An interesting shot of mallard.
And a gull on take off.
The first sedge warbler I have seen this year.
And a reed bunting just after take off.
The Patricia, a buoy laying vessel just off the shore this morning. A lot of oil tankers at anchor just over the horizon.
One of the calves in the fields.
Pair of avocets on the lagoon again.
And a pair of shelduck by the model yacht pond.
Sand martins, house martins and swallows feeding by the cliff top at Easton Bavents. Lots of wrens singing by the sheep paddock.
It was strange to see a beach hut being removed; it has only just been fitted with a steel frame on its base.
A female emperor moth was looking a bit bedraggled.
A pair of shelduck in the sheep paddock, looking for a rabbit burrow in which to nest?
Back from a week in Wales and plenty to see this morning. Oystercatchers, teal, shovelers, shelduck, long tailed tits, blackcap, sedge warbler and the first swallows and sand martins of the year. More cattle have been put out to graze.
Tulips are coming into bloom.
A red legged partridge entertained us close to the sheep paddock, on the new path.
The catkins are looking good.
And the first photo of a butterfly this year.
Some cattle were brought onto the field today, belted Galloway in the gloom.
Green alkanet just coming into bloom.
The kestrel is back hunting.
A cold misty morning, the beach was covered in red seaweed.
Both the magnolia and camellia flowers are coming out.
The beach huts are now back on the promenade and the Cetti is calling regularly. The sun is shining but there is a cool breeze off the sea.
A pair of shelduck on the lagoon and still teal and shoveler. A linnet near the sheep paddock.
There are plenty of bees around and I saw the first butterfly yesterday. The snipe are still difficult to spot but a water rail has been next to the lagoon for the past couple of days.
Two or three thrushes are feeding in the small holding.
There was a rock pipit on the groynes but too far away to photograph. A stoat was chasing a pair of pied wagtails and did a disappearing act.
The violets are doing very well this year along the garage lane.
And the crocus are just out in the garden.
Two interesting birds on the from this morning. A purple sandpiper, I expect shortly to depart north.
And a rock pipit.
After the stormy weather a 'thing' was washed up and caught in the groyne. I am not sure what it is, but it has gone now.
Shovelers by the lagoon this afternoon.
Signs of Spring, snowdrops.
And the first violets.
There are signs of Spring but it is far behind last year when miniature irises were in bloom, together with quince and mimosa. Still no sign of snowdrops.
Two shelduck and a snipe by the lagoon this morning and the pochard is still finding food, usually accompanied by a gull, benefiting from any scraps.
The harrier was around again yesterday. The reeds are being cut back round the lagoon and a lone pochard was on the paddle boat pond.
The marsh harrier has been hunting the past couple of days. There have been two orange ringed (collared) greylags in the fields. Bill Hancock managed to photograph the collars and found that they were tagged in 2012 at Hickling Broad.
The new expensive bins bought by the Town Council succumbed to the surge.
The sea looked very Mediterranean again today.
The teal were having problems on the ice.
One photograph I missed yesterday was an aerial picture that shows the lagoon and Buss Creek (from britainfromabove.org.uk).
Pristine sand at sunrise this morning.
Ice on the paddle boat pond.
And a snipe in the early morning sun.
The seal was back on the sand this morning and there was ice on the paddle boat pond (the first time this winter). Lots of barnacle geese, around 50 greylag and 4 white fronted. Also about 20 lapwing in the field. The North Sea has busy shipping lanes but looking at the contrails this morning so are the skies over the sea.
There are some interesting aerial photographs on 'britainfromabove.org.uk' which I have downloaded.
Taken in 1949.
Taken in 1951
The storm surge and high tide last night attracted a lot of attention and was worrisome. Fortunately north of the pier there was little major damage, there was some relocation of a few beach huts in the car park.
More of the cliff has been lost.
The cliff edge is getting closer to the container that was moved away from it last year.
Southwold and surrounding marshes have been given a severe flood warning from the environment agency. In part this is a result of the high Spring tides caused by the relative positions of the sun and moon. The problem is exacerbated by low pressure and high winds. Moonset this morning.
And at the same time sunrise.
Austerity? Public service cuts? We had some perfectly functional railings at the north end of the promenade. They have been replaced, at what cost?
Too much money and no nous, these were discarded on the marsh along North Road.
The great egret was in the sheep paddock again. I have been told that there are only about 6 of these in the UK at the moment. In the gloom and rather a long way off to get a decent shot.
The purple sandpiper was still on the groynes to the north of the promenade and a great egret in the southernmost sheep paddock. Bill Hancock took some excellent photographs the other day of it, click here to see them. The beach was accessible and more cliff has fallen. The 'face like' carving to the top right of the photograph was about 2 metres from the cliff edge last year.
A very misty murky morning. Purple sandpiper on the groynes and a snipe by the lagoon, both difficult to photograph in the low light.
In the early morning sun this rock looks like it is covered in gold foil, yesterday in the late afternoon sun it took on a silver effect.
Another clear night with Venus shining brightly and Mars visible. This morning there was another frost and gulls finding plenty of food in the surf. Firstly a small flat fish:
and secondly a starfish:
On several occasions there have been large numbers of barnacle geese in the fields, no sign of red breasted geese so far this winter. There has been a lone pink footed goose. This morning there were 4 lapwings on the beach and a seal was fishing just off the shore. A purple sandpiper was with a couple of turnstones. It was cold overnight and the lagoon had a thin layer of ice.
New Year's day was a wash out, nearly half an inch of rain fell. This morning was much better. An early morning dog walker.
And a very bold blackbird.
Another foggy morning which gave some unusual photographic effects. This one i have called 'underneath the lamplight'.
The lichen by the sheep paddock is flourishing.
Merry Christmas. Three wigeon with a large number of barnacle geese. The cruise ship 'Arcadia' at anchor off the coast to the north of Southwold.
This morning the light was bad and it was not possible to photograph the purple sandpiper and sanderling that were just north of the promenade.
Yesterday there were two families of white fronted geese on the fields.
Overnight the air temperature dropped below 0C and there was a hard frost. It was amusing to watch the swans on the lagoon.
A great egret flew past yesterday, the first I have seen. There has been a very strong north easterly which has created a lot of foam.
The sea is up to the base of the cliffs.
A common gull paddling for worms.
Quite a few molehills about.
Bill Hancock saw a couple of swallows very recently, very late in the year to be travelling south. Yesterday gale force winds closed the Orwell Bridge and created quite a swell on the sea.
The rough seas have reduced the beach level north of the sea wall and there is now a metre drop to get on the sand, it has exposed the pyramids and concrete blocks north of them.
The purple sandpiper is still around with the turnstones. Murmurations are often seen over the pig field. This one yesterday before the very high winds and rain overnight.
The cattle have been moved to higher ground. Spot the snipe by the lagoon.
Also a grey wagtail by the lagoon.
A couple of meadow pipits were in the sheep paddock. More than four snipe were around the lagoon and were enjoying the early morning sun with the teal.
Four gadwall arrived at the lagoon, the first I have seen since Spring.
The purple sandpipers are still frequenting the groynes. This morning a snipe was sheltering on cream tea island.
It was a cold misty morning. The sun tried to break through
North of the seawall, the beach levels have dropped by a metre or so.
There was a purple sandpiper on the seawall, just visible through the gloom.
It is interesting to see what a digital darkroom can do.
Last night there was a northerly gale. It brought down a tree in North Road.
The winds were still very strong this morning and I was surprised to see the crane in the carpark which was there to move the remaining beach huts.
The beach has been charged just north of the sea wall and it is easy to step off to walk along to Easton Bavents.
Some of the beach huts have been moved, somewhat later than usual.
A kestrel has been around.
And a pheasant visited the roof of the garden room.
Yesterday a new sighting for me, a water pipit on the lagoon mud. Today a pair of purple sandpipers.
There has been correspondence about the danger of balloons, especially helium filled ones. There is a finite amount of helium on the planet and it is necessary for medical uses, it should not be squandered. If people allow balloons to float away they are a danger to wildlife as this photograph from Bill Hancock shows.
Wheatear still about this morning and a very good view of a murmuration, the starling numbers are growing.
The teal enjoying the shallow water on the yacht pond.
Yesterday there were redwings in the bushes, a redshank on the lagoon and the purple sandpiper on the groynes with the turnstones. This morning the rock pipit was also on the groyne. The teal numbers have grown, they seem to enjoy the shallows of the drained yacht pond, about 20 or so yesterday and fourteen today.
The model yacht pond has been drained so that debris can be cleared and the water levels restored to a depth that allows the yachts to sail unimpeded. Stonechat near the yacht pond. There were a pair of meadow pipits on the sea wall and a pair of rock pipits on the groyne. These were difficult to photograph as they were a long way off with the light behind them.
The model yacht pond is being emptied.
Wheatears are still passing through.
I have not seen a purple sandpiper before, this one was with the turnstones.
There were some geese in the stubble field, either Bean or Pink Footed, a bit far away to identify. Stonechats and reed buntings near the model yacht pond and a lone house martin overhead flying south. The teal numbers are growing. A cock pheasant with no tail feathers has taken up residence on and behind the garages.
There have been half a dozen white fronted geese with the greylag. The first time I have seen any for a while. The garden toad is as big as ever, hopefully keeping down the slug population.
The maize was cut yesterday, it took very little time with the large machinery. I hope the stubble will attract some rare geese.
Snipe next to the lagoon this morning.
Teal on the lagoon.
Some years ago I was told that a house on Marlborough Road was 'sliding' down the slope. It is now being propped up and it looks like some major repairs need to be done.
I have been away in Cardiff. When I returned yesterday there was a stonechat, in the distance, in the gloom.
More of the cliff has come down in the high tides and rain.
This morning quite a few meadow pipits were near the sheep paddock, a snipe on the lagoon and a couple of wheatears including this juvenile.
Cock pheasants have been coughing and parading up and down North Road.
Still meadow pipits travelling south. These three cock pheasants were on the dried out lagoon but had difficulties when they walked into the mud.
Quite a few swallows drifting south this morning. Also numerous meadow pipits flying south. Several dragonflies searching for midges.
Also some green crickets.
Standing stones on a groyne.
A pair of kingfishers at the lagoon together with teal and snipe. The early morning sun was enjoyed by some.
Several Cetti's warblers were calling this morning and a muntjac disappeared into the bushes. Bill Hancock found an interesting book published in 1991 which contains an article on 'A guide to birding in Southwold'. It lists 235 species which indicates the varied habitat we have around Southwold. It also means that our Bird Project has some way to go. A PDF of the guide can be found on the Bird Project page or by clicking here.
A surprise find in a flowerpot.
At the beginning of the week there was very little water and a large pipe was exposed. I believe this was used to pump water from Buss Creek into the lagoon. There is evidence of large iron pipes adjacent to Buss Creek north of the exposed pipe. I am not sure where the pump was located, any information welcome.
Since the beginning of the week a lot of reeds have been cut and last night there was over an inch of rain. The lagoon is beginning to fill.
A few patches of mud left in the lagoon. A very muddy duck.
The water rail was feeding this morning.
Half a dozen or so meadow pipits near the car park.
This morning was autumnal with a heavy mist. The water rail was still near the lagoon, also a few godwit could be made out through the mist.
Also a pair of wheatear near the sheep paddock.
Yesterday the barn owl was in its box. A female Southern Hawker deposited eggs in the moss by the pond.
Whilst a frog looked on.
Wanton destruction in the carpark overnight. Arsonist was lucky that the gas cylinder was empty.
The Himalayan Balsam on the footpath that runs from Reydon to the sheep paddock has spread. The seed pods 'explode' on touch sending the seeds several feet into the air.
I once discovered a wasp nest in a garden shed, it was a delicate thing about the size of a tennis ball. It contrasted greatly with this nest which was in a cupboard in a neighbour's garage.
A couple of weeks ago I took a photograph of some juvenile sanderling which I forgot to post.
The glass makers in Daum in Nancy were expert in capturing images in the Art Nouveau period. Here is a cornflower.
Over the past week the sand martins seem to have departed. Last night a few swallows and house martins drifted south. In the morning there were 6 black tailed godwit in the now, almost dried up, lagoon.
And a juvenile water rail.
The Cetti's warbler is coming back into song and there are still willow warblers and whitethroat near the sheep paddock. Last night the barn owl flew past and along came a spider.
It was very hot yesterday afternoon and, unfortunately for the regatta, it was like the doldrums. Click here for more images.
Five wheatear this morning by the sheep paddock and a couple of flocks of dunlin flying south over the sea. This willow warbler was near the sheep paddock.
Hover fly that resembles a bee (Volucella bombylans).
And a genuine bumblebee.
Another first for me; a distant shot of a whinchat.
There have been many more butterflies in the garden over the past couple of days, including small tortoiseshell.
A few days ago there were two Sanderling with the Turnstones. The lagoon is drying rapidly, several lapwing and a black tailed godwit this morning.
Some swallows have been on the power lines and there are still sand martins along the front. Three wheatear moving south this morning.
The twelve apostles.
Whitethroat are still feeding young.
Swifts seem to have moved south, very few swallows present at the moment and wheatear are passing through.
Also not many butterflies, a painted lady was present today.
The water levels on the lagoon are dropping. This concentrates the prey for waders. Yesterday there were at least 8 little egrets (including juveniles), a juvenile redshank and lapwing.
More dragonflies are appearing including this common darter which was warming up in the early morning sun.
House sparrows seem to have been very successful this year. They are attracted to fat balls and there must have been fifty or so in the garden.
More cliff fall at Easton Bavents this morning.
Lots of sand martins overhead, the second brood must have hatched. Four little egret, a common sandpiper and a redshank on the boating lake. Near the sheep paddock, a common redstart, which I have never seen before.
Why? This bank is the home to numerous solitary bees. Putting steps here has destroyed this important site, the benefit - it cuts out a 10 metre walk.........
There is enough natural erosion let alone human intervention. Exactly a year ago these concrete pyramids were at the base of the cliff.
It has not been a good year for butterflies, but there were several red admirals in the garden.
The eryngium is turning blue.
Light not so good this morning. Little egret by the model yacht pond.
And common sandpiper in the distance.
Several song thrushes could be seen along North Road, this one had no tail feathers but was collecting food, presumably for a new brood.
A yellow sea poppy on the cliffs at Easton Bavents.
A stroll along North Road was very colourful. Click here for more images.
The kingfisher was in front of the Boating Lake cafe this morning, the first time in months. The monarch of Easton Bavents.
The bindweed is thriving.
There were plenty of bees next to the sheep paddock yesterday after lunch. Flight of the bumblebee.
I cannot identify this bee with a white head.
And I have never seen a large skipper butterfly before.
25C two days running. Lots of swifts screeching overhead. The cows have been moved to the far left field and are wading knee deep in the grass. Three other cows plus their calves are in the middle field. There was quite a dew this morning.
The track to the garage is looking very colourful again this year. Click here for more pictures.
I haven't seen stonechats for several months but this female showed up yesterday morning.
I have not seen a pochard on the boating lake before but this one showed unexpectedly this morning.
This poppy attracted a lot of pollen beetles.
There have not been many damselflies around this year. I think that this dull brown one is sympecma fascia.
There are a few pied wagtails by the beach huts.
It was a beautiful sunny morning and the owl was hunting over the fields.
This young wren was well camouflaged.
The whitethroats are still singing.
And looking for food such as this scorpion fly.
The orchids are still in bloom.
And the brambles are coming into bloom.
And this oystercatcher didn't like the sight of me.
A new brood of cygnets has appeared in the fields. It is now possible to walk up the beach as the levels have risen.
The sand martins are feeding their young and encouraging them to leave the nest so that they can have a second brood.
There are plenty of colourful poppies on the cliff top.
The barn owl was hunting again at 6.30 this morning. The nuts in the garden feeder are disappearing quicker than expected.
Bill Hancock shot this video clip of a Great Spotted Woodpecker by the boating lake. Click here.
The barn owl was quartering the fields this morning. More cattle have been brought to the field including two belted Galloway and calves, one black and white, one brown and white, and a large Red Poll bull.
I think that this metallic green creature is a flower beetle.
Seven swans a swimming.
The sun appeared, at last, yesterday afternoon and was enjoyed by frogs in the pond.
It also brought out bees and various insects.
And a sedge warbler looking for a tasty meal.
There was a very heavy mist this morning, conducive to seeing spiders webs.
The orchids are coming into flower.
Colder weather than at Christmas and very strong northerly winds. Bill Hancock took a video clip from the pier yesterday. Click here to view.
I have been in Wales for a week. On my return a half dozen or so cattle have appeared in the fields.
The Emden goose is barely visible in the grass and buttercups that have grown up but she still seems to be sitting on a nest. In the garden the whitebeam is beginning to flower and the alliums are coming out.
I was given an excellent booklet created by the Touching the Tide project. It is Battling the Elements: Southwold's changing fortunes. A hard copy can be obtained at the Southwold Museum. A PDF can be obtained by clicking here.
A reed bunting likes the sunflower hearts in the seed feeder. Plenty of whitethroats and chiffchaffs about.
Saw this feather on the marsh wall.
The marsh wall path has dried out.
Spotted flycatchers are passing through. This one was in the bushes near the sheep paddock.
Yesterday a marsh harrier took a young moorhen and was mobbed by crows.
Collecting bee pictures for this year's beehive.
The warblers were in good voice this morning.
Is it really mid May? A strong cold northeasterly has whipped up the sea and the waves are crashing over the promenade at high tide. This was taken as the tide was going out.
Plenty of sedge warblers about and a few reed warblers, but no sign of a cuckoo.
The shovelers have departed the lagoon but there was a young coot there this morning. Two common sandpipers have been by the model yacht pond.
Several whitethroats are in the trees near the sheep paddock.
Still no cattle but the dandelions are beginning to form heads.
It was a good weekend for birds. Bill recorded new species for the bird project and managed to photograph them. They included: little stint, Temminck's stint, greenshank and ringed plover (tundra). The pied wagtails have nested under the solar panels again and appear to be feeding.
The marsh harrier appears regularly.
A pair of shelduck is on the lagoon along with a number of broods of ducklings.
I have been away in the US for about 10 days. During my time away the swifts have appeared and two broods of goslings have hatched, one of the Emden geese seems to be sitting on a nest. The whitebeam in the garden is just coming into leaf and frogs are sitting by the garden pond.
A family of ducks (12 ducklings) were at the far end of the lagoon.
Still no sign of the cattle.
A long tailed tit was hovering, like a humming bird, above a bramble presumably catching midges.
A long shot of a Cetti on top of a bush.
A pair of male Cetti's can be heard most mornings along North Road, also this morning, a pair of kingfishers were flying over the reeds. The first house martin of spring also flew over, almost at the same time a possible sighting of a whimbrel high in the sky. Yesterday radio controlled yachts on the model boat pond.
This morning the barn owl was hunting over the reeds, a snipe sat by the side of the lagoon and swallows were evident.Towards Easton Bavents there were sand martins two Cetti's were calling by the lagoon and the sedge warblers are establishing their territories.
In the garden I saw a blackcap fleetingly (a first) and the magnolia stellata is in bloom.
There was a frost early morning.
Still no sign of the cattle on the fields but the first swallows have arrived. The beach huts to the north of the pier have been moved back on to the promenade.
The bluebells have come out on the marsh and the daffodils are still blooming.
The sedge warblers have returned to the reedbeds and there were a number of blackcaps catching mosquitoes this morning.
Another Bill, Bill Eborn emailed me recently to say that he had seen the first bat of the year, probably a pipistrelle.
Bill spotted and photographed a new bird for the bird project, a great crested grebe. It was quite a way out to sea, I haven't seen one on the sea before.
He also photographed the first blackcap of the season.
Several firecrests have been spotted and the first sand martin. Also long tailed tits and chiffchaffs are feeding in the trees.
Snowdrops and daffodils are still in flower on the marsh and the green alkanet is coming into bloom.
The alexanders is getting taller and also blooming.
A marked contrast to the weather this morning, sunshine and far less windy. Two Cettis calling and a pair of shelducks on the lagoon.
The prom is being cleaned in preparation for the beach huts.
I caught sight of the little grebe on the lagoon but it was too far away to photograph. The container on the cliff top has definitely been moved away from the edge. I braved to the 60 mph southerly gales this morning and took my little camera to capture the waves - flat battery! I think they were the strongest winds that I have experienced here with waves being created on the paddle boat and model yacht ponds.
Had a glimpse of the Cetti which is calling most mornings. A pair of song thrushes reappeared on North Road but seem to have stopped singing. Goldcrests have also reappeared.
The container on the cliff top appears to have been dragged inland a little. The photo this morning was one hour off high tide.
Some of the beach huts were moved from the car park today.
I mentioned seeing a coot the other day. They are still around having been absent for a few years.
The linnets were enjoying the morning sun.
And a greenfinch shows well against a blue sky.
There have been some very low and high tides. At low tide the observer post is revealed (far right) which, around 1975, was on the cliff top.
Two pairs of shelduck and one pair of oystercatchers are regularly in the fields. The marsh harrier was hunting yesterday and there was a coot on the lagoon, the first I have seen for a long time. A few mediterranean gulls are by the boating pond.
And a collared dove.
The container is getting closer to the cliff edge and the picture shows how much erosion there has been since last summer when the concrete blocks were next to the base of the cliff.
In the first 9 days of March we have had 2.8 inches of rain. At the beginning of the week there was a sprinkling of snow.
Over an inch of rain has fallen this week. Despite this there has been some sun and blue skies.
Little Red Riding Hood.
The mimosa is still in flower.
And also the witch hazel.
Starling in the early morning sun.
The currents have scoured the beach and revealed what looks like an ancient tree trunk.
The kestrel has been hovering over the fields on most days. Pairs of oystercatchers and shelduck are also around. The first daffodils are showing on the marsh.
We are constantly told how little money local authorities have. Near the sheep paddock is a perfectly serviceable footpath sign.
Now on the other side of the path courtesy of Suffolk County Council.
What a waste of time and money.
The first flower on the camellia this year.
The goose that sounds like a dog is back at the boating lake.
Another frosty morning and clear blue sky. The barn owl has been showing well. The first two lambs of the season.
Last night was the coldest of the winter (-2C) with a hard frost this morning.
About a metre of cliff has come down where I used to stand to take photos, more has fallen all the way along to Easton Broad.
The song thrush can be heard most mornings but usually keeps out of sight.
The last few days have seen very high tides and strong north-easterly winds. The waves have been pounding the sea wall and spray filling the car park.
The rough weather has also washed up peat like material.
The barn owl has been over the fields early in the morning and late afternoon. There were a couple of mediterranean gulls (the one with the black head) with the black headed gulls this morning.
The kingfisher posed in the sun this morning.
Large amounts of cliff have come down in front of the row of Victorian cottages at Easton Bavents. How long can they survive?
I took a picture of the cliffs yesterday, just after sunrise. Note the position of the concrete pyramids some distance from the base of the cliffs.
This was taken at the end of July 2015. The blocks are at the base of the cliff.
Very windy today and a marsh harrier has been swooping over the reeds. The bush on the cliff top has finally succumbed.
A red breasted goose appeared with the barnacle geese yesterday, it has not been around for a very long time. Plenty of blackbirds and house sparrows in the bushes along North Road.
I have never seen a pheasant up a tree before.
The mild weather has produced some anomalies in the garden, iris, violet, snowdrop, primrose and witch hazel all in bloom.
Barnacle geese have been feeding in the fields, no sign of red breasted geese yet this winter. A few gadwall are on the model yacht pond but at the far end and so difficult to photograph.
A few greenfinch in the tree tops.
-2C this morning and a very clear sunrise.
The first time ice has formed on the boating lakes this winter.
The air temperature dropped to 0 last night and there were the first snow flurries of winter driven by the north westerly gales.
Dark clouds over the pier this morning. Several ships are at anchor in the bay, presumably sheltering from the gales.
A pair of stonechats in the early morning sun, yesterday.
Just after lunch today, more of the cliff has fallen.
Yesterday morning 1 hour before high tide. I have never seen the sea so close to the cliff base all the way up to Easton Broad. There are high tides at the moment and the low pressure means the sea level is higher. For every drop in pressure of 1mB there is approximately 1 cm rise in sea level.
This morning 2 h before high tide.
There was some late afternoon sun yesterday. Flashing lights.
This black headed gull was in the sunlight.
And was sent on its way by a common gull.
About 50 Brent and the same number of Barnacle on the fields together with a lone shelduck. I usually see only 3 or 4 Brent.
Over an inch of rain so far today and gale force winds. One of the gardens in North Road shows the effects of the rainfall over the past few days.
Very grey and very wet this morning. I liked the texture in this painting detail of a groyne (taken yesterday) which shows up well in the glancing sunlight.
Twenty or so teal on the fields together with a few greylag and barnacle geese. Just before sunrise there were interesting colours on the shoreline.
Happy New Year. There was a frost and clear skies!
The sunrise was good.
A micro garden? Mosses and lichen.
Very strong southerly wind this morning. The low tide and winter currents have exposed a lot of the beach to the north of the promenade.Click here for more photos.
After mornings of grey gloom there was a clear moon set.
And sunrise. Click here for more images.
Christmas Eve and quince in flower.
Lots of detritus on the beach and the low tide exposed the old observation post and pre-sea wall wood structures. Click here for more images.
The gorse is looking very colourful in the sheep paddock. A kestrel has been hovering over the fields the past couple of days and a marsh harrier was gliding over the reeds this morning. I tried to find the waxwings in Reydon but only saw blackbirds.
I was pleased to see a goldcrest.
Bill Hancock has taken some excellent pictures of waxwings in Reydon, more can be seen on the Bird Project page.
The very mild weather seems to have discouraged the geese coming to the fields. The cows have now all been moved to higher ground. The kingfisher is still a regular visitor but will not let me get close.
Xmas has arrived in North Road.
I saw these fruticose lichen near the sheep paddock
Very dull and grey again this morning. The shoveller numbers are growing although the teal have disappeared. More gadwall about as well.
I have been up to Wells for a few days. On my return the cows have been moved up to higher ground and are on the stubble where the maize was harvested. There are 3 highland cattle still on the middle lower field. A long shot in the gloom.
Bill and I have published some of the photographs from The Bird Project in a book called 'The Birds of Buss Creek'. It is available on line as an ePub book or as hard or soft cover. All profits will be donated to the Southwold Voluntary Help Centre.
Yesterday the sunrise was visible, today it's very grey with drizzle in the air.
Now you see me now you don't, a blue flash in the sunlight and the kingfisher had disappeared. Half a dozen gadwall on the fields and the shovellers are still on the lagoon.
The barnacle geese are growing in numbers.
Storm 'Barney' passed through last night and blew over benches at the boating lake and damaged one of the flag poles.
A couple of ships moored off the coast, presumably to shelter from the rough sea. They were the Fiona Swan registered in Denmark and another chemical tanker, The Levana, registered in Gibraltar.
The heron was skulking about.
A grey heron and a kingfisher were hunting the minnows this morning and six or so meadow pipits were by the boating lake.
The winds and tides have scoured out the beach again and there is quite a drop to get on the beach to Easton Barents.
A few meadow pipits around this morning and a stonechat.
The kingfisher was by the paddle-boat pond and nearby a sparrowhawk was camouflaged in the bushes.
The teal are still very flighty but the golden triangle at the rear is colouring up well.
Bill photographed a new bird for the project page, a red throated diver. Also on the page are some new photos of the kingfisher that he captured. I was trying to photograph some teal and also shovellers but they were very nervy.
The harvest of the maize was suspended, probably because of the rain, but it was completed after dark last night using the headlights of the vehicles involved. The kingfisher was back on post for a lunchtime snack yesterday and the black headed gulls seemed to have learnt the same trick, diving off the side and returning to eat the fish.
Another very gloomy day but the maize harvest can just about be seen; a few weeks later than last year.
Several hundred barnacle geese in the fields this morning along with a few greylag. I had a couple of glimpses of the kingfisher again and a male shoveller with three females.
Barnacle geese are beginning to congregate in the fields and there appear to be more gulls about. The maize has still to be harvested. Another shot from the foggy day.
Despite the fog yesterday we did see the kingfisher, a Cetti's warbler and a rock pipit. The rock pipit can be seen on the groynes through the gloom.
I was surprised to see a late rose.
Today I saw the kingfisher twice, surprisingly, on one occasion, on the sea wall to the north of the promenade. A shelduck was on the lagoon and a marsh harrier flying overhead.
Remnants of Halloween on a very foggy day.
However the damp conditions were good to show up the spiders' webs.
The fog persisted for most of the day with some very hazy sun in the afternoon.
Bill got some great shots of the barn owl the other morning. More can be seen in the bird project folder or by clicking here.
The highland cattle are still in the field and are easier to photograph.
Also the house sparrow was easier to photograph.
Another very dull morning. Six or seven turnstones on the groynes and a long shot of the kingfisher but it is very skittish.
Hundreds of greylag geese were flying south west this morning. I saw some more coming down the coast in the distance but was surprised to see that they were, in fact, cormorants.
Despite being late October, there are still poppies in flower.
The nerines are looking very colourful.
Yesterday I submitted my View to the North article to The Organ. In it I said that there had been no frosts in October. This morning!
The reeds are looking very golden in the evening sun. Last night a short eared owl was out hunting, this morning a barn owl was looking inquisitive.
A few meadow pipits are around.
The beach huts have been taken off the prom today and the cows moved to a new field closer to the sea (I wonder how long it will be until they are moved to higher ground?).
Three of the original four cygnets are still with the parents and the three emden geese are also in the field. The goldcrests continue to entertain. A full set of pictures (both Bill's and mine can be seen here).
The marsh harrier was flying over this morning, not been here for a while. Also two swallows, very late to migrate south. I have only seen one or two goldcrests in the past. This year there are lots.
There was good light this weekend for photographs and quite a few birds around. A gold crest.
Long tailed tits.
And a juvenile water rail.
A kestrel is a frequent visitor and the barn owl has been around most evenings. There are dragonflies still about.
The moon was very clear in the early morning sky.
There have been some spotted flycatchers around.
And the Angel of Southwold?
Whilst I have been away, Bill Hancock has taken some good photos of the kingfisher. More can be seen on the bird project page.
A couple of days ago I saw a very pale wheatear, we thought it may be a rare desert wheatear but it turned out not to be.
The same afternoon a kestrel posed for me.
The strong northeasterly created quite a lot of foam this morning.
Lots of jackdaws around at the moment.
I was reminded of the film Ice Cold in Alex when I saw this coach stuck in the sand!
The plumage on the starlings is very smart this time of year and it appears to have been a very successful breeding season for the wagtails.
I was surprised to see some recently fledged swallows so late in the year.
A juvenile pigeon in the morning sun.
By accident I discovered a setting on the camera which produces interesting effects. Here a view of North Road.
Earlier this week. A juvenile reed bunting.
The sedge warblers are still feeding up before migration.
And a stand-off or pow wow at the sheep paddock.
Dismal day again, typical Bank Holiday. However brightened by first sighting, for me of a wryneck. It was near the Harbour Inn.
Rain stopped play this morning. Yesterday we watched some teal arrive at the lagoon and in the bushes there were some juvenile reed buntings.
Several parasol mushrooms are appearing.
There was a gale blowing for the model yacht regatta yesterday, this created a certain amount of confusion for three of the boats. Click here for more pictures of this year's events.
The swallows are still gathering before their departure south.
There was a 40 mph wind blowing straight up the coast this morning. Despite the inclement weather I managed a shot of a lesser black backed gull which is good as we did not have a picture for the bird project.
Half an inch of rain yesterday afternoon, both owls at dusk hunting. Common sandpiper taking off by the model yacht pond.
Yesterday was hot and barely a breath of wind. Saw this chiffchaff in a willow tree near the sheep paddock.
This morning a 25 mph wind straight off the sea and the birds were hunkered down. This Talbot London (1932) was parked along North Road.
Heavy rain this morning which is not conducive to photography. There were very few people on the front, a few dog walkers, including this one.
I wonder if the dog's name was Fergus.
The turnstones are on the rock groynes and are still in their summer plumage.
Whitethroat near the sheep paddock.
The paddle boats looked very colourful yesterday.
The Lowestoft model boat club shared the paddle boat pond yesterday.
The wagtails have nested again under the solar panels.
A southern hawker dragonfly, in the garden, was waiting for the sun to warm it up.
Early Sunday morning we saw an encounter between a female marsh harrier and the resident barn owl. Bill Hancock got this excellent shot.
Burnet moths are day flying moths. This I think is a six spot.
A willow warbler near the sheep paddock.
Yesterday was a regatta day at the model yacht pond. Hugh Williamson showed me his 1930's clinker built yacht. Click here for more images of the regatta.
The recent stormy seas have made it easier to walk north up the beach. Although there is more sand there is still a lot of debris from the Boggis' attempt to halt the erosion.
The Normans built castles that lasted centuries, I am surprised this one lasted through the 0.61 inches of rain since yesterday lunchtime.
The very high winds made the sea very choppy, this was 3 hours before hight tide.
The Hertfordshire was at anchor 1 nautical mile off the coast and was pitching and rolling in the swell.
My rain gauge has registered nearly 4 inches of rain in the past 18 hours. This has supplemented the water that has been pumped into the lagoon and the levels look good now.
However the unprecedented amount of rain has also caused some flooding along North Road.
Unfortunately the paddle boat pond has now overflowed and some pumping out will be required for the fun day today (hopefully the rain will stop).
Along the beach I noticed a mystery item. However I think that it is probably the float from the pipe that has been used to pump water from the sea. It has been very rough overnight and has possibly become detached.
Pumping sea water into the boating lakes started yesterday. There is now enough water in the paddle boat pond for the fun day tomorrow. This is in aid of the Alexis Ruthven Trust Fund. For details of the fun day see:
Visited Darsham this morning to see alpaca. Another two arrivals. The first, June 30th, Bellucci.
The latest, born yesterday, which will also be named after a Bond girl, has very long legs.
There is an aerial shot of the boating lakes taken around 1990 on the post 1900 history page of this website. It shows well delineated islands and very few reeds.
The drying up issue needs some urgent action. Short term this can be achieved by pumping water from the sea. Long term, I think that the solution is to dig out the silt, which can be put on the islands, reduce the reed bed size (they drink water) and open up the freshwater supply under Mights Bridge. A large scale Ordnance Survey map shows a ribbon of water running parallel to North Road from the bridge to the lagoon.
The deeper water will not heat up so quickly which will reduce evaporation. I remember boating on the lagoon and my recollection is water that was 2 - 3 feet deep. It is interesting to note that some of the older Southwold residents tell me that the fishermen used to dredge the lagoon in the winter months. If necessary, water can be supplemented by pumping from the sea, but if this is done repeatedly the salt levels may build up. An alternative would be to dig a bore hole. The boating lakes are an asset to Southwold and a haven for wildlife, they need preserving.
The goldfinch like sitting on the TV aerials and sing loudly.
I haven't seen any teasel in the grass verge by North Road before.
The situation at the Boating Lake lagoon is getting dire. I think pumping water from the sea will begin on Wednesday.
The barn owl was hunting yesterday morning and a kestrel overhead. Whitethroat were singing in the hedges. There are lots of gatekeeper butterflies around and some meadow browns.
And lots of calves in the field.
I was pleased to see that a number of dragonflies have emerged from the pond. I could see at least 3 exuviae.
I also caught a glimpse of a comma butterfly.
The boating lake has almost dried out, a number of us are very concerned about this. Cathy Ryan sent me this email.
Please share this with any 'birders' you know, we must get some help. The Southwold Boating Lake is in big trouble, there is no virtually no water in it.. Today I have removed two dead chicks.. watched the Kingfisher fly around looking for food and the Stoat move in to eat the failing chicks.. this is heartbreaking. What's even more distressing is seeing all the wonderful work Penny and David Ball have put into this little gem for the town, and are now literally watching their livelihood disappear and they say their pleas for help seem to go unanswered.
The drying up of the lakes and Buss Creek is not new, every year lately there has been some dropping of the water levels.. but this year is particularly bad..over the last few years there has been no real management of the land and dykes around Buss Creek. I am told the Creek was dammed many years ago to help create a fresh water fishing lagoon.. and so water has not run under Buss Creek Bridge for years, and so the water table has been affected. The salt water pipe that used to run into the sea and help replenish the lakes was capped during the last sea defence work. So now water is not getting as far as the lakes at all. This area is an amazing wildlife spot and attracts so many visitors every year. I feel the community has to help, but I am not sure how.
The Boating Lake is currently unable to use the paddle boats, which draw families in, as the water is too low.. forthcoming ' family charity fun days', and the highly popular Model Yacht Regatta , which has been run for 100s of years may also be affected. David tells me.. he has to do something now.. it has become an urgent issue , he has had a quote for £18,000 to reline and get the sea water pump back.. but of course the cost of this is not one they can bear on their own, and would they be allowed to do it?!! This would seem to be a community, environmental and local authority responsibilty, can we all work together to make something happen..
Please can you support Penny and David in seeking help, it needs to happen in the next few days as there is only a thimble full of water left, before we not only lose the wildlife, but David and Penny risk losing their livelihood. I have attached some pictures taken this week. Please write or contact Susan Stone 01473897396, Susan Stone@suffolkwildlifetrust.org or Chris Strachan 03708506506, email@example.com
There are quite a few butterflies about including gatekeeper and small copper.
The swans that were nesting by the sheep paddock have four cygnets and have moved them closer to North Road. I managed this long shot last night.
It has been surprisingly cool for the first days of June. The cold north east wind keeps the temperature down but has not deterred this swimmer at 7.00 this morning.
Another bee theme photo.
I haven't seen the gadwall at the boating lake for a while. This time with an Emden goose.
Its good to see the barn owl back in the nest box.
And strange to see a little egret landing in the top of a tree.
A barn owl was over the fields for the first time in months, where there must be 50 or so greylag geese. The bees also are attracted to the allium flowers.
I have changed The Bird Project slightly. Most of the birds are within 1 km of the boating lake. A few are within 2km of Mights Bridge. This gives a wider scope of habitats and includes part of the river. This morning 3 ocean going rowing boats set off from the harbour in aid of charity.
The reed bunting is a regular visitor to the bird feeder.
The blue tits are busy feeding young in the box.
Whilst great tits have fledged from a nearby nest.
The sand martins are also feeding up at Easton Bavents.
Whilst a sculpture looks on (a giraffe?).
There is a lane off Pier Avenue that runs down to a row of garages. Last summer I photographed some of the wild flowers and self-seeded cultivated ones. There is quite a colourful display at the moment and I have combined last year's pictures with new ones. They can be viewed here. One of the plants, which I had to look up, is Garlic Mustard. Orange tip butterflies like it. It is only the male that has orange tips to its wings, just missed out on a photograph yesterday.
I couldn't resist these at the boating lake.
There are numerous swallows and sand martins catching insects.
Quite a few ducklings on the boating lake.
I have started a new project with Bill Hancock. The 'Bird' page has now changed and we are listing and adding photographs of all the birds that we see in a 1km radius of the boating lakes. It will take some time to add the photographs but it is surprising how many species can be seen in such a relatively small area. We hope you enjoy the new page.
A couple of years ago I was told that the prolific lime green plants next to North Road were Angelica, a couple of days ago I learnt that they were not. In fact they are Alexanders, a plant introduced into the country by the Romans. I much prefer the cow parsley which is beginning to flower.
I also learnt that some of the wheatears that are passing through are Greenland Wheatears, there was one by the boating lake this morning.
It is good to see the bluebells appearing on the marsh.
I have been up to Wells for a few days where I heard a cuckoo (no sign of the North Road one). Plenty of wheatear, blackcaps and whitethroat in the hedgerows. The first thing I heard this morning was a Cetti! Linnets and lots of lambs in the sheep paddock.
The swallows are far more numerous and the first few wheatears are passing through. This one was rather strange, no pale brow but a flash on its neck.
The undergrowth on the Reydon side of Mights Bridge has been trimmed back to reveal much more of the pillbox.
Happy St George's Day
Several blackcaps were singing at the end of North Road but they are very good at hide and seek.
Quite a lot of activity in the past couple of days. The farmer has started to bring the cattle back to the fields.
The first ducklings have appeared.
A few avocets have arrived.
And a yellow wagtail by the model yacht pond.
Last September I reported about the TV programme 'Digging for the Past'. The University of Cambridge has created a report on the findings. The report can be found here.
Last Friday a TV programme mentioned that magnolias were pollenated by small beetles.
Went for a walk round the North Road fields and marshes this morning. Saw both the blackcaps and Cetti's warblers but they refused to be photographed. A chiffchaff turned its back on me.
A sedge warbler tried its hardest to hide behind the reeds making focusing difficult.
The beach huts being moved back onto the prom were easier to snap.
Good news, I saw swifts today. Bad news, 2 very large oil tankers at anchor 6 miles off the coast. This is the Valcadore, registered in Italy.
We seem to have gone signage mad.
The shovellers and gadwall seem to have departed but swallows were in the skies this morning. The warblers have returned and from the glimpses I have had they appear to be sedge. Bill Hancock got a very good photograph of the blackcaps which have also arrived.
Visited the alpaca at Darsham yesterday. Nubarron was one of the team taken to the national show. He came 6th in his class, junior male.
Heard the warblers in the reeds for the first time this Spring. They refused to be photographed unlike this reed bunting.
More glimpses of the Cetti's and this pheasant walked away whilst it was being snapped.
The Spirit of Suffolk which I photographed off the beach was there to fit a new marker at the end of the groynes.
I have seen the Cetti's warbler several times but it refuses to be photographed. No sign of the owl but the harrier was here this morning. Also the turnstones were on the groynes yesterday, the first sighting of them in a while. About 40 linnets were in the trees by the sheep paddock.
Cetti's warblers can still be heard but are being elusive. There was a frost last night and a mist over the fields this morning.
The North Road Song Thrush was in evidence.
An oystercatcher was drinking whilst its mate watched.
The huts to the south of the pier were being moved back onto the prom.
The Suffolk Spirit was at anchor about 50m off the beach.
A very interesting 1933 Talbot 105 in the car park today. It has a straight 6 3 litre engine with preselect gears.
And a variety of Minis parked at the boating lake.
It has been a very good year for violets.
The mimosa is in flower in the garden.
Beach huts and bikes in an overflowing car park on Easter Saturday.
The rookery at Mights Bridge survived yesterday's gales.
However the high winds have drifted the sand over the prom, I am not sure about the wisdom of clearing the sand until the winds drop.
I like the contrast between the red breast and the green lichen.
Strong winds from the west today. There was a kestrel hunting yesterday, the first one for a while. I also saw the remains of a snake by the model yacht pond, initially I thought it was sloughed skin but the rib cage could be seen.
The Dutch registered general cargo ship, Aspen, was at anchor just under 2 miles out to sea.
This morning there has been the first substantial rain for weeks. Yesterday a cormorant was having a big yawn.
The barn owl was out yesterday evening, the first time I have seen it for a while. The green alkanet (a strange name given its bright blue flowers) is coming into bloom, rather earlier than normal.
A flock of linnets were flying around the sheep paddock.
The low spring tides are revealing a large sandbar by The Denes.
The black redstart was on the posts to the north of the sheep paddock and a snipe was well camouflaged in the long grass immediately to the north of the model yacht pond, where a pair of oystercatchers were also feeding.
The strong north east winds have brought in quite a lot of seaweed which the turnstones enjoy feeding in.
The washed up log has been planted upright in the sand, I wonder how long it will stay.
When I met Bill the other morning we discussed how few raptors were around. The marsh harrier must have realised it was missed.
On the same walk I saw the pair of shelduck that appear to have taken up residence in the fields opposite and also a reed bunting.
There was a black redstart behind the beach huts and in front of the model yacht pond just after lunch.
Peter lent me some old cards which I have copied. Click here for more. They show the Southwold VTC outside Lime Kiln Farm in 1915.
A balloon from Belgium that landed in Reydon in 1909
And bomb damage inflicted from a Zeppelin.
I met Bill this morning and he pointed out a pair of garganey. A first sighting for both of us. Click here for more pictures of the ducks.
The sunlight this morning lit up the witch hazel blooms in the garden.
And the catkins near the sheep paddock.
There were several linnets near.
Yesterday the tide was right for walking up the beach to Easton Broad. The wind was so strong that it blew off my glasses. Several chunks of cliff fell whilst I was walking along the shoreline. Yesterday's photos can be seen here.
This morning the Belgium registered sailing vessel Zenobe Gramme was 2 n.miles off the coast bound from Great Yarmouth to Zeebrugge.
Flotsam in the early morning sun.
The log that was washed up several weeks ago looks a bit like a crocodile head.
The turnstones were flitting between the beach and St James' Green.
We see quite a lot of 'birders' along North Road but this is a new arrival.
Other new arrivals on March 1 include these at Easton Bavents.
Southwold defends itself on Gun Hill from an attack from the sea, but this morning I found that the cannons were also pointing north and south.
Yesterday there were two pairs of shelduck on the marsh. Today four greylag have appeared, in time for the breeding season?
There are a couple of bushes along North Road that form a sanctuary for small birds such as Linnet, Whitethroat and Cettis Warbler. I was disappointed to see that one of these bushes had been severely hacked about.
Yesterday there were some very strong winds and heavy rain, this created some interesting patterns in the sand.
Sub-zero temperatures again this morning and I was hoping to get a shot of the sun rising at the end of the pier - not quite the right day. It was a very low tide again today and I walked up to Easton Broad. Some of the hedge near the house on the cliff top has fallen onto the beach.
A few skylarks were singing overhead. Meadow pipits and stonechat were flitting around the cliffs.
There were a few turnstones on the groynes this morning, a couple of shelduck in the fields and a little egret. In the reeds a pair of reed buntings were feeding. Later today there was an oystercatcher, several gadwall, lots of teal. Robins are still being territorial.
A reed bunting came to the garden feeders for the first time in several months. With the lengthening days, there is a lot more bird song in the early morning. This North Road song thrush was contributing well today.
I was expecting cloud this morning, but it was another good sunrise.
The spray on the rock groynes created some interesting patterns.
A strangely marked canada goose on the boating lake.
There was quite a hard frost and a good sunrise this morning. Click here for more images.
I met Mick Thompson this morning and he told me of the demise of his two white geese. The foxes are clearly about but rarely seen.
There is a clear blue sky today. In the distance I could see fishing taking place at Easton Bavents.
Closer there was a gull in the surf.
And one of the old boats that used to be sailed on the lake.
The sea was remarkably calm this morning given that it is mid February. the waves were only a couple of inches high.
There were rows of black headed (and a few mediterranean) gulls at the boating lake.
Bill Hancock told me that he had a successful day 'birding' yesterday and had seen common and mediterranean gulls. Also there were stonechats about. I found them in the sheep paddock this afternoon.
An oystercatcher has returned to the area and was by the model yacht pond this afternoon.
The LPG tanker B Gas Commander was anchored 2.7 nautical miles off the coast this morning.
It was minus 3C this morning but it felt much colder in the north westerly.
The harrier was hunting this morning and being mobbed by some rooks. A lapwing can just be seen on the field.
It snowed late evening yesterday and this morning there were high winds and sleet. The roads, pavement and promenade were extremely slippery. I therefore walked along the beach and was surprised to see, in the distance, a duck sitting on the sand. As I got closer it did not move, plastic decoys are very deceptive from a distance!
The robins are becoming very territorial at the moment and the song is quite impressive.
Tuesday morning there was another good sunrise and the early dog walkers were about.
I then had to go to Wells again. Click here for the images.
Late yesterday there was a dusting of snow which was still on the ground this morning. Click here for more images.
The tide seemed very low this morning. It was possible to walk round some of the groynes which revealed small colonies of limpets.
To the north of the promenade the old wood sea wall remains were exposed
And even further north gulls were perched on the remains of the observer post.
Yesterday there was an interesting collection of photographs on display at the Stella Peskett Hall. One of the other items that I managed to photograph was a map of an 1899 auction. It belongs to John (Wiggy) Goldsmith and shows the area around Pier Avenue. It is interesting to see that an area of Marlborough Road was reserved for shops. Click here for a high resolution image.
A while ago I posted a picture of a well lining that had been revealed on the beach at Easton Bavents. Nick Wood kindly sent me this image of another well lining on Southwold beach dated 1906.
Yesterday there were fifty or so lapwing on the fields and a few turnstones on the promenade.
This morning the sunrise brought out a number of photographers including the invisible man.
And the sun revealed a gold vein on the groynes.
I have been up to Wells for a few days. On the way I was surprised to see daffodils in full bloom in Wrentham and also catkins which were well advanced. As usual the variety of birds was very different to those I normally see in Southwold. Click here for the images from Wells. This was a curlew backlit by the rising sun.
Yesterday there was ice on the beach and the sun rose above the horizon just before 8.00. Click here for more images.
Nick Wood kindly sent me an aerial image of Southwold. I think it dates from the early 30s. The houses in the middle of North Road were built in the late 20s. WRONG! I showed the image to Michael West and he pointed out 'I can see houses that were built just after the war and a new promenade opposite Centre Cliff. Also houses that were bombed in Marlborough Road that haven't yet been rebuilt so I would date it between 1947 and 1949.' Click here for a high resolution image (9Mb).
Two boats off Southwold today. One at anchor is the Grimm.
And this afternoon, the Frigg Viking, an offshore supply vessel could be seen.
Recently I have only seen a solitary lapwing in the fields opposite but this morning a flock of about 100 took off as I was returning home. Very strong westerly winds this morning and the beach near gun hill is now very wide.
Near the pier I just managed to catch the disappearance of a seal into the water.
Just before sunrise this morning. Click here for more images.
Sunny yesterday and lots of geese arrived including the pair of red breasted.
The old boats at the lake looked very colourful.
And jetskis were in action in the good weather.
Yesterday, early morning, there was torrential rain. This morning, clear skies, -2.5C and a fishing boat going out before sunrise.
A few barnacle geese today and the red breasted pair were in the fields yesterday. Lots of gulls, so many sometimes that the fields look white. Where the dykes have been cleared it looks like a mound of soil on which the gulls and other birds feed.
Turn through 90 degrees and there is no mound. Illusions and perspective.
A lot more barnacle geese yesterday together with the pair of red breasted, which have also been present from early this morning. It was good to see far fewer firework remains on the beach this morning but people had been partying!
Happy New Year
Many more geese today together with a couple of red breasted. Lots of mallard and teal but no gadwall, a single lapwing. Much colder last night and the paddle-boat pond began to freeze over.
There was a frost on the sand this morning.
The drop in beach level last week of between four and five feet was very clear under Gun Hill.
The rough seas have brought in a couple of large tree trunks. A bit more of the cliff has come down and the sun was just visible as it came up over the horizon this morning. A few turnstones were feeding on the sand. A hundred or so barnacle geese were in the fields yesterday and have also arrived this morning. Click here for more images.
Exactly one day later and the calm has become a storm. A 50 mph gale is blowing from the north and the sand is being carried along with it. Although the temperature is about 4C it feels a lot lower.
There was a sharp frost overnight and a low mist. This gave interesting light over the sea before sunrise. Click here for more photos.
Christmas visit to the alpaca at Darsham. Click here to see more.
Still no barnacle geese but the harrier has been around. The turnstones have been feeding to the north of the promenade.
Overnight the beach became very much more sandy as a result of the wind and tides.
The 4 white farmyard geese on the fields opposite have become 3. Christmas dinner for someone? Not many other geese about. The clearing of the dykes is well underway and the exposed mud has attracted gulls, herons and little egrets.
Another intrepid photographer on the groynes.
Not as many geese today but another good sunrise and a cormorant resting on the groyne post.
A while ago I complained about the Environment Agency and the railings to the north of the sea wall. Hundreds of thousands of pounds wasted, in my opinion, especially as it spoils the view up the coast. More waste, two vans and several days spent on new railings for the ramp, why?
There was a clear sky yesterday morning and sunrise occurred at 7.55. Today is sunny as well despite overnight rain and the dykes are being cleared. The JCB does not appear to disturb the barnacle geese.
I visited Wells at the weekend and watched Santa arrive by boat from the north! There was a popular street festival and an excellent firework display. Click here for some images. It is a pity that Southward no longer has its firework display after the switching on of the Christmas lights. Several shoveller ducks are present at the boating lake.
Yesterday I helped set up the Christmas trees in the town. One 10ft went outside the United Reform Church. Four 14ft round the market place with two 16ft behind them. An 18ft went to Electricity Green. Carrying them was not easy and a little assistance was needed with the largest.
Nearly an inch of rain yesterday which is reflected in the increased water level outside the tea room. However this morning it was very clear and there was the first frost. Much better conditions for the photographers.
There is a brisk easterly today which is quite chilly. The beach levels to the north of the seawall are beginning to drop again and there is a 3-4 foot difference between the concrete path and the beach.
Lots of geese around, hundreds of barnacle, about 50 greylag and 4 white farmyard (Emden). Also a couple of little egret. On the boating lake I spotted a little grebe, the first in a while. Still more rain and this is seen in the water levels.
Just returned from Japan where I was lecturing. I had a couple of mornings to visit gardens in Tokyo and Kyoto and had some good views of Mount Fuji from the bullet train. The autumnal leaves were spectacular (images here). In the back garden, nearly all the leaves have dropped from the japanese maple. In the week I was away the cows have been moved from the fields, the rest of the beach huts have been taken off the front and the white poplars have lost their leaves.
Nearly 2 inches of rain fell yesterday; must be a record for Southwold. At least this morning the sun could be seen. Many more barnacle geese appearing in the fields and a little egret, which appears very white in the sunshine.
The water rail was feeding again today and a kingfisher flashed past. Heard the Cettis warbler. The teal looked good in the early sunlight. Surprised to see dragonflies around.
Plenty of barnacle geese on the field, plus a pair of red breasted (not spotted for a while) and some brent. Meadow pipits by the model yacht pond and red admirals still feeding despite it being late October.
This morning I had an excellent view of a kingfisher in the early sun. The camera refused to focus in time to get a shot. However later a flock of meadow pipits came past.
Disaster (expensive as well)! The quadcopter had its maiden and last flight. It went up but the direction joystick did not function and neither did the self homing device. Last seen travelling at an altitude of 67 feet and 12 mph directly out to sea. It had about 30 minutes flying time so it must be about 6 miles off the coast. I had better stick to terrestrial photography. The barnacle geese are beginning to congregate in the fields opposite. Today there are barnacle, greylag, canada and a pair of egyptian. Yesterday morning there was a mist over the sheep paddock. The other direction, a good sunrise and then a bit later the beach huts were being taken off the front.
At the beginning of September I showed a picture of a quadcopter over the beach huts. The pilot has kindly given me access to some stills and video-clips of his flights. These can be seen here. I have recently invested in a quadcopter, so watch this space!.
The high winds and weather conditions created a surge which increased the normal tide height by about a metre. Three ships were close by the coast and the waves prevented me from walking along the promenade to the north of the pier and just to the south. Stones and small bricks were thrown up onto the sea wall. Water came up the slipways and into the car park. Click here for more images.
Tamarisk at sunrise.
The juvenile brent goose in the early morning sun.
And the parasol mushrooms are still about.
Pouring with rain this morning. The back garden is small and I was surprised to see a bedraggled pheasant land in it.
The temperature dropped overnight to create an atmospheric mist over the fields.
And over the sea
The North Road pheasant made an appearance.
The corn was harvested in the field opposite yesterday. The whole process was very quick, the swathe of corn that the machine cuts through is very impressive.
Godwits were back at the boating lake today. There is a bit more of a water cover now which is a result of 0.75 inches of rain on Wednesday.
This morning there was a pair of egyptian geese on the fields opposite. The black headed gulls are going into their winter plumage.
Skeins of barnacle geese have been flying up the coast and yesterday afternoon large numbers of greylag were flying south east. The sunrise was colourful this morning.
Plenty of turnstones on the rock groynes and a little ringed plover.
I walked up to the sheep paddock and a splash of yellow showed that the gorse had started its autumnal bloom.
A small bird was bobbing up and down on the groynes. At first I thought it might be a sandpiper, I tried to photograph it and I think it may be a redstart.
It's been very murky in the morning. A new arrival to the lagoon was a godwit, I think its a juvenile bar tailed.
The path to the hide is under construction.
I was looking at the bush outside the front of the house and at one time it was possible to see blue tits, great tits and long tailed tits all at the same time.
Skeins of geese were flying up the coast at dawn.
And a brace of snipe were in the early morning sun.
I have been up to Wells for s few days. Surprised to see lots of swallows as they have all but disappeared here. A dozen or so wheatears, lots of curlew and redshanks and an egyptian goose. Click here for images.
At the boating lake there must have been about 15 little egrets.
Jill Cooper kindly let me copy her postcard and photograph collection, the first few are of the 1953 flood. Click here to see the images.
I haven't seen a spoonbill in Southwold for many years. The last one was down near the bailey bridge. However on the boating lake this morning (click here for more photos):-
The willow hide at the boating lake is progressing.
There were six snipe and six little egret feeding on the lagoon. The water level has dropped quite a lot recently. A couple of turnstones (one still in summer plumage were on the stone groynes).
A few years back there was a trend for distressed furniture. Is this going to be the same for beach huts?
There were several large fungi near the model yacht pond. It was about 20 cm across. Not sure what it is.
The beach bunnies were out this morning.
Warblers in the bushes were difficult to photograph but I managed to get this one of a blackcap.
They were burnt in the 60s, but this is one of the more unusual items that I have seen abandoned on the prom.
A fishing boat was in a pool of sunlight this morning.
Some teal have returned after their summer break.
I was recently lent an article in The Halesworth Times and Southwold Mercury dated 1st July 1965. The article describes the electricity supply for Easton Bavents which, prior to 1956, had been privately supplied for 33 years by the farmer, Henry Boggis. A PDF of the article can be seen by clicking here.
This weekend was the 'Digging for The Past' event in Southwold and Reydon. The finds from the various one square metre pits were on display at the Millennium Hall. Carenza Lewis described their significance.
Neolithic flints were found both in Reydon and Southwold but the oldest (extreme right) was palaeolithic from a Southwold pit.
The North Road site had a number of artifacts including a piece of mediaeval pot and a 16th - 17th century clay pipe bowl.
Visited the alpaca at Darsham. This is Nubarron. Click here for more photos.
Yesterday I saw a wheatear and black redstart near the sheep paddock. Nothing there this morning but little egrets and heron at the boating lake. This sand castle looks more like an Egyptian temple.
One of the godwits was back feeding this morning but would not keep its head out of water long enough for a decent shot.
It's Vintage Day at the Boating Lake. This is part of a sludge pump c 1934. Click here to see more photos.
Another regatta day.
And a much bigger ship off shore. The Reimerswaal registered in The Netherlands.
It was surprising to see a heron chased off by a crow, just out of shot to the left of the picture.
Also overhead, the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
The suction dredger 'City of Westminster' on the horizon this afternoon.
A bee enjoying the giant thistles at the boating lake.
There was the annual display of model boats at the model yacht pond this afternoon. They are much easier to photograph. Click here for more images.
Went for a wander with Bill Hancock this morning and he taught me a lot of things about bird watching. We saw a common sandpiper and chiffchaffs but one of the highlights was a sighting of two wheatears in the sheep paddock. This is one of my pictures without tripod.
This is one of Bill's with tripod. Next time I need to take mine!
There was quite a lot of activity by, on and in the water this morning. Early morning bathers.
Two forms of locomotion.
Heavy rain this morning and nothing much photogenic about. But I did find this postcard on ebay which arrived this morning. The bathing machines would indicate turn of the century.
Two or three years ago cormorants were regular visitors to one of the dykes in the field opposite. I haven't seen them about recently until this morning when one landed at the end of the old groyne posts.
An unusual use of the front end of a VW.
I'm not very good at identifying fungi, but this large one was close to Mights Bridge (maybe a bracket or crust fungus).
Close by, owl was 'at home', asleep.
The general cargo ship Elisabeth S was moored off the coast yesterday
And a swish boat put out to sea from the harbour this morning.
This morning I was talking to a much more experienced bird watcher than me. He was pointing out a common gull on a post at the boating lake when a kingfisher flashed by. The picture of the gull did not turn out well and the kingfisher was too fast. It is a pity that it was not on the post. Last night someone had a very good aerial view of Southwold.
Little and large. I think the fishing boat is The Crofter and the large vessel is the Conmar Hawk bound for Teeside.
Today's theme is abandoned. No apparent owners for these bits and pieces on the prom at 7.00 this morning.
Very hot today and the overflow car parks are very full. It is one of the regatta days at the model yacht pond.
I took my camera up the beach hoping to see the avocets and was very surprised that they had come south to the sea wall. Two adults and two chicks. I took lots of photos, click here to see them all.
I have just been told by John Verity that he went for a walk up the beach to Easton Bavents. Just beyond the house that is very close to the cliff edge, he came across a pair of avocets with at least one chick. Let's hope that we get some breeding pairs at the boating lake. This is a pair that I took at the boating lake 3 years ago.
I was told that there was a common sandpiper at the boating lake this morning (in fact not so common). Unfortunately I did not see it. My only sighting of an unusual bird this morning was on the promenade.
Tremendous thunderstorm last night and still very humid today. Another interesting idea for shutters on a beach hut. It is a perforated photoprint laminated onto perspex. Since it is perforated I guess it is see through from the inside.
About 40 greylag geese appeared in the field yesterday. Little egret on its way to the boating lake.
Visited Darsham again to see how the new additions were getting on. The picture of this cria is Nubarron. Click here for more images.
It was interesting to see the sun setting last night outside the front of the house. Click here for more crepuscular pictures.
It was family fun day at the boating lake today. It was a pity that the weather was not better. Lots of very grey clouds. But everyone there was having a good time. Click here for more images.
Another grey cold day with a gale blowing down the coast. I noticed today that outside gym equipment has been fitted in Klondike, I am not sure how long it has been there.
Avocets and a godwit still at the boating lake.
Called in at Darsham to see the latest addition (born on Saturday), Daisy and her male cria (yet to be named).
There were some avocets and a godwit on the boating lake this morning and a strange rig being towed up the coast. Not sure if its oil or gas?
Another sunny morning and the avocets were at the far end of the boating lake. Foxglove and cornflowers along North Road.
I walked up the beach this morning. The house on the cliff edge, which has recently sold, seems just the same as ever.
A kestrel was hovering just over the cliff to the south of the pier this morning.
And more beach hut art. This time interesting 3D shutters to the north of the pier.
There were a couple of herons on the boating lake this morning.
Like the old oil 3-in-1. Heron avocet and gull.
The wagtails that built a nest under the solar panels have been successful and the chicks have fledged.
Visited the alpaca at Darsham. This is Nubarron, 3 weeks old.
And Amaya 1 year old. Click here for more images.
There are a lot more cattle in the field, several Highland, a Belted Galloway and this year a very large black bull.
New enterprise at the boating lake.
The beach huts that are for daily and weekly hire have very arty numbers. Click here to see all 12.
At 4.30 this morning sun was streaming through the windows that face due north. It is the summer solstice and the sun is directly over the tropic of cancer (23N). We are 52N. The sun appears to come from the northeast because of the earth's tilt.
Some time ago I mentioned that a wagtail had built a nest under the solar panels, the young have now hatched.
I was surprised by the diversity in colour of the self-seeded flowers on the track between Pier Avenue and the row of garages. Click here for more images.
Both oystercatchers were back at the boating lake this morning. I learnt that the resident owls have four owlets which have been ringed.
The grass snake has made an appearance in the garden. The barn owls are out looking for food during the day, presumably feeding the young. Avocets are on the boating lake, again at the far end.
Apart from lots of young blue tits and great tits, it also seems a good year for blackbirds.
The warblers are still singing, I still have a great deal of difficulty in distinguishing the different ones. Any ideas?
The rose on the marsh is now in full bloom.
There was an interesting 1929 bus near the pier and some old motor bikes. Click here for images.
And evidence of heavy equipment on the beach.
Yesterday the muntjac deer was on the road but moved too quickly for a photo. Both the owl and the marsh harrier have been out hunting for food.
And another form of hunting first thing this morning.
This photo reminded me of Marc Brown's paintings (www.marc-brown.com).
The 'island' at the boating lake has been closed to allow the oystercatchers to incubate their eggs. They like the shingle for their nest.
I managed to get a picture of a lark on the denes. Pity it would not turn round.
More ducklings at the boating lake.
But beware! I have just seen a fox, just outside decent camera range.
The garden toad made an appearance yesterday
And this morning, St Michael's Mount comes to Southwold.
I have been unable to upload pictures recently. There has been a lot of activity in the garden young blue tits fledging. Click here for images.
Yesterday there were fifty or so greylag geese, a pair of barn owls and the marsh harrier about. Late afternoon the ploughed westerly field was being seeded. A very large colourful kite could be seen over Easton Bavents in the evening.
There are lots more sandmartins up the coast and skylarks above the cliffs. The whitethroat was in full voice again this morning.
Yesterday morning it was like Piccadilly Circus on the prom. Bob at work.
Today I liked the reflection of the reeds in the boating lake.
I was pleased to see a wheatear on the beach this morning. Still lots of warblers but no cuckoo. Click here for more images.
There was a pair of egyptian geese by the model yacht pond this morning. Click here for more.
The godwits are still by the boating lake, click here for more images.
A reed bunting was an unexpected visitor on the seed feeder. Yesterday there were two avocets at the boating lake. They were at the far western edge and taxed my camera to its limit.
This morning the swifts were swooping around for the first time this year, lots of swallows were above the promenade and some bar tailed godwits were by the boating lake.
There was a frost on the fields first thing this morning. A little egret at the boating lake and moorhen chicks. Plenty of warblers around and also swallows. Still no sign of a cuckoo. Click here for more images. On the way back from the bailey bridge I caught sight of a water vole in one of the dykes.
The marsh harrier and little egret have been about but very few sightings of the barn owl. Young coot on the boating lake and the shelduck are often there, although the water levels are beginning to drop. The wind and tides were right for a walk up the beach this morning. There were lots of sandmartins nesting in the cliff immediately to the south of Easton Broad. Click here for images.
I have been up to Wells next the Sea for a few days. It was very murky but I did get a few photos. Click here for them.
Now that Ladies' walk has been reopened there was a planting of wild plant seeds along its length. There were some problems caused by the high wind which helped in the broadcast of the smaller seeds, particularly poppies.
Even more warblers singing for all they are worth. I do have difficulty in distinguishing the different types.
And the first sighting of the goslings; a long way off but just recognisable.
The tides and winds have brought back the beach height to the north of the seawall and it is now possible to walk up the beach again. Click here for more pictures and the rest from today.
Many more warblers have arrived in the reeds. There are more ducklings at the boating lake and a little egret has been around. The lilac on the marsh is in flower. This morning there was a seahorse on the beach.
Also this morning someone on the promenade is having difficulty seeing.
There was a lot of noise coming from one of the islands at the boating lake. The culprits, 4 oystercatchers.
There was chaos in the pier car park when a parked Porsche rolled out of the bay blocking the thoroughfare.
It was very clear last night with good views of Mars and Jupiter. There were a lot of bats feeding, the first I have seen this year. The beach huts are being moved from the car park today. Cow parsley is in flower and there appears to be a large number of vociferous wrens.
The swallows have returned together with chiffchaff and sedge warblers. Most of the geese, teal and gadwall have departed. Today there are four shelduck in the fields, a little egret and a heron that is being mobbed by the rooks.
The reeds are looking a very pale straw colour at the moment which contrasts with the brightness of the blue tit.
Over the past couple of days some of the cattle have been brought back onto the field and the barn owl has reappeared.
Nick Wood sent me this from The East Anglian magazine 1959. It shows a well lining that has been revealed as a result of coastal erosion on the beach at Easton Bavents.
Matthew kindly sent me some pictures of Weatherly which were posted in a previous blog. David H sent me some more that were taken around 1969. He says, 'they give a sense a perspective as to just how much has gone into the sea in 45 years or so. The stile, in 2 of the photos was past the bungalow Matthew mentioned (which went a little after 2000?)'. In the picture below, which is looking south, the fence shown has now disappeared into the sea. Click here for more pictures.
I have just been to the US for a week and was surprised to see how much the hedgerows had greened in the few days I was away. Also the rape flowers are beginning to show yellow in the fields. However this morning there was frost on the sand. There have been a lot of tortoiseshell butterflies about and I saw a frog in the pond for the first time this year.
Matthew Radford has seen some of my pictures of Easton Bavents and has fond memories of the area. He says 'We spent our first holiday at Weatherly in September 1969, renting the cottage from the Westlakes of Easton Farm. Along the lane between the cottage and the sea there were, as far as we remember, a spare plot to the east of the cottage, then a bungalow and a further small wooden dwelling nearer...'
About 50 - 60 greylag geese in the fields. There is quite a lot of birdsong now that the days are getting longer. Click here for more Spring images.
The daffodils on the marsh are now in bloom. I heard today that the area at the boating lake where the orchids grow is being mowed. This will be good for the orchids as the increased light will make them flourish and spread. I also heard that there have been kingfishers seen by the lagoon. Even more of the path at Easton Bavents has disappeared. Click here for more images.
This morning I was walking along the promenade when I saw someone dragging a bench up the beach from the low tide mark. It was quite a distance. The bench was heavy but four of us reinstated it on the sea wall.
Two little egrets are frequent visitors and a sparrowhawk flew past the other day. There are a few dozen greylag geese and the occasional shelduck. The gadwall are still around together with teal.
I was lent some interesting slides by Peter showing the demise of the observer post at Easton Bavents (1974 - 1978) and also a coaster aground in the harbour mouth (19 Jun 1976). Click here for the images.
The sand is being cleared from the promenade. I was surprised how high it was next to the beach huts under Gun Hill.
I haven't seen the turnstones for a while. This morning there were about ten on the promenade and beach.
I saw the first butterfly of the year today, only fleetingly, but it was probably a peacock. Also some of the black headed gulls are in their full mating plumage, the ones here are half way there.
I keep mentioning the low beach levels which I believe have resulted from firstly neglect of the original groynes and secondly because the new ones are not long enough. Perhaps Waveney is beginning to realise that there may be a problem. A section of the promenade is now cordoned off, 'because of the low beach levels'.
The little egret has been on the fields. It is now impossible to get up the beach even at low tide. The area immediately north of the sea wall resembles a war zone. Some of the old timbers of the original sea wall are uncovered. On one of timbers the tree rings are clearly visible, it could be dated by a dendrochronologist. Click here for more images. The old concrete path to the beach can be seen in a couple of the pictures. Since it is a beautiful sunny day I have also added some images from the garden.
There is a shelduck in the fields today, the first for some time. Also about 30 barnacle geese are feeding with a pair of brent. Yesterday there was quite a fire visible in the top field.
There are now half a dozen greylag geese around, maybe already here for the breeding season. It is still not possible to walk up the beach from the sea wall.
There is a pair of greylag geese on the fields, one or two gadwall and lots of teal and a few swans. Despite the dreadful weather there are some signs of Spring.
I was walking over Mights Bridge and noticed that the pillbox was especially visible. I do not recollect seeing a circular one before.
The sand has been built up by the strong winds, particularly under Gun Hill. Click on previous post's link for more pictures.
The rough seas have uncovered a lot of debris at the base of the cliffs. The old wartime observatory is still visible at low tide and the path from the sea wall is suspended about five feet above the beach level. The high winds have also created some interesting patterns in the sand. Click here for the pictures.
After a very wild night the sun coming up over the horizon could not be seen. There was a very strong wind from the south east which was blowing sand along the beach and up onto the promenade. Walking along was impossible with the sand grains blowing into the face.
The sunrise was visible for a second day! The tide was very low this morning. Click here for more shots.
This morning the marsh harrier was over the reeds. The strong southerly wind has created interesting patterns in the beach to the south of the pier. Click here for more.
It is rather difficult to walk up the beach to Easton Bavents. The sea has cut into the beach leaving a large drop to the base of the cliffs.
The marsh harrier has been present and also a little egret is a sporadic visitor. The red breasted geese have appeared for several days, together with lots of barnacle. The beach was deserted this morning and the cliffs looked very golden in the sunrise.
There are several hundred barnacle geese today and a couple of red breasted geese. Lots of teal and a few gadwall.
Been up to Wells next the Sea for a few days. Click here for more images.
There were 3 oystercatchers on the cliff top. A very frosty start to the day, click here for more images.
There were several ships on the horizon this morning. Click here for more images.
The groyne marker has been moved again in the high seas. Today is clear and and it was possible to see the sunrise for a change. Lots of gulls in the fields this morning. Click here for more images.
There were five brent geese with the barnacle today. The high winds have produced quite a swell on the sea. I picked up some fish from Samantha Ks at the harbour today, brought in last night. The fisherman said that the conditions were horrendous.
Plenty of barnacle geese opposite but no sign of the red breasted today. The beach levels below St James' Green are particularly low.
Went up the beach to Easton Broad this afternoon. I was surprised to see that people had been going barefoot. Click here to see the rest of the pictures.
No rain, perfect blue sky, what a change! Also the red breasted geese have made an appearance after a long absence.
Happy New Year. As on Christmas Day there was a cloud bank out to sea and so no spectacular sunrise. However there was evidence of the previous night's festivities.
It was a clear frosty morning with the moon visible over the pier and some early fishermen on a boat. Click here for more pictures. Quite a few gadwall on the boating lake and several pheasants in the fields.
One of the old groyne markers was broken in the recent storms. Click here for more Boxing Day photos.
Merry Christmas. I was hoping to see the sunrise this morning but there was a thick bank of cloud out to sea.
Lots of rain and very high winds last night. This meant some surf today. Not the way I would elect to spend Xmas eve!
The fields are looking rather empty with the cattle gone, no geese and no gulls today. Here is a festive picture taken along North Road.
I was amused by the name of this beach hut 'Parking Off'. One of the ones that were rearranged on the car park. There was another good sunrise with the sky colours reflected in the wet sand. Click here to see. A few nights ago this would have been 3 or 4 metres under water.
I had a short walk up the beach today. Quite a lot of cliff has come down. The old observation post remains are still visible at low tide. Click here for more images.
I walked down to the bailey bridge and along to the harbour some two and a half hours after high tide. The banks of the river on the Walberswick side have been breached. Click here for more photos.