Two Gentlemen of East Dereham!

After the excitement of our Yorkshire/Lincolnshire trip it was time to calm down!

Monday was due to be bright and sunny and there had been a few things reported up on the coast over the weekend that we still need. So with the washing done over night there was just time to hang it out quickly before we were heading for Cley. A Cattle egret had been reported first thing and although there were some in Norfolk early in the year we didn’t connect with any of them. Sadly there was no word or sight of it at Cley although it had been seen briefly just along the coast.

cley-2

Nothing very exciting to see there but at least the cows have moved on!

cleyWe had looked in Wells wood last week for an Olive-backed pipit (OBP) and warblers but no luck. The OBP was still being reported so we spent the morning looking but again no luck! There were plenty of people there searching but only one person saw it whilst we were there. See it doesn’t always go our way but it is still fun! The woods are just behind the beach so I had to take a quick peek!

wells

There was plenty of fungi but very little bird life there at all, we did see several Goldcrests though.

Time to make the decision of where to go to eat our late lunch which we had brought with us. We had a few ideas but decided to go to Blakeney as that was one of the places that the Cattle egret had been spotted earlier. So a quick lunch then out for a walk not expecting a great deal but it was a beautiful day so for sure the walk would be enjoyable.

As I walked along the sea wall I was checking out all the egrets that I could see, no luck all Little ones. But then what were the chaps ahead of me studying in a field? As I approached and asked, hooray, it was the Cattle egret.

Here comes the blog title; the two fellas that were there asked if I would like to see through one of their scopes. Well of course I would but I was too short to reach ! No hesitation, they adjusted the height and I was very soon looking at the Cattle egret. Within moments it took to flight and was away, who knows how far it went? Not me! In conversation I learnt that the gentlemen came from East Dereham and if anyone knows them, please pass on my thanks!

No photo of the bird I’m afraid but this is where it was, living up to it’s name, in with the cows.  blakenyTime to return home but very pleased to have got a year tick especially as it brings our bird tally to 250! I am, too say the least happy with that and don’t forget, the years hasn’t ended yet!

At a time when the birds are picking up again the moths are slowing down, in fact the other night we got none at all, that doesn’t happen often!

Here are a couple of recent sightings though. A November moth made a slightly early appearance, and this Juniper carpet was a new one to us!

Yellow line quakers seem to come in two varieties, one with spots and one without!

The bug is a Dock bug, it was a tad camera shy, every time I tried to take a head on shot it turned tale and scarpered!

Today has been mostly wet so I have been busy sorting some pictures, what tomorrow will bring I know not, but when I do you can be assured I will be telling you!

 

 

 

Advertisements

Late summer visitors

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.img_9200-daniel

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.img_9283-us-on-east-bankWe 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.

img_9311-colours-of-cley

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.

img_9347-blackney

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!

img_9415-banded-demoiselle-femA 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. img_9543-piroryherb-garden

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!img_9552-rainbow-leaf-beetle

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.img_9513-us-at-castle-acre-priory

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!

 

No mud, that’s new!

About a month ago, the day we saw our first Serin, we went to Blakeney in the hope of seeing Lapland buntings. We walked down the sea wall until we reached the gate that we had been told led to the buntings. As we went through the gate the path was thick with mud, we walked until I thought the mud would seep over my boots! Now I wanted to see the bird but I’m not that keen!!!

Today we returned to try again as I had heard they had become easier to see and indeed they were. We took the same walk along the sea wall seeing a lovely pair of Reed buntings as we went, but when we reached the gate there was no need to go through.

The birds were now bolder, mainly due to the fact that someone was regularly throwing seed down around the gate to encourage them out. We hadn’t been there long when one flew onto the wire quite far back and I had hope we would get better views. After a little while about half a dozen of them flew but were hidden in the undergrowth.

Fortunatley a couple of them came in closer and I got a few shots that I was happier with. We decided to go for a walk further along the sea wall to see what else was around.

A couple of Meadow pipits and several Skylarks also made an appearance, some of them were Skylarking something I love to see and hear.

When we had walked far enough we returned and as we approached the place where the Laplands were and we saw a couple of them were in very close to the gate so I was able to take some more photographs through the gate.

 

So today, February 26th we got Lapland buntings without wading through any mud in fact we said we think it is the first day birding this year with hardly a trace of mud!

Off for lunch at my sisters before wending our way home. Tomorrow morning we intend to make an early start and go to the arboretum to try, yet again, to see the Hawfinches. If there is no blog tomorrow you will know we failed!!!

Birds now 151