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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

BLAKENEY POINT, East Bank & Walsey Hills NOA!

In the Tamarisk near The Plantation, Blakeney Point

With light North East Winds and cloudy conditions, a walk out to Blakeney Point seemed like a good idea! There had to be something exciting out there? So with a spring in my step – yeah right😂, off I went.

Birds seen on route: Linnets, Reed Buntings, Hedge Sparrows, a single Chiffchaff, Northern Wheatear x 2 (one at Half Way House) and a Marsh Harrier. It was nice to sit at the picnic table to have my lunch at Half Way House – usually there are people staying here, but not today. Linnets and a Wheatear were feeding on the ground next to the house. It started to spit with rain and I imagined all sorts of birds dropping in!

At the Tamarisk, there was a Willow Warbler flitting around amongst the vivid pink flowers – it was lovely to watch this and it lifted my spirits no end. In the Plantation there were another three Willow Warblers and one Chiffchaff and also a few Linnets passing through, but nothing else. Two Grey Partridges were seen in the dunes. I met two of the new staff at the Lifeboat House, but I can't remember their names now, sorry!

Willow Warbler in The Plantation, Blakeney Point

Chiffchaff in The Plantation, Blakeney Point

There were more Linnets in the Lupins by the lifeboat house, but nothing else. Headed back to the big Tamarisk and spent a while trying to photograph the Willow Warbler amongst the pink flowers, but didn't get the shot I wanted, never mind.
Willow Warbler in The Tamarisk, Blakeney Point

I headed back to the beach, stuck my headphones in and trudged all the way back to Coastguards along the beach. It was considerably colder now than earlier in the day and I had to put my gloves on and hood up. I walked back in one hour and ten minutes – much quicker with fast music!

Back at Coastguards, I left and headed to Walsey Hills, but was put off walking in there by someone parked in the car park (won't go into it). I then spotted Eddie half way along the East Bank, so relocated my car and started walking along the East Bank. As I got nearer to him, I could see he was with Mark Golley, Andy Johnson and another birder. Eddie sent me a text to say there was a Pied Flycatcher in the cut reeds/ditch on the west side of the East Bank and it was now somewhere opposite where I was! How lucky was I! I just managed to see it before it flew off – it was flitting around on the cut reeds for a few moments only – it was a cracking Male Pied Flycatcher and was really striking (7.45pm). Bird of the day! I lifted the camera to take a picture and it was gone. Mark Golley found this on the way back and said it must have just come in, as it wasn't there when he went out along the East Bank.

Eddie and I had a quick look in Walsey Hills NOA, but didn't find any more flycatchers! Now, if I had had a crystal ball, I wouldn't have bothered walking Blakeney Point!! All those miles of shingle for 4 Willow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs and a couple of Wheatears or a couple of hundred yards walk for a stunning male Pied Flycatcher! Was that cracking Pied Fly a sign of bigger things tomorrow? Hopefully!

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