I had Crufts with my greyhounds and Whippet
A curious bird fact and the NEC or specifically the Marriott hotel (the Kennel Club put the judges in there the night before they judge so they don't get stuck in traffic) EVERY balcony as what are either HOUSEMARTIN nests from last year or Swifts nests, now a 'proper' birder disputed a swift would build such a nest but when we lived in East Grinstead the Swifts used to build nests on our house like a HOUSEMARTIN does. These on the hotel look to big for Housemartins, but either way obviously they don't knock them down during the breeding season easily counted 26 before having to go home. So fair play to the Marriott.
With the weather lousy of late I stretched the cars cogs and headed up to Norfolk.
Had a brilliant day, the trip up there was packed with sightings, so many Hares were darting across the road and visibly chasing each other in the fields I wasn't surprised on the journey home to see a few road kills.
My first bird of the day was a Barn Owl, of course but it wasn't the bird I came for, not my best efforts but it's fair to say that I'm a bit ring rusty with the camera.
Courtesy of Google earth I selected my planned yomp to include mixed habitats of reed bed, small pools etc.
Didn't take to long at the first reed bed section to locate some interesting birds including Bearded Tits, a lot of Bearded Tits, for me anyway 11 birds ain't bad.
But they weren't the first bird I actually photographed here. Apart from Turnstone, Curlew, Redshank flybys against blue skies (a bit boring image wise) it was a Marsh Harrier gliding low over the reed bed that got my attention but it soon disappeared into the reed bed. I saw an uninteresting Coot at the edge of the Reed bed about 16 foot away but was trying and failing for the Meadow Pipits chasing each other around. When I heard the reed bed crashing, honestly I was expecting a muntjac or perhaps a Chinese Water deer, I wasn't expecting the Marsh Harrier attempting to snatch the Coot.
The Harrier nailed the Coot and was plucking its feathers (look in it's bill) but the Coot lived up to it's nature and fought back with it's feet and got out from underneath the Harrier and ran off in my direction as did the Harrier on foot!!
So the Bearded Tits finally came to the edge of the reed bed and despite the stiff breeze some ventured to the tops of the reeds (mostly the males) whilst two of the females stayed low down, more in attempt to avoid the males who were also busy establishing dominance.
Plenty of flybys but to quick for me but the camera locked on them in the flight sadly they were either missing heads or tails, expect a poor photoshop cut 'n' paste in the upcoming odds 'n' sods lol
The Turnstone, I stumbled across 4 busy feeding. They looked up, I thought they were going to fly off but they slowly wandered over towards me, sadly I had no food to share. I stopped photographing due to their proximity and just watched the within centimetres of me. Up close they're so small. Not the prettiest of waders but easily the friendliest.