A few months ago I booked a hotel on the Norfolk coast. I thought it would be nice to get some sea air in my lungs and do a bit of wildlife watching at the same time. A few days before the trip I nervously kept my eye on the weather forecast – wet and windy weather wouldn’t stop me going but it would be so much more enjoyable with the sun shining. Luckily the weather was set to be sunny and warm so I was in for a great weekend.
The journey to the coast took longer than expected due to the Friday evening traffic. I arrived later than expected, checked in to the hotel then nipped out to a local pub for something to eat.
I started the weekend with a pint and something to eat at the The Jolly Sailors pub
I was up bright and early for my full English breakfast – the perfect start to any day. I was planning on visiting the RSPB reserve at Titchwell Marsh, a reserve I hadn’t visited before.
A full english breakfast to start the day
Entrance to Titchwell Marsh nature reserve
My first stop after parking was the information centre to get a map of the reserve and plan my day.
Shop and information centre
After looking at the map I decided to head down the path towards the beach, there were a couple of hides in that direction.
To the beach
At the first hide I saw a few distant Avocet feeding in the shallow lagoon. This was a good start – this was a bird I hadn’t seen before. There were other common species feeding the shallows as well. The Avocets seemed to be closer to another hide so I headed in that direction hoping to get closer to the Avocets and maybe get a half decent photograph.
A tidal lagoon with the Parrinder hide in the distance
When I arrived at the other hide I was in luck. There were a couple of Avocet quite close which gave me the opportunity to get a couple of shots.
Avocets can be easily identified by the shape of their beaks
Avocet feeding in the shallow lagoon
After my sucess with the Avocets I walked further down the path to the beach. The tide was out and there were various birds feeding in the rock pools.
A Godwit marching down the beach
Crab for lunch
After a couple of hours on the beach I had a slow walk back to the information centre. I stopped briefly at both the hides before having a sit down and cup of tea.
Bird watchers enjoying their day out
Time for a cup of tea and a snack
I woke up to another glorious early Autumn day. I started the day with another good breakfast. As it was such a nice day I didn’t want to drive straight home, so decded to visit nearby Brancaster beach. The beach and car park are only acessible at low tide. I checked the tide timetable and found I was in luck. The tide was on it’s way out so after checking out of the hotel I headed along the coast to Brancaster beach.
After parking my car I walked to the beach. I had a choice, turn left and walk along the beach or walk in the opposite direction. I decided on left which was going to be a good decision.
Other people out enjoying the Autumn sunshine
I walked down the beach a few miles then came to a small creek that was still emptying water in to the North Sea. I couldn’t go any further without getting my feet wet so turned left and followed the creek inland.
Low tide revealed sand dunes
After following the creek for about 1/2 mile I noticed seals basking in the sun on the opposite bank.
Distanct seals basking in the sun
Luck played it’s part again. Two of the Seals left the bank and swam closer to where I was standing. By this time several people had joined me and I think the Seal’s were just as curious about us as we were about them. The two curious Seals bobbed about in the water right in front of me .
I sat in the dunes for an hour watching the Seals, they had drawn quite a crowd by this time. They seemed to enjoy being the centre of attention.
The weather was starting to change, grey clouds were gathering and it looked like it might rain, so I decided to return to my car. It was a great weekend, I’ll definately be going back to the Norfolk coast in the near future.