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Sunday, 25 September 2016

Penny's Coastal Tour!

A Special Day With My Mother

I've been hoping for a long time, to get my mother out of the house and out birding for the day. It's taken her months to get used to the idea that she can leave the house, now that father has gone into a care home.

We headed east along the A149 and stopped at Burnham Deepdale shopping complex for mother to search for a birthday present – mission completed, we continued east.

Showed mother Garden Drove at Warham and the route out to East Hills. We started to walk along the track to the copse, but after a short distance Mother decided to she wanted to go back. She didn't feel her usual self this morning. We did manage to see at least three Red Admirals and a few Speckled Woods on the mass of ivy on the left hand side, but no birds of note in the short time we were there. I heard later that Pete Dolton had been down there and found nothing, so I'm sure we hadn't missed anything.

We went to Cley NWT Visitor Centre for lunch and managed to get a window seat! We both had a jacket potato with salad and a mug of coffee each. This was the first time my mother had visited Cley in years and years! The entire visitor centre was new to her!

Went to Weybourne to pop two belated (sorry Pete!) birthday cards into Pete Snook's door and then returned to Beach Road at Salthouse. The skies blackened and the rains fell. Mother and I snoozed in the car. A local man Dave (who seems to live in his van next to the coffee man) came across to chat and showed me a lovely snow bunting mug he had bought at a local boot fair – he bought 4 mugs for £5 he told me – 'far cheaper than the bird mugs in Cley Visitor centre which are £17.99 each!!!' I replied. Mother didn't believe me when I told her the price – she said I had read it wrong and it must be £7.99 – she responded with a loud 'I don't believe it' when she read the price herself in the visitor centre earlier!

I wanted to walk to Gramborough Hill, but Mother didn't feel up to it, so I stayed with her and we bird watched from the car. Three Meadow Pipits landed briefly on tussocks of grass in the field, after the rain stopped. Didn't see anything else of note.

Walsey Hills NOA. Mother said she had not been here since the Cley ringing hut was here!!! That was way before my time! She said there was only a narrow path that climbed up to the hut, there were no steps and she said there was now a lot more scrub than there was in 'those days'. She really seemed to enjoy sitting on the seats at the top of the steps and we sat for a while soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the views over the marshes and Blakeney Point. It was really quite warm sitting here. Saw a Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit and heard a Robin singing. No sign of the lizards on the logs. A Comma butterfly was on the ivy along the bottom path. She also loved standing by Snipe's Marsh and we watched a couple of Little Grebes on the pool along with some dodgy ducks. There were tons of dragonflies over the pool, glittering as they danced in the sunshine – it was a magical scene.

Coastguards at Cley – stopped here briefly for sandwiches and scone with cup of tea. Birds of the day were seen here: a Wheatear and a Whinchat on the wire fence, along Beach Road. The 'Eye Puddle' was indeed a puddle, evaporated to a very small patch of water! The light was beautiful now and the sea looked a crisp deep blue. Fishermen were on the shore and only a handful of people were around, you could tell the school holidays were over, thank goodness!

Detour to Glandford Ford – I was quite disappointed to find the meandering river up to the mill house was very overgrown on both sides and not visible at all now. I used to enjoy watching the Grey Wagtails flitting up and down the the river – hopefully this will be cleared again. Last detour of the day to 'Natural Surroundings' to show mother one of her favourite plants – the huge gunnera's that grow along the entrance road – sadly though, they looked a bit past their best.

Cruised back to Holme via the coast road as the sun was setting. I think mother enjoyed escaping for a while, but annoyingly she was worried about the 'poor cat' all day! The cat has had such a stressful day! The cat had the run of the house all day, choice of seats, chairs, cushions, beds, wicker chair to use as a scratch post, choice of food (dried, fresh and grated cheese!), water, litter tray, Careline button (emergency call bell for my mother) to jump on (it loves doing this!), birds to watch from window, stairs to run up and down, landing to do somersaults on..... poor cat!!!

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