Monday, 10 October 2016

Oct 10th Cley

Rainbow at Cley
It has been a strange day with the weather today. Mum and I were making our way to Cley for a visit, but it wasn't looking very promising as it was raining. However, as we arrived, it was clear blue skies and warm sunshine that greeted us. It seemed as if the weather was conflicted with itself as there were several rainbows appearing throughout our visit.

House Sparrow

Black-tailed Godwit
Thankfully, the rain held out as we spent the morning in all four hides that surrounded the pools. Though the diggers from our previous visit to Cley had now finished their work at these pools, it still seemed very sparse of birdlife. We did see a kestrel and some bearded tits before making it to our first hide, all we saw from outside this first hide (the hide on the left of the cluster of three at the centre of the reserve) was a single redshank. Disappointing. Our second hide was a bit better, though it was mostly wigeon, teal and a few meadow pipits. The third hide provided godwits, dunlin, shelducks and a heron, while the fourth, Bishop's Hide, gave us extremely close views of a snipe. We also had views of a few curlews and a large flock of lapwing on the field next to the visitor centre with a marsh harrier flying around in the background.

Redshank
Wigeon
Meadow Pipit
Moorhen
Dunlin
Ruff
Grey Heron
Lapwings
Mute Swans
Teal
Black-tailed Godwits
Grey Heron
Snipe
Common Darter

Rainbow over the sea
After lunch, I did a spot of sea watching from the shelter block adjacent to the car park by the beach. At this point, it started to rain on and off again with sudden heavy showers. The shelter was perfect refuge from it all and I wasn't the only one to using it. Several sea watchers were also using it, sitting on the benches that only exist on three of the four sides. I placed myself within the side directly facing the sea, the one without a bench, which was destroyed in the winter surge of 2013. I was joined with one other sea watcher who didn't mind standing either.

Sea watchers
Gannet
Once the sun came out again between showers, the other sea watchers came out to face the sea too, forming a row of scopes scanning the waves. We worked as a team, directing each other to any bird we see. I am still hopeless at sea watching, but I did find a few gannets, gulls, a flock of wigeon, cormorants and a guillemot floating on the surface. Annoyingly though, I didn't see the couple of skuas or the red-necked diver as my scope's steering mechanism was being difficult to maneuverer for some reason.

Cormorant

Canada Geese
I eventually gave up after a while. Sea watching can play havoc on your back as you spend most of the time bending over slightly to peer into the eyepiece. If only there was an easier way to sea watch, perhaps a mini TV screen to replace the eyepiece or even being on a boat, providing closer views of the birds, might make the experience better. Retiring my scope in the boot of the car for the day, I went for one quick walk along the fence overlooking the reserve from the car park. I saw a large gaggle of Canada geese on the field with some greylags nearby and a couple of stonechats perching on the fence.
Canada Geese
Stonechat
Redshank
Black-headed Gull

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