Bits and Bobs

06th November 2007
The Norfolk trips over the last week or so have been a little disappointing for me. I've covered over a 1000 miles with little to show for it but to be honest, most of it has been my own fault.
I never really understood the tide times and what they meant around the Norfolk coast and it wasn't until my last trip when I finally found out the error of my ways.

I arrived at Snettisham for first light, loaded the gear onto my back and started the long walk to the beach.
Just as you start onto the beach path from the carpark, the RSPB have a notice board which I decided to have a quick glance at... big mistake!

There in front of me was a tide timetable for Snettisham and on this day it was showing 10.45am high water. It was now 7.00am and I thought it would be better to shoot down to Salthouse for a couple of hours before heading back to Snettisham for high water.

Back to the car and off down to Salthouse which turned out to be a wasted journey other than a quick glimpse at who I think was Kira Knightley on a film set. That quick glimpse nearly cost me my car, not sure how long I was staring but the car going up the bank brought my mind back to looking at where I was going.
As I said, Salthouse proved unproductive other than one shot of a Redshank searching for food, oh and I found out what I was doing wrong with the tide times too.


I was just going back to the car when I bumped into an old man, the conversation went like this..

Old man- "Seen anything nice?"
Me- "No mate but I think the twitchers have, there's hundreds of them running about, I'm off to Snettisham now for high tide."
Old man- "You'll have to hurry then boy the tides on it's way back out!"
Me- "Can't be! it said 10.45 high water I was there at 7 this morning."
Old man- "Should have stayed there then boy, you'd have timed it spot on. You see, as soon as the tide comes in, it goes out again. 6 hours to come in and 6 hours to go out, that's how it works."
Me- "BO*****S!!!"
Feeling a tad pi***d off now I headed up to Titchwell for a look about and a cup of tea. The place was packed as usual with little going on but I did grab a few shots, although nothing special but I had to take a picture of something.

Black Headed Gull showing me it's tonsils.

Meadow Pipit, taken using my flash extender. I still haven't got the hang of using fill flash yet, looks like it's been cut out and pasted onto another background.

Finally an Oystercatcher, the only one that would come anywhere near me..

I decided to leave Titchwell and head for the Welney area with the hope of finding some Owl's. Whilst searching for the Owl's, I came across a huge flock of Redwings and Fieldfares stripping some bushes of their berries by the side of the road.
Not having any good images of both species, I spun the car around and pulled up opposite the bushes. I positioned the lens out of the car window with it resting on the beanbag and took a few shots of some Fieldfares.

I was struggling to isolate the birds from the background and was just about to move the car up a few feet to a better position when the police pulled up behind me.
Checking him out in the rear view mirror I could see he was on his radio, now what? I thought.
His door opened and he got out and approached my car.

Policeman- "Alright mate, what you doing?"
Me- "Well, that's a big lens and this is a camera, combine the two together and you can take pictures with them."

What a stupid question I thought but maybe I shouldn't have been so sarcastic.. oops..

Policeman- "pictures of what?"
Me- "Fieldfares and Redwings."
Policeman- "Of what?!!"
Me- "Birds.."
Policeman- "Oh right, well where are they then?"
Me- "Bloody flown off now because you pulled up behind me."
Policeman- "Oh, ok mate but I've had five reports of you being here."
Me- "five reports! I've only been here five minutes and you're the first person I've seen."
Policeman- "well you know how it is with terrorism and all that."
Me- "Terrorism! I'm hardly going to blow up a potato field am I..!"
Policeman- "You're going to have to move on mate."

I couldn't believe my luck and with that I decided to go home. I decided to spend the following day at my feeding station trying to capture some more flight shots.
Things have been a little quiet lately on the feeders but with the cold weather fast approaching this will soon start to change.

Chaffinches and Greenfinches are around in good numbers, here's a few flight shots.

After messing around with flight shots, I took a trip to my local Owl patch and was happy to see the return of one of my favourite Owl's, the Short Eared Owl.
I managed to grab a couple of shots before it disappeared somewhere. I really need a 600mm lens to get that little extra reach that the 500mm lacks.

On a final note, the pet cat has made a huge improvement in her recovery. Although still not fully mobile we finally let her out after ten weeks of being kept in.

Here she is laughing at me..