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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Walking

I'm not a great walker. I don't understand the fascination with walking of these people with compasses OS Maps, walking boots and trousers (green) tucked inside socks (green). Even more so when there are hills about.

My walking is stroll a few hundred yards, admire a bird, take a picture or find a comfortable seat to have a read!

But I did enjoy my walk Saturday.

I was on a National Trail don't you know in fact the Peddars Way/Morfolk Coast Path trail that opened in 1986. Well the Peddars way is MUCH older than that

The Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path starts in Suffolk at Knettishall Heath Country Park and follows the route of a Roman road to Holme-next-the-Sea on the north Norfolk coast. At Holme the Peddars Way meets the Norfolk Coast Path as it runs from Hunstanton to Cromer.

The website I "borrowed" that from has a number of "short" walks that look interesting and there is an online guide given places to stay etc.

The short walks are designed to tie up with the coasthopper bus service so you walk from A to B for 5-7 miles and get a bus back. The Norfolk Coast Path is broken up into 7 manageable chunks and each has a map attached.

I think I've decided that I'd like to walk from Hunstanton to Cromer. Now OBVIOUSLY I'm not going to do that in one day...... so my options are to go to Norfolk for a day and do a walk and do the walk over a number of visits OR go to Norfolk for a week and do the walks over a number of days......

TEMPTING!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Walking in Norfolk

I was in Norfolk with Trish and my colleague Trevor.

We had a 6 mile walk in mind from Burnham Deepdale to Brancaster Beach. All very healthy but slightly spoiled by the lovely breakfast at the Deepdale Cafe!

And so to an enjoyable coastal walk.....






I elected not to put the telephoto on ...... these were with the travel zoom




My sort of sign - directions to the pub!










We stopped at the Ship for a drink - although they had no Adnams so I had a diet coke.



Plenty of Pink Feet and Brent Geese. Black Tailed Godwits, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover and Curlew but the high light were some Red Breasted Merganser.

Lunch was at the White Horse in Brancaster Staithe, the soup was nice but pricey and no bread or roll.






Burnham Deepdale church.


The walk was excellent in good company.

Friday, November 25, 2011

the State of the UK’s Birds 2011

The latest population figures for wetland birds has been published in the State of the UK’s Birds 2011 report.

The report shows that winter numbers of the humble Mallard have declined by 38 per cent since 1982 and by 22 per cent since 1998. There have been some other species which have declined sharply since 1998:
Pochard -46%
Dunlin -39%
Bar-tailed Godwit -29%
Ringed plover -26%

Of course it's not all bad news with Wintering numbers of Avocet up by 95% and Shoveller up by 27%

Curiously the Iceland breeding Whooper Swan is up 122% in the past 10 years whereas the Bewick Swan which breeds in Siberia is down by 44%

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Night flowering Orchid

I guess many of you have heard of the discovery of a night flowering orchid.

Bulbophyllum nocturnum is unusual as it is the only known orchid that flowers ONLY at night.

The discoverer Dr de Vogel took the plant home to try and understand why the orchids buds appeared to wither when they reached a size that would normally produce 2cm flowers.

He found that the flowers open a few hours after dusk and remain open until a few hours after sunrise. The flowers opened for one night only which explains why they are withered the following day.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Being a Tourist and a concert

Well off to London again today. It was an early start so we could get down to St James' Park. It was foggy early on but by the time I walked out of Marble Arch tube station.

A sign of the season?


Still murky in the distance as you can see.



Buckingham Palace gates.



Buckingham Palace


Victoria Memorial



St James' Park







Horseguards Parade



One of the guards - this is a member of the Royals.


The Cenotaph.




It was one much murkier by Big Ben (the river I guess)



Westminster Abbey







Ooh the changing of the guard.

The Royals



The Blues


Flamingos!




Loads of these chaps about!



I wonder if anyone has noticed me.....




Another of the exotic collection. Bar Headed Goose.




Another Heron




State visit I guess?


The concert was Cellist Thomas Carroll and Pianist Llyr Williams playing

Beethoven - Cello Sonata in G minor Op.5 No. 2
Franck - Sonata in A for cello and piano.

I preferred the Franck to the Beethoven, and though the concert was good it wasn't one of the best I've been to. Somehow there wasn't an emotional connection.

I think I need to dial in a bit more sharpening! I can hear the words RTFM :D