What a difference a day makes, dry, bright and just calling me to the coast!
Although geese were the main aim of the day we wanted to get a reasonable walk and standing looking over fields of geese just wasn’t going to provide that. So first stop Cley NWT reserve where we went to the main hides giving views over the marshes and a good selection of ducks and a splattering of waders. Nothing new for the year but a lovely sight.
We re parked the car and went for a walk along the East Bank, something I haven’t done for a long time. My memory of the East Bank is firstly the muddy slope you need to clamber up to get to it and then there was a very narrow path along. How times change! Real steps to get up and then a firm, wide path right along, excellent!
Ducks, waders and oh yes geese too a beautiful sight but I knew there was something even better ahead. We met a chap who was on his way, back and a typical birding conversation began, “anything good about?” Daft question really we only had to open our eyes it was all good, but he knew what we meant. Yes indeed “‘they’ we’re still there but it was a long walk ahead, right to the end of the path then a good way along the beach” no problem at all and we were off.
What were we off to see? I hear you ask, why Snow buntings of course! The first time we ever saw Snow buntings was on our maiden Norfolk holiday (almost thirty years ago!) they were just off the beach end of the path at Titchwell and as we saw them it began to snow, quite apt we thought. Now at Cley we were not disappointed, these little beauties were in a typical area of shingle where they camouflage incredibly well. We reckon there were getting on for thirty of these little beauties and well worth the walk.
A celebratory coffee back at the visitor centre set us up for the drive along to Holkham, searching for geese in the fields along the way. We picked up the ones we expected but sadly not the couple that we had hoped might be hidden along the flocks.
I have never seen the geese come home to roost at Holkham (it was on my list of things I want to see this year) but this was my chance. It was a lovely afternoon although it had clouded over a tad. Other cars began to arrive in time for others to watch the birds arrive too. Three Marsh harries entertained us, soaring high then swooping down low again, sadly they were quite distant. Then a few rabbits popped out for a run around a pheasant!
The sunset was lovely and the geese began to fly in, slowly at first but they picked up in numbers.
Sadly my photos don’t really capture the sight but hopefully they give you a glimpse. We were glad we had stayed even though we were pretty cold by the time we left (I had four layers on by the end and they is unheard of!!!) The thought of a cuppa when we got home was very inviting.
We only added four birds but they were good ones. No more mammals, insects or anything else. I guess most such creatures are tucked away till spring, very sensible really.
Birds 94 No other changes!