Monday, February 24, 2014

Cley and the East

This was probably the area I visited with the greatest trepidation during my time in Norfolk. I knew about the tidal surge and the tragic helicopter crash which killed members of the USAF. The crash site had been cleared  very quickly by the Americans with only a slight smell of aviation fuel still remaining. The rest of Cley NWT reserve had suffered damaged hides and sea water spilling into the fresh water pools. Much of the salt water had been cleared fairly quickly but most of the hides still needed lots of repair work doing to them. When I was there only one of the hides was open but still had bits of seaweed stuck to the ceiling. I also visited Salthouse where the defences had been breached. The photograph below shows some debris on the barbed wire. The bottom of the fence is higher that the car I was standing by

Wildlife is very resilient but the low numbers of waders on the pools might suggest that numbers fresh water invertebrates had been affected by the invading sea. It was still worth the visit however. A pair of marsh harriers were practising the food pass and good numbers of lapwing and wigeon were roosting close to the hide. A single dunlin scurried around the edge of the water but soon departed on the re-arrival of the marsh harrier. A confiding  house sparrow refused to depart until I took his picture. Further away hundreds of Brent geese continued their feeding. One of the locals said the flock contained a Black Brant but at that distance it was difficult to tell.

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