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June 7th

I saw what was almost certainly the same male Marsh Harrier again today, this time closer to home as he searched a wheat field by our lane. I'm guessing that he is a bird with a mate somewhere in the north Broads area, although with the species' utilisation of arable crops in recent years he may have a female much closer by. Somewhat unexpected as I walked Ossie out was the rather feeble song of a Reed Bunting coming from a solitary Willow just north of College Farm. I usually see them here as a winter visitor or passage migrant, and a male sang not far from here for a few days much earlier in the Spring, but I'd had neither sight nor sound of him for weeks so maybe like the recent Reed Warbler, this was a late migrant.

This evening was warm and fine and as I put some rubbish out I became aware that the local Swallows and House Martins had assembled high over the houses, many giving agitated alarm calls. Within seconds the slim form of a Hobby appeared overhead but it seemed disinterested and continued northwards, the Sand Martin colony along the cliffs probably it's intended destination.


June 6th

Up for an early start, Ossie and I took a two hour walk from home, along Upton Way where we took a left towards the lighthouse. Shortly after making this move, a large raptor appeared low over the fields; a hunting male Marsh Harrier which soon turned and sailed off over the village. Lighthouse Lane followed from here and we headed down Beach Road to the car park to make use of the 'dog bin' facilities - something that I wish a great many more dog walkers would do. Along the cliffs next as far as the Coast Watch and a piping call from the direction of the sea revealed an Oystercatcher flying low over the waves, a Happisburgh year tick for me. Exchanging a nod with the Officer at the Watch, we turned to follow the track back towards 'The Forge', attention brought to a pair of Yellow Wagtails by the male's anxious calling, due I think to the passing over of another male. Instead of following the road through the village I decided to take in Grubb Street, the memory of a splendid Rose-coloured Starling along there in June 2001 spurring me on. But it wasn't to be and by the time we arrived back home the day had really begun to warm up. Poor Ossie, although really pleased with his trip out, fell fast asleep in his bed for the rest of the morning.


June 1st

As if to remind us all that today was the 1st day of June, a Cuckoo singing along our lane had followed the rhyme and changed his tune already.