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