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Monday, 27 January 2014


Glossy Ibis at Cley

My birthday begun at Cley. I got really lucky with the Glossy Ibis, who was being watched by birders and photographers in the field next the Three Swallows pub. I was able to get really close to this elegant bird, but the light was shockingly poor, so I was never going to obtain any fabulous shots.

I got a distressed phone call from my mother about finding a dentist, as she was in screaming agony with toothache. Part of me was really worried about her and part of me was cross with her as she had told me around christmas time that a 'bit of tooth had broken off' and I had advised her at the time to get it looked at because, as I had said 'if you get an infection in that, you will be screaming in pain' and that's exactly what's happened now!!! Throughout the day I tried to google (with typically crap mobile phone signal) dentists, in an attempt to get mother an appointment, but failed miserably. This stressed me out for the entire day and I also felt really guilty being out, but without an appointment for her, there was nothing I could really do anyway to be fair. Mother's own dentist had struck her off their list, I found out as she had not been since 2009! This dentist could see her as an emergency on Friday at the earliest. I eventually got through to the emergency dentist in King Street, King's Lynn (which I have used before and are brilliant) and they said we would have to ring at 8am tomorrow to get an appointment. So nothing I else I could do at this moment in time.

 Glossy Ibis feeding at Cley.

At the Cley Visitor Centre – it was more chilled than yesterday! It nearly always snows on my birthday and I didn't think that it would be this year – but as I munched through my hot, cheese scone, big snow flakes fell for about quarter of an hour! It looked so pretty! I had a nice catch up with Warden Bernard Bishop just before I left.
 The famous Cheese Scone at the Cley Visitor Centre!

At Cley Coastguards I enjoyed watching the Stonechats in the Eye Field again. Quite a few people about for a cold Monday morning – good to see people around the reserve and beach again. Walked along the beach, which remains stripped of shingle and still looking very atmospheric and beautiful. Bumped into Mark G. who pointed out a Velvet Scoter, fairly close in on the sea and also a Grey Phalarope flew past west! No other birds of note really. Mark then went off birding elsewhere with R.M.
 Cley Beach looking towards Salthouse (iphone).

I parked up at Beach Road, Salthouse and walked to Gramborough Hill. Everything is still exactly the same since the storm surge – the carpark is still immersed by tons of shingle. There was a redshank in the pool on route, but nothing else of note at all – oh, apart from a Red-throated Diver on the sea. I stopped briefly on the verge by the main road, just round the corner from Beach Road to look for any wintering chiffchaffs in the willows and bushes, but no luck. There were however a few House Sparrows and Goldfinches in here.

I received a Parrot Crossbill tip off and arrived at Edgefield to join Mark G. and R.M. to watch a lovely Parrot Crossbill (three were seen by M. and R.), high up in a pine tree and then a Red Kite shortly afterwards! Not too bad a list at all so far! Went into Holt to do some errands and to buy mother some stronger painkillers for her toothache and then bought a vegetable and leek pie from Byfords for my lunch.

I had intended on continuing west and going to Gun Hill to look for the Rough-legged Buzzard, but the time was disappearing fast, so I decided to stay put. I went back to Coastguards and watched Lapwings feeding on the west bank, but did not see the Stonechats again, which I was hoping for as the light was better now for photography. Looked out to sea and saw no birds at all. But I did bump into Sue and Steve G. which was lovely. Spent a while trying to take a 'selfie'. It does make me laugh... the word 'selfie', basically for those of you that don't know, its a self-portrait!
 Me, aged 49, Coastguards carpark, Cley – 'Selfie' with iphone!

Parked at the Cley V.C carpark and walked out to Bishop's Hide for the first time since the storm. I was the only person in the hide, which was nice and peaceful. I could see the damage to the central hides from here, overall they didn't look too bad, but you could see they had some damage too them. I haven't heard if the hides are going to be repaired or replaced yet, but I know that the boardwalk out to them has got to be re-built and put into place. Sat here as the sun set watching birds flocking in to roost. Lots of wigeon here, 2 Avocets and 70+ Lapwing (can't remember the rest as writing this two day's later, sorry!). Pink-footed Geese filled the skies as the day disappeared into night.

Teal, Dauke's & Avocet Hides Cley NWT, damaged from the storm surge.

 Taken from Bishop's Hide, NWT.

Drove to Holme to take mother her painkillers. I felt so sorry for her – she was in so much pain. Inspection of her tooth showed that it was not a bit of tooth that had chipped off, but the entire tooth! No wonder she was in pain! She had played that down at christmas! After much discussion about the dentist tomorrow, I decided that the only guaranteed way to get mother to the dentist was to drive her there myself before work. It would have cost her £24 to get a taxi and even then she might not have been able to get there in time for her given appointment. Father was not in a good state of mind and this made things even more difficult. We had no choice, but to risk leaving father tomorrow morning to fend for himself as there was no one to ask and at such short notice to sit with him.

Got home late, not the kind of day I had planned. I was supposed to have lunch out and I also imagined (in my dreams) of having a romantic meal out in the evening – you know the kind of dream ladies......... tall, dark, handsome, stranger bearing roses, champagne, black magic, diamond ring, Chanel No. 5, tickets for a jet-setting weekend away – the list goes on!!! Oh well, maybe next year!

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