As we travelled up to the north Norfolk coast I was considering how I might take photographs that were a little different from my normal approach. What I had in mind was a more "documentary" style, showing you what it was like to visit the RSPB's flagship bird reserve at Titchwell Marsh. It all started very well....
A good start
....I overcame my usual reluctance to take such pictures to show you inside the visitor centre shop where you can buy books about birds, gifts featuring birds, food for birds, equipment for watching birds.....you get the idea. They'll also tell you of any particular birds you should watch out for.
Then you proceed along the footpath past reedbeds, marshes and lagoons which are normally teeming with birdlife. Big problem: but not today. The lagoons were comparatively deserted and as a result so were the hides. I've no idea where the birds were this morning, but, as an old-timer birdwatcher once remarked to me, "They got wings - they can go where they like! Tha's your job to find 'em!"
Lets walk along the beach
There were some birds down at the sea's edge and one particularly enthusiastic soul was commando-crawling across the wet sand carrying a camera with a howitzer of a lens attached - but that man certainly wasn't me! I preferred to amuse myself with the patterns in the sand.
That's the clubhouse of Royal West Norfolk Golf Club up ahead, a real seaside "links" course which gets cut off at high tide.
Unusually, the tide seemed to have washed in something looking like coal-dust which made some strange patterns on the beach.
I'm always mesmerised by the alternating sandbars and inlets that stretch away towards the horizon along this bit of coastline. But we're heading up alongside a small stream that's making its way out to sea.
I don't think Seal Creek is its proper name - it doesn't even have a name on my maps - but regular visitors to Titchwell will know where I mean. There are nearly always a few seals hauled up on the sand, just taking it easy. There's a sign to prevent you going too close, but that doesn't matter, the seals will come to see you.
Back to Titchwell
By the time we'd walked back along the beach there were definitely some birds at Titchwell and, judging by the cacophony they were creating, they were geese.
These small, dark geese are Brent Geese. They are not much bigger than the familiar Mallard and are only seen around these shores in winter.
While I was happily snapping away at these welcome visitors I glimpsed a small flock of dazzling white birds flying overhead. I quickly raised my camera and took a single picture.
It wasn't till I got home and looked at the pictures on the computer that I realised that we'd seen some Avocets, the only ones we'd seen all day.
I know, lets go to Hunstanton cliffs and see the Fulmars. Surely they will be there.
Fulmars hang around these cliffs nearly all year, nesting here during spring and summer.
It had been a great day, if rather different from what I'd expected. Then, safely back home and having sorted through these photographs during the evening, I glanced out of the kitchen window...
A cracking good day...and better walking than freezing in a hide!!ReplyDelete
The new hide at Titchwell is remarkably luxurious, but not much good when there are so few birds around.Delete
You had a grand day despite the limited bird sights at first. I like those sand patterns, too.ReplyDelete
El camino se ve cómodo para andar por él, La arena de la cercanía a la playa, se ve ancha y extensa. Muestra muy bien las grandes franjas de agua, que deja las olas al subir la marea.ReplyDelete
No te puedes quejar, de los animales que has captado en tu recorrido. Los acantilados muestra una costa distinta a las imágenes que hemos visto antes.
Buen toque final, esa hermosa luna, que has fotografiado, ya estando en el refugio que te proporciona tu casa.
The pattern on the sands is quite intriguing. Great coastal images and the fauna long with themReplyDelete
You take so many lovely and varied photos for us, John. I am so glad to see these images that you capture - beautiful art!ReplyDelete
These are all such beautiful photos, John. A truly beautiful walk in every way. Each photo tells a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing all this beauty with us.ReplyDelete
I remember the three colour cliffs of Hunstanton from a school trip when I was 10. I also remember seeing fulmars there!ReplyDelete
I'm like you, I love all those patterns in the sand.ReplyDelete
A good day indeed. Great photos--I really like the look of the Brent Geese. So dignified. The seals, though. Oh, to see so many, and fairly close up.ReplyDelete
Great shots of patterns...which would thrill any designer! And you did eventually capture some birds on the wing.ReplyDelete
Rather enjoyable bird outing and I didn't have to go out of my house. Beautiful coastal areaReplyDelete
Great excursion! The expanse of the beach and the birds…wonderfulReplyDelete
Love all the different patterns in the sand that you captured.ReplyDelete
I have wonderful memories of a visit to Titchwell - and yes, I left a few dollars in the gift shop. Bird books and me are a dangerous combination!ReplyDelete
Lovely photos. Thanks for sharing them. It may well be coal dust in your neck of the woods but here in the Southern Hemisphere, black colouring on the sand like that is often volcanic in nature. We often find quite a few bits of pumice too.ReplyDelete
What a great day. I recognise those cliffs and have walked along that beach quite a few times, although not recently:)ReplyDelete
Sounds like a great day out. I can't recall if I've ever seen Brent geese. I didn't realise they were so small.ReplyDelete
The seals are beautiful animals.ReplyDelete
Great day! I like the patterns in the sand!ReplyDelete
Birders are serious folks as shown by the equipment being carried along and I wondered if you had similar gear on your trek, John. I also enjoyed the sand patterns and the seals. How nice to have a moon capture to cap off the day.ReplyDelete
Similar gear but much more lightweight as I like to go on longer walks than some and object to carrying too much weight these days.Delete
Hi John - what a delightful storyline of your day out ... such fun to see - reminded me of my Cornish days and seeing the Cornish beaches - where we also have lots of sandy-stretch beaches: Lelant and Perranporth being ones I can remember. I wrote about "Rocks, Riddles and Ridges, Rhynes" under my A-Z of coasts in 2014 ... and the artwork of the Perranporth sands my mother gave me years ago ... cheers - thanks for the memories! HilaryReplyDelete
Thanks for having us all along on your day!ReplyDelete
Very nice to see the seals. The patterns in the sand are beautiful. Thanks for the tour, John.ReplyDelete
Wonderful! Thank you.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the lovely day you had. The second to last photo is of some very interesting geology, at least to me. I live in a very boring geological place. One flat rock after another, mostly same color.ReplyDelete
You had a very rewarding day with your camera. The full moon is a beauty.ReplyDelete