Friday, 13 April 2007

Norfolk Trip Part Four: Cley Marshes

Onto the Sunday, we were staying in a holiday flat just west of Sheringham, less than ten miles away from NWT Cley Marshes, so it was there I was dropped off while my SO went shopping.
The reserve has a futuristic looking new visitor centre, so futuristic in fact that it isn't yet open. Same goes for some of the paths and one of the hides, something I wish the chap taking my entrance fee had told me. It really is pretty dismaying to trudge half a mile or more along a shingle bank to find a hide marked on the map is only half constructed and well cordoned off.
Otherwise it was a pretty good day.

Again the Avocet, Oystercatcher, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Ruff, Curlew, Lapwing and Golden Plover, were around. In the lagoon to the east of the reserve were a few Dunlin and Ringed Plover.With the Greylag were three Pink-feet feeding in the grass beside one of the lagoons, and late on a flock of 23 flew over. Funny I swear I could remember reading they'd all left for the north well over two months ago.

Feather duster-bottomed Dabchicks were plentiful in the ditch beside the road.

Half way around I reached the shingle sea wall and over it spread a wide sandy beach popular with tourists. I decided to sit, eat my lunch and watch the sea for a while, only saw the ordinary gulls though.

From one hide in particular, the one apart from the three that sit side-by-side, I got wonderfully close views of Redshank...

...and Avocet.

In the sky all day sailed the Marsh Harriers, two females and a male it seemed, which is about the average bigamous ratio for these raptors.

If my visit was anything to go by Cley Marshes was very good, if not quite up the high standards of Snettisham and Titchwell, just on the basis of the bird-life around. Maybe when that visitor centre opens it'll nudge itself up a few more points.

ETA: Forgot to mention the Cetti's Warbler, I was told they were around but found nothing of them until very late in the day when I heard one calling. As is commonly the way with Cetti's, heard and not seen.

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