Monday, 27 February 2017

Feb 27th Cley

Avocets at Cley
It was a bit of a chilly, blustery morning at Cley today. There were a few short, drizzly showers during our visit, but it wasn't enough to put us off. The lack of birds, however, was a different story. Normally, a visit to Cley would produce a mini bird paradise with many species of waders, wildfowl and other great things and in large numbers too. Today, I'm afraid, was not one of those memorable visits. That said, there were still some birds on the reserve to see, so it wasn't a complete waste of time.

If there was a theme for today's visit, it would be black and white. Why? Because most of the birds we could see from the hides this morning were mostly black and white. Brent geese dominated one of these pools, covering the water and islands into a mass of black, grey and white bodies with more arriving to add to the mass by the minute. On another pool, it was a welcoming sight to see a flock of avocets back at Cley once again after returning from their wintering sites. They were pretty sleepy though, huddling together with their heads under their wings. That is until a marsh harrier appeared, forcing them move a few metres from their original spot. We also saw a few shelducks, gulls (mainly black-headed and the odd juvenile herring gull), lapwings, a handful of mallards, teal and gadwall and that was pretty much it really.
Brent Geese
Male Mallard
Female Mallard
Marsh Harrier

From East Bank, it was a very quiet scene. A few wigeon, greylags, teal, redshanks, curlews, shelducks, a heron, a little egret and a lot of space between them all. Yep, it was pretty empty with not that many birds to see than usual. At least the bearded tits kept us entertained with a game of hide and seek in which they won as they remained hidden in the reed beds, teasing us with their pinging calls. I only managed to get a brief glimpse of one popping up into the air for half a second before diving back down again. It was the only loser of the game.


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