Norfolk Pilgrimage

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In a rush – a wild grey from the north Norfolk coast

Having just returned from Norfolk for my annual pilgrimage, it’s hard to gather my thoughts. Every time I head to this part of the east coast to shoot on a keeper’s day in the dying moments of the season, my mind is blown by the sheer quantity and variety of birds which pass overhead or lurk beneath the hedges. From a writer’s perspective, it provides such an explosion of material that it may be several weeks before I can reasonably make sense of all that took place over three days on the marshes, but putting sport aside, close encounters with black-tailed godwits, ruff and chinese water deer have conspired to make 2017’s trip one of the finest yet.

This part of Norfolk is literally packed with waders and wildfowl; wigeon and geese are forever on the edge of hearing, made all the more jolly by the periodic chuckle of shelduck. The wide-open skies were festooned with glorious marsh harriers as always, and the hedges were creaking to the twilight calls of grey partridges.

Perhaps there will be more to come in due course once the magnitude of this most recent trip has had time to sink in, but for now there are photos to edit, notes to make and plenty of plucking, butchering and skinning to do.

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