My wife Sarah and I spent a couple of nights in Norfolk over the Bank Holiday weekend just gone, it was great to be back there and the forecast was good, mind you it threw it down on the Friday evening so waking up to blue skies on Saturday we didn't hang about getting ready. We started at Kelling and walked along to the meadows. Chiffchaff and Blackcap singing and then treated to a close showing of a Goldcrest, it actively fed just a couple of feet in front of us.
Around the quags we had Stonechat and I'm sure I had a brief view of a Water Pipit, we then moved to the shoreline, here we decided we would walk along to Salthouse and then onto Cley and into the high street.
There were plenty of large gulls back and forth and a few waders, Oyc's, mainly, passing. We had great views of Sand Martin, and there was a constant stream of Swallows flying along the coast.
Adjacent to Salthouse we paused for a while, there was a carcass of a seal which didn't have a lot of it left, the Great black backed gulls no doubt filling themselves. Next to a single GBBG I noticed a washed up fish, dogfish by the look of it, and also feeding on it was a Sanderling. Lovely to see some colour on it rather than the usual winter grey. It wasn't fussed by our presence either and carried on pulling chunks of meat off.
Arriving at Cley beach car park we watched a couple of Little ringed plover and about 4 Wheatear, I noticed a smaller brighter bird among them, a male Whinchat. We followed the sea wall into the high street and paused at the pub for a pint and rest up before heading along to the Pinkfoot Gallery to take a look at the artwork.
We headed back along the coast road to the visitor centre at Cley where we sat for a picnic before moving along to the East Bank next to Walsey Hill. From the bank we saw a couple of Ruff which looked lovely in the light, a green sheen lit up on one birds head when the sun hit it in the right angle. Further along the bank Sarah spotted a Water Vole swim across a channel before disappearing in the reeds, great spot and our first to see!
As we walked back along the front towards Salthouse again, there was a good passage, and noisy at that, of Sandwich Terns and still the Swallows passed us by. We sat at Gramborough Hill for a while and then noticed close by a Short eared owl get on the wing from the grasses, it quartered the grassland slowly moving towards Kelling. After watching it for a time we moved again along to Kelling. The owl was still viewable, be it on the otherside of the fields but good enough to watch through the binoculars, there was heat haze present but I couldn't resist trying to get a couple of distant shots on the smaller holiday camera I had. As I was viewing the SEO remarkably another flew through my view and landed on a post a short distance away, wow what a lovely end to the day it was watching these 2 owls fly back and forth looking for food, one caught a vole and duly perched on a post to devour it. Eventually one moved off towards Salthouse and we made a move back to the car. An absolute fantastic day, slightly knackering not surprising when I later calculated the distance walked as 10 miles! Looking forward to returning in June.