Sunday, 7 February 2016

Cley - 24.1.16

A trip to the north Norfolk coast with the Watford RSPB group saw us head to Cley NWT. The day before there had been a good selection of birds with Grey Phalarope, Red-Necked Grebe and Smew all being seen. But typically as we arrived we found out that all 3 had gone! Myself and Bob Harris walked up to the new Babcock hide in the vain hope the phalarope had reappeared but it hadn't. During the muddy walk to the hide I added my first year tick of the trip with a nice male Stonechat sat on top of a clump of reeds. From the hide were 2 Water Pipit and 5 Knot. Walking back towards the reserve I scanned over the floods and picked out 7 Ruff for the year including one with a very white head and neck and around 40 Dunlin. Walking up the East bank I heard the pinging the call of some Bearded Tit but only caught very brief glimpses of them in flight. A scan of the sea didn't produce a great deal as the wind direction was all wrong blowing off the land. 5 Common Scoter,7 Red-Throated Diver and singles of Guillemot and Kittiwake were the only things written down. As I reached the beach car park I had a scan of the 200+ Brent Geese in the hope of seeing the Black Brant which had been present at the start of the year but again failed. I then spent the rest of the day sat in the hide looking over Pat's Pool hoping the adult Caspian Gull would put in an appearance. 25 Avocet brightened the day up as did a pair of Marsh Harrier but suddenly all the ducks grazing to the right of the hide took off and in swooped a female Hen Harrier. As it turned out the Caspian Gull failed to show!

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