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Saturn, the Moon and Jupiter are a splendid sight in the south-eastern sky now! Tomorrow the Moon will rise partially eclipsed, don't forget, so definitely something worth seeing!




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This morning's sunrise in East Norfolk started pink-orange, became silver and finally gold: a truly spectacular sight (before the clouds rolled right over!)  As I walked over to our small pond to feed the fish, I noticed a large Common Frog sitting on the 'anti-heron' mesh, apparently watching the Koi swimming beneath!

Just a heads-up: when the full Moon rises tomorrow night it will be in eclipse: this will peak at around 10.30. Not a total eclipse, but still worth looking out for, particularly since Jupiter will be nearby too.





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….today's World Cup Final would've been one of there's!
What a day: first good old Lewis triumphed in the British Grand Prix (and what is up with Vettel???) then England pulled off an unbelievable last ball victory against New Zealand. Now if only we had soccer players with the levels of fitness and dedication that Lewis and the cricket team possess....


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There's been a bit of a gathering of Buzzards over the Heath today: half a dozen or so, of which two were the familiar local residents. While cleaning out the pond filters (again!!!) I looked up to see a long-tailed, small-headed, wide winged Buzzard, flying on 'flat' wings. Hoping it might be a Honey, I rushed indoors and grabbed a camera. Of course, the settings were all wrong (ISO too low, no backlight comp. etc) but I managed a couple of images. (These have been colour and brightness enhanced) As you can see, the bird is a Common Buzzard! All of which shows that, in my case at least, the usual discriminators are not always useful when a bird is a) high and b) in silhouette! I add a few images of an undoubted Common for comparison...






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Carboot finds! Coins and a medal spanning history from the Egyptian Ptolemies to Byzantium through to the French Empire! (Nothing cost more than £20!)

The most valuable is probably the George 111 'cartwheel' penny, but (to me!) the most interesting is the triobol of one of the Ptolemies. This was the Greek dynasty that ruled Egypt, culminating in the reign of Cleopatra...
 
 
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Always good when one of these beautiful moths visits the garden: only the second this year, but now the Buddleia is about to flower, they may become more frequent.
 





 
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It seems a lot longer than last November that Linda and I bought a little reef tank on impulse! The long wait for the biological filtration to kick in was quite frustrating, but we eventually started stocking it with captive-bred organisms. Now it's really quite spectacular, with some gorgeous soft corals: gorgoniae, goniaporae, xenias and so on. The original inhabitant (a cleaner shrimp) is now twice as large!






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The usual 7.00am meet-up left Brian, Norman and me in a bit of a quandary: the weather forecast had changed somewhat overnight and our original plan to visit Minsmere seemed likely to put us in the middle of a belt of rain. Accordingly, we headed north to Cley instead.

A walk out to the centre hides gave us distant views of the Green-winged Teal, now so heavily in moult that it was barely identifiable. There were plenty of waders to enjoy, however, including a couple of smart Green Sandpipers and five Whimbrel that flew overhead piping out their seven-note call. After coffee, a move to Bishop's Hide added a fine adult Yellow-legged Gull to the list. The weather seemed to be closing in from the west, so we decided to head inland to Hickling.

In between showers we walked around the reserve, enjoying good views of Hobbies, a Bittern, Bearded Tits and numerous Little Egrets. One little point for the NWT to consider: they don't offer diabetic ice cream, but they do sell vegan products. Now being a vegan is a matter of choice: being diabetic is not!
















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Just a couple of short videos of yesterday's welcome visitor...

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Today (at dawn!) was my monthly bird survey at All St's Hemblington: a decent 'haul' including Song Thrush, Buzzard and Whitethroat. I decided to drive the short distance to Strumpshaw to meet Norman and Brian with a view to arranging a trip out this week. On arrival, I found Norman 'chimping' at his camera: he'd briefly seen a Great White Egret. I suggested we move to Fen Hide, which we duly did: no sign, but then I picked it out flying westwards along the river towards Tower Hide.

Accordingly, we followed it, checking each piece of exposed water until we reached the hide. Opening a shutter really slowly, we found the Egret to the right of the pool with a couple of Grey Herons: a welcome visitor, as was the somewhat distant Barn Owl that patrolled the Fen in front of Dr George's cottage.. Things got even better: just as Brian Arrived a Bittern headed west over the reedbed!












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