Sunday, 5 January 2014

Catch up - Wednesday 1st to Sunday 5th January 2014

A new year and if I have one resolution it's to try and keep life, whether at home or at work, simple. This is in the belief that I will achieve my personal targets for the year [and if I wish add to and build on them] rather than setting myself up to fail. What's that got to do with this blog? well I'm not entirely sure but I think it will mean less messing about drafting and then not getting around to posting short essays and more short summary's of what I have been up to. This I hope will act as a celebration of life, of what it is possible to see, feel and and think in the midst of a busy life with little bespoke time for birding and photography, but with a mind and eyes accustomed to seeing and taking plenty of incidental opportunities and sharing some of these with you.

Brancaster saltmarsh

My last bird of 2013 was a invisible Robin singing its' plaintive winter song from a bush in a Hunstanton front garden, my first birds of 2014 were Feral Pigeons wheeling in the wind over our street in Hunstanton. New Year's Day was manky [cold, grey and wet] and I spent it with the family visiting relatives in Brancaster, a short walk along the edge of the Marsh followed by an interrogation of my father in law's bird feeders produced 28 species. My favourite birds of the day were the smart little Coal Tits on the feeders.

The 2nd saw me back at work in Norwich and taking a boot around what is in effect my 'lunchtime patch' of the Rosary Cemetery, Lion Wood and part of the River Yare, good for 50+ species in 2014 I reckon. A relatively quiet walk did produce two sightings of Sparrowhawk, a Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker and a brace of Coal Tits. But perhaps the best bird of the day was on the drive into work when I had a drive by sighting of a Barn Owl just outside Docking.
Lion Wood, Norwich

On Friday the 3rd I had a work related walk and talk at Snettisham and Titchwell, a lovely day with some cracking black and white male Goldeneye at Snettisham and a nice flock of Avocet's at Titchwell, where a female Marsh Harrier spooked the waders and wildfowl and where I photographed the splendid male Pintail below. The day ended with an unseasonal Hedgehog in Snettisham village.

Male Pintail, Titchwell Marsh
Saturday was another wet day, whem the rain cleared mid afternoon I took no 1 son [age 4] 'shell hunting' under the cliffs in Hunstanton, not much bird activity but good to see Fulmar's hanging around the cliffs in some numbers.

Fulmar's Hunstanton Cliffs
Today [Sunday 5th] I was again back in Brancaster with the family, a drive along the coast to get no 2 son [age 2] to sleep gave me a chance to pop into Burnham Overy Staithe Harbour which was very quiet and Brancaster Staithe Harbour where I picked up Rock Pipit for the year. But the most fun was when I stopped to look at some bird feeders and noticed the finches and sparrows bathing in a puddle on the opposite side of the road.

Chaffinch & Goldfinch bathing

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