Archive for the 'norfolk birds' Category


Turn Turtle

The way we treat our land and the wildlife that occupies it is coming to a watershed. Some would say we have already reached a point of no return. One bird that has become very scarce in the UK is the Turtle Dove. A massive reduction in numbers has been caused by insecticides in the UK, destruction of their wintering habitat in Africa and sky pointed guns in the Mediterranean. This is a bird that’s onto a loosing streak wherever it goes.

This summer a pair have sought breeding sanctuary at Titchwell RSPB here on the north Norfolk coast and have been frequently visible in the car park. I photographed one there last week. Reading old copies of the Norfolk Bird and Mammal Report it wasn’t uncommon to see hundreds during a day on the coast. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a sizeable flock of these birds. Do I think they will be seen again in the UK in those numbers? No; but we can hope.


Kelling Heath and the Chalk Reef

If you have visited North Norfolk to bird watch or you live locally you need to be aware of something. DONG Energy (a Danish Company) have given planning notice of an offshore windfarm development called the Hornsea Project Three.
In a nutshell the offshore 342 wind turbines, 19 or so offshore platforms,12 transformer substations and up to 3 accommodation platforms will be located 121km northeast of the Norfolk coast and 160km east of the Yorkshire coast. They will be connected to the shore by up to six undersea cables running in a south-westerly direction from the windfarm to the proposed landfall at Weybourne in North Norfolk via a possible booster station based out at sea. From here it is proposed the cables will be buried in up to 6 trenches, running in a south/south-westerly direction for approximately 55 km and will connect to the national grid between Swardeston and Stoke Holy Cross in South Norfolk. the development area will be up to 200m wide along it’s length.
The construction of booster stations along the route may also be required.
There will be construction of temporary haul roads and temporary access tracks, both alongside and separate from the cable route used for the purpose of enabling the underground works
Notice has been given of the required temporary stopping up, alteration or diversion of any street and the permanent and/or temporary compulsory acquisition of land.
A couple of maps are available here Hornsea Project Three_Onshore_Statutory_Consultation_Plan_July 2017 Hornsea Project Three_Project Overview_Phase 2_Statutory_Consultation_Pl.._ showing the seabed route which importantly bisects the offshore chalk reef and also the proposed alternative route across Kelling Heath.
Birds such as Dartford Warbler and Woodlark will probably be effected. Adders and butterflies such as Silver studded blue may also be effected. It’s up to you, me and the rest of us to object if we find these plans unacceptable. You have until 20th September to make representation to DONG Energy, by email to or by post to Hornsea Project Three offshore wind farm, DONG Energy, 5 Howick Place, London, SW1P 1WG.
I have been sent details in my capacity as an interested party using the county for wildlife tours for my comments.
My thoughts: The government has stated that by 2040 there will be a major move away from petrol and diesel vehicles to electric cars and are investing heavily in battery technology to make this happen. This is good. We have to move away from the use of fossil fuels to countermand global warming effects. Power supplies must be developed to enable this change. We have several choices; wind and wave electricity production are two of those choices. So love them or hate them windfarms are part of the resolution. However North Norfolk does not feel like the place development of this kind should take place. I feel we could use the area around Paston to land the cables thereby keeping the heavy industry within Norfolk contained in one place and make the transport of energy to the grid without cutting across an internationally important chalk reef and a nationally important heathland area.


The Common Shrew is one of the two most commonest mammals in the UK. However despite that they are hardly ever seen; most often observed by cat owners or clutched in the talons of Barn Owls and Kestrels. They are without doubt elusive. When you are just a couple of inches long I guess it pays not to put yourself on general show.

It was Phil who pointed out the grass moving as we returned to the vehicle. We were out on tour in the overflow car park at Hickling NWT. The twitching grass yielded this little fella. Nose or what?


A funny little turn

Some wonderful terns nesting in Blakeney Point this year including several pairs of Little Tern. Viewed and photographed from a safe distance aboard ‘Temples Boats’.


Regular breeders from now on?

A good number of Black winged Stilts have bred in the UK this summer. This Mediterranean species is of course more at home further south; but in what is probably a climatic change indicator several pairs have nested around the UK in Cambridgeshire, Kent and Norfolk yielding a total of thirteen fledglings. The Norfolk pair have successfully reared four young on the Norfolk broads and we’ve been out to see them on several tours. The adults are quite defensive and protect their offspring from marauding gulls by flying up and seeing off any interlopers.



It was such a din was coming from the reedy ditch we were walking alongside.

We were on a days birding tour out on the marshes last week. The reed stems were quaking and shimmying from where the noise was emanating. It didn’t take long for us to see the perpetrators of our broken peace. A newly fledged nest of Reed Warblers were still squabbling for their parents attentions.



Close up and Personal

This Broad bodied Chaser was hung up drying after it had emerged the other day. Find these insects so fascinating.

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September 2017
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