Walk 11/2012 – Cley next the Sea

Sunday 20th May 2012

What’s going on? We all wondered as we approached the beach car park which was buzzing with activity. There were loads of twitchers milling around with their huge telescopic thingys slung over their shoulders, but this did not deter Alan from getting his small pink digital camera out [Ed – it’s not the size that counts, its what you do with it!] to photograph 2 swallows on a wooden seat bench! Anyway we set off along the shingle and pebble beach where fishermen had already set up to sea fish, and overlooking the salt marshes of Cley and Salthouse. We found out that all the interest was about the sighting of a red spotted bluethroat [Ed – Sue, I think it only gets red spotted after the first five drinks!]. At one point I thought I had spotted one, but a second glance revealed it was a bluehead – Alan in his new ‘walking club’ hat [Ed – better blue head than blue tit!]. But we did see a few Avocets and a Kestrel.

Parts of the walk were not well trodden and at times, it was difficult to decide where we should actually be, but Simon well remembered a concealed path that we needed to go down to get to Salthouse heath. The heath is an important wildlife site and also has the largest cluster of Bronze Age burial mounds – but as we went a bit wrong here and missed some of the heath out, nothing was spotted, nevertheless, it was still very pretty walking through the bright yellow gorse and heather.

Eventually we came to Cley – a designated area of outstanding beauty, a typical North Norfolk picturesque village, which is also a premier bird watching site.

Once again, we went a bit wrong and it was Simon to the rescue, as he remembered walking behind Cley windmill – we were now in front of it and on the wrong side of the cut. I had already informed the group that James Blunt (You’re Beautiful) once spent some time there during his childhood when it was owned by his Grandfather. It is now a bed and breakfast and has a full wedding licence (if anyone is interested!!)

Post walk drinks were taken at The George which was a victim of the devastating floods of 1953. It has become a focal point for bird watchers as it sits imposingly over the salt marshes looking out towards Blakeney harbour – lovely end to a enjoyable walk.

Report – Sue

Pictures – Alan

Walk rating – Good

Just when you want to sit down to put your boots on, you find all the seats are taken.
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We came acros an Avocet nesting on the beach.
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Cley Marshes.
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Salthouse Marshes.
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One feature of this walk was the large amounts of Hogweed (or Cow Parsnip).
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The Gorse in flower was a sight to be seen.
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In places the Hogweed was obstructing the path.
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For some reason Chris felt at home posing by this road sign.
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Looking across Blakeney Freshes towards Cley.
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The windmill at Cley.
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