Sunday, 22 October 2017


The last two weekends has seen me popping over to Norfolk, the weather hasn't been to kind on both visits but I needed a change of scenery and something to point my camera at with birds either having departed the county or awaiting the arrival of over wintering species.
My first visit was showery to say the least the second was overcast and breezy but a great time was had.
I don't mind nature reserves and are a great fall back option but I really can't stand hides at the moment. I think it has a lot to do with being couped up behind the wheel of a truck all week, I need my weekends to stretch the legs and burn off the calories of all those bacon butties :-)
Despite the lousy conditions I took the opportunity to really test out the ISO on the 1dmk4,cranked it to 6400 and wasn't expecting much but couldn't miss out on the Curlew flying about
 Little wing blurring thanks to lower shutter speed then I'd like and some odd thing happening to the background which I'm going to put down to vegetation unless someone has a more plausible idea.
I'll say it now to avoid repetition but the whole two visits my iso was stuck between 2000 and 3200 most of the time.
I walked around what's left of Salthouse a few times as it's good for catching up with passerine.
I was hoping for a Water Pipit or Rock Pipit but got mostly Skylark and Meadow Pipit which I enjoy.
Not sure why but wherever the pipits were there seemed to be Stonechats, which obviously peeked my interest being a personal favourite of mine. So obviously spent a long time trying to get close enough.

The female seemed quite approachable. The male wasn't so obliging and was either to far away, too dark or just annoying :-)
Also got a distant Wheatear
The pools also hold good numbers of Widgeon and Tealing and common waders such as Redshank and a lot of Little Egrets

My lunch and watering hole is always Brancaster, the baguettes from the seafood shack are a personal favourite and watching that mornings catch being freshly prepared for baguettes is the best food province ever. It's also a cracking place to get some more waders as they're a bit more tolerant towards humans here due to all the activity.
A solitary Grey Plover
Plenty of Black Tail Godwits

And obviously the most numerous are Turnstones. And often walk past within inches without a care in the world

Plenty of dunlin and ringed plover but stayed to far away. Curlew were temptingly close though.

The surprise wader as I've not really seen them here before and it didn't stay long either was a Greenshank
I always stop of at Snettisham on the way back home. It holds a lot of memories for me, so love visiting even if there isn't a spring tide due.
Big flocks of waders and big skylines and sometimes dramatic skies, I got lucky with a setting sun, the only appearance the whole two weekends.
Oystercatchers and Godwits were the biggest flocks at the moment, Oystercatchers
 No colour editing form the sun bursting through, as shot
The movement on the distant shoreline of Godwits (I think anyway) was like that of one those metal slinky toys going down a flight of stairs

Really love flocks of birds and the murmartion
 I think the last pattern are the birds indicating their direction whilst one person reckons it looks like a Stingray, Hmmmm.
Not ignoring local birds I found 6 Stonechats (typical lol) at Holowell and a nice influx of pipits on the shoreline, didn't spot the Wheatear, which I should have but my attention was obviously on the Stonechats and failed to see the Rock Pipit amongst the flock, too lazy :-)
Again the male eluded me and settled for the female

Seems to be a good year for Stonechats around here, I'm at a 10 individuals spread across 3 sites so far, this is the post I want them on but the Wren scares them off it.


  1. A cracking bagful there Douglas. I especially like the Curlew shots (my favouritist wader!)

    I love the North Norfolk coast (plenty of walking, and a good antidote to that high living truckers!), and when I win the lottery the first thing I'm going to.......sigh!

    Like you say Stoechats seem to be having a good year, there's been lots about recently....[;o)

    1. I love the call of the Curlew it's so evocative, I think when I also win the lottery I will be planning a retirement there, love the walking too.

  2. Ot's a long while since I have been to the north Norfolk coast, Doug, but having seen this post from you, I feel inspired to return there. I just can't resist a good Stonechat and probably get more pleasure from seeing the females than I do the males. The female is a beautiful bird as your delightful images show. Curlew is another of my favourites too!

    A great post!

    With my best wishes - - - Richard

    1. Cheers Richard, reckon a few of those Stonechats might migrate a bit further inland as the winter progresses so many here in Northamptonshire at the moment. Would advise a weekday visit as it's a bit quieter on the people front