At The Broads’ Edge

At the Broads’ edge is Breydon Water, the meagre remains of the once Great Estuary (See Broadly). Here the three main Broads’ rivers join (the Bure, the Yare and the Waveney) to flow as one through the port of Great Yarmouth to find ultimate union with the North Sea.

Breydon Water sea wall

Along the seawall at Breydon Water. A liminal place, where sky and earth and water meet.

Weather forecast being favourable, 7th March I took a walk out there. And there I learned a valuable lesson: As a bird photographer, I’m better at landscapes!

Bird at Breydon

Greatly zoomed, a jackdaw patiently waits for me to ‘click’ it

Thereafter I took photos of mud . . .

Breydon's Edge

The mud-preserved carcass of an ancient boat . . . and an out-of-season Broad’s cruiser out on the Water

Shelducks and boat on Breydon

Sometimes things just fall into alignment: windmill, boat, and shelducks. The shelduck (and drake) is usually to be seen on Breydon Water; it breeds across the adjoining marshes

 And talking of marshes . . .

Grazing marshes South Side Breydon

A typical grazing marsh to the south of Breydon Water.

It’s early in the year as yet but later there’ll be cattle and horses all across here. Since time immemorial, these marshes have been valued for the quality of their grasses.

Drainage channel alongside Breydon

The sun halos a pair of breeding swans . . . or is it a couple of thrown-away pillows?

The reeds that flourish in these drainage channels once supported bearded tits (I know, for I remember recording them for a BTO survey). Now those are gone, but the moorhen, coots, mallards, shelducks and tufteds, and the reed and sedge warblers remain. It’s just a mite too early for most of them yet.

Fence and reeds

Nothing to say of this. It’s just a shot I liked. A lot.

And it seems I’d collected a speck on my lens around about here! Yet when I turned my focus back to the mud, that speck disappeared . . . as did most of the birds!

The joining of Waveney and Yare.

Waders on Breydon

A small sampling of the waders that munch their way through Breydon’s abundance of juicy worms before heading north to their breeding grounds. Red shank. Curlew. Godwit . . .

I also spotted a couple of teals and some pintail ducks, but typical of my luck, they flew away.

Haddiscoe Island from across Breydon

A mist-shrouded Haddiscoe Island lies to the back of these feeding waders

It’s been called an ‘island’ since C19th when a navigation channel was cut to connect the Waveney to the Yare and thus severed this part from its parental marsh.

View from Burgh Castle Roman Fort

View of Haddiscoe Island from the ‘height’s of Burgh Castle’s Roman fort . . .

Reeds, water, windmills and sky . . . a lanscape typical of the Norfolk Broads

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
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16 Responses to At The Broads’ Edge

  1. Akuokuo says:

    Interesting orbs in your pics! Perhaps a few spirits live in the tall grasses.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Judy says:

    When I went to Egypt there were some who had orbs of light in their pyramid shots. While probably dust motes catching light, they were said to be a more mystical presence within those dark and ancient places. I do love this set of images and they seem quite exotic to me even though we have marshes in coastal Florida, but no windmills. I love your descriptions as they are as charming as the images themselves.

    I was thinking how much I liked the image looking down the fence and also with the spot of light glare, when I saw that you specifically liked it too. That type of composition draws the eye down into the scene and has a sense of motion to it. I also laughed at your breeding swans or pair of discarded pillows. You have no idea how many times I have spied a white bird only to find it is a piece of bird shaped white plastic fluttering on some low hanging branch. When you are attuned to bird shapes…they appear everywhere.

    I also like the evocative names, like Breydon Water. But, here ours are evocative too like Mosquito Inlet or Hell’s Bay.

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      And I’ve just emailed you the link to this one (Oops. Should check all my emails before answering one.)
      Spirits. Well, as I remark elsewhere, and as you can see, Breydon is a liminal place, and if spirits are seen anywhere, it will be there.
      And that reminds me of photos I took in Wiltshire, c.10 yrs ago (before CFS hit bad). Shots of crop circles and standing stones and Neolithic long barrows, and Avebury Circle, Stonehenge. And almost all of them had like a pair of eyes incorporated in them . . . much like those halos. It looked like a face. A spirit’s face. Turned out it was a reflection of the pendant I was wearing (a caduceus) though how it managed to imprint itself on the film I never shall know. But it was spokey to see. It made those photos both special and marred.


      • Judy says:

        I wanted to say that the bird picture isn’t bad at all!! You captured the scene and all he mud the bird is wearing quite well!! He looks a little miserable and forlorn standing there on his rock.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        But I admit to it being a tight crop. That mud isn’t something one ventures upon for the sake of a close-up. Not to mention, with no cover to hide me, I’d only scare the birds off . . . as often happened on that walk, hence the ‘mud’ photos!


    • crimsonprose says:

      And I like the name of Hell’s Bay. We have a ‘Hell’s Hole’ close by Acle, with a local tale of a fight with the devil to go with it. But I think it more likely they ‘Hell’ in this case comes from ‘Helos’, the sun.


      • Judy says:

        Well it seems that Hells Bay, Florida is on the SE section of Whitewater Bay which I have traversed by boat. It is very shallow and accessible mostly by canoe or flats vessels. According to Wiki it got its name partly because it is “hell to get into and hell to get out of.” I thought maybe it was because the landscape was so repetitive as in mangrove after mangrove all the same height and color that it was hell if you got lost and someone would find only your bleached white bones as testimony to your unfortunate adventure.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        I much prefer your take on it to wiki’s. American place names have a different quality to those of England (and Britain). Most of ours date to Saxon times . . . though not all . . and so ancient languages have to be pierced before the meaning can be found. Then often it’s boring. e.g. Breydon = the Broad Enclosure. Or Henstead, the High Place. I guess the States also has a high number of exotic sounding placenames, particularly those taken from the native languages. But I do chuckle to discover that Norfolk is a town in US, and that Suffolk is north of it. And, yes, Brian has explained that peculiarity to me. It’s much the same in essence as the appearance in Norfolk of placenames also found in North Germany.


  3. Chris says:

    I’m reading Mark Cocker’s Crow country. it really sucks you in and makes you see crows in a very different light, He writes about Norfolk’s Corvid population with real insight and passion.


  4. Brian Bixby says:

    And if we want evocative names, hey, there’s an area in Massachusetts called Satan’s Kingdom, and no, it is not where the state legislature meets.

    But speaking of Satan’s Kingdom, that photo on which you made no comment: the reeds are eating the fence. They’ve already wiped out the bearded tits.

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      Yea, but that’s exactly the environment bearded tits like . . . deep reeds where they can hide away. Though those reeds weren’t so overgrown way back then. And tomorrow I’m off to a nature reserve that says they have bearded tits. Chances of a photo? Well I do remember them posing for the binoculars. So, fingers crossed

      Liked by 1 person

      • Brian Bixby says:

        And don’t be too hard on yourself over bird photography. Judy knows. And the other bird photographer whose blog I follow (based up in New England) often describes his difficulties in getting a shot right, or at all.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        It’s a challenge I’ve set myself . . . until the butterflies and dragonflies are out! And if there are no birds, there’s always the mud. Or the reeds . . . Wheatfen broad used to be the personal reserve of naturalist Ted Ellis. Free admission! I’m sure there’ll be something worth a photo. Early plant life. I like plants. I like trees. Except for when the wind blows, they don’t move! And no, I’m not hard on myself. I’ve put the flail away, and the horsehair shirt. Now I only use a whip. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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