I braved the M25 again this week but this time left much earlier (as instructed....:D )and popped into RSPB Rye Meads en route. Nothing much about but I rather liked this Teal perched on the branch.
I was treated to a very tasty meal at Chez Pete's again - yummy - and we set off the following morning, in the Autumnal early morning temperature; even had to demist the car and have the heater on!! Dawn broke as we drove.
After about an hour we stopped at the breakfast spot and had - bacon rolls and bacon, sausage and egg rolls with a welcome cuppa. Loverly!! And feeling human again, we continued.
After driving for a while we came into Brandon. It had been a long straight road through open countryside and then.....flash!!! I had totally missed the 30 sign!! And "bother" I exclaimed (well - slight exaggeration) as I noticed the speed camera. I await the dreaded buff-coloured envelope dropping through the letter box. (Think it will be a while before I'm allowed to forget this). From that point forward, every speed limit was considerately pointed out to me by Pete (just in case I'd missed another one!). It was a salutary lesson in observation!
Our first destination was Holkam Woods. We were hoping for migrants and certainly weren't disappointed as we walked down the lane. Hundreds of Pink-foot Geese were flying in to land on the fields. And of course it was one of the fields furthest away. It was an overcast morning and the sun was only glimpsed now and then.
It is an awe-inspiring sight to see, and hear, so many birds flying the sky at the same time.
Something I will never get tired of.
Joined now by Joy and Dave we headed off through Holkham Woods. We were hoping for Firecrests and Joy and I both have these on our "much wanted" lists. Sadly none were about but there were plenty of Goldcrests flitting about and calling and we managed to watch three at one time in the trees. Long-tailed tits also evident as we walked on to the hide.
Here we sat and watched yet more Geese coming and going - awesome! Another huge flock of hundreds were coming into land and, although photographically, this is a dreadful picture, it does illustrate just a few of the geese coming in to land in the fields!
We were further entertained by Marsh Harriers, Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk and a hovering Kestrel - 4 different raptors in about half an hour - not bad going.
Joy and I then counted 10 Curlew - but Pete counted 11. After several recounts Pete then asked if we were all looking at the same group of birds - we weren't - so there were 21 Curlew in total - lovely!
We then walked back to the cars where we had a drink before Dave and Joy had to head off home to be chauffeurs to their offspring!
Pete and I then headed off in search of something to eat and stopped at Morston Harbour. Having had a "comfort" break we bought crab sandwiches and crayfish tails from the kiosk and sat in the sunshine eating. Oh I could really get used to this and will be back for more at some stage :D
We decided it would be unlikely that we'd find anywhere to park at Blakeney so we walked along the coastal path in the afternoon sunshine. Very little breeze and watched Little Egrets, various Gulls, Redshank as we walked.
In the hedgerow, were several House Sparrows and a Reed Bunting.
the views walking towards Blakeney.
I wonder who this is disappearing along the path.....
Further along, we passed a small field with three Wheatear - great to see them.
As we neared our destination the harbour came into sight.
Blakeney is a lovely village and on the harbour wall several children accompanied by adults, were fishing for crabs. Plastic buckets contained very many of them (crabs that is - not children :) ).
This is a good spot for gulls and Black-headed gulls were presenting some good photo opportunities.
I just lined up the camera for this shot, when a stranger walked into the picture. Nonetheless.......it has a certain comedy about it.
Walking back to Morston, a flock of about 50 Black-tailed Godwits were grazing. Needless to say we were looking straight into the sun, now getting lower in the sky. So this is the best I could manage - if only it hadn't been such a steep bank down from the path into the field of stubble....
And finally back at Morston, after about a three mile walk, to find the tide had gone out whilst we'd been walking.
Then time to leave Norfolk (which I'm becoming seriously addicted to) and think about shopping for a meal. We were going to bring back some seafood but.......forgot to buy it!!
Beautiful scenery, some great birds, blue skies, warm sunshine and good company.
Another great weekend; thanks Pete!
What a week!
31 minutes ago