Sheltering from the strong north winds at Coastguards, Cley.
I arranged to go birding with Pete Snook today who is on holiday this week, although I think he probably wishes he hadn't booked this week off – although that could all change tomorrow! Well I hope so anyway. My two week holiday is disappearing quickly, far too quickly for my liking. I have seen some excellent birds including the Red-breasted Flycatcher, Red-spotted Bluethroat, Wood Warbler and the Red-footed Falcon, BUT it would be very nice indeed to see a REALLY good bird this weekend – I want a bird that sets the pulse racing, gets the car racing up the road, the camera clicking........ well you know what I mean! Or trudging through more shingle, I don't mind, just give me a MEGA, pretty please before I go back to work. Not too much to ask surely?!
Anyway Pete and I met up at the sluice, along Beach Road at Cley and sadly dipped on the Red-backed Shrike by about half an hour. No more news of the bird throughout the day. Parked up at Coastguards – I was alarmed by the strength of the wind when I opened my car door! My hair whipped around my face and its moments like this when you wish you had short hair! We had a quick look at the sea and saw a Fulmar going west, low along the shingle. The sea was dramatic with huge waves rolling in. It seemed like an October day, you would never have thought it was May! There were three birders sitting on the shingle seawatching. We decided to walk to North Hide first and look at the sea later. On route we saw a beautiful Golden Plover on the Eye Field,which took off west, a few Lapwing, 2 Wheatears and Sandwich Terns flying overhead. From North Hide, Pete found a lovely Curlew Sandpiper amongst the Dunlins, 5 Sanderling. Little Ringed Plovers and Ringed Plovers along with the usual Avocets, Cormorants, Redshanks, 2 Common Sandpipers etc. Sue Bryan joined us in the hide (nice to see you Sue). Walked back to Coastguards and then parked up at the Cley NWT Visitor Centre and walked to the East Bank and to the Serpentine to view a Wood Sandpiper. Not much else seen really. Walked back to Bishops Hide where the highlight was a huge number of Sand Martins skimming past.
Had lunch at the Visitor Centre. Said hello to Sue G. who told me she has a day off tomorrow – could be a great day to have off Sue!
Went to Walsey Hills NOA and worked hard to find something, but only came up with a Whitethroat, Blackcap, a Chaffinch with feathers and a Common Buzzard distantly over the fields. A birder round the top path kindly pointed out a Ruddy Shelduck to us on Arnold's Marsh distantly.
I went to the Cley Deli to buy Ginger and Pear cake for what is going to be a hardcore birding day tomorrow. Pete and I went back to Coastguards and sat on the shingle to sea watch. We saw lots of Sandwich Terns going past, a few Common Terns, at least 5 Little Terns, an adult Gannet going west, 20+Common Scoter going east, 2 Auk sp. going west and a Red-throated Diver also going west.
Mark Golley joined us and we all walked to North Hide again. Sandwich Terns were flying across the Eye Field. From the hide, the Curlew Sandpiper remained, 15 Sanderling, 2 Knots, several Dunlin, Ringed and Little Ringed Plover and the usual Avocets etc.
Walked back to Coastguards. Mark and Pete left. Eddie arrived and very kindly pointed out a Swallow sitting on the seat in the shelter looking so beautiful, but fed up with these ferocious north west winds. Got some lovely photos, seconds before I left. Got home early tonight, filled up with diesel and aiming to get more sleep than I usually do! Tomorrow could be an interesting day – fingers crossed.
6am WSW - 7am WSW - 8am WSW - 9am SW - 10am SSW - 11am SSE - 12pm ESE - 1pm E - 2pm E - 3pm ENE - 4pm ENE - 5pm ENE - 6pm ENE - 7pm ENE - 8pm NE - 9pm NE with rain all morning and sunshine in the afternoon!!! http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2652856 potentially a VERY exciting day – hope to see lots of birders out in the field tomorrow.