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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Wildlife walks throughout the year
Green Man
22nd April 2017

The byway to Sloley
Many many moons ago, believe it or not, I used to be a choirboy at St Peter's church Crawley. Under the mentorship of Father Ian Smith we went for more hikes, expeditions, camps and visits than even the scouts could manage (which I was also doing concurrently). We explored all of Sussex and even visited Lindisfarne and spent two weeks on a boat going the full length of the river Shannon in Ireland. They were great days. I hadn't seen him for nearly 40 years but found out he was retired and living in Norfolk near the Wash. This visit was a great chance to meet up once again, recount old times and catch up on what everyone was doing. It was also a chance for us to visit some of the places that Gill's parents loved so much, namely Cley Marshes Nature Reserve run by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the village and area of Wells-next-the-Sea, both on the north coast of Norfolk. We also planned on riding down to Hickling Broad and trying to spot our greatest avian nemesis - the shy, secretive and thus far totally elusive Bearded Tit.

The hides at Cley are fantastic

We could quite happily live in one of these!

Hundreds of acres of reedbed make this a perfect habitat for some extremely shy birds.

Another one for the collection.

The most delicious crab sandwich EVER!

The sea at Wells-next-the-sea goes out for miles leaving a huge sandy beach.

A boat load of whelks. Not something you see every day.

Another hide, this time at Hickling Broad. A stunningly beautiful place.

And onto a 360 degree, thatched hide on stilts. Just what we needed for scouring the reed beds.

We saw one! A short glimpse of a Bearded Tit. Mission accomplished.


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