|Sun rays over the pools at Cley|
Continuing our walk back down the East Bank, the crowd of twitchers had grown in size once more and yet another bird distracted us as soon as we had reached them. This time it was a handsome wheatear. This is a regular migrant that visits this part of the coast before heading south to Africa. Its buff-orange breast means it is a male and he was posing upright as he hopped around the path like a proud robin. He occasionally flits up to the fencing of red and white striped tape bordering the path with his bright white rump showing as he flew. A few meadow pipits came to join it on the path as if they were part of the same flock. Further down the path, we also saw a female kestrel sitting atop of a tree, looking as if she was eyeing up a woodpigeon that was sitting a few branches below her.
|Watch out pigeon! Someone has an eye on you!|
|Wildfowl and gulls in front of the hides|
Though it did move around a bit, it did not go far or hid from view. It stayed around the group of bushes, catching insects and posing within sight on the exposed branches. Isabelline shrikes are rare vagrants from Central Asia and juvenile individuals occasionally venture this far west from time to time. They look similar to red-backed shrikes but are more sandy coloured with a longer tail. I have never seen a shrike of any kind before, so this rarity has made my day. I have always wanted to see a shrike ever since one appeared on 'The Animals of Farthing Wood' when I was a kid. It was known as 'the butcher bird' as it picked off the rodent characters from the show and skewered them on a barbed wire fence. This Isabelline shrike, however, was happy with catching flying insects today. It will probably use the thorns of the bushes it was sitting in to store them on. What a great bird!