Three Days of Walking with plenty of interest, 19 - 21 February 2021

We began our 3 day weekend on Friday afternoon when I'd finished working. A less than inspiring walk around Homersfield and Flixton where the ongoing gravel workings have made a right mess of the area. The main pit at Flixton held 200+ Wigeon but there was no sign of the escaped Lesser Scaup and the flock of White-fronted Geese at Homersfield seem to have moved on. There was very little else of interest (apart from a few Fieldfares) until close to the end of the walk where I found a new plant for me in a roadside hedge - Butcher's Broom

                                                                                                                                   Butcher's Broom

On Saturday, after discovering that visits to the graves of family members is allowed under lockdown we drove the short distance to Wetherden to Belinda's parents graves. While Belinda tended the grave I wandered about and was pleased to see 3 Lesser Redpolls over the meadow by the church plus my first Lesser Celandines of the year and Buff-tailed Bumblebee and Honey Bees around the numerous Snowdrops in the churchyard. After that we did a long walk in the area to get our step-count up! Onn the way home coming through Diss a Great White Egret was with 15 Little Egrets on the the flooded field between Diss and Scole from Frenze Bridge.

               Lesser Celandine

                                                                                                             Buff-tailed Bumblebee

Sunday began with a run to Norwich to run some errands and chores for my parents. We were done by lunchtime so ventured the short distance out to Buxton Heath for another long walk. This site and the nearby heaths are probably the closest thing we have to real wilderness in Norfolk and it was glorious to walk and hardly see a soul. We did see some other items of interest though - while having our picnic we were serenaded by a showy Woodlark, Siskins were all over the place and in Great Wood our first butterflies of the year with 1 Peacock and 3 Brimstones in the glorious sunny conditions. On the walk back it got even better with 18 Common Crossbills north, a pair of Stonechats and then 2 Adders after much searching. The diligent searching also had other benefits with 2 new fungi found on pony dung - the rare red list Nail Fungus and Conocybe pubescens. Some colourful Yellow Curtain Crust was also spotted on a rotting birch stump. 


                                                                                                                       Yellowing Curtain Crust
                                                                                                                                     Nail Fungus
                                                                                                                            Conocybe pubescens

Back at home we learned of a Starling murmeration literally a mile out of the village so spent a very enjoyable dusk watching the flock throw some shapes. Into the bargain a Peregrine whizzed through them and 37 Brown Hares were in one field off Semere Lane!


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