Monday, May 16, 2011

Norfolk weekend - part one

After a bit of discussion we (myself and a friend) decided to have a birdwatching weekend in norfolk. A bit of searching we hit on Blakeney as a base. A couple of more meetings over a curry and a few beers and we had an outline of what we fancied doing (Subject to changes of course) So here we go...

Day One - the journey up

Left home at a reasonable hour and took a steady drive up the A5/A47 nothing spectacular till we got to Tixover and then we had excellent views of two Red Kite slowly drifting over the car ... if only we could have stopped for a photo opportunity!  Turned off into Collyweston and there was another Kite not quite as low but still good quickly followed by Buzzard Sparrowhawk and Kestrel .. so 4 raptors in the space of about 4 miles, pretty good going in anyones book me thinks. Originally we were going to head for the hotel and then take in some local sites but a quick change of plan and we headed towards RSPB Titchwell with the aim to arrive around lunchtime for a tea & sarnie stop ... it proved to be expensive but more later.

Early Purple Orchid at RSPB Titchwell

Fed and watered we took a slow walk around steadily ticking off the species that we wouldn't normally see in the heart of Warwickshire but it has to be said it was very windy and it was keeping some of the smaller stuf tucked well down in the reed beds. Then came the big mistake... on the way back to the car we called into the shop, I bought a couple of videos and John lashed out on a new pair of Bins, something he'd been planning to do but couldn't make his mind up. from here it was over to our base for the weekend, the Manor Hotel at Blakeney.

The Manor is an interesting place it has the look of a spanish courtyard about some of it.  The rooms were Ok  and you weren't restricted to two drinks per day like some places, with a bowl of milks and about 10 tea bags and the same of coffee - important for a tea-aphile like me :-)

Anyway, back to the birding, having check in tea'd up and unpacked we shot off to suss out a couple of site for the following day and then Wells Next the Sea for chips followed by a spot of owl watching.  I have to say the Chippy was excellent but they always are by the sea! the Owls... none existant ( never trust a man who says guaranteed spot for barn owls).  so back to the hotel for a few beers...

Day Two - oot and aboot

Following on from the first days success we had a conference over an excellent breakfast and decided not to go with what we'd decided and try some  different sites due to the crap weather forecast ... (never trust a weather person!) So we tried some of the lesser know spots like Burnham Marsh

Sea Campion
and Burnham Norton.

Thrift - Burnham Norton
Both of these looked good sites but again the problem was the high winds were keeping stuff down but we did manage a few warblers, a blue tailed and a small red Damselfly and quite a few Wall Browns which considering the wind was a feat in itself!

Wall Brown

Back to Titchwell for a cuppa and sarnie and we decided to have another look around ( still no rain as forecast!)  and saw more warblers then having sat on a bench for 5 minutes or so 3 bearded tit's appeared. but agin the blustery wind was making it hard work but it was still an enjoyable day 

Ragged Robin RSPB Tichwell

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