• Overstrand Life

Monday 24th May 2021 - Looking Up

How often do we all take the time to look up? A lot depends on what we are doing, but I am referring in particular to when we are out for a walk. Yes, we need to look down to keep an eye open for any trip hazards and around us at the general view, but looking up can be so rewarding especially at the cliffs. We like to keep an eye on the cliffs for slips and falls as well as what is growing on the face. Such an inhospitable area for plant life, anything that survives has to be salt and wind tolerant. The year usually starts, as it finishes, with the fragrant blooms of the winter heliotrope and as soon as they fade the snowdrops provide us with thoughts of spring. These are followed by coltsfoot, daffodils and primroses, then bluebells and later a wide variety of wildflowers including red campion which feature in today’s photo. The much scorned Japanese knotweed, another of the many edible plants we see on our walks, covers one area. The flowers are delightful and hopefully their stout deeply penetrating rhizomes are helping to stabilise the section of the cliffs they inhabit. As well as plant life there are birds, often secluded by the vegetation but you can certainly hear them in song. We quite often see a hovering kestrel, looking for its breakfast, and this morning swallows passed above the cliffs. We have heard but have yet to see the swifts here in Overstrand, however we did see about ten in Mundesley last week providing a stunning aerial and vocal display over the shopper’s car park. We heard some good news the other day, the sand martins have returned to the Sidestrand cliffs. The December 2013 storm surge destroyed many burrows but now the sand martins are back in Sidestrand, hopefully they will move further along the coast and return to the cliffs between Overstrand and Cromer. I must not forget the tracks progressing up the cliffs marking the paths made by muntjac deer and foxes, which occasionally show themselves in the early mornings.


Well that’s all from me this month. Next week our family are visiting, it will be good to all be together again. I am wondering how much our young grandsons will remember of their last (pre-Covid) visit two years ago. I have been through their toy box this morning and looking at what’s inside, I am sure they will be too old now for most of them but I will let them be the judge of that. I can imagine them saying, ‘Oh, Nannie Seaside and Grampy, we don’t play with baby toys any more, we’re big boys now.’ We have a list of things we can do, apart from playing with toys; far more than we will be able to squeeze into just one week.