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Saturday, 3 August 2013

Hot Birding at Cley!

Last night I took my sister Lucy to visit my parents and by the time I dropped her back home at 10pm, did Tescos and got home, it was late when I actually got into bed. So a serious lie in was required after the week I have had at work. I had such a lazy day and didn't even leave the house until the Black-winged Stilt message came up on the pager!

I had planned to go to Cley anyway for a relaxing evening of birding in the NWT hides. The Black-winged Stilt message came up as I started the car. The accelerator peddle was hard down for most of the journey whilst listening to Dizzie Rascal's 'Tongue 'n' Cheek', until I heard that the bird had not been seen and probably never was there in the first place! Oh well, the excitement faded quickly and I slowed down to the correct speed limit – well kind of. Popped into Cleyspy to buy a bag and then parked at the East Bank carpark. Walked along the bank to find Eddie, Mark, Richard and others – nobody had seen the Black-winged Stilt.

Walsey Hills NOA – had fabulous views of a Marsh Harrier gliding low and close, over the field round the back of Walsey and got some nice photos. Nothing else of note.

Cley Coastguards for my tea. I sat on the shingle to eat my salad, whilst gazing out to sea. Lots of Swallows flying west, low over the sea. It was a big mistake sitting here, as loads of thunderflies descended upon me, so had no choice but to finish my tea in the car. It amazes me how day trippers have room in their cars for their picnic, but don't seem to have room to take back the remains, funny that – several bags of rubbish dumped on the seat in the sea-watching shelter, if only I had witnessed them dumping it!

Dauke's and Teal Hide, Cley NWT
Andy J.,  Eddie M., R.M., M.A.G., Dick F. and a few others in the hides – most birders I have seen here on a Saturday night for ages! It was a beautiful evening and the light here was magical, as it always is and there was lots of banter!

Birds seen: 2 Continental Black-tailed Godwits – it was interesting learning about these birds, much longer legged and longer billed and 'they prefer to be out of the water', Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Spoonbills (4 west and 2 east), Arctic Skua flew west and then east later, lots of Ruff, Avocets, Starlings, Pied Wagtails and juvs, Linnets, Garganey, Green Sandpiper, 2 Wood Sandpipers, Redshanks, Lapwings, Teal, 6 Little Ringed Plovers and 1 juv. only left (others have been eaten!) 2 Snipe, Little Egrets, 1 Heron, Little Gull, Shelducks and juvs, Yellow-legged Gulls x 9 (I didn't see all of these) and Barn Owl. Also a very pale Reed Warbler in the willows between the two hides. Left just after 9pm.


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