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Monday, 14 September 2015

The BIG Search!

 Gramborough Hill, Salthouse

Garden Drove, Warham
Started off early in my big search for migrants. It was raining heavily as I drove along the A148. Christened the new car by taking it up the muddy, roller coaster track to the concrete pad to walk Garden Drove at Warham. It was spitting with rain as I set off down the track. A party of Long-tailed Tits, Blue and Great Tits and 2 Robins were all I found along the track and nothing in the copse at the end – very disappointing. Walked left to the Western most pit and again found nothing – I could not believe that there wasn't a single bird in this pond area! Further along from this 2 Whitethroats were in a small sueda bush on the edge of the marsh and presumably the same tit flock were flicking around a large elder in the hedge line. Hundreds of Swallows and House Martins were flying around the marsh, looking towards East Hills. Plodded back to the car and distressingly had to listen to pigs screaming and squealing, as they were being loaded into a lorry for 'departure'!!! I also noticed that one of the pigs in the field stood motionless and gazed in the direction of the squealing pigs until the noise stopped and then she/he turned back to join the other pigs – how sad.

Stiffkey Campsite
As I descended down to the car park a Redstart flew west across the track – this was bird of the day! I walked the whole length of the clifftop wood and was rewarded with a Wood Pigeon  – Whahoooooo! oh and a Robin!! All exciting stuff! Oh yeah..... and a few Pied Wagtails in the campsite field, how could I forget! Just managed to miss another heavy downpour before returning to my car. I was boiling hot and had not dressed for southerly winds. I do wish they would get the forecast correct – the last time I looked it was NE and rain all day, now it was south and blazing sunshine for the majority of the day!

Walsey Hills NOA
A Common Buzzard was circling in the blue skies as I walked along the bottom path. A Painted Lady butterfly was feeding on the ivy flowers at the end of the path and I found a Stinkhorn which had freshly sprung up along the now ridiculously narrow path, between the gorse to the hide – I almost had to step sideways to get along that path! Heard one Chiffchaff, nothing else of note.
Kestrel hovering over Gramborough Hill
 
Whitethroat showing briefly at Gramborough Hill


Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Kestrel hovering over the hill in the glorious blue skies. 2 Whitethroats in the big bramble bush, just before the scrub at the hill. 3 Linnets in the main scrub and a few Swallows flying around. Nothing more exciting I'm afraid. I phoned Blakeney Point Ranger Ajay, to see what they had at BP and all he had found migrant wise was a Wheatear! Hmmmm....... my plan had been to walk Blakeney Point this afternoon, so decided to scrap that idea! Bumped into John F. who advised me which shop to buy a notebook from, which was Bertram Watts in Sheringham. Now, you'll be wondering why I needed to go all the way to Sheringham to buy a notebook – well, my birders notebook had run out apart from a single page left and I always have a new spare one in the house, but when I looked I hadn't and I refuse to go into King's Lynn town centre in my holiday to buy another, so I was looking for a tough/quality lined notebook, preferably with elastic strap. I found it highly amusing yesterday, that neither CleySpy OR Cley NWT Visitor Centre sell a birder's notebook! The visitor centre sells big fluffy parrot hand puppets and jams, jewellery, cups, trinkets.... the list goes on, but no birder's notebook!!! I know that Titchwell RSPB sell one, perhaps I should have waited.

Sheringham
Parked up in the high street and found Bertram Watts, primarily a book sellers. A very helpful lady in the shop showed me an array of notebooks including a very posh and expensive 'Birder's Notebook' for £9.99 with list of UK species in the front. Ok, so I didn't want to pay that much, but there are people that will, CleySpy and Cley NWT V.C. are losing out on valuable sales in my opinion, only saying! Anyway, I found a very nice 'Silvine' mossy green coloured notebook, lined and with elastic strap. You can tell there's not much bird news when I'm waffling on about notebooks!!! Asleep yet?! I should be!

Beeston Bump, Sheringham
Searched for the reported Redstarts that came up on the pager late afternoon, but couldn't find them anywhere. Found 2 Whitethroats in the main little gully of scrub in the middle, a Blackbird and 2 Wood Pigeons, Whoopie Doo! Far more dog crap than birds. Beeston Bump is a beautiful place and has huge potential for migrants being next to the clifftop, but don't walk along looking for birds, you have to stop and look, otherwise you'll being stepping in all kinds of little surprises!

Sheringham Cemetery
This was my last hope of finding something exciting. The road that leads up to the cemetery always looks brilliant for birds with the mowed grassy verges and trees, but have never found anything half decent here. I walked around the entire cemetery and didn't find a single bird. Found a few mushrooms and took a picture of the beautiful sunset. Peered into all the allotment gardens around the car park area and again found no birds at all – I didn't even find a Wood Pigeon this time, sad state of affairs! It seemed to take forever to get home. Rescued a baby hedgehog scurrying around my street with two onlooking cats – picked it up and placed in my front garden – plenty of cover in there! Going to have a jobs day tomorrow with the SW winds and rain forecast all day. I might even add some pictures to the blog!
 
Toadstools and Sunset at Sheringham Cemetery


MORE PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE ADDED

4 comments:

  1. Thought that bit might be useful to both you and your other readers... wherever they might be!
    Sat24 is worldwide...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tim! I accidentally rejected your first comment on this post, sorry! So added it myself, if this makes sense! See below.

      Delete
    2. It does... worry not...
      I know I tend to write long comments...
      but I also tend to state facts that might seem obvious to some...
      the obvious is often overlooked!
      And we disconnected the whole kaboodle today...
      saw a large electric storm approaching...
      accompanied by 4.2mm in a 3 minute shower!

      Delete
  2. Sent on 16th September at 01.04 by LaPre DelaForge

    Penny, for a real weather outlook...
    Pauline and I recommend Sat24.
    Because we "allotment" in our potager it is vital that we know what is coming in terms of rain.
    Sat24 shows a variety of views... real time...
    actual satellite shows when a bright spell is coming up...
    so decent light for pix, etc...
    the rain view gives a shading according to the intensity...
    and, because it covers a four hour period to the present...
    you get some idea of how long a gap / rain belt will take to arrive/pass...
    and if it shows dark blue... stay in the car!
    If it shows red... stay at home!!
    [Red is 80 to 200mm of rain per hour... if it is slow moving, we know the millstream will be totally coffee coloured within a few hours!]
    It also shows lightning realtime... very useful... we disconnect the home network if a good'un approaches...
    five minutes waiting for the box to reboot after it passes....
    is absolutely worth it...
    average renewal time locally is five weeks...
    as our phone is linked in..
    that's five weeks of having to use the mobiles on cellular...
    and pay the bill that results!!
    There are apps for iPhone and Android...
    but don't click on Altitude... deep marroon is 12+ Kilometre high cloud...
    if associated with a thunderstorm approaching, it means huge hailstones...
    golf ball to hen's egg size!!
    Not nice...
    best not to know!!

    Hope you see something really good over the next few days!
    Tim

    ReplyDelete