Monday, 2 July 2012


Hello, I'm Steve Downes, guest blogging for a bit. I'm an Eastern Daily Press journalist, spending five days as a ranger and writer-in-residence on Blakeney Point. As you can imagine, it's awful out here, putting up with the huge skies, magnificent views, peace, solitude and wonderful wildlife. But I am prepared to tough it out for the cause.
 On the next shot, I'm acting as scribe for Ajay on a little tern survey for Natural England, to help it draw up the boundaries for a special protection area. We're recording the numbers, the direction they are flying in, and whether they have food in their bills. Thankfully, Ajay was in charge of the difficult bit, while I just had to do numbers, commas and plus signs.
 Below is an osprey, which kindly made an appearance overhead within 30 minutes of my arrival for my Point break. The osprey wasn't quite as pleased, as it was immediately pursued by a shrieking army of oystercatchers (photo two), which saw the unsuspecting osprey as a threat and harried and hassled it until it escaped from view. Apparently, ospreys get this all the time from smaller birds. I imagine this poor fella is a nervous wreck by now.

And finally - for this evening - a ringed plover chick, one that hatched 2 weeks ago. Just for the aaaa factor. I'll be back tomorrow, if the pain of this job doesn't become too much. By the way, to follow my progress, see the Eastern Daily Press every day this week, follow @stevedownes1973 on Twitter  or visit

(Photos: Joe Cockram)

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