Thursday 4 October 2012


Elis and I had to go to Norfolk for a chat with Alan and Ruth of 'The Biggest Twitch' fame. We had a great chat about Wader Quest, as we picked their brains, they being the only people we knew who had done anything similar before. They were in the company of a group of birders, one of whom was a Spurs fan. Alan wasn't talking to him as they had just beaten Man U. it seems. The group made very pleasnat company indeed and the Adnams Ale was an added bonus.

The moon was full that night, if a little hazy, like me after a
couple of pints of Adnams'.

After our chat Elis and I went to stay in our splendid B&B called Rosamaly Guesthouse in Hunstanton Quite the best B&B we have stayed in for some time. The landlady, Sandra (who isn't potty, she told me to definitely mention this fact) was so attentive we felt bad about paying so little to stay there! The breakfast was first rate with home-made bread and whisky marmalade into the bargain.

Sunrise over Snettisham

I think we especially enjoyed our breakfast as we had had an early start before hand and a ten mile hike to start the day. (Exaggerate? Me? Never!) The hike was at Snettisham from the car park to the reserve, if you've done it you'll know what I mean. However, this yomp is well worth the effort if you time it right, as we did on this occasion. We hit the reserve as the tide turned and were treated to the spectacular aerial display of thousands of waders in synchronised flight, stunning stuff.

Spectacular show of thousands of Knot
We returned for the aforementioned brekky and then headed for Titchwell.
The first bird I put my bins on from the first hide was a charming juvenile Little Stint who was feeding with some Dunlin.There were many Ruff there too in a variety of plumages.

Little Stint with Dunlin
A number of other waders were of course noted including these:
Two Spotted Redshank and a Common Redshank (behind)
Black-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit

Common Snipe

Curlew Sandpiper
Also on the beach we had more wader species and these elegant, young Gannets flying close to shore.

Red Knot

Ruddy Turnstone


Northern gannet

After leaving Titchwell we twitched the Yellow-browed Warbler at Wells Wood. Being cheap, as I am, I haven't got a pager, nor do I subscribe to any other form of commercially available news. I keep muttering to myself how it all used to be free in the good old days! Bring back Nancies I say! If I ever win the lottery I'll set up a free news disseminating service! Grumble, whinge etc.
Treecreeper, pert of a mixed flock
So we paid the car park fee (2 quid for an hour! This birding lark is getting far too expensive) and then set off in search of the bird. Well, actually we set off in search of other birders as we had no idea where to start looking. Dog walkers, there were many of; children on bikes with the manners of a charging rhino, ditto, but birders? Not a one, our hour was nearly up! At last we happened upon a chap and his wife who were adorned with bins and scope, and they cheerfully told us where to start looking... free, no charge, gratis. Nice people. We searched the area to the south of The Dell as instructed, and eventually came across a flock of birds. Tantilisingly I could hear the Yellow-browed Warbler calling, the soft bi-syllabic su-eet that I had learnt so well on Scilly all those years ago. Eventually I got sight of our quarry and called to Elis, it dropped out of view before she got to me. Time nearly up, I found it again, again Elis dipped! Third time lucky? Yes! This time she got to me and saw the bird before it dropped out of sight again. Our time was up, we had to go, but Elis was not to be beaten, she wasn't finished with the YBW yet! She disappeared into the undergrowth and came out smiling. This is why.
Yellow-browed Warbler

Yellow-browed Warbler
This bird was tough to see, but somehow Elis managed a photo or two.


  1. Just as well I wasn't there - I wouldn't be speaking to anyone (being an Arsenal fan).

    1. He he, sorry mate, missed this comment, indeed, there seems to be such rivalry between your footie chaps, don't understand it all really, it's only a game LOL.