Life and Landscape in East Anglia Archive

opening blossom Old orchard in bloom May Mid Suffolk

Old Suffolk orchard blossom in May

Otter ripples and sun in Little Ouse Norfolk. Lutra lutra

Otters of the Little Ouse Norfolk Breckland

Muntjac deer paused in dawn light. August Suffolk. Muntiacus reevsi

Muntjac deer dawn and dusk

Muntjac deer are common but secretive. I see them most frequently at dawn and dusk slipping out of hedges and at field edges. Muntjac are very shy and wary as most landowner try to control their numbers because of the damage done to crops and woodland.

Brown Hare backlit by evening sun. August Suffolk. Lepus europaeus

Twilight Hares

Brown hares become active as the sun sets and rises. I see much more interesting behaviour and interaction in the “twilight zone” The latest cameras are able to work in near darkness allowing me to photograph hares at the times they are most relaxed and confident.

Brown Hare running the bend through grass. July evening Suffolk. Lepus europaeus

Brown Hares intimate at dawn and dusk

Brown hares come out to feed and socialise early morning and evening, summer is the best time to watch them. The hares at Norton have started to get used to me and will often come very close, here are some of my favourite moments.

Summer Hares summer weather

The brown hares that live round Norton Suffolk emerge from the hedges and long grass at dawn and dusk. These photographs represent their lives in low light and ever changing weather conditions.

Barn owl itch in middle of morning oak. July Suffolk. Tyto alba

Summer Barn owls in Oak trees

Barn Owls can be seen hunting the rich field margins of Little Haugh and Halls farms in the long summer evenings. The hedges are punctuated with old oak trees, many with hollows where the owls can nest and roost in.

Life in Pakenham wood

Pakenham wood is an ancient woodland that was replanted in the 20th century with softwood. Despite this some of the native hardwood trees and much of the typical woodland plants have survived. Pakenham wood is being restored by gradually removing the softwood and allowing the native trees and plants re-establish. Even before the work started the wood was one of the best places to see Silver-washed fritillary butterflies in SE England.

Careful management of the woodland rides has allowed the butterflies adult and caterpillar food plants to thrive. Large numbers of Silver-washed fritillary and White admiral butterflies flying in Summer 2017 are an early indication of the success of the restoration and management.

New ponds dug in the wood have encouraged water loving insects and plants. The ponds have also been colonised by newts.

The photos below were taken during a morning walk in Pakenham wood 26th June 2017.

Otters in the Norfolk Landscape

I saw an otter on the Blackbourne river in Suffolk 25 years ago and there have been signs and sighting of otters living in North Suffolk and south Norfolk since then. In the last few years the otter population has increased but seeing them has always been a challenge, usually involving getting up ridiculously early and standing about for hours with only a small chance of success.

However, recently in Thetford a group of around four otters has been seen regularly in the rivers that flow through the town centre. Otters can be seen during daylight hours fishing, playing and on the river-banks. The following images were taken in and around Thetford.

Life and Landscape in East Anglia