Natural History

We are very grateful to Mike Lawrence, natural history enthusiast, photographer and resident of Trimingham, for contributing this web-page. The photographs and text are all Mike’s own work, observed and captured in his explorations of the fields, woods and sea-cliffs of Trimingham.

 

The Natural History of Trimingham

January 2018

Pink-Footed Goose    A regular visitor to Norfolk over the winter months, arriving here to feed on the sugar beet stubble in their thousands.

 

 

 

Kestrel     A familiar sight hovering in the sky over the cliff edge looking for prey –  amazing how they just hang in the sky even during very windy days.

 

 

 

Bullfinch        Despite being so colourful it can be an elusive and shy bird, often only giving itself away when calling.

 

 

 

Wren     Slightly larger than our smallest bird, the Goldcrest, but with a voice louder than birds twice its size.

 

 

December Bulletin

Strange though it may seem, this is the time of year that grey seals come ashore to have their pups. I visited Horsey twice in December: the first time there were around 950 adults and 550 pups but the second time, a week later, the count was 1750 adults and 1350 pups along the 4 mile stretch of beach. They do a count every Thursday, so the number of pups had almost trebled in a week. You can see them without taking a boat trip. Simply drive 20 miles to Horsey, park in the Pay Car Park behind the dunes and walk about 400 yards to the viewing area and there they are, from new borns just hours old to adult males waiting for a chance to mate.

A recent report tells of a decline in the numbers of insects in our countryside over the past 10 years by as much as 75% with the consequent reduction in wild bird populations across most of Northern Europe. (When did you last hear a cuckoo?) This seems to coincide with the increased use by farmers of Neonicotinoids sprayed on crops in the fields.

I regularly stay in Suffolk on a farm whose owner produces organic beef from his 100 or so cattle. He uses no chemicals for pest control and his animals eat only untreated and unfertilised grass and hay produced on his farm and, guess what, there is an abundance of birds and insects on his land. Richard is now 82 but his sons run the farm on the same principles. The beef by the way is excellent…

As the days are now slowly growing longer, it’s time to start thinking about new plants and seeds for Spring.

 

 

Stormy Skies from Trimingham Beach, taken in July 2017. (Colour of the sea looks tropical!)

 

 

 

 

BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS

 

 

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly         A common and colourful butterfly seen in good numbers around here this year.  August 2017.

 

 

 

 

Comma Butterfly     A lovely bright butterfly. The butterfly gets its name from the white marking on its underside, which resembles a comma. September 2017.

 

 

 

Hummingbird Hawkmoth     A small day flying moth normally seen hovering whilst feeding on nectar, not resting up as in this image. A migrant moth from warmer climates, always a delight to see in your garden. September 2017.

 

 

 

Red Admiral Butterfly   It seems to have been a very good year for this butterfly. September 2017.

 

 

 

 

BIRDS

Common Buzzard    Seen here hovering like a Kestrel over the clifftops looking for food. September 2017.

 

 

 

Wheatear    At this time of the year they are moving south to winter in Africa. October 2017.

 

 

 

Redwing     A lovely but shy thrush which overwinters here in numbers. During October there was a large fall of these thrushes alongside numerous Blackbirds, brought down by the fog. Regular flocks of these can be seen flying in off the sea and then stopping to feed before moving on. I counted at least 50 birds in one flock in the paddock behind my house!

 

Yellow browed Warbler   This little Siberian beauty is seen arriving in the UK during September and October, a scarce visitor but regularly seen around Trimingham.

 

 

 

Sunset on Trimingham Beach. Taken in August 2017.

 

Nature Notes by Mike Lawrence

15th November

Yesterday I found a Glaucous Gull down on the beach amongst the large gulls.

Glaucous Gull:  A large “white winged” gull that breeds in the arctic region but is a scarce but regular visitor to the our shores during winter months.

 

 

 

 

 

23rd November

Golden Plover    These birds gather in large flocks on farmland during the winter: the flock on the western edge of Trimingham has grown close to 200 birds recently.

 

 

 

Skylark     Warming itself up in the early morning sun.

 

 

 

 

Early December

Watercolour!   December started with this colourful sight as rain clouds moved in off the sea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brent Geese    These geese would have moved from their breeding grounds in Russia to spend the winter months here in Norfolk.

 

 

 

 

Harbour Porpoise   After seeing a number off Trimingham during the summer they seemed to have moved away –  so finding a pod of these hunting off the coast about 400-500 metres offshore today was a welcome sight.

 

 

 

 

Further pictures and notes on Natural History can be found on Mike Lawrence’s blog, “Back in Birdland”, which you can access from this link:  

http://backinbirdland.blogspot.co.uk