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Sunday, 5 April 2009

Missing the 3R's, but Butterflies & Hares to the rescue




Missing the 3 R's, not Reading 'riting & 'rithmetic but a very, very poor weekend for birds personally having missed another local Raven this time at Ashby, a Red Kite and dipped a Ring Ouzel at Easton Bavents sheep paddocks. Overflying Cranes were also dipped and it was particularly galling to think they may have flown over the garden!
3 Buzzards near Herringfleet flying in a spiral at one point and an elusive (so elusive I didn't see it!) male Blackcap singing at Somerleyton were the only avian titbits on offer this Sunday.
Much better were the posey Butterflies in the garden, first a Comma, then a Small Tortoiseshell and then 2 Peacocks fed from the Aubretia flowers which are nicely in bloom at present.
Compensation for missing the Ring Ouzel came in the form of 4 splendid Brown Hares sitting in 2 adjacent fields near the turn off to Sotterley from the A12.
A quintessentially English mammal, the English Brown Hare was even described long ago by the Roman historian Cassius Dio.  In his Roman Histories in describing Boudicca, the Iceni Queen who led the Boudiccan revolts, he states she "employed a species of divination, letting a Hare escape from the fold of her dress; and since it ran on what they (the Iceni- the Celtic tribe that occupied Norfolk & North Suffolk) considered the auspicious side" this was seen as a sign by Andraste (an Iceni Celtic God) for the Iceni tribe and other local tribes to rebel against the tyranny of Roman occupation and head south to overthrow Roman occupied Camulodinum (Colchester in Essex)!

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