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Monday, 27 May 2013

Blakeney Point and Cley!

Coastguards, Cley

I had intended on going to Lakenheath Fen today to see the Savi's Warbler, but decided against it as I was determined to do Blakeney Point today after my plans got changed to do this yesterday. I also decided I wanted to walk at dawn, just for a change!

Arrived at Coastguards, Cley at just after 5.30am. Had a nice chat with R.M. who had been looking for the Night Heron. I started walking to Blakeney Point at about 6.15am. It was a stunning morning without a cloud in the sky. It was great to be walking here in early morning light and with no other disturbance from anyone else.  Found a Wheatear, but this was to be the only one that morning. Lots of Avocets on the shingle (seaward side) with the Oystercatchers! Good numbers of Meadows Pipits, Reed Buntings, several Goldfinches, 4 Grey Partridges, Linnets, 7 Carrion Crows flying high west, 2 Ringed Plovers and 3 Hares. A Black-headed Gull and a Swallow were sitting on the old rusty boat (before Halfway House). Quite a few hirundines flying low through west, mostly Swallows. Lots of Oystercatchers and huge numbers of Shelduck, flying in all directions! I worked hard to flush something out, but no luck. Sadly the Warden and staff walked up to 'The Plantation' seconds before I did and flushed a Short-eared Owl from the Sycamore Tree. That would have made a fabulous picture, had I been there first! I sat down to watch The Plantation and saw a Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, 2 Linnets and later on a Sparrowhawk. I had had hardly any sleep last night, so my plan was to sit here and watch for anything dropping in for a good number of hours. I also checked the 'Lupins' and walked to 'Near Point' and found nothing but Linnets and Meadow Pipits. Had lots of little naps in the sunshine by the Plantation, that was probably when a row of Bee-eaters were sitting on the fence wire! I did have two Small Coppers here, but no other butterflies were seen. Basically it was dead, even the Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff had disappeared. The pager said it all, I have never seen so few messages for a May Bank Holiday!!! I walked back mid afternoon and had intended on walking back through the sueda, but it was so incredibly hot, I just couldn't face it and walked straight back along the beach, where at least I could get some wind around my head. I attempted to assist a crab that was sitting on the beach, wrong side with pincers going nine to the dozen and picked it up (carefully) and walked as close to the sea as possible before the next wave came and threw in back in. The wave came back quicker than I judged and got completely soaked. The crab didn't look too good, don't think it made it – oh well I tried. I could see the Tractor and the boats in the hazy rippling heat in the distance and as always it took forever to get closer! Plodded onto the carpark, threw things in car and whizzed up the Visitor Centre for Tea and Scones with Pete S. who had just been at Walsey looking at Wall Browns. It was soooooo nice to sit down.

Marsh Harrier being mobbed by an Avocet and a Swift over Pat's Pool, Cley NWT.

 Reed Bunting watched from Bishop's Hide, Cley NWT.

Avocet Chick's, Pat's Pool, Cley NWT.

Avocet's, Pat's Pool, Cley NWT.

Walked to Bishops Hide and had a wonderful photography session here. A female Reed Bunting was perched on reeds just to the right hand side and a Marsh Harrier was flying in really close harrassing the Avocets. There (Pete counted) were at least 20+ Avocets Chicks around – they looked so vulnerable! Pete went home and I re-parked the car at East Bank carpark where I bumped into John M. and Eddie. I only came here to walk along the bank to get a signal as I had missed a pager message and I wanted to know what it was. The phone signal round Cley, in fact most of Norfolk is absolutely pants! Eddie called out a Med. Gull flying west over the East Bank. Drove through Salthouse and gazed at the wires, just in case something colourful was sitting on them! Parked up at Kelling simply to go and see if the  Water Vole was there again which I saw yesterday – it wasn't.

Walked round Walsey Hills NOA and found the asbo Blackbird again, who again chased me along the bottom path. Walked all round the top, such fantastic views up here, especially with the evening light. Hundreds of Wood Pigeons on the back fields along with lots of Pheasants. 2 Long-tailed Tits, Chiffchaffs, not alot else.
Swallow at Coastguards, Cley.

Coastguards – photographed 2 Swallows sitting on the barbed wire fence from my car window. News of an Osprey came through on the pager, flying west from Northrepps, but I didn't see it and neither did Eddie who was sitting in Dauke's Hide. But he did grip me off with, as he put it when he phoned me later 'the best Otter sighting ever!

I drove home incredibly tired, but thankfully made it back in one piece!

Back to work tomorrow – have I really just had two weeks off!

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