Sunday, 18 May 2014

Norfolk Bird Fair - the First

Sunday May 18

What would be at the end of a tortuous route , mainly along Norfolk's maze of lanes, many of them single track. Had our SatNav gone mad?
Mannington Hall estate is beautiful. The 15C Grade 1 listed house is georgous, its proportions pleasing to my eye, the tall decorated chimneys are a favourite of mine. And... a wide moat. Excellent.
Only a short walk from the field car park,  along a path through mature trees into rolling, sloping, well treed parkland in front of the splendid Hall.  

This was the setting for  the first Norfolk Bird Fair's second day.
Soon after entering, we stopped at a small rescue centre stall where one could photograph a rescued Barn Owl for a small donation. I don't like photographing captive birds, it was a good cause - my photos aren't up to scratch.

Taking time to look through the programme in order to get our bearings, it was announced that a talk on digiscoping would take place in 15 minutes. The lecture hall was a coolish barn which made a welcome change from Rutland's steaming tent. Shame that the talk wasn't up to that standard and was solely Swarovski based. I have a Swaro scope but am not prepared to add to it's weight with more expensive equipment. I shall limp along with my little camera hand held to the lens.
After escaping,  we perused both optic tents, where I bought a waterproof easy access cover for my D60 and 300 lens. I'm always worried about getting the camera wet and the resultant expense. The second of the tents overlooked a small lake where a Spotted Flycatcher had been seen yesterday. Not to-day, it had flown elsewhere - to where we had entered !
Pam needed a coffee, available at the Greedy Goose cafe, part of the establishment, where I had a welcome cold drink. Sunny and very hot to-day, 23C.
RoyR was standing nearby, the first familiar person so far.
Resolutely, we ignored the hot food stands, Hog Roast is a favourite of mine so it took a bit of doing. We failed at the Norfolk ice-cream though, I had salted caramel, Pam toffee.
Time to brave the main marquee, they're always sweltering. It was. We were longing to sit down too. Not as many stands as Rutland and therefore not as crammed in. We spent time at the Colombian women's stand, more at Carl Chapman's where we chatted to him about Mull and a possible trip to the Farnes next  June to photograph Puffins and Terns.
Pam acquired a feeder which will challenge the Jackdaws and I fell for a Hummingbird sculpture. 
An expensive day out , it needn't have been though, our choice.
The short walk back to the car, after nearly four hours, was a penance, we were both very tired, uneven ground doesn't help.  We'd had  a very enjoyable time, hope it's successful financially and occurs next year.

A side view

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