Posts Tagged ‘West Runton



I was working on the laptop when the mobile rang. I knew it was Tania immediately because I could hear her talking outside through the open window. She beckoned me outside to see a ‘mouse’.

She had actually found a very young Short tailed Field Vole; it was happily feeding on crumbled muesli bar casually being sprinkled around it by my entranced wife. I could tell by the expression on its furry little face that it thought all its Christmases had come at once. Anyways we relocated it off the tarmac road onto the grass border to give it a little cover from the ever-present Herring Gulls.


What colours a head

Quite a few flava wagtails moving through at the moment. Several Grey and Blue headed scattered around the cattle in the fields down the lane. This Grey headed (thunbergi) came as close for me as it was going to, before skipping off through the flowers.

A regular site for them at West Runton. I photographed them here last year


Towering Waders

I caught a flock of Grey Plover sweeping through the village last week. Those dark auxiliaries; the armpit feathers, are a dead giveaway for an otherwise quite bland winter plumage wader. Several flocks have been around the village for a week or two now. If they aren’t in the clifftop fields they will undoubtedly be down on the beach.


You’re having a Lark …

Friend Andrew has a great view from his bedroom window here in the village. That’s how he found the Short toed Lark among Skylarks and Linnet that were feeding on the fresh plow in the field opposite.

I couldn’t get down the road to see it yesterday but I called at first light this morning. It eventually flew in from the South West corner of the field and showed pretty well before the rain set in. However, it was always pretty distant. I left it until later in the day when fewer people were around and the sun came out before I tried again. Tania joined me on the clifftop after she finished work and we both enjoyed good views as it slowly made its way over the field towards us.


A Morning to Remember

This morning was a ‘red letter’ visible migration day. Stood at what is fast becoming the UK’s Golden Oriole corridor I had arrived to ridicule. I had missed the first good bird of the day; an Oriole had made it’s way west at stupid o’clock in the morning.

‘It’s all quiet’, ‘not much about’ and ‘should have been here earlier’ were the phrases cast my way. However, the day had an air of ‘rare’ in the wind. This little corner of Norfolk had high misty coverings but no rain. The cooling wind swung around to Southerly, perhaps with a touch of East and ‘BANG’ stuff started to move. An Osprey picked up by Ian at incredible distance slowly worked its way towards us moving up and ever westward it eventually passed us 2Km out to sea. A cuckoo moving west dropped into trees and later leapfrogged into the paddocks. A smattering of Yellow Wagtails, a Couple of Marsh Harriers and Hobbies with a suspect pair of Barnacle Geese was set against an ever increasing number of Swifts and Hirrundines.

Then the icing on the cake. Again Ian called it first. A large swift coming in low over the fields. When I saw front on those languid wings generating a breakneck speed I knew it could be nothing other than an Alpine. It passed in a few seconds and was later picked up at various points further West before it left Norfolk at Hunstanton.

Now where’s that Collared Pratincole up the coast at Blakeney?


High Overhead

It was a notification from friend Andrew that had us looking skyward.

He had been stood on the hill at Northrepps when he’d picked up a Marsh Harrier flying West high-up. When we eventually picked it up as it flew towards us at West Runton it was really high … I mean REALLY HIGH! It was trying it’s best to migrate North and go out to sea but was having a really problem with the strong Northerly wind.

Would we have noticed it at upwards of a 1000 feet above? I doubt it. Andrew can still hear crickets … which gave him the nickname of ‘Dog-ears’. I reckon we should christen him ‘Hawk-eye’


About the village

Near to where we live is a horse sanctuary. I’ve always thought the open fields and good supply of insects would be ideal for Ring Ousels but I’ve never seen any here … so far. However, until they arrive in a couple of months there are always the Mistle Thrushes to watch. Charismatic big thrushes these birds. When disturbed they fly off with a complaining chatter otherwise they hop about as though they own the place.


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.


Feeding and Fledging

Feeding and fledging at its height now. Skylark on the cliff-top and Jackdaw in the village pub garden here in West Runton.



On our walks along the clifftop during May there’s been a couple of Stonechats that have obviously been holding territory in one of the hedgerows. As we stood on the clifftop looking at the sea, if we were quite still, they’d come alongside us to forage.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Mar 2023


%d bloggers like this: