My initial intention was to document my wild encounters in June every couple of days, before I forgot what I had done but I have already slipped to three days. I have deep admiration for the numerous bloggers who have been posting their 30 Days Wild daily.
So to catch up, Sunday brought a host of opportunities starting with a bird race to our local recycling centre at Ketteringham. Myself and my young assistant set out to see as many different species as we could on our way to recycle. Highlights were undoubtedly the discovery of a small housemartin colony in Ketteringham village accompanied by swallows and swifts. we ended up with 22 species completed with a buzzard circling over the tip which is now a common site and makes the recycling worth while.
Later in the day I got another wild treat with a trip to Blickling Hall which was looking lovely in the summer sunshine. A walk round the lake produced sightings of reed warbler Great crested grebe and plenty of greylag and egyptian geese. At the end there was a soaring female sparrowhawk who was big enough to panic even the geese.
Blickling Hall, splendid sunbaked former home of Anne Boleyn
Monday saw an opportunity to take a lunch break at RSPB Strumpshaw which I had visited only days before and missed swallow tail butterflies. The carpark was packed with other hoping to garb a view of these amazing creatures however they played hard to get and I once again failed in my quest.I also missed out on a recent otter and kingfisher from the reception hide. I was not to be put off or disappointed as I was serenaded by Cetti’s Warblers and watched a male blackcap hunt for insects around the reception clearly feeding a local family. I took some photos of the insects visiting the butterfly garden in the absence of my Swallowtail and here are some of my favourites with thanks to local naturalist James Emmerson for assistance with the ID’s.
A common hoverfly going by the catchy Latin name of Helophilus Pendulus which literally translates as dangling marsh lover. Click on the red name for the full Wikipedia facts and complicated hoverfly stuff which reminds me why I generally stick to birds.
Typical shot, of many taken, of a disappearing bee. This one is an early bumble bee (Bombus Pratorum) which is again common and is identified by its distinctive yellow bands and orange tail.
Day seven of wild June saw me grab an hour or so to do my first WEBS survey of the month at Marlingford only a few miles North of Hethersett and a great barometer as to the rare local species that may turn up in the village. This week has seen the flyover presence of both common tern and Oystercatcher in Hethersett and both were present for the survey as were double figure counts of lapwings which are yet to grace the local fields.
Oystercatcher possibly breeding at Marlingford