May 312021

We decided to spend a few days away in North Norfolk, basing ourselves at Blakeney. The first three days were pretty dreadful, with heavy rain on and off and a very cold North Westerly wind. These conditions made photography and birding extremely difficult. Fortunately there were a few birds hanging on from the previous week and we managed to see Common Crane, Temminck’s Stint, plenty of Spoonbills, a Great White Egret and a few Red Kite to kick start the week.

A few Short-eared Owl were hunting the marshes between Cley and Salthouse and after some patience we were rewarded with some reasonable views once the rain stopped. I found a Greenland Wheatear at Salthouse and one of the abberant “White-rumped” Common Swifts that have been seen along the North Norfolk coast at various sites. This was was over the marshes at North Point Pools, near Wells. I must admit it got me going for a few moments.

The 26th May was by far the best day – A walk out to Blakeney Fresh Marsh produced a few feeding Sandwich Terns and Little Terns, several Marsh Harrier. Later in the morning we had a Red Kite over Blakeney to Morston coastal path and excellent views of a male Cuckoo. I found 2 Spoonbills roosting out on the salt marsh. We decided to spend a few hours parked up along the beach road at Salthouse, whilst eating our lunch of Crab & Prawn sandwiches. I decided to check the RBA news and noticed a report of 2 Bee-eaters over Overstrand heading west. Right we will stake this one out and keep fingers crossed that they will head our way. Sure enough at 14:33 I picked up on the distinctive sound of a calling Bee-eater. I had a job to locate it in the bright blue sky and sunshine but as it got closer I managed to get my bins on the bird, which was quickly followed by the second. I watched them hawking in the sunshine over Walsey Hills at some distance. What a fantastic few moments, it is experiences like this that makes birding so exciting and enjoyable. About 15 minutes later I picked up on a Hobby, heading in the same direction following the streams of Sand Martins and Swallows that were all heading west along the coast.

With booming Bittern and several Cuckoo waking us up each morning we were reluctant to leave for home. A great few days away and we managed to see around 96 species without too much effort.


Alexanders – THE Norfolk spring wild flower.
Record shot of the Common Crane at Holkham Fresh Marsh
This rather Grey headed Yellow Wagtail was at North Point Pools near Wells.
I watched it drop into this hawthorn bush as though freshly arrived.
Goldfinch – several were along the coast path from Blakeney to Morston.
Hobby – over the beach road at Salthouse on 26th May 2021.
This male Kestrel was hovering right above our heads at Morston.
Kestrel – male
Lapwing displaying over the water meadows at Blakeney. Oh for a blue sky.
Meadow Pipit – above four images
Red Kite over Holkham Fresh Marsh
Reed Bunting – a male in summer plumage
Redshank – these birds love to call from fence posts
Rook – not often one gets close to a Rook.
Sandwich Tern over the shingle beach at Salthouse
This very obliging Sedge Warbler was at North Point Pools, near Wells.
Shelduck over the fresh marsh at Blakeney
Short-eared Owl – one of three that were hunting the dunes between Cley East Bank and Salthouse.
Skylark – above two images – get a load of those hind claws – immense
Swallow – Blakeney Fresh Marsh
Wall Brown – the only butterfly we saw during our few days in Norfolk – Titchwell 28th May 2021
Greenland Wheatear – photographed in heavy rain at Salthouse
Wren – this obliging individual was belting out its song in the reeds at Blakeney Fresh Marsh.
Jun 182018
A Day in North Derbyshire

Along with my good butterflying buddies, Barrie and Anita, I spent some time yesterday at Derbyshire’s first Butterfly Reserve at Hoe Grange, an abandoned limestone quarry on the edge of the Peak District National Park. The site has already recorded 26 species and also hosts several rare plants and a variety of insects. The rare Blotched Emerald moth was trapped overnight and also two Wood Tiger moth were seen, but unfortunately the weather was not so kind and few butterflies were on the wing. We did manage to see Common Blue, Small Heath and Large Skipper. Bee Orchid – North […]

Jun 112018
2 weeks on the Greek Island of Lesvos

Our family holiday this year took us to the Greek Island of Lesvos, located just off the coast of west Turkey. It had been many years since we last visited this beautiful island that holds a host of good birds. Although the holiday was not what I call a “Birding Holiday”, there was plenty of local birding sites to keep me occupied for the early mornings and late afternoons. We did hire a car during our stay and this was very beneficial, allowing us to do a little more exploring and made my journeys to the Salt Pans and to […]

Jun 042017
Holiday to the Aegean Island of Samos

My wife Helen and I decided to head back to the beautiful Aegean Island of Samos for our usual weeks holiday. This was to be our 4th visit, to the same hotel and location and we really like our little Shangri-la. This year the bird activity around and over the hotel was rather quiet and a little disappointing in comparison to the other years we have visited. Still I managed around 50 Bee-eater during the week, 6 Eleonora’s Falcon, 2 Long-legged Buzzard, 2 White Stork, 1 Short-toed Eagle, 1 Red-footed Falcon, several Red-rumped Swallow, 1 Sardinian Warbler, 4 Chukkar, 5 […]

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