A diary of my birding activity covering highlights and photos from my birding adventures. Mainly Norfolk (UK), occasionally beyond. I might mention the odd thing that isn't avian, but for moth and other insect news check out my mothing diary.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Cranes but no Basking Shark

I only had a short time on Saturday 3rd October before meeting the usual group at Cley, but was keen to do some coastal birding with some good birds arriving the day before.  I would have liked to see the Blyth's Pipit at Stiffkey but didn't want to waste time there if it wasn't still present, or if it wasn't showing properly, so instead I headed up to nearby Stiffkey Fen and Stiffkey Greens.

The Fen was pretty quiet - at least I couldn't find anything unusual there (there were plenty of common birds to sift through).  As I stood there I thought I might have heard a call from two birders who were further along the footpath.  Wasn't entirely sure and turned round to look... but before I'd finished turning I heard a Crane overhead!  Looking up 2 Cranes were flying west over the Fen.  Nice.

Cranes, Stiffkey Fen, 3rd October

The footpath to the west of the Fen (Stiffkey Greens, I think), failed to deliver the migrants I was hoping to find, just a couple of Blackcaps and a flock of 30+ Ruff.

So on to Cley where the group and I walked down to Dauke's Hide. A Sparrowhawk showed nicely sat on a post and several Bearded Tits showed in the reeds.

Sparrowhawk, Cley, 3rd October

Bearded Tits, Cley, 3rd October

Waders on the scrapes included at least 6 Greenshank (but no sign of the reported Marsh Sandpiper) and at least 40 Ruff.  A Great Skua flew east over the sea, visible above the shingle ridge.

A charm of Goldfinches entertained us while a Moorhen was busy feeding on blackberries.

Goldfinches, Cley, 3rd October

Moorhen, Cley, 3rd October

House Sparrows, Cley, 3rd October

As we walked down East Bank a Merlin flew past - maybe fresh in.  From the end of East Bank we could see a few Gannets were passing by, and a couple of Red-throated Divers, but we didn't pick out the Basking Shark that was seen from the beach car park.  We looked particularly intensely for that when news of it came through a few minutes later, but no sign from where we were standing.  Another Sparrowhawk flew across the marsh as we walked back to the centre.

 Meadow Pipit among Glasswort (Purple Glasswort?), Cley, 3rd October

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