An unexpected PJ tick and more!

It turned out to be a rather wet and dreary weekend so we were pretty much stop at homes. Ian took advantage of the occasional dry spells to mow the lawns; that reads far more impressive than the reality!

We set the moth trap and got a reasonable number but not high and nothing new, not even for the year. It seems to be a long while since we had one new for the garden but maybe that is more about my memory than the moths.

Any way back to my tick. I love a lazy bath, preferably earlyish so there is plenty of evening left to spend in my PJs. Ian was watching football on Tv so off I went to listen to the radio, relax and return, complete with PJs.

I work on the assumption that no one is spying on me (any way I am decently covered you understand) so out I go in my PJs to check if any interesting moths have flown in. First trip out at about 9pm nothing exciting to report. Nearing 10.30 and I thought I would pop out again so I opened on of the French Windows to be greeted by this!IMG_9126 toad

I instantly closed the door, called Ian and reached for a camera before opening for another look. Eight months with no frog or toad then both within the week and I didn’t even have to leave the house for the toad. It was sat wedged right against the door frame and didn’t move. I popped outside and took a couple more pictures, went to look at the trap (nothing to report there) and he was still sitting there. An hour later and still he sat but this morning he was gone, good job really.IMG_9122 Toad

I wonder if he lives in our garden? Maybe he will be back again tonight or maybe we will never see him again, who knows? Our shameful amphibian/reptile list has doubled for the year this week. Now I am hoping for the odd snake or lizard to appear!

Well as usually happens day followed night and we decided to go to West Acre to see what we could find, hoping the Kingfisher might make an appearance and it did! It didn’t come in as close as before so no improvement on picture but it is always a treat to see one.

We were also entertained by dragonflies and hirundines, both dipping into the water and both so fast catching them with the camera proved rather tricky for me! There were Swallows, House martins and some Sand martins too, they seem to appear in a very large group, feed and disappear just as suddenly!

When we first arrived at the hides the dragonflies were very active but as it clouded over they were less evident. I only saw one land, all the rest were busy in flight.

We got a message that sent us chasing up to the coast, a Pectoral sandpiper was at Salthouse so we were off. Now it is true to say that when I think of Salthouse I think of the long road down to the sea with Little Eye off to the West and Gramborough Hill off to the East. The message said it was on a pool West at Salthouse, at least that was how we read it. So off we trecked through the stones to Little Eye but not only was there no bird there were no birders either!

On checkng the message we began to wonder if we were in the wrong place, is that road known as the Iron road? NO! Back we went, hoped into the car and off to find the correct place and now I know why it is known as The Iron road I may just remember it, the track has loads of iron in it, simple really!!! IMG_9148 Iron road

A short walk and we were with others watching a Pectoral Sandpiper, hooray, bird number 243. It was rather distant but we got good clear views through binoculars and scope. There was also a Green sandpiper, Snipe and other bits and bobs. I’m not sure what that is lurking in the vegitation with the green sand.


As we were heading back ot the car we heard someone call that there were two Hobbys, they flew overhead then off but were a nice addition to our trip.

Almost time to head home but first a detour for a cuppa at a private tea shop nearby that never fails to please!

Just a tad breezy!

The weather forecast was consulted and the decision made, we would go out early so as to catch the good weather in the morning. Alarm set and we were true to our word, up and out and we were arrived at Salthouse fairly bright and early! As we got out of the car we realised it was considerably colder than recent days. Now we knew it would be a bit colder but we really were not expecting the wind!

Off we set, heading for Gramborough hill and we before long I spied a couple of Ringed plovers but were they Little ones I wondered? Even through the binoculars it was hard to see as they were, of course fairly distant and on the move a lot, but yes indeed they were Little ringed plovers.

It was good to be able to watch them for a while scurrying around.Battling cold and wind we moved on  Linnets were flying past in groups, making occasional stop offs.IMG_0555 Linnet (Custom)

We walked around the hill but couldn’t find anything else of interest, so we set off for Little eye. The walk along the shingle bank was a bit of a battle against the wind it amazes me that birds can still fly on such days!

I have said before that Little eye, Salthouse is one of my favourite placed and that Wheatears are my favourite birds so it doesn’t take much imagination to work out that Wheatears on Little eye are a real treat! The weather didn’t feel a bit like it but seeing Wheatears there made it feel like spring!

We saw a couple of Stonechats and plenty of Skylarks and Meadow pipits like the one here.IMG_0566 (Custom)

We left Salthouse for a coffee stop at Cley and to see what else was in the area before deciding where to go next. There had been a Whimbrel seen from the East bank at Cley a day or so ago so we decided to try our luck at that. No luck, in fact it was very quiet there and the rain was slowly arriving. We saw this single Ruff before heading for cover and decided to call it a day.

I was home for several hours and a couple of hot drinks before I started to defrost! I think the past few outings have spoiled me somewhat when it come to weather. A few days ago the temperature peaked at 16 degree today it managed a meagre 7 degrees but at least the birds are still showing up!



Good Friday reflections

My Good Friday began with breakfast of a cuppa and a toasted hot cross bun, well to be honest two! The sky was blue and it looked to be the excellent day the weather folk had promised us.

10am and time for church, time to reflect on the reason for this Easter weekend, for Good Friday. A lovely service, helping us to focus on the events of the first Good Friday, thank you Stephen.

We had decided to head up to the coast hoping to see a summer migrant or two but no luck with finding any. As I found myself to be still in reflective mood I decided to focus on just that, reflections.

Of course you can reflect on life and death, the future, the past anything that is in your mind and you can do it anywhere, but a nice setting helps!

Reflecting alone can be good…

or maybe with a friend or partner…

or it can be a group activity!

The groups above both the Godwits and the Dunlin are in ‘family’ groups but it can be fun to reflect with others too.IMG_0157 Redshank and Godwit (Custom)

If it doesn’t go well you can always walk away!!!

IMG_0158 Godwit and Redshank (Custom)

Little Eye at Salthouse is a favourite place for me, apart from the obvious joy of birding it is a wonderful place to reflect as you go or while you take the weight of your feet!

I haven’t said much about the strangers we have been meeting lately but I will tell you about one today. On Little Eye, tucked in on the side was a chap engrossed in drawing. With his permission I peeped at his work and he was drawing the scene there, as he said not an exact replica but with his own slant, it was looking good. We chatted a little about birds and life and it was a pleasure to meet him.

We went on to Cley, where in fact almost all of the photos above were taken. I think the little Dunlin were my favourite there today but they were soon to be pipped for the bird of the day accolade! We ended our birding day with a brisk walk down the East bank which was in fact rather quiet until we reached the steps back at the car park. Three common cranes flew almost over my head! Off over the trees they went but it was a thrill to see them so unexpectedly, bird number 162.

What a good Good Friday it has been, tomorrow Easter Saturday will probably be a quiet day and then comes Easter Sunday a day to celebrate.