I was off on a trip to Scotland with a 6am start in Norfolk, so it made sense to go up the day before and do some birding. The original plan was to stop in the Brecks but as the weather was much better on the coast we decided to spend the afternoon on the coast at Cley. As always a good array of commoner waders, including Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit and Oystercatcher.
A lone Curlew gave great views.
As did the Avocets.
One of the Redshanks was displaying, trying to impress a female.
A distant Sandwich Tern was also visible, my first of the year.
Two Water Pipits gave some great, but brief views in front of one of the hides.
Another confiding were Ruff, with one or two coming really close.
A Long-billed Dowitcher had been at Cley for many weeks and we were told it had been seen in front of one of the hides a few minutes ago. When we looked there was no sign for about 45 minutes, but I spotted it coming over a bank and it stayed for a good while allowing lots of shots.
And some comparison shots with a Common Snipe.
And a shot from behind showing the birds all round vision!
There was still time for a walk down to the sea with Reed Bunting and Bearded Tits on the way.
On the way back, a Spoonbill had dropped in.
A couple of Pintail gradually drifted closer as well.
Not a bad start to the trip!