Weeting Heath: The forest walk and the stone curlews

Sunday, June 22, 2014

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A few weeks ago we made a beeline for Weeting Heath with the intention of taking a wander through the nature reserve in the sunshine. What I hadn't banked on was that they have an entrance fee (unlike the rest of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust sites we've visited to date) which the nice chap explained to me went towards maintaining the environment for the stone curlews. As I'm not a birdwatcher, nor bird conservation fanatic I was not all that impressed (I just wanted a walk) but coughed up nevertheless before proceeding.

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The first thing I would say about trying to spot a stone curlew on miles of flat grassland is that you will need powerful binoculars and a powerful zoom lens on your camera. I had considered our big lens to be pretty good but it was laughably useless looking over the plains. We did spot a couple of birds which turned out to be a lapwing and this cheerful little chap (pictures of him taken by Chris, while he hogged 'our' camera).

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There are three hides; East, West and the third being overlooking a pond (turned out to be the smallest pond known to humankind). We did spot a snake just slithering out of view by the pond but I wasn't quick enough with the camera which wasn't helped by the fact that Chris has turned it off without telling me. There were a few little birds visiting the bird feeders and a rodent of some kind foraging underneath.

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I don't know how long we spent keeping our beady eyes peeled in the two hides we went into but including our forest walk we were at Weeting Heath around three and a half hours.

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The forest walk itself was quite lovely and thankfully not busy, there were markers to show you where to go (always a plus in my book). It was quiet and sunny, we got an opportunity to take some outfit pictures of my boho summer look and I snapped a few flutterbies too.

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Have a lovely summer, wont you.

Sophie

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