This weekend saw us take our first trip of the year too Norfolk, my main target being to see, and photograph Snow Bunting at a well known site near Cley on the North Norfolk coast.
Getting up at 5.00am , and setting off at 6.00am having checked the forecast for the hundreth time , Kay was soon snoozing in the passenger seat as I headed along the A14.
Nearing Wisbech , I was briefly joined by a Barn Owl that flew along side the car for a few hundred metres , I was hoping this was a good omen for our trip. Along the way, another Barn Owl , Buzzards , and Kestrels all made appearances.
At 8.30am we were passing Cley Marsh , a Marsh Harrier was flying over the marsh, the sun was out , the sky blue , all was well with the world .
Arriving at the car park , I was thrilled to see Snow Buntings straight away, in my enthusiasm , and fooled by the sunny weather , I got out the car without my coat , and was immediately cut in two by the icy wind whipping in of the North Sea.The next few hours were spent photographing Snow Buntings , a friendly Knot, and a group of very vocal and active Turnstones. As was to be expected several other photographers were present , and one photographer in particular provided some excellent advice regarding several species , so thanks Andy it was very much appreciated .
Having enjoyed more than a few hours with these gorgeous birds, it was time too head for Cley Marsh visitor centre , where the cafe promised warming hot chocolate drinks , and bacon sandwiches.
After refreshments and renewing our NWT membership we quickly nipped out to the nearest hide at Cley , where some nice views of Marsh Harrier , Lapwing , Black Tailed Godwit, Avocet , and two large flocks of Brent Geese all in a brief twenty minutes left us smiling as we walked back to the car to drive to our overnite accomodation.
On the way back too Kings Lynn we briefly called in at a site well known for its Barn Owls , and we were lucky enough to see four individuals all at long range and in rather poor light so no photos worth posting , but I have a feeling Kay and I will be back to this site.
The Barn Owl sightings rounded of a very good day , and we drove happily off to Kings Lynn :0)
Sunday 26th Febuary 2012
Leaving Kings Lynn at 8.00 am we headed for RSPB Titchwell, arriving about 8.30 am we headed for the beach , about a half mile walk through the reserve . On our way seeing Robins , Chaffinch , Linnet , Dunnock , Avocet , Black Tailed Godwit, Redshank , Little Egret , Brent Geese, Marsh Harrier , Meadow Pipit, and Greylag. A very pleasant walk in glorious sunshine.
Kay sat down on a bench chatting to all who passed , while I took a brief stroll along the beach , which unusually for Titchwell provided very little in the way of sightings .
Returning too Kay , she suprisingly informed me she was heading for the cafe and breakfast , I advised her I wouldn't be far behind , little did I know two hours later , I still wouldn't have made it to the cafe. ( lucky I have a understanding wife ) .
A gentle stroll again produced little in the way of sightings , but the Sky Larks provided some entertainment, obviousy enjoying the warm sunny conditions.
I decided it was time for the cafe , when I heard a familar pinging call ........... Bearded Tits ( Reedlings as they are now offically called ) . Then a brief showing in the reed , four in total , and that was it I wasn't going anywhere for a while .
An hour of hide and seek produced a couple of images , and a lot of frustration, such is the way with photographing these fast moving birds.
After an hour I headed back to the cafe too find Kay on her fourth cup of tea , and chatting to a couple who live in the village where I was born , only Kay :0).
Half a hour later feeling refreshed , I persuaded Kay to let me have another half an hour with the Beardy's , before we headed home , and a couple more images resulted , a satisfying end, to a lovely weekend in Norfolk .