I returned to the family home today to read the electric metre and have a general check around the house. It was a beautiful sunny day and the garden looked lovely. I had bought some bird seed with me and a square berry fat block and placed this on the bird table – I was startled when the resident Robin dived onto the bird table, whilst I was spreading the seed around! This little Robin made me feel so guilty – it looked up at me with its twinkly little eye, as if to say 'where have you been, I'm starving'. We had stopped feeding the birds as neither Vivien or I can just pop over to top the feeders and table up, but with forecast of colder weather and snow, I felt I had to leave something for the birds today. The bird drinking pools were dirty and filled with leaves – I managed to clean them out and top up a few of them from my water container in the house (the water is turned off). I'm glad I did all this, it cheered me up a bit – I hate neglecting the birds here, its awful when every time I arrive, there are virtually no birds to be seen at all – it seems so cruel to stop feeding them, after they have been fed daily for the last fifty years. Normally, when you walk round the corner of the house, you scatter Pheasants, Robins, Wood Pigeons, House Sparrows, Hedgesparrows, Chaffinches, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Blackbirds and so on and now there is nothing, nothing at all. I wonder where the Pheasants have gone? There was one particular cock Pheasant who strutted around like a Cockerel and was not shy at all – all part of the history now.
Arrived at Titchwell RSPB for an afternoon's brisk and chilly walk out to the beach. I had so many clothes on, I could hardly see any birds! Lots of gulls on the freshmarsh, Pochard, Wigeon, Teal, Shelducks, Redshanks, Teal, Shovelers, Little Egrets, Brent Geese, Heron and Reed Bunting and a Wren along the path. On the shoreline there were large numbers of waders feeding – I counted 78 Oystercatchers feeding with several Turnstones and Sanderlings sprinting along the beach. The sea was ferocious and the wind was gusting the sands over the beach. I was very excited to find a Painted Top Shell (Calliostoma zizyphinum) along the tide line – this immediately brought back childhood memories of shell collecting with my sisters – we were always on the look out for Cowrie shells I recall – happy memories. On the way back I counted and re-counted several times, a huge count of 24 Marsh Harriers coming into roost! Saw a Robin and a Wren before returning to my car and then headed back to King's Lynn.
Lots of jobs to do tomorrow. I was very surprised that Prince Philip was driving himself, when he rolled his vehicle – the question is, should someone aged 97 be driving a car? You simply do not have the same reaction time at that age!