Frampton Marsh RSPB

One of the perks of the job is that survey work can take you to some lovely parts of southern England.  It felt a bit special being sent to Norfolk for an evening and on the warmest day of the year so far.  The evening held onto the humidity, and with clear skies, it was a privilege to have spent it in quiet solitude.  A Barn Owl was hunting over the maize field and a Tawny Owl hooted close by.  Muntjacs barked, and satellites cruised over while listening to plenty of bat activity.
The following day was booked as annual leave and having observed the heavy traffic creeping south along the A149 the previous evening, there wasn't a chance of joining the throngs of people presumably headed to the pristine beaches of the north norfolk coast.  Thinking better of it, I headed over to Frampton Marsh.  
With barely half a dozen people there, it was perfect.  The heat however was still a factor with temperatures exceeding thirty degrees.
I was surprised by the number of waders present on t…

Savi's Warbler shennanigans

It only took four trips not to see a Savi's Warbler.  While Thorpe Marshes, just on the outskirts of Norwich, is a lovely place with plenty of wildlife to enjoy, the Savi's was an agonising prospect having been seen and heard almost daily for a period of around ten days.
It all started while unsuccessfully attempting to connect with a female Red-footed Falcon at Fen Drayton GPs on the 13th June.  It was a gloriously warm and sunny day but it appeared that I had missed the bird by around 15 minutes.  I did lock onto two small high flying raptors in amongst hundreds of insect-gorging Black-headed Gull high over Ferry Lagoon but they were sufficiently distant to preclude certain identification.

The Savi's was reported shortly after and in a moment of madness I headed off.  I then became obsessed.  I visited on the 13th (far too late into the day), the 14th (didn't stay late enough), the 19th (arrived 07:30 half an hour too late when it was seen - it then reeled briefly a…

The Suffolk Coastline

Flamin' June didn't really live up to its epithet on a grey day.  It was Kat's birthday so we headed over to Suffolk for a long walk.  The route took us through Dunwich Heath, down towards Sizewall, and back through Minsmere, ending with Fish 'n' Chips in Southwold.

The Iberian Chiffchaff sang but did not show along the Eastbridge road.  Dunwich held Dartford Warbler that are always relatively easy to see.

Minsmere was a throng of life with Gulls and Terns dominating the scrapes.  A good number of Kittiwake had settled on the scrape.  A 1st summer Little Gull flew by and a prolonged view of a Bittern flying low across the reserve was a real bonus.

Blooming Baldock

The countryside is now alive in wildflowers as the landscape glows in the warm sunlight.  It's such a pleasure to see.

Flowers so colourful and bright,
In their glory in the sun's light,
At home amid the summer's heat,
Giving out a perfume so sweet,
The summer flowers seem perfect,
In near enough every aspect,
So effortlessly they distract,
As one's attention they attract,
Countless different kinds carve their mark,
Throughout every meadow and park,
There for us to enjoy and pick,
While we waste our days and frolic,
As gifts more poetic than speech,
When lovers and their loves meet,
One of nature's finer artworks,
Saving scenes from seeming bleak.
--- Christian Lacdael

Kings Mead - Marsh Warbler

Only my second Marsh Warbler seen at Kings Mead near Ware.  Having heard the Blyth's Reed Warbler the day before, this bird usurped that for just the most mind-blowing assortment of minicry.  It does a mean Blackbird.

Suffolk - Blyth's Reed Warbler

I was itching to head out somewhere and by midday, I was still at home trying to work out the options.  Checking birdguides for one final time, a Blyth's Reed Warbler had been found in Southwold, Suffolk.  It hardly took a moment to get myself on the road.

It was a showery day, cool and cloudy, nothing remotely resembling June.

There was a small gathering but the viewing area was limited and therefore social distancing was well and truly out of the window.  Managing to just hang back, I was fortunate with a little guidance from David Bradnum to see the bird well through a gap singing heartily within the short reed.  Fortuitous as the bird promptly disappeared for a long period thereafter.

Showers were passing through but with a few hours to spare, I headed over to the tracks surrounding Minsmere RSPB reserve.  Parking up, I walked over to Dunwich Heath.

I was alone for over an hour and it was bliss.  The views over the cliff face and the reserve were really lovely, as was the Dart…

Lockdown - No more

More warm glorious sunshine to enjoy but am still keeping it real and keeping it local apart from one cheeky excursion out of town.
Lockdown seems to be optional now, the government now have no credibility in enforcing law and order, judging by the actions of the general public anyway.  Let common sense prevail if indeed that is still a principle.
Only nine minutes up the road is Therfield Heath, a chalk escarpment that provides an important habitat for a prosperous selection of butterflies.
I hadn't seen many of our chalkland species for a few years, the ephemeral life of some of our most cherished butterfly species requires being on-cue for their emergence, lest time just passes by.
It was a really gorgeous morning, warm and clear.  Butterflies were active from around 9am.
This was the only Brown Argus I saw only during a couple of hours on site.

My first Small Heath of the season warming itself in the morning sun.

The butterfly I had specifically headed over for was the Adonis…