It must be 40 years since I have been to Norfolk. In those days it was for the excellent fishing but this brief visit was a short family break with my brother and sister in law. If you are interested in birds and other wild life and you are visiting this premier birding county it is unthinkable not to at least get a few short hours behind the binoculars and the lenes of my camera.
I did prepare and researched areas that I might be able to drop into for a few hours that the family could enjoy as well and also had some excellent advice from members of the Norfolk forum of Birdforum.net. and the West Midlands Bird Club on places to visit.
We arrived on Tuesday afternoon and booked into our cottage at Horning on the Broads, got sorted out and there was about 2 hours of daylight left. I had been told that the Raptor roost at Hickling was the place to go for Cranes and Marsh Harriers and possibly Hen Harrier as well. I have never seen Cranes before so I was keen to have a go here. I was not disappointed and much to my amazement a flock of 25 birds made a fly over and settled about 300yds in front of us for the night.
This evening we also watched 9 Marsh Harrier coming into roost in the distance and I managed a couple of shots of this one as it made a fly past. Where I live on the Staffordshire, Cheshire borders there are Marsh Harrier about but I don’t think I have seen 9 before in my life let alone one evening. A fantastic evening I will remember for a long time. It was now very cold and time to go.
Next morning looking through the window towards the boats in the Marina I could see there had been a frost. There was a lovely sunrise in the early morning mist and the makings of a lovely sunny day. We had hired a “day boat” for the day slightly bigger than the one in the picture to the left
The sun had risen and most of the mist had cleared and sitting on the roof of one of the other cottages was this Heron. It turned out he was a regular and was there every morning. He was affectionately known by local residents as Harry the Heron.
I have never been lucky enough to get close to Cormorants. However being on a boat did not seem to scare them away so easily. I love the iridescent colours shown in their feathers when the light is right.
A little too close to this one before he decided to fly off.
Egyptian Geese are very common on the Broads a species originating in Africa. There appears to be few local populations these days in certain parts of the uk
The last day of our short break was tour round the East Norfolk coast first at Winterton on Sea where I took this picture of the Grey seal. There was also many more swimming about and also a couple of Eider
Further north up the coast at Sea Palling there was this flock of Snow Bunting, more like an artist impression than a sharp picture. I like the surrealism and dreamy elements of it. Truth be known I cocked up the settings of my camera but I still like the picture very much.
Finally just before we got back to the car as it was getting dusk this Grey Plover landed on the beach in front of us. I put the ISO up to 1600 and managed a couple of reasonable pictures for such low light levels.