Monday, 4 January 2016

Birding Hopeful 2

Monday January 4

After a weekend of heavy rain showers, prolonged for most of yesterday, it was good to wake up to sunshine. We'd planned an outing to Cley anyway, hoping that the tourists had gone home.  Yes, they had. The roads were very quiet.
We drove the coastal route via Bacton and Mundesley as we are due at The White Horse in Overstrand for the moth-ing group lunch to-morrow. Having ascertained its location and the lack of offroad parking, we drove on via East Runton, where Pam saw a Short-eared Owl being mobbed by a large number of gulls. I saw the gulls as I drove by......... Despite a quick turn around, it wasn't seen again.
A small lay-by on the hill before Salthouse gave views of a very large flock of Brent Geese and another of Pinkfeet. No room for us to park. 
Salthouse added Wigeon and Teal.
Coot on the duck pond.
Two Marsh Harriers over Cley Marshes, only a few Canada Geese on the Eye Field.
Cley Centre has a lift so we parked and had a scone and a drink after a chat with Anne D who had been called in for an extra duty. Although the car park was pretty full, the cafe wasn't.
We'd seen Avocet, Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwing, Shoveller and Shelduck from the cafe. Leaving Pam in the car I took my scope over to the picnic table mound for better views and added three Dunlin.
The Egyptian Geese are now in pairs ready for breeding, we saw three pairs as we drove along the reserve. They stick to the breeding time of their native African lands.
There was room in the geese viewing lay-by on the way home, the flock of Brent rose as one and landed further away before I could get my scope raised. The Pinks stayed and, from outside, I could see that they extended into the far reaches of the next field east, down in a dip. Whilst I was diligently searching for orange legs, Pam called that she'd seen at least three geese with bright legs land in the next field. Turning up the zoom, I ascertained that at least one was a Tundra Bean Goose, one will do. 
Felbrigg came up trumps to-day. A Little Owl was sitting in its decayed tree nesthole. These photos are phone-scoped through my Swarovski 80mm scope using a Kowa phone adaptor. 

I zoomed the scope lens more and more - my three year old IPhone is impressive. The tree must be over 100 metres away.

Gunton lake added four Tufted Duck and another pair of Egyptian, nothing in the trees. Bob says that the woods are empty these days.
Lovely to be out birding and the day stayed dry too.


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