Saturday, 2 February 2008

The Last of Norfolk

Snow Buntings, such beautiful birds.


Finally finished sorting the Norfolk Pictures out. Here are the last of them. Hope you enjoy them i hope that they are some of my better shots.

Just wanted to bring a story to you about Norfolk to show the lighter side of the trip. Everyday whilst driving from our cottage to various locations we saw the same Barn Owl in the same area. We tried to get close enough to photograph it and were lucky enough to do so, however it would eventually fly off across the road and into another wood. We would then continue on our journey, and on passing the edge of the wood where the Owl flew Chris would say, that it was sitting half way down a field next to a wall. On the last morning of our stay we were again in the same location and again the owl flew off. Sure enough Chris said he'd seen it again as we drove further on, I even confirmed it with a quick look through the bino's, this time we decided to try and sneak up on it. So we parked nearby and began to walk back stalking it carefully and quietly. It wasn't until we'd got within 100yards that we realised that something was amiss. The Owl that we had seen and had stalked was nothing more than a white tipped piece of wood. Thank god that our photography skills are better than our eyesight.




Lapland Bunting.

Norfolk was a great place, Check out Chris and Dave's sites to see some much better pictures(See my links).

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

More Norfolk.

Cley Marshes are one of the best places to see large numbers of Golden Plovers. Here are some others.

Pintail, this is a very pretty male.

Wigeon. Don't you just love this bird?

Redshank. This one was a little more wary of the hide and didn't come very close. Watching him through the binoculars was great.

Monday, 28 January 2008

More from Norfolk

Here are a few more shots from Norfolk.

Egyptian Goose, seen both captive and wild.

Little Egret seen at Cley Marshes.

Lapwing, captive.

Eider, captive.

Bearded Tit, captive and part of a breeding program.

More to follow.

A glorious Sunday

What a beautiful day today was. My good intentions of doing all my washing and household chores went out of the window somewhat when i realised this might be the best chance over the next few days for some photography. A trip to Slimbridge had been on offer but i had turned it down. I needed to find something to reconcile myself for making that foolish mistake. At the same time i did not want to go too far because an afternoon of watching FA Cup football was also on the cards. A decision was made to spend a short time at Cannop to see what was on the lakes and the feeding station at the small lake. I had not been there long when a male Brambling showed itself.

He was followed by a male Reed Bunting, also making good with the offerings available.

It was a shame that so many people were about because they didn't stay long. The constant stream of cyclists and walkers meant that the birds spent as long in the tree tops as they did on the feeders. A pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers also showed briefly.

On the whole it was a great hour spent watching. Also present were the usual Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Robin, Dunnock, Blackbird, and a brief Treecreeper. Also present was either Willow or Marsh Tit, but i'm afraid I cannot yet tell the difference.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Norfolk Trip

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.

More to follow.