Posts Tagged ‘Norfolk

30
Jan
23

Larking about

Walking along the cliffs in the week was a delight. The sun was shining and the wind had dropped; it could even be said it was warm. Warm enough to make it pleasant to stand and watch the sea. It was high tide and the waves were licking the base of the cliffs. Very little was passing-by to the North but here in the grass around me the Skylarks were definitely feeling Spring in the air. The warmth had got to them too and their blood was up and flowing. Pairs were displaying. Crouching, wing spreading, bowing and generally larking about.

27
Jan
23

Who’s watching who

I was stood watching the marsh the other day and a Buzzard landed in the tree next to me. He was obviously uncomfortably sat on a load of spiky twigs despite there being better perches just a little further away. I wondered why he’d chosen that particular vantage point so close to me. Then I saw the rats running around nearby!

24
Jan
23

Good numbers

Seems to be some good numbers of wild swans about this winter. These Bewicks did a nice flypast last week.

07
Jan
23

Chatting

A subtle but firm ‘tack’, gave away a Stonechat calling to his mate.

04
Jan
23

Craning a neck

One thing I love about the Broads is the wide expanse of reedbeds. Reeds talk in the breeze; softly murmuring. Their song is only broken by the haunting cry of Cranes. Last week we were craning our necks to see over reeds when up flew flock after flock; ‘whooping’ their way into the distance.

24
Dec
22

A Christmas present

It’s been a period of distant raptors in Norfolk. After the Pallid Harrier showed for Tania and I we came across the White tailed Eagle that’s been haunting the Holkham area. It didn’t take us long to find the juvenile bird sat in trees to the North of Bones Drift.

Viewable from the coast road it sat majestically in a dead tree. Unperturbed at passing Marsh Harriers that were in mobbing mode it stood its ground as you would expect of a predator at the top of the food chain.

Seeing an Eagle whether it be in Scandinavia, Scotland or on the Norfolk coast, even if it is a reintroduced Isle of Wight bird, is always a treat. A nice Christmas present.

Merry Christmas to one and all.

21
Dec
22

A Harrier among gentlemen

I finally found time to be at Stiffkey earlier this month. After a morning of faffing, I made myself a little lunch and set off after the mid-day news. The light was already beginning to go by the time I parked the car and walked down to the marsh. There were already a couple of guys looking for the Pallid Harrier.

We talked. I enjoyed their company. They were nice people. One guy had come a long way; from Wales for a holiday in Norfolk and the Pallid would be a new bird for him. It was fitting then perhaps he picked up the bird first as it flew over our heads and out onto the marsh. It perched for less than a minute and went down to roost. After a conversation of reflection my two new friends made their way back to their cars but I decided to stop and see if it re-settled. Sometimes as Harriers seek shelter for the night they fidget from their original spot in a restless flight as they seek a comfortable spot.

The dying sun showed below the clouds and bathed the marsh with the ‘death throes’ of an orange glow. The Harrier rose from it’s roost and circled. All the features of this beautiful bird were highlighted in the warm end of the spectrum; the orange underparts shone in the light and the boa wearing bird perched and once again settled as the sun pulsed out its last rays.

06
Nov
22

Another Nearctic Visitor

Yet another Nearctic visitor flitting about Cley and Salthouse of late is this Long-billed Dowitcher.

31
Oct
22

The accent is on montane

Whenever I hear a really good bird is on Blakeney Point my heart sinks.

The Point is a four mile walk there and a four mile walk back … on shingle.

My tour today had cancelled due to illness, so I almost felt obligated to make the journey to see the reported Alpine Accentor that was lounging away in the dunes on the point. I hummed and harred about the walk but reconciled myself with the fact I wasn’t going to see the bird if I didn’t leave the car park!

It was a rather more pleasant walk than I envisaged as the retreating sea had left a hard strip of sand. Much more palatable than the three steps forward, two back, shingle.

The last time I saw an Alpine Accentor was almost eleven years ago at Christmas 2011 as I meandered among alpine chalets in Austria. They were like Sparrows feeding at bird tables and in gardens. Prior to that I had seen a bird at Rimac in Lincolnshire in November 1994. That was my first in the UK. 28 years ago.

The bird was being watched by a small band of bird watchers in the dunes and when I arrived it was busy feeding away. I watched and photographed it for around an hour before it became restless. Maybe the clearing skies told it it was time to move. Move it did. Taking to the air it went towards the lifeboat station where it alighted briefly and then it went upwards and East until I couldn’t see it anymore. Apparently, it alighted at the Watch House 2 miles away before maybe continuing East. I wonder if it will be seen again?

Update: Well would you believe it turned up in exactly the same location at 3:30pm on 2nd November … where on earth has it been in the meantime?

27
Oct
22

Paled into significance

I was beginning to form an opinion that identifying Pallid Swifts from Common Swifts in the UK was beyond the capability of normal mortals. That is until I saw the four birds that roosted this evening on the cliffs at Cromer. They showed remarkably well in excellent light and at close range. All the identification features on these avian knives of the air stood out like a silver shilling up a sweeps a**e.

Are four birds together a UK record does anyone know?




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