Despite the fact that June is a poor month for birding in Norfolk and despite three different friends who had been there recently and all finding in disappointing I still decided to have a couple of days there.
Set off early on Wednesday morning and stopped off at a favourite cafe near Kings Lynn just over two hours later.Trouble was it was now a Macdonalds. The tea I ordered arrived in a plastic lidded beaker and it tasted like canal water and was so hot I scalded my lip.Wonderful ! !
Arrived at Titchwell not long after 9.00 AM and bumped into Jeff Rankin and Chris who were loitering outside the toilets.It was overcast, very cold (9 degrees) and very windy.Things didn't start too badly because on Patsy's pool there were 6 Red-crested Pochards.
Things went downhill after that and I saw very little despite going in all the hides.The wind was very strong and it was bloody cold.The beach was deserted with no people and no birds,The sea was very rough.
After lunch I left and went to Brancaster Staithe harbour but I had no luck there despite a good walk round.I then headed for Chosely barns where I saw a few Yellowhammers and some distant Marsh Harriers.I gave up at 4.00 PM and headed to my hotel.
I was staying at the nearby Briarfields Hotel where they had let me have one of their "superior rooms" at their single room rate.I love staying at hotels but there are often some problems.The huge bath towels you get that are not easily handled, the showers which are all different take an age to get working properly and the walk to the loo in the middle of the night through strange rooms can be very difficult.Three years ago I was North Norfolk Toe Stubbing champion.
For tea I went into Hunstanton to one of my favourite fish and chip restaurants.I hadn't been for a couple of years and it must have changed owners because it was now awful.The chips could have been used better filling in road potholes.
As it was a bit brighter now I went on a tour inland at some of my favourite spots for Barn Owls I haven't seen a Barn Owl for a few years now but did not have any luck.I gave up then knowing it was not my day.
Thursday morning was much brighter and although the wind was still blowing strongly it was a bit warmer so after breakfast I headed over to Thornham harbour to check out the creeks.Over the years I've seen some great birds here but today there were a few BH Gulls some Common Redshanks and a few Oystercatchers and that was it.
In then headed along the coastal path to Holme.There were loads of Skylarks singing but the wind as keeping them on the ground.There were a few sightings of Marsh Harriers but all too distant for my lens.Things improved a lot in the dunes just before the path goes into the woods as there was some shelter and Linnets, Swallows and Common Whitethroats were showing well.Best for me though was that a pair of Skylarks were dropping down to feed enabling me to get some decent flight shots.
For lunch I went to the shopping village next to Creake Abbey a place I've seen some decent birds over the years including Littel Owls but no luck this time.I then headed to Burnham Overy Staithe harbour and parked up on the beach.I started to walk down the sea wall path but didn't fancy walking too far in the strong wind so I went down the bank and sat on a stone bench which was more sheltered.
It was a good move because I spotted a pair of Little Terns that were over on the far bank.These are devils to get flight shots of because they a so small, zoom around like Swifts and never come close.Took me over an hour to get these so so shots but good fun.
It was whilst sitting on my stone bench that I saw something that was going to give me a Magic Moment in an hours time.Looking right down to creek where it leads to the sea I thought I'd spotted a seal but on close inspection it was a swimmer heading slowly down the creek.
Sometime later when I was back on the beach car park having a drink the swimmer had arrived and was in the water just in front of me.The swimmer turned on it's back, took of it's goggles and pulled back the top of the wet suit.Long black hair cascaded out.It was a young woman.She dipped her hair in the water and shook it from side to side.She then stood up and walked towards me.I was instantly reminded of the James Bond film "Dr. No" when Honey Ryder walked out of the sea towards James Bond looking fanatstic.
She was an absolute stunner.I thought quick Max think of something witty to say but "Hello" was all I could think of.What a clown ! ! We chatted for about 5 minutes before she walked off up the beach.I think it was love at first site and I like her as well.That was worth the trip to Norfolk on it's own.
Had an early tea and went for an evening visit to Titchwell.It was still very windy but sunny and warm.Did Ok in the Parinder hide which is a different kettle of chips when the sun is behind the hide.There were some Black-tailed Godwits near the hide which were very colourful in the evening sunshine.
A juvenile Little Gull also came into range and showed briefly close to the hide.