This website is best viewed using Firefox v.3



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.


May 31st

Two Cuckoos were heard calling to the north of our garden this evening.


May 29th

It was a cooler morning than of late and a pink flushed dawn soon turned into a grey day during which the fields and gardens were treated to a much needed gentle rain. Ossie and I walked the lane early on, hearing a distant Cuckoo calling from across the fields. About half way to the paddocks, where the hedgerow becomes quite mature and more interesting, a snatch of song stopped me in my tracks. It sounded like a Reed Warbler, but any late Spring 'Reed' singing from a coastal hedgerow is always worth double checking for the rare Marsh Warbler. It remained silent for a while and I played an mp3 recording of a Marsh Warbler from my mobile phone hoping to elicit a response. None was forthcoming though. A few more minutes passed and the singing started again, this time for a bit longer, still sounding like the commoner species and without any of the extravagent mimicry usually associated with Marsh Warblers. The habitat was 'wrong', but this bird was undoubtedly a pausing migrant heading for a reed-bed somewhere, for it eventually showed and I could see it was a typical Reed Warbler, a tricky species to record within the parish so I was more than pleased to add it to the year's tally.

On the return leg a flyover Heron was just a Grey (as they always are!) and later, from the garden, an increasingly loud 'cuckoo... cuckoo...' was given by one of two birds that eventually appeared as they flew overhead towards the northwest.


May 26th

Looking westwards from the lane by Laurel Lodge a streak of almost electric blue took a second to register as a Kingfisher, which then disappeared into the grounds of Thatched Dyke where a nearby breeding pair fished occasionally last year. This was my first Happisburgh sighting of one this year so hopefully they are nesting locally again.


May 25th

The Garden Warbler that has taken up residence at Laurel Lodge continued to proclaim his territory today, showing reasonably well at times. Hopefully a female will be impressed enough by his beautiful song to want to stay and raise a family.