Thursday, 25 February 2016

The Ovington Ramblers: Holme Dunes

Maureen Simmons

This week we visited the beautiful area of Holme Dunes on the north Norfolk coastline.  For the first time since we started our NWT nature reserve visits, we met plenty of other walkers enjoying the winter sunshine.

We started off with a cup of coffee and home-made shortbread, made by Joyce (pictured) whilst we watched a lone redshank running in and out of a little rivulet, foraging for shrimps and worms. Here we heard our first sky lark of the year.

Joyce Woods who knows the names of all the wildflowers we find;
 taught to her during long walks as a child with her dad, an ex-coal miner
As we walked along the pathway on top of the dunes we saw a flock of curlews and another of ringed plovers coming in to settle by the shallow pools' edges. Some of these pools in the sand dunes are man-made to provide the perfect habitat for the rare natterjack toads. Sitting in the hide overlooking one of the larger pools we saw many curlews, pink-footed geese, coots, shellducks and black and white tufted ducks.

The buds on the sea buckthorn were swelling ready to burst. The orange berries that will form in the autumn on these spiky shrubs will provide an important winter feed for the many over-wintering birds.

Photos cannot do justice to this naturally wild and wonderful area. You just have to be there!

The Ovington Ramblers are a small group of friends who have decided in their 20th year of walking together that we will try to visit all the Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserves in their 90th Anniversary year.

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