Today I am beginning in the middle and will go back to the start later! Hunstanton has been known for its cliffs but sadly the past few weeks it is become famous for a number of Sperm whales that are becoming beached and sadly dying. Today whilst birding some way along the coast we heard of another whale that had been beached and initially it said it was dead. We didn’t want to go and see a dead whale but then reports came out saying it was alive so off we went leaving behind the Purple sandpipers at Sheringham.
It was quite a hike to get to the whale which was by then back in the water, a much better way to see such a majestic animal. It was approximately 46 feet long and weighed approaching 30 tonnes! We watched him in the sea but sadly the chance of him getting back to deeper waters where he should be are, unlike him, slim.
I really didn’t expect to be adding a whale to our list of animals, certainly not this early in the year, he was our eighth mammal. We were glad we went to see him but it is very sad to think he probably won’t make it. We left hoping that somehow he could be saved but although by then he was fully in the sea I suspect that when the tide turns again he may well get washed ashore again.
We went to Brancater Staithe to watch the birds in the harbour whilst eating lunch, we hoped to see the Red-necked grebe and try to get some photos. We finished lunch watching the usual waders and I was just going for a stroll when Ian spotted the grebe in the channel right by our car! Brilliant!
I followed him along snapping as I went and then a boat went almost on top of him so I thought he would swim right away but no. As the water settled up he popped again and along side him was a female Red-breasted merganser swimming to catch up with her mate.
An excellent lunch stop and in fact it was by then mid afternoon! We decided next to make a brief visit to Titchwell to see if anything interesting had flown in. We hoped to see a Woodcok but we didn’t we also hoped to get a Water rail and with that we were lucky. We took a slow drive home and found a pair of Grey partridge a bird that seems to be harder to see than a few years ago.
I end this as it began with a sad giant!
We had added four more birds to our year list bringing it to 137 and our mammals to 8 February seems to be as productive as January! Oh and I forgot to say we had a lovely view of a barn owl early on today and another equally good on our way home.