Friday, 21 August 2015

Back to Norfolk for 2 days

Chance opportunity to return to Norfolk, camping at Stiffkey for one night. Off after emptying the moth trap and straight to Garden Drove between Wells and Stiffkey as this area can be good for migrants. First bird as I got out of the car at the concrete pad, a tree pipit. Hadn't even got the camera from the boot! Year lister 1. A walk to Warham Greens gave views of 20+ red legged partridge, whitethroat and, on the coastal footpath, lesser white throat. Over the marsh, little egrets, golden plover in their hundred, wrens and gulls, but nothing unusual. As I drove back down the muddy track birds were flocking around an oak. Blackcap, great, long tailed and blue tit, willow warbler, whitethroat and chiffchaff all flitting around. Off to Burnham Overy Staithe track where more regular warblers were noted, including a family of sedge warblers. At the end of the track, the icterine warbler showed well as I arrived with one other birder, before disappearing into the brambles and not seen again whilst I remained, hoping for better photos than these! Year lister 2
Whitethroat

Icternine warbler

another disappointing shot of this scarce migrant

From here, I set off to the campsite and put up my little one man tent before heading off for a check on the East Bank at Cley. Again, surprisingly, nothing too noteworthy and this remained the situation throughout the 2 days. Very few good waders, just plenty of godwits, ruff and dunlin.
A coffee at the VC before leaving the car at the campsite and a wander to the gibbert roundabout. Few whimbrel on Stiffkey Greens but no migrants in the sueda.
After fish and chips in Wells and a bit of sleep, I awoke to note a stooping peregrine high over the village. Year lister 3. I set off to net moths on the saltmarsh. A clear night and incoming tide meant I stayed to the footpath, but netted around 40 moths, none of which were unusual, with plenty of large yellow underwings and Pleuropyta ruralis, snout, square spot rustic. All of these were shown to some interested youngsters on the campsite.
avocet

3 dunlin and black tailed godwit at Cley

avocet and 2 ruff at Cley

2 of the 3 little stints

Juvenile little stint

The next morning and rain! A quick wander around the campsite and along the footpath showed that nothing new had come in overnight, so off again to Burnham Overy to see if anything had arrived here. Just the same, with good swift movement overhead, so back to the campsite, pack up tent and off to check the hides at Cley. From Daukes Hide 3 little stint in with good dunlin and ruff numbers. Year lister 4
I then thought Kelling Quag maybe good, but met a chap who had just returned from there with negative news on anything worthwhile, so a check along the coast road, stopping at Lady Anne's Drive, Morston Quay, Choseley and eventually Titchwell. Here, I bumped into Colin, birder from Stortford and we both commented on lack of quality waders. A pintail made the trip list whilst a sea watch gave year lister 5: an arctic skua chasing common and sandwich terns. 2 spoonbills flew over before I finished the trip with a drive down to Thornham harbour but again, just everyday fare, including linnets, redshanks, black headed gulls etc. A quick stop off at Hunstanton for a view across the Wash. Plenty of oystercatchers, sanderling etc on the exposed mud  and hundreds of common and black headed gulls on the pitch and putt course before the drive home.
A trip list of 91 species is not to be dismissed, but all the same, I would have expected a bit more quality. I plan to return next Wednesday, so fingers crossed for some south easterlies or easterlies on Monday and Tuesday.
male linnet

juvenile ruff

adult ruff

black tailed godwit at Titchwell

few of the 1000's of golden plover that arrived in North Norfolk on Wednesday morning

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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