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

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

Wednesday 27 March 2024


A nice warm Spring morning up on the heathlands of Norfolk meant that I was looking for a couple of hard to find birds for the UK. The Dartford Warbler and the Woodlark are both rare finds here, but they both love heath and with a lot of patience you can get lucky. Knowing when they are likely to be singing or looking to pair up is a good start, as they are easier to pick up by sound. I got lucky with both birds, and it seemed there were good numbers around too, with several pairs of each. 

These pictures were taken at some distance and are heavily cropped, so not the best, but these birds should be respected from a distance so as not to disturb them. They need all the help they can get if they are to breed successfully and increase the population.

Male Dartford Warbler

A pair of Woodlark in courtship display.

Out on the East Bank at Cley, there were many Reed Buntings feeding on the tops of the reeds. The light was just perfect.

Reed Buntings

Saturday 23 March 2024

A Day of Year Ticks.

A cold crisp morning on the Norfolk coast and I was able to finally see and photograph a couple of birds that had eluded me so far this year. I'd heard several Cetti's Warblers on my wanderings but hadn't been able to physically see one, until this morning on the East Bank at Cley, where one decided to break cover and come out of it's protective reeds. It wasn't for long, so I had to be ready and capture the moment. I could now move this from the 'Heard only' list to 'Seen' 😃

Cetti's Warbler

As I ventured along the bank towards the sea, I was looking at the noisy Black-headed Gulls and noticed a slightly different version of one. On closer inspection, it was actually a Mediterranean Gull, and another first for the year for me. It even made it's call just to confirm it's identity. These are lovely gulls, and one's that I don't see that often, maybe one or two a year.

Med Gull

I love to see the Purple Sandpipers at Sheringham on the rocks, but despite a good half a dozen visits, they had still eluded me. Poor timing on my behalf, and their choice of where to dine had seen me draw blanks. But a pre 7am visit and high tide at the same time, meant that one was on it's trusty rocks and reduced my anxiety that I might have missed them until the winter. Super little birds and great fun to watch as they slip and slide around the rocks.

Purple Sandpiper

Friday 15 March 2024


One of my favourite waders (there are many) is the Greenshank. I just love it's crisp white and grey colouration. I don't see them that often, so that also adds to my enjoyment when I do get to see one. On an annual basis I tend to see them when they turn up locally in the Spring. At this time of year they are on passage and don't tend to stay on site very long before moving off again. 

The particular bird photographed here I have been lucky to find on it's wintering patch, meaning that I was able to visit it on a number of occasions. At low tide on the mud flats of the Norfolk coast this bird likes to wander up and down probing for food. I secreted myself behind some boats so as not to disturb it, and was able to spend a good amount of time observing. 


With an Oystercatcher for company

This time with a Redshank (right). The Greenshank didn't really tolerate this one.

Friday 8 March 2024

Wandering on the Wirral

I continued my day off, by heading to the Wirral, jus the other side of the Mersey Tunnel from Lunt. Out on the Marsh of the Dee Estuary I had a nice female Hen Harrier, Pink-footed Geese, Marsh Harrier, Little Egrets and several Great White Egrets. 

One particular Great Egret flew right in front of me at just a few meters. Thankfully the light was still good, and gave me an opportunity to raise the camera and get a few shots.

 Great White Egret

At West Kirby Marine Lake, there had been a Red-breasted Merganser, but I missed this, or it had flown off. I did however enjoy watching the waders that were sheltering on the rocks at high tide. Dunlin, Knot, Turnstone and Redshank were all huddled up taking a rest.


Dunlin keeping an eye out for any trouble, and a Turnstone in the background.

Redshanks, Turnstones and one Knott (centre) crammed for space.

Redshanks in the foreground and a few Turnstone off to the left.