Monday, 14 November 2016

Nov 14th Cley

Brent Geese
With a break in the wet weather and Mum forgiving me for what happened on Saturday, we were back birdwatching together at Cley (yet again) today. We just can't get enough of this place it seems. At least the thatching work at the hides were finished with and the birds were back in full force at Pat's Pool. The action was so good that we ended up staying inside just one of the three central hides (the one on the right) for the majority of our visit and hardly anything else besides the visitor centre for lunch.

Pink-footed Geese

Pink-footed Geese
Walking towards the central hides was just as eventful. Skeins of brent and pink-footed geese were arriving all over the place, announcing themselves with their calls which I could hear from a long way off. The brent geese, in particular, were seen erupting into the air towards the other end of the reserve. It was like someone shaking a snow globe as the geese from the fields and the waders from the pools all launched into the sky like a flurry of feathery bodies swirling all around us. When we entered the only hide we visited today, we thought that there wouldn't be anything left for us to see.

Golden Plover
Fortunately, they all came back to settle at Pat's Pool, gradually returning to one section of the pool at a time until it was entirely full once more. The bulk of these birds were of wigeon and teal, but there were also plenty of dunlin, black-tailed godwits, lapwings and with a few shelduck, shovelers, gadwalls, redshanks and ruffs, too. My favourites were the golden plovers, which are always a delight to see with their beautiful golden plumage. I always wondered if their feathers were painted with gold leaf and if they were worth anything.


Lapwing and Dunlin

Black-tailed Godwits
Wigeon and Teal
Female Teal
Marsh Harrier
With so many birds in one place, predators are never far away. Two marsh harriers were on patrol across the reserve and kept flying over the pools and scaring up all the birds as if shaking the snow globe over and over with gaps in between scares to allow them to settle back down again. Occasionally one would land within the grass bordering the pools at the far end of the pool's shoreline with its head just visibly poking out. After an hour of sitting in the hide, we decided to head back to the visitor centre for lunch. On the way back, Mum managed to spot a kestrel sitting in a tree behind someone's house. Not a bad way to end the visit and it even stayed dry until we left for home, which at that point started to spit with rain. Great timing!


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