Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Aug 2nd Cley

Though it was a rather glum, cloudy day with threats of rain at any moment, Mum and I decided to visit Cley for the morning anyway. It was a bit chilly while we were there, making us feel like it was winter. But fortunately, the rains did hold back until we had left Cley after lunch.

A dull, cloudy day at Cley
We stopped for a quick walk along East Bank first before arriving at the visitor centre. It felt rather quiet than our previous visit. When we were last here, there were warblers singing everywhere you looked and the marshes full of waders. Today, there were barely as many birds as there were before. It was like the atmosphere surrounding the bank had changed and was now a seemingly dreary place with grey clouds looming above us. We did, however, see a few little grebes, a couple of sedge warblers, meadow pipits and a roe deer moving about in a distant wheat field with its head just visible above the tall stems of the crop that was ripe for harvesting.

Little Grebe
Black-tailed Godwit
Grey Heron
Meadow Pipit
Woodpigeons preening each other

After a quick toilet stop at the visitor centre, we made our way down to two of the three central hides out on the reserve. The atmosphere had not improved, though the light did brighten up occasionally as the sun made several attempts to break through the cloud cover. It never did. At least there were plenty of waders out on the pools to keep us occupied and the dull light painted their reflections over the surface of the water like a mirror. Avocets, ruffs, godwits, shelducks, lapwings, greylags, Canada geese, a few herons and little egrets and the odd redshank, curlew and common sandpiper were all busy feeding or preening in and around the pools, unbothered by the herd of cattle that were grazing on the islands nearby. 
Juvenile Shelduck
Lapwing and Shelduck

Black-Tailed Godwit

Cattle grazing at the wader pools

Pied Wagtail
Pied wagtails were also here in good number, along with the odd yellow wagtail, as they patrolled the shorelines of the pools, launching themselves into the air now and then to snatch a fly in mid-flight. And to complete things, we spot a marsh harrier flying past the visitor centre while we were back for lunch there. To Mum, a trip to Cley without seeing a marsh  harrier makes the visit a bit of a failure no matter what other great things you may see.

Juvenile Starling

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