Monday, 19 August 2013

Another North Norfolk Day

Another free day to get up to Norfolk, this time accompanied by Gary whom I picked up in Stortford at 5.30a.m. We arrived at Kelling water meadows before 7.30 and immediately had good birds at this splendid little quiet place. Wood and common sandpipers, greenshank and spotted redshank were in amongst black tailed godwits, with a few bar tails, too. 4 curlews flew in and a family party of whitethroats entertained us as we wandered further down the overgrown path. A few birders were met as we headed back to the car. Next stop, Salthouse beach. Here, a brief sea watch gave nothing and a wander to the pools was also fairly uneventful. In the car park, 2 juvenile pied wags begged for food from a parent. Few linnets, meadow pipits and skylarks.
From here to the East Bank at Cley and Arnold's Marsh. It seemed that the birds had all moved on from Monday, with just redshanks, a greenshank and black tailed godwits in evidence. A sandwich tern called as we drove off for a much needed coffee at Reserve HQ. On to the beach car park and swarovski hide. A fair few wheatear in the Eye Field and more meadow pipits. Very few birds on the North Scrape, compared to Monday, but a green sandpiper was new for the day.
Kelling Water Meadows

common blue

whitethroat

migrant hawker

juvenile pied wagtail
From here, next stop Stiffkey Fen where 14 spoonbill were roosting. Great to see. Also common sandpiper in with ruff, godwits, teal etc. 20 redshanks flew in along with another spoonbill. A juvenile spoonbill was working very hard to be fed by a parent, so presumed local breeding has been successful, maybe on Holkham Freshmarsh. A wander back to the car and a drive to Titchwell. We stopped for a much needed pint in the wonderful Red Lion at Stiffkey before arriving at Titchwell.
Into the island hide where ringed plover, little ringed plover, godwits, ruff and 100+ golden plovers were seen. A Mediterranean gull flew over as we wandered to the Parrinder Hide. From here, a whimbrel and a part leucistic golden plover. More spoonbills. On to the beach where a quiet sea watch gave views of a fulmar west and an arctic skua harrying a tern sp some way out. Both good birds before a coffee at the cafe and a quick wait for a few everyday birds at the feeding station to go on the growing list.

black tailed godwit


ruff

little ringed plover

ringed plover
After this we thought a quick detour to Ouse Marshes for the blue winged teal. Eventually we arrived, having bounced the car down the road to The Ship Inn. As we walked to the Stockdale Hide I got a message saying bwt had been seen. However, all the birders leaving the hide had not had a sniff all the time they were present and we couldn't find it. However, 3 crane and 20+ garganey, along with gadwall, wigeon, teal and ruff were great to see. A marsh harrier put the whole lot of birds up. We headed off home, arriving back at gone 8pm. Another great day out and in all 78 species of bird, with arctic skua going on to the year list, taking the total to 184 species for 2013. Good to have Gary along, who enjoyed a fair few year listers and supplied rolls and excellent mini pork pies. Now to plan our next trip.


crane fly past



marsh harrier
3 adult common crane. Great views.
Species list:
little grebe, fulmar, cormorant, little egret, grey heron, spoonbill, mute swan, greylag goose, canada goose, shelduck, (10 sp) mallard, gadwall, wigeon, teal, garganey, red crested pochard, marsh harrier, kestrel, moorhen, coot (20 sp) crane, oystercatcher, avocet, little ringed plover, ringed plover, golden plover, lapwing, knot, turnstone, dunlin (30 sp) wood sandpiper, green sandpiper, common sandpiper, redshank, spotted redshank, greenshank, black tailed godwit, bar tailed godwit, curlew, whimbrel, (40 sp) ruff, arctic skua, black headed gull, common gull, mediterranean gull, herring gull, lesser black backed gull, great black backed gull, sandwich tern, common tern (50 sp)stock dove, wood pigeon, collard dove, skylark, sand martin, swallow, house martin, meadow pipit, pied wagtail, wren (60 sp) dunnock, wheatear, blackbird, whitethroat, chiffchaff, great tit, blue tit, magpie, jackdaw, rook, (70 sp) carrion crow, starling, house sparrow, chaffinch, linnet, goldfinch, greenfinch, reed bunting. 78 species in total.

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This is me

This is me
At the end of another Norfolk Coastal footpath walk. 47 miles, 3 days 99 species of bird

Caley Wood view

Caley Wood view
sunshine through the canopy 29.05.08

A walk along the Warta Valley, Poznan, Poland. Feb 2007

A walk along the Warta Valley, Poznan, Poland. Feb 2007
Best birds on this walk: black and middle spotted woodpecker and short toed treecreeper

About Me

My photo
A primary school teacher for 30 years, I retired from teaching in July 2009 to set up my own science enhancement and communication company. The Primary Works offers science clubs, workshops and staged science shows nationwide. I have always been interested in bird watching since my early years. Apparently my first tick was after inquiring about a chaffinch and then receiving the Observer book of birds. By the age of 9 I had moved on to Tory Peterson's collins guide and was now involved on YOC birding holidays to Northumbria, Essex coast, Slimbridge and Yorkshire. My twitching rule is that I will willingly travel 1km for each gram the bird weighs. However, I have had many rarities just by being in the right place. I have travelled widely throughout Europe and also visited Australia and Sri Lanka. Further European destinations are planned and a bigger trip to The Crimea was planned for 2014 but now not possible. so 2014: Sri Lanka in January, Poland in April, Madeira in June and The Camargue in July. So far 2015 has been Sri Lanka in Jan, Poland in Feb, Sri Lanka in April and The Camargue coming up in 1st week of September.

Grey heron

Grey heron
Over the allotment 28.09.08

Southern Hawker

Southern Hawker
Ridge footpath 27.08.08

Juvenile green woodpecker (17.08.08)

Juvenile green woodpecker (17.08.08)
Note the stripes, denoting a bird fledged this year.

common blue

common blue
Ash Valley G.C. 15.08.08

Indian balsam (impatiens glandulifera)

Indian balsam (impatiens glandulifera)
River Ash

azure damselfly

azure damselfly
River Ash 28.07.08

marbled white

marbled white
Discovered at Westland Green 22.07.08

ruddy darter

ruddy darter
Bush Wood 21.07.08

honeysuckle 19.07.08

honeysuckle 19.07.08
growing in hedgerow in Chapel Lane

cinnabar moth caterpillar

cinnabar moth caterpillar
Photographed on ragwort 19.07.08

Bittersweet

Bittersweet
Study of petals 11.06.08

male yellowhammer

male yellowhammer
08.06.08

common blue butterfly

common blue butterfly
06.06.08

River Ash

River Ash
looking south from the bridge at Hadham Ford

Common poppy (papaver rhoeas)

Common poppy (papaver rhoeas)
in rape field 29.05.08

Caley Wood sunshine

Caley Wood sunshine
29.05.08

Millenium Wood fox

Millenium Wood fox
24.05.08

common comfrey (symphytum officinale)

common comfrey (symphytum officinale)
06.05.08 banks of the River Ash

Garlic Mustard or Jack by the Hedge,(Alliara petiolata)

Garlic Mustard or Jack by the Hedge,(Alliara petiolata)
flowers, leaves and fruit edible . Good in salad and pesto

April showers

April showers
Double rainbow 30.04.08

Caley Wood bluebells

Caley Wood bluebells
22.04.08

Yellow Archangel

Yellow Archangel
Chapel Lane (20.04.08)

sunlight 16.04.08

sunlight 16.04.08
looking south west from Bush Wood

snowy buds

snowy buds
06.04.08 in Bush Wood

Looking north west

Looking north west
05.04.08 evening shower approaching

Back Garden

Back Garden
Easter Sunday (23.03.08)

Brick Kiln Hill

Brick Kiln Hill
Looking east (23.03.08)

No play today

No play today
The 2nd hole at Ash Valley golf course

Teasel head

Teasel head
Bush Wood (21.03.08)

Reflections

Reflections
daffodils at Bush Wood pond (21.03.08)

Swollen River Ash

Swollen River Ash
The river at the bottom of Winding Hill 16.03.08

Daybreak over the chapel

Daybreak over the chapel
Thursday 13th March

Wild daffodils (narcissus pseudonarcissus)

Wild daffodils (narcissus pseudonarcissus)
growing in Bush Wood

January snowdrops

January snowdrops
Banks of River Ash, north of Much Hadham

Good Moon

Good Moon
From garden 24.01.08

Village Green

Village Green
Looking east towards Acremore Street

Looking south before Hadham Ford

Looking south before Hadham Ford
rare January blue sky

Useful sites

The following are some useful websites that may interest readers of this blog.
Firstly, Bishop's Stortford Natural History Society http://bsnhs.webplus.net/

Fellow birder, Gary Whelan's blog. Gives reports from our trips out together plus reports from his trips abroad. http://hairybirders.blogspot.co.uk
http://www.hertsbirdclub.org.uk/ The official herts bird club website. Frequently updated, listing bird sightings around the county. Offers links to many other websites. Both of these sites also offer links to yahoo discussion groups.
http://www.birdforum.net/ An international site. You can enter as a guest but become a member( free) to post comments, bird sightings and just about anything to do with wild birds. Good news updates, classified section for binoculars, cameras etc.
http://www.guidedbirdwatching.com/ A new site set up where you can contact people worldwide who will help you find good birds in their country. UK section being set up presently.
http://www.britainsbirder.co.uk/
Fellow birders blog. Strtford resident, Graeme Smith regulary birds the area south of Stortford as well as around Spellbrook and the River Stort from Spellbrook to Twyford Locks. Some superb bird photography: Graeme uses a digital camera attached to his powerful telescope to get detailled images of the birds he sees. Well worth a browse.
Two local sites that may be of interest can be found at
http://www.thehadhams.com/ www.thepelhams.net/content/section/12/139/

South Easterly walk

South Easterly walk
black, normal, red extended walk

South Westerly route.

South Westerly route.
Black usual, red extended

North Easterly walk

North Easterly walk
black short, walk. Red, extended

North West Patch

North West Patch
black route regular. Red route the extended wander