Sunday, 17 April 2011

Duelling Green Hairstreaks

"Sunbathing?" Green Hairstreak, Ringstead, Norfolk Green Hairstreak, Ringstead, Norfolk A beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon saw me slowly walking around Wharton's Belt. This corner of Courtyard Farm has been a reliable local spot for Green Hairstreaks for me and I wanted to grab the opportunity that today's warm temperature's offered to catch up with this early butterfly. Never easy to spot, their green wings merge well with the spring leaves, I spent a fruitless 40 minutes slowly pacing along a drove before finally on my return walk I spotted a couple of insects about 30 feet in the air, tumbling in circles as they fought for territory. Occasionally even without binoculars and at this distance I could see the green pigments in their leaves catch the light and eventually my patience was rewarded when one settled on a leaf. It then did something I not noticed before it quickly flattened its wing on the leaf in what looked like an attempt to sunbathe or perhaps to make it less visible to its rival? I managed a couple of long distance record shots which I have added to this blog. If I get another chance perhaps on a cooler day I will have another go at photographing these dainty little creatures. Also present here were Speckled Wood, Green Veined White, Orangetip, Brimstone, and Holly Blue. Had Buzzard and Sparrowhawk over and lots of singing Blackcaps and Chiff Chaffs.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

This is nice

Blackcap, Rosary Cemetery, Norwich What more is there to say, car thermometer read 23 C when I left Norwich this evening and the forecast is for warm weather, sunshine and southerly winds through to the weekend. Lunchtime mooch around the cemetery was just pleasant with singing Chiff Chaff and Blackcap although bizarrely didn't see any butterflies.. Even managed a Swallow perched on some roadside wires during the drive home.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Tarnished Kite

Male Garganey, Titchwell Marsh Red Kite, Titchwell Marsh Dead pleased with myself for picking out my second Norfolk Red Kite of the week at Titchwell this afternoon. I did this shortly after my arrival on site as the bird flew west over the trees surrounding the Visitor Centre. I then had a pleasant 40 minutes or so photographing the pair of Garganey on the Fresh Marsh. On leaving I heard at first in amused disbelief and then as I realised it wasn't a late April Fool that White Tailed Eagle had been accompanying the Red Kite as it had been drifting East. And that I had probably missed it by a matter of minutes.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Spring out of the traps

Blurry, distant male & female Garganey at Titchwell Common Buzzard & Crow near Fring I had a splendid walk at Titchwell Marsh this morning, a reasonable amount of time available between family commitments, a warm south west breeze at might back and a warming spring sun in the sky. Marvellous its been a long protracted winter. Even better than the weather were the birds, a real sense of the season having properly turned now and spring is in the ascendant. Most obvious were the singing Chiff-Chaffs in the woodland around the car park and visitor centre. Also by the VC was a male Blackcap in full exuberant song. Looking west across the cow pasture at the start of the West Bank path I could see a single Wheatear and as the Fen woodland thinned into reedbed I saw and heard Willow Warbler. Overhead the odd Swallow slipped past heading west and in the hour and half I had on site I saw 10 - 20 Sand Martins also heading west. On the dried out mud of the Brackish Marsh was a mixed flock of Pied and White Wagtails and in amongst these a glowing Yellow Wagtail. All this plus the 'usual suspects' of Avocets and Marsh Harriers. After Titchwell I had time for a slow drive home, I had hoped to have a go at Photographing Hares but although I found some good fields with lots of Hares none were close enough to the road to make photography viable. I did though stumble across a couple of Common Buzzards including the one pictured above, These are becoming an increasing frequent and welcome sight in the county as they recolonise their former range. Even better on Thursday I had a Red Kite near Guist a species which has been absent from the east for even longer than the Buzzard. Apologies for the formatting being wonky, can't work out how to fix it.