Determination got us to 150!

What a fantastic day, I had to check the calendar and make sure I hadn’t slept in till May as that’s what today  felt like, look at the colour of the sky!  We had been really looking forward to our ‘Walk with the warden at Sculthorpe Moor and although it was fine it wasn’t really what we had hoped for. There was too much standing about for my liking and too much talk about the site and not enough finding birds, but that may have just been our view point. We had coffee waiting when the walk was over and then the decision as to where we would go next. We toyed with a few ideas but as we were both determined to reach 150 today we decided to go to Choseley barns and wait until we had seen Yellowhammers which never fail to show there. That sounds like fighting talk and of course we could have been let down but we were not.

What beautiful little birds these are with their call of ‘little bit of bread and NO cheese’ made me think of some gorgeous folk I know that have given up cheese for Lent! Once we had walked and seen the birds we parked up near a puddle in the hope that they may come down for a drink. Just as they flew in closer our plan was thwarted by someone else coming and parking right between us and the puddle, honestly the cheek of some people!!!

So 150 reached and nothing else in the area that was calling us so we decided to return to some old haunts. Thornham next in the hope that we might get shots of the Twite, no luck, the carpark is almost one large pool and so much or the path the kind of mud you fear getting stuck in…not again!

On instead to Brancater Staithe harbour which for some reason I just love.

It is great to sit in the car and eat lunch and even with the tide out waders and gulls entertained us. As we watched the Black-tailed godwit feeding in the thick, slimy mud it made me even more grateful than usual for my flask filled with delicious (though I say so myself) hot veggie sausage casserole. So as he dipped his bill in the mud I dipped my spoon in my flask, I think I win!

This Common gull sat on top of the post, alternating between wakefulness and snoozing (reminded me of a certain someone on the sofa occasionally 😉 ). The Black-headed gull spent ages bathing in a pool whilst an assortment of waders looked on.

I do find gulls rather confusing, but it struck me today, that the Common gull is the one there were less of and the Black-headed gull had a white head, so gull Id is easy right?!

Now the next part of the day is where I kick myself…hard! We had seen three Barn owls this morning which was brilliant, all in flight and no photo opportunity. As we drove from Brancater we both spotted a beautiful Barn owl perched on a road sign, perfect pose! Well it would have been if either us had seen in in time, but no by the time we saw it we were upon it and it flew off. Lovely to see but frustrating to have missed the chance.

We stopped of at Holkham to see what was in the fields, not a lot was the answer but I couldn’t resist this pair of grazing Egyptian geese.

I remember the first time we saw them, excitement and people stopping especially to see them, now they are common place.

We went on to a place that is often good for Barn owls, as we had already seen four today I though the chance of one being out was good. We did indeed see another one it flew around the edge of the field and returned with a tasty morsel hanging from its mouth. It dropped out of sight behind the building and although we waited we didn’t see it again. So today we saw five beautiful Barn owls which was wonderful, one day I will get shots to share here…one day!






Little and large

Today, the first Sunday of the year we have designated a day of rest, to be perfectly honest that is mainly because it is raining heavily! It does though give me time to get lists updated and tell you about yesterday’s trip out.

It has been windy and wet at night so we haven’t put the moth trap out this year yet and I am not too optimistic about catching anything for a while. Thankfully birds are a bit more obliging and yesterday we stayed inland and managed to avoid most of the rain. Lynford was our destination, both the arboretum and Lynford Water which is made from old gravel pits now flooded and home to a good number of birds.

Only  January the second but already snowdrops where out, imageat home we have bulbs which look ready to burst. I have a nasty feeling that if winter ever arrives these early plants may be in for a shock.

Anyway we set out earlyish and were rewarded very quickly by a lovely Barnowl perched on a fence post. It was a beauty but very quickly flew into a tree and we couldn’t get sight of it again, good to know a place to keep an eye on though and I hope to go along again when the light is good and try to get a photo of it, wish me luck. About two miles further on I saw what I thought at first was a buzzard (would have been the first of the year) but it wasn’t, it was a Red Kite and accompanied by a second one! They put on quite a display and again will be a target for a picture.

Moments after leaving the Kites a stoat ran across the road just in front of us so that is our third mammal.

it was very quiet at Lynford, well as far as people were concerned but I was struck by the amount of birdsong and activity. Good to get some more woodland birds including Nuthatch and Tree creepers image  We added 13 to our list ranging in size from the tiny Goldcrest to the might Kites deffinately  a day for little and large! We added Goldeneye on the lake but strangely have yet to see our first Coot of the year I wonder how long do you think till we get one?

I have several things I hope this year will bring, certainly wings in assorted varieties but it is about enjoying them and enjoying time to relax. Just a couple of days into the years and things are getting off to a good start am very optimistic indeed!

Number so far: 69 birds, 3 mammals