Wednesday, 30 March 2011


Wednesday 30th March.

Blickling Hall was home to the Boleyn family and is rumored to be the birthplace of Anne Boleyn.
Blickling Hall is located in the village of Blickling in Norfolk, England. The first manor house on the Blickling Estate was owned by King Harold during the eleventh century when he was the Earl of the East Saxons.
In 1850 Blickling Hall passed to the 11th Marquis of Lothian. In 1940 he left the hall and surrounding 4,500 acre estate to the National Trust in 1940. The estate has been in the care of the National Trust since. In 1960 the National Trust began restoring the property and it was opened to the public in 1962.

In October 2007 Blickling Hall was voted the most haunted house in Britain in a National Trust survey. It is said to be haunted by at least four ghosts. The most famous is Anne Boleyn whose headless ghost appears at the home on the anniversary of her execution, May 19. She arrives at Blickling in a carriage driven by a headless coachman and carried her head with her. Each year the ghost of her father, Sir Thomas, attempts to cross twelve bridges before the sun rises. In addition Sir John Fastolfe, who sold Blicking to the Boleyn family also haunts the hall. Finally, some workers have reported a “Grey Lady” who disappears through walls.

Blickling Hall is the venue for our exhibition from 3rd to 9th April.

Just a small corner of the wonderful gardens at Blickling.

Monday, 28 March 2011


Monday 28th March.

A couple of hours spent in the woodland hide at Pensthorpe and in that short time i saw the following ; Nuthatch,Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Great Tit, Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Blue tit, Chaffinch, Brambling, Blackbird, Robin, Pheasant, Moorhen, Rabbit, Stoat, Squirrel, Mallard.
Not bad for a short time in a wooden Box.

Great Spotted Woodpecker.
The Great Spotted Woodpecker is 23–26 centimetres (9.1–10 in) long, with a 38–44 centimetres (15–17 in) wingspan. The upperparts are glossy black, with white on the sides of the face and neck. A black line zigzags from the shoulder halfway across the breast (in some subspecies nearly meeting in the center), then back to the nape; a black stripe, extending from the bill, runs below the eye to meet this latter part of the zigzag line. On the shoulder is a large white patch and the flight feathers are barred with black and white. The three outer tail feathers are barred; these show when the short stiff tail is outspread, acting as a support in climbing. The underparts are dull white, the abdomen and undertail coverts crimson. The bill is slate black and the legs greenish grey.
Males have a crimson spot on the nape, which is absent in females and juvenile birds. In the latter, the top of the head is crimson between the bill and the center of the crown instead.

Nuthatches are compact birds with short legs, compressed wings, and square 12-feathered tails. They have long, sturdy, pointed bills and strong toes with long claws. Nuthatches have blue-grey backs (violet-blue in some Asian species, which also have red or yellow bills) and white underparts, which are variably tinted with buff, orange, rufous or lilac. Although head markings vary between species, a long black eye stripe, with contrasting white supercilium, dark forehead and blackish cap is common. The sexes look similar, but may differ in underpart colouration, especially on the rear flanks and under the tail. Juveniles and first-year birds can be almost indistinguishable from adults

Saturday, 26 March 2011

WDPC Studio Day.

Saturday 26th March.

A Club studio day at Scoulton organised by David Blake, thank you David and special thanks to Alex for posing and putting up with us.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Europe’s Great Predators

Europe’s great predators Wolves, Bears & Lynx photographed in Bayerischer Wald National Park,Neuschonau.
Thanks to TATRA Photography for all the organisation and Chris Weston for his advice.
The Bavarian Forest
Bayerischer Wald is a wooded low-mountain region in Bavaria, Germany. It extends along the Czech border and is continued on the Czech side by the Šumava (Bohemian Forest). Geographically the Bavarian Forest and Bohemian Forest are sections of the same mountain range. A part of the Bavarian Forest belongs to the Bavarian Forest National Park (Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald) established in 1970 as the first national park in Germany. Another 3008 km² belong to the Bavarian Forest Nature Park (Naturpark Bayerischer Wald), established 1965. The Bavarian Forest is a remnant of the Hercynian Forest that stretched across southern Germania in Roman times. It is the largest protected forest area in central Europe.

The Eurasian Wolf (Canis lupus lupus), also known as the, European, Common or Forest Wolf is a subspecies of grey wolf which has the largest range among wolf subspecies and is the most common in Europe and Asia, ranging through Mongolia, China, Russia, Scandinavia, Western Europe and the Himalayan Mountains. Compared to their North American cousins, Eurasian wolves tend to have longer, more highly placed ears, narrower heads, more slender loins and coarser, tawnier coloured fur. Compared to Indian wolves, Eurasian wolves are larger, and have longer, broader skulls. In Europe, wolves rarely form large packs like in North America, as their lives are more strongly influenced by human activities. Because of this, Eurasian wolves tend to be more adaptable than North American wolves in the face of human expansion.

The Eurasian lynx is the biggest of the lynxes, ranging in length from 80 to 129 centimetres (31 to 51 in) and standing about 70 centimetres (28 in) at the shoulder. The tail measures 15 to 25 centimetres (5.9 to 9.8 in) in length. Males usually weigh from 18 to 30 kilograms (40 to 66 lb) and females weigh 17.6 kilograms (39 lb) on average.[3][4] Male lynxes from Siberia, reportedly where the species has the largest body size, can weigh up to 38 kilograms (84 lb).[5] It has powerful legs, with large webbed and furred paws that act like snowshoes. It also possesses a short "bobbed" tail with an all-black tip, black tufts of hair on its ears, and a long grey-and-white ruff.

During the summer, the Eurasian lynx has a relatively short, reddish or brown coat, which tends to be more brightly coloured in animals living at the southern end of its range. In winter, however, this is replaced by a much thicker coat of silky fur that varies from silver-grey to greyish-brown. The underparts of the animal, including the neck and chin, are white at all times of the year. The fur is almost always marked with black spots, although the number and pattern of these is highly variable. Some animals also possess dark brown stripes on the forehead and back. Although spots tend to be more numerous in animals from southern populations, Eurasian lynx with heavily spotted fur may exist close to others with plain fur.

The Eurasian brown bear has brown fur, which can shift from yellow-brownish to dark brown, red brown, and almost black in some cases; albinism has also been recorded. The fur is dense to varying degree and the hair can grow up to 10 cm in length. The shape of the head is normally quite round with relatively small and round ears, a wide skull and a mouth equipped with 42 teeth, including predatory teeth. It has a powerful bone structure, large paws, equipped with big claws, which can grow up to 10 cm in length. The weight varies depending on habitat and time of the year. A full grown male weighs on average 265–355 kg (583-780 lb). The largest Eurasian brown bear recorded was 481 kg (1,058 lb) and was nearly 2.5 m (8.2 ft) long. Female 150–250 kg (330-550 lb) although weigh as little as 90 kg (200 lb) in the spring.

The Three-toed Woodpecker, (Picoides tridactylus) is a medium-sized woodpecker.

The adult is 21.5-24 cm in length. It is black on the head, wings and rump, and white from the throat to the belly; the flanks are white with black bars. The back is white with black bars, and the tail is black with the white outer feathers barred with black. The adult male has a yellow cap
Three-toed Woodpeckers nest in a cavity in a dead conifer or sometimes a live tree or pole. The pair excavates a new nest each year.

This bird is normally a permanent resident, but northern birds may move south and birds at high elevations may move to lower levels in winter.

Three-toed Woodpeckers forage on conifers in search of wood-boring beetle larvae or other insects. They may also eat fruit and tree sap.

These birds often move into areas with large numbers of insect-infested trees, often following a forest fire or flooding.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

MSVR Meeting at Snetterton

The new Snetterton 300 circuit was officially opened before the first race was held on the new layout this afternoon (Saturday). Inaugural British Touring Car Champion Jack Sears and FIA Formula Two racer Alex Brundle, who hails from nearby Kings Lynn, cut the ribbon on the starting grid with circuit manager Jamie Hopper in attendance.
The pair then stepped into the Snetterton course car to experience the circuit for the first time. Speaking afterwards, Sears explained how delighted he was to have been invited the launch event.

The Skellys Heroes Elise S1 of David Scarborough and Antony Sharpe.

The Ashley Bird/Ed Platt HG Motorsport G20 GT4 Coupe

Neil Newstead in his NN Racing 328i taking part in the Club MSV Trackday Trophy.

Neal Blakes MK 11 Golf leading a group of cars out of bend in the CLUBMSV Trackday Trophy.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Merganser and Curlew.

Thursday 17th March.

Red Breasted Merganser. The adult Red-breasted Merganser is 51–62 cm (20–24 in) long with a 70–86 cm (28–34 in) wingspan.[3] It has a spiky crest and long thin red bill with serrated edges. The male has a dark head with a green sheen, a white neck with a rusty breast, a black back, and white underparts. Adult females have a rusty head and a greyish body. The juvenile is like the female, but lacks the white collar and has a smaller white wing patch.

Curlew (Numenius arquata).

Curlew (pronounced /ˈkɜrljuː/) is the common name for the bird genus Numenius, a group of eight wader species, characterised by a long slender downcurved bill and mainly brown plumage with little seasonal change. They are one of the most ancient lineages of scolopacid waders, together with the godwits which look similar but have straight bills. In Europe "Curlew" usually refers to one species, the Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata.
Curlews feed on mud or very soft ground, searching for worms and other invertebrates with their long bills. They will also take crabs and similar items.
Curlews enjoy a world-wide distribution. Most species show strong migratory habits and consequently one or more species can be encountered at different times of the year in Europe, the British Isles, Iberia, Iceland, Africa, Southeast Asia, Siberia, North America, South America and Australasia.
The distribution of the curlew has altered considerably in the past one hundred years as a result of changing agricultural practices. Reclamation and drainage of marshy fields and mooreland, and afforestation of the latter, have led to local decreases, while conversion of forest to grassland in some parts of Scandinavia has led to increases there.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Snetterton Race Circuit

Wednesday 16th March.

This coming weekend sees the start of another season and the first meeting on the newly designed circuit.

Jason Plato.
2010 British Touring Car Champion who will be appearing at Snetterton again this year.

Racing through Russels

Saturday, 12 March 2011

NNR Steam Gala

Saturday 12th March.

March Spring Steam Gala.
The Spring Steam Gala will feature an intensive timetable with a few unusual formations in service, it will also be an opportunity to see guest engines working alongside our own home fleet, this event (subject to availability) will be steam only.

NELPG's J72 69023.
These 0-6-0T's were used in shunting yards, railway owned docks and coal staithes and on station pilot workings all over the Northeast. Eventually they were found further afield at Wrexham, Kittybrewster at Aberdeen, Keith and Kipps. The last batch were almost identical to the original but were given a vacuum brake, steam heating and sanding gear to enable them to be used on empty passenger stock workings, in addition, some of the earlier engines were similarly modified. The N.E.R. and L.N.E.R. built engines became under B.R. No's 68670 to 68754 and as no provision had been made for further construction the last batch had to be numbered in a special series and came out as No's 69001 to 69028. All 113 remained in service until 1958, when following the introduction of diesel shunters some of the earlier engines began to be withdrawn from traffic

LMS Jinty 3F, 47406.
The design was based on rebuilds by Henry Fowler of the Midland Railway 2441 Class introduced in 1899 by Samuel Waite Johnson. These rebuilds featured a Belpaire firebox and improved cab. 422 Jinties were built between 1924 and 1930, with it being just one of the Midland designs perpetuated by LMS. They were built by the ex-L&YR Horwich Works and the private firms Bagnall's, Beardmores, Hunslet, North British and the Vulcan Foundry.

J15 0-6-0 - 65462
This Class of engine was a Worsdell design for the Great Eastern Railway, originally introduced in 1883, later modified by Holden. Our, now unique, J15 engine was built at Stratford in 1912, as No. 564. The engine carried several running numbers (LNER 7564 & BR 65462) before withdrawal in 1962, having outlived many other, more modern, types of locomotive

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Thornham Harbour

Thursday 10th March.

This old abandoned boat is always popular with photographers that visit Thornham Harbour on Norfolks North Coast.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


Tuesday 8th March.

Following an early breakfast meeting with 4Networking it was off for a long walk in the sunshine along the footpaths and tracks north of Dereham.Accross the disused railway lines belonging to The Mid-Norfolk Railway and back in a big circle.

Part of the disused railway between Dereham and County School Station.

Monday, 7 March 2011


Monday 7th March.

Suns shining for a change so i popped into Pensthorpe for an hour.

BEARDED TIT (Panurus biarmicus)
Also known as a Bearded Reedling a brown, long-tailed bird, usually seen flying rapidly across the top of a reedbed. Males have black 'moustaches' rather than 'beards'. They are sociable and noisy , their 'ping' calls often being the first clue to their presence. They are particularly vulnerable to severe winters and their population has declined in recent years, making them an Amber List species.

LAPWING (Vanellus vanellus)
Also known as the peewit in imitation of its display calls, its proper name describes its wavering flight. Its black and white appearance and round-winged shape in flight make it distinctive, even without its splendid crest. This familiar farmland bird has suffered significant declines recently and is now an Red List species.
Lapwings are found on farmland throughout the UK particularly in lowland areas of northern England, the Borders and eastern Scotland. In the breeding season prefer spring sown cereals, root crops, permanent unimproved pasture, meadows and fallow fields. They can also be found on wetlands with short vegetation. In winter they flock on pasture and ploughed fields.

REDSHANK (Tringa totanus)
The redshank is a medium-sized wading bird. It has longish red legs and a long, straight bill. It is grey-brown above and whitish below. In flight, it shows very obvious white rear edges to the wings and a white 'V-shape' up its back. The greatest concentrations of breeding birds are in parts of Scotland and north-west England. In winter, as many as half of the birds in Britain may be from Iceland. The numbers breeding on farmland are declining, due to drainage of farmland. Overgrazing of coastal marshes is also removing breeding habitat and breeding birds are increasingly dependent on nature reserves.
The redshank is an abundant and widespread wading bird on coasts - look for it at RSPB coastal reserves. Inland, you can look for it at reserves where there is wet grassland for it breed and feed on, especially in the northern half of the UK.

EUROPEAN STILT (Himantopus himantopus)
Adults are 33–36 cm long. They have long pink legs, a long thin black bill and are blackish above and white below, with a white head and neck with a varying amount of black. Males have a black back, often with greenish gloss. Females' backs have a brown hue, contrasting with the black remiges. In the populations that have the top of the head normally white at least in winter, females tend to have less black on head and neck all year round, while males often have much black, particularly in summer. This difference is not clear-cut, however, and males usually get all-white heads in winter.
Immature birds are grey instead of black and have a markedly sandy hue on the wings, with light feather fringes appearing as a whitish line in flight.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Stoke Row Steam Rally

Sunday 6th March.

Images from Stoke Row Steam Rally Nr Henley on Thames.

Stoke Row features a large selection of;
Steam driven traction engines,led by a brass band vintage tractors,
classic commercial vehicles, classic cars, motorbikes, all new military section, and static steam machinery.
Entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.

Steam Engines

Just uploading some of my Steam and Traction Engine images from Woodcote Steam Rally.

The Woodcote Rally is a festival of steam, vintage & veteran transport with entertainment for all the family. Crafts, trade stands, children's entertainment, protected animals, live bands, a traditional fun fair and CAMRA's famous Festival of Ale combine to make it South Oxfordshire's premier event of its kind.

Since 1964, the Woodcote Rally has donated a total of £344,700 to deserving organisations.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

North Norfolk Railway.

Saturday 5th March.
Thick fog and drizzle around this morning so i dropped into Weybourne Station for a few images.

The North Norfolk Railway offers a 10.5 mile round trip by steam train (vintage diesel trains on some journeys) through a delightful area of North Norfolk designated as being of outstanding natural beauty. To the south are wooded hills and the Norfolk beauty spots of Kelling Heath and Sheringham Park. To the north, the sea. All within easy walking distance from the various stations. The flowers are a sight to see throughout the year. In spring and early summer there are primroses, bluebells and the yellow gorse. Later in the year the poppies abound and are set off by the mauve heathers. Enjoy a ride on an historic steam train - you can break your journey to look around the stations and marvel at the steam laden atmosphere from a bygone age.

But the North Norfolk Railway is much more than a train ride. There are historic stations, a museum of the railway's history, a museum signal box and a children's activity carriage. There are also buffets and souvenir shops.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Panoramic Barn Owls

Friday 4th March.

A panoramic image made from three Barn Owl images.

Thornham Harbour and Hunstanton

Friday 4th March.

First was a visit to Thornham Harbour and then onto Hunstanton to try for a sunset but alas cloud ruined it at the very last moment.

Old posts in Thornham Harbour.

Green covered boulders with Hunstantons red cliffs in the background.

Approaching sunset at Hunstanton.