White Crowned Sparrow


We frequently visit the small village of Cley next the sea on the coast mainly because they have a famous Smoke house also a delicious delicatessen .
we decided last weekend to go into St.Margaret’s church to see if we could see the White Crowned Sparrow depicted in the Great West Window .
These are the facts :
In January 2008 a White Crowned Sparrow from America was spotted in a garden next to the church ,it was the first time one had been seen in Norfolk and only the 4th time in Britain .
Bird watchers flocked to Cley from all over the country to see the bird ,it stayed for 10 weeks ,it was decided to start a collection which made over £ 6000. for the repair of the Great West Window .
To commemorate this unusual sighting the Sparrow was immortalised in the Great West Window in stained glass by Cley artist Richard Hillington

This is it .. I was pleased that I had a new camera with a zoom ! it was high up …

Cley also has an 18th century windmill, it has been used in many films , it is used today as a holiday cottage ..
Cley marshes are internationaly important for their populations of rare breeding & visiting birds and have a wonderful nature reserve and visitor centre , the home of the bird infomation service .


28 Jun, 2011
eje said:

A very interesting blog,thank you Amy.Eric

28 Jun, 2011
littlewren said:

really interesting as Eric said....sounds a lovely place to visit too....

28 Jun, 2011
jane said:

Wow Amy..that stained glass depiction of the White Crowned Sparrow is just beautiful....and well done you in taking this excellent shot too ! Sounds a wonderful place to visit Have you been to the Nature Reserve at Cley marshes yourselves ?
Hope you are all keeping well and enjoying our Great British Summer !!

28 Jun, 2011
amy said:

Thank you eje / Littlewren / Jane this is a very popular area for bird watching Titchwell is another place locally and of course you have all heard of Pensthorpe where the 'Spring Watch' is filmed ... we have walked the area loads of times Jane ,it's one of our favourite parts of the coast ,they do a very tasty crab salad along the coast road at Cley at a place called 'Cookies ' it's nothing but a house come hut but it's so popular that people have to take there own table and chairs and sit outside to eat or in their cars ...

29 Jun, 2011
jane said:

Sounds wonderful Amy...I love seafood salads !! Theres a small place at Whitby near us which smokes their own kippers...yummy !
Do you remember the newspaper clip you sent us about the Spoonbills ? Well that mentioned Cley...in that small groups of spoonbills appear there every July....what a sight that must be !

30 Jun, 2011
amy said:

Sorry Jane , I pressed the wrong button and clicked' REPORT COMMENT ..' will you get into trouble ? or worse sent to Jail ..Help !!
Oh Yes the Spoonbills , it is almost July I will have to keep my eyes open if we are visiting Cley at that time ..

30 Jun, 2011
bonkersbon said:

This is very interesting Amy and remarkable that a rare little bird could help with church restoration some would consider it Divine intervention .. not an area familiar with Amy but looks and sounds tranquil and inviting.Is RSPB Minsmere far ?

30 Jun, 2011
amy said:

Thanks Ray I was worried when I put it on here that everybody in the birdy world would already know about it ,i'm glad you found it interesting . I'm pleased to hear your poor crushed foot is improving, You will have to bring Jane down here for a holiday to visit these places , we went to Minsmere a couple of years ago you would like that , I,m guessing it's about 60 miles from us , Cley and the other places are much nearer !

1 Jul, 2011
muddywalters said:

Interesting blog Amy and your shot of the window is great - the closest I'll ever get to a White-crowned Sparrow!
(I've got a painting of Cley windmill and marsh hanging on my wall!)

1 Jul, 2011
amy said:

I'm pleased that you enjoyed it Muddy , Cley windmill must be the most painted and photographed in the country , I didn't realise until the other day that some relatives of James Blunt the Musician use to live at the windmill .... Have you been to Cley ?

1 Jul, 2011
david said:

This is a great story, Amy, and that window is stunning. Sounds like a birdwatching/spotting paradise there. :-))

1 Jul, 2011
amy said:

Thank you David , it's a great place for any bird watcher to visit , in 1953 the sea broke through after a high tide and many people along this coast drowned it's only held back by banks separating the marshes from the sea there has been talk of allowing the sea through so that the marshes soak it up like a sponge I'm not sure what the locals think of that idea .. :o)

2 Jul, 2011
muddywalters said:

Hi Amy, been there just once. I went on an RSPB Local Group coach trip to Cley about 30 years ago, but it's one of those places with a magic about them that you never forget.

2 Jul, 2011
amy said:

I'm glad you enjoyed it Muddy , I still feel that magic whenever we go even after all these years :o)

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