Friday, 25 August 2017

Summer Holiday Wildlife Highlights [so far ...]

The summer holidays are almost over, The Bird Fair has been and gone for another year and tomorrow the late August Bank Holiday weekend signals the last hurrah of the holidays before a week of haircuts, shoe shop visits and general getting ready for going back to school. The wildlife of the coast is changing too, the beach at Brancaster feels eerily quiet now that the Sandwich Terns have vacated their colony at Scolt Head and flocks of waders are appearing back on the foreshore fresh in from their Arctic breeding grounds.

Sandwich Terns, Scolt Head
We've had a busy staycation with a good number of days on the beach and swims in the sea, but also some time looking at wildlife, often on those same beach visits.

Sanderling, Gore Point

I love it when the wading birds come back and on one recent beach visit I was able to leave the family for half an hour and slowly inch on my belly towards a roosting flock of Sanderling, I wanted a shot with the birds in focus and in the background and out of focus people enjoying, unwittingly, sharing the beach with the birds, I used a ten year old EOS 400D and and an even older 100 - 300 zoom. Later that weekend I grabbed a shot of a Turnstone on the beach in Hunstanton at dusk using my Panasonic Lumix TZ30.

Turnstone, Hunstanton

The sand dunes in north Norfolk are a great wildlife habitat and a few weeks ago whilst walking through the dunes at Holkham I was lucky enough to find and photograph a rather worn Dark Green Fritillary. At Gore Point as the kids played in the sand I managed a short walk in the dunes and got a picture of a rather lovely clump of Sea Rocket and enjoyed watching and photographing a Dune Tiger Beetle as it hurried across the sand in search of prey.

Dune Tiger Beetle, Gore Point

Sea Rocket, Gore Point

Dark Green Fritillary, Holkham
I'm lucky that some days I work from an office in Snettisham and am able to make quick visits to the RSPB reserve there on the edge of the Wash, on one of these I digi-scoped this picture of a flock of Black Tailed Godwits taking flight.

Black Tailed Godwits, Snettisham

Today with the kids tired after a week of playing with their visiting cousins, we had a quiet morning in the playground in Hunstanton, but still there was wildlife with a Hummingbird Hawkmoth in the Sensory Garden and this rather Funky / Punky [delete according to your own cultural reference points] Syacmore Moth Caterpillar. One week of holidays to go what will we find next?

Sycamore Moth Caterpillar, Hunstanton