Monday, 5 February 2018


This is forecast to be the coldest week of the winter so far. This morning I had to clear a thin layer of ice from my car windscreen and drove through flurries of snow on my way across Norfolk. Yet by lunchtime the sky had cleared and it was a bright but cold day.

In the Rosary Cemetery I paused on my lunchtime walk to take some photographs of the Snowdrops these has naturalised here and there are great clumps of them, splashes of white petals in lieu of the patches of snow which never settled earlier in the day.

I always love it when there is a sense of a season turning, being elbowed out of the way by its impatient successor and today's show of Snowdrops tells that Spring is starting its inexorable push to succeed winter.

Snowdrops, Rosary Cemetery, Norwich

Sunday, 4 February 2018


Its easy to work out the points of a compass at Titchwell the coastline runs east to west and the West Bank Path runs from North to South, so if you are standing on the beach facing the sea you are looking due North. This morning the view from the top of the Dunes was of a choppy North Sea with a perishing cold wind cutting through exposed flesh and the waves making it hard to pick out of sea duck. 

I made my way to the top of the highest dune and had a quick scan of the beach but could just see the to be expected mix of Oystercatchers, Sanderling and Bar Tailed Godwit's, whilst the sea seemed a little devoid of birds. 

View east from Titchwell towards Brancaster Beach and Scolt Head
Looking East towards Scolt Head Island and the Royal West Norfolk Golf Club at Brancaster I could see a weather front coming in. Above me the sky was still blue with sunshine, to my east it had turned black, dark clouds edged with silver inexorably moving in my direction.

My fellow birders eyes were focused on a narrow field of view in front of them, the beach for shorebirds and sea for wildfowl and all seemed oblivious of the approaching bad weather. I decided to turn  around and head back down the West Bank path as I did so the cloud caught up with me and gone was the blue sky of an hour ago, Island Hide was illuminated by a spotlight of sunshine breaking through the clouds and was fronted by a rim of golden reeds. On a small island half a dozen Red Crested Pochard sat hunkered down heads tucked under wings to keep warm.

Red Crested Pochard, Titchwell
Beyond the hide a pair of Marsh Harriers buffeted in the wind did a half hearted little bit of courtship over the reedbed but buffeted by the wind soon went their separate ways.

Island Hide, Titchwell
A return walk over the same route in just under an hour but with two very different views.