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Sunday, 3 May 2015

Burnham Overy Dunes, Gun Hill and Cley NWT!

GREY-HEADED WAGTAIL
  This evening at Cley NWT
Phone-scoped video with iphone 5s & Swarosvski ATS 65mm HD & 25-50xW Zoom Eyepiece 

It rained solidly ALL morning, but the forecast was sunshine for the afternoon at some point! I carried out some laborious jobs at home until the weather improved. Suddenly the sun appeared and I was off!

Burnham Overy Dunes and Gun Hill
It was beautiful now and very mild indeed – the light after the rain was stunning. As I walked along the track from the main road, I saw a Whitethroat perched on a fence post by the stile briefly. Further along a Reed and Sedge Warbler were singing. Lots of Egyptian and Greylag Geese on the marsh, no sign of any wagtails amongst the distant cattle though, or anywhere else for that matter. Several Lapwings and Jackdaws around. At the bushes at the end of the sea wall I saw nothing at all, but a short distance east I saw 2 Wheatears, a Hedgesparrow and good numbers of brightly coloured Linnets. I continued walking east and had fabulous views of at least 20+ Wheatears and more Linnets.

I sat and had a coffee and a cheese roll by some particularly good scrub – but nothing popped out. The dark clouds rolled over my head and I felt spots of rain. Hurriedly packed the camera away, just in time. The heavens opened and the rain was torrential to say the least and it carried on for quite a while. I was dripping wet. The sun came out, a rainbow appeared and the rain stopped. I trudged back to the sea wall and headed west to Gun Hill. The Little Tern fence has been moved considerably closer inland – it cuts right through the good bushes/scrub on the seaward side of Gun Hill. Good for the Little Terns, but not for us birders searching for migrants. Also I won't be able to sit in my favourite place and look out to sea anymore – oh well. I only found a Chiffchaff here by the hill, but another Wheatear appeared on the south side of the hill on my way back, again with lots of Linnets. I heard a Bittern booming at 6.15pm! It was shortly after this that the pager bleeped up with "Grey-headed Wagtail at Cley NWT". I walked a little faster, but realised I wouldn't get to Cley in time. Took some funky pictures of the rain filled sky on the way back. When I got to my car I realised that actually I probably might have time to see the Grey-headed Wagtail if I was quick. I can do quick!

Cley NWT
Nipped along the coast road and parked along Beach Road. Joined Steve G. and later David N., Eddie M. and Pete S. to have stunning views of the Grey-headed Wagtail as it played hide and seek amongst the cattle, a stunning male. Maybe it was the light, but the head was so contrasting it almost look like a Black-headed! A Yellow Wagtail and 2 fem Blue-headed Wagtails joined the party. So glad I made the effort to get there. Far too distant for the SLR, but got a half decent video as you will see! I can't remember what time exactly, but later on the Wagtails flew over the cattle and headed over Beach Road at dusk. Ended the day listening to a Nightingale in the village and then left – arrived home at 9.45pm! Shattered and need to get up early, as tomorrow looks the only decent day this week! Well I hope its not the only day, you never know in May!

PICTURES TO BE ADDED

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