This morning I met up with my work colleague and friend Hilary in the car park at Titchwell RSPB. Hilary doesn't seem to go out in the countryside that much, so I suggested she joined me for a guided bird tour! Luckily it was a beautiful sunny day. I lent Hilary my spare binoculars and off we went. On reaching the RSPB reception hut, I had to be checked in, as I seem to have lost my membership card – I have emailed the head office for a replacement.
By the picnic tables, we saw a Song Thrush, a Robin and a Blackcap and Chiffchaff were singing. There wasn't a huge amount to see to be honest, the highlight being 2 Common Terns sitting on the freshmarsh, along with Black-headed Gulls, Teal, Mallard, Redshanks, Med Gulls, Shelducks, Avocets, Brent Geese and Greylags with goslings. A Cetti's Warbler burst into song and several Swallows were skimming over the reed beds as we walked out to the beach. 2 Little Egrets were on the west side of the path. We had timed our walk for high tide at 10.50am – Hilary loved the beach (probably more than the birds!) and we sat and chatted for a while, whilst watching the waves. Some Oystercatchers flew past, but nothing else seen, apart from too many people with dogs, which was to be expected on a bank holiday weekend.
We ambled back, heard a Sedge Warbler singing, more Swallows and then sat in the picnic area and had a hot cheese and onion pasty and a cup of tea, which Hilary insisted on paying for – thank you! We saw 2 male and a female Blackcap in the trees close by, a Robin, Blackbird and a Chiffchaff. A Sparrowhawk was high above us in the sky. Returned to the car park and Hilary then drove home. Hilary really enjoyed her morning out, but I don't think she will take birding up seriously – well, you never know! I then fell asleep in the car for far longer than I had expected! Saw an Orange Tip butterfly.
Walked around the Fen Trail and to Patsy's Pool. Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs singing. Saw a Red Kite, Common Buzzard and Marsh Harriers over the reedbeds. Mute Swans, Tufted Ducks, Mallards and Greylag Geese were on the pool. I wonder if we will see the Turtle Doves here this year, I hope so! Wandered along the path to the far end towards the East Trail – saw a Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, 2 Coots and more Swallows and then returned to my car.
The weather detoriated and it felt colder now. I decided to spend the rest of the day looking for Dotterel at Choseley Barns and Chalk Pit Lane. I sat in my car watching the concrete area by the farm buildings, hoping for a Turtle Dove, but only saw Red-legged Partridges, 2 Stock Doves and Wood Pigeons. Left here and headed south along the road. Found a single Wheatear and a Skylark sitting in the fields not far away. Headed to Chalk Pit Lane and took some scenic pictures of the rape fields. I searched every field carefully, no Dotterel anywhere that I could find. Hares, Red-legged Partridges, Grey Partridges, Magpies, Jackdaws and a Marsh Harrier were seen.
The highlight was a VERY strangely marked Roe Deer, that crossed the road in front of me and disappeared into a rape field along Chalk Pit Lane. It was very light and then had a very dark area, a kind of marbled effect – I have never seen anything like it before! I spent ages trying to refind it, to get a picture, but with no luck whatsoever! In the late evening sun a Hedge Sparrow sat perched on a rape field flower stem, which looked really odd, as I hadn't expected it – nature always surprises you!
I ended up in Hunstanton and drove along Lighthouse Road and noticed the fairground was lit up. I really don't know why I had the urge to photograph the fairground, but that's what I ended up doing and got some fabulous pictures of the helter skelter, big wheel and the merry-go-round! I was surprised at how many people were there at 8.30pm!
Pictures to be added