How unlucky is this. Every time we have arranged to take Sue birding this year, it's rained. I know we've had a lot of rain but the days are well spread.
We set off in the dry, the rain starting after Fakenham Morrison's petrol stop. We walked as far as Island Hide at Titchwell and took refuge there. I didn't have a jacket, apart from a fleece which I decided would be too hot, I felt very under-dressed compared with rainproof clad others. I didn't get very wet and was comfortable temperature wise in a short-sleeved Tshirt and a gilet.
Scanning the freshmarsh was enjoyable as it held at least 500 Knot. That was a surprise. Most of the flock, crowded on three islands, were juvenile/non breeders in winter plumage. The handsome brick - red fronted others stood out. A few of the Bar-tailed Godwits were red too but none of the Black-tailed were. A single ginger male Ruff and one black-bellied Dunlin heralded the return of the waders. We'd seen 4 Ruff from Cley Centre on Wednesday when we met D and J for coffee and a natter. Plus a Hobby flying in front of the cafe. Dave spots everything, we always let him sit facing the windows.
One of the Little Gulls was an adult, the others juveniles. The reported Spotted Redshanks were missing until a single flew in, landing briefly around the corner before flying off, calling.
Via a Corn Bunting at Choseley, we drove to Brancaster Staithe for lunch. The tide was as high as I've ever seen it there but starting to ebb. just about enough room to park on the mound. Two Little Terns fished nearby and a Curlew flew west along the marsh.
Cley Coastguards for sand eel beaked Sandwich Terns - anything in the rain - and an enjoyable time watching three newly fledged Swallows waiting for food. Two sat on the barbed wire, the other , wet and bedraggled, on the shingle below. We were all concerned about the latter, would he survive, would he get fed? To begin with, all insects went the way of the two on the wire, the next five feeds went to the grounded waif. No worries. It flapped like mad at an approaching adult - even when they were not the parents - but it was obviously a successful ploy.
I stuck my lens out of the window to take a few quick shots in steady rain and poor light = poor photos.