Monday, 18 February 2013

Cley NWT - 17.2.13

Finally after what felt like ages I enjoyed a full days birding. Along with the Watford RSPB group we headed up to Cley NWT. I set off requiring 32 year ticks to reach 100 species for the year. The first tick was a Red-Legged Partridge by the A505 near Royston followed by a Lapwing near Swaffham. Eventually we reached Cley and I then spent 30 minutes grilling the flock of Brent Geese looking for the juvenile Black Brant. Frustratingly the only thing different was a single Pale-Bellied Brent. I then walked along the coast road and heard a few Bearded Tits pinging away but suddenly out the corner of my eye I saw a pale bird flying around over the marsh to the west of the road. There in the daylight was a Barn Owl! I watched it for a few minutes before I headed off towards the sea. On the fence posts around the car park a pair of Stonechat was a nice addition but a 30-40 minute sea watch saw a distant Gannet, 8 Red-Throated Diver, 20 Common Scoter, 2 Razorbill, Guillemot and a raft of 30 Eider. Just as I was about to stop a Fulmar flew west. I walked back onto the top of the shingle and went over and joined some other birders looking into the eye field. In with the Skylarks were a single Dunlin and a single Purple Sandpiper which is a good bird to get onto the list. A Marsh Harrier put everything up and even caught something which it drowned by holding it under the water. The final bird into the notebook was a Water Rail that was showing well near the Bishop Hide. So I wanted 32 species to hit 100 and I actually added 33 so I was a happy bunny!

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