Monday, 11 April 2011

Staying Local
Here on the Suffolk coast the weather has really changed over the last week producing borderline 'balmy' T-shirt & BBQ April days and clear blue skies. Winter seemed to last sooooo long, I don't think I've noticed the change to Spring so dramatically or enjoyed it so much before! The 3 Blackbird chicks have now fledged and often come into the garden for food fully independent of their parents and of course sporting the BTO bling they were given as nestlings. One of our ringing site Nightingales has returned, being re-trapped on the 10th April a day later than it was seen and re-trapped on it's return last Spring. An Osprey floated over the Deben Estuary this morning being chased by every Wader frequenting the estuary it seemed! (Phil). We now have over 50 nests being monitored locally, mainly Blackbird and Song Thrush but with the odd Chaffinch, Long-tailed Tit, Tawny Owl and Buzzard boosting the nesting species find list! Moth trapping began at the end of March with the usual suspects including small numbers of Common Quaker, Powdered Quaker, Hebrew Character, Herald, Early Grey, Satellite. . .still the cold nights are keeping the numbers down for now. The images shown here are of a Herald and Early Thorn.

The image of the helmet above is from the local Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon King Burial treasure, found in one of the burial mounds over looking the Deben Estuary back in 1939.
"The Sutton Hoo helmet has become possibly the most enigmatic and well known image of Anglo-Saxon Warrior Kingship. It was discovered in 1939 within the Mound 1 ship burial chamber and lay broadly level with the dead man's head. When the chamber roof collapsed the helmet shattered into tiny pieces. Its construction and design suggest it was a battle helmet capable of protecting its wearer from blows to the head. Attached to the iron skull cap is a face mask, with hinged cheek pieces and neck guard. The decorative feature on the front of the mask is made of gilded bronze in the form of a bird or dragon with outstretched wings (which cover the wearer's eyebrows)and tipped with gold and garnets. The body of the bird lies over the nose-piece, with tail feathers above the mouthpiece".

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