Me, Redwell Marsh Hide, NOA.
Note to self: do not state on your blog the day before, that you 'will' be getting up at dawn!!! I was horrified when I opened my eyes to see the clock..... 8am – don't know what happened, but I didn't hear my alarm at all! Cursing and muttering I shot out of bed and then decided that I still felt tired, so I got back in bed! I have a week's holiday coming up in September, so hopefully will feel more energised then!
I got out by mid morning and drove to Holme to pay my NOA subs (overdue) and then dropped into my parent's with a few requested groceries. I ended up helping my father for a couple of hours. My father has always been a very proud, immaculate man and pre his stroke, shaved daily. I can never remember seeing him unshaven, but of late he has found it very difficult to shave himself properly and when I saw him today – well he just desperately needed a proper shave. Mother is too worried about doing it to be fair. When I had finished father's shave, he looked so happy and said it was 'marvellous' and that he felt like he had a new face and wanted to know what razor and foam I had used – he couldn't take in that I had used his razor etc and asked how I had achieved his smooth finish – 'because I am brilliant at shaving and do this regularly at the hospital I told him'!!! Isn't it funny how something so simple, can make someone feel so good and happy. I have offered before to help him with that, but he has never accepted my help before. He was in such a good mood after this, he allowed me to take a 'selfie' of us together!!! By the time I had sorted out his ears with ear drops (deaf as a post) and soaked feet and massaged with cream, it was mid afternoon.
My father (aged 87) and I together – a rare occurrence!
Hate this picture of me though!
Hate this picture of me though!
I should have driven to Winterton today – at least I would have seen some fabulous birds, instead I ended up seeing hardly anything. I couldn't see the point in travelling any further at this time of the day, so decided to dedicate the rest of my day at Holme Reserves.
Driving along the Firs Road, there were several Chiffchaffs flitting about in bushes by someone's garden and also a Robin. I spent a long time in the NWT Forestry, searching for something good. Annoyingly there were several birds flitting about in there, but simply wouldn't come out!!! In fact all I saw in there to ID was a great tit and some exciting woodpigeons... not!!!
Took the car down to the NOA carpark and then walked into the Firs NWT shop/reception to ask if there were any birds around of note – there wasn't. The ovens are still not in the new cafe yet, so still only a limited choice of food on offer, but it shouldn't be too much longer I heard. Walked up to the observatory, checking all the scrub and buckthorn. Sat in the hide for a while, nothing. Walked along the bottom path adjacent to the broadwater and found a single Reed Warbler at the end. Walked up to the top coastal path and walked along the Thornham Bank to the sluice gates, hoping to find the recent Great White Egret, but only found 2 Black-headed Gulls in the channel. Sat on the seat overlooking the Broadwater to ponder and reminisce about the 'good old days'. I didn't see another birder whilst here – all holidaymakers, children and dogs, how things have changed – it used to be the other way round! There were 2 Mute Swans, Mallards, a Gadwall and a Little Grebe on the broadwater.
Me in The Forestry, Holme NWT.
Holme Beach near 'The Firs' entrance.
Thornham Bank and Sea Wall.
The Broadwater, Holme NOA, from the coastal path.
The Broadwater, Holme NOA, from Thornham Bank.
Walked back to my car via the dunes. Counted 30 Ringed Plovers on the beach amongst the gulls, Redshanks and Oystercatchers opposite the NWT entrance. A Whimbrel flew over calling and headed west. Back at my car, I had my tea. The brambles and scrub around the NOA carpark is a good spot for Barred Warblers, but none around today!
Redwell Marsh Hide NOA held 9 Black-tailed Godwits, a Little Egret, Moorhens, Teal and a few Swallows skimming over the water. A Snipe also flew over across the marsh.
Holme Marsh Reserve NWT from the second hide.
At Holme Marsh Reserve NWT I saw very little. This was probably due to the fact that I couldn't see the pool from either the first or second hide, as completely overgrown by reeds. Ok I exaggerate a little, I could see a small section of water. There were lots of comments in the visitor sightings books about the overgrown state and several people had written 'cut the reeds'. I did see 3 Marsh Harriers and a Barn Owl hunting as I left.