http://www.bouproc.net/ has papers up for download relating to a recent conference on non-native species in Britain. A few interesting bits there, for me it seems a complete cop-out that we are now five years from the time when the Ely Muscovy population was shown to meet all of the criteria to be elevated to category C (it even recovered from a cull) but apparently more information is required as to their reliance on supplementary feeding. Presumably the idea is that as people will continue to feed them this study will be impossible and they can be kept in Cat E indefinitely. Yes they look horrible and have a restricted gene pool, but why have criteria for inclusion on a list if you don't act on it?
Finally I am settled into the new house, albeit with no sofa and lots of boxes of tat that I refuse to throw away strewn around the place. My garden almost backs onto Earlham Cemetery, so I am hopeful of some good garden ticks come the winter. So far I've had Coal Tit and Long-tailed Tit on my new feeders, and a pair of Sparrowhawks have flown over. I haven't found much info about birds in the cemetery other than a lone report of a Firecrest a few years ago, so if anyone has seen anything of note (yellow-browed warbler maybe?) in there I would be interested to hear about it.
In between waiting in for appliances to be delivered I have been out a few times, firstly to have a look at the Lesser Grey Shrike. Unfortunately it was Cromer carnival week, which added some time to the journey (as did the homicidal Romanian at Salhouse who tried to de-rail the train by putting concrete blocks on the track). At least at Sheringham I got to watch some of the Red Arrows flypast whilst waiting for the bus.
A whole field to graze in, but no, it wanted to be in the river.
I also canoed down the River Bure between Skeyton and Coltishall. A pleasant stretch of river, but only one Kingfisher to show for it.
After several years of thinking I should go, me & Cathy finally went to Warham Camp to see the Chalkhill Blue butterflies. If anyone from the council is reading this, an important historical site is probably worthy of some sort of sign directing you towards it. The butterflies are at the end of the flight period and rather tatty, but it was a nice place to spend the afternoon.
Overnight rain has meant that we hadn't put the moth trap out for a while, but of the few that came to the outside light there is only one record of Orange Swift on the Norfolk Moths website this year, making it of particular interest.
Thats enough for now, I'm off to learn Greenish Warbler calls.
I was settling down for lunch on Saturday when I got a call from Gary offering a lift to look for the Hooded Crow that as been seen in the Cley area for a while. Deciding to go (HC was a Norfolk lifer) I got to the train in time and was picked up from North Walsham station. Handily the bird was relocated around the time we got to Sheringham, but some incredibly slow driving along the coast road limited our progress. We got there nonetheless, to find a crowd of 12-15 birders watching the Hooded Crow showing on-and-off in a stubble field. It flew off along with a flock of Woodpigeons, however it doubled back and perched in a coniferous tree nearby. Finding a decent vantage point we were able to watch it for some time, getting decent views and checking that it wasn't a hybrid.
Wader notes. Ignore the bottom left flight drawing, the bird didn't show a white rump, I saw some white and was unable to be sure where. I also have to work on my "side-flight" views, as for most of its brief flight it was side on to me.
To end the day we went for a quick half at the Dun Cow. As we watched a pair of Linnet, the local Barn Owl flew in and landed on a post. We thought it couldn't get any better, until a Hobby flew in from the direction of Cley, swooping past before returning west. Pub tick!