Thursday, 13 August 2015

Super North Norfolk Day

Another trip to Norfolk as the weather forecast looked good. This was not always the case however, with overcast, if warm conditions most of the day. I decided to begin at Cley and finish at Titchwell as the light is often better there in the late afternoon.
After emptying the moth trap, I set off at 5.15 and was on the reserve at Cley by 7.30.
 The first bird of the day was a strange one: a cormorant flying over the M11, whilst the first year lister was a good tick: goshawk over the road some 3 miles south of Swaffham, near the pig farm with the conifer forest. Huge female flew low over the road.
At Cley a little gull showed well from Daukes Hide, whilst also yellow wagtail, common, green and wood sandpipers. A check from the Bishop's hide gave views of 2 curlew sandpipers coming into land, one in very smart summer plumage. From here, a wander along the East Bank to Arnold's where another wood sandpiper was noted. Greenshank, curlew and little egret whilst out to sea, 5 common scoter flew west. I met with David and Brian and we headed back to the centre for a coffee. Chats about space, astronauts, birding Cley in the '70's etc. All good memories of good birds, such as ortolan, marsh sandpiper, rustic bunting and memories of Richie Richardson.
They then headed for Stiffkey Fen whilst I though Kelling Water Meadows may turn up something good.
red legged partridge as I headed for the hides.

Plenty of birds to check: godwits and ruff, mainly

little gull


Black tailed godwit from Daukes Hide

1st of several wall browns
Having parked at Kelling I wandered along the track: usual fare; chiffchaff, sedge warbler, good selection of usual butterflies, southern hawker, common blue damselfly and common darters. The water levels were exceptionally high due to heavy rain so on the water meadows just black headed gulls and 2 med gulls. Stonechat in a superb state of disrepair whilst I checked for red-veined darters, but not enough sun to encourage them on to the path. However, a female hepatic cuckoo flew from a post before I could get a shot. I had another one of these back in May whilst guiding 3 people, strange to see 2 in the same place. This, as the previous one, a full adult, so possibly the same bird.
Another wall brown, different markings to the Cley individual

Presumed common blue

moulting sedge warbler

common darter

Tatty stonechat

Immaculate red admiral
From here, I drove to Stiffkey Fen, now a good site for spoonbill. Not disappointed with at least 24 on show, along with godwits, gadwall, geese, common sandpiper, ruff etc. A check over to Blakeney harbour showed well over 300 oystercatchers. Butterflies were everywhere, with a small copper and grayling being added to the list. Always a good place to visit, even when the footpath could benefit from a hedge trim. A common buzzard soared as I headed back to the car.
spoonbills at Stiffkey Fen

meadow brown

underwing of meadow brown
Titchwell was just emptying as I arrived about 4.30, so very peaceful. Huge increase in migratory waders whilst avocet numbers, which peaked at 600+ a few weeks ago now considerably lower.
A search for a white rumped sandpiper on Freshmarsh turned up good numbers of dunlin and 2 curlew sandpipers. More wood sands, too along with ruff, godwits, juvenile yellow wagtail etc.
Along to the beach and a quick check on Volunteer Marsh proved useful, in the distance, with a redshank and several dunlin, a smaller bird with bright supercilium, the white rumped sandpiper. Not anything of note on the beach so back to the Parrinder Hide,, where a 2nd summer yellow legged gull was noted. The walk back to the island hide gave good views of dunlin, little ringed plover, ruff and avocet, with more of the same from the hide. Back to the carpark and a quick trip up to CXhoseley for early migrants, but nothing but a few yellowhammers.
A super day and now looking forward to returning tomorrow (Friday 14th) for a few days camping at Stiffkey. Maybe an early morning visit to the gibbert roundabout or Stffkey Fen.
moulting dunlin

first year ruff

sharp plumage!


Posing dunlin

Little ringed plover from footpath



adult ruff

Freshmarsh
Species List:
littlegrebe, great crested grebe, cormorant, little egret, grey heron, sponnbill, mute swan, greylag, Canada goose, shelduck, mallard, gadwall, teal, pochard, red crested pochard, common scoter, marsh harrier, common buzzard goshawk, sparrowhawk, kestrel, red legged partridge, pheasant, moorhen, coot, oystercatcher, avocet, little ringed plover, grey plover, lapwing, knot, turnstone, dunlin, curlewsandpiper, common sandpiper, green sandpiper, wood sandpiper, white rumped sandpiper, redshank, greenshank, spotted redshank, black tailed godwit, bar tailed godwit, ruff, curlew, black headed gull, Mediterranean gull, common gull, herring gull, lesser balck backed gull, yellow legged gull, little gull, sandwich tern, common tern, wood pigeon, collared dove, cuckoo, barn owl, skylark, sand martin, swallow, house martin, meadow pipit, pied wagtail, yellow wagtail, wren, robin, dunnock, stonechat, blackbird, whitethroat, sedge warbler, cetti's warbler, reed warbler, chiffchaff, great tit, blue tit, bearded tit, magpie, jay, jackdaw, rook, carrion crow, starling, house sparrow, chaffinch, green finch, bullfinch, goldfinch, linnet, reed bunting, yerllowhammer.

91 species day.

Butterfly species:
Large white, small white, green veined white, wall brown, grayling, speckled wood, red admiral, peacock, common blue, small copper, gatekeeper, meadow brown.

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