Archive for the ‘Natural History’ Category

Norfolk Skies (2)

Posted: October 19, 2017 in Landscape, Natural History, Norfolk, UK
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DSCN7347

Some more cloudscapes from our recent trip to Norfolk

Norfolk Skies (1)

Posted: October 18, 2017 in Landscape, Natural History, Norfolk, UK
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DSCN7348

Regular readers will know I have a fascination with skies. On our recent trip to Norfolk, the mixed weather we encountered certainly gave me lots of opportunity for photographing the wonderful cloud formations

The pride of Formby

Posted: October 17, 2017 in Mammals, Natural History
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Today I was back up at Formby to join a guided walk to discover some of the Fungi that can be found in the pine woods (But more of that later). After the walk I had time to walk round the local Squirrel Reserve. A few years ago the Red Squirrel population was decimated by […]

via Red Squirrels at Formby. — Crosbyman66

Another post from Crosbyman about Formby Nature reserve and its most noted resident – this is the only place in mainland England that Red Squirrel lives.

Fungi at Formby

Posted: October 17, 2017 in Natural History, UK
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Last week I visited Formby pinewoods to join an organised walk to discover fungi in the pinewoods. Our leader was Dave who led us on a three hour stroll through the woodland and the edge of the dunes. There were about twenty people on the walk including several children who came well prepared with magnifying […]

via Discovering Fungi at Formby. — Crosbyman66

The part of the UK is one of my favourites and a place I return to again and again. Here is an interesting post about a Fungi walk.

From 15th October this year, the round £1coin will no longer be legal tender in the UK. I am sure we will all continue to find them long after that date. I know we found two in the car the other day.

Even if we cant spend them in the shops after the 15th we can still put them to good use by sending them to ‘The Round Pound Appeal’. This is an appeal run by Butterfly Conservation to help in its protection work for the Duke of Burgundy Fritillary, one of our most endangered Butterflies.

Duke of Burgundy. Photo by John Plumber (https://www.flickr.com/photos/plumberjohn/)

Duke of Burgundy. Photo by John Plumber (https://www.flickr.com/photos/plumberjohn/)

Simply send in your old £1 coins and nominate one of a number of charities available

For more details

http://www.recyclingforgoodcauses.org/appeals-2/

 

And so to the last day of our Norfolk Journey -for this year at least- and we find ourselves back at the Wildfowl reserve at Welney on the Norfolk – Cambridgeshire border.

I got talking to one of the volunteer wardens as I was surprised to already see Whooper Swans on the reserve as these are winter visitors from the Arctic. She explained that they now have a small resident population made up of pairs where one of the pair has been injured and so cannot fly well enough to migrate in the spring and the autumn. The wonderful thing is that although one of the pair is perfectly ok, their pair-bonding is so strong that they stay on with their mate rather than migrate with the rest of the population. These pairs have begun to breed, but the youngsters do not stay with their parents when it comes time to migrate the following spring but go north with the rest of the birds to their normal breeding grounds.

 

Titchwell Beach

A bright sunny morning so we headed towards the RSPB reserve at Titchwell. Our first stop was at Island hide where we were directed onto two Little Stints amongst the waders.

Little Stint

There was also a good number of Ruff and Black-tailed Godwits plus a few Redshank and 2 Red Knot. On Volunteer marsh were a large group of Northern Lapwing and a smaller group of Grey Plover. A single Oystercatcher was also present. The sea was quiet apart from a few passing gulls plus a group of 5 Oystercatcher and a single Red Knot flying westwards.

Ruff

Black-tailed Godwit

On the salt-marsh, we saw two Black-tailed Godwits ‘fencing’ using their long bills. Never seen behaviour like this before.

Black-tailed Godwits

Returning to the visitor centre we set out along the Fen trail. From Fen hide I had a brief view of a Bearded Reedling in flight over the reeds and on Pats Pool there were a large group of Mallard, Common Pochard and Gadwall plus a few Teal and Tufted Ducks. We located 3 Little Grebes in various parts of the pool and a Grey Heron.

Pat’s pool, Titchwell

Little Grebe

Leaving Titchwell we went a short distance inland to Chelsey Barns. This is reckoned to be the best site in Norfolk for the now rare Corn Bunting. We were joined by a couple of local birders who said that there appeared to have been a change in use of the Barns as there was no longer spilt seed in the courtyard (which was what attracted the birds) and as a result it is no longer such a good site to see the buntings although they are still seen here from time to time. Unfortunately, on this occasion, we were unlucky although we did find 3 Grey Partridge, another farmland species in serious decline, on one of the fields.

Common Darter (f)

Common Darter (m)

Red Admiral

Grey Partridge. Photo by Sergey Yeliseev (https://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Grey Plover [sp] (Pluvialis squatarola)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Red Knot [sp] (Calidris canutus)
Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mew Gull [sp] (Larus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Bearded Reedling [sp] (Panurus biarmicus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)

Day 8 of our trip to Norfolk dawned to a brighter morning, so we decided to visit the Hawk and Owl Trust’s reserve at Sculthorpe Moor near Fakenham. The walk from the visitor centre took us first to the Woodland hide but the feeders here were quiet and we made our way onto Fen Hide.

 

In the distance, we could see a Kestrel hunting over the fen and a Sparrowhawk flew over the hide. A Kingfisher was seen hunting over the channels in the reed-bed before briefly alighting on a post in front of the hide.

Little Grebe

Collared Dove

Pheasant

In the tree hide the feeders were very busy with Nuthatch and Coal Tit the highlights.

 

Coal Tit

The wader scrape was quiet but we did see a number of Dragonflies including Common Darter, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Migrant Hawker and Common Blue Damselfly.

 

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Western Barn Owl [sp] (Tyto alba)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Marsh Tit [sp] (Poecile palustris)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

A wet day forecast and so Sue and I headed out for the North Norfolk Railway which runs from Holt to Sheringham.

Black Prince arriving at Holt Station

 

Our train was hauled by Black Prince which looked wonderful as it pulled into Holt Station.

 

Holt Station

Locos at Weybourne Station

In Sheringham, we made our way to the front and Sheringham Museum, which has an interesting display of retired Sheringham Lifeboats and a temporary exhibition of Dutch Gansey Jumpers, much beloved of Fisherman over the ages. Few originals have survived but examples of the different patterns have been recreated from early photographs of the men in their working clothes.

Gansey Jumpers

Sheringham

Sheringham

We took lunch in a shelter on the front and were joined by a Ruddy Turnstone.

The Front at Sheringham

Ruddy Turnstone

After lunch, we made our way back to Holt on the Railway and then with the weather still unpleasant visited a craft complex. The weather finally brightened to allow an hour at Weybourne beach where Red-legged Partridge and Sandwich Tern were new birds for the holiday before a return of the rain curtailed the day.

The coast at Weybourne

Red-legged Partridge [sp] (Alectoris rufa)
Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Ruddy Turnstone [sp] (Arenaria interpres)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)

As well as the breeding programme for the Common Crane, the conservation centre at Pensthorpe also has a breeding programme for a number of other species of Crane and related species.

 

White-naped Crane (NE China /SE Russia)

 

White Stork – currently being discussed as a possible re-introduction programme in southern England

Sandhill Crane (USA)

Manchurian Crane (Japan)

Northern Bald Ibis (North Africa)

Common Crane – currently part of a re-introduction programme in East Anglia and Somerset