Friday, May 27, 2005

Another “Purple” patch! 22/05/05

Saturday was spent working and doing jobs around the house – and anyway there was nothing to urgent, until a teatime news broke that a Purple Heron had been seen several times in flight at Cley.
Sunday morning and I was up at 0530 and out of the house by 6am, it was nice steady ride and the first slice of luck came as I headed north of Hunworth, a perched Spotted Flycatcher had me slamming the brakes on – fortunately I remembered this time I was clipped in saving another embarrassing fall to the ground! I watched “the first of the year” for a few minutes as it made it’s short flight sorties back and forth. I arrived at Cley a little after 7am, and joined “the circus”, a crowd stood watching and waiting at the Visitors centre – no sign apparently. I decided a walk was in order, and bumped into a mate – Gary Elton down the East Bank, we shared a nice selection of waders on Arnolds Marsh, 100+ Dunlin,
10+ Turnstone, 12+ Sanderling, Bar & Black-Tailed-Godwits but eventually we found the main quarry species – Little Stint a smart adult almost in full breeding plumage. After wondering around for another hour or so, I decided to head back – I then bumped into another mate Eddie Myers and we passed some time scanning from Walsey Hills, accompanied by the nice purring of a Turtle Dove into the bargain.
We headed off for a coffee, apparently there had been no sign of yesterdays Purple Heron. I collected the bike only to be greeted by my 3rd puncture in so many weeks. This delay, some how worked to my advantage, because by the time I reached the Visitors centre and sat down with a coffee, I noticed a bird flying along the horizon, dark against the horizon with neck and tail outstretched I shouted “Crane”!!!, “fool”, it was of course the Purple Heron – brilliant. 3 new NMYL up before 11am!!

I chatted with Eddie and he told me that Arctic Tern was regular in Morston harbour channels once they had young, so as it was low tide I decided to cycle over there and see how far out towards the tern colony on Blakeney I could get. The answer was – with muddy feet a long way, on the way out the birds were all Commons, but once level with the end of Blakeney Point I had superb views down to a few feet as 4-5 Arctic Terns - worked the shallows - I vowed to return sometime with the camera - (that’s 200 up!!! if include Black Brant!?)

Having set off with one species in mind in the morning, I considered it job done for the day and took a nice leisurely ride home………..

200 NMYL and 36 miles more………


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