You will find out about all the exciting stuff going on with the RSPB in the east of the UK. We cover our sites in the following counties: Norfolk, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, and some of our great Lincolnshire ones. So if you are if you have never heard of the Strumpshaws and Snettishams or Stour Estuary or Sutton Fens here is you chance.
Blogger: Laura White, PA to Public Affairs Manager
I commute to work, I'm originally from London, a cockney born and bred, and when I first moved to Norfolk I was really surprised at the attitude of my new Norfolk friends who could not believe that I would commute for an hour (in London it takes you an hour to get anywhere, even with public transport) from the lovely Norfolk coast into Norwich for a job. But what a job, I work for the best conservation charity in the world, anyway I digress. I commute to work, through open fields and small villages and on every journey; I'm surprised by the diversity of wildlife I get to see. A barn owl flew level with my passenger window for a good mile the other day, and this morning I saw the most beautiful fox, his tail all bushy with its white tip glowing in the sunshine. But the reason I mention I commute to work is that the other night as I turned my car into my driveway I had to stop as a small ash grey head wearing a pair of heavy black sunglasses was stood right in the middle of my drive just staring back at me. I stopped the car and turned the engine off and my small cool friend flew from the ground onto my flower beds which are raised either side of the drive. He stopped to peck at the earth and I could see his cute black tail and his beautiful pink chest. I sat and watched him for a long time before he flew up onto next doors fence and away. But being a cockney born and bred, I'd never seen such a bird before so in work the following day I challenged my colleagues to guess the bird from my description. It only took a matter of seconds for a bird book (RSPB Handbook of British Birds - fantastic membership gift if you're stuck for a present idea!) to be opened on the page of the red backed shrike. I looked at the picture and was so happy to put a 'make' to my little friend. I asked if they were common and although they are summer visitors to the whole of the UK east and south coasts I was horrified to read that they, like so many other species have declined to extinction in its traditional haunts in southern England, but can still be seen along the east coast of England. I cannot explain the joy I felt, when for those few moments I was lost in nature admiring such a beautiful creature and I hope that the Red Backed Shrike, with our help, will survive and prosper so I'm not the only one who gets to see such beauty just in a driveway.
Photo Credit: Male red backed shrike, feeding young. Mike Richards (rspb-images.com)