|The temporary cabin at Cley Marshes|
Once you cross the coast road however the sound of the building works soon fades to be replaced by the tranquillity of the nature reserve proper. Once sat in the hides all you can hear is the piping of redshank, the nasal cackling of shelduck and the tooting and whistling of teal and wigeon. And always the reeds rustling in the breeze. Today was another day of almost unbroken winter sunshine tempting birds and human visitors alike to show in numbers. It was a day of close encounters with some rather colourful and usually difficult to approach birds.
|Redshank, photo by Barry Madden|
|Ruff, photo by Barry Madden|
The bearded tits are still entertaining people along East Bank providing very close views to those with a little patience. People I spoke to were elated to see one so close, and several confessed they had never seen one before in their lives. What a way to break your duck with the sighting of a lovely male bird in full view a mere 10 feet in front of you.
Grey herons are amongst our earliest nesters and a small colony is busy setting up home in the small wood opposite East Bank. The birds are more social at this time of year sometimes flighting over the tree tops or as on this occasion taking part in a prenuptial gathering close to the nesting site. Seeing six of these birds standing side by side is quite remarkable, but they were visible most of the morning standing idly by the new roadside pools.
|Herons, photo by Barry Madden|
|Blondie the marsh harrier, photo by Tom Whiley|
So, it's business as usual here. Don’t be put off by the building works, come and visit Janine’s Snack Shack and say hello. And do take time to visit the reserve, who knows you may have some close encounters of your own to savour.