East Hills, Wells.
There was an 'elusive' Barred Warbler today at Gun Hill, Burnham Overy, but I decided not to go there, as there would be too many people. Eddie informed me he was going to East Hills, so I decided to join him later. The tide over the last few days has been very high and I knew it would be pretty wet out there, but Eddie has a knack of seeing and finding good birds and I just couldn't resist going out!
I parked up on the concrete pad at Garden Drove, Warham and put the wellies on. Tit flock along the track and a few chaffinches. Eddie had told me that he had two Spotted Flycatchers in the copse at the end and I managed to find one of them, very nice! He texted his list out from East Hills: 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Pied Flycatchers, 1 Redstart and 16 Grey Herons standing on the sand flats on the way out!
WARNING TO EAST HILLS BIRDERS!
It was indeed very wet out there as I walked across the marsh and creeks. 18 Little Egrets flew west – a fabulous sight! Managed to get down and across the deep creek, without falling over – always a bonus. In the distance I could see the 16 Grey Herons all lined up on the sand – this was magical, don't think I have ever seen this many together, it was so lovely to see! Then I had a serious scare..... as I neared the big, wide creek, it all looked different, the sand humps were higher and I could see the recent very high tides had shifted the sands around here and there were deep hollows. I attempted to cross in my usual spot and walked carefully, but suddenly with no warning I sunk into quick sand, right up to my knees in seconds – for a few moments I panicked, but then quickly realised I needed to stay calm and slowly attempted to lean forward and try and get out – which I did, but the next few steps were not much better and by the time I got across, my heart was pounding nine to the dozen – it was seriously frightening, especially when you are alone – I'll be honest, its put me off going out here again on my own. The thought of having to cross this again on the return, made me feel quite ill!
Eddie Myers, East Hills, Wells.
I continued walking across the mud flats and sands to the dune ridge. Joined Eddie by the sycamore glade and saw no birds at all. Eddie had seen his first Pied Flycatcher in here, but it wasn't here now. He then took me to the east end to show me the other Pied Flycatcher and Redstart – we sat and waited, nothing – Eddie couldn't quite believe they had gone! 'Unlucky Pen', he said. Only birds seen out here were a Woodpigeon, a brief view of a Blackbird and a Wheatear bounded across us. Back at the main sycamore glade again there were still no Pied Flys to be seen or anything else. Rob Martin and lady friend were out here too – I don't know if they had any problems crossing the big creek, or maybe I was just unlucky and crossed in the wrong place!
Sunset as we left East Hills, Wells.
On the trek back, we crossed in a slightly different place which wasn't much better to be honest – the whole area wobbled like jelly as Eddie crossed in front of me. By the time Eddie and I got back, it was almost dark – well it certainly was when we walked back up Garden Drove! It was a relief to get back I can tell you! I wrestled for ages to get the wellies off and then drove home.
I was going to Cley to see if the Aurora would show, but decided it would be too cloudy....now I wish I had!!!! See David Tipling's wonderful picture here: