With news of a Pacific Golden Plover at Cley on Friday, It's a 5am start. and a two hour drive ahead of us, But the weather looks quite good. Mainly dry with isolated showers and some strong winds.
There's a handful of cars parked at the beach car park when we arrive. Making my way along the shingle beach towards the North Scrape I stop to check out the Avocets close by on the nearby field.
At the hide we're disappointed to be told that there's been no sign of the plover this morning. A scan of the scrape reveals a smart summer plummaged Spotted Redshank and a male Ruff in breeding plumage. Dad is keen to take a look as he's only seen non breeding Ruff before.
While I'm looking at the Ruff Brian spots a Hooded Crow. It doesn't hang around and heads towards the beach and I fail to pick it up before it's out of sight.
Back on the scrape there's Dunlin, Knot and Ringed Plover present. Avocets are here in good numbers with 100+ birds seen. Shelduck are also present and I count thirteen youngsters with four adult birds.
With still no sign of the plover we decide to move on. Brian sees a Peregrine on the walk back to the car and watches it until it flies out of view.
Back in the car and we are looking for any sign of a Montagu's Harrier, There's plenty of marsh Harriers quartering the fields and then a Red Kite drifts over the trees. No Montagu's seen though.
Next stop is Great Ryburgh, Before reaching the watch point we spot a harrier over a field and stop to check it out. From a distance and with only bins on the bird it looks to have a white rump, But with the scope trained on it, it's clear that it's another Marsh harrier. It has a very pale rump and tail but it's still a marsh harrier. While looking through the scope a dove flies through and I can clearly see it's a Turtle Dove. It's a year tick for all of us so we are well pleased.
At the watch point we see plenty of Buzzards and one of these looks good for Honey Buzzard. But it's distant and we can't get a good enough view of it to clinch it, So it won't be making the year list this time.
On the way home we take a detour to Newmarket and Devil's Dyke. Brian has visited this site a few times in the past year and found it very good for butterflies. Today it's very windy and there's no sign of any butterflies on the wing. But it's a good site to return to when the weather conditions are more favourable.
An hour or so after returning home, News comes through that the plover has reappeared on Cley's North Scrape.
That's birding for you!