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Sea Pie

April 29, 2011

As the sugar beet grow in the rows on the Town Field it’s regular occupants are a pair of Oystercatchers. This wading bird with it’s smart black and white plumage and red bill generally favours the tide line along the shore, but the river valley seems to be a favoured habitat.

As I write one of the pair flies over the garden with a strident territorial call. It is possible that the filed is purely a resting area but a nest is not out of the question. Sugar Beet has it’s ancestral origins in a wild Sea Beet which in some ways contributes to it’s resilience in lighter soils of North Norfolk. The Oystercatcher may feel as at home amongst the cultivated variety as it might alongside it’s wild beet relatives.

Magpie

November 6, 2010

A single Magpie takes up a sentinel like pose at the top of a Wild Cherry tree. The Cherry tree marks what we assume to be the on the edge of the old Roman shore. Before the Mill owners a and Dutch engineers contained of the Bure in it’s current course, this would have been the edge of marshy ground. The Magpie is surveying the country and from this position it cover a wide sweep of the Bure, grazing marshes, the village and the swell of rising ground towards Limekiln Farm. A rattling call sees it loop off in search of some unknown morsel.
The Roe Deer are conspicuous by their absence. An hour after dawn and there is no sign. Perhaps the declining feed value of the grass near the Belt Wood has made them concentrate on other sources. The only reports I have are of Muntjac skulking around the sugar beet at Oxnead.