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Sunday 6 November 2011


Coastguards, Cley.

6.50am–12.50pm Cley Coastguards with E.T.M.

Very difficult to get up this morning with the wind howling ferociously outside, but the excitement of a good seawatch enticed me to get out of the house! I arrived at Coastguards at 6.50am and was pleased to be the first one there - I even beat Eddie by 10 minutes! It was freezing cold, but I had prepared well with thermal leggings, trousers and rain trousers etc!!!

The first bird I saw through the scope was an Arctic Skua going east. It all looked very exciting. Huge numbers of wildfowl going through, especially shelduck. Loads of Kittiwakes and good numbers of Little Gulls. We had some surprising birds, as you will see from the list! Most of the passage had tailored off by midday though.

Several birders joined us both throughout the morning including R. M., Robin A., Pete S., Pete D., Steve B., Steve G., Tim and Irene L. and loads of others!

I photographed a Pom Skua which landed in the Eye Field - a stunning bird, but sadly it didn't fly in the short time that I stood there! I was torn between waiting for a flight shot or returning to seawatch! I returned to seawatch instead. Julian B. reported to me later (beaming from ear to ear) that he had got some flight shots - which means of course, they will be more than good!

Pete Snook picked up a Little Auk sitting on the sea (whilst I had nipped away for 10 minutes to go to VC) - luckily it was still there when I returned and I got some record shots of it, fairly close in to the surf. Several very annoying birders walked up the shingle and stood directly on the ridge in front of us - how rude! Eddie got rather hot under the collar (putting it mildly!)

Bird of the morning was a LEACH'S PETROL - seen by Eddie Myers only, at 11.49am going west. Very sadly no one else could get on it and we wondered if had turned and gone east and possibly been the same bird that Stuart White had seen at Gramborough Hill, that then flew inland being mobbed by crows.

Frustratingly I had to leave by lunchtime, as had to be at work for 3pm for a six hour shift.

Now absolutely shattered!

Birds I saw at Coastguards:
Loads of Kittiwakes, Little Gulls, Teal, Wigeon, Common Scoter, Gannets, a few Dunlin and Knot (I didn't count these)

Bonxies x 25
Arctic Skuas x 7
Pom Skua x 6
Little Auks x 3 (2 flying east and one on sea picked up by Pete S.)
Razorbill x 2
Guillemot x 1
Auk sp. x 8 (at least)
Puffin x 1 west at 8.55am
Merlin x 1 west at 7.55am
Shag x 2
Slavonian Grebes x 2 west
Red-necked Grebes x 3
Red-breasted Mergansers x 22
Red-throated Divers x 18
Golden Eye x 7
Eiders x 51
Long-tailed Duck x 1 with 2 Teal west
Shelduck x 173
Shoveler x 2
Gadwall x 3
Avocets x 6 (flew through in two lots of three)
Curlew x 1
Redwings x 3
Skylarks x 2

UPDATE: SABINE'S GULL - seen by Eddie Myers and others this afternoon at 2.55pm going east from Coastguards, Cley.



  1. An excellent seawatch there Penny. If I had half of that at my seawatching site here on teh west coast I would have been over the nmoon for a month. Cheers, Seumus

  2. Thanks Seumus for your comments.