Tuesday, 22 August 2017


Ann and I went for a walk over to Caldecote and found a glasshouse with glass (or plastic) furniture, and woven trash-art (bicycle wheels).  On the way back we found giant Shredded Wheats in a field, and the evening light was better.  

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Bentwaters Cold War Museum

BCWM is a small part of the very large air base, now mostly home to industrial units.  It is housed in an above-ground concrete bunker with an operations room and decontamination chambers (anticipating chemical warfare) and has a collection of half a dozen vehicles and three aircraft - a (British) Harrier GR3, a Phantom and an A10 'Warthog'.  The A10 has a 30mm seven-barrel Gatling-type gun and carries 1174 rounds, which it can fire in about 18 seconds if the pilot keeps his finger on the trigger.  It is for use against tanks.  The 81st Tactical Fighter Wing would have supplied A10s to four forward bases in Germany to attack Soviet armour in the event of a Warsaw Pact invasion of West Germany.  

Friday, 18 August 2017

Rural Life

B&Ws taken at Barton this afternoon.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Lego at Welney

Lego figures made of thousands of bricks were displayed at Welney this month.  The frog used 75,000 bricks.  Meredith dissected owl pellets and found skulls and bones of mice and shrews.  Sadie photographed all the Lego creatures and recorded how many bricks each had used.  We had lunch in the Nelson-Lyle Hide.  The day finished with pond-dipping. 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

The Best of the Rest

The bittern moved so slowly and hardly rippled the water.  Its plumage is rich and breaks up its outline.  Despite being no longer in breeding plumage, the ruffs still lived up to their name: pugnax.  
Sandwich terns hovered before diving.  Common terns collected the same little fish the bittern was catching.  The reeve had muddy feet, and the turnstone is well-camouflaged among the mussel and razor clam shells of Nature's waste tip.  Lastly the sandwich tern is a powerful flier.

Gamlingay Woods

From top:  Two of the Speckled Wood; one of the incredibly decorated hind underwing of the Red Admiral; a Brimstone and two views of the Great Pied Hoverfly Volucella pellucens.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Pre-Season Rugby

To Volac Park with Chris (bottom pic) but my lens was too long for most purposes.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Botaurus Stella

On the way back from Kings Lynn, we diverted to Lakenheath Fen, not expecting to find much on the reserve.  In the visitor centre they told us that a bittern was showing well outside the Mere Hide, where I saw one on 1st June.  There was nothing else about, apart from a few pigeons, not on the water, in the trees or in the air.  Some birders confirmed that the bittern was still parading, so I made my way to the hide.  At 12.02 I saw this tiger of the reeds emerge from a lurking position, and called Ann, who was photographing spiders.  The bird was visible, catching tiny silver fish, until 12.28, and Ann was able to get lots of pix.  I took nearly 300, and only 3 were not in focus, as the bird was only about twenty metres away. On the way out we saw not a single bird.