Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Black-winged Stilts: back to see the youngsters and a possible Caspian Gull at Cley.

Brian and I had a morning free, so we threaded our way through the flooded byways to Cley. The scrape in front of Bishop's Hide held large numbers of Avocets, Ruff and Godwits, but nothing out of the ordinary. A walk out to the sea along the East Bank was even less productive, so we retreated to the VC for coffee and scones. I noticed that a few large gulls had dropped onto the scrape, so we returned to check them out: we thought the individual below was a reasonable candidate for Caspian Gull....

With the sudden arrival of a coachload of Y6 schoolkids, it was time to leave: we decided on a drive home via Potter Heigham for a look at the fully-fledged Stilts. After a pleasant walk in the sun, we located first the adults and then, one by one, all four juveniles. A low-flying C130 spooked the family, allowing decent flight views. No sign of any Spoonbills, but dozens of Little Egrets were prodding away at the mud. As we drove south along the access track, a large dog Otter stood and looked at us for a second or two: magical! Is there really no way we can persuade Natural England to leave this fabulous new resource as it is, rather than letting it turn into yet another reedbed sanctuary for the odd Bittern?

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