Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Saturday 31 December 2022

Icy Cold

A pre-Christmas weekend break in Norfolk turned out to be a very cold one. Freezing conditions the week before and also a sprinkling of snow made the journey a little more hazardous than normal, but to be expected at this time of year. The ground was frozen solid, as were many of the water sources on the marshes. One bonus, was that the previously muddy areas were now not so muddy and passable without the need for wellies.

With so much water frozen a lot of the birds were forced to congregate together on smaller open patches. There was still plenty to see, with a good selection of waders and wildfowl on offer. It was just so bitterly cold that I couldn't stay out as long as I wanted to. The wind on the coast was really biting, and especially at my fingertips.


Dunlin flying over the ice. Not something I'm used to seeing.


Curlew and Little Egret

Little Egret and Black-tailed Godwit

Little Egret

Tuesday 20 December 2022

Down by the Beach

A cold morning at the beach in Norfolk during the winter months always throws up some good birds. These were taken at the start of this year, when it was cold, but not as cold as it is here right now. 

There were some Pintail on a pool at Cley, and on the sea were several Red-breasted Mergansers. The beach held all sorts of waders, with Oystercatchers, Dunlin, Sanderling, Plovers and Curlew. Geese were flying overhead making lots of noise, just in case I hadn't noticed the vast numbers with my own eyes. The sun had not been long in the sky, so it made for some very nice light.


Red-breasted Merganser

Common Redshank



Sanderling and Oystercatcher

Saturday 17 December 2022

Morning Glory

Early mornings in Norfolk are great. If you can be out before the early dog walkers you can find some true gold. Much like these Golden Plover at rest with a few Lapwings. The sun was just starting to rise and the light was a nice orangey gold. I've said it many times, but this really is my favourite time of the day. When it's just me and nature, it feels like it belongs to me. Only I am seeing it at that time, and it feels special. Just need a few more of them to be bright like this, and not cloudy. Here are a few pictures of what I saw.

Golden Plover with a few Lapwings.

Grey Heron looking rather cold.

Grey Plover

Bar-tailed Godwits

Bar-tailed Godwit scouring the coast line

Black-tailed Godwit

Tuesday 13 December 2022

The Darkest Months

When I took these images earlier in the year I was a bit disappointed with them. The light was not great, but it was better than these images portray. Having said that, and now that we have returned to deepest darkest winter, I now like the look of them. This is how things look a lot of the time at the moment in the early morning gloom. The cloud is thick and the sun struggles to penetrate, meaning that a lot of the birds appear to be colourless or varying shades of grey. I'm happy with these now and they look quite atmospheric.

Great White Egret

Marsh Harrier

Mute Swan

Friday 9 December 2022


In recent weeks some of our winter ducks have returned, and one of my favourites is the Goldeneye. Upwards of 20 are now on the local Redesmere lake. Always quite a timid duck, and so they tend to stay at some distance. These are no difference and they've been spending most of their time a good 200 metres from my viewing point. The odd few have taken a flight a little closer, but none of the males so far.

These are a couple of females that strayed close enough for me to get some pictures.

Female Goldeneye

Saturday 26 November 2022

Great Northern Diver

I've been back to Redesmere a few times to see if I can get any better pictures of the Great Northern Diver. I hadn't been any luckier, until yesterday. It was a lovely bright sunny day, but it still took a 2 and a half hour wait for the bird to make it's way closer to me. It was worth the wait.

Thursday 17 November 2022

Great Northern Diver - Redesmere Cheshire

Last Sunday saw me leave before first light to carry out my monthly wetland bird survey for the British Trust for Ornithology at Redesemere in Cheshire. Usually at this time of year I am counting hundreds of geese, Mallards and Coots on this large body of water and the highlights are likely to be the returning Goldeneye or maybe a Kingfisher. This morning though had me hopping and a skipping a little more than usual. 

Not seen on my first scan of the lake, I started my counting and then moved east along the car park. The next look through the binoculars had me staring eye to eye with the instantly recognisable Great Northern Diver. Wow!!! Really not what I was expecting to see, but it was one of those joyous moments of self satisfaction when you find a good bird. I would usually make a special trip to see these birds each year, but here was one just 15 minutes from home.

The light at 7:40am was really not the best, but I ran to the car to grab the camera anyway and managed a few record shots. It soon disappeared from close view and spent time away at some distance. I've had some good birds here in recent years, where I found a female Smew and 3 White Fronted Geese and a Great White Egret stayed around last winter. I'm hoping for more like this and that this bird hangs around for a while.

Friday 11 November 2022

Lesser Yellowlegs - Marshside

A rare visitor from North America found it's way across the pond recently. The Lesser Yellowlegs is a great looking wader, and yes it does have yellow legs, as you can see below. A new lifer for me too. I was grateful for the very good light on the day I saw it and really enjoyed watching it work it's way around Crossens inner marsh on the North West coast. A cracking bird.

Friday 21 October 2022


I've been to some of my favourite places recently with the hope of photographing the Dippers. They never make it easy to photograph them, so keeping a low key is crucial. As soon as they see you they will fly off down stream, well away from you. So you need to be extremely cautious, and keep out of sight. This is good for everyone. Especially the bird, that is busy feeding and looking for food, and then for me who can get to take some pictures, if I'm lucky.


Friday 14 October 2022

Not so Early Birder

With Autumn now in full swing, early morning birding doesn't really happen. Sunrise is nearer to 7:30am and it's a bonus if there is no cloud cover. When it is clear though, the sun can give off some really nice light. I took a walk around some local areas recently and there was a good mix of things about. Chiffchaffs are still here, and I'm wondering if these will now stay over the winter, as many now seem to do. I look forward to their song in the Springtime, so to still hear them singing in mid Autumn is strange, but nice all the same.


Formation flying by these Mallards

Robins are setting up their winter territories and are very vocal at the moment.

This pair of Stonechats used to only overwinter on this particular site, but they actually stayed the summer and successfully bred this year. They are still here now and they looked great in the morning sunshine.

Mute Swan