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Saturday, 28 May 2016


The Plantation, Blakeney Point

It was a beautiful day, which kicked off with James Gilroy finding a mega Black-eared Wheatear at Cart Gap, Happisburgh!!! However, it was only seen for a short while. At last, it was hopefully going to be a multiple mega day in Norfolk!

I cruised along the A148 and arrived at Coastguards, Cley to walk Blakeney Point. A light north easterly breeze and full sunshine meant a perfect temperature for the gruelling walk! James M. pulled into the car park just as I set off and he along with Kayn F. were not too far behind me as I set off to find some birds.

Apart from the Terns, Oystercatchers, Black-headed Gulls, Reed Buntings, Meadow Pipits, Linnets and Swallows heading west, there was nothing else to be found! A long hard walk and I didn't even see any LBJ's! However, it was a stunning day and it did my soul good. I worked the point more than usual, but nowhere near as much as James and Kayn did – they are younger, fitter and far more dedicated than me!
Lupins at Blakeney Point
The Tamarisk
The Plantation

Black Redstart at The Plantation, Blakeney Point

I arrived at The Plantation at 2.10pm and was delighted to find a lovely Black Redstart sitting on the fence wire. It was extremely difficult to photograph and I had to spend a long time camoflagued under my khaki scarf, in order to get a picture! Also found a Chiffchaff in here, Meadow Pipits and Linnets. I was hoping for a spotted flycatcher, but none appeared. I spent a long time here, enjoying my lunch and waiting for that one mega to drop out of the sky – long wait Penelope! A Marsh Harrier flew overhead, mobbed by Oystercatchers. The Black Redstart was very mobile and spent a good bit of time around the beautiful pink tamarisk and generally at a good distance away from my camera!

I caught a brief glimpse of a possible Blackcap diving into the sycamore tree, just before James and Kayn joined me. They had seen nothing more than me really, apart from a Reed Warbler in the elders on Yankee Ridge – they were pleased to see the Black Redstart. They helped me to search for the Blackcap, just in case it had a red eye ring! But James nailed it a bit later and confirmed that it was indeed a male Blackcap, not my hoped for Sardinian Warbler! A Hobby flew over as we were watching the scrub. James and Kayn left to walk back via the dunes, which meant I could leave! They laughed when I said that I wasn't leaving until they did – I didn't want to be walking back again when they had found a first for Britain!
The long walk back to Coastguards, Cley

I made a coffee and then set off back alone via the beach. I have found a new way of getting back to Coastguards much quicker. The walk back is a killer, so I stuck my apple earphones in and listened and sang to music – it seriously seemed quicker! It was a beautiful walk back in the evening sunshine listening to Ed Sheeran 'X - Wembley Edition'. I can't remember what time I got back to Coastguards, but I think it was about 7.15pm. Pete S. had phoned me earlier to say he would meet up with me to give me a present from his friend Graham – chocolates, thanks Graham! (who had been down to Norfolk this week), so I texted him to say I was back and I was now going to walk to Gramborough Hill. Normally I would be completely zonked after walking BP, but I didn't want to end the day yet and there had to be a rare bird somewhere!
Meadow Pipit at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse

The scrub at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Sunset walking back from Gramborough Hill, Salthouse

Pete and I parked our cars up at Beach Road, Salthouse and walked to Gramborough Hill. There were a good number of Meadow Pipits, the usual Stonechats, Whitethroat and Linnets. We sat on top of the hill overlooking the scrub and watched the Meadow Pipits and the Whitethroat singing and Sand Martins speeding overhead in the failing light. A Barn Owl was also hunting near Kelling Water Meadows. It was extremely chilly now – we walked back to the cars and found that there were several camper vans setting up for the night. Also, unusually there was a car with four men in drinking/smoking, playing music loudly and staring at us without averting their gaze, which was quite intimidating – it seemed as though they were watching both ours and other people's every move. Pete and I both left to go home.

Looking forward to searching for birds again tomorrow! Good night.

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