Posts Tagged ‘North Norfolk Coast



The fullness of the neck ring on this Branta Goose photographed in the eye Field at Cley last week looks good for Black Brant. The white flank patch also looks pretty good as did the extent of the black belly through the legs. The mantle however looks a little too pale; perhaps indicating this bird is a hybrid. … maybe?

Black Brant



Every Day is a School Day

It was over a pint in the Foundry Arms that the idea was hatched. It had been done before in Yorkshire. It had even been tried in Norfolk many years ago without success but we thought we’d like to give it a try ourselves.
The luring of Petrels close to shore at night has been done at Filey in Yorkshire for years. We thought we’d ask them for advice and set up a rig of our own (thanks guys). It took us over a year to get things together and then built. When we tested things out Andy could hear it loudly from his garden when I played it in mine, some half a mile away, so we knew the rig was up to the job.
This week we gave it a try for real. Standing under the cliffs we blasted out a selection of Petrel calls into the North Sea.
A few beers added to a beautiful night. The waning moon rose over the sea and distantly over Lincolnshire a lightning storm flicked and sparked among towering clouds. Satellites screamed across the sky above and a surprising number of moths entertained us.
If you exclude the fox that came to see what the hell was going on and the couple of bats that flicked by after three hours we hadn’t attracted anything; but we learned a lot. What we should do next time, what we could do and what we mustn’t do all added to our knowledge. Every day is a school day.
No Petrels this time … but watch this space.

If you can’t get the above video to play please try this link


The ability to observe

I scattered a little seed around and went back to the Landrover to see what it would attract. Black headed Gulls were the first to take advantage and then a few Turnstones arrived. Sitting with the camera to hand I expected a few Snow Buntings to turn up. They have been regular around the car park, as they have in previous winters, but perhaps not in as greater numbers this year. Sure enough it wasn’t too long before a small flock of a dozen flew in and I started snapping away.

I don’t see everything, but I do class myself as relatively observant; but some people must walk around in a world of their own. You would think that a large vehicle with a 400mm lens pointing towards a dozen white birds feeding and shuffling across the shingle would prompt someone to think “What’s he doing? … Oh! he’s photographing birds … let’s give him a wide berth so as not to disturb what’s going on”. No such luck. Drongo and his five Labradors pile straight through between me and the birds and of course the whole shooting match is in the air. Now I’m a tolerant chap and we all have to live together and life will always be a compromise so I settled down to wait for them to return.

25 minutes later, again they fluttered in and once more the whole situation was disrupted almost immediately by yet another visitor with accompanying four legged friends. And so it went on sometimes in true Fentonesque style. In a moment of weakness the thought even presented itself to me that on occasion interventions were not accidental, but I dismissed this thought as decidedly uncharitable. It has to be said even a few bird watchers were not immune from this blinkered vision. It appears we have lost the power to observe. An ability that is essential to survive in the wild has been eroded by our cosseted lifestyle.

This inbuilt reflex is demonstrated by one of the Snow Buntings I was photographing. The bright sunshine and still air had prompted the emergence of an insect or two. Even as it was feeding head down on the shingle the little chap below had his eye on a passing fly.

Snow Bunting



Being Stalked

For the second time or maybe even the third time this year Norfolk has hosted a Sacred Ibis. See Letter from Norfolk 2nd July.

As I travelled along the coast this individual followed me. I was stalked by an Ibis!

I took the opportunity to take a few shots while the bird wasn’t knee deep in grass and rushes.

DEFRA (Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs) has already all but eliminated Ruddy Ducks from the British Countryside (rightly or wrongly) and of late has had a stab at Badgers, Monk Parakeets and Buzzards. Given the capability of Sacred Ibis’ to wipe out tern colonies I wonder if the hired guns of DEFRA will take a hand if the species does breed.


Booted Warbler Revisited

A revisit to Burnham Overy yesterday saw a merry throng of birdwatchers sneeking fleeting views of the Booted Warbler. I wanted a better picture in the better light the day offered. The bird had other ideas.


So Blue

A dense carpet of blue covers the woodland floor at the moment. As the stout stems bend over with their weight, the Bluebell flowers dance in the wind. If you could imagine them ringing the sound would be deafening.

As I preoccupied myself taking a series of shots it amazed me how others passed them by without a second glance. Such a shame.

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Jun 2023


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