Saturday, 21 November 2015

November Has Arrived.....

Friday November 20

Hearing the rain being lashed loud and hard against the front window, the storm wind must have turned to the north, I am even more delighted that we went out yesterday. We left soon after eight a.m. driving directly towards Titchwell, the weather becoming ever clearer as we progressed west. 
North of Choseley Barns, Pam noticed a Buzzard flapping slowly south along the east ridge. As it banked, its paleness and  the white dark-banded tail confirmed my suspicions. A Rough-legged Buzzard.
Our much loved Thornham was bathed in sunshine, the sky almost completely winter-washed-out blue. Two hours off high tide, the creeks were empty of both water and birds. The beach held large flocks of Greater Black-backed and Herring Gulls, the marsh occasionally erupting with previously suaeda-hidden Curlew, Brent Geese, flocks of Skylark and the occasional Meadow Pipit. A few Little Egrets and a lone Marsh Harrier showed occasionally. 
We did see on more than one occasion, groups of small, restlessly flitting passerines. Twite? Or Linnets? Who knows.......I don't for sure.
Holme called. The Sea Buckthorn thickets are thickly aglow  with their vermilion orange berries, where are the thrushes to eat them? 

The thicket near the car park was having a path hacked through it by four volunteers who seemed pleased to pause as we drove in. Very few cars to-day, we saw none as we idled our way in, gentling even more over the dastardly speed bumps (haven't mentioned them for ages). Shouldn't they be called slow bumps? 

Winter reed heads in the wind
 David Grey's house is still for sale and a bungalow he has bought further on has a pile of rubble in the back garden but, looks identical at the front. Rumours are that he will demolish and re-build here. Pop singer and birder......good spot.
Pam photographed the herd of Konik horses and the delightful black-nosed English White cattle that have appeared in the cleared Paddocks area - and had to reverse a long way to let a car through on the narrow bend.
Back to Thornham and high tide where the creeks were already full. Creeks, boats and marsh + blue sky, photograph time.

From the Coal Barn
 Time to pick up a hot drink at Titchwell before driving on to Brancaster Staithe. More water, boats and marsh to watch whilst drinking.
The wintering group of Great Ringed Plover was huddled on a spit near the golf course shore. 

Two Grey Plover and a Greenshank appeared as we scanned whilst  regular small groups of Brent flighted over,  bound for the marsh.
The Turnstones and gulls don't like healthy food, I've learnt not to throw them my apple core. This Black-headed Gull huddled into its neck nearby,

before flying away.

Stiffkey, just in time for the evening raptor roost. And the rain. The dark clouds had been rolling in from the sea for some time, now they threw icy rain at me through my open window where I was scoping Wells boathouse in sunshine. Time to leave for a comfort stop at Morston. We'd heard that the old loos were to be demolished....... yeah, new and very civilised portaloos erected behind them. Unfortunately, the very heavy wind-propelled shower, decided to become wintry as I fought my way out of the car. Sort of soft hailstones. I got wet but the alternative was not acceptable.
It was dry at Cley Coastguards where a flock of 250 Golden Plovers had gathered in the Eye Field. In the fast setting sun, we tried to photograph them, which our cameras found very difficult. The setting sun was a deep, rosy apricot, which tinted the birds and the reeds.

How many times has Cley Windmill been photographed against a sunset? First time by me.

Wet, deeply puddled roads until we approached North Walsham - where it was dry !

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