A much needed trip to Norfolk with Chris and Dave this passed week. Stayed in a very nice cottage local to Holt and not far from most of the birding hotspots such as Cley Marshes. Took lots and lots of pics some of which were very technically challenging and have pushed me to again look at my own ability.
To try and mention all the highlights of the trip would take too long, but two of the best were the trip to Salthouse for the Snow and Lapland Buntings (Pics to follow) and the Marsh Harriers at Cley Marshes, unfortunately they proved a little too difficult for me to get decent pics of, but i have kept one or two record shots.
Worth a mention also were the Barn Owls. Barn Owls seem to be almost as common in Norfolk as Buzzards are here and every trip out saw us stopping to try and take pictures. Special thanks go to Mr and Mrs Robin Coombe of Letheringsett who kindly allowed us onto their land to take some great shots of the Barn owls they actively encourage to flourish by the positioning of nesting boxes at various locations. They currently have 8 nesting pairs. They also had Goshawk on their land and i believe i got a glimpse of one whilst walking on one of the footpaths that they maintain. These are not public footpaths these are another example of their desire to encourage all to share in the wonder of nature. Again unfortunately for me my skills were not up to getting really clear sharp shots of the Owls but i don't doubt Chris and Dave will have examples on their sites in the next few days (see my links).
Our total of birds species seen was well over 70 (at which point i stopped recording them) but what we didn't get to see was the White Crowned Sparrow at Cley. We visited the site occasionally but the number of photographers /birders/twitchers present was always such that we did not wish to add to them. One visit did give us the opportunity but at that time the bird had disappeared temporarily so cameras stayed in the car. It was pleasing to discover that contributions to a collection for the local church have amounted to over £3000.00 so far, a little disappointing was the damage caused by vehicles parking on the green nearby but i believe that this is being addressed. It wasn't a great disappoinment not seeing the bird, there was so much else to see that far outweighed the chance.