A spur of the moment decision to go to view the winter bird spectacular at Snettisham in Norfolk, led to a 3 night break with our friends Sue, Alan, Paul and Pam. Setting out after work Thursday, the 225 miles took 4 hours , and we arrived at our rental cottage… Halfpenny Cottage in Docking… by 10.00pm. It was a super cottage with an open fire, beautifully equipped and furnished and with 4 double bedrooms. Perfect!
Friday morning we were up at 5.45 and headed at dawn to Snettisham RSPB reserve on the Wash. At certain times of year, the very high Spring tides rush in and.cover the mud flats, pushing the thousands of birds into a smaller and smaller space. This gives rise to the spectacle of up to 60,000 waders taking off at once, and whirling around in wonderful murmurating shapes.
We were not disappointed, and the sun came out as well, so the light glinting on the wings was wonderful.
A final treat was a Peregrine falcon swooping into the flocks and making them fly. It sped through again and again, and finally caught a straggling dunlin.
One of the most wonderful experiences is when a flock flies right over your head, with the faintest, sweetest whooshing sound.
Huge skeins of geese took off from the marshes and made wonderful shapes in the sky. An awesome morning.
The rest of the day we visited Cley and walked out onto the marshes at Blakeney, marvelling at the huge skies and the abundance of wildlife. Finally a lovely evening playing Diminishing Whist!
Saturday we revisited Snettisham early and were again treated to wonderful swoops and patterns. Then on to Titchwell… but Brrrrrrr the wind was icy cold so by mid afternoon we headed back to our cosy cottage, lit the fire and had a great afternoon and evening playing Pictionary and other games.
On Sunday, we went to Walsingham Abbey and walked through 20 acres of woodland carpeted with snowdrops.
Super, beautifully cooked Sunday lunch platters for 2.. and an absolute bargain at £22 for 2.
Then we all headed for home having really enjoyed our impromptu winter holiday!