After an early breakfast on Thursday I drove a couple of miles down the A149 to the reserve at Cley.
As I started to walk down the broadwalk to the three hides the weather was still gloomy and a brisk breeze was blowing.I never have much success with the camera at Cley and it was the same today with what light there is is always in your eyes.There was little about on the Marshes and all got was a shot of a Ruff.
Surprisingly a Hare appeared in front of the hide.First I'd seen for ages and probably my best shot.
The only other thing of interest was a couple of Avocets having a set to.I thought initially that it was a punch up but I soon realised it was foreplay.This was a tactic I often used when I was young.
I soon left Cley and headed in land to Pensthorpe where I hoped the weather might be better.I left the Captive/Conservation areas behind and went for a very enjoyable walk round the reserve. Didn't see much to point the camera at which was no surprise at this time of year except for a Little Egret that was being attacked by a Lapwing and a large flock of Barnacle Geese.
After an early lunch in the cafe I had a walk round the captive/conservation areas.You don't score any points for pics here so I only took a few shots.
Even sadder than the birds on the captive pond were the Cranes and Storks etc in the conservation area compounds.Look how sad this chap is.
I couldn't resist taking a shot of one of the caged Red Squirrels.What little charmers.
I then spent a while in the large glass roofed compound area near the centre.It's quite large and has water,reeds trees,shrubs etc in it and loads of birds which don't seemed phased by people walking along the path that runs down the side that has no screens protecting the birds.Here are a few shots.
I left early afternoon and drove the fairly short distance to the Honey Buzzard viewing area at Swanton Novers.God knows why I went because I've been several times and never seen one.Surprisingly there were 3 cars there and even more surprisingly two good friends from my local patch (John and Sue) were there.
Stayed for a while and saw nothing except for several distant Common Buzzards and a couple of Hobbies but the chat was good.
After finishing my evening meal I drove down to Cley again and settled down in the evening sunshine on the path to the Bishops hide so I could scan on the marsh for Marsh Harriers.It turned out to be a good move because they were very active but yes you've guessed they didn't come close but who cares it was great fun for a couple of hours.These shots are heavily cropped and it was pretty tricky in the evening sunshine.
Just as I was about to leave as the light was going a male flew by with an evening meal which looked like a frog to me.