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Saturday 3 April 2010

Fantastic Day Out!!!!

Met up with Pete Snook, Graham, Glyn (Lesvos crew) and Ron at Cley Visitor Centre at 9.30am. Jam rolls, butties, tea and coffee were consumed by all (Graham, Glyn and Ron had driven from Leicester) and after watching 3 Marsh Harriers we started off at Cley Coastguards. 4 Wheatears were in the Eye Field along with meadow pipits and skylarks. Watching the sea produced a Red-throated Diver going east, a Great Crested Grebe on the sea, several cormorants and at 11am Pete sharply picked up 4 Sandwich Terns going west (I only saw 3 though) - first of the year. Walked to North Hide, meadow pipits on route, usual birds from Hide: Avocets, turnstone, redshank, a single dunlin etc etc.

Stunning views in the sunshine of a Dartford Warbler in heathland area, which I managed to get photos of aswell - well smudgy record shots!)

Walsey Hills - Cettis Warbler singing, Chiffchaff, first Blackcap of the year singing, 2 linnets with 1 skylark on the back fields and 1 Swallow going west at 1.20pm from the top path overlooking Arnold's. NOA have cut down so much vegetation it is now possibly to take a short-cut from the back path just before the hide, although Graham took this short-cut a little too quickly and fell flat amongst the gorse to which Glyn and I were in hysterics over (we should not have been laughing really, but couldn't help it!) No sign of any Adders which is hardly surprising really, with all the continued disturbance! The steps have still not been finished at the top of the hill and pond still empty.

Kelling Heath - 2.20pm First Willow Warbler of the year singing and also Woodlark heard singing. At 3.20pm another Willow Warbler was heard and also seen - sitting preening himself, beautiful. A flock of approx 40+ Redpolls flew over our heads on the way back to the carpark!!!! Glyn found an interesting dead black beetle (photographed) and a third Willow Warbler was seen at 3.45pm.

Kelling Water Meadows - Didn't see very much here, on the pools: black headed gulls, shoveler, teal, redshank, gadwall and a little egret were seen. Sitting on the shingle seawall we watched 2 Wheatears on the beach.

RBA Pager then confirmed the Iberian Chiffchaff at Stiffkey Fen and off we went!!! The walk back to the car from the Water Meadows seemed to go on forever!!! The usual parking places at Stiffkey Fen were obviously taken up so attempted to park the cars on the grass verge on the opposite side! Climbed over both stiles and at the small pond on the left we passed R.M. and S.G. et al who said 'you have passed it'!!!!! They had seen it flying towards us (on our left). According to a local birder who I recognised but didn't know his name, it had been flying backwards and forwards along the path quite actively all afternoon. Anyway about a minute after R.M. etc had passed us, we watched the Iberian Chiffchaff at 6.10pm as it flew from the bushes close by, across the field and into a hedgerow where it did a bit of fly catching, then disappeared from view. It would have been nice to watch it for longer, but then I suppose we should have got there sooner! If I wasn't at work tomorrow I would definately be going to watch it again in the morning, but hey ho! Two adult Med. Gulls were sitting on the Fen.

We all departed from Stiffkey Fen and I drove home along the coast road.

Burnham Overy - 2 Marsh Harriers.

Burnham Norton - Carpark - 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Barn Owl while watching the sun setting over the distant reed beds.

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