Tuesday, 27 October 2015

North Norfolk without a camera

Set off for a day in North Norfolk and no sooner than I had got on to the M11 I realised that, although I had put camera in the boot, I had forgotten to put in the battery in which was recharging in the lounge!! Consequently, I  expected rarities to be popping up and posing just feet away from me. Fortunately, this was not the case although wrens, robins, stonechats and 2 jays posed for what may have been pleasing shots.
I arrived at Wells Woods soon after 7 but, apart from goldcrests and a male blackcap, not too much of interest, so on to Holkham Pines, where a firecrest was noted along with the regular fare found along the path to the Washington Hide. From here, Burnham Overy Staithe track but, as it has been for me on almost every trip this autumn, virtually birdless, save for a selection of geese in the field.
Off to Warham Greens and a walk west to the gibbert roundabout. A black brant in with 100's of brents on the marsh and a ring ouzel, briefly on the concrete path at the old gun emplacement roundabout. Plenty of wrens, robins, finches about and a large flock of 25+ mistle thrushes over, heading inland.
From here, off to Cley for a coffee but nothing too exciting on the reserve so time for a sea watch, where a constant stream of gannets east, mainly 1st year birds as well as a few red throated divers and a great crested grebe. Later in the day, a little auk was noted from here, but i either missed it or not present. Shame as photos show it came quite close to the shore.
Following the sea watch I headed for a lovely walk around Kelling Heath, hoping I may come across a great grey shrike, but no to be. More tits, finches, a yellowhammer and woodpeckers before I headed off to Sheringham for another sea watch and some late lunch. Nothing new out to sea so tracked back Stiffkey Fen and then on to Lady Anne's Drive to watch the spectacle of the geese arriving through the sunset around 4.15.
Splendid day rounded off by popping in to see Gary and Sophie at Egmere before heading home in heavy traffic.



Species List:
red throated diver, little grebe, great crested grebe, gannet, cormorant, little egret, grey heron, mute swan, pink footed goose, greylag goose, canada goose, brent goose, black brant, shelduck, egyptian goose, mallard, gadwall, shoveler, pintail, shoveler, wigeon, teal, pochard, tufted duck, red kite, marsh harrier, common buzzard, kestrel, red legged partridge, pheasant, moorhen, coot, oystercatcher, ringed plover, golden plover, lapwing, dunlin, redshank, black headed gull, common gull, herring gull, lesser black backed gull, wood pigeon, collared dove, barn owl, short eared owl, green woodpecker, great spotted woodpecker, skylark, meadow pipit, pied wagtail, wren, dunnock, robin, stonechat, mistle thrush, blackbird, ring ouzel, blackcap, goldcrest, firecrest, great tit, blue tit, long tailed tit, treecreeper, nuthatch, magpie, jay, rook, jackdaw, carrion crow, starling, house sparrow, chaffinch, goldfinch, bullfinch, linnet, reed bunting.

Black brant, short eared owl and ring ouzel year listers. Up to 196 sp. Photos here from previous trips.

Not the greatest list of the year, but with my infected leg, courtesy of a Dengue Fever relapse, unable to walk too far and very quickly ran out of energy, necessitating a sleep whilst in the car at Kelling Heath!! Hopefully, energy levels will continue to improve so that I can make the most of a trip to Dungeness later this week.

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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