Friday, 15 May 2015

Another Norfolk Day

Leaving home just before 5a.m. I was heading off to spend the day guiding 3 ladies from Sheringham to a few less well known birding areas around the town. After a brief stop for coffee and seemingly ending up behind every tractor in Norfolk, I arrived just after 7 and we were off to Kelling Heath.
Whilst it is always good to see rarer birds, the idea of today was to show the ladies where else they could go birding, so not too bad when we failed to connect with the resident dartford warblers. However, a brief view of a woodlark (year lister#1) made up for this, with chaffinches, goldinches, greenfinches all showing well and warblers: chiffchaff, willow, garden, blackcap and whitethroat all heard, if only fleetingly seen.
dunnock at Kelling Heath

Greenfinches at the level crossing, Kelling Heath.

From here, we headed to Kelling Quaggs where a lesser whitethroat was heard and seen very briefly. More whitethroats and blackcaps plus shelduck flyover, egyptian geese, avocets and a distant hobby (year lister #2) making the day list. Highlight was a rufous morph female cuckoo that flew over the water meadows and over the horizon. Great flight views of this unusual bird. As was the case all day, finches continued to show well whilst warblers remained skulking in the vegetation.
Goldfinch at Kelling Quaggs

A long jam through Cley meant I took the route through Wiverton and we stopped at Wiverton Heath, where a nightingale was singing from deep inside gorse and elder vegetation. Lovely to hear and another year lister for me.
On to Salthouse beach for a quick look but only a rock pipit on a fence post of note so up to Cley Visitors' Centre for a coffee. A cetti's warbler called from the hedge, but scanning the reserve showed very few birds present so after coffee we were on our way to Warham Greens, where I also pointed out access to Stiffkey Fen. Very little to be seen so we turned back before getting to the gibbert roundabout. A spoonbill briefly seen made the list and plenty of brent geese remained.
We popped into Morston where the major bird for the ladies was seen well for a good amount of time, both on the ground and inflight; a greenshank. Very pleasing to see and a year lister for me.
A rest was now required so we took time out at Blakeney Harbour where we noted a drop in temperature and an increase in breeze speed. We then arrived for lunch at Cookies for a sea food salad, all good as usual before a wander over to the public hide at Cley. Common sandpiper, little ringed plover, black tailed godwit and distant dunlin were added before a final destination for a brief and windy sea watch at West Runton. 2 gannets and a common gull added here. What happened to the breeding fulmar that used to be a fixture along these cliffs?
So, after being out for over 9 hours it was back to Sheringham and a well earned rest for the ladies. Returning home I stopped off at several woods but only added great spotted woodpecker to the list for the day.  I was back in the village by 7.30, ready for a meeting at 8pm, so a long but most enjoyable day.
The weather, whilst remaining dry throughout, was never sunny, so not many photos taken.
Avocets from public hide at Cley

drake gadwall at Cley

shelduck at Cley

View from the public hide: black tailed godwit, avocet, mute swan, shelduck et al.


Year listers: 4, nightingale, greenshank, hobby and wood lark

Species list:
gannet, cormorant, little egret, grey heron, spoonbill, mute swan, greylag goose, brent goose, shelduck, mallard (10 sp) gadwall, shoveler, pochard, tufted duck, marsh harrier, kestrel, hobby, grey partridge, pheasant, moorhen (20 sp) coot, oystercatcher, avocet, little ringed plover, lapwing, dunlin, common sandpiper, redshank, greenshank, black tailed godwit (30 sp) black headed gull,common gull, herring gull, little tern, wood pigeon, collared dove, cuckoo, swift, green woodpecker (heard) skylark,(40 sp) woodlark, sand martin, swallow, house martin, rock pipit, meadow pipit, pied wagtail, wren, dunnock, robin (50 sp) nightingale, blackbird, garden warbler (heard), blackcap, lesser whitethroat, whitethroat, sedge warbler (heard) willow warbler  (heard) chiffchaff (heard)  great tit (60 sp) blue tit, magpie, jay, jackdaw, rook, carrion crow, starling, house sparrow, chaffinch, linnet,(70 sp) goldfinch, greenfinch, bullfinch, reed bunting, yellowhammer. egyptian goose, cetti's warbler
A total of 77 species which is not too bad considering the weather and the fact no migrants were reported from the North Norfolk coast all day.

1 comment:

Jono Forgham said...

One of the ladies, not registered with google, has requested that I put this comment she emailed me.

"As one of the ladies, can I just say how much we enjoyed the day. We all improved our birdsong knowledge and it was so good to find out about new places to see birds along the Norfolk coast. Thank you, Jono"

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