Monday, 30 November 2015

Norfolk in poor light conditions

Last Wednesday, set off for a tour of less visited places in North and East Norfolk. First stop was Lynford Arboretum near Mundford. I arrived early before sunrise and was immediately greeted by a flock of flyover siskins. Goldcrests hovered and flitted around the conifers and a single firecrest was noted near the office shed. Too early for a photo, so off to check the feeders. Here, 20+ coal tits and at least 3 marsh tits in amongst a throng of chaffinches, blue and great tits, but no sign of bramblings that often winter in this splendid area. Very early morning photos here of the marsh and coal tits.
2 marsh tits and a coal tit

very early morning marsh tit.
Having checked and not come across either hawfinch or crossbill, I was back in the car and headed to the Norfolk coast and a coffee at Cley following a sea watch from Cley beach car park. Small movement out to sea, with guillemots and gannets predominating but also a red throated diver, but no phalaropes. One was noted later in the afternoon!
From here, I headed for another sea watch, at Sheringham but very little apart from more guillemots. From the eastern clifftop carpark a purple sandpiper became year lister 201 and several turnstone could be seen on the beach. However, the light was becoming very strange, brooding and dark and on the horizon, clearly a sea squall was happening and it appeared to be heading inland and towards the east of the county where I had planned to go! Winterton Dunes is not the place to be caught in a heavy rain and hail storm, so I abandoned that plan and headed back to the west, stopping at Salthouse, Cley and Holkham before finishing, in what I hoped would be good light at Titchwell.
Alba sp wagtail (Sheringham)

black headed gull in very bright light

BHG on Sheringham beach

storm coming
Upon arriving at Titchwell I headed immediately for the Parrinder Hide. The sky was becoming increasingly cloudy and very orange. From  the hide, usual selection of waterfowl (shoveler, mallard, gadwall, few pintail and teal) along with a solitary pink footed goose right outside the hide. As can be seen form these photos, everything was now showing tints of orange.
4+ marsh harriers, a short eared and barn owl, both over Thornham Marsh whilst a flock of golden plover came in to roost with godwits, avocets, dunlin and a couple of ruff and redshanks.
All in all, a reasonable day.70+ species seen, but not one offering good photo opportunities.
Later this week, maybe a trip to Kent, Oare and Dungeness perhaps, depending on weather.
Shoveler (Freshmarsh, Titchwell)

greylag (Parrinder Hide)

same goose, in orange light

sunset over Thornham

incoming golden plover

orange grey heron in brooding light

Titchwell village from the beach footpath.
So, day didn't pan out as planned, so maybe later in December a trip to Winterton, Buckenham and Cantley as well as a quick scan over Breydon Water.

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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