Friday, 27 May 2011
A Mixed Day!
Had intended (do this alot) to be at either Cley or Sheringham at dawn for a seawatch. All I know is when I looked at my alarm clock it said 7.45pm - funny that, being as I set the alarm for 4am!!!
I knew I had blown it with the seawatch, so stopped off first at Cleyspy and bought a Opticron Hide Clamp on a whim. Well not a whim really, its been something I have wanted for a while as I get a bit tired of balancing scope on a beanbag on the hide ledge! At Coastguards I bumped into James McC. who gave me a lovely long list of birds he had seen from 5am at Sheringham including loads of auks and loads of manx shearwaters. As I have said before 'early bird catches the worm' - I wasn't, so tough! James went off down the 'Point' so I decided that with his excellent track record of finding rares, it was not a good idea to leave Cley until he returned!!! It had been pouring with rain on route from King's Lynn and it was dull when I initially arrived at Cley, but the sun soon came out and it was wonderfully peaceful here. I got out my recently bought 'festival chair' from Tescos which is the best ever seawatching seat and scoped a more or less blank sea! Ok I did have a single gannet and lots of terns, but that was it! This little chair was so comfortable I sat there for about an hour and a half - you are only a few inches from the ground when sitting in it, so you feel like you almost sitting on the shingle and its a perfect height for the tripod. Had my lunch in the car overlooking the Eye Field and watched swallows on the fence wires. I started to question myself about my hide clamp buy. John F. turned up and suggested we go and look in Friary Hills, and I said I would catch him up - which I never did, sorry John! I went to Cleyspy at the visitor centre and took back the hide clamp kit and bought a Manfrotto clamp that attaches to the middle column of my tripod which works brilliantly and I was pleased I changed my mind. In the NWT Visitor Centre I chatted to Pat and was kindly introduced to 'Arnold' - yep 'Mr Great Snipe finder Arnold!!! Also Bernard Bishop said 'I hadn't realised you were Peter's daughter until the other day'.
Left Cley and went to Friary Hills. Why I decided to get out of the car when the heavens were about to open I really don't know, but I did and actually this was rewarded with with lots of birds! I bought the emergency waterproof camera bag stuffed in pocket and it wasn't long before I had to cover the camera! The rain was torrential. I had only got as far as the stone wall so decided to get under an oak tree and stood with my back against the trunk of the tree and just hoped I wouldn't get too drenched. This move definately paid off - whilst standing here I had at least 4 chiffchaffs feeding around me AND a Spotted Flycatcher!!! But I could not get even a record shot of the Spot fly when it stopped raining, however hard I tried! I had to stop here for a good half an hour before the rain stopped and then the sun came out. When I emerged from underneath the tree, there were chiffchaffs everywhere and lots of bird action. Walked all around the hills and up through the wood to the nursery but didn't find anything that I needed to phone RBA about! I would have phoned about the spot fly, but had no signal here anyway.
Walsey Hills NOA. Nothing in here of note
Daukes Hide, Cley NWT. At least 100+ Black tailed Godwits, 2 little gulls, LRPs and usual waders.
Joined Andy J. and Eddie M to look for Nightjars on Salthouse Heath. We heard and saw two churring away!