Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Saturday, 16 March 2013

North Norfolk 15th March 2013

Mixed bag at Cley!

Didn't (I) have a lovely time the day I went to (Cley)! Well, the plans were made but the weather forecast was a bit suspect! However, I left Rugby at 0300hrs in order to get to Cley next the sea at sunrise. Driving through the dark on virtually deserted roads was not a problem, but I was concerned about the persistent rain that accompanied me for most of my journey! The BBC weather forecast stated "grey cloud at daybreak with sunny intervals until about 1430hrs when rain was expected. I cursed the forecasters! However, I do owe them an apology I arrived at Cley, the rain had stopped and, well, the rest was "as it says on the tin"! Spot on!!

I drove down to "coastguards" to walk to the North Scrape hide at Cley. Here the day got off to a great start, with a Spoonbill flying in and a Barn Owl hunting the marshes. The nearby pool in Eye Field held the long staying Purple Sandpiper together with a group of Dunlin. Parking at the visitor centre, I made my way to the central hides, touching base with a Barn Owl on the way. The hides at this early hour were deserted and I was able to enjoy watching a pair of Pintail and about 30+ Avocets. The Spoonbill had relocated from north scrape to a small island in front of the hides. Nice to view but as is common at Cley, staying very distant! A walk along East Bank to Arnolds Marsh was pleasant in the sunshine but very little in the way of birds. Arnolds Marsh held most of the common waders and it was nice to see Knot, Grey Plovers and Ringed Plovers. At least three Marsh Harriers hunted distantly but decline any photographic opportunities!

On too Salthouse Beech in the hope of Snow Bunting but alas none had been seen today. However, a large group of Turnstone were present around the carpark. The road back to Salthouse village held a pair of Stonechat.

Time to start my journey back, along one of my favourite roads, the coastal A149 and the unspoiled villages that it passes through. Almost a journey back in time! A quick visit to Wolferton Triangle in the hope of Golden Pheasant was a good move as a male bird "toyed" about making an appearance but, as you can see from my images, he had second thoughts!

Finally, this Norfolk trip would not be the same without Red Kites on the journey along the very busy A605 near Oundle.

A list of todays birds can be seen at the end of this post and more images will be posted under separate headings later.

Another mixed bag at Cley

Purple Sandpiper

Stonechat (Salthouse)

Mute Swan

Golden Pheasant (Wolferton Triangle) Don't laugh!

Todays Sightings:

Mallard; Song Thrush; Wren; Wood Pigeon; Marsh Harrier; Wigeon; Greylag Goose; Black Headed Gull; Cormorant; Skylark; Teal; Herring Gull; Oystercatcher; Turnstone; Dark Bellied Brent Goose; Pale Bellied Brent Goose; LBB Gull; Gadwall; Lapwing; Shelduck; Pheasant; Redshank; Little Egret; Common Gull; Spoonbill; Barn Owl; Ringed Plover; Dunlin; Mute Swan; Sparrowhawk; Meadow Pipit; Purple Sandpiper; Starling; Curlew; Jackdaw; Chaffinch; Carrion Crow; Moorhen; Reed Bunting; Greenfinch; Avocet; Coot; Pintail; Collared Dove; Goldfinch; Grey Heron; Dunnock; Shoveler; Canada Goose; Knot; Fulmar; Grey Plover; Robin; Egyptian Goose; Gannet; Stonechat; Rook; Blue Tit; Pied Wagtail; Stock Dove; Blackbird; Kestrel; Great Tit; Red Legged Partridge; Magpie; Yellow Legged Gull; Golden Pheasant; Red Kite.

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