Friday, 28 May 2010
May in Norfolk and Suffolk!
With the weather being favourable,I decided on visiting Norfolk and Suffolk for a few days!May is a fatastic time down there, as it coicides with the breeding season of most of our birds.The birds are at their most active,nest building,looking for a mate and of course feeding youngsters!I hoped to see and of course photograph a few of the rarer species that inhabit that neck of the woods!
Hobbies are one of our rarer breeding falcons and Lakenheath in Suffolk holds good numbers.They seem to meet up there in early May and feed on the abundant insects and Dragonflies.On my first morning at the reserve I counted no less than 47 birds hawking the insects, an absolutely tremendous spectacle!I managed a few flight shots of one bird that came within reach.I had one adult Hobby land within 10 metres of me in a tree,but as I aimed the lens at him a Mistlethrush came and chased it off,defending its territory!
Another of our summer migrant bird was evident by its call,the Cuckoo, they seemed to be everywhere on the reserve, their constant calling alerting every Reed and Sedge Warbler to be on their guard!!I only wish they would carry on flying further North as they are sadly declining in numbers around the North West!
Marsh Harrier too were present, with about 5 breeding pairs busy nest building.They would fly low to the reed beds searching for prey.The male would carry bits of reed in its talons to line its nest!Bitterns were booming often,but seeing them was another matter,I did manage to see one flyingbut not close enough to photograph.
Late one evening I observed a Barn Owl quartering the washlands and constantly dropping down on its prey,small shrews and fieldmice I think.I discovered that someone had put up an owl box in a small clump of trees and the owl had made good use of it, with hungry youngsters heard screeching and calling for food!I spent a good few hours watching the Owls hunting, something I will never get tired of.
The habitat at Lakenheath Reserve supports all sorts of wildlife as well as birds and in my next blog I`ll tell you of a close early morning encounter I had with a very special secretive mammal!!!