Archive for Feb, 2021


I Spy a Snipe

There was a dog walker ahead of us so we slowed down a little to give him and his spaniel room to get by. As the dog sped passed us it flushed a Snipe from the ditch that ran away from us down to the retting pond. We stood a while to see if it would come back as the dog dog ran off and its owner followed. In not but a minute the bird dropped back into the ditch having done a big circle around the village. There must have been some tasty morsels in the wet ditch worth coming back for.


Bumbling about

After last weeks snow it was a real shock to the system to be able to walk outside in shorts this weekend. the Crocuses were out as were a few Daffodils. A Buff tailed Bumblebee was making the most of the pollen providers.



In the recent hard weather the East coast has had an influx. Videos, photographs, tweets and facebook postings have all been about ‘Woodcock’. Indeed there has been a large hard weather movement from the continent of this woodland wader.

I went out last week and inadvertently flushed at least two from within 200m of the front door. Another flew high overhead. I went out with the camera a couple of days ago to see if I could at least get a few shots off. The snow had become crispier and it crunched as I placed my feet. Not as easy to get close to these birds now as it was when it was sugary soft silent stuff (try saying that after a few Shackleton’s)

As I crept towards the small pine belt where I had previously flushed up a bird from under a wall, I stood still and scoured up and down for at least 20 minutes. Nothing. I went around the belt on the other side of the wall only to flush a bird from open ground where I least expected it to be. At the same time a second bird flew up from exactly where I’d been standing minutes earlier. I must have been almost stood on it. Grrrr. It wasn’t until I wandered the other side of the coast road and searched a likely looking spot I saw one feeding in among brambles. The lovely underestimated cryptic plumage these birds have makes them difficult to find unless they move.


A year, a marsh and a painting

On the 14th February, this Sunday, it will be exactly a year ago that Tania and I tied the knot and became husband and wife; our ‘paper’ anniversary. What a year it’s been. A strange year to say the least. We’ve been together; that’s all that matters. It could have been so different if we had delayed the wedding. In fact if we had put back Tania’s move from Australia, it could have been catastrophic. We count ourselves as fortunate; lady luck dealt us a good hand.

When we have been able to get out we have made use of the time to let Tania see a little of the Norfolk countryside. One place we have returned to time after time is Cley. We both love the marshes there.

John Hurst is a Norfolk landscape artist of impeccable quality who produces watercolour paintings I have admired for years. ( He captures just the right quality of light for than unique combination of sky and reedbed Norfolk has to offer When we saw his painting of Cley Marshes looking east towards Walsey Hills we knew we had found an ideal joint 1st anniversary present.


Goosey Goosey Gander

Easily within a stride out of our home was this splendid drake Goosander.

I used to live in Priory Cottage, not but a stones-throw from where the bird had chosen to settle over the last week or so. So the pond was a regular place for me to visit when I first moved up to the coast. It had held Kingfisher, Otter and even a Goosander or two in the past. The pond itself was the fish pond for the now ruined priory and supplied the carp for the monks. Something that perhaps wasn’t lost on its newest resident.


A walk to the Sea

The sea was full this morning; overflowing at the edges and pushing at the base of the cliffs. No wind so no waves but the swell was well over 2m. I had hoped a cetacean or two may break the surface but only a couple of Grey Seals put in an appearance.

Skylarks gave a backing to the percussion of Great Tits as I arrived at the cliff top. Plenty of Red-throated Divers still and the odd Brent moving West and then presumably back North; even a Great crested Grebe was on the sea evading the attentions of fish stealing gulls. However, there were a few new kids on the block. The Fulmars were back. On the cliffs, on the sea and gliding effortlessly by. Spring is around the corner.

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Feb 2021


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