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Sunday 22 May 2016


Me with celebrity 'Biking Birder' Gary Prescott!

A fabulous day at the Norfolk Bird & Wildlife Fair at Mannington Hall! The weather was a bit dull when I first arrived, but the sun came out and everything looked beautiful. The moated hall looked just as idyllic as I remembered it – a beautiful setting indeed. Saw a Great Spotted Woodpecker bounding through the trees and a Grey Wagtail sat on the roof of the hall. I heard that the Spotted Flycatcher was seen in the rose garden, but I wasn't lucky in seeing it.
Rob and Jill Wilson
Organisers and hosts of this wonderful event

I started the day off with Richard Brooks's talk on 'Lemnos, The New Lesbos?' and very interesting it was too, the variety of birds there looks amazing, only wish I could afford to go. Took some lovely pictures of Richard and Jessica after the talk. Bumped into Andrew Bloomfield who was one of many who kindly asked after my father. Met several blog readers today, lovely to meet you all and hope you enjoyed your day in this spectacular setting. Also chatted with Moss Taylor and other Norfolk birders.

Richard Brooks with his better half Jessica!

The moat around Mannington Hall

Met the new owner of CleySpy in the optics marquee, nice to meet you Tim. Bumped into Gary Prescott, The Biking Birder, who had his own stand with bike in the main marquee! Also saw Roy Robinson, who have not seen for many years, he was a warden at Walsey Hills NOA a few decades ago – lovely to see you!

A good variety of stands where on offer including artists, photographers, Jessops Academy who are branching into 'Photography Breaks and Holidays', Optics Tripod Chair Company, book sellers including WildSounds, Second Nature etc., craft stands, clothing, boots, sculpture, a very nice assortment of bird tables for sale, chainsaw art, basket weaving, a very tame raven, tortoise, Lamas!, falconry, bird ringing, moth traps and more!

Food outlets on offer were Vette's Veggi Van (my favourite), home-made cakes, fudge, ice-cream, hog roast, fish 'n' chips etc, beer tent. I very much enjoyed my veggi lunch under the shade of the trees with a nice cup of tea.
Scenery around Mannington Hall

Gary Prescott 'The Biking Birder' with Mike Linley who worked with Sir Peter Scott on the Survival series and also with
Sir David Attenborough on Life on Earth.
Jill Wilson

Food Vendors
The Optics Marquee
A wild Raven drops in!!!

Jill and Rob Wilson did an amazing job, pulling off their third
Bird Fair – congratulations to them both!
Next year sounds bigger and with celebrities in the pipeline.

Headed north to the coast. I arrived at Beach Road, Salthouse to find out from 'Dave' that the Bee-eater over Gramborough Hill earlier was John Furse! So pleased for him to have seen/heard this stunning bird on 'his' hill!!!

Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Meadow Pipits, Reed Buntings, Linnets, Stonechats x 2, Common Whitethroat, Sand Martins.

East Bank, Cley NWT.
Fabulous views of two Short-eared Owls hunting along the shingle ridge, east of north end of the East Bank, mid evening. Met Paul, a birder from Leicestershire (hello Paul's mum!) who was in the new shelter overlooking Arnold's Marsh and as I was walking back along the East Bank,  I met a lovely couple who read my blog – made me chuckle when the lady said I was her husband's other girlfriend, because of the amount of time he spends reading my blog! Bumped into Eddie M. at the car park end of the East Bank and had a catch up before I drove home.

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