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Monday 4 June 2012

The Big Puddle and Brancaster rediscovered!


Spent nearly all day shifting thousands of photographs from my old 'G4' and current Macbook Pro Lap Top onto two external hard drives - now finally completed and all Sansdisk cards containing 20011/12 photos now added to Mac - at last! Next job: to select photos from 2011 for an forthcoming publication and then finally to select, edit and add photos to tons of my blog posts! Busy, busy bee, no more TV for me!

Late afternoon - couldn't take anymore, had to get out of the house. Beautiful sunny day, wicked to be indoors really.

The Big Puddle – Brancaster
I drove to Brancaster, via Docking (B1153) and parked up on the concrete pad on the right hand side of the road at the top of the hill, to eat an ice-cream and enjoy the wonderful views of the coast. This spot has bad memories of a Bee-eater 'dip' when Paul King phoned me to say his friend Chris Everitt had found a Bee-eater swaying on the telegraph wires, yards from where I was parked now. I have since come back and parked here many times and live in hope of seeing a bee-eater here before I die! Only birds swaying on the wires today were greenfinches, goldfinches and a fat woodpigeon. The views are spectacular – you can see the whole of Scolthead Island from here – the sea was rolling in, high tide was around 7.30pm I think. I ended up staying here much longer than intended. Several birds were coming down to the big puddle at the edge of the field to drink, including greenfinches, goldfinches, pied wagtail, wood pigeon and swallows also skimming over for a quick drink. I re-positioned the car, opened the window and propped the camera on a cushion and sat there for over an hour photographing birds drinking at the pool. Unbeknown to be me – 4 Storks flew North East over Titchwell village at 5.50pm!!!! I am gutted I didn't see them – I couldn't have been located in a better place either, high up and with the whole coastline before me!!! Typical! Think I left here about 7.15pm.

Brancaster Coastal Path to Brancaster Staithe
Parked the car along the Broad Lane (adjacent to the church) and walked east along the coastal footpath, which is mostly made up of railway sleepers. I have not walked this path for a very long time and I had forgotten how potentially brilliant this is for migrants and how very beautiful this walk is. I had a good selection of birds including: common whitethroats, male Blackcap, wren, hedge sparrow, house sparrow, linnets, chaffinches, goldfinches, greenfinches, sedge and reed warbler, jay, cuckoo, kestrel, little egrets etc. The very high tide had covered the salt marsh between the golf course and the reed beds which lie adjacent to the coastal footpath, creating a beautiful scene. There are many different species of trees here, hawthorn, privet, holly, brambles etc all the way along, intermingled with fascinating old cottages and houses, some with huge gardens and lawns. Most of the old stone walls that line the gardens are low, enabling even someone as short as me to view over them for hoopoes etc that may be around! The walk is one and a quarter miles each way, although it didn't seem to take that long really – it was such a lovely walk, I didn't really notice the time - returned the same way. I left at just after 9pm, missing most of the Jubilee Concert that I wanted to watch this evening.

Managed to catch the last 45 minutes of the concert with Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney and the Queen escorted on to the stage by Gary Barlow, Prince Charles's speech and the grand firework finale – it looked of course, spectacular. But I felt very sorry for the Queen – my mother and I were discussing this earlier – the hours she has had to put in for this 'celebration' - 6 hours standing yesterday alone, there's not many 18 year old's that can do that!!!! Four day's of celebrations is too much for a teenager, never mind someone age 86 – poor Prince Phillip couldn't cope with it all obviously, poor man! She'll be glad to get her slippers on and sit down with the corgies with a nice cup of tea! Only one day left to go Ma'm!

Highlights in Norfolk today:
4 White Storks, north east over Titchwell village!
Temminck's Stint at Titchwell RSPB and Welney WWT
Black Tern at Rockland Broad
Black Terns x 3 at Breydon Water
Woodchat Shrike still at Winterton
Quails x 2 at North Walsham
Puffins x 4 and a Great Skua at Cley

Just noticed the BEST picture of the Cley Bee-eater by Craig Shaw on the Britain and Ireland Scarce section on Surfbirds: HERE


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