David Pelling is a cat lover -all kinds- but he had never seen a Jaguar. He has now. He watched one for one and a half hours, taking stunning photographs that he shared with us. To achieve this ambition he crossed over two hundred bridges in the last hundred miles of the long journey to the Pantanal, on a dirt road plagued with dust and straying cattle. Worse, it poured down with rain for most of the time when he got there! David also managed excellent views of giant River Otters and hundreds of Caymans. Those Cayman can be up to four metres long! But those of us who were anxious that the big game might eclipse the birds in the talk need not have worried. We were treated to lovely photos of many, many birds, including the beautiful Hyacinth Macaws, several Toucan species and Rufus Horneros. There were parrots and hawks; Jabiru and Snail Kites, that really do eat snails; kingfishers and the very special Sun Bittern.
Lin Pateman reported on a trip to RSPB Frampton Marsh. A stunning sun rise assisted nine early risers to travel 68 miles in 3˚ temperatures to meet at the car park, where we quickly saw reed bunting, yellowhammer, lots of juvenile goldfinch, and many others. A weasel gave excellent views in the garden at the visitor centre. We headed out into the rapidly warming air and layers were being discarded at the first gate. In the field with the cattle, we saw and heard cetti’s warbler, yellow wagtail, and a female sparrowhawk perched on a fence post. At the 360˚ hide with benches overlooking the reed bed, freshwater scrapes, wet grassland and saltmarsh, we enjoyed clear sights of common snipe, greenshank, marsh harrier, many grey herons and little egrets. We walked on in lovely warm sunshine with no breath of wind, which lasted throughout the day. Up on the sea bank, from where we viewed the Norfolk coast (17miles away) some of the first returning flock of pink feet flew over. Whilst we watched a merlin flying over us and then hunting meadow pipits, our leader called a kingfisher behind us, and we all spun round to enjoy it flying the length of the water. The group picnicked on the garden benches at lunchtime, and then, refreshed, set off to walk the bank (3km) to the river mouth. It was a very pleasant walk and we picked up a few more birds for the day’s list, although not the large numbers of wader flocks that will be seen a bit later in the year
Indoor meetings at Weston Longville Hall for All, 7.30pm. All welcome. Thursday 19th November – Spitzbergen, Kingdom of the Ice Bear by Julia Burton. Thursday 10th December is our Christmas social.
Field trips: Sunday 29th November – High Ash Farm, Caister St Edmunds.