Historic Churches of Norfolk – Route 15

It seems an age since we did route 15, at the end of June. The route, which started and finished at Acle station, was a reasonably challenging 45 miles in total and filled in the ‘missing piece’ to complete the whole of the north east of the county, from Wells in the west right round the coast to Gt Yarmouth and south to an ‘east – west’ line through Norwich.

The Route:

UK_runners__walkers_and_cyclists_-_map_your_routes 2

The Churches:

All Saints Billockby, St Margaret Burgh St Margaret, St Mary Burgh St Mary, St George Rollesby, St Peter Clippesby, St Edmund Thurne, St Peter Repps, St Mary Martham, All Saints Horsey, St Mary West Somerton, Holy Trinity & All Saints Winterton, St Mary the Virgin Hemsby, St Michael Ormesby St Michael, St Margaret Ormesby St Margaret, Holy Trinity Caister, St Edmund West Caister, All Saints Filby, St Mary Thrigby, St Peter & St Paul Mautby, St Peter & St Paul Runham and St Andrew Stokesby

The Photos:

All Saints, Billockby

All Saints Billockby

St Margaret, Burgh St Margaret 

St Margaret Burgh St Margaret

St Mary, Burgh St Mary

St Mary Burgh St Mary

St George, Rollesby

St George Rollesby

St Peter, Clippesby – window detail

St Peter Clippesby

St Edmund the King Martyr, Thurne

St Edmund the King Martyr Thurne

St Peter, Repps

St Peter Repps

Sundial detail

St Peter Repps

St Mary, Martham

St Mary Martham

All Saints, Horsey

All Saints Horsey

Interior – All Saints

All Saints Horsey

St Mary, West Somerton

St Mary West Somerton

Holy Trinity & All Saints, Winterton – interior

Holy Trinity & All Saints Winterton

St Mary the Virgin, Hemsby

St Mary the Virgin Hemsby

St Michael, Ormesby St Michael

St Michael Ormesby St Michael

A modern day ‘Georgia and the Dragon’, St Margaret, Ormsby St Margaret

St Margaret Ormesby St Margaret

Holy Trinity, Caister

Holy Trinity Caister

St Edmund (new), West Caister

St Edmund West Caister

All Saints, Filby

All Saints Filby

Detail of painted rood screen

All Saints Filby

St Mary, Thrigby

St Mary Thrigby

St Peter & St Paul, Mautby

St Peter & St Paul Mautby

St Peter & St Paul, Runham

St Peter & St Paul Runham

St Andrew, Stokesby

St Andrew Stokesby

and by the end, dead? –  well not quite..

St Andrew Stokesby






Birding Southern Spain – 2015


Griffon Vulture on the cliffs above Bolonia

We spent the first week of September on one of our regular birding trips to Southern Spain – the principal purpose being to observe, at close quarters, the raptor migration, for which this part of Spain is famous. We flew from Stansted to Sevilla, with RyanAir (more inconvenient now the cheap airlines seem to have abandoned Jerez!), rented a villa on the outskirts of Tarifa and hired a car from Gold Cars, with their usual ‘no fuss nor frills’ service. As we had a couple more days than we usually take, we were able to visit extra sites including the Grazalema area, the Lagunas de Espera and Benalup – details of all these sites can be found on John Cantelo’s excellent ‘Birding Cadiz’ website. Our trip was timed to coincide with the fabulous festival of the Virgen de la Luz – a separate post will be needed to showcase some the splendid spectacle of the caballeros, who are an integral part of the occasion.

Owing to the weather, raptor passage was light on most days but we did get to see some impressive numbers and amassed an overall total of seventeen species. Storks too were on the move, involving groups of 200+ on several days. Though the vast majority were White there were the occasional Black mixed in. Passerine migration was light, with most regular warbler species being encountered, along with Flycatchers, Wheatears and Stonechats aplenty. There was plenty of tern, wader and wildfowl action but nothing to rival previous years. Bee-eaters were pouring through all week, with rarely an hour going by between groups of a dozen to seventy plus, heading south. The three Shrike species were seen in small numbers. Eleonora’s Falcon, Dartford Warbler and Rock Bunting were additions to the generic list for these autumn excursions.

In addition to the avian interest, there were a few dragonfly and butterfly species to keep us amused.

But first the raptors:

Black Kite


Booted Eagle – pale phase


Short-toed Eagle


Eleonora’s Falcon – one of two seen


Montagu’s Harrier, female – we saw several on migration as well as the ‘locals’ around La Janda


Egyptian Vulture – seen most days in small groups containing several youngsters 


Bonelli’s Eagle – seen around the Lagunas de Espera


Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture – in the hills around Grazalema (comments on id welcome)


A random selection of some of the other avian interest, starting with Black Stork:


Purple Heron – one of several on La Janda


Black-eared Wheatear – mouth-watering views!


Corn Bunting – so common there, so scarce now in Norfolk!


Lesser Short-toed Lark – one of two birds on the Bonanza salt-pans


White-headed Duck – seen at Lagunas Tarelo and Espera 


Blue Rock Thrush – cliffs above Bolonia


Insect interest came in many forms but not all were identified and I stand to be corrected on even those I have dared to label!

Scarlet Darter


Banded Groundling


Lesser Emperor


Copper Demoiselle


Humming-bird Hawk-moth


Chameleon – John Cantelo tells me it’s Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon)
Didn’t even realise that they occur in Spain.


Finally, two hunters seen on the hills above Tarifa. They look as if they’re only shooting rabbits!