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Saturday, 1 August 2015

BLAKENEY POINT & CLEY NWT!

I got up very early this morning and was walking Blakeney Point by 7am. The tide was high so I had no choice, but to walk through the shingle and sueda. It was a beautiful day, but very cold and needed my coat. I had little faith in bagging last night's Melodious Warbler, but I had to try! Lots of Reed Buntings, Meadow Pipits, Skylarks, Starlings, Linnets, Swallows and a Marsh Harrier and several Sandwich Terns fishing. Familes staying at Half Way House, meant I couldn't stop there, so continued on to The Lupins and The Plantation. Up on the pager bleeps 'no sign of Melodious Warbler' – as I expected really!!! I continued anyway, I had come this far. There wasn't a single bird in The Plantation, I had a lovely snooze in the sunshine. Only Linnets in The Lupins. Headed back.

Walked back along the beach with headphones in to help me get back quicker, listening to 'Kiesza' and 'Dizzie Rascal'....'Bonkers'.... yep sums me up! I felt completely exhausted and it was also very hot now. I had far too many clothes on and massively regretted bringing a coat! I politely pointed out to a couple with a dog that they were not allowed to be where they were because of the tern enclosure – in fact I had to say it TWICE and they still blanked me and carried on! This infuriated me, so I phoned up the rangers at Blakeney Point and Paul came out on his quad bike to have 'words' with them. What don't people understand when they read a sign, some obviously need to go back and re-sit their English exam. As usual it seemed to take forever to get back to Coastguards. I could not believe the amount of people on the beach and in the car park at Coastguards, it looked like Great Yarmouth! People were queueing to get and out of the car park and it was jam packed with cars. Get me out of here!!!

Got out of there as quickly as possible and headed for Cleyspy. I asked the team if they could cut down and shorten the handle to my new tripod as it is irritatingly long and gets in the way. Andrew was a bit apprehensive about doing this initially, knowing how particular I am, but he did an excellent job and it works much better now, when I tested it out later.

Went to Cley Visitor Centre to enjoy a pot of tea and a well earned rest. Got talking to a really nice couple from Surrey and gave them some birding tips about where to go etc. It was quite peaceful here and it wasn't jam packed with people like the car park at Coastguards was, mind you I'm sure it was a different story at lunchtime. Sad to see that Pat has left the VC, but I wish him well and look forward to him returning to Norfolk eventually. Had a nice chat with volunteer Susan about unruly dogs etc and then left.

Walsey Hills NOA – bumped into Eddie M. here. Walked along the bottom path and back, had no energy to go further. A couple of Comma butterflies were seen, but no birds at all!

Daukes' Hide, Cley NWT. This was the best part of the day and I had a fabulous list of birds by the time I left at 8.20pm. Before I walked into the hide I spent some time photographing Goldfinches on the dead trees and was just about to photograph a Cetti's Warbler, when a Sparrowhawk bombed into the reeds and scattered the lot! From the hide with Sue and Steve G., then Andy J and later Eddie M., and Mark G. I saw: Spoonbill flying east, Spotted Redshank, Little Gulls x 3, Green Sandpipers x 3 landed briefly, Knot, Yellow-legged Gulls, Barn Owl, 2 Whimbrel flew west with 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, lots of Avocets and a couple of fluffy chicks, several Ruff, Black-tailed Godwits, Shelduck, 9 Snipe, a few Dunlin, Marsh Harrier, Little Egret, Heron, 2 Kestrels hovering over North Scrape, Mute Swans x 2 (no black-browed Albatross with though!), flocks of Starlings, several Pied Wagtails, Black-headed Gulls, Great Black-backed Gulls. A Water Vole put in a brief appearance and a Hare ran through the long grass. A lovely end to the day.

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