Wednesday, 10 November 2010

American Bittern and Cley Marshes

Sadly the American Bittern was not at Cley, but Walmsley in Cornwall, so on Friday after watching a firework display in Walcott, Gary, Philip, Laura and myself headed off to Cornwall. We arrived at first light, a Tawny Owl flying past as we made out way to the reserve and hides. We joined the queue for the hide and waited for the light to improve and our turn in the hide. The bird was very elusive, so turn over in the hide was low as people struggled to get good views. Two birders literally were at each other throats arguing over the time one had been in the hide! I managed a fleeting view of the bird as it walked between two ditches, peeping through the slatted screen as i waited to get in the hide. I had to wait a further 2 hours before i again got good views of the bird, i was moving between the two hides queuing and rotating through, often only seeing the reeds move rather than the bird. Laura still hadn't seen the bird until finally the bird settled a bit and another birder allowed us to view the bird resting in the reeds through is scope. We then drove home via Derbyshire hoping to see the Franklins Gull but the bird could not be located among the large gull flock in fading light.

After a lie in to recover from our Cornwall trip Laura and i headed out to Cley. Parking at the Coastguards we headed to the North Hide. One Grey Phalarope was still present but soon flew to Billy's Wash. Large numbers of Wigeon and DB Brent, combine with the strong sunlight meant a i could not locate the Green-wing Teal seen earlier in the day. With news of a few Little Auk passing i had a 30minute sea watch which produced a single Little Auk, Red-breasted Merganser, Red-necked Grebe, lots of duck mainly Wigeon but also Eider and Common Scoter, loads of DB Brent Geese, and distant a Skua sp and auk sp.

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