Serpentine Spectacular


Trio of unusual waders – Little Stint, Pectoral & Curlew Sandpiper, Cley NWT

Last Wednesday the recently rejuvenated Serpentine, Cley NWT, came into it’s own. On the Monday, our duty day, there was a rather obliging Wood Sandpiper, just off of the East Bank. By Wednesday the list of waders had grown to include Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper and a delightful female Red-necked Phalarope! All credit to Adam and the NWT team for the excellent habitat improvement and management work undertaken there in recent months. The only down side currently is that the birds are often rather distant – roll on the new hide! Tonight’s news is that there is a White-rumped Sandpiper in the same spot!

Wood Sandpiper, photo by Jane Williams

wood sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint


Pectoral Sandpiper


A distant grab shot of Red-necked Phalarope


and an even more distant White-rumped Sandpiper, taken this evening



List of waders seen personally on Serpentine/Arnolds over the last few weeks:

Oystercatcher, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Knot, Sanderling, Turnstone, Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Snipe, Red-necked Phalarope, White-rumped Sandpiper, Ruff & Pectoral Sandpiper.


Historic Churches of Norfolk – route 13

A few weeks ago I did another historic churches cycle ride with my friend Helen. On this occasion we polished off the group of churches sandwiched between the A47, to the south, and the river Bure too the north, east of Norwich. The weather was much kinder to us than on our previous outing but one feature which was consistent was the number of locked churches – such a pity. Our circular route started and finished at Hoveton station, lunch was at a nice little roadside cafe in Acle, and we covered just short of 50k. We visited seventeen churches in all.

The route


The Churches

St Mary Wroxham, All Saints Salhouse, St Gervase & St Protase Little Plumstead, St Mary Great Plumstead, St Margaret Witton, All Saints Hemblington, St Andrew and St Peter North Burlingham, St Edmund Acle, St Mary Fishley, St Margaret Upton, St Mary and St Lawrence South Walsham, All Saints Panxworth, St Helen Ranworth, St Fabian & St Sebastian Woodbastwick, St Mary Wroxham and St Peter Belaugh

The Photos

St Mary Wroxham


All Saints Salhouse

All Saints Salhouse

The unique dedication of St Gervase & St Protase – Little Plumstead


St Mary the Virgin Great Plumstead


St Margaret Witton


All Saints Hemblington


The best single surviving 14C wall painting of the St Christopher narrative in England

All Saints Hemblington

St Andrew North Burlingham

St Andrew North Burlingham

St Peter North Burlingham


St Edmund Acle

St Edmund Acle 2

Detail of stained glass

St Edmund Acle

St Mary Fishley

St Mary Fishley

St Margaret Upton

St Margaret Upton

Interior detail


South Walsham St Mary

St Mary South Walsham

and St Lawrence


All Saints Panxworth


St Helen Ranworth. Unfortunately the whole of the exterior and some of the interior was covered in scaffolding, so here’s some detail of the lovely painted rood screen

St Helen Ranworth

St Fabian & St Sebastian Woodbastwick

St Fabian & St Sebastian Woodbastwick

and finally St Peter Belaugh, sitting high above the river Bure.

St Peter Belaugh













Make mine a Moltoni

Sunday was the day of the NENBC ‘Big Sit’, so we were tied up all day in Felbrigg Park. This meant that we were unfortunately unable to go for the Citril Finch at Burnham – truly gutting. Yesterday we were again occupied at Cley NWT, as Monday is our ‘duty day’. The Citril Finch was reported again first thing but by 06.20 it had disappeared – oh well it’s ‘just a bird’! It was a steady start on the reserve but there were plenty of birds about with a few migrants to maintain our interest – Yellow Wagtail, Wheatear, Curlew & Common Sandpiper etc. By late morning the news began to filter through of a female Subalpine Warbler on Blakeney Point – now that’s more like it. Hopefully it would stay on until the evening and provide some recompense for the day before. Suddenly the pressure went up a few bars when news broke that there was also a male Subalpine present but this time of the rare Moltoni’s race (future full species?) – from the Mediterranean islands. The hours ticked by until we’d finished work and were able to commence the long trudge up the Point. We finally got there around five and were treated to rather fleeting or partially obscured views for the next hour or so. ‘Showing well..’ it wasn’t, but adequate for the purpose. Surprisingly, having seen other rare sylvia warblers in Norfolk, including several Sardinian and Ruppell’s, Subalpine, leaving aside the Moltoni’s aspect, was a Norfolk ‘tick’ for me. We were also able to catch up with Temminck’s Stint, which had eluded us all day, as we passed by Cley on our way home. Not a bad day, all things considered.

Not the best photo but this was one of those occasions when it was better to watch the bird than to try for ‘the shots’


Felbrigg ‘grip-back’

I pay close personal interest in birds seen in Felbrigg Park, my local patch. It was therefore with considerable annoyance that, when we returned from our recent Scottish holiday, I received the news that I’d missed a male Wood Duck on the lake during my absence! Not that anyone would be claiming that this exotic looking duck from North America is anything other than an escape or, at best, ‘of unknown origin’. It was with great relief then that early this morning I achieved something of a ‘grip-back’ when I found the bird, together with a male Mandarin, sat on the dam wall. They eventually flew off over the lake and woods towards the west. What ever it’s origins it’s still a damn fine duck..