Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cley 28 Aug- 1 Sep

For my parents' golden wedding anniversary, all the families got together for a few wonderful days at Cley-Next-the-Sea. From the car on the journey, we saw a harrier with a white rump - unmistakably a Hen Harrier. Great start! On arrival, we only had time for a short walk down to the sea, but nonetheless saw Wheatear, Spoonbill, Kingfisher, Greylag Goose, Mute Swan, Common tern, Black Headed Gull, Little Egret, Coot, Moorhen, Ruff, Greenshank, Redshank, Mallard, Shelduck, Grey Heron, Curlew, Woodpigeon and Lesser Black Backed Gull. There was a group of twitchers along the shingle so we tramped to catch up with them and were fortunate to spot the target - Short Toed Lark. Happily, toe-length is not the sole distinguishing feature - pale colour (and the guidance of experts) better guide.

On Sunday I had a glorious morning run out to Blakeney and back, and picked up Blue Tit, Dunlin and Marsh Harrier. we then did a big family walk along the shingle, in increasingly stormy conditions, to Salthouse (where we bought Samphire and Cromer Crabs) and back. We added Collared Dove, Oystercatcher, Jackdaw, Starling (there were some spectacular evening flock displays - and I also must confess to having got over-excited when mistaking juvenile starlings for something more interesting), Pied Wagtail, Avocet, Goldfinch, Lapwing, Greater Black Backed Gull, Little Ringed Plover, Dabchick, Canada Goose, Egyptian Goose, Great Tit, shoveler, Kestrel, Pheasant and the great highlight, a Common Crane flying overhead and then landing on a field. What a magnificent sight. In flight it is so long that it undulates, and then on the ground it really is of an ostrich scale.

A real storm was in progress now and Leo spent time down with the hardy souls cowering behind the shelter, but was rewarded with Great Skua, Gannet, Common Scoter (L) , Turnstone (L) and the next morning added Pomarine skua (L).

When the weather cleared up , we had a couple of sunny days with more time spent in the hides and added Curlew Sandpiper, Carrion crow, Wigeon, Teal, Common Gull, Black Tailed Godwit, Hooded crow (L), House Martin, Coal Tit, Green Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Common Snipe, Whinchat, Dunnock, Yellow Legged Gull. We also saw Barn Owl from the enormous window at the cottage, and another at the stone bridge near the Swallow Inn, as predicted by Ben. News from the church there is that the proposed stained glass window to commemorate the White Crowned sparrow (and funded by its viewers) has been approved.

The other birds about which we didnt see where Bluethroat up towards Blakeney, Icterine Warbler around Snipe Marsh and Red Backed Shrike off the Salthouuse Road.

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