Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Norfolk Day 28.10.19

Scraping the ice of the car at 5.45am, I then set off for Norfolk. The forecast hinted at sunny conditions and a warm, possibly 15C day. This was totally inaccurate as I arrived in Wells for a coffee in temps touching 3C and then headed to Cley Beach for a sea watch where the sun appeared for a while before heavy grey clouds rolled over threatening rain. I had no waterproofs with me so fingers crossed.
A large line of sea watchers were already present upon my arrival so I set my scope up a little away from this group as I wanted to find my own birds, not be told where they were. One chap in particular was calling every bird, position, direction, height, which buoy etc which sometimes can be helpful whilst other times I can live without it.
There was certainly a steady stream of birds: Great skua, Little auk, Guillemot, Red throated diver, Great crested grebe, Little gulls, puffin and brent geese. Ringed plover and wigeon, along with cormorant were particularly visible and there was a steady stream of gannets. It was too windy for hand held photos so I set off for a check around Walsey Hills and East Bank with a view to check Arnold's Marsh. A snow bunting was noted on the Beach Road.
Ominous clouds at Cley Beach, early morning

Little egret, East Bank, Cley

Herring gull, Brancaster Harbour

Turnstone by name, Turnstone by nature

Brancaster Harbour in good light

Another turnstone

Very little seen, a few Bearded reedlings "pinged" from the reeds and a Spotted redshank dropped into The Serpentine but everything else was as expected, so off to the Visitors' Centre for double espresso.

With the clocks having gone back, I knew I only had a few hours for photos so headed west, checking Lady Anne's Drive before arriving at Brancaster Harbour. Here the first Black tailed godwit of the day as well as turnstones, redshanks, a variety of gulls and two distant bar tailed godwits.
I moved on, checking Choseley Drying Barns but just added finches to the day list so off to Titchwell. I arrived to find a very full carpark having forgotten it was half term.
I checked the day list in the centre and headed off to the Island hide. All as expected here, with the sun appearing giving an afternoon blue light tinge to photos of regular waders and wildfowl.
I headed for the beach, checking Thornham Marsh on the left. Plenty of Brent geese and Little egrets as more bearded reedlings pinged away, out of site.
Sleeping drake teal

Bright eyed shoveler

Overhead Golden plover

Superb plumage on a drake teal

Dunlin

Ruff

Meadow pipit

Suspected Water Pipit

The beach was superb with a great variety of waders on the tide line including the first Sanderling, Grey plover and Oystercatchers of the day.
Then, with the sun sinking, off to the Parrinder Hide. Here, pipit confusion as several birders were all calling pipits but different ones and trying to explain which ones were where. A quick check revealed 1 Water pipit, 2 Rock pipits and a fair few Meadow pipits. 200 Golden plover descended on to the island and an unseen predator put everything up. I checked the dunlin but they were just dunlin! Plenty of ruff, avocets, a few Ringed plover  and numerous teal and shoveler. A flock of 30+ linnets landed in recently cut reeds for the seed heads before I wandered off back to the car.
I finished the day hoping for a short eared owl at Thornham where I got a pair of twite instead and then popped down to Hunstanton to see if the red rumped swallow was still about. No birders at the Sea Life Centre hinted that it probably wasn't and no sign in the 20 minutes I spent there in ever decreasing light.
Goose stepping Greylag

Curlew in blue afternoon light

Distant grey plover

Brent geese over the beach

Rockpooling Oystercatcher

Black tailed godwit

Preening redshank

Golden plover

One of many drake shoveler

A great day to visit with the weather conditions making photography tricky as one minute it was sunny followed by light clouds, heavy grey clouds, drizzle and then sunny with a rainbow.

Species list

  1. red throated diver
  2. great crested grebe
  3. gannet
  4. cormorant
  5. Little egret
  6. Grey heron
  7. Mute swan
  8. Pink footed goose
  9. Greylag goose
  10. Canada goose
  11. Brent goose
  12. Shelduck
  13. Egyptian goose
  14. Mallard
  15. Gadwall
  16. Shoveler
  17. Wigeon
  18. Teal
  19. Pochard
  20. Tufted duck
  21. Common scoter
  22. Red kite
  23. Marsh harrier
  24. Common buzzard
  25. Kestrel
  26. Red legged partridge
  27. Grey partridge
  28. Pheasant
  29. Water rial (heard)
  30. Moorhen
  31. Coot
  32. Oystercatcher
  33. Avocet
  34. Ringed plover
  35. Grey plover
  36. Golden plover
  37. Lapwing
  38. Knot
  39. Sanderling
  40. Turnstone
  41. Dunlin
  42. Redshank
  43. Spotted redshank
  44. Black tailed godwit
  45. Bar tailed godwit
  46. Curlew
  47. Ruff
  48. Great skua
  49. Black headed gull
  50. Common gull
  51. Herring gull
  52. Lesser black backed gull
  53. Greater black backed gull
  54. Little auk
  55. Puffin
  56. Guillemot
  57. Stock dove
  58. Wood pigeon
  59. Collared dove
  60. Kingfisher
  61. Skylark
  62. Water pipit
  63. Rock pipit
  64. Meadow pipit
  65. Pied wagtail
  66. Wren
  67. Dunnock
  68. Robin
  69. Redwing
  70. Mistle thrush
  71. Song thrush
  72. Blackbird
  73. Cetti's warbler (heard)
  74. Great tit
  75. Blue tit
  76. Coal tit
  77. Long tailed tit
  78. Bearded reedling (heard)
  79. Magpie
  80. Jay
  81. Jackdaw
  82. Carrion crow
  83. Rook
  84. Starling
  85. House sparrow
  86. Chaffinch
  87. Greenfinch
  88. Linnet
  89. Goldfinch
  90. Twite
  91. Reed bunting
  92. Snow bunting
  93. Yellowhammer
    Yet another redshank

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. In 2016 I spent time at Portland Bird Obs and two trips to Aviero, Portugal. 2017 found me back in Sri Lanka in Feb/March, then July and back for New Year's Eve celebrations in December. Also returned to The Camargue in May for a 4 day trip. Few plans for 2018, but nothing yet booked apart from a trip to the IOW.

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