Stonechat Sunday

DSC_0033b15.10.17   Made the most of a lovely warm October Sunday.  Drove around the coast stopping at a couple of places.  It’s been a long time since I last visited Kelling Water Meadows, today it was very popular, lots of birders out scanning the pool for waders, a red necked phalarope has been present most of the week but not today.

Sunday lunch, female stonechat with a caterpillar

A peregrine falcon flew over as we walked the lane sending the birds into a frenzy, they soon settled and I picked out a couple of juvenile curlew sandpipers in the near margins.

The birds that caught my eye were the stonechats.  There was at least three and they were busy hunting insects in the meadows towards the shingle bank.  By keeping still they would often come quite close allowing for some reasonable images.DSC_0039bDSC_0048b


National Drag Racing Finals 2017

Niel Midgley Cannon Motorsport Top Fuel bike warms the rubber

Sunday 24th September 2017.  The National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway.  A great day out with some super racing.  For lots more images and report click on HOME page on the right hand bar and select the portfolio.

Chaos Brothers model T altered driven by Robin Orthodoxou
Top Fuel dragster licencing run for Kevin Chapman

Titchwell Waders

Avocet, an elegant wader

22.8.17  Late summer is a good time for observing waders in Norfolk.  Birds that breed in the north are starting to head south and stop over to re-fuel on our coast and wetlands joining those that are resident.  Titchwell RSPB on the North Norfolk coast is a good place to visit to see these birds.  So Victoria and I decided to spend a couple of hours there this afternoon.

Black tailed godwit

It was a warm day with a light  easterly but quite overcast.  There is a fine range of habitat at this reserve, today most of the waders were on the freshmarsh.  Luckily some were close to the footpath making photography a bit easier.  They tend to get used to people walking past though today not too many bird watchers were present.  A good mix on view avocet, ruff, redshank, black tailed godwit, dunlin, lapwing and many golden plover.  If I had brought my ‘scope perhaps I could have picked out a sandpiper or stint.

Turnstone on the beach

The tide was well out and this reveals a rich feeding area.   Today oystercatchers and turnstones were enjoying the feast.

Ruff having a stretch

Most of the waders have lost their bright breeding plumage by now, especially the ruff which look like a completely different species to the splendid birds of spring.


The diminutive dunlin were still fairly bright but the black belly patch has gone, soon they will be mostly grey.  These are one of my favorite waders, always on the go looking for a meal.


Suffolk’s Brown Hairstreaks

Brown hairstreak and friend

11th August 2017.  Warm and sunny so went to visit a new site, Piper’s Vale in Ipswich Suffolk.  There is a small population of Brown Hairstreaks here.  Click on the HOME page and see portfolio ‘Pipers Vale Brown Hairstreaks’ for many more images.

Clouded yellow, several seen
Pretty as a picture

Garden Visitors

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Painted lady on my garden buddleia

5th & 6th of August.  Saturday spent a pleasant hour or so watching the comings and goings around the garden buddleia.  I counted 30 butterflies of 11 species, the most numerous were fresh peacocks.  The scent was attracting many other insects and in turn came the predators, hornets and dragonflies patrolling looking for a tasty meal.  Last week the first of the southern hawkers, now it was the smaller migrant hawkers.

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Female migrant hawker, yes I got stung getting this shot

Sunday and we went to Felbrigg Hall NT.  They have a lovely walled garden which at this time of the year is a riot of colour.

Walled garden at Felbrigg Hall

Not only is this garden full of flowers but also fruit and veg and a superb herb bed.  All of this was a haven for countless bees.

Buff tailed bumblebees

I was surprised to see an emperor dragonfly by the ornamental water feature.  She proceeded to land on the lily pads and lay her eggs.  Many damselflies were doing likewise.

Emperor at Felbrigg, starting a new generation

I wish more of the plants had name tags as I’m not very good at identifying them.  There was one flower that was very attractive to butterflies, several painted ladies and masses of large whites, all males, flitted from bloom to bloom.

Large white at Felbrigg on it’s favoured bloom

If you are visiting Norfolk at this time of the year, and the weather is good, I strongly recommend a visit.