Wednesday, 4 May 2011
BLAKENEY POINT & Walsey Hills NOA
Arrived Coastguards at around 9.30am and felt excited about walking Blakeney Point. It would be so good to find something special. The sun was shining and the wind had dropped and was now south east. Swallows sat on the fence wires and on the Eye pool were a pair of gadwall, 2 redshanks, 2 avocets, an oystercatcher and a single black-tailed godwit. Andy Stoddart and someone else went on ahead of me, so I left it a while before I set off, finally leaving at 10am.
It was the most disappointing BP walk ever! Apart from a steady stream of swallows flying low west and a few reed buntings and of course the sandwich terns, there was nothing else of note. Sat by Halfway House hoping something would drop in, but only a few linnets in the sueda. At 11.20am I had a nice surprise of four little ringed plovers drop in on the shingle. At the Plantation there wasn't a single bird. I collapsed and had lunch and coffee. Andy S. was also at the plantation and he also had had 'very little'. Walked over to the Lupins, nothing here either apart from a few linnets. Walked back to the Plantation and waited and snoozed and waited. At last a bird!!!!! A single solitary chiffchaff flicking about in the silvery leaves at 3pm. On the way back I tried to stay positive and had a lift when 2 wheatears appeared and also good numbers of meadow pipits. I found a stick earlier, which made a nice walking stick and the wind was in my face going back, so wrapped my scarf around my head and with the stick as well I looked like an old woman! This shingle walk doesn't get any easier and I certainly felt like an old woman! Walking BP on your own is not good for the soul really, especially when its birdless, your start talking to yourself, singing, humming, anything to pass the monotony of the crunching shingle on the way back! At Halfway House I stopped again to have my last sandwich and coffee and watched a marsh harrier put up a flock of whimbrel and curlew. So frustrating when you have worked so hard to hear that Winterton had the White tailed Eagle, Honey Buzzard and a Golden Oriole today whilst I trudged 10 miles along shingle! Where was my reward!!!!!!! Oh and a MALE Pied Flycatcher in Walsey Hills (as Victor Meldrew said) Can you belieeeeevvvveeeee it?!!! As I said out loud 'wouldn't it be nice to find something myself .....' a bloody wood pigeon errupted out of the sueda - great! I eventually got back to Coastguards at 6pm. My car seat felt like heaven!
Walsey Hills NOA - had to go here just in case the pied flycatcher was still about. I had more excitement this evening in 10 minutes than I did all day! Walking along the bottom path I had a stunning male bullfinch, willow warbler singing, cetti's warbler, chiffchaffs, common whitethroats etc. Pete S. also looking for Pied Fly. Someone relocated it and there it was, a stunning male PIED FLYCATCHER sitting amongst hawthorn flowers, 6.53pm - what a picture! Bit too distant for my 300mm lens, but at least I got a record shot. I was pointing the camera between branches so out of focus either side of the bird. That bird made up for the whole day!
Took some sunset pictures and watched a barn owl and several marsh harriers from the NWT Visitor Centre carpark and left Cley at 8.50pm!
Back at work tomorrow. Nice short week though!