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Sunday, 30 April 2017

CleySpy, Swarovski – the new GTX at Cley NWT! Mike Dilger, Wryneck at Walsey Hills NOA & More!

The day began with a telephone call from my mother, to inform me that she had fallen out of bed this morning at around 2am!!! She had fallen heavily and cut her nose and said "you would have been horrified Penny, if you had seen how much blood there was". Did she call me? no. Did she call 111? No. Did she want me to take her to A&E? No. She had patched herself up with Savlon and a big plaster and said it hurt at the time, but she didn't have any pain now. She insisted that I didn't need to come over. I felt pretty selfish not going over to see how she really was, but as she seemed to be ok, I headed out for the day and then went to visit her later on. But, I did ring the District Nurse team to go and visit her – which they did and simply told her that she would have two black eyes tomorrow! They were not allowed to dress her injury and that if she was worried at all, she should go to A&E – which of course she had already refused to do!
Mike Dilger, Wildlife Reporter for the BBC1's One Show
with me at the Visitor Centre at Cley NWT

With south east winds, there had to be some birds turning up somewhere in Norfolk today. I noted that the Red-winged Blackbird was still on North Ronaldsay, which mean't there would be some very happy listers today! I headed east as planned, to the Visitor Centre at Cley NWT to join CleySpy and meet the Swarovski team, who were here on the first leg of their UK Tour, to promote their new BTX Binocular Spotting Scope System. Celebrity Mike Dilger from the BBC's One Show was also here to assist with the promotion.

I managed to get a parking place in the car park, which I was surprised by. Local birders had arrived to take a look at this exciting new telescope system, including Eddie and John F. amongst many others throughout the day. I met and talked with Mike Dilger for ages – what a seriously nice man and so knowledgeable – he seemed to know Norfolk well, when we discussed various things. I was introduced to him by Director Tim Strivens at CleySpy, who told Mike briefly about my blog. Mike asked for my blog name later on, which I gave him – he also asked if I made a living from my blog – I wish!
Mike Dilger with me at Cley NWT ©Tim Strivens

Mike Dilger with John Furse at Cley NWT

Swarovski's BTX Binocular Spotting Scope System!

My initial thoughts about the new scope system, is that it will bring huge comfort and joy to sea-watchers for several reasons: the headrest is adjustable and surprisingly comfortable and as another birder mused 'you could fall asleep' and no one would know! Sea watching for several hours is a strain on your eyes and fatigues you, so this new system brings sea-watching to a whole new level! Picking up the entire kit and tripod was lighter than I thought it would be, but still too heavy to carry around for any distance I would have thought, certainly for me anyway. The price tag is sadly too much for my bank to handle, but if I had the pennies I would certainly have one for sea-watching. I wouldn't swop if for my scope set-up, as I phone-scope and the new kit does not accommodate for phone scoping yet as far as I know. A full in-depth review will be added at a later date – in the not too distant future.

The Swarovski's BTX system is available at CleySpy – the best place for to buy all your binoculars, telescopes, tripods etc, ranging from birders on a budget to the elite end of the market, with excellent service from all staff. Cleyspy's main shop is at Glandford and their second shop is based next to Cley NWT Visitor Centre – see their website for directions.
Tim Strivens, Director at CleySpy and Mike Dilger at Cley NWT

I saw 13 Arctic Terns flying east through the new scope system (which Eddie called out). I had a jacket potato lunch in the visitor centre, which was very nice, then news came on the pager of a Wryneck at Walsey Hills NOA just as my lunch was being served!

I got the last parking spot at Walsey Hills and spent a long time searching for the very elusive Wryneck. Eventually I had excellent views, but the sun was hazy and too distant for my 300mm lens – but obtained a few record shots. Kieran Nixon and Warden David Bratt found the Wryneck today – it was nice to catch up with them both. A Cettis's Warbler burst into song and I could hear Sedge Warblers and Blackcaps singing and saw a Chiffchaff.
Wryneck at Walsey Hills NOA

Wryneck at Walsey Hills NOA

I left Walsey Hills and headed to Salthouse and parked up at Beach Road to walk to Gramborough Hill (John's Hill!). It was really windy out here, so the chance of seeing any migrants would be difficult. I found two Stonechats, one Wheatear, Meadow Pipits, one Whitethroat, Linnets, Starlings and the wonderful views of the Sand Martin colony.

I returned to Walsey Hills again and had approximately 10 minutes viewing of the Wryneck sitting in a tree, along with other birders – it then dropped down and wasn't seen again this evening. I headed west and visited my mother.

The huge plaster on her nose, will not catch on as a trend and looked ridiculous. I felt so sorry for her as both her eye sockets looked purple and you could see the bruising developing – she's going to be black tomorrow! She was really cross with herself and said she wouldn't be falling again – hopefully not. Apparently she was trying to kick a hot water bottle out, at the same time as trying to get out of bed! I did remind her that she was 77 and not 18 anymore.

I really enjoyed today and it was so good to be back in Cley – I can't remember the last time I was here – I was way overdue for a visit!

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