Sunday, 8 November 2015


I'm going to be vague about the exact dates as earlier in the year I pulled a sickie off work. I had a terrible virus (if I remember rightly) but now my boss at the time has departed for pastures new I'm relatively but tentatively confident I can say I was lying lol.
I woke one morning and thought "fuck work" looked at my car and camera and headed out. It was bloody early the sun wasn't due to rise for at least another 3 hours, not sure why but I headed for Norfolk.
I made the carpark at Cley Marshes as the sun tried to burn through some low cloud/mist. I had to close the car window to muffle the calls of a nearby Skylark and distant waders as I called in sick. Job done I switched my phone off. I got to the hide nearest to the carpark and stood outside. I could hear then see Bearded Tits on the far side of the channel. But it was a distant Marsh Harrier that presented a half decent photo chance

I knew this near the hide would mean not many waders or wildfowl would be immediately out the front of the hide but went in.
Another togger told me I just missed a Spoonbill close to the hide. It did return but distantly and stayed with the other delights.
Still I couldn't help thinking if I get rumbled by the boss it was worth it and it was still early. Not slagging off reserves but as each visit to reserve gets ticked off the less appealing they are. Of late I have got accustomed to walking and love the 'freedom' it sometimes brings. It was still early and it was getting a bit busy so walked back to the car, I could stretch my legs at Salthouse not before snapping a Reed Warbler the first pulling apart a web

I bumped into a "Salthouse" local togger who happened to be "sick" too (lol) who told me of the havoc winter had done to the pools so I opted to head for breakfast at Brancaster Straithe. I love this harbour and even more the fried breakfast. It's good for waders mostly flying through and terns. Not my best efforts but a Little Tern flew through. Sadly getting close to rarity status these days...

The boats in the harbour are marmite, personally I like them. Others I've talked too reckon they detract from the image, hmmm.
The waders, well being a small working harbour draws all sorts in. I got loads of Curlew images to go through. I'm really struggling composition wise with those at the moment. Plenty of Redshank, Ringed Plover, just two Grey Plover, plenty of Sanderling and Turnstone though. I struggled to find a pure white Sanderling I found one that had me checking my book which set it off differently to the others

Compared to the majority still in spring plumage, being vague on time of year, I was assuming these were leaving soon for breeding but other Sanderling were still in spring'ish plumage of sorts...maybe it was an age thing....

The Turnstone will be a clue to exactly what time of the year it was to birders though, blasted Turnstone's, I love them though.

I took a wander searching for anything small and scarce but only got more of the same and an Avocet not really happy with the picture though.

What I hadn't realised after a good day was how ill I was and how it (the virus) would strike again, conveniently for a part two....


  1. Well worth being so poorly for.

    1. Definately, it pays to be sick sometimes :-)

  2. Sorry to hear that you were soooo ill Douglas. Glad to see that you did the right thing, a spot of sea air is definitely a good aid to a speedy recovery...take care though as I guess a total relapse could strike at any time?....Oh, dear...silly me! already did!!

    Good to see that your particular strain of virus didn't effect your shutter finger, you've got some cracking shots, especially the Little Terns.

    I really like North Norfolk, it's a lovely part of the country...I've already booked two (separate) weeks holiday there (Burnham Overy Staithe) for next year...can't wait!...[;o)

    1. I'm not sure if it will help but Burnham Deepdale have a Twitter feed, might be worth checking out before you go for local events other than bird/nature etc. It's a great spot in the country.
      Tricky thing them viruses *cough*, *splutters* ;-)

  3. I'm glad that the risk paid off so well, Doug - it'd have been a pity if the day had turned out rubbish! A great set of images all round. Well done!

    Have a good week - - - Richard

    1. Thanks Richard, to be honest if all I saw was a Blue Tit it would've beaten work hands down.
      I hope you have a great week too

  4. Hey a "bad" day birding in Norfolk beats a good day at work any time!!!! Love this post Doug, I can't get enough of Norfolk, a great place and I should visit more often. I too tend to keep away from the reserves flavoring the small ports and quays, oh I almost forgot to mention, a superb selection of images too!