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Monday, 25 March 2019

Warham Greens & Stiffkey Fen!

It was another beautiful day, but with north west winds it was chillier than it has been! I parked up on the concrete pad at Garden Drove, Warham and ambled along the hedge-lined track in anticipation of something exciting. The main excitement was tons of squealing pigs racing around in the fields! One Robin along the track! No birds in the copse at the north end. Lots of Brent Geese on the marshes, Little Egrets and Curlews were seen. However, I did have spectacular views of a Red Kite and also a Common Buzzard over my head, as I walked back to my car.

Parked along the road at Stiffkey to walk to Stiffkey Fen. Chiffchaffs were singing in the wood just before you cross the road and I saw another Red Kite on the horizon. I was overjoyed to find that the nasty high stepped stile had gone! It has been replaced with a wonderful swing gate, much easier for us older birds! I really enjoyed the walk along to the fen, it was very peaceful and it was joyous to see all the catkins out and freshly emerged hawthorn leaves and willow. I was surprised I didn't hear any Chiffchaffs along here, only saw a couple of Great Tits, a Blue Tit and a few Goldfinches. The fen itself was jam-packed full of birds including loads of Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, Redshanks, Teal, Mallard, Wigeon, Shelducks, Little Grebe, Little Egret, Black-headed Gulls, Heron and Lapwings. I had stupidly left my scope in the car, so there could have been far more birds than I have listed! I walked east of the fen for a short distance, but it was so cold and with lack of birds (none) in the gorse bushes, that I turned back. Hundreds of Brent Geese continually flew overhead as I walked along the path by the river.

Parked the car by Stiffkey Church and had a cup of tea and a hot cross bun! I spent a good while looking for birds in the churchyard, but only found 2 Pheasants amongst the daffodils, 1 Blackbird and 1 Robin. Anyone that hasn't been in this churchyard, it is definitely worth a visit – very scenic with beautiful mature trees and a cherry tree just coming into blossom, holly tree etc and the views over the stone wall to an incredible estate/garden are jaw dropping! It would help if you were taller than 5ft 4" though, as I could only just see over the wall! I just googled and found the history of the old hall next to the church here – an informative and fascinating account with loads of pictures from blogger Lynne!

At Stiffkey Campsite a Common Buzzard hovered briefly (rarely see this) near the far end of the cliff top wood and then plummeted to the ground and was then out of view – when it appeared again, a Black-headed Gull was mobbing it. I didn't see what it had caught or if indeed anything, but I then had fabulous views of this buzzard, as it sailed over my head in the beautiful evening light. I was going to walk through the wood, but decided it would be a waste of time, with the cutting north west wind and being late in the day, so decided to have a nap instead!!! Curlews and Little Egrets on the marshes along with Brent Geese. Had an egg sandwich and a cup of tea and then cruised home.

I have a physiotherapy appointment first thing tomorrow morning about my wrist and ankle. My Great Grandfather's oil painting of Ebridge Mill and two Watercolours that my father found in a bookshop, go under the hammer tomorrow at Keys Auctioneers – auction commences at 10.30am! I didn't want to sell the Ebridge Mill painting, but as Vivien said, everything we own will end up in a tip, as none of us have children to pass anything on to!

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