Monday, 24 October 2011

Suffolk and Norfolk

On Saturday I spent the day at the Suffolk Naturalists Conference, held this year in Woodbridge.  The theme was 'Linking Landscapes - pathways to the future?' and very interesting it was too, with a range of knowledgeable speakers including Richard Mabey, Chris Baines and Oliver Rackham.

It was great to bump into some familiar faces and to make some new connections.  I think I shall have plenty of wildlife to keep me amused, and some new groups to join, when I finally get to take that big step and move down to Suffolk.

I took the opportunity to buy some back numbers of the Suffolk Bird reports and transactions of The Suffolk Naturalists Society from their stall, at the bargain price of 30p each.  I also invested £6 in the 2010 version, mainly because of the photo on the cover of a Noon Fly,  Mesembrina meridiana.  Coincidentally I photographed this species a couple of weeks ago myself but hadn't got round to trying to identify it.

Noon Fly - Mesembrina meridiana

On Sunday I was back in Norfolk, and spent most of the day in the garden tidying up.  On the way back from the tip we had a drive round to see if there were still any stone-curlews about.  I know there have been a few over-wintering the last few years.  We spent some time scanning what I thought was the right pig field without success, and then found another just down the road where T was thrilled to spot 3 stonies pretending to be lumps of mud - a new bird for him.  The 3 birds we saw were lined up along an electric fence, perhaps out of the way of the pigs.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Mild October morning

Marsh Lane, Felixstowe

After the early morning rain it turned out sunny and mild.

During a short walk down the lane to the old house, and back we saw:

At least 6 pairs of Common Darter and several singles

Several Red Admirals

1 Golden plover calling overhead

Skylarks singing

2 Swallows feeding over the fields

Small flocks of starlings

2 Wheatears feeding on the edge of the ploughed field

2 young Grey Herons

1 old fox

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Migration morning

Landguard Bird Observatory held a bird migration walk today.

1st October and we should be in the middle of migration season, so what happens? Southerly air stream, mist and 27 degrees. Consequently no birds.

We did see one of the resident little owls, which posed nicely.

So we resorted to looking at the moths trapped overnight. I only know a few moths by sight, but I am interested to learn more. Several of the species seen this morning were migratory, including this one which is apparently widespread in southern Europe.

Palpita vitrealis