Liz Bridge and Martin Spriggs provided lively reports of our indoor and outdoor meetings respectively.
David North, a very enthusiastic speaker, took us back in time many millennia to explore how the North Norfolk coast came to be as we know it today. He then gave us an idea, his own personal view, of how it might look in the future. We saw aerial views of the coast line prior to the storms of December 2013 and afterwards. On one of the photos, taken while the marshes around Cley were still under water, we could clearly see the original path of the river which had been re-routed to allow for the improvement of the sea defences. So much change occurs without us realizing and it was fascinating to see the marshes and coast line from above. Wildlife and Landscape took over the second half of the talk and we saw some interesting shots of birds, lovely landscapes and glorious sunsets.
31st January saw a 15 strong group of WVBS members gathering in Red Indian style around an enormous puddle in the first car park at Holme. From the top of the sand dunes overlooking Gore Point we had a 360 degree view of the sea, saltmarsh, serpentine water, dunes and fresh marshes inland. Quickly spotters called out names to the scribe --- Curlew (large overhead flock), Little Egret, Marsh Harriers(more than one), Barn Owl, Lapwing, Little Grebe (on the serpentine) Peregrine (leaving the area), Magpie (being chased by a starling) and a superb view of a Merlin. This last perched for some time on the top of a nearby bramble bush. Then from over Chosely way came a faint flock of geese, getting larger as they approached, the flock was 2000 ish strong and all came whiffling down onto the fresh marsh --- Pink- footed Geese, great. After coffee we made for the beach at Thornham to find the Shore Larks seen in this area. We did see Red Throated Diver , Merganser(male) and a Golden eye flying by as if the shops were about to close! Finally having walked quite a way along the shingle and sand three beautiful little shore Larks were seen busily foraging in the down slope of the shingle. Later, at the end of the harbour lane at Thornham the 'resident' flock of Twite entertained, on the roof of the Coal Barn and all around in the dykes and marsh. A Rock Pipit trundled up and down the sides of the dyke, beautifully camouflaged as 'mud'. Four seal were spotted hauled out on the mud. Three Barn Owls patrolled the distant wood edge and grazing marsh. The light was becoming dull and a reduced number of birders pushed on to Ringstead Downs where a large group of buntings festooned the bare hedge line. 100+ Yellow Hammers were counted along with 50+ Corn Bunting, Goldfinch, Brambling and Linnet.
Indoor meetings at Weston Longville Hall for All, 7.30pm. All welcome. (There is a £2.00 charge for non-members): Thursday 21st April – AGM Followed by ‘Uganda, the Pearl of Africa’ by Allan Hale Thursday 19th May ‘Birding and Birds in Arabia’ by Nick Moran
Field trips: Sunday 8th May – Dawn Chorus (meets 4.00am) Sunday 22nd May – Bintree Mill (9.00 to 12. Noon)