During the time that Lin has been writing the Wild About Bawburgh articles and compiling the wildlife Photo Galleries, she has received various correspondence and comments from a number of people. She would like to share a few of these with people of like mind.
Dominic Bell e-mailed 15th November 2016 - 'Just a little bit of mardle just so you did not think I had forgotten about the Wild About Bawburgh site; had a lot on over past few months, being involved with NWT on a site monitor at Bowthorpe Riverside, which is still on going low key, and a few other days out to various wildlife sites. Bawburgh Fisheries is still as hectic as ever with lots of various finches, thrushes and tits gathering in good sized flocks, masses of Cormorants have returned as well. There was an odd Hobby left in the complex until right the last Swallows and Dragonflies had all but gone for this year. Outside the gate entrance awaiting the completion of the solar farm, flocks of Pipits and Linnet, Chaffinch and a couple of Yellowhammer have been sitting on the wire mesh fencing surrounding it, also a lone kestrel rests on the posts there most days. Sightings of numerous Red Kite and Buzzard still fill the skies in the Yare Valley on a bright clear day and a few on the ground picking at worms coming up in the soil due to heavy down pours of rain. A pair of Great White Egret have been seen also through the valley. The autumn colours in the trees have been magical this season also with vast amounts of berries, fruit and nuts, wide varieties of fungi appearing on the ground and old rotting stumps of timber as well. The past week has seen large numbers of Waxwings arriving in their hundreds, a few seen in Norfolk, even Norwich today as I write this, I have not been lucky in capturing a sight on one yet or a picture to my dismay, they are usually a regular near the village hall I hear. So as the nights are darker with nothing to gaze at apart from the enlarged looking moon this week, and its getting cooler, I hope you have all cleaned your feeders and filling up on a regular basis to keep your feathered friends visiting in the shortened day light hours, they are great to watch for a while especially if raining. Most have had a fantastic breeding season this year it seems so more should be in the gardens'.
Carol Stephens e-mailed 14th May 2016 - 'My sister and brother-in-law were lucky enough to see a Bee-eater at Winterton at the end of last week and took 2 photos, one with a bee in its beak. This is what they said about it: 'thought you might like to see this bird we have just seen at Winterton. It is a Mediterranean Bee-eater and is very pretty with red, yellow and green feathers. It has been sitting on this wire for 2 days now and must be in a bumble bees flight path as it keeps catching bees as they fly past. it must have blown here as it normally lives in the Med and doesn't come this far north, unless our nice weather tricked it as one day we've had warmer weather than Majorca.' Pity it is eating bees but suppose one bird can't make too much difference and what a thrill to see it. I'm sure its moved inland now the weather has turned chilly. Hopefully it will make it back to its homeland.' Lin says 'Wow! Photos are in the photo gallery'. '
Note from Lin 10th April 2016 - The cuckoo is back at the UEA. What a magical sound it makes! Also one has been heard here in Bawburgh!
Dominic Bell e-mailed 1st March 2016 - 'Here are the sightings for the past month along the Yare Valley Corridor from Bowthorpe Marsh to Marlingford. There have been up to four Red Kites in the area, 8 Buzzards on the thermals at one point soaring on the odd blue sky days, one Honey Buzzard strangely, one Great Egret, six Little Egrets, vast numbers of Wigeon, Tufted and Teal Ducks, Canada, Grey Lag and what I think were Bean Geese; Rooks were well into nest building along with Magpies and Carrion Crows; Blue Tits are investigating the new boxes I have put up along with Robin and Wren Boxes; large flocks of Green Finches, Gold Finches and Chaffinches, Pied and Grey Wagtails along with Sky Lark, Meadow Lark all walking the muck heaps in the various fields looking for bugs. Flocks of Lapwing now putting on their aerial displays; Redwing and Fieldfare marching across the meadows as well; a number of Jays have been following each other through the poplar trees along near Easton College. Great Crested Grebes are pairing up along with Coot and Moorhen, Grey Herons too have been congregating in the tops of pine trees near Colney; one Peregrine has been a regular over Bawburgh Lakes. Bittern spotted flying over Bowthorpe Marsh. I might be contemplating starting a group on Face Book called the North Yare Nature Group when I find time, as there is a South and a Mid Yare Group but nothing this way. You can see more on my Face Book page of local wildlife pictures as well.
Dominic Bell e-mailed 11th January 2016 - 'I saw around five Goldcrests at Bawburgh Lakes just before Christmas, flitting in and out of bramble bushes. The weekend just passed saw a massive rise in water levels along the River Yare from Marlingford to Bawburgh, flooding the plains and bringing many waterfowl, Canada, Brent, Greylag Geese, Teal, Wigeon, Mallard, Tufted Ducks, and amongst these on the water soaked grasslands near Woodstock at Marlingford was a very large flock of Lapwings, gathered to get worms and insects forced to the top of the soil. Little Egrets and Grey Herons stalked the edges for frogs and small fish and lizards. Three Red Kites have also been soaring the Yare Valley skies, and talking to one of the other local photographers, a juvenile Peregrine Falcon has been seen chasing the masses of Wood Pigeon in the area from the water tower at Bowthorpe to Bawburgh to Honingham Church; I even spotted it speeding through Dad's garden at Church Street, Bawburgh, while watching the Jays last Saturday afternoon strangely after talking to him. A few Roe and Muntjac Deer still following their tracks along most of the field edges. Have started putting a few of the nest boxes up I have been building over the winter for the coming of spring. While walking around the Otley and Easton complex there is an area of wild seeded flowers and grasses which were left for the birds as an invitation to feed; have spotted Yellow Hammers, Green Finches, Chaffinches, Bramblings, and a few Siskin, masses of Pied Wagtail, Sparrows, Blackbird, Redwing, Coal Tits and nearby is a crab apple still full of fruit which the Fieldfare have started feasting on, hopefully get a few pictures before they clear them out over coming week. Hopefully have a few more updates in the coming weeks if the weather turns colder as predicted from the north as it will push a few more visitors down.'
Lin says:- 'Thanks for the Goldcrest photo, Dom. I have made it the subject of February's edition of Wild about Bawburgh. The flooded Marlingford plain and the numerous birds which are feeding there can be found in the Wild about Bawburgh photogallery, and of course on Dom's twitter and facebook pages'.
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Dominic Bell e-mailed 3rd September 2015 - 'The Barn Owls have four young and are due to fledge, location undisclosed; there was also a sighting of the Osprey at Bawburgh Lakes a month ago . We have noticed by the garden visitors that the Goldfinches and Green Finches must have had a good breeding season'.
Note from Lin 24th June 2015 - Still hearing the Cuckoo calling regularly over Marlingford Way. Today, one of those wow moments, I watched a humming bird hawk moth feeding on nectar from common mallow flowers at the UEA. Unfortunately, was unable to get a photo.
Note from Lin 18th May 2015 - Saw and heard a cuckoo passing over the top of our bungalow at about 9.15am on the 13th May 2015 as it flew towards Marlingford. Later on the same week I heard the cuckoo calling from Marlingford.
Dominic Bell e-mailed 21st April 2015 - 'Just the usual wildlife spots to report from the past few weeks of March into April; lots of activity around the hedgerows, verges and woodlands as well as the marshland. Lots of spring flowers out in bloom now with the Bluebells beginning to appear in the warmth of late, lots of bees, hoverflies and various insects on the move, and even seven spotted ladybirds seen, along with various butterflies. The Oak trees are still holding their buds back and not yet come into leaf. Rooks are sitting tight on their eggs and even some chicks in the rookeries, along with Robins, Blackbirds and some of the Tit family, Graylag Geese, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebes, Wood Pigeon, Ducks all the same, brooding or feeding young. I have spotted many Chiffchaff, Blackcaps and a few Warblers, Reed Buntings around the river's edges, and even a Little Grebe has been seen; the Grey Wagtails are again in the Mill pond on the stones and the Kingfishers are darting up and down the River Yare. Little Egrets are also great in numbers. The Little Owls again have been spotted up and down New Road in the ivy of the trees. We are still seeing lots of garden visitors as well; we have had around twelve Goldfinches on the feeders over the past couple of weeks fighting for their perches, six Green Finches between front and back garden, two Great Spotted Woodpeckers on one peanut feeder, two Coal Tits, numerous Blue Tits, Great Tits, Robins, Starlings, Chaffinches, House Sparrows, Sparrow Hawk, Wood Pigeons, Collared Doves, Wren, Jackdaws, Heron on the roof watching the fish in pond, and a Jay along with the Magpies. I still go walk about early in the mornings to see what else I can spot, as there have been some fantastic sunrises over past weeks. Well hope to have some pictures for you next time when the young fledglings start to appear.'
Dominic Bell e-mailed 21st February 2015 - 'wondered if you had heard about this rare sighting for the area on Friday. I first spotted it on Marlingford Road marshland opposite the Glenn Lodge Golf Course around 0730hrs until it flew off. I have attached a couple of photos that went out on my facebook and twitter pages of the Great White Egret. It was later spotted on Bowthorpe Marshes where a number of twitchers and wildlife photographers gathered according to street life website. These are not one of my best photos as vehicle was running while hanging out of window, so excited camera was on the wrong settings'. Look in the photogallery for Dom's pictures.
(Thanks for this Dom. I can also confirm I saw the Great White Egret at lunch time on the same Friday, on the marshland opposite Glenn Lodge. I couldn't believe my eyes! Needless to say I didn't have a camera with me at the time! Lin)
Dominic Bell e-mailed 1st February 2015 - 'Well February already, hope everyone got involved with the Big Garden Bird count in January; some had good counts and others left with the odd few, as the not so cold weather kept many garden birds out in the woodland and countryside with an abundance of insects still active. Snowdrops have shown us the whites of their petals and other bulbs have surfaced above the soil. Of the garden survey, many tweeters had noticed a decline in Greenfinches resident this winter, wondering if they had died through disease (Trichomonosis); we only had our regular two on the count. Blue Tits, Great Tits, Long Tailed Tits increased in numbers with those in the gardens and hedgerows seen. With the few frosts we had towards the last weeks of January, the local herds of Deer were encouraged out into the fields from where sugar beet had been lifted, along with flocks of Redwings, Blackbirds and Rooks. Starlings have been spotted performing their magnificent murmurations over Norwich near the Bus Station on Queens Road. Rooks are sitting close to last year's nests in their rookeries and Tits have started investigating nest boxes, so all who have any in your gardens please make sure you have discarded last year's nesting materials and cleaned them out as this gets rid of any parasites left in there. The Bittern has been seen at Bawburgh Lakes recently leaving leaving early in the mornings. Hopefully among the waterfowl and ground nesting birds there will be more young birds fledge this season with the Mink causing a nuisance there, now under control. The Barn Owl near Marlingford is still in residence near the crossroads to Colton, surveying the hedgerows for its next meal. Still patrolling the skies around the Yare Valley, Buzzards last count six, and the Red Kites are always on the look out for road kill or lame rabbits. This month is the bird count on farmland around the country; unfortunately not many farmers in our region have registered to take part, when there is so much to see, but perhaps they do not realise what is around them. I have a great interest in what their hedgerows and woodlands have to hide, and that odd wild patch left along the fields edge as driving or walking past them most days, Linnets and Yellow Hammers to name a couple. To finish on, with the coming next week of February predicted to be very wintry and cold, keep the fresh water in the bird baths and feeders topped up. Have a nature fun February and Spring is not far off'.
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Dominic Bell e-mailed 6th December 2014 - 'Not been out much lately as the days are a lot shorter with the mornings seeming to be darker for longer with the low cloud of late, and had a few jobs to catch up on at home. A very frosty start to the day today Saturday 6th December, thought I would get out early and see what was about on this crisp morning with the gauge reading minus 3. An early mist along with the frost in the Yare Valley, and a few adventurous geese fly overhead across Colton towards Barnham Broom; plenty of colourful Pheasants and Red Legged Partridge running along the roadside. The Roe Deer sticking their heads out of the aged maize drives. A flock of Waders circling the sky over fields not sure what direction to be heading off in it seems. Migrant Blackbirds fill the gardens and hedgerows now, but no signs of the masses of Redwings and Fieldfares yet; all the berries would have dropped to the ground by the time they and the Waxwings arrive. Six Kestrels I have counted this week in different locations, between Easton, Colton, Barnham Broom, Barford, Marlingford and Bawburgh, one leaving the roadside edge with a vole. Since cleaning the dykes and making some scrapes along Bawburgh Road on the marshes a few Mute Swans have been exploring there since it flooded. At Bawburgh Lakes this afternoon very quiet, even the waterfowl seems to be on hold with their arrivals, no Widgeon or Teal or Pochard as yet with their distinct calls, just the odd few Tufted along with Mallard and a small group of Gadwell ducks. The Mute Swans still dabbling with this years' young, a few Graylag geese but no Canada geese resident this year as of last. Grey Herons seem to have had a good breeding season with a large number of them appearing; no Bittern sightings either. There are, however, very large numbers of Long-Tailed Tit, Blue Tits and Great Tits, all flitting in and out of the waterside hedgerows, picking at any insects or bugs they can find. Every corner I turn I spot a Robin so seems as though they too had a good season. The Cormorants are drying their wings in tall trees in the sunlight after the fishing session. The Muntjac Deer feeds along the edge of some blackthorn bushes and freezes hoping I had not spotted him but the camera was soon shooting, while he stood, hoping to have blended into the background; how wrong he was. Common Gulls along with some Great Black Backed Gulls and Lesser Black Backed Gulls swoop along the River Yare and Bawburgh Lakes lagoons in search of a quick snack and even feeding on worms lifted by the water on the freshly seeded grassland along New Road. The Autumn has been a long slow one this year, with the colours lasting longer as leaves turned to golden brown and yellow with that hint of orange thrown in to make some colourful landscapes. With the winter now here make sure to keep bird feeders are topped up and fresh water on tap as well; we have found putting a little warm water in the bird bath' encouraged a bit of a frenzy among the Sparrows; did not realise they enjoyed a Spa. Hopefully we will soon see a few more of our winter visitors.'
Graham Moates e-mailed 16th October 2014 - 'Further to your article, I thought you may be interested to know the results of a couple of recent short dusk surveys in the centre of Bawburgh close to the river. I have recorded five species: common pipistrelle: echolocating at 45kHz; soprano pipistrelle: echolocating at 55 kHz; Noctule bat: the largest UK bat; Myotis species; likely to be Daubenton's bat but calls can be difficult to distinguish from other Myotis species; Nathusius' pipistrelle: a scarce bat for which there were only 22 records in Norfolk in 2012. A full overnight survey such as that through the volunteer Norfolk Bat Survey would obviously give a fuller picture but interesting in any case'
Interesting indeed, thanks Graham.
Dominic Bell e-mailed 12th August 2014 - 'Had a walk around a small piece of Bawburgh Lake Saturday afternoon with Jack just to see what was about as not had much chance lately as out photographing the harvest season around various farms. We found numerous Grasshoppers and Crickets (see a picture of a Dark-Bush Cricket in Photo Gallery), large numbers of Dragonflies, Damselflies and Hawkers all searching for something on the wing to snatch at and eat. The Great Crested Grebes were attending to a second brood of chicks on the water with the older chick chasing the male for food and practising its own diving skills. Common Tern sky diving for small fish that ventured near the water's surface. Jack found a spiky looking caterpillar and loads of small common frogs (both in Photo Gallery). He was hoping to stumble across a few Grass Snakes which often lay out in the warmth of the sun in that area as I have found on previous visits but none today. An odd Sparrow Hawk shot through the Silver Birch in front of us as we walked through them. We could hear a few Warblers calling to each other in the reed beds but failed to spot them, a pair of Mute Swans with one cygnet left dabbles nearby, and a few Gadwall go by like soldiers in a row. A few Rabbit carcasses lay around caught by Foxes. A lot of the wild flowers have all but disappeared till next year, but the fruits of Blackberries and Elder, Rowan, Blackthorn, Crab Apple, Cherry, Chestnut, Hazelnut are all rapidly appearing for Autumn and Winter food, and we have not even reached September yet, all of them ahead of themselves this year. Also photographed a Ladybird (see Photo Gallery). Just out of interest we went to a very interesting talk at Marlingford Hall last week hosted by the Raptor Trust; the gentleman called Bob brought along a Tawny Owl called Marley and a Barn owl called Dillon and did a two hour discussion on them and various other raptors and the Trust. He answered numerous questions on the birds of prey in the area; perhaps one for Bawburgh Village Hall in the future, as in the Bawburgh area you have Buzzards, sometimes one or two roosting at Sparrow hill woodland just before the Watton Road, Little Owls very often flying along New Road, Red Kites often above the village looking for dead meat on the fields or roadside, a Barn Owl along Marlingford Road some evenings, Kestrels, and a pair of Goshawks still between Bawburgh and Marlingford near old pillar box. Well that's me finished running on till the next time'.
Note from Lin 28th May 2014 - I heard the Cringleford cuckoo for the first time this year! What a wonderful sound of spring!
Dominic Bell e-mailed 5th April 2014 - ..here is an insight to what I have seen over the past few weeks on my walks and early morning drive to work. Around Bawburgh Lakes birds have been nesting with Great Crested Grebes sitting on their eggs as are a few Blue Tits, Long Tailed Tits, Blackbirds, and some of the ducks. Thrushes are singing along with the Robins and Chaffinches in the tree tops. Have heard the odd call of Whitethroats and Chiffchaff; Reed Buntings and Kingfishers chase each other around the reed beds and waters edge. Herons are sitting on their nest in the pine tree tops, still carrying in the odd repairs stick. Today there are a number of Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Speckled Wood and even some Comma around. The warmth of the past couple of weeks have encouraged rapid growth with light blue, purple and white flowers out on the walkways and verges; Bluebells not far behind, now the Snowdrops have died off. Hedgerows are full of bees and other various insects after the nectar from the Blackthorn blossom. Catkins are bursting out full of yellow pollen, and the fields are full of Rape seed flower, and buds are even bursting into leaf. Between Bawburgh and Marlingford the Egret still ventures into the mill pond mornings, a couple of Jays sniffed out a Blackbird's nest in the hedgerow around the pond. Woodpeckers have been drumming and calling whilst the Grey Squirrels chase each other up and down the beech trees. Fieldfares in large flocks probe the grassland meadows along with the Rooks who have a large rookery just outside Marlingford, also three sites in Easton. The Buzzard now is on the telegraph poles along that stretch of road with the Kestrel most evenings on my way home. Red Kite also spotted on numerous occasions. Got a picture of one of the Little Owls that are in an oak tree near Colton. Hares of which I have counted six in one area of two fields are happy chasing each other around in the morning sunshine as a few odd Roe Deer and Red Legged Partridge look on. Young Rabbits are also out enjoying the fresh growth of grass at various warrens'. You can see some of Dom's pictures on his FlickR and Facebook page - remember to look for Dominic Gwilliam-Bell.
Dominic Bell e-mailed 7th February 2014 - '...just to update you on local sightings recently in the Yare Valley. There have been a number of Bullfinches in and around Bawburgh Lakes over the past couple of weeks, along with large flocks of Goldfinch, Long Tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit and a few Green Finches, Robin, Tree Creepers around various parts of the woodland at the Lakes and along Bawburgh Road leading to Marlingford. Herons and Egrets in abundance, with the Herons beginning to appear in the heronry at Bawburgh Lakes. Have seen a more than above normal count of Great Spotted Woodpecker and Green Woodpecker with the first of two very often visiting our feeder in the garden. A few of the Blue Tit seem to have gone into early pairing along with some of the Tufted, Teal, and Mallard Duck and with the Great Crested Grebes chasing each other in courtship movement already; hope they don't start nest building in case of a cold snap. The water is very high along the Yare at the moment and I have not seen any Kingfishers. A couple of large flocks of Fieldfares keep appearing now and then, there are also a few large groups of Magpies and Jays in various areas. Kestrel and Sparrow Hawks along with Little owls have been spotted. Moorhen and Coots seem to be enjoying all the water on the meadows along with a few Wigeon. Large skeins of geese - Pink Footed, Canada and Greylag, along with Cormorant, regularly pass over in the mornings. A bit disappointing on the lack of sightings of Redwing and Waxwings this winter. Well hopefully more to yarn about in the coming few months if the rain and water has not washed everything away. Keep smiling though..'
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Comments 2013Dominic Bell e-mailed 7th December 2013 'Not been walk about round local area much lately, have sat watching the Moorhens, Ducks, Swans, Jays, Egret, Grey Heron, Kingfishers, Robin, Goldfinches, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-Tailed Tits, Chaffinch, Wood Pigeons, Collared Doves, Magpies, Grey Wagtails, and this was just on the green mornings on my way to work; dad tells me the Rock Doves he had visiting his garden have not been seen as of late and hopefully will return next year. Only seen about six Fieldfares on top fields near Sparrow Hill. Have been spending some time at RSPB Reserve in Strumpshaw and Snettisham over past months on spare days and have attached a couple of pictures for you from there (see wildlife photogallery). Hope to see a bit more this month if the weather turns colder so pushing a few more migrants this way i.e Waxwings, Redwings and a few more Fieldfares as the hedgerows are still full of various fruits. Some of the pictures attached are of the Pink Footed Geese flying inland from their sleeping wetland at Snettisham, there are 1000s; even my wife was astounded back by the mass and noise as they flew over head, around 55,000 Knot; hundreds of various Duck with a very large congregation of Shell duck feeding on the mud flats as the tide recedes. Large amounts of Egrets, Curlew, Whimbrel, Sanderling, Stint, Dunlin, Redshank, all frantic to feed on molluscs. Hopefully get something else into you before Christmas if not have a Merry one and e-mail you in New Year and thanks for looking at all my chirps over the past one'.
Jenny Press e-mailed 24th November 2013 - 'I had a close encounter with an otter the other night, my neighbour (Martin) rang at nearly 11pm, just as I was going to bed and said he had an otter in his garden. It was raining and I was in my dressing gown, but ran round to see it ...............The next morning Sylvia, who lives at the Mill told me she has a family with baby otters in her garden. I wonder if this teenager had been kicked out of home when mum had a new family, and was feeling a bit lost. I am rather concerned though that these babies won't survive the winter.'
Dominic Bell e-mailed 7th October 2013 - 'Well leaves are falling, trees are changing to fantastic orange and rustic red with a golden brown colours and the mushrooms and other fungi are in their element of damp composting, rotting vegetation mornings. Around Bawburgh Lakes the Tufted Ducks, Gladwell Ducks have started to arrive, a few more Cormorant have also appeared and the Grey Heron is in abundance after seeming to have a good breeding year with a few young appearing there. Robins are singing their little hearts out in competition with the Chaffinches. The odd Migrant Dragonflies still after the last caterpillars on the bramble bushes. The odd Speckled Wood along with Large White butterflies still catch the last warmth of the sun's rays. The Great Crested Grebes all dive and preen around the various lagoons of the lakes. There is a wide abundance of berries and fruit which will hopefully encourage more Fieldfares and Redwings along with the colourful Waxwings to the area this year. The Egrets are still between Marlingford low road and Bawburgh Mill along with the Grey Wagtails and Kingfishers, a pair of Kestrels and Buzzards high in the sky; these I see very regularly in the mornings on my way to work if I have time to stop off. Hopefully more different sightings to come with our winter visitors and pictures.'
Report from Bawburgh Wanderers Walking Group - September Walk 'In perfect autumn sunshine, Martin led a group of Bawburgh Wanderers along the Pingo trail. There was plenty to see, as well as the quiet woods, streams and of course the pingos, the wildlife included a small lizard, lots of frogs, butterflies and horses. But this walk will be most remembered for the variety of different fungi seen. The very enjoyable walk ended with a drink at the Chequers'.
Dominic Bell e-mailed 5th September 2013 - '... had a couple of hours at Bawburgh Lakes Saturday morning as had not visited it for a couple of weeks. Various grasses stand tall with their tufts of seed on full display as are the Bull rushes. Plenty of flying insect life with Daddy-Long-Legs, Phantom Midge, Green Shield Bug, Sloe Bug which I spotted on one of the many Blackberry bushes out in fruit. Dragonflies being Emperor, Brown Hawker, Large Red Damselfly, Common Darter all patrol the edge of the reed beds and hedgerows around various parts of the lake over Colney side. Silver-studded Blue fly amongst the gorse out in its glorious yellow, this butterfly is distinct by their Blue upside and orange and black spots underside of wings (see photogallery), Comma and Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Small White also all fly along the hedgerows enjoying the summer fruits and resting on ground flowering plants like the daisy and dandelion. There are plenty of plant spores now floating past on the light breeze as I sit and photograph what sits still long enough and enjoy the morning sun on my back. A Sparrow Hawk catches me out as he darts through the walk ways and just misses my knees as to my sitting position and lands in a nearby tree surveying it's next meal. Cormorants and a couple of Grey Heron fly over shortly followed by one of the local Buzzards but in the opposite direction towards Great Melton. The two cygnets left in one of the families of Mute Swans dabble amongst the weed in the lakes waters. The Green Woodpeckers shout in the nearby trees to their fledged young, and their is an abundance of various Blue, Great and Long Tailed Tits in the various hedgerows around me. Flies chase each other around on the ground near my feet looking for a mate. Thistles show off their purple florets with bees, hoverfly, and wasps buzzing around them and the other flora. And lastly the White Water Lilly floats effortlessly on the top of the pond water with a small frog sitting on one of the pads fly spotting.
Carol Stephens e-mailed 31st July 2013 -.'...... thought you may enjoy this little story about a spider - one of the fat bodied outdoor ones. Lindsey was sitting in a chair with her feet up the other evening when a spider came in through the open window and shot a string of web about eight feet across the room and on to her foot! They must have good eyesight too. We've never seen such a thing before. She moved the string of web from her foot on to her chair arm which made the spider a bit suspicious for a while but it then continued with it's journey. We're not totally adverse to them as they are environmentally friendly fly catchers but most of ours are the small bodied long legged indoor ones!'
Report from Bawburgh Wanderers Walking Group - July 2013 - A group of Wanderers enjoyed a memorable July walk at Horsey. It was described as 'a wildlife extravaganza' starting with close up views of swallow parents feeding their babies in a nest under the eaves of the cafe next to the windmill. The footpath to the beach was edged with many wild flowers with spectacular Six-spot Burnet Moths feeding on the nectar, and we stopped in our tracks to watch a Whitethroat in full song perched on a nearby post. Seals popped their heads out of the water to watch us walking along the beach, and the final treat was seeing Swallowtail Butterflies enjoying the late afternoon sunshine at Horsey Mere. There will not be a walk in August, but definitely in September - if interested e-mail Jenny Press for details of place and time firstname.lastname@example.org
Note from Lin Saturday 20th July 2013 - 5.15pm: Saw two Oystercatchers flying low from the marsh off Marlingford Road, towards Bawburgh. They have a characteristic high pitched single note penetrating call.
Note from Lin Wednesday 17th July 2013 - Plucked up enough courage and phoned Hallswood Wildlife Sanctuary yesterday about the hedgehogs. One of the hedgehogs is still alive and eating and drinking - the other was not so lucky as the fly maggots had started to hatch in the poor little mite's ear. It was not allowed to suffer.
Note from Lin Sunday 14th July 2013 - Yesterday was Duck Race Day, and at 12.40pm I was due down on the Green to help set up and man the second hand book stall with Jenny Press. I wandered round the garden with the dogs just before I left so they would be settled while I was out. I found the first baby hedgehog near where I had suspected that there was a hedgehog nesting. I picked it up - it was still alive but cold, and dehydrated. It also had a lot of fleas. I warmed it in my hand, panicking because I knew it was going to die if I did nothing. It responded to the warmth. Flies had been buzzing round it. Where was its mum? - she must have died and it had come out of the nest in search of her. I put it in a washing up bowl with some fresh hay. It snuggled down. I tried giving it a drop of water on my finger but it was having none of it. I went back to where I had found it. And there was another one! This one was covered with flies and in a worse state than the first one I had found. But again it responded to the warmth of my hand. I put it in the bowl with the first one and it snuggled down with it's litter mate. I remembered some years ago finding a sick hedgehog and taking it to Hallswood Wildlife Animal Hospital and Sanctuary at Stratton Strawless. Jenny Press had also taken a damaged kingfisher there once. Having looked it up on Google, I found the sanctuary was indeed still operating. I phoned Lyz, who runs the sanctuary and was told to bring them straight away. What was I to do about the book stall and poor Jenny? Bawburgh spirit came on board, and my next door neighbours, Averyl and Keith Richards, immediately said they would help Jenny set up, my neighbour at the end of our drive, Jean Blake, coming with me to help find the sanctuary, Sandy Munro delivering the cakes Jean had made to Neita Sparkes on the cake stall. Eventually Jean and I found the sanctuary and Lyz was there to greet us, taking charge of the 2 little hedgehogs which she concurred were in a really bad state. The flies I had seen buzzing round had already laid their eggs, and these would have been due to hatch in 2 or 3 hours time. I left the hedgehogs and arrived at the book stall 2 hours late. Thanks again to Bawburgh spirit, Carol Stephens among others had helped out, and book selling was going strong. I shall phone Lyz to find out the fate of the baby hedgehogs - just not today.
Dominic Bell e-mailed 8th July 2013 - 'Last week spent a few mornings at the mill pond watching to see what was about, around 0730hrs most mornings would stand and watch and capture a few photos and her is what appeared. Little Egret most morning along with two Grey Wagtails, a pair of Kingfishers, three Mute Swans, various crossed Mallard and one with five ducklings, a pair of Moorhen with two chicks, Black Headed Gull, Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Collared Dove and Wood Pigeon, Blackbirds, House Sparrows, Song Thrush, House Martins and Swallows, a Chiffchaff, Pheasant, Coot, plenty of fish swimming by, along with Dragonflies and Damselflies, and a couple of biting insects and had the repellent on. One morning one dog having an early dip before breakfast. Have sent an early morning picture from Bawburgh lakes as well. And there was 13 Common Tern chicks in the end over the lakes, as Tony had informed me as they ringed and logged them'.
Note from Lin Saturday evening 6th July 2013 - Much to my delight, as I was closing the curtains last night at dusk, I saw a barn owl flying low over the hedge separating us from the farmer's field, Marlingford Road. What a sight!Dominic Bell e-mailed 20th June 2013 - '....Just to let you know the Common Terns had 3 chicks hatch off at Bawburgh Lakes on the new floating island picture is on the Flickr website as well, just type in Bawburghlakes and look for Domís photoís if not already found. The Canada Geese have many young goslings as do the Graylags, Mallards only duck with young and no sign of the cygnets as of yet or grebes. The walks had really shot up with grass and wild flowers which have encouraged the bees, wasps, butterflies, dragonflies, moths, and birds that feed on them; the Hobby has also been seen a few times darting through the trees and over the lake. Warblers are in and out of their ground nests, think we even spotted a grasshopper warbler but will have to get the picture to prove that one. The Kestrel has also been flying along the meadow closest to the A47 bypass. Herons are still feeding their young, and both the breed of woodpeckers are to and froing as well to the woods and back. Have seen the Egret at the mill this week and also watched the kingfisher fishing there every morning so far'. Dominic Bell e-mailed 2nd June 2013 -' Into flaming June, around Bawburgh Lakes, Saturday 1230hrs till 1430hrs, the first walk around for over a week as weather been hit and miss for a lot of our nature although the nettles and grass are past my knees. Talking to some of the fishermen, spawning is even late as the water is still very cool and normally the fish are more active. The Whitethroat is active with insects in and out of its undergrowth nest (picture attached for gallery) and the Chiff-Chaff sings in a nearby tree, Great Crested Grebes and the Geese are sitting tight on their nests. The Tern Island which Alec floated out into the lake, has Common Terns sitting on it, possible eggs beneath them. There are two Mute Swan nests with the pens sitting on them. Blue and Great Tits are actively in and out of some of the nest boxes around the lakes with food as well, along with Buntings and Warblers in and out of the reed beds. Spotted the Kingfisher along the River Yare section from the A47 bridge round the first of two bends so presume they have a nest in the bank somewhere along there. The heronry is alive with the clacking of young in one of the pine tree tops as the adults fly in after hunting along the lakeside shallows and meadows for fish and frogs. Have attached a picture of one alongside the Highland Cattle on Bawburgh low road catching a frog. A Moorhen sits on her nest in fresh reed beds in the middle of the River Yare. Swallows and Swifts are in abundance catching insects and spiders on the breeze over Lodge Farm Lake. Catkins are out all over the lakeside dropping all over the paths and water like candy floss. Attached is a picture of a Banded Demoiselle, first I have spotted this season. On one of the dried riverside plants from last season three lipped snails spotted looking like a set of traffic lights. The meadows and banks are full of Buttercups, Field Penny-cress, Meadow Saxifrage, Common Milkwort and many others.
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Report from Bawburgh Wanderers Walking Group 12th May 2013 - 'A small group of Wanderers enjoyed a walk at Foxley Wood on Sunday 12th May. Foxley is an ancient wood mentioned in the Domesday Book. In 1988 it was purchased by Norfolk Wildlife Trust who carry out ongoing restoration. Carpets of iconic English bluebells were a magical sight - dainty, dark blue, scented - and in bloom later than usual due to the cold and late Spring. The group identified many other wild flowers with the help of Carol's wildflower book, among them water avens, pink campion, wood anemones, wood sorrel and two varieties of spotted orchids.
Andy Davis e-mailed 9th May 2013 - (Addressed to Alison Green) 'Thank you very much for letting me wander over the Church Farm meadow. As promised I list the birds I saw on the two days I had my hide there. Although I'd hoped to photograph the kingfisher it unfortunately did not stop close enough to me, - it did whizz by four times though! No sightings of otters, though I did meet a shooter who said he has seen otter in the dyke that borders the field. In order of sightings: Wood pigeon, Magpie, Mallard, Red Legged Partridge, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Buzzard, Kestrel, Wren, Skylark, Robin, Swallow, Greenfinch, Yellowhammer, Kingfisher, Stock dove, Pheasant, Oystercatcher, Blue tit, Great tit, Chaffinch, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Collared dove, Moorhen, Green woodpecker, Goldfinch, Jay, Blackbird, Reed bunting, Mistle thrush, Goldcrest, Treecreeper, Sedge warbler, and Lapwing. To be honest I thought there would be more species and I think more summer migrants have been arriving this week. I would expect a greater number of species in later May....'
Notes from Lin 3/4 May 2013 - I saw an otter in the stretch of the river Yare from Cringleford to the UEA, yesterday the 3rd of May. Thought I heard a cuckoo. Then today the 4th May, heard a cuckoo right above my head whilst walking in Cringleford Wood - why can you never see the bird itself? Immediately afterwards saw a fox sitting and waiting at a rabbit warren. Where did all those rabbits go?
Dominic Bell e-mailed 8th April 2013 - 'Well, all has been put back around the Bawburgh Lakes, even the Mute swan had stopped building her nest, but after a few days of sunshine and dry weather towards the end of last week a lot seemed to happen. On a walk round Saturday afternoon Blue Tits, Great Tits, Long Tailed Tits all flitting around with various nest building items in their bills, a pair of Green Woodpeckers seen in and out of a small copse of old woodland, we have seen various numbers of Tufted Duck pairing up along with Teal, Widgeon, Shoveler, Mallard, Great Crested Grebe, Greylag and Canada Geese, hopefully nests will be in abundance soon. The Grey Herons have nested in the heronry as usual. A couple of pairs of Great Spotted Woodpecker have been spotted in and out of the burial grounds coming to the lakes area as well. The Goldcrests are still in and out of the bushes along with Dunnocks and Wrens. Towards the other end of Bawburgh near Marlingford the Wigeon have still been grazing the wetland meadows, the Egrets have been seen a few times - even got some pictures of one in Bawburgh mill pond this morning. On Sunday along Bawburgh Road we spotted one of the Red Kites and a common Buzzard soaring along the hillside watching the rabbits. More to come next few weeks with hopefully some pictures ....'
Dominic Bell e-mailed 24th February 2013 - 'Had a natureastic (fantastic nature) week this week at Bawburgh Lakes, some 07.00hr starts before off to work; was hoping to get pictures of Bitterns this week but got a few different sightings instead. First off we had the battered-eared Muntjak (see Wildlife Photo Gallery) who came up very close on a very frosty morning at start of week. Then on Thursday morning was waiting along side one of the reed beds hopeful of a Bittern showing and on the opposite side of the drive I heard a lot of thrashing about in another reed bed; thinking Bittern had changed tactics I crossed in hesitation and to my amazement an Otter was crossing the River Yare, but what was the noise about. Out of the reeds then came another Otter dragging an enormous pike, and then two Otters behind. Well I have never seen one all year down there and to be greeted with mother and I presume two of her youngsters was worth the early start; still not got the Bitterns. (see Wildlife Photo Gallery for pictures of these Otters.) Well we still have all the usual birds about there, many starting their annual courtships (see Wildlife Photo Gallery of Canada Geese) and fighting for their partner; we have an extra couple of visitors seen on Saturday - a flock of Teals (see Wildlife Photo Gallery) landed and came across one Woodcock which I was not prepared with camera. Also over last weekend the foxes I believe managed to catch and kill one of last years young Swans, as feathers and a wing with bones left along side one of the lagoons'.
Dominic Bell e-mailed 18th February 2013 - in relation to starlings ' this ubiquitous bird is at home anywhere, with a mixture of whistles, clicks and chuckles. It's colours in the sunlight have always amazed me, with the black plumage glossed a bronze-green and purple and a striking sharp yellow beak and pinkish legs. Have tried to catch a picture of one of their fantastic murmurations and no luck as yet, but will keep persevering. Do tend to frighten the smaller birds from the feeding stations when too many try to feed though, so have had to scare a few off on occasions, not nice to think of the little ones and the cold nights'. See Wildlife Photo Gallery for Dominic's pictures of starlings.
Note from Lin Gibson 14th February 2013 - 'Saw a kingfisher today, flying under the metal bridge which spans the River Yare as you walk towards the UEA'.
Dominic Bell e-mailed 13th February 2013 - Note: Dominic now records these sightings on the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) website '...around Bawburgh Lakes, Bawburgh and Easton are Tufted Ducks, Gadwall Ducks, Pochard Ducks, Wigeon, Greylag Geese, Canada Geese, Cormorants, various Gulls, Mute Swans, Herons, Coots, Moorhens, Water Rail, Great Crested Grebes, Mallards, Lesser Redpolls, Goldfinches, Chaffinches, Siskin, House Sparrows, Starlings, Collared Doves, large numbers of Wood Pigeon, Rooks, Long Tailed Tits, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Yellow Hammers, Dunnocks, large number of Blackbirds and Fieldfares, Gold Crests, Carrion Crows, Magpies, Green Woodpecker, Egyptian Geese. Tony, who is one of the bailiffs at the lakes also reported a couple of sightings of the Bittern again and a number of Waxwing feasting on Berries over Colney side of lakes, and that they had been seen on Bawburgh village hall. The surroundings of Bawburgh Lakes are very very wet and muddy under foot at moment, the wildlife seems to be increasing vastly and hopefully more to come as the months get longer and warmer and spring flora appears. The Egret is also around, only one at the moment, dad has seen it on the small stream at bottom of garden in Church Street, I have seen it in Mill Pond and near Marlingford, and has also been seen on wetland opposite Bawburgh School'.
Dominic Bell e-mailed 28th January 2013 - 'Had a walk around the snowy Bawburgh Lakes Saturday morning and not a lot about, came across a couple of deer' (see wildlife photo gallery)' foraging around looking for food, a number of Carrion Crows in different parts of the woodland. A flock of around thirty Canada Geese flew in and decided not to stay as lake frozen over in most parts so flew towards Barford. On the New Road side of the works lake there were a few Tufted, Mallard Ducks, Grey Lag and a few Canada Geese that were already dabbling about, plenty of Common, Black Headed and Herring Gulls standing on the edge of ice, a few Moorhen and Coots, spotted one Water Rail, heard the shrill of the resident Sparrow Hawk and the chaffing of one of the Woodpeckers. On the Colney Lake near to Bowthorpe a number of last years Mute Swans were swimming in a small unfrozen patch of water; they must have flown in that morning or Friday. Around four Grey Heron in various parts of lakes along with Blue, Great and Long Tailed Tits, Fieldfares, Magpies in the tree tops and bushes. So not a very wide variety this weekend. At home after that doing the garden watch with Jack; we were amazed to have three Lesser Redpolls visit the feeders' (see wildlife photo gallery)' along with all our usual visitors Robins, Coal, Great, Blue Tits, House Sparrows, Chaffinch, Wren, Blackbirds, Wood Pigeon, Collared Doves, Jackdaws, Startling, Crows and Rooks, but no Green Finches or Goldfinches this weekend - shocked or what. We even had a non-feathered variety in the form of Ratty' (see wildlife photo gallery).
Jenny Press e-mailed 21st January 2013 - 'There were two fieldfares in the garden for the last two days' (see wildlife photo gallery), 'plus a greater spotted woodpecker, and loads of finches, tits, blackbirds etc. I have a regular group of blackbirds consisting 4 males and one female, could it be a last year's family who have stayed together? If so, I don't expect they will be such good friends come the spring. It is lovely to watch all the birds but the poor things must be finding this weather so very hard. I was worrying about their water freezing, but the other day I watched a male blackbird sitting on my fence, swallowing beaks full of snow, so I suppose they will get liquid that way, though it must be very cold in their little tummys, so I'll keep putting warm water into their bath. I didn't have many apples, crab or coxes last year so I'm putting all my apple and pear cuttings and cores out for the birds every day, its going to get expensive if this weather continues!'.
Dominic Bell e-mailed 19th January 2013 - 'Another Saturday has gone by, ankle deep in snow and another lone twitcher apart from myself plod around Bawburgh Lakes; all is frozen over apart from one part on the works lake which has a number of seagulls dabbling in it. Over the far side running along Hall Road a number of Canada and Grey Lag Geese swim and preen together. Plenty of Tufted and Mallard duck also. A lone Heron takes flight along the edge. While walking the path a Wren shoots in and out of the undergrowth where the snow has left gaps, foraging for what ever it finds as with the Long Tailed Tits and Blue Tits in the trees. A pair of Swans swim along side the lake with their only youngster from last year. I cross to the Colney walk way which runs along Finger Lake? leading to Bawburgh Lake which is nearest to the A47, and spot two foxes playing on a small layer of snow covered ice which is a form of flood plain near the burial grounds, take a few pictures which are on the Flickr website, they spot me and another group on that side and make a run for it. Another pair of Swans float by on the River Yare and poise for pictures. Well time to go home as camera out in cold enough today, hopefully more out next weekend'.
Dominic Bell e-mailed 14th January 2013 - 'Another walk around Bawburgh Lakes at the Colney/Bowthorpe end this Saturday for an hour 12/01/13; saw the following wildlife, 14 x Tufted Duck, 2 x Heron, 5 x Mallard Duck, 3 x Great Crested Grebes, 2 x Mute Swan, 8 x Canada Geese, 5 x Long Tailed Tit, 3 x Gold Crests, 3 x Bullfinch, and 7 x Lesser Redpoll' (see wildlife photo gallery), 'even had to check the field guide on these as first time I have seen any, plenty of Blue Tit and Great Tit, a few Blackbirds, Crows, Cormorants, Sea Gulls, Chaffinch and the odd Rabbit. Hopefully some pictures of the snow around the lakes this week if it stays long enough'.
Dominic Bell e-mailed 5th January 2013 - 'Today with the water levels dropping around Bawburgh Lakes I was able to cover more area in a couple of hours, and what an abundance of wildlife there was too; this is a list of what was there today, 11 x cormorants, 35+ Tufted Ducks, 10+ Mallard Ducks, 6 x Pochard Ducks, 2 x Herons, 2 x Mute Swans and a cygnet, 4 x Goldcrests (see Wildlife Photo Gallery for one of these), 1 x Kingfisher (picture also in Gallery), 8 x Coots, Flock of Chaffinch, Flock of Long Tailed Tits, various Great Tits and Blue Tits around the area, a number of Crows and Seagulls, pair of Yellow Hammers, only 3 x Great Crested Grebes, a number of Magpies, a single Jay, couple of Grey Lag Geese on the water, various numbers of Blackbirds, a couple of Tree Creepers in different spots (picture also in gallery a bit out of focus because of my haste in seeing them). And also a few Rabbits running around, a large number of vole holes dotted around the walks as well. Buds have already started appearing on some of the willows as well, but that will be short lived if frost and cold return as predicted later this week. Well that is it for today Saturday 5th January 2013.'
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Dominic Bell e-mailed 3rd October 2012 - 'Days are getting a bit shorter now and lots of different ducks starting to arrive at Bawburgh Lakes, a lot of young herons are now off fending for themselves and standing their own section of different areas around the lake. We counted 10 cormorants last weekend, lots of different varieties of the tit family, blue, great, long tailed, bearded, and on Tuesday three peregrines had been spotted around the lake after the abundance of wood pigeon, great spotted woodpeckers, lesser spotted woodpecker, green woodpecker, plenty of magpies, and of course all the great crested grebe families that bred there this year. I also see the egret is back in the Mill pond mornings and evenings this week'.
Dominic Bell e-mailed 11th September 2012 - '...I have never seen a wheatear before and the one pictured was a male as more brightly coloured than the female. Normally this bird is found in open steppe land in mountain areas, rocks and dunes. I imagine it was an early migrator as they head to North Africa late August early September, but why this one had ended up at the UEA is anybody's guess....'
Geoff Garnham e-mailed 27th July 2012 - 'Living in the Mill we see the hidden bit of the river upstream, and it is very rare for there not to be a kingfisher in residence, not always seen, but certainly heard, its squeaky call being very distinctive. In the summer months they will fish both upstream and downstream of us and will be seen flying over the Mill in a flash of iridescent blue and it is always a thrill to behold. This year their presence has not been as noticeable, but I suspect that the damp and cold spring has had an adverse affect on their breeding outcomes as we haven't seen any fledglings this year; in previous years we have seen 4-5 birds perching on the back of the rowing boat just behind the Mill, and our neighbours have the photos to prove it!!!'
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