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Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Visit to Father, Holme Birding & The Big High Tide!

I had a whirlwind evening to say the least! Flew down town to buy a couple of jumpers for father, order a new nurse's watch from Debenhams and bought some of father's favourite raspberry trifles from Sainsbury's. Went home and grabbed birding gear. Headed for Heacham and visited Father. I could hear him shouting before I entered the care home – not his fault though poor man – Heacham surgery messing about with his medication, long story and new lower dose of respiridone being administered again this evening, so he should be more relaxed over the next day or two, hopefully. It was like magic – my presence and holding his hands, virtually silenced him – the shouting stopped almost instantly, as soon as he realised it was me. Ok, so he was still chuntering away about 'when were we catching the bus...' and 'which hospital this was...' etc, but he calmed alot. I even persuaded him to have two thirds of the raspberry trifle I had bought him. He has lost weight, quite alot looking at him this evening, so obviously he is not eating as much as he did at home with mother, for whatever reason. A pair of Blackbirds were happily feasting on left over sandwich crusts from tea time in the garden. I left father in a fairly peaceful state, as staff took him up to bed at 7.45pm.

The Great Knot has not been reported anywhere today, but I had a feeling that it could still be roosting at Holme, so I headed to the beach. Parked up by the toilet block by the village car park and walked through the golf course to the main beach gap at Holme. It was a very high tide and the sea was almost lapping up to the edge of the path alongside the low dunes and gorse. It was a spectacular sight and the sun setting over the lagoons, marram and beach was stunning. Lots of birds had moved onto higher ground and there was a huge number of Oystercatchers in the roost, so many so that I decided to count them – there were 334 in all! A number of gulls were also in the roost, including Common and Black-headed Gulls. Also saw Sandwich Terns, Common Terns, Little Terns, Ringed Plovers, Sanderling, Turnstones, Shelducks, Meadow Pipits, a couple of Pied Wagtails and a Kestrel. There was also a handful of Knot – about four, but no Great Knot amongst them. I took a lovely little video of a Common Tern preening itself on a shingle ridge. Also took some slow motion video of a Kite Surfer doing acrobatics at Old Hunstanton, with the cliffs in the background. I was glad I wore my coat, as it was very chilly walking back to my car. Headed for home and arrived back at 10.30pm! Phew!

Pictures and videos to be added

Note: all those people requesting to buy Great Knot pictures over the last few days, I will be responding to you all on Wednesday evening, sorry for delay.

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