There a few places in the UK where you can experience the sights and sounds of nature any better than the North Norfolk coast during the Spring Tides that start in earnest from this month onward and for me herald the onset of the Autumn and Winter months. As the incoming tides submerge the whole area it pushes thousands of waders closer to the shoreline.
In the British Army communication either vocal or over the radio comes in all manner of unique turns of phrase designed to keep communication short and understandable. One word, if heard would always strike fear deep inside you ; “INCOMING”. As you took cover, holding onto your helmet and equipment hoping the rounds or shells wouldn’t land close to you.
At the same time your trying to work out where the threat was coming from and to see if everyone around you was safe and unhurt. A word I never took lightly during my time as a soldier; sniper in the British Army. You can listen to more of my time in the Army on a recent podcast I did with Olly Mann for the “Modern Mann” called “Nature, Nurture” by clicking here.
Today, many years on from my service I’m glad to say that word doesn’t bring about the same fear as it once did. It now brings a different feeling for me, one of heart racing enjoyment watching nature unfold in front of you and witnessing a wild animal advance towards you.
Norfolk is famous for its flocks of waders, geese, wildfowl who all begin to gather there now in great numbers as the seasons change from Summer into Autumn and Winter. Over the last few days the north Norfolk coast has once again provided some amazing high tides with thousands of waders being pushed up the beach as the tide works its way in covering the mud and sand flats, submerging the whole estuary.
As well as some incredible encounters with so many waders, geese and wildfowl there were also some incredible encounters with wild barn owls. I’ve known of and visit several different barn owl sites in Norfolk. The owls were showing well and quartering and hunting in pure silence. Gliding effortless over the farmland, always scanning the ground below, these amazing birds that have captivated me from childhood with their sudden appearance, gaining eye contact with you for a split second then disappearing as quick as they arrived.
They truly are the masters of this habitat, never failing to get your heart rate racing once they appear and go about the job they were so well equipped to do.
I’ve been running these days now for sometime, where we spend the morning watching the springtides, then the rest of the day we photograph Barn owls, waders and the winter migrants that slowly arrive on mass throughout the next month or so. If you want to find out more on these days click here.For a more detailed. bespoke day in Norfolk then please see my one to ones days here, many thanks.