Thirty years ago we had our first holiday in Norfolk to celebrate Ian’s 40th birthday, we stayed in a house in Burnham Norton with our three children and my sister and brother-in-law, Janice and Chris. We had a good time and before long we had another couple of holidays this time in a house next door to Cley-next-the-sea NWT visitors centre.
Those holidays along with others spent in later years in Holt led to our future move to Norfolk. That all began thirty years ago, I’ll let you do your own maths as to Ian’s age now!
We spent the day out under an almost totally clear blue sky birding along the coast, We stopped at Chosely on our way to Holme-next-the-sea and we were really hoping to find some migrants but sadly we were not lucky. We did see some Grey partridges at Chosely which is always a treat as they are greatly outnumbered by the Red-legged variety!
There were plenty of Linnets, Meadow pipits, Stonechats and a smattering of other small birds but no migrants. A large flock of Brent geese flew overhead.
We went to Titchwell next and had a lovely walk up to the sea. On the way we heard several Cetti’s warblers and saw a couple which is not always easy! It was on our way to the beach that we had two ticks, one bird, one mammal and we were delighted. The bird was a Firecrest, the UK’s smallest bird and often rather elusive. It was a brilliant little bird and hoped into a shrub very near us, of course it didn’t stay still, hoping in and out of view but it was good to see it. Just moments before we saw the Firecrest we saw a weasel running for cover near the sea wall, brilliant .
This beetle was on the path, we believe it is a Bloody nosed beetle! When we reached the beach we found it to be quiet as far as birds were concerned but busier than usual with people. Fen hide had re-opened today so we walked there on the smart ne board-walk! We didn’t stay there long as a rather late lunch was calling us.
We have got into the habit of eating at Brancaster Staithe and did the same today, we had hoped to be meeting Peter and family for lunch but little Daniel was poorly so that plan had to go.
After lunch whilst having a stroll I got two phone calls. The first from Janice suggesting we meet up to tea and cake (sounded good to me!) we arranged to meet later at Cley as that would be en route to Salthouse which is where we wanted to end our birding day. Moments later Peter phoned and Ian was serenaded by them all to the tune of Happy birthday.
We met Janice and Chris as planned and after our refreshments we were all about to leave for a walk at Salthouse when to our surprise Peter arrived with Alice and Matilda! ( Lynn was at home with Daniel who was on the mend but not 100% yet.) So off we all went to Salthouse and our final shot at finding a migrant today, I was really hoping for a Wheatear.
We had a good walk on Little Eye but no luck with birds even with all our eyes searching!
It was soon time for the others to leave and Ian and I to walk in the opposite direction up Gramborough Hill would we find anything there? No not really but the light on the water on the way was lovely.
We continued to search and looked out to the sea hoping to see things arriving but it was not to be. I think it is fair to say Ian had enjoyed his birthday and I have no doubt he will sleep well tonight!
So one more bird takes us to 166 birds and the weasel takes us to 11 mammals, 2016 is going well!