Black Guillemot Twitch!
I have been in my house since Friday night up until about 1.30pm today - sorting and editing pictures. I couldn't stand it any longer and decided I just had to get out for a short while to do some birding. My plan was to walk East Hills. I had to go to my parents first to deliver some stuff. Father was asleep in his deckchair in the garden. I was there for approx 45 minutes which meant no vodafone signal - another 20 minutes along the coast road with no signal until bars appeared on my phone when I arrived at Burnham Overy Staithe. I stopped the car to look at RBA website on the phone and there were two messages for Black Guillemot west of Coastguards at Cley!!! Bother! I was an hour behind, because of no phone signal, no one had phoned me on my Orange phone either. Phoned Eddie, just in case he didn't know - he didn't. Phoned Pete S. who was watching it as we spoke, but said it was drifting steadily west and further out. Can't remember what time I arrived at Coastguards, but I arrived a few seconds before Eddie. I could see birders and scopes way down the beach and decided that I wasn't going to rush down there without bring a rucksack with drink and snacks, because I might have to walk further than I thought and I might end up walking Blakeney Point aswell. So Eddie was probably 15 minutes ahead of me. I started walking along the beach and every time I looked in my bins I could see only a couple of birders with scopes distantly in the heat haze. Several little terns went by east. I didn't have a hope in h*ll of seeing this Black Guillemot now, but I carried on speed walking as best I could with my ear infection that I still have and also now toothache - poor me! Anyway Eddie phoned me to say it was going further and further west and that I needed to run. There was no way I was going to run, I felt rough enough as it was. I had passed Halfway House and was now opposite 'Long Hills' - I couldn't believe how far I had just walked to see this bird! I could see Eddie kindly lowering his tripod and scope a foot lower for me to look through and YES I saw the BLACK GUILLEMOT - Wow! at 4.30pm!!! Not close enough to photograph though, but I was very, very lucky indeed! See pictures of this bird on the Norfolk thread on Birdforum here
I had no intentions whatsoever of walking Blakeney Point today, but being as we were so far up there, we decided to carry on! 'The Plantation' held nothing apart from a meadow pipit and also there were a few linnets in the 'Lupins'. Walked to 'Near Point' and only saw more linnets. Walked back via 'Long Hills' where we flushed two grey Partridges and a few more meadow pipits. I agreed with Eddie that it was sensible to walk back along the beach again as I didn't feel great anyway. Beautiful light walking back - got back to Coastguards at 7.45pm. Eddie left to go home and watch football. I decided to go to Daukes' Hide, just in case the Black-winged Stilt happened to be sitting by the hide flaps - it wasn't. The light was beautiful. Tons of avocets and chicks, shelducks, redshanks, tufted duck, pochard with young, greylags with goslings, two ringed plovers, a barn owl, marsh harrier. Loads of swifts low across the scrapes. A lovely surprise of a Short-eared Owl at 8.50pm and also a Spoonbill landed on 'Cricket Marsh'. A beautiful sunset as I walked back along the boardwalk listening to reed, sedge and cettis's warblers singing.
PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE ADDED