North East Winds, Sleet, Heavy Rain and bitterly cold all day. The car felt like it was rocking as I headed along the A148 to Cley. Flooding in places and rubbish driving conditions all added to an interesting journey!
Met up with Eddie for lunch at the fabulous little cafe at Natural Surroundings at Glandford. The last day of my birthday indulgences included home-made Vegetable Soup with thick granary bread and butter, a big slice of Coffee Cake and a pot of tea. It was lovely sitting in there, really enjoyed that lunch. Eddie had seen 2 Glaucous Gulls already today – early bird catches the worm...... which is why I failed miserably to see any of the action on the sea today. Eddie went back to Cley and I went to CleySpy.
So exciting to collect my new scope from Cleyspy – well almost new, a Swarosvski ATS 65mm HD Telescope with new 25-50xW Zoom Eyepiece, stay on case and CleySpy's Mulepack to transport the tripod and scope. I have been teased for a while now about not having a 'grown-up' scope, well now I have! I will keep the Nikon ED50 (+ 13-40 Zoom eye-piece) for long treks etc as this is a very good, light weight scope, although I'm on the look out for the 27x Wide MC eyepiece, which is very difficult to get hold of I am finding. Also hoping to get the Swarosvski 20x wide eyepiece at some point – this is only available second-hand now though.
Arrived at Coastguards far too late. The usual hardcore team were there – Dave H., Mark G, James McC., Eddie M. and others. Several of them had been sea-watching all day and were rewarded with 2 Glaucous Gulls, Great Skuas, Puffin, Great Northern Diver, Little Auk, Kittiwakes, Peregrine etc. Huge rolling waves that looked exciting, but produced nothing for me whilst I was there. Well, I had a possible skua/shearwater distantly for a few moments that disappeared in the murk which James got onto and thought it was a skua in the few moments he was able to watch it. Near dusk, around 10 Snow Buntings flew west over the shingle right in front of the shelter, which was my only bird excitement today! It was so cold, that all my layers made no difference at all. Took me ages to thaw out with a coffee in the car, before returning home.
My mother said she and father had had a lovely surprise phone call from Paul Kirby today – a very old friend who still lives in Norfolk and was part of the birding crowd at Cley in the old days with father, Richard Richardson, Peter Jackson etc. Paul is now 88 he was telling mother and can't really get out much nowadays. My father managed to have a conversation with Paul on the phone which would have been really nice, as my father has very little contact (if at all) with anyone outside the family since his stroke. People sometimes get forgotten when they get old, which is sad.
Spent the evening sorting out my birding gear, washing lens cloths and working out what small items would fit into the new Mulepack!
Full review of the scope etc another day.