Monday, 19 September 2016

Sep 19th Cley

Diggers at work at Cley
There has been migrant birds everywhere along the north Norfolk coast in the last few days. I expect the whole coastline was invaded by hundreds of twitchers from every corner of the UK by now. One location near Wells alone had things like red-flanked bluetail, Arctic warbler, greenish warbler, wryneck and a host of other migrants, too. Normally, I would try and attempt to jump on the bandwagon to see these kind of birds, but I've learned my lesson from last year. I don't really know where these smaller places are or usually have the transport to get there or even if I managed to get there, I wouldn't know their whereabouts or know if they are still around in the first place unless someone kind enough shares some information with me.

Twitching can be a stressful hobby if you don't know what you are getting yourself into. So today, I was back at Cley with Mum, away from most of the twitchers and anything considered as 'mega'. Cley rarely disappoints at this time of year, boasting many rare birds such as the Wilson's phalarope that I saw here in 2013. Unfortunately, it was a day full of disturbances out on the scrapes today, as diggers and other construction vehicles were at work in front of the three central hides reshaping the bank there. Thanks to them, the birds have moved away from the pools there and were now much closer to Bishop's Hide at the other end of Pat's Pool. Inside the hide, it seemed a few other people had the same idea of skipping the other hides too and were enjoying close views teal, ruff, gadwall and a snipe, which emerged itself from the long grass briefly before vanishing completely from our watchful eyes. Those with scopes could see the slightly distant dunlin, godwits, little stint and a single golden plover. These birds were a bit out of range for my camera, but I tried my best anyway.

Ruff and Lapwing
Golden Plover
Black-tailed Godwit
(A very distant) Little Stint
Little Egret
Along East Bank, a large skein of greylag geese circled over us a few times before landing in the salt marsh pools at the other end of field. Bearded tits were pinging from deep within the reed beds, but kept themselves hidden the whole time we were around. Every time we moved a step forward, the sound of their pinging increased as if they too were about to move, but they remained out of sight. It was as if they were playing a game of 'What's the time, Mr Wolf?' The birds turned out to be the victors this time as they evaded us each time we glanced back to look for them. Apart from curlews, wigeon, little egrets, grey herons and cormorants, there wasn't much about that could resemble a rare migrant bird. Even scanning over the sea produced nothing exciting. Strange as it was very productive across the North Sea yesterday. Maybe I should come back and do some sea watching soon?
Greylag Geese
Yellow Horned Poppy

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