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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Cley, Salthouse & The Firecrest!

Cley Windmill

Arrived at Walsey Hills NOA just after 9am. It was really chilly this morning. I could see Eddie's bike parked up, which mean't he was looking for the Firecrest (reported yesterday at 4pm). Cetti's Warbler and 2 Chiffchaffs were singing, 3 Long-tailed Tits and the usual Blue, Great Tits, Chaffinches, Greenfinch, Hedgesparrows and Goldfinches were seen. As I walked along the bottom path – I skulked, stood still, crept along the path, waited.... no Firecrest and no Eddie to be found either! I spent at least an hour+ in there, but when the rain started to fall, I decided it was a good time to nip to the Cley NWT Visitor Centre for a cup of coffee.

At the V.C. I wrote in the sightings book: "Chiffchaff singing at Walsey Hills NOA, but no sign of the Firecrest yet!" As I settled down with my mug of coffee and a cheese scone (OK, I succumbed!), Eddie walked into the cafe area with a smug expression – that look, when someone has seen something that you haven't –  he had of course SEEN the Firecrest, half way along the bottom path about 5 minutes after I left and wrote in the sightings book, directly under my entry "Firecrest seen well" – B*ll*cks Mr Myers!!! Lots of rude remarks then followed from Eddie (after mine) such as "would you like me to point it out for you" and the list goes on....Ha ha ha!
Cormorants flying west past Coastguards.

I went back to Walsey with Eddie and spent more time, not seeing the Firecrest. Eddie went off elsewhere and I went to Coastguards. The sun was now out and it was beautiful, but remained freezing cold all day. I noticed on RBA that two Sandwich Terns had been seen at Blakeney Point today, so I stood and looked at the sea for a while, but nothing of particular note. I had a fabulous count of 6 Wheatears on the Eye Field, towards the end of North Scrape along with a few Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and a big flock of Golden Plover.

Went to Cleyspy to get some new eye cups for my bins and bought some new feet for my tripod (lost two recently) and Andrew sorted out my seized up (salt & sand) tripod for me. Back to the Visitor Centre for lunch and managed to get a window seat. Here I bumped into the birder who initially found the Great Snipe in Cley (forgotten his name, sorry).

Back to Walsey Hills AGAIN. I have spent so much time looking for that Firecrest, I have lost count how many times I went back!!! A couple of birders said they could hear it, but I couldn't and apparently it also flew across a couple of times, but all I saw here were 3 Chiffchaffs flicking about. Gave up.
Skylark at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.

Parked up at Beach Road, Salthouse and walked to Gramborough Hill. Only 1 Wheatear was seen here briefly, sitting on a post. A few Meadow Pipits around. Nothing else of note and no birds in the bushes at the base of the hill. I got back to the car just in time before it started to rain again. 2 Pied Wagtails posed on the wire fence.

Coastguards – parked my car in the overspill carpark alongside the fence and used the car as a hide to watch and photograph the Golden Plover flock. A lone lapwing stood by the Eye puddle. Suddenly a black creature, larger than a rabbit came bounding across the marsh and was heading for the shingle and beach – it wasn't until it got closer that I realised it was a bl**dy dog!!! It obviously flushed the entire Golden Plover flock! A man then appeared, part way across the marsh to retrieve the dog – I am beyond fed-up with out of control dogs, I really am, enough is enough. As I 'tweeted' recently, I seriously think that all dogs should be kept on a lead in public – that way wildlife would not be disturbed, other people would not be accosted and there wouldn't be any dog attacks on children or adults – I really can't see what the problem would be, with this put into place. Anyway, back to birds. Mute Swans flew across the Cley Windmill in moody skies, which I managed to capture on the camera. Raining again, which I don't mind at all when I'm sitting in the car with a cup of coffee! The day seemed to disappear exceptionally quickly – don't know where the time went!
 Golden Plover at the Eye Puddle, Coastguards.


  1. Couldn't agree more about out of control dogs, they are a menace.

  2. You're absolutely right about dogs! They should always be on a lead without exceptions. I had FOUR running at me the other day which resulted in a shouting match with the owners...

  3. Four dogs running at you is scary stuff!!! I would have been shouting too! What annoys me is that SOME people presume that everyone loves dogs. What is there to love about about a barking dog/s with teeth nashing, racing towards you?!!! Errr.... nothing, nothing at all!