29 September 2005

A 'Rouzel' for Breakfast and Cley for the day

We finished our Norfolk weekend with a trip to Cley, one of the most famous birding hotspots in the world.

It was not Cley, however, which produced our first thrill of the day. Instead it was breakfast in Hunstanton - no, not the sausages, but a young male Ring Ouzel in the back garden of our B&B.

This was the first 'rouzel' I'd ever seen, and it was clearly identifiable by the pale cresent on its chest (otherwise, to all intents and purposes, this thrush is identical in appearance to a Blackbird). I was delighted (and thus made a berk of myself by 'shouting' it to a room full of disinterested breakfasters - ho hum).

A great start to the day then, and Cley did not disappoint.

The grey weather soon cleared and we were into a good array of migrant birds - a Whimbrel, Wheatear, Whinchat and more Spotted Redshank being among the highlights (plus the Common Redshank in the photo, above left). Half-a-dozen Egyptian Geese were a nice find (above right), as was the Marsh Harrier flying low over the reeds - a magnificent sight of which one could never get bored.

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