Sunday, 7 March 2010

Birding the coast of Norfolk

There are some great birding spots all along the north coast of Norfolk.  In this post, I'll show two of them. The first is at Thornham.  We stopped here to look for waders (shorebirds) and also Twite are often found here.  This small bird sometimes winters in Norfolk and then goes back up north to breed on moorland or coastal heaths.  It's not a bird I get too see very often at all and we didn't manage to find any on this occasion. Shame!  Here are my birding friends getting booted up for our mucky walk. I'd made the mistake of washing my car just before this trip. I shouldn't have bothered! (-:
This area in the photo below can be great for waders at the right tide time.
We saw a few waders like Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Knot, Redshank and Oystercatcher, but most of them were way too distant for the camera.  Here is a lone Oystercatcher that was reasonably close with a 1st winter Black-headed Gull behind.
The only other wader near enough for a shot was this Redshank.
The second place is Warham Greens which is a great place to go for roosting raptors.  We knew that our first evening was likely to be our dryest so I drove down a decidedly dodgy track to get to an area of saltmarsh where birds of prey are known to come in to roost leading up to dusk.  Over one and a half hours of watching, we saw several Marsh Harriers, both male and female, a female Merlin, a female or young Hen Harrier and at least two Barn Owls. I was also hoping for Short-eared Owl, but didn't manage to see one this time.
The Barn Owl was the only bird that came close enough to try some photography.  The light was fading so these aren't the best photos in the world, but they give a sense of this wonderful area. I have been here in the past when the setting sun has cast a glorious golden glow over this saltmarsh.  It's a great place to end a day's birding.
I'll have one more post from Norfolk to come soon.


The Giraffe Head Tree said...

I just love your blog, Jenny, and have linked to it from mine and have decided to "follow you!" (...sounds positively stalkerish!) Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such a nice comment!

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

OH...gosh! I meant to tell you how much I'm enjoying your birding expeditions. Blogger wouldn't allow me to comment on your previous post but I enjoyed it tremendously. As well, I'm practically salivating over your seeing a barn owl! I've never seen an owl flying around so this is just choice!

Jenny said...

Hi there Debi, stalkerish....ha! Love it! (-: Maybe I shouldn't tell you that on that first day up in Norfolk (it was the only one without rain), we saw 8 or 9 different Barn Owls. It's a good area for them and we were very lucky. When I come over to visit Evie, I'm sure we'll meet up.

Rural Rambler said...

Jen the Barn Owl shots are truly beautiful. Very cool 4 shot series! I'm ready for more from Norfolk :)

Mary said...

That Barn owl is so pretty and the flight! I would love to see something like that...and would muff the photos for sure. This is wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the awful weather again Jen, but that Barn Owl was nice to see.

The Early Birder said...

Hi Jen Thanks for bringing back many memories...walking from Thornham to Holme and not least the hours in the freezing cold waiting for something to happen at Warham Greens. Nice shots of the Barn Owl. FAB.

Jenny said...

Hi Pix, I was chuffed to get the opportunity to photograph that Barn Owl hunting, I wish the light had been better though!

Hi Mary, do you know if you get Barn Owls where you are? I dont think you would muff them, you're getting more and more used to taking flight shots I think.

Hi Roy, yes that afternoon/evening, we saw 8 or 9 different Barn Owls. It was an owlfest! (-:

Hi Frank, yes I have similar memories of the Stubbs Mill raptor roost. Luckily it wasn't too bad on this particular evening at Warham Greens, we only got mildly frost bitten!!! (-:

cindyzlogic said...

I really enjoyed the pics of the Barn Owl!! They're super!!

Bill S. said...

Wow, what great pictures of the barn owl. It looks like a great place to visit and see the local birds.

Chris said...

Hi Jenny,
Well looks like once again you got a nice walk over there! The barn owl shot s are superb!! Well done!

Eve said...

Here I am!! Finally getting to your post. I love those Barn Owl shots!! You are so lucky to get them. I would be so excited to see one. I love the picture of your birding buddies getting ready to march the marsh! Looking forward to more!

Jenny said...

Hi Cindy, do you get Barn Owls where you are? Beautiful, graceful birds.

Hi Bill, many thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog. Unfortunately, Norfolk is 4-5 hours away from my home in Somerset (SW England), but I try to get up there at least once a year. It's a great area.

Hi Chris, thanks, maybe I'll get a chance to take some shot in good light sometime, that' what I'd really like! (-:

Hi there Evie, glad you made it! (-:
I think there should be Barn Owls round your way, but getting to see them is a whole 'nother ball game I guess!