Tuesday 28 August 2012

Hate camping, love Norfolk

Warmth, sleep and a dishwasher - is that too much to ask? Apparently so, as this summer's family holiday involved camping in Norfolk. I am in a minority of one in said family for thinking that the novelty of being under canvas is outweighed by the hassle and inconvenience of it all. Bear in mind that most of the rest of the world only lives in tents when forced to by natural disasters and you can see my point.

A decade or so of twitching has taught me to tolerate the cold and sleep deprivation to a certain extent, though on a camping holiday the two things are of course extended over a whole week. When not being woken by the low temperatures or a weak bladder, there were dogs, over-excited children and drunken adults to prevent any attempt at getting some shut-eye. We were pitched next to a particularly nasty-looking pair of German Shepherds (dogs, that is, not Teutonic herdsmen). They were, their owner explained when they went for one of the children, 'only trying to be friendly'. As Goebbels said when Hitler annexed the Sudentenland: 'nichts dagegen ihn, er will nur hallo sagen' (translation: 'don't mind him, he just wants to say 'hello''!). 

Fortunately, the campsite was within easy reach of North Norfolk's string of top quality nature reserves. To Titchwell today, then, with the camera, count to ten and, relax....

This Avocet fed at point blank range outside the Island Hide

Black-tailed Godwit, also from Island Hide

Dunlin - one of a small, skittish flock which eventually came close to Island Hide

Mixed flock of Dunlin and Ringed Plover

Dunlin, still in partial summer plumage


Lapwing from Island Hide

Juvenile Ringed Plover from Island Hide

Ruff - one of several which fed in the mud just below the main footpath



Ruff showing distinctive tail pattern on landing

Dunlin and Ringed Plover flying in formation

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