Cliff of Dreams

The cliffs in the east of north Norfolk are relatively unexplored in terms of birdwatchers. There is a dedicated few that know of their potential for migrants. Hardy souls that watch this area day in and day out; that stare down at the slumped cliffs and dream of Alpine Accentors, Wallcreepers and Rock Thrush.

We took a walk along those cliffs last weekend. Having seen a group of gulls resting on the beach below we decided to go through them carefully, just in case there was an Iceland or a Glaucous amidst them. As we raised our optics, in the periphery of my vision I caught movement. It was a pale contender, flying low over the sand to our right; coming in from the east. It didn’t take us long to deduce we had ‘talked-up’ an Iceland Gull. It landed with the other gulls immediately below us…no Camera. What have I been saying about not carrying a camera?  This was a sub adult bird showing just a few indicators of immaturity. I cobbled together a means of taking a crude photograph; a record shot, and phoned Andy. Andy is one of those dedicated souls and I know he would dearly like to see an Iceland Gull on ‘his patch’. No sooner had I finished the call the creature took flight and headed back from whence it came, perhaps onto the continent and then north.

Andy came later to try his luck and managed to find a compensatory Ring Ouzel hugging the cliff face. I returned myself the following day to photograph it.

I eventually found this amazingly elusive individual and fired off a few record shots. As I lie on the cliff top grass looking through the viewfinder I couldn’t help dreaming. Do you think I could talk-up a Wallcreeper?

Click to enlarge – this highland breeder found a temporary home on Norfolk’s only ‘mountains’

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Apr 2012


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