As ever at this time of year I am mindful that the Swifts that in so many ways are synonymous with summer will be on the verge of leaving us for another year shortly after the schools round here break for the summer holidays. So during my regular evening walks around the block I have tried to count the local Swifts, always a tricky proposition but by standing on Hunstanton's Recreation Ground I have managed a couple of counts on Wednesday 15th July I counted c 47 Swifts and the following evening 35 from here. Last night [the 23rd] there seemed to be fewer Swifts and I detected a certain indefinable urgency about the packs that remained as they careered through the air above Hunstantons' residential streets.
|Peacock butterfly, Ken Hill Wood|
|Black Tailed Godwits, Snettisham|
|Brown Hare Snettisham|
On Saturday 18th I got a call in the morning about a Broad Billed Sandpiper in the wader roost at Snettisham, family commitments meant I couldn't go and look for the bird until the evening tide. I spent a pleasant hour in the hide looking through the large flock of Black Tailed Godwits bit the Broad Billed Sandpiper didn't show. Nonetheless I had a great time photographing terns against the pink twilight sky on the old jetty and had the place to myself.
|Oystercatcher at dusk, Snettisham|
|Terns at dusk, Snettisham|
|The "Gallery" for the Snettisham Broad Billed Sandpiper|
|Adult Med Gull, Snettisham|
A rare treat on the evening of Wednesday 22nd July a week day evening at Titchwell, I got no further than Island Hide where I must have spent an hour and a half. The Marsh was stiff with birds with several hundred Avocets present and good numbers of Black Tailed Godwits plus Ruff and Dunlin, single Greenshank, Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper and a couple of Curlew Sandpipers. Overcast when I arrived the sun broke through and for a short while I had a wonderful combination of great light and close birds including some stunning summer plumaged Black Tailed Godwits. The birds on the Fresh Marsh were quite jumpy and eventually the cause a large female Sparrowhawk showed itself and then later a Hobby shot though. Other birds included juvenile Bearded tits on the edge of the reedbed and a couple of juvenile Marsh Harrier. But the best bird was a wonderful summer plumaged Little Gull that came really close to the hide.
|Adult Little Gull, Titchwell|
|Black Tailed Godwit, Titchwell|