Deciding the elements were against us we carried on to Cley, where we spent a fairly unproductive half hour in Bishop's Hide before adjourning for coffee and scones. A drive out to the Coastguards revealed just a few Brents, so we decided to head home by way of Felbrigg. On the way, however, I had one of my flashes of insight (or luck, depending on your perspective) and persuaded Norman to return to Cromer. This time we parked by the Church and walked west to the Greenkeeper's workshops. 100m before we reached them, I noticed the 1W Iceland Gull right by the hedge! It was totally unconcerned by the presence of the golfers and approached to within 10m of us!
A small group of birders was waiting patiently by the gateway to the workshops: they'd seen at least one of the Coues's so we joined them for a while. Linda wandered off along the pavement towards Cromer, returning quite quickly to tell Norman and me that she'd located a flock of Redpolls through a gap in the hedge. Thirty seconds later we were looking at a dazzlingly white-rumped,frosty Redpoll among a group of Lessers at around 20m range. This seemed much paler and smaller than some of the accompanying Mealies, but a couple of birders whose opinion I value (cheers Keith B and Steve C!) have e-mailed to say it seems to be a Mealy.. There was a very bright bird present which some observers are calling a Coues's, but it had a very pink blush to its breast, which I hadn't thought was found in Arctics..
Regardless, it was a great half-day session, despite the unpromising start: good to be out and about again