Saturday, 6 May 2017

Another Norfolk Day

Another Friday, another early start meant I was wandering along Garden Drove, just east of Wells by 7.50a.m. Parking near the pig farm gave me views of grey partridge whilst whitethroats, blackcaps, chiffchaffs, a single willow warbler along with resident birds were all on the list promptly.
At Warham Greens, 3 whimbrel, egrets, brent geese and hoardes of goldfinches. A good start to the day as I ticked pied wagtail in the pig field where there were more grey partridge.
Grey partridge

Startled brown hare

willow warbler

Very distant whimbrel

Another grey partridge
I returned to the car and thought it has been a while since I did a tour of the Cley Square, so off I went. A hobby flew parallel to the car as I headed into Cley and more impressively, a short eared owl on the Coast Road near the cattle field and the junction of the Beach Road. Both new for year birds. I parked at the NWT HQ and wandered off to the central hides. Flyby bearded tits were another year lister and a sedge warbler skulked in bushes near Daukes Hide. The views from all 3 hides were disappointing, with little to be seen, so back to the car, recording reed warbler and reed bunting along with a distant marsh harrier.
Secretive sedge warbler

A more showy individual

reed bunting

Lapwing
I now headed to Kelling Water Meadows but little to be seen here. Usual warbler selection along the path and just a few avocets and gulls loafing around on the water, so back to the car, noting orange tip, peacock, small tortoiseshell and green veined white butterflies along the way.
Green veined white on common (or russian) comphrey
I now thought a visit to Gramborough Hill , east of Salthouse Beach Road, may prove profitable. Meadow pipits and skylarks along with a single wheatear, several ringed plover and warblers was my reward for the walk on and around the hill. A whitethroat sang constantly and I managed a shot through the vegetation of him.
Best I could manage of a whitethroat

Goldfinch
Last Friday I only spent a short time at Titchwell, venturing no further than the island hide, so today, I headed off there, popping up to Choseley for a uick check. Gald I did as a corn bunting was a year lister and a splendid female yellow wagtail flew down to a puddle as I was driving off.
Into Titchwell where I stopped for a coffee and chatted to Derek, a birder who has spent birding time with Colin Wells, a Stortford birder. On the path I met a couple from South Leicester bird club to whom I have given presentations, good to see them. On to the beach and a chance to find a sheltered spot from the constant north easterly. On a rough sea at least 14 velvet scoters in a raft of 100+ commons but little else. A common tern posed for this series of hovering photos and a little ringed plover and common sandpiper made the day and year list.
A good day, indeed, totalling 90 species, a record for me this year.
Mallard family

Common tern




Male ruff coming into breeding plumage

Little ringed plover

The Freshmarsh

Dabbling teal

Avocet
In all, I added 12 year listers:
velvet scoter
hobby
little ringed plover
common sandpiper
bar tailed godwit
little tern
swift
short eared owl
house martin
beared reedling
yellow wagtail
corn bunting.

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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