Aileen is busy marking GCSE papers, unable to fit in anything else for three solid working weeks. Bridget was also busy this week but asked us if we could fit in half a day's birding with her. Of course we could. Cley seemed like the best bet. After a picnic lunch in Coastguards car park, we walked to North Hide. A lovely looking sunny day with a very brisk - but relatively warm - westerly. Part of our usual route across the shingle was roped off, nesting birds I guess. The Horned Poppy clumps in full flower, bending in the wind, backed by the billowing, seeding, rippling, soft lilac and green grasses made for a pleasurable Norfolk shingle beach scene.
North Hide in the afternoon is not the best viewing platform as it's facing into the sun. It wasn't too bad to-day, we quickly found the lone Little Stint, looking minute amongst the dozens of Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits. A large number of Redshanks too, squabbling Avocets, a lone Dunlin and an already moulting Spotted Redshank. The ducks were in eclipse and the pair of Egyptian Geese shepherded their gang of Goslings. Very enjoyable.
A rather breath snatching walk back into the wind, a chat oiling our footsteps.
Salthouse Heath was devoid of Nightingale song, no response to my tape, a shame as it would have been a year bird for B .
Couldn't leave without a Salthouse ice-cream.........The family of Swans took to the water from their grotty pond side roost. No way are they ugly ducklings.
Home via Gunton and Walcott, no sign of the Grey Wagtail and Turtle Dove, we'll try again another day.