Got up late – work is exhausting at the moment.
The good news is that I have a wonderful long holiday coming up soon – two and a half weeks in fact – can't wait!!!!!!
After visiting my parents I went to Holme Marsh Reserve.
Holme Marsh Reserve
As I parked the car, I noticed that the hedge that lines the ditch on the right side of the public footpath had been completely hacked down – whoever had ripped this out was not a professional hedge cutter. It was a total mess and sections of hawthorn trunk were just left in untidy heaps and partly across the path. Also why had this hedge been destroyed in spring at peak nesting time!!! I can't actually see or understand the purpose behind the destruction. This hedge has been there since I was a youngster. I remember Mick Ramsey (headmaster) taking us children from Holme Primary school on nature walks along this lane – fond memories of my happy childhood. So sad to see this hedge ripped out along with everything else that was living within it! When I walked into Hide 1, there was a note in the sightings book that read "Neither the NWT or Courtyard Farm authorised the destruction of the hedge on the west side of the reserve and are trying to find out who did this" (can't remember it exactly word for word, but that's more or less what it said).
My first Small Copper this year on the chalky path leading up to the hides. 2 Canada and Greylag Geese on the new scrape/flood just before the first hide. A Peregrine over the pool from Hide 2 put everything up on the marsh! Other birds seen were: marsh harriers, chiffchaffs, common whitethroats, shelducks, shovelers, gadwalls.
Had to speak in my most authoritative voice to THREE lots of dog owners in the 60 minutes I was there. How many dog owners disobey this 'NO DOGS ALLOWED' notice throughout each day I wonder? Perhaps the notice needs to be enlarged to 6ft high – with a £1000 fine if caught. This is the only public place that I can think of that is canine free – the only place that you can supposedly look up into blue skies without having to check what you're stepping in – well its not is it!!!!! Apart from the dog incidents, Friary Hills was just beautiful – I realised that I hadn't been here for quite a while now. I found a Coal Tits nest whilst here as Mummy Coal Tit gave the game away as she carried food in her beak and impatiently waited for me to move! As I soaked in the stunning views across Blakeney marshes from the hills, I watched loads of birds flying over the marshes: hirundines, rooks, jackdaws, gulls, herons, marsh harriers etc, mute swans, mallards, pied wagtails etc. The beautiful smell of the wall flowers in the old stone wall enveloped me as I walked along the top path and the yellow gorse bushes completed the picture postcard scene. The panoramic view from Friary Hills is one of the most spectacular in Norfolk – you can see Blakeney Point to the west and Coastguards to the east – so much to see.
The cutest, most accommodating Water Vole EVER was working its way along the stony river bank and twice swam across the Ford, under the bridge and back again! The first time it swam under the bridge it kept its eye on me and my camera lens and then stopped directly below by a strut on the bridge, looked up and posed as if to say 'well take it then, quick, if you miss this shot, I'm not hanging about, you've got a couple of seconds if that'...... seconds later ratty had shot under the bridge. Penny had not changed the lens to 1.5 metres – every shot of ratty under the bridge was blurry!!!!! But I did get some decent shots of ratty swimming across. Couple of Pied Wagtails here also.
Walsey Hills NOA
Cettis Warbler, chiffchaffs, not much else of note.
2 Little Terns flew east over the sea – my first ones this year. Several swallows sitting on the fence wires, a single wheatear on the Eye Field and skylarks singing – a real summery scene. John F., Pete S. and Eddie were here – I had just missed a Short-eared Owl.
Daukes Hide NWT
With Eddie M. and Andy J. and also a bird race team came into the hide who were on 136 when they walked in and left with 140 species for the day by the time they left! Temminck's Stint, 3 Little Ringed Plovers, Little Gull, Pied Wagtails, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper x 2, Greenshank, Marsh Harriers, Spoonbills x 2, Water Rail. I left here at 9pm!
PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE ADDED