Chris picked me up at about 6.45am as we planned to get to Cley by 8.15am. The journey was uneventful and we made good time, pulling up at the car park of this reserve at 8.10am. To our surprise there were very few cars parked and so we began to think the worst, the bird had flown away in the night, but no, a member of staff appeared and informed us the bird was present and showing well. We quickly walked to the hide and entered the hush where we were very kindly put on to the bird which was quite distant, but quite easily picked out. At this time there were only 9 people present, ourselves included and so we enjoyed good scope views of this lovely little bird. The hide slowly began to fill and so we left, letting others have the views we had just enjoyed. On returning to the car park, it was a lot more full than when we arrived and more cars were arriving, we obviously chose the right time to get there!
A much easier `twitch` than we both had imagined and a lifer for us both. Below are a couple of `extreme` record shots of the bird as it never really got very close, but in my minds eye I have some very good `photos`!
Thank you to Chris for driving.
I apologise for these photos as they are not what I would normally post, but the bird was something special and so I had to have some sort of record, even one as bad as this!
The Western Sandpiper is a very small north American wader, the size of a House Sparrow and this is only the 6th time that this species has been recorded on mainland Britain, the rarest of the American stints in Europe.
Whilst we were in Norfolk we also visited a couple of other sites, which will be in future posts.