Sunday, 15 June 2014

Mid May to Mid June, Spring into Summer

Lots of catching up to do, as ever been really busy with work and family life and I've started swimming again as a way of managing my bad back, so time is even more precious than usual.

Friday 16th of May, a lunchtime walk around Ken Hill Wood was enlivened by a Cuckoo calling close by, disappointingly I didn't see any Grass Snakes despite the weather conditions being favourable.

Sunday 18 saw me on Holme Beach in the morning with the family, a lovely warm, blue sky sort of a day, offshore in the distance were three Gannets whilst closer were Little and Sandwich Terns and one or two Common Seals popped up to take a look at the beach. Mist exciting though was a brief but good view of a Broad Bordered Bee Hawkmoth that flew around my wife's hand before disappearing from view.
Common Whelk shells collected by no 1 son at Holme
In the afternoon we could hear Cuckoos calling around Brancaster and I saw a Muntjac with my 5 year old whilst teaching him to ride his bike. In the evening I spent an hour under the cliffs and had a flock of 35 Turnstones including a few with lovely white hoods.

Wednesday 21st saw me on a work visit to Fen Drayton Lakes, not a lot of time for spotting but it was good to see the Common Terns that breed here and four small Avocet chicks on an island in front of the hide.

Friday 23rd and I was at Minsmere for a work visit in between meetings and press calls for the launch of Springwatch and the Suffolk Nature Strategy I managed to see two or three Bitterns and heard several Nightingales 
Oystercatcher and Carrion Crow in dogfight over Minsmere scrape.

Friday 30th saw me walking round Courtyard Farm with my two small sons and enjoying a brief view of a Stoat on the road, a purring Turtle Dove and a brief view of a Hummingbird Hawkmoth

Saturday 31st and a family trip to Holkham where I saw a Spoonbill fly over Lady Anne's Drive

The following day Sunday 1st June Cuckoos were still calling in Brancaster and I saw a male Orangetip in the garden.

Tuesday 3rd back to Minsmere for work and a short s[ell early evening in Bittern Hide produced a couple of Hobby', three Bitterns, Cetti's Warbler, Bearded Tits and a Kingfisher. The drive home in the dark was notable for sightings of two Tawny Owls and a single Bran Owl.

Monday2nd I saw my first Sparrowhawk for a week or two flying over the car in the morning rush hour in Taverham.

Thursday 5th June, attracted by the sound of mobbing Blackbirds I left the path at Ken Hill Woods and a found a Tawny Owl being mobbed by a mixed passerine flock.

Roosting Tawny Owl, Ken Hill Wood

Friday 6th surely my last Orangetip of the year a male on the edge of Ken hill Wood, but still to see a Grass Snake there this year, very unusual. In the evening I had to drive to Oxford for a nephews birthday party and on the way saw one Red Kite, about ten Kestrels and half a dozen Buzzards plus three Dead on the Road Badgers. The children's party on the Sunday was held in Shotover Country Park and I had Kestrel, Buzzard and Red Kite overhead.

Red Kite, Shotover Country Park

8 year old's birthday party, Shotover Country Park
Wednesday 11th and I found a Lilly Beetle on the Lilly's in our back garden in Hunstanton.

Lilly Beetle, Hunstanton
Thursday 12th saw me back at Minsmere for another work visit on the last day of Springwatch, again I managed views of Hobby, Bittern, Marsh Harrier as well as some splendid flower spikes of Marsh Orchid by Island Mere Hide and some great views from the ramp to this hide of red bellied male Sticklebacks in the Shallows.

Friday 13th a brief afternoon leg stretch and one to one around Ken Hill was brought to life by a wood mouse and then a Stinkhorn covered in fly's and still no Grass snakes

Stinkhorn and fly's, Ken Hill Wood
Sunday 15th, a walk with the family down Gipsy Lane with good views of Spoonbill and Little Tern and later in a Brancaster garden the wonderfully iridescent Oedemera nobilis aka the False Oil Beetle.

Oedemera nobilis aka the False Oil Beetle, Brancaster