2014 started with the hangover of last year. No, I'm not talking about drinking too much, I'm talking about the start of the recovery work from December 2013's surge. I visited NWT Cley Marshes and the place was in a state. Reedbed sections were dumped onto paths and the public hide near the beach was washed away. Even Strumpshaw was effected as salt water was forced down the River Yare and overflowed into the freshwater broads. Luckly, most of it was removed by draining using the sluices.
|My article in local paper|
January wasn't all bad for me though. Not only did I see my first ever glossy ibis near the village of Cley, I was also interviewed by local paper, The Eastern Daily Press (EDP for short) and had a double-paged spread about my wildlife diaries, the bird guide of Afghanistan for my soldier brother and the work I do for Strumpshaw and Mousehold Heath.
This February, I walked amongst thousands of snowdrops at Hoveton House which was like seeing snow in the woods. A waxwing was busy gorging on apples at Ber Street in Norwich for a couple of weeks. But my main highlight for February was at Mayday Farm near Thetford. I was looking for goshawks displaying from the viewing area, but only managed to hear one (which is good enough to me). Instead of goshawks, I managed to finally see my bogey bird. I had been trying to see crossbills for years but failed, so I was really happy when I saw a flock of them here when I wasn't looking for them.
For Dawn Chorus Day, I listened to a variety of bird song at Whitlingham Broad with a stunning sunrise as a backdrop. The birds I heard here included; cuckoo, common sandpiper, green woodpecker and a host of warblers and common woodland and wetland birds. At Strumpshaw on May 14th, I was walking back along the river, when 3 cranes called and flew past me low at my level down the river! They then landed at Fen Hide, where I saw them again. This was the first time I had seen them here and it made me really pleased. Maybe they will eventually breed here next year? Lets hope so! Also that month, I made a visit to Choseley Barns and Titchwell Marshes where I saw my first dotterel and wall butterfly, corn bunting, turtle dove, red-crested pochards and little terns.
August was a quiet month for me. I did however had good views of clouded yellow butterflies while on an exhaustingly long walk from Breydon to Berney Arms and back.
|Two-tailed Pasha on camera lens|
This concludes my great year. 2014 has been full of surprises and new and exciting wildlife experiences. What have I got planned for 2015? Well, I'm still looking for my first badgers and who knows, maybe I will eventually fulfill my dream of swimming with wild fish and marine life. You will have to find out next year. Happy New Year everyone!