Saturday, 24 January 2015

First Norfolk Visit of the year


Friday I was off to Norfolk, with Gill from Much Hadham. We were planning on a general wander around the more productive North Norfolk sites to get my year list up and running.
First stop, in temperatures around -5C was Thornham. Here we started off with brent geese and a party of 45 or so twite. The light was not too good, which led to poor photos. However, this rapidly improved for the rest of the day. The windscreen wiper on the car was covered in ice, consequently, failing to clean my very dirty screen.
twite in sub zero temperatures

sunrise

Robin that landed on my bonnet to warm itself

reed bunting and twite
From here we made the short journey to Titchwell. Wrapped up against the cold blast we headed to the beach, where the tide was in. On a bush at the end of the path were a party of mixed finches, linnet, twite and goldfinches. A marsh harrier soared over Thornham Marsh. On the beach we watched a solitary kittiwake, red throated diver and 6 goldeneye, 5 drakes. To their right were a pair of very smart red breasted mergansers whilst further out were a group of 5 wigeons. Gulls, ringed plovers, dunlin and turnstones could also be watched on the sand.
Lapwings on the frozen Freshmarsh

Mixed finch flock



gulls and ducks on the ice.
We headed back to the Parrinder hide, past redshanks, little egrets, reed buntings and black tailed godwits. Most, as usual, of the birds were on the Freshmarsh and were in silhouette. Lapwings, avocets, gulls and wildfowl all were noted before the cold had us off for a coffee. Before we got there a quick check for a recently seen male hen harrier. No luck, but a fast flying merlin shot across Thornham Marsh.
Black tailed godwit
After our coffee, we headed to Burnham Overy Staithe but no rough legged buzzard showed. We noted at least 5 common buzzards, 2 red kites and 3 marsh harriers before we moved on to Lady Ann's Drive. Regular fare here: pink foots, wigeon, curlew etc so along to Cley. A quick sausage roll and then a trip to the beach. Gill wanted a lifer in snow bunting. A scan along to the pill box produced none, so off to Salthouse beach road. Usual flock of turnstones and gulls but no snow bunts and all who were about said they had not seen any. From here, a walk down the East Bank. Grey plover on Arnold's Marsh but no snow bunts. A party of 30+ linnets gave us hope, but not to be. As we wandered back to the car a group of 3 bearded tits showed nearby, venturing from the reeds and on to the ground.
By now it was 2.30 so we returned to Burnham Overy Staithe and a walk along the path to the footpath on the sea wall. We had hoped for barn and short eared owls, but got neither. More geese, both in fields and overhead and a flock of 50+ curlews ended the day as we arrived back home before 7pm. A super day.
Species list:
red throated diver, little grebe cormorant, little egret, grey heron, mute swan, pink footed goose, greylag goose, canada goose, brent goose, (10 sp) shelduck, mallard, gadwall, shoveler, teal, wigeon, tufted duck, goldeneye, red breasted merganser, red kite,(20 sp) marsh harrier, common buzzard, kestrel, red legged partridge, pheasant, moorhen, coot, oystercatcher avocet, ringed plover, (30 sp) grey plover, golden plover, lapwing, sanderling, turnstone, dunlin, redshank, black tailed godwit, curlew, snipe (40 sp) ruff, black headed gull, herring gull, lesser black backed gull, greater black backed gull, kittiwake, wood pigeon, collared dove, skylark, meadow pipit, (50 sp) pied wagtail, wren, dunnock, robin, stonechat, redwing, fieldfare, blackbird, great tit, blue tit,(60 sp) long tailed tit, bearded reedling, magpie, rook, jackdaw, carrion crow, starling, house sparrow chaffinch, goldfinch, (70 sp) greenfinch, linnet, twite, reed bunting,

Pink foot goose

Sunset at Burnham Overy Staithe

brents and 1 greylag in the last of the light

colourful lapwing

The confiding bhg at Cley beach

male bearded reedling

wigeon flypast at Arnold's

No comments:

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