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126 birds recorded

At least 36 people took part, either in groups or as individuals.  The National Trust rangers on Blakeney Point also submitted what was present there on the day.  This made for a successful day with 126 species being recorded.

The highlight of the day was the group of Cattle Egrets which Richard Webb first saw when he got to Daukes Hide at 4.15am and many others saw later on Blakeney Freshes.

The most surprising ‘miss’ of the day was Turnstone.

Although the ‘race’ was cancelled due to lack of entries (was the thought of 24hrs birding too daunting?!!), people did get together in groups to enjoy the ‘Leisurely’ or ‘not-so leisurely’ birding.  This was not a competition, but mention must go to Phil & Susie Farndon who managed to record 101 species on the day.

The following reports give details of all birds recorded on the day and can be downloaded by clicking on the titles:

The Species list gives all 126 species recorded by those taking part.

Sighting details - this shows all species seen with details of numbers, locations where we have them and who saw them. Where a species was seen by several people at a particular site only those recording or contributing to the highest count are shown.  People who are not regular contributors to our bird records are recorded as ‘Other’ and their names are shown in the notes against the species.

Key to Observers - lists people taking part as shown on the Sightings details report.

More information and articles by participants can be found in Newsletter 114.


Inaugural Cley Bird Club Big Bird Day 12th January 2019

It was a very successful day enjoyed by many.   A total of 116 SPECIES were recorded.

The activities on the day took several forms.  There was a traditional bird race where teams of 3 or 4 people raced around the Cley Square to see who could see the most species.  For the less energetic we asked that people visit whatever areas they could and recorded all birds (and mammals) that they saw, where possible getting counts.

The day was mainly dry with temperatures around 8°C and some good sunny periods.  However, a force 5-6 westerly wind gusting to gale force at times made finding some species difficult.

The Race:

7 teams (22 people) took part and the results were:

  1. The Men in Black (Richard Webb, Mark Golley & Graham Fellows) - 103 species
  2. Happy Birders  (Phil Borley, Lin Pateman, Lucy Topsom and Glenn Collier)  - 93 species
  3. Cley Spy (Phil & Susie Farndon, Si Evans & Paul Eele) - 91 species

…   and

The rest

At least another 34 people took part with contributions from counting their garden birds to walking Blakeney Point.  The following reports give details of all birds recorded on the day and can be downloaded by clicking on the titles:
The species list gives all 116 species recorded by those taking part and bringing lists to the Visitor Centre on the day.
Sighting details - this shows all species seen with details of numbers and locations where we have them. Where a species was seen by racing teams as well as others and the location was not given the team names have been omitted from the list. 
Key to Observers - lists people taking part as shown on the Sightings details report.

What the list doesn’t show

Although there were no species one might think of as Cley Square rarities, the following were only seen by one person or team: Red-necked Grebe and Slavonian Grebe – by Barry Hudson, who did watch the sea for much longer than anyone else. Kingfisher – only seen by the ‘Men in Black’ at Bayfield. Green Woodpecker – seen by the Cley Spy team at Kelling Heath, Blackcap – only seen by Tony Aberdein in his garden at Cley, Redwing – seen by the Cley Spy team at the Visitor Centre - why didn’t anyone else get that? Tree Sparrow – only 1 bird in Steve Gantlett’s garden but seen by a few.
Marsh Tits were seen in 3 places, Bayfield, Kelling Triangle and Wiveton. Brambling was only seen by Steve Gantlett and the ‘Men in Black’. Single Song Thrushes were seen at Bayfield, Glandford, Salthouse (by the A149 E of village) and Wiveton.
No Coot were seen, nor was the Spoonbill that had been in the area regularly.  The only Short-eared Owl was a corpse found on Blakeney Freshes by the Men in Black.
Additionally, a Red Kite was seen by Ian Eggleton at Kelling WM and Steve Hale at Walsey Hills but not reported until later so didn’t make the list. 

Reports by some of those who took part can be read in Newsletter 113 which members can view and download on the Newsletter page.

Changes in numbers of ducks and waders in the Cley Square

by David Wileman

This article, first loaded in 2013, has now been updated to include 2017.  It shows how the numbers of ducks and waders counted on the local WeBS counts change through the year and have changed over the years since 2000. 

To download click Changes in numbers of ducks and waders 2000-2017  

Check List of the Plants of Blakeney Point

by Richard Porter  (August 2017)

Since producing the ‘Atlas’ of the plants of Blakeney Point, Richard Porter has maintained a checklist of species that have been recorded since records were first kept. The latest version can be downloaded below (and the ‘Atlas’ below that). To date the list stands at 301 and Richard is always keen to learn of any new species, so if you have made an interesting discovery please contact him:

Click here to download the latest plant checklist.

An Atlas of the plants of Blakeney Point

by Richard Porter - March 2013

Richard Porter has over the course of several years accurately recorded the plants of Blakeney Point. This is a truly remarkable piece of work which he is kindly sharing with visitors to this site. Please click the following link to enjoy the result of his labours:

Atlas of the plants of Blakeney Point 2013

Little Egret Roost Count September 2016 -updated 6 October

In addition to standard WeBS counts, a coordinated count of all Little Egret roosts along the North Norfolk Coast was carried out on the evening of Sept 24th, data has shown that WeBS normally significantly under counts the numbers using the coast, previous counts have shown the best way to monitor this population is by a series of roost counts, the most recent of which was carried out by John Williamson in 2015.

A late submission from Old Hunstanton Park also made on 24th September, now takes the total to 524, considerably more than anticipated and substantially more than is normally counted by a standard WeBS count. To see the details click here.

Neil Lawton who organised this count is keen to receive details of other roosts around the county, with the view of trying to organise a coordinated county wide count next September, when numbers are at there highest. 

Please email details of any roosts to or

Wheatears have returned to breed at Weybourne

This welcome news is elaborated upon in an article by Moss Taylor. It can be read by clicking here.

Stonechat Colour-Ringing Project - Kelling Heath

by Noel Elms

This report explains the purpose of the author in undertaking a project to colour ring Stonechats breeding on Kelling Heath, details the number of Stonechats ringed during 2009 to 2012 inclusive and gives the author's conclusions after attempting to identify the adults trapped to sub-species level.  Click here to download.

'Legal Eagle' Articles

Three articles from the RSPB's wildlife crime magazine have been placed on the site following a fascinating recent talk to CBC members on the subject. Click the articles below to read them:

Government misses a chance to turn up the heat on wildlife criminals

Not PC!

Prosecution of well-known egg collector: Michael Gonshaw

A Cautionary Tale  

by Noel Elms

An interesting example of what can happen if you don't watch where you are walking!   Worth everyone reading.  Click here to read it.

Stonechat Site Fidelity

by Noel Elms

A short article about another interesting fact Noel has discovered from his ringing program.  To read this please click here

A Cley Bird Club website poem

by Martin Woodcock

Martin has kindly submitted a poem about a visit he made to a rarity on Blakeney Point. It'll make you smile! Please click here to read it.

Grey Seals on Blakeney Point

by Chris Wheeler

Following the publicity and interest that has been engendered by the breeding Grey Seals at Blakeney Point this winter I thought it would be interesting to find out more about what is happening. So I have included the following article which will be appearing in the March Glaven Valley Newsletter.  To download this article click here

An exceptional arrival of thrushes on the east coast in October 2012

by Richard Porter for 'British Birds' magazine

An amazing number of thrushes arrived on the east coast on October the 22nd 2012. To download this article click here.

Dartford Warblers on Kelling Heath

by Noel Elms

A licensed ringer and a licensed photographer share information and pictures of nesting Dartford Warblers

To download click Dartford Warblers on Kelling Heath

Conservation knows no boundaries

by Richard Porter

This fascinating article  appeared in The Guardian and details how Nature Iraq is contributing towards the cost of aquiring Pope's Marsh

To download click Conservation knows no boundaries

Memories of Cley in the 60s and 70s

by Noel Elms

To download click Memories of Cley

European Stonechats Breeding at Cley and Salthouse in 2012

by Noel Elms

This report details the successful breeding by single pairs of European Stonechat, Saxicola rubicola, at Arnold’s Marsh, Cley and Gramborough Hill, Salthouse in 2012 and details the colour-rings used

To download click Stonechats at Cley.