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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

21st December

I popped up to Norfolk to drop off some presents to my wife’s family members. It allowed me to pop over to Cley to try and get some better views of the long staying Western Sandpiper. Fortunately Tuesday was a super day with glorious sunshine for much of the morning. The morning was all I had, before having to get back and take my wife out.

I arrived at Cley at 7.45am with the light gradually improving. As I changed my footwear and put my many layers on, that I hoped would protect me from biting NW wind, the Pink footed Geese were departing the reserve having roosted there overnight. It is one of the spectacles of visiting Norfolk, either here, The Wash or  Horsey Broad. As the skeins of geese departed I was delighted to pick out a lone Ross’s Goose, that I later found came in with the birds the previous evening. For the birder who gave me that info he was an hour late getting to Cley and it was one of his targets. I headed off to Daukes Hide and after 30 minutes and with the sun just above the horizon someone picked out the little American sandpiper, though fairly distant, it did at times come closer affording great views though a little to far for my camera lens.

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The Western Sandpiper is the birds 2nd from the right

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They really do look Golden when the sun shines on them

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Turnstone do what it says on the tin, turning stones.

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Marsh Harrier

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One of the 1000’s of European Wigeon that feed on the reserve

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Even with a strong WNW wind blowing the sea was very quiet, bird wise.

Having enjoyed a pleasant morning on the North Norfolk Coast I returned to my wife, with the intention of going for a walk at Winterton. The weather however closed in and we decided to visit her sister and then drive along the coast road from Lessingam to Marham. It appeared very quiet, though having given my wife instructions to keep an eye out for the geese flock we drove slowly along the road. I pulled off the road just before Waxham Sands as I had seen some Pink-feet drop down behind an embankment embankment. Marsh Harriers were quartering the reeds by their roost site. I then noticed some necks moving along behind a grass pathway. They turned out to be 3 Tundra Bean Geese. They were possible the ones that I had seen a few weeks ago, near Sea Palling. We then carried on to Horsey Wind Mill and again stopped to scan. There was nothing on my side of the road, I asked Sally was there anything on her side. “A few geese” she said. I moved the car to give me a view of the field. In fact there were several thousand Pink-feet, 100’s of Golden Plovers and Lapwings. Towering over them there were 2 Common Cranes. The sheer number of birds and noise was really breath-taking. Unfortunately the dimming light made it impossible to capture.    

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