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Griswold's Vacations 2019 (1 Viewer)

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
Ok. A little bit premature with this thread as we arrived yesterday. But here we go.

Took us about 5 hours to get to North Norfolk after we'd swapped cars. The taxi has a leaking clutch master? Cylinder so we took the bus instead. This was the longest trip the pup had taken and he was brilliant. The cottage is in Docking and is very cosy and comfortable. Good access to all of North Norfolk's reserves. And a chippy within 50 metres:t::-O

Today we took the children out and went to Wells. Was brilliant to hear skeins of PFG's flying over when we opened the front door. It took a while to find the dell when we arrived, but now I know where it is we'll be back later in the week. Couldn't find any Redpolls let alone Arctics. Loads of people here with some beautiful dogs. Good to see everyone cleaning up after them as well. 100% different to Kenfig Pool:storm:

From here it was over to Holkham. Not been here before either so had no idea where to go. Settled on scanning the sea from the dunes. A pretty good choice as there were some quality birds there - Slavonian Grebe, Red necked Grebe, BTD and a Long Tailed Duck. We then walked round and found where the Shore Larks had been seen earlier but had since flown off. There was some compensation in the form of a big flock of Snow Buntingsthough. Back at the car park a large flock of Brent Geesewere around. Now if Wells was busy then Holkham was akin to IKEA when we left. I think a week day visit would be much more preferable.

We decided to head back to Docking and the oldest and I headed to Hunstanton to get some food shopping in. By Sandringham I stopped on the off chance to scan a field. Flushed a Partridge which, with the assistance of the 60x zoom on the SX60, turned out to be a Grey Partridge. Saw quite a few Kestrels on the lanes which are always good to see.

The intention later in the afternoon was for me and the oldest to have a go at fishing in the village pond. Turns out it looked about 12 inches deep and only contained Koi/Goldfish. Quickly knocked that idea on the head. :-O.

Tested the chip shop out last night and it's well worth a visit if you're in the area. Appears the gents behind the counter were Arsenal fans though so I neglected to say who I supported:-O

To be contd.

Rich
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
A few days to bird at leisure round North Norfolk in winter is one of the finest things to do on the UK Birding circuit. I am quite jealous, and I wish you the best of luck. Enjoy the battered Koi in the chippy!
 

Phil Andrews

It's only Rock and Roller but I like it
Sorry Rich - I can't read the thread title without wanting to add "National Lampoon's" .....
 

Owene

Well-known member
Bad luck on the shore Larks. I couldn’t believe how close they were coming as, as you say, the place was absolutely rammed including a lot of dogs running into the fenced off area. The snow bunting kept getting put up but the larks stayed put.

Good point on the kestrel I was struck by just how many there were compared to South Wales. Thanks for all your twitter help during my visit last week by the way
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
No worries Owen. Thanks for all your advice as well. I'm sure we'll bump into each other again back in God's country at some stage:t:

Rich
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
So today we went to Chosely Barns. A nice, safe little walk for the pup and a few decent birds around. Best were the heaps of Yellowhammers. The supporting cast were RLP's, Curlews, Linnets, Kestrels, Reed Buntings, a Muntjac Deer and some more Brown Hares

Next we headed to Thornham Harbour and a Marsh Harrier drifted over on the way by Titchwell Village. At Thornham itself within minutes we were on to out target birds. A flock of around 12 or so Twitewith a solitary Goldfinch in the flock. All by the sluice gates.

The boys and I have spent the afternoon feeding the the fish at a fishery just outside of South Creake. Had a couple of Red Kites on the drive over and a flock of Egyptian Geese just outside of Docking. As it was getting dark it was great to see a Kingfisherflying across the pond.

Time to settle down for the night before another crack at those Shore Larks tomorrow.

Rich
 

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KenM

Well-known member
Have had Shore Larks between Old Hunstanton and Holme-next-the sea in previous Winters Rich, also further East as far as the dune goes. Best of luck.:t:

Cheers

Ken
 

Paul Longland

Well-known member
While you are in the area you have to be at Titchwell at dusk to watch the harriers coming in to roost. It is a fantastic sight. Last time we were there a couple of weeks ago there were up to a dozen at any one time. Always yhe chance of a hen harrier dropping in at this time of year. The cornish pasties from the cafe are not bad either .
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
Have had Shore Larks between Old Hunstanton and Holme-next-the sea in previous Winters Rich, also further East as far as the dune goes. Best of luck.:t:

Cheers

Ken

Cheers Ken. Managed to catch up with the Holkham birds first thing this morning.

Rich
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
So today I was sans pup, and children.

First stop was Holkham. Got chatting to a couple of birders from Norwich - Sue and Liz. Great company and I managed to bump into them a further twice during the day:t:

We separated at the fenced off area and agreed to catch each other's attention if we got on to the Larks. Unfortunately I got distracted and walked to the top of the dunes to take a look at what was out on the sea. A good decision. Red necked Grebe, Black necked Grebe, Slav and Common Scoter were present. A little further on another birder was on to a Black Throated Diver which I managed to get on to.

Then Sue and Liz came over and said the Shore Larks had been located. Walking past the large flock of Snow Buntings sure enough they were there. Quickly getting on to two of them there were the Shore Larks. Unfortunately a Falcon immediately came through and put everything up. Interestingly, even though we all had a very brief view of the Falcon without bins, we could not reach a consensus. Views ranged from a Kestrel (mine); to either a Merlin or a Peregrine; a small Peregrine; and definitely a Peregrine :-O

Some gorgeous dogs at Holkham. Best being an absolutely bonkers (and friendly) 9 month old Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Time to leave. On RBA a Glaucous Gull had been reported by the harbour by the caravan park in Wells. Not knowing where this was I parked by the main harbour in Wells itself. I must admit it was a decent walk from here but the new Scopac proved it's worth. Turned out to be a good mistake as well. Had my bird of the day down to 20 metres - a beautiful Grey Plover. Also had a flyby Kingfisher, Dabchicks, Turnstones etc. At the harbour by the caravan par we got decent, if distant views, of the young Glaucous Gull. Well pleased to get this one on the first day of the year.B :) Again, met some really decent, friendly birders here. Now it was back to the car and off again.

TBC
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
While you are in the area you have to be at Titchwell at dusk to watch the harriers coming in to roost. It is a fantastic sight. Last time we were there a couple of weeks ago there were up to a dozen at any one time. Always yhe chance of a hen harrier dropping in at this time of year. The cornish pasties from the cafe are not bad either .

Wish I'd known that earlier Paul. I survived today on a packet of stem ginger cookies and a can of Red Bull:eek!:

Rich
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
...so now it was off to Chosely Barns. Good numbers of Yellowhammers there along with a mixed flock of Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush and Linnets. Red legged Partridges were in the fields on the drive up the hill along with a couple of Roe Deer. Bumped in to Sue and Liz again.

Next it was off to Thornham Harbour. Year ticked the Twite and left for Titchwell. Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised but Titchwell was packed. Not my cup of char at all. It's a superb reserve and well worth a visit - but maybe not on New Years Day. Good numbers of duck species were on the freshwater marsh along with a Water Pipit. There were also a few Marsh Harriers knocking around. On the saltwater marsh were Barwits and Blackwits. Walked down to the coast but didn't stay long as everything seemed way off. I'm pretty certain I saw Eider, Shag and Red breasted Merganser but they were miles off so I was only 75% confident and didn't tick them. I was certainly more confident with the Velvet Scoter and Goldeneye. Walking back to the centre a Water Rail gave great views.

Next it was off to Flitcham Abbey Farm. Had a good sized flock of Redwings on the way over. By the reserve I stopped the car to watch a Grey Partridge. The fields on the left here seem to pretty good for this species. I hadn't noticed I was holding a car up and quickly pulled off and into the reserve car park. The car followed me in and it was Sue and Liz again:-O

Very quiet at the reserve. A Sparrowhawk flashed through and Muntjac Deer was off to the right. Was told the resident Little Owls hadn't been seen in ages and has possibly moved on. That was it for the day. 80 species and no House Sparrow :-O. Returned home to a delicious roast beef dinner cooked by Sars:eat: A good day:t:

Rich
 

Paul Longland

Well-known member
Wish I'd known that earlier Paul. I survived today on a packet of stem ginger cookies and a can of Red Bull:eek!:

Rich

There's a pretty decent chippy on the main road near Thornham too:eat: . That's the perils of new years day birding, nowhere open. Mind you better than being back at work like some of us. Won't get my first trip out this year until next Sunday. We usually head off to North Norfolk to get the list off to a big start but thinking of heading to Warwickshire to try for the dusky warbler if its still hanging around this year.
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
There's a pretty decent chippy on the main road near Thornham too:eat: . That's the perils of new years day birding, nowhere open. Mind you better than being back at work like some of us. Won't get my first trip out this year until next Sunday. We usually head off to North Norfolk to get the list off to a big start but thinking of heading to Warwickshire to try for the dusky warbler if its still hanging around this year.
Good luck with the Dusky Paul. Usually we're back in work now but as my OH and I met 25 years ago on New Year's Eve, we decided to book it off.

Rich
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
So yesterday was very much a family day. Did go for a wander with the pup down a local bridle way late afternoon. Good to see Yellowhammers, Muntjacs, Brown Hares and a great view of a hunting Barn Owl.

In the evening we went to the Railway Inn in Docking. The food was very tasty but best of all was the service. The pub takes dogs but as this was Buds first time in a pub we didn't know if we'd be able to stay long enough to taste the food. The landlady was brilliant. He wasn't settling in the restaurant as there were a couple of other dogs in there and he wanted to play. She said we could go in the conservatory where dogs weren't normally allowed and he was brilliant. The beer was pretty good too. B :)

They have some B&B rooms so would be a decent place for a birder looking to stay in the North Norfolk area for a couple of nights.

http://www.railwayinndocking.co.uk/about-us/

Off to Welney this morning with the boys. I'm hoping it's not too far away from a certain fen in Cambridgeshire ;)

Rich
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
Headed to Welney WWT this morning. Huge numbers of wildfowl present including Pintails, Pochards, Whoopers and a handful of Bewicks. On the feeders were good numbers ofTree Sparrows and Reed Buntings. Didn't manage to catch up with the Ring-necked duck though.

Then left for Holme Fen. Just before going through the village of Welney though was the was the long staying, and presumed escaped? White Stork. Was just on the right hand side after the flood depth marker.

At Holme Fen it took a little searching before we eventually found the right area. Flushed 2 foxes on arrival and there were a couple of Roe Deer and Muntjacs in the field.

A couple of very decent birders were there from the Midlands - Coventry and Burtom upon Trent. Had great views of a pair of Short-Eared Owls before eventually the target bird showed. Great pick up by the birder from Burton. My first Rough-legged Buzzard. Happy daysB :)

Stopped off back at the Railway Inn again on the way home as my eldest had been brilliant company all day.
 

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