Friday, 30 October 2015

Re-living our hunt for Waxwings! 2013

So its been months since Mike and I have been 'proper' birding. We've been to Rainham Marshes a few times but never got any shots of much and buying a house has sort of taken over our lives a bit; 5 months on and we are still not in! And any time we have off together is spent buying crap for the house. So I decided to sit down and go through some old pictures and found my shots of a flock of Waxwings that spent a week in a local dog walking park 2 years ago!

Mike had read on some birding websites that they had been sighted at Jeskins Park and we had a few hours before I had to be at work so we headed out in the bitter cold and snow to try and find them. After spending nearly an hour walking around and around the dog park we decided to give up head home for food before I needed to leave for my shift. On our way back to the car park we caught a glimpse of a flock of birds sitting in some bare trees. A quick check in the bins and we had found them! Yay!

Friday, 10 July 2015

Norfolk Getaway Part IV | Pensthorpe Natural Park

On our last full day we headed over to Pensthorpe Natural Park in Fakenham, which is an amazing wildfowl park which is also used by wild birds as a little stop over on their migration. That a wonderful variety on show, and even more exciting (for me) an aviary full of Bearded Tits! :D

The park is open daily form 10-5pm (summer) and admission is £11.25, totally worth it in my eyes. We go here just after 10 and stayed pretty much till closing we left about 4:45ish. There is a lovely cafe and gift shop and amazingly large playground for kids/adults, I couldn't help my self I went down the humongous slide!

Pensthorpe are also dedicated to conservation with special projects for Red Squirrels, Eurasian Cranes, Corncrakes and the Turtle Dove, all of which you are able to see. I took hundreds of photo's, probably just a hundred on the Bearded Tits, a little bird I've seen a few time but never got a good shot of! (I may do a whole post of just Bearded Tit shots)
So here are some of my favourite shots!

Swan Goose


Ruddy Shelduck

Mandarin Duck

Common Lizard


Crowned Crane

Sandhill Crane

Cattle Egret

Egyptian Goose

Male Corncrake

Female Corncrake

Bearded Tit

Avocet & Chick

Moore Hen Chick

Red Billed Duck? I think

Bearded Tit


 Turtle Dove

Ringed Teal Duck

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Norfolk Getaway | Part III - Tawny Owl Chicks!

While we were away, we stayed at the Sandringham Estate Caravan Club site, surrounded by Glucksberg Woods. One night we had a toilet issue and Mike had to go out of the caravan to do what you do with caravan toilets. When he came back he said that there was an owl out in the woods making a huge racket!
So Thursday evening about 9pm we headed out to have a look.
We had a rough idea where to look as the owl was calling again and within about 5 minutes Mike had spotted our owl. Which turned out to be 2 fluffy Tawny Owl chicks.
I had already come prepared with my camera, but Mike immediately dashed off to go grab his from the caravan and left me in spot watching the fluffy babies.
Just as he ran off I was lucky to see the mum come back with a meal for one of her chicks! She was in and out faster than I could focus my camera!
But I did capture one of the chicks with a mouthful of food!

Mike returned and we proceeded to watch the owls until it was too dark to see them any more. Full of excitement we planned to head out again earlier Friday night.

We went out at 8 and couldn't see or hear anything, I said that I thought it was too early and I was sure we would still get to see them. So we went for a walk and came back to our spot about 8:30/8:45 when we started to hear the chicks calling again! Mike being the better spotter of the two of us sighted them straight away sat at the top of a huge pine tree.

They spotted us too and after working out there was no way we were getting up the tree to them the settled in to watching other walkers (who looked us like loonies for standing in the bushes staring at a tree) and waiting for their dinner service.
About 9 o'clock a couple walked by us and asked if we had found anything interesting and we shared our binoculars with them and showed them the chicks. The couple stayed with us watching them till again it was too dark to see them. They were so grateful and pleased with the spot, it was lovely to share it with them!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Norfolk Getaway | Part II - RSPB Snettisham & Cley Marshes

We visited the Snettisham reserve on our first day (Monday) in the afternoon and Cley Marshes on the Tuesday. But I photographed and saw so little at Cley that I decided to club the two together.

To get to Snettisham reserve you have to walk through the fishing lakes and along the river to the shingle beach and the lagoons. Here I saw my first Cuckoo! To quick to get a shot of, but we also saw lots of other amazing wildlife a grazing Hare and a couple of Seals!

The following pictures were taken at Snettisham.


Sedge Warbler

Oyster Catcher

Tortoiseshell Butterfly

A group of Black-headed Gulls and some chicks

Black-headed Gull and chick

Large group of mixed Waders, Oyster Catchers &
Black-headed Gulls


We think this is a Juvenile Eider Duck

Common Seal

I think this is a Juvenile Wren

The following pictures were taken at Cley Marshes. Here we managed to see a bird neither of us have been lucky enough to see before, the Spoon Bill! But sadly they spent all there time sleeping and all I have is one very far of image of them asleep! We also saw a Peregrine, Marsh Harriers, Green Shank, Herons, plenty of Wood Pigeon (the bane of my birding life - that goes for all common Pigeons!) Lapwings and Avocet. 

 Juvenile Blue tit

Marsh Harrier

Spoonbill's, Shelduck's and Lapwings