North Norfolk Coast - part 1
Before I discovered sights like Frampton Marsh, my favourite area for a photography day trip (i.e. close enough to go and return in one day) was the North Norfolk Coast. For a number of years I hired the photographic hide at Snettisham and I made an annual pilgrim to Titchwell in September for my birthday. So it was with great excitement that I planned a return trip, with it being nearly two years since my last!
Like all my trips this one was negotiated with my wife in advance, although with a week off work there was a degree of flexibility with the timing. I was therefore able to pick a day with a reasonable weather forecast - it turned out to be a lovely sunny day!
I visted a number of locations and took quite a few photos over a 13 - 14 hour period. I will present these species by species.
Early morning waders
The first site I visited was Salthouse. I have seen photos from a number of photographers from this reserve but had never actually been there myself - I thought I would give it a go. I left early in the morning and despite taking a slight, unplanned, detour on route, I arrived before 7am. The sky was blue and it promised to be a lovely day.
As I was pulling down the minor road to the Salthouse car park, I spotted a Redshank sitting on a post by the side of the road. It allowed a close approach but I had to photograph it through the passenger window, with the camera hand held. If I had had my wits about me I probably could have carried on, turned the car round and come back up the road with the bird on the right side of the car. Still, not a bad start to the day.
I had been advised by a photographer friend to check the pools to the left of the car park for wading birds. So, camera at the ready and a banana in my pocket for breakfast (it had been an early start) I went to investigate.
The pools were probably a lot smaller than usual as it hadn't really rained for weeks. At first it seemed like the area was deserted. However it was only a short wait before I spotted my next photo, camouflaged against the shingle background - a Ringed Plover.
In fact there were a pair of Ringed Plovers. A slow and careful approach was necessary but they allowed me to get quite close. I started with the camera on a tripod but then reverted to using my beanbag, lying flat on my stomach in the wet sand. This approach was very successful with the birds coming very close indeed.
They are really lovely birds and it was a great experience. Getting down really low meant they completely ignored me and happily went about their lives whilst I clicked away.
Unfortunately, lying on my stomach had another unforeseen consequence - on returning back to the car I remembered where I had put my banana - it had been in my front pocket all along!
For more images from these birds please click here