Sunday, 26 September 2010

Been feeling a bit crappy over the last couple of days (probably too much beer last week) so didn't go for the pre-dawn jaunt to the Point. Had a lie in and then got Rachael to drop me off at the Cley beach carpark. Surprisingly there were actually plenty of parking spaces but I wasn't to know.
The first thing was how crappy the weather was. For the entire 6 hours I was out it only stopped raining for about 10 mins - at least it was a good test for my new Paramo coat!

Things started well with a small wader flying fast towards me along the tideline after about 15 mins of walking. With the wind behind it got me pretty quickly and as it whizzed past I realised it was a grey phalarope! It flew about another 50m before dropping onto the sea and I managed to get another birder onto it. In the constant wind and rain, there were several wheatears trying to shelter but nothing else of note along the walk. On reaching the plantation there was a good number of people watching the bird and just an many trying to shelter. I got some initial views and then tried to get out of the storm. Once the worst had passed I headed back to get better views. Despite the conditions, the bird was performing well and didn't seem too bothered by the rain. It was busy flycatching and moving around the edge of the bushes.

As I headed back the weather perked up a little so I decided to bash the sueda in search of migrants. It was tricky with the condtitions and many of the birds were very reluctant to fly and stayed in cover for most of the time. By the time I had got back to Halfway House I had seen 11 wheatear, 3 redstart, 15 redwing, 10 song thrush, 2 blackcap, 19 robin and single chiffchaff and garden warbler. From Halfway House I crossed onto the hard sand for the last push and was rewarded with an adult little gull, 2 arctic skuas and another grey phalarope.

Although the weather was not good, the flycatcher and supporting cast of migrants made up for it.

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