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Sunday, 14 June 2020

Marsh Warbler at Walsey Hills NOA!

Marsh Warbler singing in Snipe's Marsh, Walsey Hills NOA

King's Lynn was boiling hot, muggy and airless. It was a complete contrast on the coast, which was a huge relief! I headed east and arrived in Cley. I bought a piece of Pear & Ginger Cake from Cley Deli – yummy! Headed to Coastguards for the first time since before lockdown. It was so lovely to be driving along Beach Road. However, the scene at the car park was not joyous at all – packed solid with cars and motorbikes and more rubbish than I have seen here before and dodgy looking loo paper – FFS!!! What is wrong with people?! WHY can't people take their rubbish home with them, its so simple! I was sitting enjoying my salad lunch with my car door open, when a huge motorhome turned up – a woman got out of the vehicle and asked me to close my door, so they could drive into the space "but I need to be able to get in and out of my car, so I don't need to close my door" I replied very sternly. Why the hell should I shut my door and then have to squeeze out, after they have parked up too close to me?! So they did squeeze their massive motorhome in and my view was immediately obstructed. After they parked up, they needed to open a side door and the man said "sorry I need to open this, can you close your door?". I slammed my door shut. Got out of my car and walked across the shingle to look at the sea briefly – the sea-watching shelter wreaked of urine on the east side, absolutely disgusting! I returned to my car and promptly left. Everything has changed now.

I spent a long time at Walsey Hills this afternoon listening to the wonderful Marsh Warbler, but only saw it once. You needed to be at least 8ft tall to get any photographs or very lucky if it came near – it didn't! I didn't get any photos, but did manage to get a nice photo of a juv. Cetti's Warbler. Very few birders here now, so social distancing wasn't an issue. Two scary looking dogs, all by themselves with no sign of owners appeared, running along the little path down to the reeds where I was standing with Mike E. plus his wife – I shouted "please keep your dogs under control" – I didn't hear the reply, but after the dogs ran right up to me, they returned to the main path. Isn't it funny (not) that some, note I say 'some' dog owners seem to be worse than before lockdown. I don't think many of them have read the Goverment Covid rules, which states that ALL dogs must be on a lead or under close control currently. Most dogs seem to be off leads and out of control!!! No dogs should be closer than 6ft to anyone else either – people are not getting this at all!

Gramborough Hill at Salthouse produced John F., plus a lovely local family from Salthouse, 3 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plovers and 2 Avocets on the pool west of the hill. The scrub around the hill produced a Whitethroat, Goldfinches, Meadow Pipits and Stonechats. Sand Martins were skimming over the hill as I sat and pondered for a while. Walked down over the shingle to gaze into the waves and contemplate life and what I was going to do with the rest of it. Norfolk is not a good place right now, not if you want to be in solitude with beautiful rubbish free countryside. Yellow horned-poppies adorned the shingle slopes at Gramborough.

Returned to Walsey Hills and bumped into Eddie who was just leaving – he had waited 45 minutes for the Marsh Warbler to show and had only seen it once. The Marsh Warbler has not been showing very much at all, probably due to the foggy, gloomy and cooler weather. I did manage to get a distant shot from the main path, looking over a bramble bush into the reedbed – the picture looks like a watercolour painting, in other words it was blurry and out of focus! I also took a video (no bird though!) of it singing. I returned to my car and had a coffee. A pair of Pochard with 2 young were on Snipe's Marsh, along with Mallards and Little Grebes. I left here at 9.20pm!

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