1st Butterfly of 2018......
A blue sky (17th) over Burgh Castle prompted both a female Marsh Harrier and a Common Buzzard to circle high overhead. This was followed by the arrival of 2 Fieldfares which flew across and landed in a Poplar tree, where they remained for some time, intermittingly uttering their harsh ‘chack’ calls.
The first butterfly of 2018 was then seen as it flew over the garden at Marina Park; a Peacock.
7 Bird of Prey Day & the 1st Bumblebee of the year......
It still seems strange to see Common Buzzards perched beside the road in Norfolk, but again today (22nd), during a trip along the Norfolk coast with Jason Nichols, two were a few metres apart in roadside trees en-route to North Walsham.
At Holkham, 3 Grey Partridges were seen from Lady Ann’s Drive and further along the road, from near the ‘gate’ overlooking the freshmarsh, Great White Egret, Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard and Marsh Harrier were all seen.
A stop at Burnham Overy, overlooking the coastal dunes found 3 Red Kites, Marsh Harrier and a Common Buzzard and a flock of Dark-bellied Brent Geese.
Thornham Harbour provided a Greenshank and around the Choosley area at least 8 Common Buzzards were seen and 27 Brown Hares counted in one large field.
A return visit to Brancaster Staithe, after visiting earlier during high tide when very little was present, found that the outgoing tide had attracted 2 Goldeneye and a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers resting on the mud before being disturbed by a man in a boat, which resulted in the pair of sawbills flying off. However, more was in store here when a female Hen Harrier flew over the channel and almost immediately an adult Peregrine appeared.
On the way back along the coast 2 Muntjac were on a field, just before the mill, with another seen just past the mill.
Finally, a look out onto the saltmarsh at Stiffkey saw yet another Common Buzzard, Little Egret and Brent Geese but also the first Bumblebee of the year, a Buff-tailed Bumblebee.
Red-breasted Mergansers Cormorant
Greenshank Hen Harrier Peregrine
Grey Partridges Brent Goose
Birds & Beasts defy The 'Beast from the East'......
Easterly winds and snow brought very cold weather conditions, which was being called ‘The Beast from the East’!
Nevertheless, a look around locally (27th) with Jason Nichols was very productive, beginning in the Thurne area, where 22 Cranes were sheltering next to a maize stand as the snow fell.
Potter Heigham Marshes was the next ‘port of call’ and 3 Fieldfares were hunting for food alongside the track’s grass verges. White-fronted Geese were on the fields, alongside Grey-lag and Canada Geese, but with most of the water frozen, there was no sign of the Goosander reported the previous day, but a good selection of duck; Gadwall, Teal and Tufted were on the unfrozen ‘Candle Dyke’ where a Cetti’s Warbler flew across the river into the reeds.
A Bearded Reedling was heard and both Marsh Harriers and Common Buzzards were in the sky and were joined by a juvenile Peregrine, soaring around overhead.
The area around St. Benet’s Abbey found 7 Bewick’s Swans and at least 6 Fieldfares on the fields and a Song Thrush was also seen. Two Chinese Water Deer were seen and a Little Owl suddenly flew into a tree where it perched briefly before flying off.