I felt exhausted today from walking East Hills twice in three days, but it was worth it, as its such a magical place. At least you don't get 'shingle' hip ache from walking East Hills, unlike Blakeney Point!
Walsey Hills NOA
A brambling flew over. 3 Fieldfares landed in the tree in the corrner of the wood adjacent to the bottom willows. A couple of goldcrests flicking about along the bottom path and 2-3 Crossbills were heard calling overhead. Massive flock of golden plover over the NWT hides distantly. Little else was seen and seemed generally much quieter today.
Cley NWT Visitor Centre
Whilst Eddie and I were having our cup of tea, we watched a Peregrine at 10.50am scatter all the birds in front of Dauke's Hide along with a Sparrowhawk.
A young kestrel posed on the hide roof next to Holme Bird Observatory and was very obliging for the camera, flying down to the ground only feet away and on to fence posts to pose! Had a lovely chat with John Sheldrake who has known me longer than my age! - he reminded me today that he remembers my mother pregnant with me!!! John was Chairman of the NOA for many years and a good family friend. He was wearing his NOA enamel G.G. Shrike badge which are much sort after, as there as very few in existence now - his badge had turned green as they did when exposed to the light over a period of time. I am probably the only person to have this badge still in its original blue state, as I have always kept it out of the light.
Anyway, I also chatted to Sophie (Warden) who proudly showed me some fabulous pictures on her computer of the now 2nd Red-flanked Bluetail for Holme that was ringed yesterday (my picture of the first one last year, in the recently published NOA Report and also in the 'Norfolk Bird and Mammal Report' also just hot off the press - see previous post). Round the back of the obs. a Lapland Bunting flew over calling. At the end of the board walk by the seat on Thornham bank a Ring Ouzel was feasting on elderberries. Tons of people were walking past with tons of dogs and dogs off leads out of control - my temper was rising at the scenes and left promptly. Walked round the back of the obs and searched hard in the pines for something good, but only found a few goldcrests. Back at the NOA carpark we watched several Fieldfares fly over. Also back at the carpark was a very neatly placed, small, white plastic bag, knotted up and left for someone to pick up - you can guess what it was..... dog cr*p. Why the h*ll should anyone else have to pick this up and dispose of it - its a tiny bag...... place in car, take home and place in bin - simples!!!!! If people can't manage this - then don't have a dog in the first place and believe you me, I am writing this politely! Sorry to rant, but I see so many of these bags dumped, hidden in bushes (they can't even hide them properly) or adorning a tree like a christmas bauble - looks really pretty doesn't it!!!
Along the Firs Road on the way back we saw a male Stonechat sitting on a hawthorn. Stopped by the standing caravan opposite 'Sandy Ridge' and saw a few goldcrests in the large sycamore and a flock of long tailed tits, but nothing else more exciting.
Please note I have updated the previous few posts re: the Rufous-tailed Robin etc.
PICTURES TO BE ADDED