Posts Tagged ‘Cley’

The weather today could not be more different from that which we experienced yesterday. The wind had dropped, it was dry and the sun was shining! The bad weather of the day before had grounded a lot of migrants and even before we set out there were reports of a number of Pied Flycatchers being seen along the Norfolk coast. So first stop this morning was at Weybourne church to see if we could locate one. There was plenty evidence of the commoner warblers and songbirds, but no sign of Pied Flycatcher.

DSCN9446-2

Weybourne Church

Our next stop was at Salthouse Marsh. Most of the coastal area of North Norfolk is now protected land, in the custody of one conservation organisation or another. Salthouse Marsh, like the adjoining Cley Marsh, is in the custody of the Norfolk wildlife trust. Here there was further evidence of spring migration parties of Barn Swallows, House Martins and 2 Northern Wheatears.

Salthouse Marsh and Goldfinch

Walking along the coast we crossed over into Cley Marsh. Forewarned by another birder, we kept a lookout for a Whinchat which had been seen around the entrance to the hide and sure enough we located it perched on a fence post.

Whinchat

Entering the hide, we soon located a Little-ringed Plover on the water’s edge. A Red Kite was a welcome fly over whilst we were here. The population in North Norfolk of this species is growing and they are now becoming a regular sighting.

Moving on eastward, we came to the main part of the reserve where parties of Red Knot and Sand Martin were further evidence of spring migration.

DSCN9474-8

Cley Marsh

With the afternoon pressing on, we decided to finish by exploring a new habitat that we so far hadn’t explored on this trip. Keith had noticed an area of woodland on the edge of Cromer and so we concluded the day with a walk through East Wood, which forms part of the grounds of Cromer House. It was productive as we added a number of species including Willow Warbler, Eurasian Nuthatch, Eurasian Treecreeper, Jay and Green Woodpecker.

DSCN9507-9

East Wood, Cromer

We celebrated the conclusion of our Norfolk trip, which despite the weather had been very successful, with a dinner of fish and chips, what else, at an eatery overlooking the sea, where we watched the sun setting over the coast and our excursion to this lovely part of the country.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)
Gadwall [sp] (Mareca strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Red Knot [sp] (Calidris canutus)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Rock Dove [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Eurasian Treecreeper [sp] (Certhia familiaris)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra)
Northern Wheatear [sp] (Oenanthe oenanthe)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Chloris chloris)
Common Linnet [sp] (Linaria cannabina)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

DSCN9285-7

At least it was dry when we started out this morning, although this didn’t last long. Our destination today was the Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve at Cley Marshes. As we arrived a Great White Egret flew across the road. After a break for a coffee in the visitor centre, we made our way out onto the reserve, A Bearded Reedling was heard in the reed-bed along with Cetti’s, Sedge and Reed Warblers. A Sedge Warbler gave excellent views and whilst following it when it flew we found a Northern Wheatear sitting on top of a bush.

 

Sedge Warbler

On the marsh, there were good numbers of Avocets and Black-tailed Godwits along with a few Redshank and a couple of Ringed Plover. A Marsh Harrier quartered the reed-bed and a couple of Common Buzzards were seen over the nearby hills.

DSCN9266-2

Marsh Harrier

On our way back to the centre we had a brief view of a Bearded Reedling and a group of barn Swallows low over the marsh feeding. In the afternoon we set off across the marsh towards the coast. On the way, we saw Mute Swan and Greylag Geese along with Mallard, Gadwall, Redshank and Oystercatcher. The gale was blowing in off the North Sea and no birds were seen on the Sea. A couple of Kittiwakes and an unidentified tern passed along the coast before we made our way back to Cley Village.

DSCN9284-6

On our way back to our base in Cromer, we stopped off at Sheringham, where we had tea in the buffet at the North Norfolk Railway.

 

                                 Locomotive in steam and Station Refreshment room,                                 Sheringham Station, North Norfolk railway

Afterwards, we walked down to the seafront to search for Ruddy Turnstone. A group of 5 were found sheltering behind the seawall. The gale has grown in strength and as soon as we had photographed the birds we beat a retreat back into the town to catch a bus back to Cromer.

DSCN7030

Ruddy Turnstone

 

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Egret [sp] (Ardea alba)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius hiaticula)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Ruddy Turnstone [sp] (Arenaria interpres)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-legged Kittiwake [sp] (Rissa tridactyla)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Bearded Reedling [sp] (Panurus biarmicus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Northern Wheatear [sp] (Oenanthe oenanthe)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Chloris chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

A wet start to our third day in Norfolk. Pheasant, Robin, Dunnock and Wren all visited the garden, whilst a Barn Owl was seen flying from the shed in the meadow around 6am. We think it is probably a pair as one definitely roosts in the nest box. During the day we can sometimes see him or her in the box and another seems to come from or go to the shed.

Common Pheasants

The light drizzle eases as we make our way towards the coast and the Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve at Clay Marshes. After a coffee and a bacon roll at the visitor’s centre, we walk out the hides at the centre of the reserve. From the hides, we can see 3 Eurasian Spoonbills. This once rare bird in the UK is now increasing in numbers and around 50 can be currently found on the north Norfolk Coast.

Cley Marshes

Eurasian Spoonbills

There are good numbers of waders present including large groups of Ruff, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwits and Dunlin together with a couple of Redshanks and a single Curlew Sandpiper. Suddenly confusion reigns as everything takes to the air! The reason is soon obvious as a Peregrine Falcon circles the pools and then lands on an island before, after a short stay, resuming its hunt.

Little Egret

Ruff

Peregrine Falcon

Black-tailed Godwits

 

We next drove down to the coast at Cley Beach in the hope of a Gannet on the sea. Unfortunately, all that is to be seen out to sea are Great Cormorants although a Mediterranean Gull flew in to land on the beach where it could be compared with the Black-headed Gulls.

Looking out to sea from the beach at Cley

Back at East Barsham, the Kestrel is hunting over the fields and we can hear a Buzzard calling – they do make such a strange noise. The Swallows and House Martins were feeding on the wing over the fields and BlueTits and Blackcaps roosted in the hedgerow.

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Eurasian Spoonbill [sp] (Platalea leucorodia)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Peregrine Falcon [sp] (Falco peregrinus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
European Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Western Barn Owl [sp] (Tyto alba)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Bearded Reedling [sp] (Panurus biarmicus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Cley Marshes

Cley Marshes

Today we went to Cley Mashes NR on the north coast of Norfolk. This is perhaps the most famous nature reserves in Norfolk and argueably, along with Minsmere, in the whole of the UK. Apart from its impressive bird list, Cley was also the location of Nancy’s cafe, perhaps the most famous cafe in UK birdwatching. In the days before mobile phones, laptops and tablets, the only way birders could relay information to each other was by telephone and often this meant just phoning a few friends when they got home at the end of the day. And so a log book was left in Nancy’s cafe at Cley where birders could drop in and record their sightings. Eventually the cafe phone  was also pressed into service and birders would either phone in their sightings or ring up to find what had been seen by others. This continued until the advent of pagers and mobile phones which were able to provide up to date information directly to birders in the field.

Cley Marshes

Cley Marshes

Cley Marshes is a wonderful series of pools in the coastal marsh land. From the hides in the centre of the marsh we were able to see a group of 14 Spoonbill. These once rare birds are now increasing in numbers with groups of over 10 not uncommon in certain parts of the country.

Spoonbill

Spoonbill

Also present were Redshank, Greenshank and Ruff – in moult but still showing the colours of their breeding plumage.

Redshank

Redshank

 

Ruffe

Ruffe

Ruffe

Ruffe

Reed Bunting

Reed Bunting

Little Egret

Little Egret

Shelduck

Shelduck

After a circuit of the central hides we drove down to the beach and walked along the beach to view the north scrape where there were a party of 6 Little Gulls, but too distant for photography. Along the beech were Sandwich and Little Terns

 

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Eurasian Spoonbill [sp] (Platalea leucorodia)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Little Gull (Hydrocoloeus minutus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
Little Tern [sp] (Sternula albifrons)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Meadow Pipit [sp] (Anthus pratensis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

 

 

Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)