Eye Field, Cley NWT
The weather was atrocious today to say the least! Apart from snow, we've had the lot! Strong, blustery SW winds, torrential rain, sun, showers, a fierce hail storm and a thunderstorm!
Choseley – Started off at Choseley and got to see the Dotterel at last – 11 of them, distantly in a ploughed field. From the A149, take the road to Choseley Barns. Half way up the road, park on right hand side/or on concrete pad (large mound of earth here) to view. Beautiful to watch, but as always when I see them, they were distant. Put it this way, I didn't bother getting the camera out of the car! It took quite a while to count the dotterel because of the strong winds. It was nice to see Pete here, Pat & Geoff and Trevor G. I noted later on the pager that 2 Turtle Doves had been seen at the drying barns – I STILL haven't seen any turtle doves this year – yet!
Red-legged Partridge near Choseley Barns.
I spent the next few hours attempting to find my own Dotterel. I stopped at every ploughed field I came across and scanned over the furrows. I found Hares, Red-legged Partridges, Grey Partridges, Pheasants, Oystercatchers, Gulls and Pied Wagtails. Best bird I found was a male Peregrine which flew away from a pine copse as I drove past. I was not however, rewarded with any Dotterel! They obviously just love Choseley! There was a terrific hail storm whilst I was here. Showers all day with interludes of sunshine. I headed in the direction of Cley.
Bluebells in the copse at the end of Garden Drove, Warham.
Garden Drove, Warham Greens – parked up on the concrete pad. The wind was really strong now. Walked down the track and to the copse at the end and returned to my car, completely birdless! Not a single bird seen, I couldn't believe it! Lots of cute piglets in the field, but nothing else on offer. Oh, nearly forgot, I had a close view of a Marsh Harrier over the pig field.
Cowslips at Friary Hills, Blakeney.
Little Egret – pool next to Friary Hills, Blakeney.
Friary Hills, Blakeney – a Little Egret was fishing in the pool next to the entrance gate along with 2 Redshanks, also lots of Wood Pigeons on the marsh and Jackdaws in Friary Hills itself. A few Swifts and Swallows skimming through. Nothing else of note really though. Some beautiful cowslips were growing on the slope just inside the gate.
Coastguards, Cley – as I drove along Beach Road, I was delighted to see distant yellow wagtails feeding with the cows and calves. I positioned my car in the overspill carpark field and used my car as a hide to watch 5 Yellow Wagtails. The weather was beautiful now and the sun was blazing. I waited and waited for the wagtails to come closer. I got lucky – the brightest wagtail eventually came really close and I got quite a few pictures, although not many keepers as the grass was long, so it was difficult to focus and get sharp pictures, but got a few pleasing shots in the end. Other birds seen: Several Sandwich Terns heading for Blakeney Point, Meadow Pipits, Skylarks, Starlings, Wood Pigeons and Black-headed Gulls. Got a text from a friend to say the Temminck's Stint was showing from Bishop's Hide NWT.
Eye Field, Cley NWT
Bishop's Hide NWT – so much quieter on the reserve in the week, I was the only person in here! It didn't take me as long as I expected to find the Temminck's Stint – sitting preening, along with 2 Dunlin on the front edge of the second island. Little Ringed Plover here also, along with the usual Avocets and chicks, Shovelers, Shelducks, Greylags, Lapwings, Mallards etc. The water levels seemed fairly high, there wasn't a huge numbers of birds here.
Dauke's Hide NWT – Eddie was here and pointed out the Temminck's Stint to me which looked alot better in the light from here, but still distant. Same birds here as from Bishop's Hide. Eddie gave me a lesson in how he phonescopes with several interesting little tips – thanks Eddie! Left here at 8.30pm – still light when I left!