Tuesday, 19 November 2013

I feel like a twitch

Tuesday 19 November 2013
News of a group of up to 12 Parrot Crossbills at Holt over the last few weeks and the forecast of a sunny day had me travelling to Holt Country Park this morning. I haven't twitched for a while, preferring the quiet of normal birding, but I did have a desire to see something more unusual. I felt that as the birds had been around a fair while and it being a weekday I would turn up and have to find them  myself, a challenge I was looking forward to.

Well I turned up to a near full car park and some 70 or so birdspotters all looking directly up into the top of some Larch trees. No surprises what they were looking at, but I had been warned that Common Crossbills were also present and caution was required. I made my way to "the spot" and before I could get my tripod up I was offered views through two other people's 'scopes. Now this really was very kind of them as they genuinely wanted me/any new arrival to see the bird quickly first, in case it flew off. It was extremely kind, but somehow the whole experience just lacked what I was looking for, not the Parrot Crossbill of which there were at least three, just how it all happened. I only have myself to blame for going I guess, and to be fair I too was a part of the group.

I managed a few snaps but the birds were quite far off at the top of the tree and all the prime spots were taken with massive lenses and the machine gun fire of shutters. I hung back and took a few pics. Then to the sound of bleeping pagers and tales of far distant birds seen on overseas trips as people chatted while leaving, I left.

I then went to the beach car park at Salthouse and arrived amid a school trip ! It just wasn't going to be my morning. Bitterly cold but I ventured along the beach to look for Snow Buntings, but to no avail. The ever present Turnstones by the car park did however oblige.
 This was more like it, no one else around just me and the Turnstones
The sun came out and I started to creep into a better position. At my age I need to stand up ever now and again so before going in for the kill I had a stretch. This signalled to the couple next to me who had just emerged from their car that I was having a break from photography. They came over and politely asked me what the little birds were. I told them and we had a brief chat about their habits and occurrence (the birds that is). Lovely, nice quiet interaction after the mass of Holt. I decided to move a few yards to the side to best catch the light. My friendly couple, zipped up their coats, pulled out their trekking poles and marched straight through the flock directly in front of me ! Give me twitchers any day ........................

Friday, 8 November 2013

Mornings like these

Week beginning 4 November 2013
Morning walks down at Deepdale Marsh with the hound have allowed me to reflect on why I love Norfolk so much which is as well due to a recent exposure to the second home set. It seems every time we have been out we've been sat next to groups of retired bankers all boasting that they have "bought in Brancaster"and other such places. Great for business ? well probably not those people..... anyhow that led me to think that the coast was changing just too much and maybe it was time to live elsewhere.

In an attempt to bring Teasel, the mutt, to some form of discipline I have been doing one and a half hours walks first thing, and on these walks I have met a few people, sensible nice local people, and have hence reformed my opinions. There are great places away from RSPB Titchwell and the Summer Sailing Set's haunts along the coast - quite different to the out of season types. So this week - delighted to live in Norfolk.

Here a few pics from yesterday morning's stroll. 19 Rock Pipits were nice, along with these fine Brent Geese.