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Saturday, November 01, 2014

1st November

I am back home in London, though the thought of staying in our new home in Norfolk makes returning to London harder every time we are able to spend a few days there.

The winds were not the best for large autumn movements though there was the odd day or two when Blackbirds and Redwings were coming in off the sea. I think I missed a lot of the action due to domestic duties. The only rarity that I saw was a Richard’s Pipit in a sheep field by the track that runs from the Nelson’s Head Pub to the coast at Horsey. I was on my bike and by the time I was able to stop, the bird had taken off. It then did several circuits of the nearby area calling sporadically before then heading off southwards. That or another bird was seen a few miles down the coast a little while later.

Below are some of the photos I took, there was a shortage of subjects on the days I was out in the field.

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There were plenty of large flocks of geese making the most of the recently dug up Sugarbeet. It was fantastic to sit in my sun lounge and here and see them flying to and from their feeding areas and roost sites.

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This pair of Cranes were in a roadside field near Horsey Windmill, an area where I often jam into this species. Scanning the large field turns up lots of Marsh Harriers and in winter the odd Hen Harrier and Rough-legged Buzzard.

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These ducks took to the skies at Cley’s NNT Reserve when a Marsh Harrier (top right) spooked them.

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There was a large flock of Greenfinches feeding just west of the coastguards car park, amongst them were Linnets and at least 8 Twite.

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A distant Grey Phalarope (with a pink flush) was on pool behind the duck pond in Salthouse. The Jackdaws took a dislike to this unusual visitor.

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On a changeable Wednesday, with the sun in one moment and out the next we had an afternoon stroll along the beach just north of Sea Palling. You can just make out in the distance some artificial reefs that were constructed in the late 1980’s to try and offer some protection to this section on coastline. There is now a narrow sand spit projecting out into the sea with some sheltered stretches of water behind the reefs a little further south. In the summer a colony of Little Terns have taken advantage of this new habitat. I don’t tend to come here much at this time of the year but thought as Snow Buntings were turning up at other points on the Norfolk coast there might be some here. I was right and what was more unusual was that on the first visit a Short-eared Owl flew in off the sea (that’s not so unusual at this time of year) and when I visited the site the next day another S.E Owl flew in on exactly the same line. By the way my hunch more than paid off, with a small flock of Snow Buntings and a tidy looking Shorelark.

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The above 2 photos were taken on my first visit, thankfully I was able to get better photos the following day.

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2 comments:

glen mcdonal Writer said...

Hmmmmm ....you get flocks of geese from your window......I get the 10.14, 10.24, 10,33 to Birmingham and Manchester.
Great pics and a very tidy shore lark.
The two cranes look magnificent.
Would the long eard owl be hunting out at see....or is that a stupid question?
The blog is a Great Sunday read.

Tony Duckett said...

Hi Glen.
You get both Long and Short-eared Owls migrate across the North Sea, though I have yet to see the former. There are more Rough- legged Buzzards in the UK, Norfolk possibly has at least 7.