Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Twite A Day

With the heavy winds over night I felt that although most birds here already would depart there was a good chance something exciting might turn up, so I caught the train to Sheringham at 7.45 with a plan to then bus onto Cley.

With the Coasthopper now running a winter service I had about an hour to sea watch, the shelter was pretty full, and I was told I had missed a few Pomarine Skua, Bonxie and 3 Short-eared Owl. Gannet were still streaming through and I didn't have to wait long for a couple of distant Bonxie and then a Pomarine Skua a little closer. A couple of Little Gull drifted for a while offshore and just before I had to leave for the bus a Grey Phalarope was called flying east. A few bonus birds considering hadn't realised the change in bus timetables.

After jamming onto the Grey Phalarope I really though the rest of my day was going to be disappointing as cresting the ridge near Kelling, from the bus I could see that most of Salthouse and Cley Marshes were flooded, due to last nights high tides! From the main cluster of hides ducks were the order of the day, in fact the only waders were a flock of Godwit and 2 lonely Avocet. Large numbers of Wigeon and Teal are no doubt new arrivals, these were joined by good numbers of Pintail, Shoveler and a handful of Pochard. On Billy's Wash a Peregrine was repeatedly sending the Wigeon and a flock of Golden Plover into the air. Brent Geese are already back in reasonable numbers but I didn't see any Pinkies all day. Walking back from the hides a Cetti's was calling and two Chinese Water Deer emerged from the reeds onto the boardwalk only feet away, they soon scarpered. A couple of Stonechat were near the entrance to Beach Road, and a lonely Ringed Plover was in a flooded meadow. The Golden plover had settled in the Eye Field as large numbers of Meadow Pipit seemed to be filtering through west, during the day a had numerous groups of c10 and a couple of 50+. North Scrape was the quietest I have seen it with only a few Wigeon present. Between here and East Bank I followed a small flock of birds, which once they settled turned out to be 14 Twite, defiantly find of the day. Apologies for the poor digi-scoped effort, it was still very blustery.

Following the Twite behind Arnold's (very flooded) Marsh, I decided to walk onto Salthouse. The Iron Road was flooded so I walked further on, but the next track was flooded, Beach Road also looked like it was flooded halfway down so I continued East towards Kelling Water Meadows. This was not entirely fruitless as a late Whinchat was at Salthouse Little Eye. A brief stop at Grambrough Hill turned up 2 Goldcrest and a Wren. A Rock Pipit was on the ridge just before KWM, but the Water Meadows themselves held nothing of note with little mud exposed. Stomping on past Kelling Hard and onto Weybourne I only added a Robin and Reed Bunting to the days tally. With aching feet and 6.5 km of shingle behind me I jumped on the bus, followed by the train and went home.

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