Monday, 23 June 2008

Norfolk birding holiday - 5th June

Up very early this morning, it was going to be a hectic day, yet I had the feeling it would be a fantastic day. I was off to Pensthorpe Nature reserve at Fakenham, the host of Springwatch, and where it was being filmed from. I admit the prospect of seeing Kate Humble and Bill Oddie, made me eager to go. I arrived and saw the film crew having a meeting, there were miles and miles worth of cables, all over the reserve, a good start to the day to see all the goings on of the production team. When you visit places where there is a large scale filming operation involved you really do appreciate how much work goes into producing the program......believe me it is an awful lot.

I spent a lot of time photographing the foreign birds and the birds which are involved with the captive breeding programme. I went back to the car for lunch, and went back to cover the other half of the reserve, which I had not yet had chance to explore. On the way round, guess who I saw.....yes, Bill Oddie, I was so happy. I carried on walking and then saw Kate Humble, I have to say I was very shocked, I never thought I would see them. I was lucky enough to watch them filming as well, and having a joke with the producers, and film makers. The way I was going round the reserve, they went, they stopped at a location to observe a filming sight, and there was a lot of discussion over it. Bill Oddies manager gave me a two signed postcards one from Bill the other from Kate. I never got to see Simon King, but that was because he was in Scotland, in the Cairngorm mountains filming Wild Cats, and Pine Martins.... so lucky, I wish I had his job. Simon King is a wildlife camera man, he travels around, studying nature, being out in the glorious natural world, being out in all weathers and studying how the wildlife copes with weather changes. I would love his job, it would be great, filming the wildlife, brave all weathers, it would be my idea of absolute heaven.

I have been lucky to see Simon King. I entered a competition 2 years back, the prize was to go to the Birdwatching Fair at Rutland Water, and go for a walk with Simon and to have lunch with him. When I arrived I was very shocked to finally meet him, I was almost in tears. Little did I realise until I got there that I had also won a pair of Zeiss binoculars, which he presented to me. He was such a nice man, and such an inspiration, I learnt such a lot from him. It was the best day of my life, and one I will never ever forget. I was happy to win the binoculars, but seeing and meeting Simon King, was the absolute highlight.

Throughout the day at Pensthorpe I seemed to attract the local geese, they wouldn't leave me alone, they were constantly following me, I don't know what it was that I had that attracted them, but something surely did.

There are so many photographs, I will name them all, the first lot of photographs will be of the foreign birds.

Red Brested Goose:

White Stork:


Bald Ibis:

Black Winged Stilt:

Black Stork:

Marabou Stork:

Male Smew:
(the Smew is a winter visitor to the UK, but I am not classing it as a wild species, as it is captive bred here)

Now for the native British species that can leave the reserve whenever they want.


Banded Demoiselle:

Common Blue Damselfly:
Juvenile Coot:




Greylag Goose family:
Barnacle Goose:
What a fantastic day, the highlight had to be seeing Bill Oddie and Kate Humble. I know a lot of people find Bill Oddie annoying, but he is very passionate about wildlife and the environment, and he has helped so many young people to become interested in wildlife, which is great. We are the people who hopefully in the future will be able to help. The more young people that become interested the better, Bill Oddie has helped do this, give credit to him.


Miss Ellis said...

Some fantastic photographs here Anna! My only experience of Bill Oddie was at a Geography teachers' conference a few years back - he spent the majority of his keynote speech telling us how boring and pointless Geography was... You can imagine how well that went down. So yes, I am one of those who find him rather annoying...

Anna Simpson said...

Did he seriously say that?

So....he is supposed to be interested in the environment and the nature within it, and yet he thinks Geography is pointless. Some how those points don't fit together do they?
In my opinion everything contains Geography in some way or another, whether it be big or small. How does he work out that the nature he loves, doesn't have anything to do with Geography. How does he think, lets say...studies of plant species have been studied to follow their distrubtion, or soil types, benefit some species and not others, all of which are Geographical.
I wonder if he did Geography at school......!

Kingsdowner said...

I knew that Norfolk was good for birds, but Bald Ibises and Maribou Storks?

Great photos! And Bill Oddie's enthusiasm is fine by me.