Bempton Cliffs.

Bempton Cliffs.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

** A Break At North Norfolk.**

Last week Pam and I went to Norfolk for a break to visit friends. We stopped off on the way for 2 nights at a B&B at Great Walsingham. All the while we was there we saw many pheasants and believe it or not most of them was the melanistic type, males (mainly glossy green above, and glossy purple below) The B&B  was a short distance out of town, which meant  there was a chance of me seeing a barn Owl, and I was right. The owners told me that there was a pair breeding in one of the old barns in the farmers field at the back, and they have at times had one sit on their front wall, so in the early evening I went outside  to have a look around, and I didn't have to wait long, The Barn Owl was flying about quite close by, it looked very handsome when it was flying over the oil seed rape fields. The following evening I saw a distant Marsh Harrier quartering the fields a little way off, and when I told the owners they said that they are regularly seen because a short distance away is the reserve of Sculthorpe Moor.
The following morning while looking out of  our bedroom window 2 Grey(English) Partridge walked across the road and into the owners garden. Nice ending to our B&B stay.
Our friends live at Overstrand, but on the way we stopped off at Wells Next The Sea, and I am glad we did. It was a nice day and while sitting at the harbour I saw a lot of gulls  and a few Common Terns around looking for  food, as they do, and then I saw 2 smaller birds, I knew what they was straight away. They was nippy, hovered, dropped down for food, yellow bill, and legs, I am of course talking about one of my top 5 birds. 2 LITTLE TERNS.  5 days later when we started out for home we went via Wells and to my surprise the 2 Little Terns was still there.
This wasn't a birding holiday but we did go out  on 2 days, the first was a trip to Titchwell RSPB reserve.  It was a lovely day but there wasn't great number of bird species about but what I did see was well worth the  the trip. I had a look around from one of the benches that overlook the scrape. There was a few of the wader species that are seen at many places at this time of year, the only different one was a solitary Little Ringed Plover, but what was keeping me there for quite a while was watching 9 LITTLE GULLS scattered around, that was one of 2 good species of bird I was told to look out for when I was in the visitor centre.
The other species took me a bit longer to see because this species was on the other side of the reserve. When I arrived there was 2 other birders watching through the screen at what I wanted to see and that was  RED CRESTED POCHARD. It wasn't just the species I want to see it was the number, there was 12 in all, 5 stunning males and 7 female. On our way back I saw a few birders on the east bank at Cley, I asked them what was about and they told me that there was 2 Spoonbills out on the salt marsh, so I walked on a little further and then I saw them, another nice bird for my holiday list.
My final day out was to Hickling Broads. it was a glorious day, ideal for looking for swallowtail butterflies.
I asked in the centre if any had been seen and she told me to keep a eye on the thistles next to the path that leads away from the hide. I did this and I didn't have to wait long, SWALLOWTAILS, 3 of them flying up and down. The first one I nearly trod on. The pictures are not that good due to the fact that they didn't settle in one place for long.


The other 2 was flying up and down the same area. identification was easy due to the fact that one had wing damage and another had tail damage.



The picture below was a point and shoot, I just happened to see them together so I fired off a couple of shots, this is the closest I got to getting both of them in one picture.




I have been there many times and never seen them as close as that, at one time another seeker and I was as close as 4-5 feet away. Amazing, "What beauties".

And now for my usual *Bird of the Day* It should be quite difficult but to me there can be only one, and that is the ** 2 LITTLE TERNS.**

( I know it is not a bird but how can anyone not want to put the Swallowtail as their best sighting of the day)

6 comments:

  1. A great holiday, Ken. I miss seeing the yellow swallowtails, so your photos are a real treat for me. :-)

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  2. Wilma.
    Thank you for your comment.

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  3. We can only dream of getting shots like these,superb Ken.
    Looks like you had a great time.
    John.

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  4. We can only dream of getting shots like these,superb Ken.
    Looks like you had a great time.
    John.

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  5. Ken ,
    Norfolk never seems to let anyone down , great place to visit . Had hoped to get back up for Swallowtails this year , but it hasn't come together yet . Always nice to see Barn Owl and Grey Partridge , a rarity these days . Nice mix of bird species seen and Swallowtails to finish off a great visit , Nice one .

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  6. Ken,
    Those "melanistic" pheasants are probably an American variety of pheasant that the shooting brigade put out for their shooting purposes. I've seen the same type on Sheppey at times.

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