Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Suffolk Bugs (Part 1)

As I mentioned in an earlier post our recent holiday to Suffolk produced more bugs than birds so I need to make use of the pictures I obtained.

Firstly on a walk at Dunwich Heath we spotted the big impressive beetle shown below. My field guide (Complete British Wildlife by Paul Sterry - Published by Collins) says this is a Great Diving Beetle. The margins of the electra and thorax are marked orange-brown. The male has a smooth shiny electra where the females is grooved both the adults and larvae are fearsome predators.

Secondly, the next two bugs were at Snape Warren RSPB which you access by walking down the north side of the River Alde estuary from Snape Maltings, through the reed beds and along the bank of the estuary where the wildlife possibilities are great. The header shot shows the path away from the famous Snape Maltings and the Concert Hall.

The first up I think is a Forest Bug which has an almost rectangular pronotum and broad square shoulders which come to a point. The pale spot at the tip of the scutellum is often orange as in this case. They feed on the sap of a wide range of trees and sometimes damage fruit. They also feed on small caterpillars and other insects.

Then one of the various crickets/grasshoppers on the warren not sure what this is, answers on a postcard to Mike unsprung! Off to get a cricket /grasshopper guide. I would appreciate advice!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Answers on a postcard to _____?

A walk around Snape Warren RSPB produced this hoard an heather plant, we thought it was some form of eggs, do any of the naturalists out there know. I feel like autumn watch unsprung!

Nice area this where we did see a Dartford Warbler moving away from the invaders.

I would appreciate any comments because I am drawing a blank at the moment.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Goldcrest at Flamborough

Not quite true what they said on tonight's weather forecast that the east coast of Whitby, Scarborough, Filey was covered in cloud and sea fret all day we had a few glorious hours in the morning at Flamborough Lighthouse.

We went hoping perhaps for Ring Ouzel and maybe Barred Warbler seen today in the area, apparently the later at North Landing with the majority of Ring Ouzels although one had been seen at the Lighthouse site.

The light was difficult but glorious for two hours, a break for lunch left us in cloud but a nice morning. Lots of thrush family, Song, Blackbirds and the beautiful Redwing. a couple of Brambling, Linnets, Tree Sparrows. A Wren in the hedgerow and then a pair of Goldcrests, real beauties, one of my favourites. I missed the magic shot of one hovering like a hummingbird of the saplings but managed these shots which made my day.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

The true Magpies!!!

I read today that the head of England's 2018 World Cup bid stated in a speach yesterday that Juventus' famous black and white striped shirts were inspired by the Magpies the nickname of Newcastle United unfortunately he got it wrong as they were inspired by the Magpies of Notts County. Yes, we have two football teams in England with the Magpie as their nick name. Notts are the oldest football league club in the land.

All this reminded me of my only other decent bird pictures from last week in Suffolk of the Magpie pictured at Minsmere where I guess they are use to plenty of people. The true Magpie.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Grey day, Grey Heron

Our first days holiday was a wet Sunday, dashing between hides when the rain abated.

My only decent shot was this Grey Heron which landed in a nearby ditch on Minsmeres scrapes and next appeared walking fairly closely pat the hide. It was a very grey day and this was the bright spot!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

A week in Suffolk

We have just got back from a week down in Suffolk, if you are a UK resident I am sure you will realise that the weather has been mixed although we probably did better than in some parts of the UK and Thursday and a few other half days were glorious.

This was the second time that we have stayed on the Alde estuary which is a glorious spot especially for short walks before breakfast on the river side. There was many Curlews, Black Headed Gulls, Herring Gulls, Common Gulls with a small number of Black Tailed Godwits.

Many, many Mallard Ducks a few Widgeon and a good number of Shell ducks.

One morning there was a seal in the middle of the mud flats in the river, no otter this year though as we had two years ago.

Curlew spooked by my approach!

For a week my bird picture highlights were few and posts will follow, but if anything it was a 'Bugs Life' with pictures of dragonflies, butterflies and crickets.

PS. Thge header shot is of the Aulde estuary, this is only 100 yards from the accommodation, a beautiful location.