Thursday 18 January 2024

Lowestoft Life - 18th January 2024

There was a light dusting of snow overnight and it was clear and bright so I resolved to take myself out for a walk from home.  A quick breakfast and then out picking up Antony as I ambled past his front door.

Glad I finally cleared the raised bed yesterday!

We started off in the woods at the end of their road which was full of very active Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed Tits along with a single Treecreeper which Antony said was an infrequent visitor here.  Goldcrests actively fed and looked like spherical little feathery pompoms.  Just how they got through the seriously sub zero night I do not know.  A Bullfinch called and several Greenfinches were milling about.


Jays were very vocal and gleamed as they moved through the trees but try as we might we could not find a Woodcock and I suspect that they numerous hounds would have already spooked any present.


We crossed Tom Crisp Way and found the Little Egret in the stream but trying  to get to the margins was quite tricky due to the extensive Bramble cover.  Most of the early moth signs that we saw at Worlingham were replicated in this stretch of riverside.

Fly mine on Honeysuckle - hoping for an id

Phytomyza ilicis was very prevalent 

Down near the main roundabout the pond there was frozen over bar a small section on the shady side (which was odd) where a constant procession of Black-headed and Common Gulls were coming down to drink enthusiastically while two Carrion Crows were concentrating on another small hole in the ice where both were chipping off small pieces and swallowing them.  They must have likes it as there was unfrozen water available.

Carrion Crow

Black-heads and a Common Gull

A Grey Heron watched us from the frozen margins and was obviously just chilling and after a few minutes it headed towards the other end of the pool.

Grey Heron

We looped around to check the stream again and as we approached a string of bubbles rushed away from us and up popped a large dog Otter who quickly dived again before a final surface 30 yards down and then a sinuous bound up the bank and across the path to the pool. Unfortunately he never scurried across the virgin snow and must have kept to the bank and sought shelter in the huge Bramble path.  Now that was not on the cards for a walk through urban Lowestoft.


Two Snipe came up from the stream where three Mallards and two Moorhens fed and amazingly a Jack Snipe actually flew in from down stream before changing its mind and heading over the houses before dropping out of view, undoubtedly into a garden!  What a fabulous ten minutes.  Following the stream down river was actually tricky but there were spots where we could find out way to the edge although no more Snipe were seen.  Woodcock must surely be along here and it was one of the few occasions I actually wished for a thermal imager.

The verge not only gave us an active Mole hill (but no mole), a female Muntjac and six Wasp Spider egg cases still intact in the long grass.

Wasp Spider egg case

Wasp Spider egg case

Mole hill - it was moving as we approached

Guelder Rose

A Buzzard came out of the big Poplars and moved off and further down in Fen Park we saw what is probably the other half of this urban pair.  Tits flock were always around and to be honest there were more here than I encountered in the pristine Devon woods.  Goldcrests were regularly encountered too and two Firecrests were in an oak covered in Ivy but out of our reach for a closer look.


Long-tailed Tit

Great Tit extracting grubs (probably moth larva!) from inside Phrag stems

The Little Egret reappeared and a second Grey Heron and two more Moorhens were found but no Kingfisher while in Fen Park the Polish youngster was still with its Mute Swan parents.  Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers played chase and Goldfinches fed high in the Alders.

Just chilling

As well as Blackbirds there were several redwings and Song Thrushes in the leaf litter

The Polish cygnet is growing up

Lords and Ladies pushing through

Rather bizarrely this Hazel had some fresh new leaves

Every urban stream has a trolley - just lacking the Kingfisher

Winter Heliotrope

From here the route took us into Kirkley Cemetery where colonies of both Luffia lapidella and the pierogi shaped Narycia duplicella were discovered on the sandstone graves.  I believe that lapidella is asexual but duplicella does have flying males.

Luffia lapidella

Luffia lapidella

Narycia duplicella 

Narycia duplicella 

The final stretch was down the oddly named Oily Fields which is in fact a tunnel track overshadowed by Ivy bringing us back to Blackheath Road and my remaining eight minute walk home after a rewarding urban amble.

Plump Pigeon

1 comment:

  1. What a brilliant day (especially for Lowestoft!) it seems Luffia lapidella can be sexual but only on the continent & in Cornwall!