short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Butterflies & Owls!!

  I decided to head down to Strumpshaw Fen but for a change not for birds but Butterflies! Still very much a beginner i took my id book and set off . I picked up plenty of Red Admirals, Small Tortoiseshells & huge amount of Meadow Browns. probably a few others that i couldn't quite id but then the highlight ( and the reason i came here) was the stunning Swallowtails.I headed to the far side of the fen near the railway track and had a pair mating(im assuming?) which made for a good photo opportunity!

Swallowtail

Red Admiral

Comma
Dragonfly wise-2x Norfolk Hawkers, 1x Brown Hawker, 2x Four Spotted Chaser & a few Black Tailed Skimmers.
Bird wise- 5x Marsh Harriers, a Hobby over the River and a Marsh Tit.


Norfolk Hawker
 On Saturday i was at my nieces birthday which meant a trip to my brother in laws farm. I took me bins and note pad with me & managed a few hours birding. Plenty of healthy numbers of Yellowhammers,House Sparrows, Sky Larks, Whitethroats Blackcaps, Hirundines galore,& Linnets. Also 2x Common Buzzards over there woods , a Kestrel darting along the sheds and the usual Barn Owl was in his box at the barns( not sure about young as yet).
 On the way back to the house i counted 9x Small Whites ,3x Large Whites, 7x Red Admirals, loads of Meadow Browns ,2x Holy Blues & 11x Ringlets(both the latter being new for my small growing list!) .In there garden later on while enjoying a BBQ and glass of Cider( cheers Matt), there were small flocks of Mallards and Greylag Geese coming in overhead , Coal Tits in the trees & i also saw a Goldcrest which Matt had mention he saw earlier in the week. I was thinking of packing away the bins when Matt mentioned he had seen a Tawny Owl on the roadside at the edge of the woods earlier in the week?! I looked across at Cat and said with a smile on me boat `it would only be fair to give it a slow drive home?` Well we weren't disappointed as i had not one but two Tawny Owls up in tree calling to the other!After a while (with a bit of help from some noisy Blackbirds, giving away its location) i got on one which was on a branch quite low and fairly close.As it was still light i was able to use me bins to get a closer view. I jumped back into the van  telling Cat what id seen while continuing on a little further up the road and picked up the local Little Owl in its regular spot. Always a pleasure! Then as i approached the next village we had another Tawny Owl ,this time on the roadside  (after chatting to a local birder probably searching for Worms or Beetles after the rain showers).It flew up to the tree above us and then another flew into it.I was very happy to have seen these super birds and i think ill be coming home this way more often!
 Happy Birding,
   Shaky.

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