Titchwell RSPB

Bloody nose beetle
Bloody nose beetle

The final day of the weekend, we were determined to make the most of the weekend in terms of birds seen and time spend by the sea. We were first in for breakfast, a great veggie affair mushrooms, potatoes, eggs, beans, spinach and tomatoes, then we checked out and headed down to the car park at Titchwell, strangely we were not the first birdwatchers to arrive.

Dead deer on the beach
Dead deer on the beach

Apparently there was another very high tide which was about to turn, this meant that all the waders that normally spend their time on the mud uncovered by the tide would be on the scrapes of the bird reserve! True to form there were hundreds of them, knot, godwits, plovers, turnstone, the full monty. We headed on out to the beach (eider in eclipse plummage), then took a stroll down the beach for a mile or so to the end of the sand spit.

On the way back we spotted no less that 5 spoonbill, and a bloody-nosed  beetle, and so after spending some money in the RSPB shop we had to head home.

Burnham Overy Staithe to Holkham

An island
An island

The weekend of great weather continues. On Saturday we decided to revisit a walk we had done when we were staying at Salthouse in May. We dropped the car off in Burnham Overy Staithe, which proved to be difficult because there was a very high tide early in the day and all the sailors were out sailing and the normal car park was underwater. We found a spot and left the car, the plan was to walk to Holkham then get the bus back to the car.

We headed off along the sea wall,  the tide was higher than we have ever seen. It was on the turn and the currents were quite fast, and there were not a lot of waders about. When eventually got to a junction where right is to Holkham and left is towards the end of a peninsula where we had spied a couple of bird hides in May. In the way we came across a big flock of Linnet. At the end of the spit we could see all the sailors that had either sailed out or got a ferry to the island.

Paddling
Paddling

We walked along the beach and after a few hundred yards got our shoes and socks off. We then spent the next couple of miles bare foot paddling through the waves. We were however not as unclad as the nudists on the nudist section of the beach, (why do they insist on standing up and strutting about rather than just sunbathing like the rest of us.

We eventually got  to the strange area that gets flooded by the sea but not on every tide. There was lots of Samphire growing around there and the sand/mud was very slippery. We then reluctantly joined the public masses and headed for a bite to eat at the Holkham cafe. The bus then took us back to the car, but before heading back we checked out an Art exhibition in the local village hall.

That evening I had Samphire for a starter folled by Mackrel with runner beans and a mustard and gooseberry sauce!

Thornham to Holme and back

Storm over marsh
Storm over marsh

I have not updated the blog of a couple of weeks, not sure why but here you go I will make amends. This weekend Helen and I have been to Snettisham, for the weekend, we stayed at The Rose aand Crown a great pub with real ale and some rooms to stay in. The food is great.  If you want to stay I would recommend the new rooms rather than the quirky ones up the stairs above the bar.

We arrived on Friday at lunchtime after having spent the night at Mum and Dads, (thanks for the roast veg and couscous lovely), and had lunch at the pub,  before setting off for a bird walk.

Gall wasp
Gall wasp

The walk was from Holme to Thornham, we parked in Thornham then got the Coast Hopper to the Holme coast road stop. Whilst walking up the coast road there were loads of plum trees of different types all of them very sweet and ripe. We headed off over the golf course and then along the board walks to The Firs for a break in the hide to wait out a rain shower. Then it was off again through the woods and out along the sea wall. There we saw loads of butterflies everywhere we spotted about 15 different varieties, including a few we had not see before. As we got back to Thornham we had great close up views of three marsh harriers and we saw what we think was a bank vole.

There is a track of the walk and bus journey here.

Walk to Wendover and back

Walk-to-WendoverThe plan was to walk from home to Wendover along the grand union, then grab some lunch and walk back via the ridgeway over the hills. On the way round the village we decided to invite Helen’s folks along so we stopped off at Hillside on the way.

We left at about 10:30 and got to Wendover about 12:30. Along the way there were lots of ducking and signets, including Mandarin Duck. After lunch and a pint at the Red Lion we headed out along the brook that runs out of Wendover along the ridgeway.

Walk-to-WendoverBy 15:40 we got to “The Cafe in the Woods” for a welcome coffee and cakes. Finally got back home at 17:40 with tenderised feet, but a good walk all the same.

Swift, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Thrush, Starling, Rook, Red-legged Partridge, Pheasant, Magpie, Coot, Little Grebe, Mallard, Mandarin Duck, Long-tailed Tit, Buzzard, Swallow, Mute Swan, Dunnock, Jackdaw, Wood Pigeon, Blackcap, Moorhen, Blackbird, Red Kite, Green Woodpecker, Swift, (22 YTD )

Holiday bird list

Bar-tailed Godwit, Bearded Tit, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Common Sandpiper, Common Swift, Common Tern, Dunnock, Golden Plover, Greater Black-backed Gull, Greenshank, Grey Plover, Little Tern, Linnet, Redshank, Reed Warbler, Ringed Plover, Rock (Feral) Dove, Sand Martin, Sandwich Tern, Sedge Warbler, Short-eared Owl, Spotted Redshank, Swallow, Wheatear, Whimbrel, Egyptian Goose, Barnacle Goose, Brent Goose, Cetti’s Warbler, Common Cuckoo, Hobby, Knot, Little Ringed Plover, Mistle Thrush, Pochard, Temminck’s Stint, White Wagtail, Wood Sandpiper, Yellow Wagtail, Common Crane, Golden Oriole, Stone Curlew (101 YTD 129)

Stiffkey to Blakeney

Salthouse 2009-05Got the bus to Stiffkey Fen just outside Stiffkey. On the way to the Fen two bird watchers let us know that there was Temmerick Stint and Little Ringed Plover to be seen. We did our best but it took the help of a friendly couple to track them down. Whilst we were searching we could hear a Cuckoo then after a while it flew across right in front of us We headed on towards Morston where we heard a very vocal bird in a bush which we eventually caught sight of it was a Cetti’s Warbler. The coastal path is fantastic and the blue skies and southerly breeze made for a great day out walking, especially this time of year. We eventually got to Blakeney then got the bus to Cley where we had lunch at Cookes tea room. Later on we plan to walk down the north edge of the reserve hoping to see the Spoonbill on Billy’s Wash, and the Little Terns on Arnolds!Salthouse 2009-05

Barn Owl from the office window

Some of you may know that I keep a list of the birds I see from my office window. Well this morning a Barn Owl flew past along the hedgerow. Unusual to see one so late in the morning (09:00) perhaps it has young so is having to hunt into the day. It also gets added to the 2009 year list, which I need to tally up before we go to Salthouse on holiday.

What a day!

StablebrigeToday, Sunday was glorious. After a night on the tiles at the Wool Pack pub in Stoke Mandeville,we managed to get up early. Headed out to the hills around Ivinghoe beacon. The atmosphere was really clear and the clouds were white and fluffy, great day for taking photos, which I did and you can see here.

Walked from the NT car park towards Incombe Hole (where a Ring Ouzel had been reported which we failed to find) , and saw Whitethroat and Willow Warbler, spring is definitely here. Went back to Helen’s folks for coffee and cake, then saw the start of the Grand Prix.Marsh Marigold

After the Grand Prix we headed out on the bikes to a small nature reserve nearby where there are lots of butterflies. Today we have seen Small White, Large White, Green Hairstreak, Peacock, Tortoise Shell, Spotted Wood, Brimstone, Orange Top, and Comma which is a good start to our butterfly list.

The Independent is running a promotion where you can get a butterfly chart. Goto http://www.independent.co.uk/promo-offers enter your details and a the promotion code BUTTERFLIES, and they will send you the chart.

Stop Press — The Woolpack burnt down over night see the link http://www.bucksherald.co.uk/news/Police-close-road-in-Stoke.5206829.jp

Normal service resumed

Wild garlic
Wild garlic

Following complaints from blog followers (Angela) here is another blog entry. Out for a walk from end car park of Wendover Woods. Here just for Angela is a bird list.

Blackbird, Red-legged Partridge, Robin, Skylark, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Pheasant, Rook, Lapwing, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Coot, House Martin, Wren, Dunnock, and Collared Dove.

Interesting tree
Interesting tree

Along the way many spring flowers were out including bluebells and wild garlic.

Eels Foot Inn day 2

Pink Flower
Pink Flower

Clocks went back, so had to get up earlier than usual. Button won the Grand Prix. Added to list on the way to breakfast Pied Wagtail on the lawn.

Decided to park at Minsmere and walk to Dunwich and back. Weather cold but clear blue skies. Stopped at Dunwich for fish and chips part III, skate and chips was my choice, and very nice it was too. After lunch headed back to Minsmere, but not via the beach as the tide was in and the pebbles looked heavy….but after an ill advised change of mind the draw of the sea was too much, and yes we did regret it! Back at the visitors center by 15:30, on the road by 15:45 homoe by 18:30, a good run with only a slight queue t the M25 Aylesbury turn off.

Fish and chips Dunwich
Fish and chips Dunwich

Pied Wagtail, Collared Dove, House Sparrow, Wood Pigeon, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Rook, Moorhen, Marsh Harrier, Mute Swan, Greylag, Canada Goose, Greenfinch, Coal Tit, Magpie, Black Headed Gull, Dartford Warbler, Kestrel, Robin, Cormorant, Long-tailed Tit, Goldfinch. (22 YTD )