoy the bird properly! This time I got photos that actually show the bird so we were really delighted to have a second shot. A lovely little bird and we were VERY pleased to have taken Peter’s advice to “go, go, go!” I suspect the weekend will get busy again.
Apart from seeing the Siberian accentor we haven’t had any birds to add to our year list but we have seen some smashing birds none the less. Between our two trips to Easington we went to Sammy’s Point and it was just the sort of place I love and the still early light added to it.
I was pleased to find a Ring ouzel which was quickly joined by a second one and by the time we moved on there were six!
Whilst at Sammy’s point I have never seen so much bird movement and that really did feel magical! I have never seen so many Goldcrests, warblers, buntings, Robins, winter thrushes and more, it was simply alive. There were of course lots of birders there and everyone was chirpy as all had been and seen the Accentor so for us all any thing else was going to be a bonus. Another treat was to see Woodcock in flight, I am pretty sure I haven’t seen that before. Of course the appearance Wheatears always adds its own magic, today was no exception. We saw a lone Swallow, I don’t suppose we will see many more this year.
We were having such a good time that we decided to return to our B & B, Dunedin Country House, which we had already checked out of, and have a coffee and see if they had a room for us for another night. I am sitting in it now so indeed the answer was yes! We would certainly recomend staying here, they are friendly, welcoming and accomadating.
We couldn’t be so close to Spurn without a visit so we headed there too. I must confess to being uncertain which of the shots are Spurn and which are taken at Sammy’s point (it’s been a long day!)
There had been several reports of birds that would have been ticks for us but unfortunately we couldn’t connect with any of them. None the less we saw some good birds including similar birds to those seen at Sammy’s point, no Ouzels but we did see a Jack snipe and this lovely Shore Lark. We saw a small group of Shore larks early in the year but got no recognisable photos so I was pleased to get a go today!
We had hoped to see a Pallas’s warbler but no such luck even though there was at least one in the area. Other birds evaded us but we really did have a cracking day. When we went for our second trip to see the Siberian accentor as we walked up the road to it we were delighted to see this Redstart, another bird we had earlier in the year but again no previous shots (as far as I remember!).
Our parting jaunt for the day was a second trip to Sammy’s point, after a short walk Eastward we decided to go Westward instead! This direction took us down a path between the sea and a dyke, plenty of warblers were taking advantage of the reeds! When we were nearly back to the car we saw a Pied flycatcher on the stones by the sea.
Amongst the birds that were reported but only seen briefly, not by us, was a Rose coloured starling in a church yard. I include this photo for one reason and one reason only, the opportunity to tell you about my Star Wars moment. See the picture and then imagine my very best Obi Wan Kenobi voice …”These are not the Starling you are looking for!”
Now for the absolutely last pictures for today, these are to illustrate what I have in common with the bird of the day, the wind really does play havoc with hair/feathers.
So today has been a magical day and having just had a good meal (we missed lunch) we are relaxing ready to see what tomorrow may bring. We are planning to go to Donna Nook and hope some good birds have similar plans!!!
So another month has been and indeed gone! I have always had a fondness for October so maybe it will bring good things, who knows I may even be lucky enough to see the very rare Little owl! How I have managed to go nine months without seeing one is a mystery, but I have. Other years I have seen them regularly in our village, we even saw one in a tree in our garden once but not this year.
September has been a good month but nothing major to report on the sightings front. One event that I can’t let go unmentioned is that our grandson, Daniel, began school and what a good time he is having!
We have only added two birds, Pectoral sandpiper and yellow-browed warbler but we have still enjoyed the hunt!
An early event in the month was my first sighting of a frog (I know, where have I been up to now?) closely followed by a toad, literally on our doorstep!
Insects have risen the most this month, largely because there hasn’t been much else to catch my eye! I have had a favourite though, this beautiful beetle.
I had it miss-identified originally but it turns out to actually be a Rosemary-leaf beetle and is a bit of a thug, I’m glad I resisted the temptation to bring it home with me!!!
I have also learnt this month that a hoverfly isn’t simply a hoverfly there are very many different ones, here are a few I have seen in recent weeks.
We had a lovely visit with Alan and Judy and the weather was just about perfect, if anything it was a tad too hot! They arrived on an evening that had seen rain all day and left the day before the rain returned, but for there stay…not a drop.
Due to my back (I have moaned enough about that previously) my daily tally of steps on my Fitbit had sadly fallen, Alan and Judy’s visit got those steps up again.
We also snuck a last minute visit in with Janice and Chris, an overnight stop with them at the very end of the month. That was mainly to check up on Chris as it had been his turn to miss-behave in the health department! We had a good time with them and were pleased to find Chris looking, though rather weary, not too far off his usual self. Another reminder of our mortality but also another huge blessing that it had not been worse and we are all still here in more or less sound body and minds (I did say more or less!).
We spent several days in Bedfordshire on pet sitting duties which was very enjoyable. Sadly I forgot to take a picture of the bunnies but here is the rest of the gang.
We got out and about with several walks at RSPB The Lodge and also Danish Camp. We added Pygmy shrew to our mamal list which was a bonus and certainly saw plenty of sign that autumn is heading our way.
Ruth and Stu’s time away had gone well, it was centred around running a half-marthon in Euro Disney! I must be honest here, I feel we got the best end of the deal staying in their home looking after ‘their family’!!!
I mentioned a flower we saw growing and had wondered what it was.
Thanks to both James and Christine for letting me know it is Himalayan Balsam which inspite of being an attractive plant is a pest! It spreads like wild fire mainly due to the fact that the seed heads explode and travel great distances.
We have continued to regularly see lots of dragonflies and a smaller number of damslelies too. I think the one that pleased me most this month was the one that landed on Alan’s hat! We had seen lots of male banded demoisels but as far as I know this was the first female. I am sure I must have seen them but they are not so conspicuous as thier partners so I guess they simple eluded me.
New moths have continued to appear but not in the numbers that we had last year which has been rather disappointing. I think it has been generally quieter year for them and not due to anything we have done differently. We have picked up some more micro moths this month and I suspect that is pretty much it for the year for them. I will pop a few pictures of some of the micros we have had this year, (not necessarily this month) mostly from our trap but some Peter has shared from his garden.
So another month gone and time to look at lists (or ignore them ) and see how the numbers have slowly grown. Most people that predicted my final tally have been knocked out as it now stands at 698 but there is still a fight on!
Bird List 244
Ferruginous Duck *
Hooded merganser *
Great Crested Grebe
Red-necked Grebe *
Pallid Harrier *
Western purple swamphen*
Great bustard *
Little ringed Plover
European Golden Plover
Broad-billed Sandpiper *
Long-billed Dowitcher *
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Glaucous Gull *
Great Black-backed Gull
Caspian Tern *
Rose-ringed Parakeet *
European Bee-eater *
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Shore Lark (horned lark)
Red-rumped Swallow *
Yellow Wagtail (Grey-headed)
Common Nightingale *
Eurasian Reed Warbler
Great Reed Warbler*
Crested Tit *
Penduline tit *
Great Grey Shrike
Dragon and damselflies 17
Golden banded dragonfly
Common blue damselfly
Large red damselfly
Small red damselfly
Insects and other bits and bobs! 84
Ladybird 7 spot
Bloody nosed beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa)
Red tailed Bumble bee
White tailed Bumble bee
Scottish wood ants
Two banded longhorn beetle
Poplar leaf beetle
Green dock beetle
Ophion obscratus (wasp)
Red spider mite
Helophilus pendulus (Sun (hover) fly)
Dasysyrphus albostriatus (hover fly)
Sphaerophoria scripta ( long hoverfly)
Eupeodes luniger (hoverfly)
Common field grasshopper
Harvestman (Dicranopalpus ramopus)
Common sexton beetle (Nicrophorus vespilloides)
Black sexton beetle (Nicrophorus humator)
Common green shieldbug
Buff tailed bumble bee
Southern oak bush cricket
Bradycellus verbasci (moth trap invader!)
Common green grasshopper
Sitona Lepidus (small beetle)
Nowickia ferox (fly)
Tachina grossa (bee-face fly!)
Sargus flavipes-( Yellow-legged Centurion)
Common Carder Bumblebee
Red-legged shieldbug (Pentatoma rufipes)
Black Kneed Capsid (Blepharidopterus)
Nigma walckenaeri (little green spider!)
Ladybird 2 spot
Birch shield bug
Eupterx urticae (tiny nettle bug)
Chrysolina cerealis ( Rainbow leaf beetle )
Box shield bug
Small black ant (Lasius niger)
Large black ant (Formica fusca)
Nemorilla floralis (black and white fly)
Devil’s coachhorse (Ocypus olens)
Nursery spider (Pisaura mirabilis)
Scorpian fly (Panorpa communis)
Dark green fritillary
Small pearl-bordered fritillary
Mammal list 23
Reptiles & Amphibians 5 (not a lot but better than last month!)
Moths alphabetised 231
Beautiful golden Y
Broad-bordered yellow underwing
Common marbled carpet
Dark-barred twin-spot carpet
Double square spot
Dwarf cream wave
Grey pine carpet
Heart and club
Heart and dart
Large yellow underwing
Least black arches
Least yellow underwing
Lesser cream wave
Lesser broad-bordered yellow underwing
Lesser swallow prominent
Lesser yellow underwing
Lime speck pug
Marbled white spot
Pale brindle beauty
Pale mottled willow
Plain golden Y
Red twin-spot carpet
Setaceous Hebrew character
Small angle shades
Small brindled beauty
Small dusty wave
Small fan-footed wave
Small yellow wave
Tawny speckled pug
White satin moth
Micro moths 70
Apple leaf miner (Lyonetia clerkella)
Ash-bark Knot-horn (Euzophera pinguis)
Barred marble (Celypha striana)
Beautiful china-mark ( Nymphula nitdulata )
Bee moth ( Aphomia sociella)
Bird-cherry ermine ( Yponomeuta evonymella )
Bordered carl (Coptotriche marginea)
Brown china-mark ( Elophila nymphaeata)
Brown house moth (Hofmannophila pseudospretella)
Chequered grass veneer ( Catopria falsella )
Codling moth (Cydia pomonella)
Common drill ( Dichrorampha petiverella )
Common grey (Scoparia ambiguallis)
Common marble ( Celypha lacunana )
Common nettle-tap (Anthophila fabriciana)
Common plume ( Emmelina monodactyla)
Cyclamen tortrix ( Clepsis spectrana )
Dawn flat-body (Semioscopis steinkellneriana)
Diamond- back moth (Plutella xylostella)
Dingy dowd (Blastobasis adustella)
Dotted oak knot-horn ( Phycita roborella)
Double striped tabby ( Hypsopygia glaucinalis )
Elbow stripe grass-veneer (Agriphila geniculea)
Elder pearl (Anania coronate)
Fenland pearl (Anania perlucidalis)
Florida pink scavenger (Anatrachyntis badia)
Garden grass-veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella)
Garden pebble (Evergestis forficalis)
Garden rose tortrix ( Acleris variegana )
Golden argent (Argyresthia goedartella)
Gold triangle ( Hypsopygia costalis )
Grass-veneer (Crambus pascuella)
Horsechestnut leaf miner (Cameraria ohridella)
Large fruit-tree tortrix ( Archips podana)
Large Ivy Tortrix (Lozotaenia forsterana)
Large tabby ( Aglossa pinguinalis)
Light brown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana)
Little grey (Eudonia lacustrara)
London dowd ( Blastobasis lacticolella)
Long-horned flat-body ( Carcina quercana )
Many plumed moth (Aluctia hexadactyla)
Maple slender (Caloptilia semifascia)
Marbled orchard tortrix (Hedya nubiferana)
March tubic (Diurnea fagella)
Marbled piercer (Cydia splendana)
Marsh dwarf (lachista alpinella)
Meal moth (Pyralis farinalis)
Mother of pearl ( Pleuroptya ruralis )
Narrow winged grey ( Eudonia angustea)
New oak slender ( Caloptilia robustella )
Obscure agg. ( Oegoconia agg. )
Ox-tongue conch ( Cochylis molliculana )
Pale straw pearl ( Udea lutealis )
Privet tortrix (Clepsis consimilana)
Red-barred tortrix ( Ditula angustiorana )
Ringed china-mark ( Parapoynx stratiotata )
Rough-winged conch (Phtheochroa rugosana)
Rose tabby ( Endotricha flammealis )
Rusty dot pearl (Udea ferugalis)
Small grey ( Eudonia mercurella )
Small magpie (Anania hortulata)
Spindle ermine (Yponomeuta cagnaglla)
Sulphur Tubic ( Esperia sulphurella)
Triple-blotched bell (Notocelia trimaculana)
White-bodied conch (Cochylis hypridella)
White-faced tortix (Pandemis cinnamomeana)
White-shouldered house moth ( Endrosis sarcitrella)
Why some of these lists insist of double spacing I really don’t know, it is most aggravating as it take up even more space than needed. I have tried retyping and all sorts but it makes no difference, sorry!
Where to go for a walk on Monday, that was the question. We thought about returning to the Lodge but we wanted to take Sprocket and we were rather restricted there. So I suggested we returned to Danish Camp and do one of the other walks from there, off we went. Just as we were approaching Ian remembered they were shut on Mondays…oops! Oh well plan B. We parked at The Dovecote which was just as convienient for the walk we had in mind.
Off we set along our chosen path when the rain began, not heavy but the sky looked threatening. So we turned back and with the rain stopping walked another pathway but keeping us near to the car should the skies open again.
We were heading back to the car when we stopped to look at a map of the site. I hadn’t realised there were ponds there and Ian said had we kept going along our first path we would have seen them. We could have walked between two lakes and then along by the river which leads to Danish Camp (no lunch there today!) so in a mad moment I suggested we did that walk anyway.
Off we trekked and what a lovely time we three had, the rain kindly staying away. The lakes had been the appeal but in fact you hardly see them! It is obviously a place favoured by fishermen as at any gap in the shrubbery you could see umbrellas with fishing poles sticking out from them, it seemed safe to assume that fishermen were there too! We were amused by this blind that had been put presumably to help people look through at birds on the lake but sadly it was a tad overgrown!
We saw, in the distance some Barnacle geese, when we were here earlier in the year there were loads on the then flooded fields. As we neared the water we saw geese in flight, not Barnacles but Greylags. When we could see through to the lake the geese had altered again, by then they were Canada Geese. Very changeable geese they have in Bedfordshire!!!
We saw quite a lot of these flowers on our walk and I had thought they were wild orchids. I have tried to look them up but my knowledge of wild flowers is less than that of insect so you will see I am hopeless! I couldn’t find them and the more I looked the more the leaves looked wrong for orchids, do you have any idea what they are?
The plant is Himalayan Balsam (Thank you James and for fungus Ids)
At least I had no problem hitting my Fitbit step target! We arrived back at the car and it is definitely a walk I would enjoy doing again, I must remember next time we visit Roo and Stu.
Later that evening the wanders returned having sucessfully completed the inaugaral half marathon, in character dress, at Euro Disney and had plenty of fun there too. Feeling very proud of the pair of them, they have come al long way this past two or three years. I think it is fair to say that pets and owners were all happy to be reunited although they did okay with the subs for a few days!
Tuesday morning and it was time for us to leave. Before coming away I had contacted Rosie, the person I was told moth trapped at The Lodge. My email had recieved the reply that she was out of the office till Monday so we thought that was the end of it. She did however reply on Monday saying they were trapping that night so we arranged to meet over there first thing.
It is a lovely setting although we did learn that the building has floodlights on it all night which migh have been part of the cause of hardly any moths being present, nothing new for us.
We headed off to walk one of the routes we had not yet done this visit, but first poopped into the hide where this woodpecker made a very brief appearance.
As we headed off we could hear the sound of chainsaws so assumed there was logging going on. We had a lovely walk and the weather brightened up as we went along.
When we were nearly back to the main path and therefore our car, a notice said we couldn’t go that way and to ‘find another path’. Now if you know the site well that may be easy but we didn’t! We could have turned round and retraced our steps but that would have involved a much longer walk than planned includeing trudging up a somewhat steep hill! Instead we decided to follow a sign to The Old heath and hope that led us back. It was a lovely walk and did lead us back but not back to the car! Instead we found oursleves at the end of the briddle path we had been on with Sprocket the other day, hey ho on we trekked.
Sharp eyed Ian ( good to have a nickname don’t you think?) spotted something move and thankfully directed my gaze to the right place. It was a Pygmy shrew, now you will just have to take my word for it, it is under this log!
I stood, camera pointed, hoping it would come out again. It did but of course not in the same place, it must have gone through a tunnel as it appeared again some way back from the log.
The only other time I remember seeing one was in our living room! One of our pesky cats had caught it, brought it in and it had escaped. It gave us the run around for a while but it was eventually caught and relaeased, apparently unharmed to run free again.
So although the detour added quite a bit to our walk we did get a tick for the year and a lovely sighting it was.
I am always drawn to taking pictures of fungi and I suppose I really should try to ID it one day but with one the RSPB have done it for me! The other one intrigued me as it looked like it had exploded from within this fallen Silver birch ( now identified as Birch polypore )
TIme for a quick coffee back at the shop/reception and a chance to suggest that when they close paths they might put a notice to that effect at the start of the trail!
A thankfully uneventful journey home and time to see how our garden fungus is doing. Coming on nicely don’t you think? I promised the girls I would leave it for them to see how big it might grow.
All well at the house, the workmen have completted their task and left although as yet the scafolders haven’t returned to clear away. More leaves have fallen in our absence and strangly no one has mysteriously been round and weeded or cleared the garden, oh well a girl can dream can’t she?
Another lovely day but again not a lot to report when it come to additions to our years list. We were pleased to get a call to say that Ruth and Stu had both completed their half marathon and were back at their hotel getting freshened up ready for a day at Disney, well done both of you!
We decided to go to Danish Camp for lunch and a good walk with Sprocket. We went late morning and first had a walk by the river, remembering the last time we had walked there. In March this path under the bridge had been flooded but not today on we went. A single swan and a small flock of geese were about the only birds we saw.
Dragonflies were dashing around but not many settled although I did spot a couple taking the sun on a wooden railing.
The river was looking lovely but it was time to head for the café at Danish camp for a lovely light lunch then off for our second walk.
You may wonder why I have entitled this blog the way I have, well our afternoon walk may hold the answer!
When we were here earlier in the year we came upon a couple of old building that were owned by the National Trust but (not surprisingly) were closed so we could only see the outside. I had investigated and knew that today they would be open, in fact for the last time this season so we were lucky.
The first one we visited was The Dovecote, it is exactly what the name suggest but not the typical size, it is huge! It had been home to over 1,500 birds at any one time but now thankfully devoid of pigeons; we went in for a peep.
Next time you are feeling disenchanted with your job spare a thought for the people involved with the Dovecote. They collected the vast amount of bird droppings (that must have smelt so bad!) and it was used to make saltpetre which in turn was used in the making of gunpowder.
Next we visited the Stables which were just across the road, also far grander than the average! It seems both building were built, in the 16th century, to impress, of course they were functional but they were deliberately elaborate to show the wealth of the owner, Sir John Gostwick. His flag points rather nicely to his interests doesn’t it?
So we had walked where pigeons and horses had now that just leaves angels!
Next door to the stables is the village church and we had heard rumour that tea and cake was on offer as well as a short organ recital. Sounded a good place to take a rest half way through our walk.
Phone turned to silent I just hoped Sprocket wouldn’t decided to sing along to the music! He was, of course as quiet as a mouse although they were such nice people I suspect if he had joined in they would have been amused and not annoyed. The Music was very mixed and I am sure one piece was the theme tune of Monty Python!
Time for our return walk and more signs of approaching autumn. This fungus was tiny and very pretty, as were the Rosehips and the Hawthorn all along the path was heavy with ripe berries. All food for wildlife I am certain.
I am sitting enjoying some late summer sunshine and what gorgeous days we have been enjoying. Before I tell you about some visitors that came to stay I would love tell you about last Thursday when Peter and family came to tea. I opened the door and was greeted by Alice and Matilda standing close to each other with cheery smiles upon their faces. As they separated I saw why, there was little Daniel in his school uniform, it was his first week in reception class.
All was going well, he was enjoying school and I am certain school will have been enjoying him…long may it last!
I skip now quickly past Friday, (most of which was spent power hosing the garden patio and stones) past Saturday (rain, rain and more rain) too much later Saturday evening when our visitors arrived. My brother and sister-in-law, Alan and Judy. Only time really for some quick catching up before we were all turning in for the night ready for what promised to be sunny Sunday.
The weather forecast did not lie, it was a beautiful day, hot and sunny all day. We had decided to go up to Cley-next-the-sea and we parked in the main car park.We walked to the East bank and right along it ending up at the sea. There was no shortage of butterflies, mostly white and Tortoiseshells, also pleanty of hoverflies.
The colours along the way were just beautiful and although there were not a great many birds what we saw we appreciated.
Back to the visitors centre where we stopped for lunch out on the raised patio still enjoying the beautiful September weather. We decided to head to Blakeney next where we walked along the sea wall, a beautiful Wheatear dropped by.
Not sure what this little building was or is but it certainly is in a smashing location.
By now the heat was telling us it was time to head off, not for home but to Janice and Chris’ for a very welcome BBQ, all in all an excellent day!
Monday morning and we were having a visit from the tree surgeons, as promised they arrived at 8 am and got straight on with the job. A couple of hours later and trees were down or lopped, logs where cut and they were off leaving us with the rest of the day free. Moths and the hot tub called so we were all getting on with what ever we chose. This Speckled bush-cricket was found not in but near to the moth trap.
After an early lunch we headed straight out to Lynford water and the arboretum. We saw butterflies. including this small copper butterfly, dragon and damselflies
and I was particularly pleased with this one that landed on Alan’s hat!
A female demoisel, we have seen lots of the males this year but this was the first female we have been aware of. The real treat of the day was seeing a slow-worm, it was anything butslow as it slithered off the path just in front of us but no chance of a picture.
This morning we set off for Castle acre priory, the first time Alan and Judy had been there and it is fair to say they were impressed. It really is an excellent place, (looked after by English Heritage), there are still plenty of remains to explore.
Also lovely grounds which provide shelter for all sorts of wildlife, including this tortoishell butterfly almost hidden in the dry leaves and this Buzzard out in the open for all to see!
Having just recently started a very small herb garden I love to see the very established one at the priory.
Whilst looking around it we found several interesting little creatures! These included several garden spiders, a Silver Y moth and a Speckled wood butterfly.
But I made my best find whilst looking at the Silver Y, deeper down in the lavender plant I found this little beauty!
It is a Chrysolina Americana or a Rosemary leaf beetle which may be a little easy to pronounce and remember! It is about the size of a Ladybird and really is a stunner although I read that it is a pest!
Time to leave the priory and head home for lunch before saying goodbye to Judy. Other comitments mean she must head home but Alan is staying on for another couple of days to see how many more moths we can find him, he has had over 20 new ones so far since he arrived! If we are really fortunate we might even find some birds.
When the heat of the day has passed we may head out for a stroll locally and see what is lurking in the churchyard, but for now it is time to realx with a refreshing drink!
This morning we had hoped to be busy sorting moths from the trap but in fact we only had three Lunar underwings and one Garden carpet plus two micros both light brown Apple moths. So needless to say that didn’t exactly fill our morning!
I took a stroll into town to see what I could find, not a lot but then I didn’t need anything really!
This afternoon was a much better affair as we decided to take Sprocket for a walk at The Lodge. Yesterday we had been there pursuing birds and bugs but today we had to stick to the road through and the bridle path as clearly marked.
There is a definite hint of Autumn and a carpet of leaves added to a very pleasant walk. We only met a few people, some cyclist, some runners and one family walking their two miniature schnauzers! Both sweet dogs, one only four and a half months old, but neither a patch on Sprocket.
Time for a quick game of ‘who’s the King of the castle’!
If we had walked with our eyes closed we would hardly have seen less birds or insects! One moth flew by but quickly out of sight apart from that we did see a small tit flock high in some trees.
It was whilst looking for birds that one of us went barking mad! Was it Sprocket? No I must confess I am the guilty one! My barking was quieter than if it had been Sprocket, I was just so taken with the variety that trees have to offer.
Down the bridle path we went through gates and over a rather old bridge when we found ourselves in a lovely open field, free from animals and other people and away from the reserve so Sprocket could have a free run.
He was so good, returning each time he was called and never straying too far. Time to go back on his lead before starting our homeward journey.
This squirrel made an appearance when we were nearly back to the car. Sprocket didn’t take all that much notice until it ran off and then his interest was really sparked!
I couldn’t be sure what the squirrel had in his mouth but it may have been one of the many acorns growing near by.
When we got home it was time to start thinking about food, we made our choice from the hearty supply that had been left in the fridge and freezer! Whilst ours was cooking tea for bunnies, cats and dog was prepared and we are now all settled down for a lazy evening.
I am looking forward to hearing how the run goes tomorrow and to seeing photos!
Before I tell about my trip to Bedfordshire I must tell you about a fabulous visitor that came right into our garden. Ian spotted it first, high in the trees a small warbler, could it be what we were both sure it was, a Yellow-browed warbler? I grabbed my binoculars (I wish I had reached for the camera instead) to take a closer look before it flew from sight never to be seen again. We checked in Collins and yes we were convinced it was indeed a Yellow-browed warbler. There have been lots up on the coast but it was a real surprise to have one come to visit us!
The next few days were spent watching men work!
They had almost finished when we left yesterday so hopefully by now it is all done then we just need the scaffolding to go.
We were off to spend a few days at Roo and Stu’s and the visit began with a lovely meal out at a new Italian that had opened near to them. Yummy it was and we didn’t even have to do the washing up, thank you R & S. The reason for this visit is to take care of their pets whilst they go to Euro Disney to run a half marathon, I think we got the best side of the deal!
Off they went early this morning and after feeding the pets and walking Sprocket it was time to venture out. We had a lovely walk at The Lodge, the head-quarters of the R S P B. It is a lovely place and we had a really good time although birds were in short supply. We did watch a pair of Nuthatches as they flew in to the feeders.
An opportunist squirrel was enjoying the feeding area too!
We walked around parts of The Lodge we had never seen before and may well return another day. We are now well into the ninth month and we still haven’t seen a Little owl, we did see a Large owl today, do you think we could count that instead? He is sculpted from one very large piece of wood by Patrick Brown.
We visited the formal gardens and large pool in it and did see some dragonflies but no new ones. We also saw some rather large fish that kept coming p to the surface and even popping their heads out! I rather liked he topiary Avocet.
On our walk we spotted a few insects, although not as many as I expected on a beautifully sunny day. This really vibrant Long-winged Conehead (I had thought it was a grasshopper but thank you James for the ID ) and a Scorpion fly were a couple that allowed me to photograph them.
We didn’t see a lot of butterflies but there were quite a few Small coppers and this Small white.
We certainly enjoyed our walk but the time had come to return to Sprocket for a late lunch!
We amused ourselves with moths and bugs found at home and this beautiful Painted lady spent the whole day enjoying the dahlias (in fact she returned today too).
Peter brought this handsome bug over, as I am sure you know it is a Box bug.
We had intended to go out later in the morning but the heat persuaded us that we would leave it till a little later. So after lunch we ventured out, our chosen destination was West Acre, thinking a lot of the time we would find shade in the trees.
We saw plenty of Speckled wood butterflies and also Small coppers (for some reason I didn’t photograph the coppers).
Once again we were fortunate to see a Kingfisher, in fact we saw two. Also some lovely dragonflies which I am still struggling to ID with certainty.
This juvenile Pied wagtail took advantage of a bathe to help cool down, it was about 28 degrees so I was a tad envious!
As we walked on, under the shelter of the trees, we met many grasshoppers and one frog. I am including the tree/berries pictures just to illustrate the sky really.
When we returned to the car it was showing the temperature as 34 degrees, of course once we moved it went down but not far!
The forecast for today was 28 degrees but up on the coast a more pleasant 22 degrees which sounded good to us. We had already decided to be at Cley NWT reserve for 9 am when they open up the moth traps. This was not only to be of interest to us but to Alan too on the last full day of his visit, (I think he will be sorting pictures for a fortnight with all these moths and bugs!) Our moth trap had been very quiet last night due to a clear night and a bright moon, we were hoping that Cley had been different.
With the temperature at a steady 17 degrees and a very heavy mist surrounding us it wasn’t quite what we were expecting. Sadly the reserve traps there were quiet too, but some people had brought along some interesting moths to share so we added a few to our number. We are determined to get along to Cley for the moth sessions again soon and hope some of the knowledge of others might rub off!
A quick coffee then out for a walk on the reserve where I hoped to see waders returning, well here are the Cley waders!
Not quite what we had hoped for, but none the less an enjoyable walk in spite of the heavy mist all around. We saw a few dragonflies including this Migrant hawker and this pair of Common darters.
We saw a good variety of hoverflies, hopefully I will be able to get ID on them all.
We had hoped to pop in to see Janice but that didn’t work out so he headed on to Titchwell where a Yellow-browed warbler had been reported. The mist went with us on our journey and Titchwell was similarly shrouded! It seemed one person had seen the warbler but that was all, no other sighting, so no luck there.
Better luck was had getting ourselves some tasty lunch to boost our energy levels ready for our next walk. We began with a walk around the Meadow trial, I was hoping for more dragonflies but not much joy there. Instead we had the beetle (ID to follow I hope) and I was pleased to get a picture of a water boatman.
Now remember the waders that Cley had to offer? Well it was time to find Titchwell’s offering, seeing through the mist was the only problem! Dunlin, Redshank and Godwit also (not illustrated) sandpipers, avocet and through the thick mist we got sight of two Spoonbill, a year tick for Alan.
We walked down to the beach and the sea seemed to be as far away as it could possibly be. Add to that the mist situation and we didn’t really see the sea at all! We did find this little crab and later on the walk back down the path this snail.
Our day out ended and we set off for home and the usual very welcome cuppa!
A mixed night is forecast, clear till the early hours then it will cloud over so hopefully so moths will be attracted to our trap and maybe there will be more new ones for us all. We have really enjoyed having Alan and Judy visit and hope to see them again before long.
It turned out to be a rather wet and dreary weekend so we were pretty much stop at homes. Ian took advantage of the occasional dry spells to mow the lawns; that reads far more impressive than the reality!
We set the moth trap and got a reasonable number but not high and nothing new, not even for the year. It seems to be a long while since we had one new for the garden but maybe that is more about my memory than the moths.
Any way back to my tick. I love a lazy bath, preferably earlyish so there is plenty of evening left to spend in my PJs. Ian was watching football on Tv so off I went to listen to the radio, relax and return, complete with PJs.
I work on the assumption that no one is spying on me (any way I am decently covered you understand) so out I go in my PJs to check if any interesting moths have flown in. First trip out at about 9pm nothing exciting to report. Nearing 10.30 and I thought I would pop out again so I opened on of the French Windows to be greeted by this!
I instantly closed the door, called Ian and reached for a camera before opening for another look. Eight months with no frog or toad then both within the week and I didn’t even have to leave the house for the toad. It was sat wedged right against the door frame and didn’t move. I popped outside and took a couple more pictures, went to look at the trap (nothing to report there) and he was still sitting there. An hour later and still he sat but this morning he was gone, good job really.
I wonder if he lives in our garden? Maybe he will be back again tonight or maybe we will never see him again, who knows? Our shameful amphibian/reptile list has doubled for the year this week. Now I am hoping for the odd snake or lizard to appear!
Well as usually happens day followed night and we decided to go to West Acre to see what we could find, hoping the Kingfisher might make an appearance and it did! It didn’t come in as close as before so no improvement on picture but it is always a treat to see one.
We were also entertained by dragonflies and hirundines, both dipping into the water and both so fast catching them with the camera proved rather tricky for me! There were Swallows, House martins and some Sand martins too, they seem to appear in a very large group, feed and disappear just as suddenly!
When we first arrived at the hides the dragonflies were very active but as it clouded over they were less evident. I only saw one land, all the rest were busy in flight.
We got a message that sent us chasing up to the coast, a Pectoral sandpiper was at Salthouse so we were off. Now it is true to say that when I think of Salthouse I think of the long road down to the sea with Little Eye off to the West and Gramborough Hill off to the East. The message said it was on a pool West at Salthouse, at least that was how we read it. So off we trecked through the stones to Little Eye but not only was there no bird there were no birders either!
On checkng the message we began to wonder if we were in the wrong place, is that road known as the Iron road? NO! Back we went, hoped into the car and off to find the correct place and now I know why it is known as The Iron road I may just remember it, the track has loads of iron in it, simple really!!!
A short walk and we were with others watching a Pectoral Sandpiper, hooray, bird number 243. It was rather distant but we got good clear views through binoculars and scope. There was also a Green sandpiper, Snipe and other bits and bobs. I’m not sure what that is lurking in the vegitation with the green sand.
As we were heading back ot the car we heard someone call that there were two Hobbys, they flew overhead then off but were a nice addition to our trip.
Almost time to head home but first a detour for a cuppa at a private tea shop nearby that never fails to please!