Friday, 11 November 2016

Waxing Lyrical

Friday 11 November 2016
A return trip to Holt and the trees opposite Budgens car park and this time with sunshine. Result of course.... no Waxwings, though the Blackbirds were scoffing down the Rowan berries like no tomorrow.
Given the dull conditions yesterday I probably wouldn't have been able to contain myself if the Waxwings had turned up in this light. So after an hour of waiting and a bacon and cheese turnover from Budgens Oli and I decided we would try the Iron Road at Salthouse, a whim but you never know perhaps a Short-eared Owl ?? Silly talk really.
We photographed the obliging Turnstones in the old car park, now a shingle ridge following the storm surge a few years back. Have to say I really like Turnstones, not just because they are confiding, rather  due to all the subtle colouration of their plumage, so here we go..... a couple ofTurnstones from Salthouse;
We had a quick look round the marshy pools and put up a Jack Snipe and had a Lapland Bunting overhead, but our photographic time was spent with Stonechats (after I managed to fall quite spectacularly over a small wire fence- recovery was good and hopefully the whole incident was not fully observed ).

From here we headed to Holkham to look for the Shorelarks, but wait ... when at Wells we heard the Waxwings had re appeared at Holt - 'bout turn and back along the coast road. Sun shining and we were only 20 minutes out, surely this was it ? Hmmm on arrival the birders we had we'd earlier on said it was a false alarm and they hadn't seen anything. The downside of local twitching ! So back to plan and Holkham. We arrived and walked east... group of 57 Shorelarks were present with a dozen or so Twite. However at distance and it had clouded over:
We had visions of crawling out towards the flock but with other photographers and birders around decided against it. If we had we may have seen them this close ( taken at Spurn previous month )

Thursday 10 November 2016

I found myself just 3 miles from Holt this afternoon and was told some Waxwings had been frequenting the bushes opposite Budgens Carpark. Ok so it was as dull as it could be, even started drizzling, but hell it was only a few minutes away. I arrived at Budgens and walked over the road to where three other people were, and also where eight Waxwings were! The light was atrocious but the birds were close and very active. It certainly made for some challenging photography - ISO was around 2000 so rather grainy and when I reduced the ISO to around 500 there was too much blur as the shutter speed wasn't sufficient to freeze the action, and these birds were active. Managed the following: