Tuesday, 4 December 2012

NORFOLK 4-12-12

I had to get out of Northamptonshire today, no the locals hadn't reached for the burning torches and descended onto my house, I just felt a little stagnated recently and needed a change of scenery. I planned Monday to sleep during the day so I could watch the Monday night NFL match in the wee hours of Monday night/Tuesday morning, so once the game had finished I got dressed and packed the camera gear up and hit the road, almost literally, it was icy out. My destination was going to be Salthouse Marshes, Cley Marshes and Brancaster Staithe, no point with Snettisham no big high tide.
Car de-iced, heater on and stocked up on petrol station coffee and a certain brand of energy drinks I was on my way.
CURLEW (NUMENIUS ARQUATA), MUD GLORIOUS MUD!           
COMMON REDSHANK (TRINGA TOTANUS), NOT GREY SKIES BUT GREY WATER, LOOK AT MUD DROPLETS LEAVING FEET
I arrived at Wiveton (just behind Cley) just as the sun was rising got out and almost jumped out of my skin, it was freezing, luckily the Barn Owl I had opted to photograph could be done from the comfy of the warm car. Barn Owl shots in the can I headed for Cley Marshes, I spent more time here then I had planned, mostly photographing Black Tail Godwits, Marsh Harrier and the Kingfisher posted below on a...post. There were still some Bearded Tits pinging down near the small carpark near the East Bank but they never really came close but were great to watch through the binoculars none the less, a smallish flock of Godwits went skybound down near Arnolds marsh a quick scan of the sky revealed what looked at first a Peregrine, later examination of my "record shots" have me thinking the bird was a Lanner falcon hybrid, definately not pure Peregrine, not the first time I've seen such a bird at Cley! I was enjoying my morning so much I had completely forgot the cold and actually had a smile on my face, I know! Yet there is no image to prove it. I went back to the hide to get some more waders but had to settle for Teal, Widgeon and Shovellers and the odd fly over of Brent Geese, I'm always left dumbfounded why other "toggers" ignore these birds, with one togger asking why my camera was pointing in their direction, all in good humour, so I pointed out that were I live Greylags and Canada Geese are the best geese to be had and they were lucky to get them. I had a chat with some other bloke in the hide, who's name I still don't know, even though I see him counting Godwits in the hide every time I go to Cley, with his wife on the other end of a walkie talkie doing the same in the other hides. Nice bloke and always seems to recognises me, he even asked where Ben was.
It was breakfast time so headed off to Brancaster for some healthy fry up. On the way stopping at Burnham for more Marsh Harrier and Barn Owl images.
I had my breakfast, scanned my phone for any sightings, visited a few websites.blogs etc I wasn't looking forward to being on the harbour/sea front given the wind direction and the cold weather and was dragging my feet to leave the comfort of the warm cafe. I pulled into the harbour, luckily it's one of those spots you don't have to get out of the car to get images from (see posted Redshank image), though I did get out to scrounge some shellfish from the fishermen. This helped bring in some Turnstones, Herring Gull, Common Gull and Curlew. A Red Breasted Merganser flew through but my steering wheel got in the way. Also got a couple of Sanderlings but I've got better, but they are my favourite wader so I quite enjoyed there frantic running, I think they too had a particular brand of energy drink. It was getting late so opted not to back track to Salthouse, instead taking the long way home via the Ouse/Nene washes, never been and just wanted to drive through and see if it was worth a visit on another day, it did look good. Not sure what road I was on, I was lost and enjoying the scenery I did get a Kestrel hovering along a drainage ditch and was able to stop on the road and get some images, sadly I couldn't stop for the Barn Owl that was quartering a similar ditch ten miles further down the road as it was slightly busier. Good to see none the less, taking my total to four different Barn Owls for the day, WHY CAN'T IT BE LIKE THAT HERE IN NORTHANTS?
It wasn't exactly one of my best trips to Norfolk, it was an improvised day out so was just glad to see something a bit different, got plenty of images to work through and got some fresh air into my lungs and recharged my batteries. The snarl up just after Peterborough meant slow progress home so pulled off at KFC near the A1, downloaded my images to my laptop, browsed a few more websites ate some very tasty but totally bad for you junk food and waited for the traffic to die down. Good call, as the last leg of the journey home is always a chore, but did get a few Redkites just outside Oundle/Titchmarsh. I might post a few more from Norfolk if I don't get anything decent in Northants, if I do get something or do something of interest the images will go onto my website instead.
Bet you can't wait lol
KINGFISHER (ALCEDO ATTHIS), AN ADDED BONUS FOR THE DAY





6 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good day Doug, with some great images.
    Never been to Cley. One for next year perhaps.

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    1. You really should get to Cley Keith, it's not just Cley but there are a lot of good spots close by that are worth a visit. I suggest Spring/Autumn for the migration season though.

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  2. Sounds like a dream of a day Doug. Only thing that would improve it would be some tropical sunshine! Great images - especially the spooky Redshank! When will we see the Barnie images?

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    1. A tropical heatwave would've been nice :) Or even a change of wind direction, when that wind comes off the sea it cuts to the bones! As for the Barnies, the next time it's dull or cloudy I shall work on them, it sounds lazy I know but the images I got aren't to different to what I already have so I'm not in too much of a hurry to process them...nah I'm lazy who am I trying to kid :)

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  3. The Redshank is brilliant, Doug. Looking forward to seeing the Barnies.

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    1. Thanks Christian. I've just done some Redshanks and Marsh Harrier amongst the images I got. Just about to start looking at Barnies. I'll end up posting them hopefully Friday.

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