Sunday, 4 October 2015

Day in North Norfolk

Wednesday found me heading off at a sensible time for North Norfolk. My plan was to check out the good, non reserve sites for migrants, so I headed to Burnham Overy Staithe track to begin. Here, a flock of 138 pink foot geese came in off, my first of the autumn. Also, a little distant, a flock of brent geese, again, 1st for the autumn. A couple of chiffchaffs, single wheatear and a late lesser whitethroat called along with bullfinches. Curlews, pink foots, greylags and egyptian geese in the fields and a couple of common buzzards but nothing unusual. I decided to leave the dunes for another day and headed off to Lady Anne's Drive, Holkham.

pink foots in off the North Sea

More of the same

Touching land for the first time in a while at Burnham Overy Staithe

Burnham Overy Staithe long tailed tit
Not too much as I parked and scanned the fields. A fly over marsh harrier before I headed west towards the Washington hide. Goldcrests, chiffers, a solitary willow warbler by the pond was all I had along with regular fare of great, long tailed and blue tits, so back to the car and on to Wells Woods.
Here, I headed into the woods by the beach steps and plenty of bird activity in and around both the conifers and drinking pool. Good numbers of goldcrests and a few coal tits flitted around, with even more chiffchaffs and then a call I was awaiting, yellow browed warbler. A year lister and in total, at least 3, probably 4 and possibly 5. Over 45 minutes attempting photographs proved to be an abject failure as these birds were on the move constantly. So too, with the 2 firecrests I came across at the drinking pool, 2nd year lister. A little grebe and kingfisher at the boating lake before I decided to head for Garden Drove.
Meadow pipits: pig farm, Garden Drove

Robin: Garden Drove

Chiffchaff: Wells Woods

Great Tit: Garden Drove

End of season Speckled Wood: Lady Anne's Drive

Immaculate Comma: Lady Anne's Drive

Here, I walked down to Warham Greens. Robins, long tailed tits, meadow pipits along the track and on the salt marsh, a marsh harrier, golden plover and good numbers of little egrets but still no new additions to the unusual migrant list. Too warm and (maybe) too breezy.
Off to Cley and a coffee at the VC. From here I noted plenty of birds on Simmonds Scrape and Pat's Pool, so popped over to Bishop's Hide. Ruff, teal, wigeon a plenty, lapwings, golden plover, redshank etc all made the day list. A hobby flew over, putting everything up but nothing out of the ordinary, so off to Gramborough Hill. Rather breezy, but still warm here, so a stonechat on top of the bramble patch here was a first for the day. A yellow browed called from deep inside the vegetation but didn't appear whilst I was there.Off for a quick sea watch at Cley beach where 4 gannets, a guillemot and one balearic shearwater east were noted
From here, Kelling Water Meadows where chaffinches, linnets, goldfinches, more stonechats and a single whinchat were noted. Plenty of meadow pipits, a bullfinch and several curlew in the fields. On the water meadows just a few black headed gulls, teal and a single lesser black backed gull before I headed further along to check the willows around Weybourne beach car park. Nothing new here, several stonechat, a wheatear and pied wags so along to Sheringham cliffs to finish with a sea watch. Still warm in the sun but the easterly breeze was quite chilling as I watched several gannets east and not too much else..
Heading home, I totalled a list of 75 species, which could have easily been increased had I popped into Cley hides and a flying visit to Titchwell, but very pleased with both year listers although I failed to get any photos of the 2 sp.

Teal: Bishop's Hide

Shoveler: Bishop's Hide

Sparrowhawk: Kelling Water Meadows

same sparrowhawk

red admiral: Weybourne beach car park

Stonechat: Weybourne beach

Gramborough Hill

Species List:
little grebe, balearic shearwater, gannet, cormorant, little egret, grey heron, mute swan, pink foot goose, greylag goose, canada goose, brent goose, shelduck, egyptian goose, mallatd, gadwall, pintail, shoveler, wigeon, teal, marsh harrier, common buzzard, sparrow hawk, kestrel, hobby, red legged partridge, pheasant, moorhen, coot, golden plover, lapwing, dunlin, redshank, black tailed godwit, curlew, ruff, black headed gull, common gull, herring gull, lesser black backed gull, guillemot, meadow pipit, pied wagtail, wren, robin, wheatear, stock dove, wood pigeon, collared dove, kingfisher, skylark, stonechat, whinchat, blackbird, lesser whitethroat, willow warbler, chiffchaff, yellow browed warbler, goldcrest, firecrest, great tit, coal tit, blue tit, long tailed tit, magpie, jay, jackdaw, rook, carrion crow, starling, house sparrow, chaffinch, goldfinch, bullfinch.

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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