Return of the King

Somehow I have got behind on posts again, and it’s not due to lack of adventures. Spring is proving wet, green, and very noisy with choirs of warblers that pretend to be invisible as they shout at extra volume from riverside tangle. Sometimes they slip up and permit a glimpse – I saw this sedge warbler in the Broads earlier this week.

Sedge warbler

To warblers, the Norfolk Broads – England’s premier wetland – is reeds and spiky bushes. To humans, it is the strange marriage between energy production and conservation; long ago, peat was dug under Norfolk’s vast skies, and the resulting depressions flooded into shallow lakes. Tidal rivers ebb and flow past them, and clouds buckle overhead.

Boat trip2

And birds paint many colours. Great crested grebes, our most elegant dancers, brighten even the sunniest day.

Great crested grebe1 May 23

Common terns sport a more modest uniform, but their nickname of sea-swallow hints at their airborne grace.

Common tern May 23

As for Broads royalty – he was the prime goal of Saturday’s voyage. It’s two centuries since ospreys bred here, but the persistant residence of this male at Ranworth Broad is giving hope that he might find a mate. Not easy to get a photo at that range from the water, so apologies for the quality, but his black and white splendour was still very special to see.

  Osprey Ranworth1 6 May 23

I suspect he approves of his kingdom. I certainly did.

Boat trip


12 thoughts on “Return of the King

  1. If osprey was on that tree (last photo) then you did a good job with that photo. Unless you have a 600mm lens, every attempt to make a decent looking photograph is futile.
    I like a grebe photo!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That wasn’t the osprey’s tree, but he was a long distance off (they aren’t taking the boat too close for risk of disturbing him). The grebes are much easier but I never tire of seeing them and their zebra-striped chicks 🙂


    1. Yes, he’s being well looked after, and trends to hang out in places that are inaccessible except for Norfolk WT boats. I haven’t heard anything about a female osprey joining him though so I guess it won’t be this year.

      I’ve seen a couple of Cetti’s warblers lately (I mean, actually seen them, rather than just heard them shouting). Seems to be a good year for migrant birds – swallows and swifts here too.


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