Saturday, 4 June 2016

June 4th Cley

A very foggy Cley
We are in June, right? It is summer time, but arriving at Cley this morning, you could be mistaken to think it is winter again. A thick blanket of fog has clogged up the landscape of the north Norfolk coastline. You could hardly see anything in front of you. Summer has clearly not arrived yet.

Though I was struggling to see anything through the fog, there were birds out there somewhere. While spending a few minutes in the cafĂ© looking out of the windows of the visitor centre eating a bacon butty, a silhouette of a marsh harrier flew over the road in the gloom. Walking down to the hides, a whitethroat was singing its scratchy ditty continuously at the very top of a tree and I spot a little egret flying like a ghost with its white plumage barely penetrating through the murky landscape of the reserve.

From the three central hides, it was very difficult to see half of the birds on the pools and islands. The avocets especially were brilliantly camouflaged amongst the fog, but their constant movements betrayed their locations for us to see them. White birds in a white background was a big challenge, which was why I could only hear the sandwich tern that was apparently flying above the pools. Shelducks were a lot more visible due to their red bills, black heads and brown sides. There was a family of them in front of the hide with about four fluffy chicks following their parents. I could also see a family of mallard ducklings, some were yellow while the rest were black, as they moved further away to the back of the pools, out of sight amongst the fog.

Spotted Redshank
Shelduck chick
The weather made it a very disappointing visit and we ended up not staying very long in the hides. We decided to head back for lunch, seeing pied wagtails, reed buntings and goldfinches along the way. After lunch at Kelling, we made our way back home. Just a few miles from Norwich, the sun had broken through the fog, which was being replaced with warm sunshine and blue skies! Typical! Does this mean summer is finally here after a week of wintery weather? I hope its here to stay!

Pied Wagtail
Reed Bunting
Female House Sparrow


  1. Hi Sean, nice post as usual. One thing, your BTG is a spotted redshank - too much fog for easy ID I quess. Cheers.

  2. Oh really? that fog was really hard to make it out.