Monday, 8 November 2010

Thornham, North Norfolk coast

Sorry this has taken so long to get online, I've been caught up with other 'stuff'.
The small village of Thornham on the north Norfolk coast is one of my favourite places to visit, mainly for it's quietness and sense of being unchanged. I always seem to be here when the tide is right out (the sea is out there somewhere in the distance!) (-: This exposes a lot of muddy gullys for waders (shorebirds) to feed in.
It was quite a gloomy day with the occasional fleeting flash of sun between the brooding clouds.
Some of those sunrays seemed to shine on down towards the church in this photo below making for a lovely atmospheric shot.
It was that lush green field that Jane, Sue and I spent some time watching, attempting to identify a small flock of birds as Lapland Buntings or Lapland Longspurs as they are called in the States (a bird we all needed for our year lists). This flock of about 30-40 birds would occasionally get up from the field, fly around and around, this way and that for a bit and then descend back into the oblivion of longish grass! Very VERY frustrating! I've not seen or heard enough Lapland Buntings to be familiar with their call, but I tried to memorise it and promised myself, that when I got back home, I would check it out. Needless to say, when I played back the call, I just couldn't say for sure that it was what I'd heard that day. So, they didn't go on the list. Shame.
After our failed attempt with the Buntings, I consoled myself with taking photos of some waders. This Redshank was feeding close by in one of the exposed gullys. As you can see, its shanks were no longer quite so red!
Black-tailed Godwits are very similar to Bar-tailed Godwits, but have subtle differences. These two photos below are of a Black-tailed Godwit. The bill is straighter than the slightly upcurved bill of a Bar-tailed and the winter plumage on the back of the Black-tailed is plainer than on the slightly spangled back of the Bar-tailed. The Black-tailed also has slightly longer legs than Bar-tailed (a stumpy looking bird), though this is less noticeable in the first photo .
Man, that mud looks gloopy!
The next four photos were captured using the continuous shooting mode on the camera. This Curlew fancied a stretch!

The light was going fast and so we made our way back to the car. On the way back I snapped a shot of this Dunlin in winter plumage wading around in the river close the car (I think the tide was beginning to come in).
My last shot from Thornham is of boats waiting for that incoming tide.
Hopefully, it wont be such a long wait for my next post! (-:


Anonymous said...

Well thats a shame about the Buntings Jen, nice Curlew though, considering the poor light.
That Dunlin was a bit familiar though, don't they tend to keep a good distance normally.

TonyC said...

Great wader shots Jen. Yep, thornham is one of my top spots too!!

Chris said...

Wow what a beautiful post. I can see you are getting all our birds now ;-) Well I got the 87th species yesterday, the waxwings are downtown, so I'll let you every Icelandic birds as long as the waxwings will stay ;-)

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Muddy gullies with brooding clouds on a gloomy day looks like heaven to me, Jens. What a grand place to visit. I know what you mean about bird calls - I'm terrible about trying to remember what I heard and try to match it with some online source later. It doesn't work for me either. Love your photos of this day. All the little waders are so cute!!! Reminds me of my childhood days playing in the mud - glorious!

Jenny said...

Hi Roy, yes, I don't usually manage to get close to a Dunlin and this isn't that close, the photo is cropped, but I was pleased to get any shot at all, specially considering the light. Have you been to Thornham?

Hi Tony, I wish I'd been able to bird Norfolk with you, but I think I got into birding too late before you left for down under! Shame!

Hi Chris, Ha ha, I do hope you keep the Waxwings, I did see 30+ in Norfolk (in a post to come), but I'd love to have some local to me in the south west.

Hi Debi, usually I'm not too bad on bird calls, but I just haven't heard that one enough to be confident about it which is a shame. Glad you like the gullys etc! (-:

The Early Birder said...

Hi Jen. Very much enjoyed your visit to my favourite coastal stretch. If I remember correctly my last sighting of Laplands was also at Thornham just about a year ago but much closer than yours I'm pleased to say.
I'll be visiting Norfolk again next week for a few days so hoping for some decent weather! FAB.

Mary said...

Love the light on the church! Very nice shot! That curlew is so odd looking with that funny bill. I like seeing shore birds but don't get too many opportunities except when they are migraging. Sorry you didn't get your Bunting.

Rural Rambler said...

Wren, I love the bird shots, of course! But I am just all befuddled at seeing the boats sitting grounded-like. Is that common? I did they just get caught at loooooooooow tide?

NatureStop said...

Hi Jen,

How are you. It' been a long time. Really enjoyed going through your posts.Hope to be back soon. So long...


Quiet Paths said...

I think I'll just hop on that lovely looking sail boat. You don't suppose anyone would notice, do you? Neat, neat place.

Eve said...

I don't know how I missed this post Jenny!! Must be old age!! It is so frustrating when you try to memorize a song or call and it slips away from you. That's the hardest part of birding...when you see something, aren't sure and can't count it!! ARRGGG!! hahaha!
Great photos of the different waders and stunning views!