Sunday, 5 June 2011
Mad Day Last Day of My Holiday and Mega Seawatching!!!
I decided that my last day would be a mad day. After having very little sleep I arrived at Coastguards, Cley at 5am!!!!! I was the first one there and in fact remained on my own until 6.40am!!! I am sure I missed loads being as I was on my own. Most of the passage had tailored off by 6.45am (ish). I didn't want to miss anything going through the breakers so crazily stood on the shingle in the cold, so I could see everything going through. This definately paid off as most of the Little Gulls, if not all, were flying low, close in. Had I been standing in the shelter, I would not have seen them. At least half of the following list I saw on my own and a few other birders joining me to assist with my count! Phoned the following list to RBA but they only put out the Little Gulls and Manx Shearwaters.
Coastguards, Cley — 5am-10.10am
Gannets – 276
Auk sp. – 72
Little Gulls – 18
Razorbills –3 (sitting on sea)
Guillemots – 46 (3 sitting on sea)
Manx Shearwaters – 6
Little Tern – 44
Common Scoter – 11
Cormorant – 6
Fulmers – 7
Also seen but not counted, loads of common terns and sandwich terns, also black headed gulls, great black-backed gulls and common gulls. Five hours standing in the cold was enough, so went to the Visitor Centre for breakfast. the only problem was they don't cater for vegetarians for breakfast - only food on offer was a bacon bap (no) or a fruit or hot cheese scone - well you can guess which one I chose with my pot of tea, yes a hot cheese scone! Sat with the Cley lads: Eddie M., Andy J. and M.G. and counted up/sorted my seawatching numbers. News came through of a Black Tern seen from Coastguards - 15 bloody minutes after I left!!!!!! Picked up by Trevor D. and Robin A., we found out later when we all returned to Coastguards, just in case any more decided to put in an appearance. No black terns passed through when we arrived!
Walsey Hills NOA - sun now blazing and hot and I had got tons of layers on! No birds of note in here, apart from several common whitethroats. Several Sandwasps around the main steps. Photographed a small tortoiseshell and bees at the bottom of the public footpath. Poppies created a colourful display, intermingled with grasses and Vipor's Bugloss with lots of insects buzzing. Walked round the top of Walsey and lay down for a wonderful snooze on the bank overlooking Arnold's Marsh. I relocated to the Visitor Centre for lunch.
Coastguards - one of the few places in Cley I can get a phone signal. Parked car overlooking Eye Field, reclined seat and slept for a long time.
Seawatched again from 5.55pm to 7.30pm. Well not as seriously as I did this morning, but did see at least another 45 Gannets going east, another 13 Little Gulls all low and close in again and one line of 13 Auks, east. Spent the last half an hour sitting on the shingle close to the rolling surf trying to improve yesterday's attempt at photographing Little Gulls.
Had a coffee and drove home.
The last day of my holiday!!!! I'm not ready to go back to work at all!!! In fact the way I feel right now, I may well be at home tomorrow - the same things going on, as put in me in hospital a few weeks back.