Tuesday, 24 March 2009


Just spent a pleasant four days over in Norfolk, staying at No2. Red Lion Cottage, Stiffkey or Stewkey to those in the know. Yes his Lordship and co-owner Mr Gregs let the Antrobus entourage of Wife, Mum, Pooch and I enter the luxurious coastal dwelling. With its close proximity to the North Norfolk coastal path and two doors from the local beverage dispensary its an ideal place for a birding whoops sorry Mum... vacation/getaway weekend.

Friday evening saw me walking/birding along the coast path towards Wells from the Stiffkey car park. Out on the salt marsh a male Hen Harrier and ten plus Little Egrets were all I could muster in amongst the Brents, Shelducks and various common waders. A large silhouetted heron (which I initially took to be a Grey) came out of the setting sun flew passed me and headed off over Stiffkey village. It was all white, with long dark legs (and feet) and a humungously long yellowish bill....GREAT WHITE EGRET!!!!...whap one for the 'find' list.

After Friday it all went tits up and I only added Plink Plink Fizz, Dartford Warbler and Gypo Goose to the year list (not that I'm doing one!) despite a lot of trying. I managed to dip on Lesser Scaup (en route), Crane twice, Stone Curlew it rained heavily, Black Brant, Rough Leg again, Golden Pheasant twice and a Common Sand three times!!! I even failed to break the 100 for the trip list total. Still I did find a BB rarity (is it still a rarity?) or maybe not. Had some lovely cafe stops including the awesome new Cley NNT Centre (should have spent some of the dosh on the reserve) and several pints of real ale plus the wonderful company of my Spouse and Mother, not forgetting the most unruly dog in the world Mia (apologies for the dog hairs Mr Gregory).

The legend that still is 'Coastguards Hotel' , the beach now encroaching into the foyer unfortunately. Spent many a night here huddled up in my sleeping bag dreaming of megas that I'd find the next day ah c'est la vie. Give it another ten years and it'll be gone just like the cafe. Good thing is though you don't have to pay that cheerful cafe owner anymore...yippee!


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