Saturday, 8 August 2015

First of the Month - Getting Later

Friday August 7

After a busy week, it was 7 a.m before we set off, on an overcast morning. We hit all the work traffic to-day, I was relieved to get to Sculthorpe Mill and some peace.
Long needed new windows are being installed in some of the rooms, a definite improvement to the exterior look. 
Nothing around the car park nor on the river. I walked round to the other side of the house to stand near the fire escape, from which there is a good view of the gardens. It wasn't long before a family of Spotted Flycatchers appeared in a cherry tree, soon to be overwhelmed by a party of 20+ Long-tailed Tits. Delightful.
Valley Farm Lane was a picture of Norfolk late Summer. Harvested wheat fields with Hares and Red-legged Partridges,

burgeoning hedgerows and busy farm traffic. Tree Sparrows have left their nesting site but are still around. We disturbed a Buzzard at our turning place.
Another sign of approaching Autumn, sad in one way but thanks for coming.

Abbey Farm was overgrown, lacked water and, unsurprisingly, birds. Greylags, Moorhens, Jackdaws and Wood Pigeons did not keep us long.
Fishing out our Snettisham Permit, I noticed that it had expired on July 27. I renewed it at the end of August last year and the man in the centre back-dated it ! We exchanged it for another on the way back.
High tide was at midnight, we were happy to see the water coming in. The ebb and flow here is so fast that one can watch it engulfing the mud, moving on the thousands of waders present, starting at the chalet end. 

Still too distant to identify all the species massed in lines, the nearer birds can be scoped. Mostly Red Knot (aptly named at the moment) both Godwits, Redshank, and Dunlin. 

Sepia tones under a grey sky.

A few Turnstones, one Ringed Plover and a small flock of black - aproned Golden Plover. 
The Oystercatcher eggs from the nest near the path have hatched, two fluffy chicks trotting amongst the samphire.
On to view the pits, easier to-day as there was no sun. Lapwings, Cormorants, Little Egrets, Sandwich and Common Terns, Egyptian Geese and a Greylag perched on a stone which I just had to photograph. It's easy for me to ignore the common birds.

Same goes for a Grey Heron at the far side of the pit.

I could have stayed all day........
Nowhere to pull in along Hunstanton cliffs, on to Holme to eat our Brunch. Tufted Duck and Coot were the only additions. I do wish that the NOA's boardwalks and hides were better kept. I'll take a dustpan and brush next time. As I entered  the car park hide, two moths fluttered into view. Pam photographed them and later identified both as Mouse moth.
We were home at 3.45, in time to watch England only just fail to bowl out the Aussies on Day 2 of the fourth test. Bad light took it into another day. As I'm writing this on Saturday.....I know that they were bowled out before lunch for us to take an unassailable 3-1 lead. Another innings win.
We've just watched Man U beat Spurs 1-0 at home in the opening match of the season. Not a scintillating performance and it was an own goal under pressure from Rooney but, 3 points are important.

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