HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY – OTTER!!!
For some reason I didn't sleep too well last night and the day didn't start how I imagined. I had planned to be out birding at dawn, but being as I didn't wake up until 8.45am, that didn't quite go to plan! Tested out my new plastic, microwaveable egg poacher this morning – followed the instructions to the letter and the egg exploded like a bloody firework in the microwave, resulting in a laborious cleaning session!!! Gave up on that and had toast with ginger marmelade for breakfast.
Last night's torrential rain had cleared all snow this morning and it was considerably warmer today with glorious sunshine and blue skies! I cruised to Cley to meet with friends for lunch and birding. I decided to have a quick stop at Glandford Ford to see if there were any grey wagtails around. I parked the car up and stood on the footbridge for a while – now 12.40pm. The fields were heavily flooded and the river was alot higher than normal. No birds really of note, but a grey heron was fishing nearby. I was just about to go back to the car when a big animal, kind of ran/galloped across the road, just the other side of the Ford – it took me a good few seconds to take in what I had just seen – OMG it was an OTTER!!! How cool to see that and on my birthday too!!! I smiled and got excited. I ran to the car like lightening, grabbed the camera and then ran back just as quick. I searched and searched for that Otter, but of course I didn't see it again.
I had pre-arranged my birthday lunch with a few good birdy friends and met up with John, Pete and Eddie at "The Three Swallows" Pub in Cley at 1pm. We all had a wonderful meal – I had a vege roast: yorkshire pudding, roast and new potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce with filo pastry vege thing (can't remember the name of it) which was scrumptious, as was the 'Bailey's' Cheesecake to finish off with! Eddie was showing us some of his pictures that he had digiscoped with the Swarovski adaption kit, with iphone 4S and his scope – he had some cracking pictures with this set up. Don't really need SLR's after seeing those pictures! Only problem is I don't have a Swarovski scope or iphone 4S (mine is 3GS) After lunch, Eddie left to go and watch football and then John, Pete and I walked along a footpath at Glandford (where I had never been to) in hope of finding something exciting. We saw very little of note, but did hear and see a pair of bullfinches in a hedgerow and also a kestrel and sparrowhawk. Pete and John then departed and I went off to Cley Visitor Centre to buy some birthday cards and then walked along the 'East Bank' at Cley in hope of a second sighting of an Otter, possibly!
Hundreds of Brent Geese grazing by the 'East Bank' – my walk produced very little really. Pintail, shoveler, teal, curlews, bar-tailed godwits, shelducks, dunlins and one barn owl hunting over the reed beds on the way back. Pete told me earlier that he had counted 15 Woodcocks flying over last night at Cley Sluice, so my next stop was there. I waited at Cley Sluice for quite awhile and I saw no Woodcocks or Otters at all!
Now felt tired and a bit fed-up, as I didn't feel like driving all the way home and didn't want to spend the rest of my birthday alone. Went to Wells, bought chips – big mistake, they were rock hard and over-cooked, the worst chips ever! Ate a third and threw the rest out. Carried on along the coast road and visited parents who weren't in a very good mood really, mother was stressed and father was tired, so didn't stay very long and then went home. Had a phone call off a friend whom I haven't spoke to for a while, so it was really nice to catch up. No more naughty food, back on Weight Watchers tomorrow and normality!
Had loads of Happy Birthday messages on Facebook which was really lovely – thanks everyone!