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Sunday, 18 August 2019

Weekend Update & Visit To Cley NWT & Gramborough Hill, Salthouse!


I have been pretty exhausted lately, since rotating to the community stroke team in early August – we are so busy and cover a lot of miles visiting our patients. I have been very low and depressed since the loss of my dear mother last year and particularly on and around the 7th August, which was the anniversary of her death – it is still too much for me to cope with. I miss her so much. The last few weekends have been difficult for me and this has resulted in me not going out birding at all, which is why the blog has been devoid of my ramblings!

I was going to the Bird Fair this weekend, but my depression got the better of me. The thought of talking to loads of people, which I normally enjoy, seemed far too stressful. Yesterday I did nothing, nothing at all and just sat on the sofa all day, which was a pity as it looked like it was a beautiful sunny day. An entire day wasted. Well, I suppose it must have been tiredness too, as I worked last Sunday, so had just done six full day's work. I didn't get up very early this morning either and had to gather all my mental strength to get out of bed and in the shower. I forced myself to go out, I couldn't carry on as I have been.

So, I finally got out of the house and went to Cley this afternoon and headed straight to the NWT Visitor Centre for lunch. I didn't feel excited, but my mood lifted a little and I was pleased I had made the effort. I managed to get a window seat and enjoyed a jacket potato with cheese and coleslaw with salad and a lemonade. It was very chilled sitting here viewing the marshes, birds and blue skies. It felt comforting to be in a familiar and much loved place.

Perusing the books in the visitor centre, I opened up 'Bird Therapy' by Joe Harkness and discovered that he had signed his book, whilst birding on the reserve and he had dated it 6.8.2019 – he wrote the following 'I just popped in to look at some waders – the scrapes were amazing today: Pectoral Sandpiper and 11 Wood Sandpipers were the highlight. Hope you enjoy my book! Joe Harkness' Well, I just had to buy it! I look forward to reading this book very much. The foreword is by Chris Packham.

I parked up at Coastguards and meandered to North Hide (that was) to look for the 2 Whinchats that had been reported on RBA this morning. No sign of them at all, in fact no sign of anything and North Scrape was completely dry, not a drop of water to be seen amidst the cracked, dry mud. On the way back, I suddenly spotted 3 Wheatears sitting on the wire fence just west of North Scrape and also Steve G. walking towards me with no camera!!! I have never seen Steve without his camera which I remarked upon when we met up. Walked back to the car park and headed to Gramborough Hill at Salthouse. Here I saw a Ringed Plover with 4 young, a Dunlin and 2 Black-headed Gulls in the pool just west of the hill. No other birds of note at all. Left here and headed west back to Cley. I was then very kindly shown 9 fabulous Wasp Spiders in webs amongst brambles – I suppose I must have done, but can't actually remember having seen any of these before, so this made my day.

Walked out to the hides with Eddie and had lovely views of the Water Vole under the bridge by the A149 and then from Teal Hide, we watched a big gull roost, cows in front of the hide, Black-tailed Godwits, Avocets, Pied Wagtails and a Sparrowhawk which caught one of the 20+ Pied Wagtails as they flew overhead. Left Eddie watching gulls and walked back to my car, where I saw a Little Egret and a Barn Owl flying east of the visitor centre.

Just before I left, I lodged a gingerbread man biscuit in the driver's door handle of Eddie's car, as a little surprise. Now, the mystery is that Eddie never saw that gingerbread man! So somebody or something had pinched it!!! Must have been a big scary 'Seagull'!!!

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