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OK, I've given in to the 21st century and signed up for Twitter! I'm gonna keep it to just bird and other nature stuff so it's pretty relevant to this blog.
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Bluethroat and another Wryneck, 30 August 2015

Despite not making a very early start and then getting caught in every hold up possible Belinda and I eventually made it to Winterton late morning. Not before bumping into Jus at Martham on the way where he had 7 Mediterranean Gulls in a field.

After a walk up the North Dunes at Winterton the male Bluethroat showed surprisingly quickly around one of the ponds but despite several nice views it steadfastly refused to come out in the open so no photographs. Being so scarce in recent years it was nice to catch up with one again.

After a coffee at Winterton Beach Cafe we headed for Caister for some more unashamed twitching. The Wryneck here showed very nicely in the grass by a path c500 yards south of the Beach Road carpark before it flew over the fence into gorse on the golf course. A Whinchat was also on the GC and upon getting back to the car Dave Holman produced a Vestal moth he'd caught in the heather at Winterton!

On the way home a Kingfisher flew over the A1064 from the Filby Broad side to the Rollesby Broad side. 

Lowestoft, Kessingland and Corton, 27 August 2015

It's good to see autumn migration has spluttered into action so with a day off I headed to the Suffolk coast to seek out a few migrants of my own.

Lowestoft North Denes was first and after absolutely nothing in Sparrows Nest or near the net posts there were at least some bits and bobs on North Denes proper. In a complete circuit I managed c5 Whinchats, 3 Northern Wheatears, plenty of Common Whitethroats and then 2 Tree Pipits at the northern end. A single Whimbrel flew south and a pair of Common Terns were still feeding young on one of the groynes. A male Sparrowhawk was in Sparrows Nest on the walk back to the car.

With news of a lingering Wryneck at Benacre Pits I headed off to Kessingland next but after the long walk couldn't locate it despite a damned good try. There was very little there too, all I managed was a single Painted Lady and more Common Whitethroats. On the walk back however, just north of the sluice a lovely Short-eared Owl flew high north and nearing the caravans a couple of Common Redstarts flitted about around some tamerisks whilst I also saw 4 Reed Buntings and a juv Green Woodpecker.

With failure of my target at Benacre I was pleased to hear of another Wryneck at Corton Old Sewage Works so fighting my way back through the Lowestoft traffic I made my way there. Unluckily the bird was favouring the inside of the fenced compound but after some while I picked the bird up in the weeds in the south east corner of the compound where it showed for just a couple of minutes before shuffling out of view again. A nice showy Whinchat was also around the perimeter fence and posed nicely for the camera. It was the only bird of the day that did!

The day finished with a new garden moth - Hummingbird Hawkmoth no less. Get in!       

Whinchat, Corton Old Sewage Works

Wryneck, Corton Old Sewage Works

Short-eared Owl, Kessingland

 Short-eared Owl, Kessingland

Tree Pipit, Lowestoft North Denes

 Green Woodpecker, Kessingland

Rutland - Bird Fair and birding, 21 August 2015

Having not been to the Birdfair for a couple of years I headed off for a Friday visit with Jus and Andy. A very enjoyable day was had with plenty of catching up with people, 4 interesting lectures (Borneo, Northern Peru, Somaliland and The Sound Approach) some nice ideas for future trips and of course a couple of book purchases!

The tank of trapped moths at the Butterfly Conservation stand had some goodies to look at with September Thorn, Pine Hawkmoth, Chinese Character, Rosy Footman, Black Arches, Swallow Prominent, Pebble Hook Tip, Peppered Moth, Ruby Tiger, Red-green Carpet and probably others I can't remember! 

A visit here wouldn't be complete without some birding so after the fair had closed for the day we headed off to a few of the hides. In a couple of hours we managed Hobby, Common Buzzard, Tree Sparrow, 2 Treecreepers, Bullfinch, c5 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Common Sandpipers, 6 Green Sandpipers, 2 Greenshank and a Ruff plus good numbers of Little Egrets and c4 Egytpian Geese which presumably aren't mega common in the midlands. The star attraction was the Ospreys however and after seeing and photographing a nice singleton from Mallard hide we then finished the evening off with a family party of 2 adults and 3 almost fully grown young around their telegraph pole nest from Manton Bridge.


Common Sandpiper




This weeks moths, August 2015

Moth trapping this week (the first time the trap has been out for yonks!) gave a me several new species for the garden plus a mystery specimen which is going to be looked at by Jon Clifton. That specimen is a footman which looks very like a Hoary Footman which would be a Norfolk first but could also be a faded Scarce Footman which would only be a garden first!

The new garden additions were Ruby Tiger, Pine Hawkmoth, Brown-line Bright-eye, Brown-tail, Scalloped Oak, Ear Moth, V-pug and White Satin Moth.

More on the mystery footman when I know...

Mystery footman

Pine Hawkmoth

Brown-line Bright-eye

Ruby Tiger

 White Satin Moth

The Brecks, 1 August 2015

A day walking with a camera down in the Brecks on Saturday began with a very close encounter with a big Grass Snake on the road near Santon Downham. A long walk around Santon Warren revealed plenty of insects with Large, Essex and Small Skippers, Gatekeepers, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Large White, Small White, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood and Brimstone.
Also identified and photographed were Black and Yellow Longhorn Beetle, Common Green Grasshopper, Field Grasshopper and Garden Spider
There were a few Broad-leaved Helleborines in the usual spot but some initially promising looking other helleborines proved to be stunted Broad-leaved specimens rather than the hoped for Green-flowered.

During an evening BBQ at Knettishall Heath on the way back a Red-legged Shieldbug (aka Forest Shieldbug) entertained us on the picnic table.

Grass Snake


Broad-leaved Helleborine

Common Green Grasshopper

Field Grasshopper

Garden Spider

Large Skipper

Red-legged Shieldbug

Small Skipper

Black and Yellow Longhorn Beetle