Monday, 30 January 2017

Jan 30th Cley

Clearing up surge damage at Cley
The roads to Cley are open once more as the floods caused by the surge of a couple of weeks ago have now been cleared up. So it was about time Mum and I paid the reserve a visit and check out what the damage, if any, was like. The drive down to Cley revealed how far the sea water reached inland as piles of reed, rubbish and other forms of debris lay everywhere along the roadside. On the reserve, all of this is dumped all over the place especially in the ditches and were also dumped on top of the existing reed beds. I also found the odd dead bird here and there, the victims of the surge. The clear up is still underway with diggers were seen on the beach hard at work. The only inaccessible place on the reserve was Bishop's Hide with red tape stopping you from walking down the path to it. Everywhere else was open to the public.

Debris dumped by the surge
It was a bit muddy on the path leading to the boardwalk that takes you to the three central hides, but at least the stonechats were a pleasant distraction from it for a couple of minutes. From two of the three hides, there were plenty of wildfowl around, most notably being pintail with at least 20 or so individuals out on the pools. There were also wigeon, teal, mallards, brent geese, two mute swans, black-tailed godwits, lapwings, dunlin, redshanks, shelducks and two marsh harriers.

House Sparrows
Marsh Harrier
Mute Swans

Black-tailed Godwit
Brent Geese and Wigeon
Godwit and Dunlin
Shelducks and Dunlin
Pink-footed and Brent Geese
If you wanted to see something more scarce, then the East Bank was the place to be. A female smew was reported at one of the pools around there today. We walked down East Bank hoping to see it, but there was also something else that was creating a small crowd there watching the nearby reeds. I was able to see what they were looking at and even managed to take a photo of it as it moved non-stop in and out of the edge of a reed bed. However, there was some debate of what it was. Was it a common chiffchaff or a Siberian chiffchaff? Most of them believed it was a Siberian chiffchaff, but no one sounded convinced about if it was or not. So for now, I am siding with them until someone says otherwise. At least the smew did not cause any confusion. It was a bit distant, but at least it was easy to recognise amongst the other ducks that were feeding alongside it on one of the pools at the opposite end of the field.

Female Smew

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