Not today though. My dad and brother and mum all decided that they wanted to take a trip to a tank museum and so they dumped me at cley on the way. It felt good to step out onto this birding paradise once again. I have to say that my mind was full of temmincks stint! maybe, just maybe they would show up today and be my first tick off the holiday.
I made my way to the first hides (the group off three) and settled in the 1st. birds were, sadly a little sparse. A large flock of black tailed godwits were perched on the other side of the pool but luckily there were a pair of cute little redshank chicks in front of the hide. unfortunately I had not realised that I had left my ISO on really high from the night before so most of the photos were rubbish.
After that, I transferred my self to the middle hide where I found my first avocets of the holiday. sadly, there were less than I had hoped for so I didn't really get the shots I had hoped for. There were however still a few around and so I made the most of what was there.
luckily there was plenty more than avocets. Redshanks and shellducks plus ringed plovers and marsh harriers plus swifts and hirundines flying really low. By low I mean you could see every anatomical detail off the swifts not just that they were less than 1000ft. unfortunately My camera didn't reflexes couldn't keep up with the pace of the birds so I only managed to grab a few quick shots.
I then moved onto the far hide where a small poll of water was. a cute family of mallards was moving pools, towards the big pool. luckily there was plenty more which was staying at this pool although of anything unusual I have to say there was a lack. I manged to spot this male shoveler but that was all.
I moved back to the middle hide where I started chatting to some off the other birdwatchers, in particular a man wearing blue, from Rutland water. That's one of the main things I love about Norfolk, everybody is so friendly and really interesting to talk to. out side the hide a lapwing had just arrived and was entertaining us with its futile fight against the wind. I have not so far mentioned the weather but it seems only relevant now. Mild with overcast cloud with breaks of sunshine and thunderstorms-quite big thunderstorms. It was these frequent heavy rain-showers and storms that made the hide feel all the more homely.
Then I spotted these out of the front hide. At first I wondered what Type of chick this was, but it was soon followed by 3 more of its kind and its mum where it turned out to be.....
......a pheasant. even so the baby's were undeniably cute. And, because they were so close, I managed to get some really close, good shots of them which I am really proud off.
Eventually though they were spooked and ran off back to where they came. Even so, they were still lovely to see and watch.
Then I got a real shock! Not from any bird life, oh no, but Chris King, a local guy, suddenly walked into the hide. shock, gasp, horror!! actually its not really a horror because it was actually a really nice surprise. Its great to catch up with the local guys like Chris, even if it is about 200 miles away from home!!
Then the godwits got moving, towards us and I manged to identify them by their tail patterns as black tails. About 30 birds were flying around about us until they landed in nearly the same place from whence they had set out.
this photo below gives an idea of the number of black tails about. Its been cropped so because the distance meant that there was a lot of negative space. also notice 5 avocets in the background.
a small handful of the godwits landed on the island closest to the hide and so offered some great photo opportunities. sadly I did not make the most of these opportunities and so am only left with a few poor quality shots.
however it was no longer scrapes that Had got my attention. for all day small inadimate brown birds had been flying over the reeds. I manged to notice that a small number of them were orange and had long tails. Could I finally settle that old score and put a tick by the cheeping hiders! I am talking off course about the bearded tit, a bird that loves to hide in the reeds and cheep just to wind you up. however the first bird that gave its self a good look at was a handsome reed warbler which was great to get a record shot off
Then a bearded tit came out, not to be outdone by the reed warbler. The first real view all day, as most Had just been fleeting glimpses of Orange long tailed things in the reeds. My first new bird of the holiday and I can also put a photo to it.