birds

Walk or a hike?

My route

“I’m just nipping out for a walk. Won’t be long”.

Two hours later. “Every muscle in my body is aching, apart from the ones in my feet. They have just gone numb.”

I thought it would just be a gentle stroll up by the airport. Turned out to be a seven mile hike all around it! Still, there was plenty to see along the way to keep me occupied.

Since the opening of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road, now called the Broadland Northway, a route I have walked in the past in that area has changed quite a bit.

In fairness they have made elements of it walkable and there’s a good and, by what I have seen expressed elsewhere, a much used cycle path.

I ended up doing pretty much a whole circuit of Norwich Airport via roads, cycle paths and bridleways. There was just one section along Holt Road that didn’t have a footpath and I need to check the signage there as I seem to think that for part of the walk the blue signs suggested that it was a pedestrian route back towards Norwich.

The untouched country lanes are full of wildflowers and birds. I saw my first Yellowhammer close to the airport runway and found a nettle almost bent double under the weight of Common Peacock caterpillars.

In the areas that were redeveloped for the new road there’s little yet in the way of wildflowers, but if it is left to get on with it i.e. not constantly cut back, there will eventually be some lovely areas for wildlife to flourish and nature lovers to walk.

Update

Following on from yesterday’s post about wildflowers, I am grateful to those of you who identified the mystery flower for me. It is sorrel – Rumex Acetosa.

According to the Reader’s Digest Field Guide to the Wildflowers of Britain, sorrel was the most prized English vegetable in Tudor times. Apparently it was a favourite of Henry VIII who no doubt had it served several ways during execution banquets.

Day 21 – Where the Deer and the Antelope play*

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park

In the dry heat of the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania (1), early morning drinkers are gathering at the waterhole (2).

At first a lonely southern ground hornbil (3) looks around before taking a drink.

Within minutes it is joined by a pair of ostriches (4).

These huge flightless birds (5) bring a moment of light amusement to the proceedings as they try to manoeuvre their portly bodies in order to get their beaks into the water. These birds were not designed to have dignity.

But this is not the time or the place to be complacent as the gathering birds are unaware that in a nearby acacia tree (6) a Bengal tiger (7) is patiently watching their every move.

Pond

Serengeti waterhole* *May not actually be that

Here we can see how alert this predator is to the nervous creatures as they drink, what for one of them, could be their last.

Already the heat from the sun is starting to become unbearable (8). If this tiger is going to pounce he must do it soon before all his prey head to more sheltered areas behind the shed or up in the trees.

But there is some hope for these defenceless creatures, for soon the hunter will become the hunted.

Not known for it’s agility or courage in such dangerous situations, a white-bearded wildebeest (9) moves slowly across the barren landscape (10). The birds take flight while the feline rolls around a bit in the dusty soil wanting it’s belly rubbed.

By noon all is peaceful again, apart from the distant thud, thud, thud, of music from a treehouse (11) not too far away, along with the smoke and cooking smells from a nearby camp (12).

By nightfall, all will be still (13) as we await the start of another day in the Serengeti (14).

Footnotes

*Birds and a cat
1 My back garden in Norwich, England
2 The garden pond
3 A blackbird
4 A couple of wood pigeons
5 They actually flew down from the sycamore tree. I think they have a nest up there
6 A clump of daffodils. Is that the right word, Clump?
7 The neighbour’s cat – either Daisy or Maisie, I can never tell them apart
8 Actually it’s been rather cold and overcast today. The wind has changed direction and we’re getting a bit of a cold blast from the north
9 That’ll be me
10 That’s my lawn you’re talking about there
11 A neighbour’s garden
12 Another neighbours barbecue
13 Actually, that reminds me, I do need to do some watering this evening
14 Lockdown

30 Days Wild 2017

Thirty days, thirty 30-second sound bites.

Only fitting that the last recording for 30 Days Wild should be The Marriott’s Way, that has featured so much in the past month. I think all the birds came out to sing.

The penultimate day and the Song Thrush is still at it.

Haiku for Day 28

I decided to walk home in the rain. I got drenched. Best 30 Days Wild day ever.

A solo performance from a chaffinch.

Standing under a bridge as the Bure Valley Railway passes over head.

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