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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

24th July

Bloody typical!

I am back from a relatively relaxing two and a half day stay in Norfolk, visiting my mother in-law. I say relaxing I was up at 4.00am on Sunday and Monday. I wanted to be at Cley NNT Reserve around dawn, hoping for good light and some good waders. Sunday morning looked a bit iffy, though one forecaster had said that the coast should be sunny, though in reality I had to make do with a few sunny intervals, that had petered out by 8.00am. The following day was superb, a shame the birds remained a little distant, but it is great to have the reserve all to yourself, well almost. I saw only a handful of other birders in the 5 hours that I was there on both days.

Right lets get to the birds. The southern movement of waders had began, with more Black-tailed Godwits on the reserve, along with Ruff, Whimbrel, Golden Plover and 60 or so Dunlin. I was hoping for an American sandpiper, as it is the time of year that they begin to filter across the sea. A Pectoral and at least a couple of White-rumped Sands within 100 miles of me gave me some hope. As much as I tried, there was no way that any of the Dunlin could be turned into something of interest. The only sandpipers that I saw were 6 or so Green Sandpiper. The frustrating part, but that is birding is that a White-rump Sandpiper was found at Cley this morning.

Here are a few photos taken over the extended weekend. If you follow the link to my Flickr, you will see more.

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The sun breaks the shingle ridge at Cley

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I saw the Barn Owl on both mornings, the light not good enough for flight shots.

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Marsh Harriers, I had hoped that they would perform closer to the road.

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Bearded Tits were very showy on Sunday, but the wind picked up a little on the Monday causing them to keep in cover more.

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The Avocets chase absolutely everything

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Several pairs of Little Egrets breed in the wood by the road, several family parties were seen to leave just after dawn.

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I was surprised to see quite a few very small waders and Shelduck ducklings. The Little-ringed Plover below takes steps to attract a Mallards attention, apparently several chicks have been killed by Mallard ducklings.

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Mediterranean Gull at Walcot, I saw others at various locations.

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Up to 13 Spoonbills can be seen almost daily feeding at Cley. They fly in around 6.30am.

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Sandwich Tern (above), Little Tern (below)

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This next batch were taken at Titchwell RSPB Reserve on the long route home.

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Ruff, the photo below show how the manage to moult and retain the ability to fly.

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Little Ringed Plover juvenile

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Black-tailed Godwit (above) and Bar-tailed Godwit (below)

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The photo below shows the barred tail and total lack of the vary obvious black and white wing bar and tail of the Black-tailed Godwit.

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Common Terns

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3 comments:

birdman_euston said...

25 Jul:

On the hottest day of the year (19C at dawn, 25 C by 10:00am), I wasn't expecting to see my first autumn passerine migrant in the Park, until...

Garden Warbler 1 (in just-ripening brambles and birches at NE end of Cricket Pen, area 34 at 09:20).
It was accompanied by a host of the Park's summer residents: Great/Blue/Coal Tit, Blackcap (the Garden Warbler looks comparatively larger and plumper), Chiffchaff (1), Chaffinch and Greenfinch.
The bramble bush in which I found the bird is completely isolated by a metre-wide strip of newly-mown lawn - suitable for the first cut of rough at The Open, perhaps, but in a nature reserve full of hungry birds it smacks of overkill...)

Little Grebe 4 (including an adult feeding two half-grown young under shelter of overhanging weeping-willow in area 2).
I love these little guys - a feisty personality *and* intelligence! Vital traits when you're the smallest waterfowl in the Park.

Black-headed Gull 165 (including one juvenile).

Kestrel 1m (juvenile briefly revisiting its next box, now overflowing with dead branches, in Wetland Pen, area 32 at 07:10).

The last singing, territorial Reed Warbler and Chiffchaff of the summer were both singing within earshot of Longbridge at 07:20.

(No Willow Warblers seen or heard yet - I carefully checked a tit flock of 25 birds at NE corner of Leaf Yard Wood, area 40, for one but no joy.)

(A Puna Teal - from Slimbridge, perhaps? - was feeding with the regular mob of waterfowl in area 36 at 07:30.)

Goldenrod rapidly coming into bloom this week.

birdman_euston said...

Tony, was the juvenile Kestrel that fledged from the Wetland Pen this year male or female? I was sexing by size in my previous post but then again, there was no other kestrel around to compare it with.

Tony Duckett said...

I have not had the chance to see the bird yet. I asked Dave if it favoured any one location and he said it roamed widely.