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Monday, 31 August 2015

BANK HOLIDAY NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spoonbills x 19, Little Stints x 4, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 6 at Titchwell RSPB.
Great White Egret at Holkham.
Balearic Shearwater, Black Tern, Arctic Skuas x 12 at Cley.
Black Terns x 4 at Salthouse.
Pied Flycatcher at Gorleston Cemetery.
GULL-BILLED TERN possible at 4.20pm, flew north past Gorleston.
Spotted Redshank at Breydon Water.
Osprey at Rockland Broad.
Wood Sandpiper, Knot at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
Balearic Shearwater, Arctic Skuas x 14, Great Skuas x 10, Pied Flycatcher at Sheringham.
Great White Egret at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Pied Flycatcher the cemetery & another at Blue Door Loke at Great Yarmouth.
BARRED WARBLER at The Lupins, Pied Flycatcher at Blakeney Point.
Great White Egret at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Caspian Gull, Mediterranean Gulls x 2 at Cley NWT.
Pied Flycatcher at North Dunes, Winterton.
Quail at Wells Woods.

Raining all day in Norfolk and still is now at 22.50!

MEGA NEWS! 

MEGA! BAROLO SHEARWATER flew past Pendeen Watch at 8.43am, Cornwall.
MEGA! BAROLO SHEARWATER flew past Strumble Head at 4.25pm, Pembrokeshire.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Early Bird, Late Bird!

I didn't bother posting yesterday as I HAD to do lots of important, but boring jobs. After being very quiet in the Holme household over the last few days, things got out of hand again last night and Father was very distressed indeed. Feeling guilty about not going over last night to support my poor Mother, resulted in a very poor amount of sleep. I got up early and drove to Holme early morning.

Arrived at my parent's house at 6.45am. I have a key for emergencies, so let myself in. To my surprise, all was quiet – both parents were still asleep, which is very unusual at this time. I sat in the armchair in the dining room and waited for someone to wake up. Only birds seen in the garden were pheasants, fluffy juv. Hedgesparrows, a Robin and a couple of monster sized rats. I spent most of the day with my parent's, helping with as many chores as I could, to give Mother a rest. I washed and dressed Father etc and then had a blitz in their hall and sorted all the tablets out and had a general tidy up. Plugged the new phone in and sorted that out. I was quite horrifed when inspecting the dates on my Father's latest batch of medication from Boots The Chemist in Hunstanton – they were ALL out of date, not happy is an understatement!!! I will be ringing them on Tuesday!!! I had a cat nap in the afternoon for half an hour. Left Holme at 3.20pm. Pouring with rain and terrible 'Sunday drivers' on the road.

Arrived at CleySpy just about in time before they closed, to drop off both my Paramo Coat and Waistcoat. I have been meaning to drop them in for a while, as both zips have broken. I will have to wait a few weeks to get them back from Paramo, but wanted to get this done before the colder weather kicks in.

I had a desperate need for cake – I HAD to have some! Just made it to the Cley NWT Visitor Centre with 1 minute to spare before they shut, to purchase a piece of carrot cake to take away. I sat at Beach Road, Salthouse to enjoy this with a cup of coffee and very nice it was too. I decided that I would sit here and wait for the rain to stop and then blitz Gramborough Hill for all the easterlies megas that would be dropping in (yeah, right). I was not the only one with the same idea! David Bratt was sitting in his car in front of me and Eddie Myers was sheltering in his car behind me! John Furse's car was already parked up and empty, so John had obviously braved the rain earlier.

A short while later, the rain eased off enough to head to Gramborough Hill and we all searched hard for something exciting. John had indeed been here earlier and had sat in the pouring rain waiting for 'all the bluethroats' to drop in. The only bird I saw in here, several times was a Willow Warbler. Other birds seen by others here were Garden Warbler, Robin, 2 Hobbies and also a Hummingbird Hawkmoth which John had watched feeding on the buddleia in the rain!

Kelling Water Meadows is a good place to find Barred Warblers, so that's where I headed off to next. The rain had eased off (again) and I headed along the track to the water meadows. The rain then started to fall heavily and I attempted to shelter under a tree. I spent a good while watching Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Long-tailed Tits and 1 Lesser Whitethroat flitting about and feeding in a large sycamore tree. I had good views of the juv. Red-backed Shrike between the fence line and a bramble bush, viewed from the far corner of the pool and also saw three Wood Sandpipers amongst the Teal, Greylag Geese and pair of Mute Swans. Also saw a juv. Goldfinch, heard Whitethroats,saw 2 Linnets distantly and watched a Kestrel hovering. Several Swallows, Sandmartins and House Martins skimming over the pool. Walked back to my car in failing light and got home around 9pm.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Great White Egret, Garganey x 3 at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Black Tern, Spoonbills x 14, Little Stint x 11, Spotted Redshanks x 2, Curlew Sandpipers x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
MINKE WHALE c1ml off shore at 7.30am, east past Cley.
Caspian Gull, Wood Sandpipers x 2, Spoonbill, Whinchats x 2 at Cley NWT.
BLUETHROAT Male still, WRYNECK, Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat, Short-eared Owl at North Dunes, Winterton.
Curlew Sandpipers x 2 at Breydon Water.
RED-BACKED SHRIKE juv., Wood Sandpipers x 3 at Kelling Water Meadows.
Short-eared Owl, Whinchats x 4 at Burnham Overy Dunes.
TURTLEDOVES x 7, Little Stints x 11, Curlew Sandpipers x 5 at Snettisham RSPB.
Whinchats x 2 at Sheringham.
Balearic Shearwater flew east past Weybourne.
Osprey at Great Ryburgh.
Caspian Gulls x 2 at Overstrand.
Osprey flew west over Norwich.
WRYNECK at Nunnery Lakes, Thetford.
WRYNECK at Caister-on-Sea.
BARRED WARBLER at The Hood, Spoonbills x 2, Whinchats x 2 at Blakeney Point.
Pectoral Sandpiper at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
Great White Egret at Holkham.
Pomarine Skua reported at Gore Point, Short-eared Owl, Whinchats x 3 at Holme Dunes NWT.

Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-FOOTED FALCON 1s Male still at Willow Tree Fen LWT, WSW of Spalding.

GREENISH WARBLER reported at Frampton Marsh RSPB.
 
MEGA NEWS!
None!

Saturday, 29 August 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Whinchats x 2, Curlew Sandpipers x 3, Little Stint x 14, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Garganey x 2 at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
RED-BACKED SHRIKE juv., Whinchat, Wood Sandpipers x 2 at Kelling Water Meadows.
BLUETHROAT Male, Pied Flycatcher, Redstarts x 2, Whinchats x 4, Short-eared Owl at North Dunes, Pied Flycatcher at South Dunes, Winterton.
Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Wood Sandpiper, Arctic Tern, Spotted Redshank at Breydon Water.
Caspian Gull in ploughed field, near North Walsham.
Honey Buzzard at West Somerton.
Montagu's Harrier at Pulham St Mary.
Osprey at Bawburgh Lakes
Whinchats x 4, Little Gull at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Spoonbills x 19 at Stiffkey Fen.
Wood Sandpipers x 4 at Hickling Broad NWT.
Spoonbill, Little Stints x 4, Curlew Sandpipers x 3 at Snettisham RSPB.
Osprey at Colney Gravel Pits.

Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-FOOTED FALCON 1s Male still at Willow Tree Fen LWT, WSW of Spalding.

MEGA NEWS!
None!

Friday, 28 August 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spoonbills x 10, Wood Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpipers x 6, Little Stints x 15 at Titchwell RSPB.
RED-BACKED SHRIKE juv., Wood Sandpipers x 2, Curlew Sandpiper at Kelling Water Meadows.
WRYNECKS x 2 at North Dunes, Winterton.
Osprey at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Great White Egret, Osprey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
LESSER GREY SHRIKE at midday then flew SW at Cromer.
MARSH WARBLER singing, reported in bramble briefly at Snettisham RSPB.
Short-eared Owl at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.
BALTIC GULL 1+ possible, Caspian Gull at Cley NWT.
Arctic Tern at Breydon Water.
Short-eared Owl at Blakeney Freshmarsh.
Whinchats x 9 at Weybourne.

Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-FOOTED FALCON 1s Male still at Willow Tree Fen LWT, WSW of Spalding.


Suffolk Highlights
BLACK STORK at Landguard Nature Reserve.

 
MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! RED-BILLED TROPICBIRD Porthgwarra,  off Gwennap Head circling and heading west 8am-8.10am only.

MEGA! ELEONORA'S FALCON probable, dark morph, Portland Bill offshore mid-morning, Isle of Portland, Dorset.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

My Rallye Green Skoda Fabia Has Arrived!

Went to the Skoda garage after work this evening to sign on the dotted line for my new Rallye Green Skoda Fabia Hatchback! The car executive dealing with me is called Sam and he excitedly showed me my car with my chosen Reg Plate already on and with a few added extras still to be added, like door trims, mudflaps etc, its ready to go. I love the Rallyee Green colour, good job I do! I just hope I don't get fed up with the colour after a few months! It's extremely bright and the panoramic sunroof is so cool! The monthly payments are going to be a good bit cheaper than my current car, even better! All the CD's have to be scrapped - no CD slot in new cars, so music has to be connected by phone, SD card or USB memory stick. Pick up my new green machine on Tuesday!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Osprey flew over Colney Gravel Pits.
TURTLE DOVE, Black Tern, Arctic Skuas x 2 at Holme..
Common Cranes x 11, Whinchats x 4 at Horsey.
Osprey at Somerton Holmes.
BALTIC GULL, Caspian Gull, Yellow-legged Gulls x 3, Little Stint, Wood Sandpiper at Cley NWT.
Grey-headed Wagtail in stubble fields between Church Lane & Old Woman's Lane at Cley.
Pied Flycatcher, Black Tern at Weybourne.
Great White Egret at Holkham.
Curlew Sandpipers x 2 at Breydon Water.
Caspian Gull at Salthouse.
Osprey at Buckenham.
Great White Egret at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Spoonbills x 2, Little Stints x 12, Curlew Sandpipers x 6, Wood Sandpiper at Titchwell RSPB.
ICTERINE WARBLER probable (elusive), WRYNECK, Pied Flycatcher, Tree Pipit, Redstarts x 3, Whinchats x 5 at North Dunes, Winterton.
Pied Flycatchers x 4, Redstart at Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
Spoonbills x 22 at Stiffkey Fen.
Osprey at Thetford Nunnery.
Spoonbills x 11 at Burnham Norton.
Common Cranes x 17 at West Somerton.
Pied Flycatcher at Gorleston-on-Sea.
Garganey, Short-eared Owl at Cantley Beet Factory.
RED-BACKED SHRIKE, Wood Sandpipers x 3, Whinchats x 2 at Kelling Water Meadows.

Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-FOOTED FALCON 1s Male still at Willow Tree Fen LWT, WSW of Spalding.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! DOWITCHER sp. reported for 2nd day, St Martins, Isles of Scilly.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Difficult Times Again!

Its been a very difficult week. My Father has been very ill with hallucinations and all kinds and my Mother has been struggling with him. Someone came out to assess Father officially and he has now been prescribed some serious tablets. I had a long phone call with Father's GP yesterday to have a rant and discussion about several things. I got emotional at work yesterday because of all this. I had to go over last night and assist my Mother as she was beyond exhausted, both mentally and physically. On route I picked up a couple of items of shopping for her and also bought and consumed an entire Terry's Orange! Father had been shouting and rambling all day and was extremely hot because of this. The first tablet he had taken earlier had calmed him no end already, so I strip-washed him completely, shaved him and got him into pyjamas to make him feel fresher and more relaxed. We gave him the second of his new tablets and I sturn transferred him into bed and got him comfortable. He seemed settled as I sat chatting to Mother in the other room, so I left around 11.45pm. I had my sleeping bag and pillow in the car and was expecting to have to stay there, but things were much much calmer, than they were earlier.

When I phoned this morning before work to see how things were, Mother told me that he had not moved all night and was in the same position that I left him in!!! So the result was good, as both parent's had a good night's sleep. But..... as I suspected when I phoned at lunchtime, Father was so lethargic that Mother had had a serious job to get him out of bed and sturn him into the chair etc. So much so, that she has decided not to give him either of his new tablets tonight!

I had SO many things to do this evening, including ringing the Community Matron to ask advice about the tablets, finding somewhere in King's Lynn that sold a pill-cutter as one of the new pills is insanely small and has to be cut in half and I had a real job to do this with a knife last night! Also had to find the number and then phoned the Home Delivery Service for pads to be delivered to Holme. Had to go to Slimming World (gained 1/2 a pound, which I expected), Supermarket for me, back home and did the on-line shop for parents (normally done on a Tuesday evening), phone and pay British Gas, phone and arrange appt with Skoda for my final document signing for new car this week – collect my new car next Tuesday 1st September!!! Cook dinner, write bird news on blog and now its 11pm. Phew! Good Night!!!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
WRYNECK yesterday at Blakeney Point.
Great White Egret at Hockwold Washes.
Little Stints x 8, Curlew Sandpipers x 7, Wood Sandpiper at Titchwell RSPB.
RED-BACKED SHRIKE, Pied Flycatchers x 3, Redstarts x 4, Whinchats x 2, Tree Pipit, Black Terns x 2 at North Dunes, Winterton.
Pied Flycatcher in pines, Redstart at Holme Dunes NWT.
WOOD WARBLER, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart at Wells Woods.
Little Stints x 16, Whinchat, Yellow-legged Gulls x 4 at Cley NWT.
Spoonbills x 15 at Stiffkey Fen.
Black Terns x 3 at Waxham.
Whinchats x 2 at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.
Pied Flycatcher at Hopton-on-Sea.
Black Terns x 5 at Gorleston-on-Sea.
Pied Flycatcher at Holkham Pines.
Wood Sandpipers x 2, Little Stint at Kelling Water Meadows.

Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-FOOTED FALCON 1s Male still at Willow Tree Fen LWT, WSW of Spalding.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN at Soldier's Point, County Louth, Ireland.

MEGA! YELKOUAN SHEARWATER possible, yesterday at Porthgwarra, Cornwall.
MEGA! BAROLE SHEARWATER possible, yesterday at Porthgwarra, Cornwall. 

RBA Weekly Round-Up 19th to 25th August!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2015-34.aspx?s_id=733171741

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat, Little Stints x 12, Curlew Sandpipers x 3, Wood Sandpiper, Spoonbills x 9, Short-eared Owl at Titchwell RSPB.
Vagrant Emperor Dragonfly reported on Saturday at North Dunes, Winterton.
WRYNECK, Wood Warbler, Pied Flycatchers x 3, Redstarts x 3, Whinchats x 2 at North Dunes, Pied Flycatchers x 3, Redstarts x 2 at South Dunes, Winterton.
Pied Flycatcher, Little Stints x 2 at Weybourne.
WRYNECK between Kelling Camp and Kelling Quags.
Pied Flycatcher at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.
ICTERINE WARBLER at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Great White Egret, Sandwich Terns x 2, Garganey x 3 at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Pied Flycatchers x 8 at Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
Pied Flycatcher in pines at Holme.
Pied Flycatcher at Bale.
Redstarts x 2 at Horsey.
Little Stints x 4, Wood Sandpipers x 2 at North Scrape, Cley NWT.
Pied Flycatchers x 2 at Wymondham Cemetery.

Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-FOOTED FALCON 1s Male still at Willow Tree Fen LWT, WSW of Spalding.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN at Soldier's Point, County Louth, Ireland.

Monday, 24 August 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Little Stints x 6, Wood Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpipers x 3, Spoonbills x 16 at Titchwell RSPB.
Red-backed Shrike, Wood Warbler, Pied Flycatchers x 2, Whinchats x 5 at North Dunes, Winterton.
Pied Flycatchers x 30, Redstart, Tree Pipit at East Hills, Wells.
Pied Flycatchers x 7 at Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
Red-backed Shrike at Coopers, Great Yarmouth.
Pied Flycatchers x 3 at Holkham.
Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat, Tree Pipits x 2, Wood Sandpipers x 3 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
ICTERINE WARBLER (early am only), Pied Flycatchers x 2, Grasshopper Warblers x 2, Redstart at Holme NWT.
Long-tailed Skua, Great Skua x 12, Arctic Skuas x 6, Puffin, Black Tern, Pied Flycatchers x 2 (near Dauke's Hide), Temminck's Stint (Pat's Pool), Little Stints x 4, Wood Sandpipers x 9, Purple Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank at Cley NWT.
WRYNECK by wrecked boat at Blakeney Point.
TEREK SANDPIPER flew over Little Eye at 11.45am with redshank at Salthouse.
BOOTED WARBLER still, briefly, Pied Flycatchers x 2, Wood Warbler (briefly), Whinchats x 2 at Gramborough Hill, Wood Sandpiper on Tower Pools, Osprey flew in off sea at Salthouse.
Wood Sandpipers x 2 at Kelling Water Meadows.
Black Terns x 4, Wood Sandpipers x 4, Spotted Redshanks x 5 at Breydon Water.
Pied Flycatcher at Garden Drove, Warham.
Honey Buzzard at Stiffkey.
Great White Egret at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Pied Flycatchers x 2, Tree Pipit, Redstart at Weybourne.
WRYNECK in dunes NE of campsite at Waxham Sands.

Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-FOOTED FALCON 1s Male still at Willow Tree Fen LWT, WSW of Spalding.

MEGA NEWS!

MEGA! CHIMNEY SWIFT flew south at sea at 10.08am, 3mls off Staffin Bay, Scotland.
MEGA! LEAST SANDPIPER Dungeness RSPB, Kent. 
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN at Soldier's Point, County Louth, Ireland.
BEE-EATERS still at two nests, SSW of Brampton, Cumbria (present since mid-June). Access 8am-8pm only to RSPB viewpoint. Follow all on site instructions. £5.00 to park.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Gramborough Hill, Walsey Hills, Sarbury Hill, Blakeney Point & Gramborough Hill at Dusk!

Sunrise


14 HOURS BIRDING!
Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Photographed the sunrise on route to Gramborough Hill, Salthouse and saw a Red Kite and a Common Buzzard along the A148. Arrived at Salthouse by 6.30am! Only two or three birders there before me and someone had already seen the Booted Warbler. It took me until 8.05am to see the Booted Warbler properly and even then I didn't get a picture. I saw it again at around 9am for a nano second, perched on a dead elder stem, but it didn't even allow me time to lift the camera, never mind press the shutter button! No pictures obtained of the Booted Warbler in the three hours I was there until 9.30am, very disappointed with that. Saw 2 Yellow Wagtails by an iron gate in the middle of the marsh. Sand Martins flying round the hill – not alot else seen. Very strong SE winds, that gathered in force throughout the day.
Shortly after sunrise at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse

Walsey Hills NOA
Walsey Hills NOA, looked hard for the reported Pied Flycatcher, but didn't find it. Searched for ages to find my own birds, but only turned up a couple of Chiffchaffs in the back willows.

Sarbury Hill, Salthouse
Sarbury Hill – this looked good for a Barred or Icterine Warbler I decided. I skulked around here and worked hard, but found nothing. Whilst here, the pager bleeped up with Icterine Warbler, then another message with Wryneck, Redstarts, Pied Flycatchers and ALL at Gramborough Hill!!! Should have stayed where I was!

Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Re-located to Gramborough Hill. The cars, 4x4's, Campervans etc along Beach Road were nose to tail, but I boldly drove to the top and got lucky with a space. Walked to join a big crowd of birders. Pretty sure I had the Booted Warbler again at 1.30pm in a small elder, just east of the main scrub and it then flew back into the main scrub. I waited forever to see the Icterine Warbler, which I did see eventually at 1.50pm, thanks to a man in front of me, who picked it out shortly after finding a Willow Warbler. I didn't see the Wryneck, Pied Flys or Redstarts though. John F., had a nice picture of the Wryneck on his camera!
Glorious day at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse

Coastguards & Blakeney Point
Coastguards, Cley. A Wheatear flew in off the sea and landed by the parked cars at 3.15pm. Had a late lunch and coffee and packed my bag up to walk Blakeney Point! Set off at 3.45pm. I didn't feel like walking Blakeney Point at all, but it had to be done with all these migrants around. I had a very disappointing walk and only saw 2 Wheatears, 1 Starling and a pale, slender Acro sp.,which was either the Marsh Warbler or Reed Warbler of which both had been seen at 'The Hood', Andy Stoddart told me when I bumped into him and Robert Yaxley. See my Norfolk news list for the BP list for the day. I didn't see a single Pied Flycatcher or Redstart and I had my eyes peeled I can tell you! After spending ages trying to nail the Marsh Warbler and failing, I decided to walk back at this point. It was now raining at 6pm and I just couldn't see the point of continuing to The Plantation. I headed back along the beach in driving rain and got back to Coastguads at 6.50pm. Everything was dripping wet, but the pager and phone were dry as a bone in my new special bag! As was the camera.

Gramborough Hill, Salthouse Again!
Re-located to Beach Road, Salthouse to wait for the rain to stop, which it was supposed to, so Eddie told me earlier. I was the only person here, funny how rain removes so many people! Changed my wet top (my paramo coat is not waterproof anymore, need to get this sorted!) and enjoyed a well deserved coffee with my cheese roll. The rain was even heavier now. Half an hour later, Eddie joined me – he had the same idea as me, to go and look for new birds at Gramborough, once the rain had stopped. It didn't stop exactly, but with only light rain we headed for Gramborough at just after 7.35pm.

Gramborough Hill was DRIPPING with birds – mostly little LBJ's because of failing light, but in the gloom we managed to pick out a Reed Warbler which was ringed, a Garden Warbler, A Spotted Flycatcher and at least 3 Pied Flycatchers and I'm pretty sure I had the Booted Warbler again – all at 8pm. I attempted to take a picture of a Pied Flycatcher, but the light was so rubbish, the camera just wouldn't focus. This was absolute torture – all these birds to ID and now it was dark, I could have cried. Why the hell didn't it rain and then leave off earlier!!! We trudged back in the dark to our cars and left.

I drove home with water filled trainers, wet trousers and a car full of wet crap to sort out, arriving home at 10pm. Work in the morning, mortified that all these birds will be surfacing whilst I'm at work!
Walking back from Gramborough Hill

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
BOOTED WARBLER, ICTERINE WARBLER, WRYNECK, Redstarts x 2, Pied Flycatchers x 3, Whinchat at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.
Pied Flycatchers x 30, Redstarts x 5, Whinchats x 3 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Spoonbills x 19 at Stiffkey Fen.
Pied Flycatchers x 3, Redstart at Walsey Hills NOA.
Pied Flycatchers x 3, Whinchats x 11, Wood Sandpipers x 3 at Kelling Water Meadows.
Black Redstart, East Bank, Cley NWT.
Spotted Redshanks x 4 at Breydon Water.
Pied Flycatchers x 2, Short-eared Owl, Spoonbills x 6, Spotted Redshanks x 4, Little Stints x 4, Wood Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpipers x 4 at Titchwell RSPB.
Little Stints x 4, Wood Sandpipers x 2 at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
Dotterels x 20 flew south over Muckleborough Hill.
MARSH WARBLER, WRYNECK, Montagu's Harrier, Pied Flycatchers x 45, Tree Pipits x 2 at Blakeney Point.
Pied Flycatchers x 2 at Waxham.
Pied Flycatcher at Gypsy Lane, Titchwell.
Great White Egret at Hockwold Washes.
Whinchats x 4, Redstart at North Dunes, Winterton.
Long-tailed Skua (probable), Arctic Skuas x 10, Black Terns x 9, Pied Flycatchers x 12, Redstart, Tree Pipits, Wood Sandpiper at Holme.
Whinchats x 4 at Thornham Harbour.
Pied Flycatchers x 2 at Hunstanton Cliffs.
Black Tern at Gorleston-on-Sea.
Spoonbills x 2, Pied Flycatchers x 7 at Brancaster.
Osprey at Ranworth Broad.
Pied Flycatcher at West Runton.

Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-FOOTED FALCON 1s Male still at Willow Tree Fen LWT, WSW of Spalding.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN at Kilcummin, County Mayo Ireland.
BEE-EATERS still at two nests, SSW of Brampton, Cumbria (present since mid-June). Access 8am-8pm only to RSPB viewpoint. Follow all on site instructions. £5.00 to park.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

BOOTED WARBLER at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse!

BOOTED WARBLER
My worst 'record' shot to date!

Got up late, then started chores. It was a ridiculously hot day, too hot to go birding. I needed to get some extra shopping for Mother, so decided to ask my sister Lucy if she wanted to visit parents too and she jumped at the chance. Half an hour later I found out Eddie had found a BOOTED WARBLER!!! Hmmmm...... Lucy isn't a birder and was racking my brains, trying to work out how to include Lucy with the Booted Warbler! Long story short, picked Lucy up, did the shopping – then discovered the traffic was atrocious heading to the coast, so diverted to Holme via Hillington, Bircham, Docking and Thornham, which was a good move, no issues at all!

Had a nice time with parents, athough Father was asleep initially. Vivien was there too, which was an unexpected surprise. Left Holme around 6pm. Stopped just outside Burnham Overy Mill in a pull-in overlooking the coastline and gave Lucy her salad I had made for her, which she said was so good I should enter it into Masterchef!!! Followed by a peanut and dark chocolate cornetto from Burnham Deepdale Shop!!! I wouldn't normally have stopped to eat before seeing a Booted Warbler, but Lucy would want to eat her tea before we got to Salthouse.

We arrived at Beach Road, Salthouse at 7pm, bumping into Eddie M who found this fabulous bird, Pete S., John F. and others who had just walked back from Gramborough Hill. Lucy and I walked to the hill and it wasn't long before I got a brief sighting of the Booted Warbler at about 7.20pm. 10 minutes after we arrived, Lucy asked how long we were going to be here – 'until I get a picture of the bird Lucy' I replied. I saw it several more times, but only briefly each time and it was nearly dark at 8.15pm before I got my first picture – well I say picture, it wasn't even what you would class as a 'record shot'!!! A mere smudge on the camera, but it was thanks to Rob Martin (Punkbirder) that I got that! A few people had a glimpse of the Pied Flycatcher in the tamarisk, but I didn't see this. Whilst talking to Rob, he said that tomorrow looks very good indeed for rares, especially if we get the forecast rain in the afternoon on SE winds and Monday would be even better!!! Left Salthouse at 8.40pm and after dropping Lucy off home, I arrived back at 10pm.

No picture editing from me tonight I'm afraid. Need to get up early tomorrow. See you all at the mega that I'm going to find in the afternoon!!! Hardcore day ahead!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Wood Sandpiper, Little Stints x 9, Curlew Sandpiper, Caspian Gull, Arctic Skua, Great Skua at Titchwell RSPB.
Little Stints x 5, Wood Sandpiper, Continental Black-tailed Godwit at Cley NWT.
Great White Egret at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Whinchat at North Dunes, Winterton.
BOOTED WARBLER (ETM), Pied Flycatcher at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.
Little Stints x 2, Wood Sandpipers x 2, Spotted Redshank at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
Wood Sandpiper at Redwell Marsh, Holme NOA.

Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-FOOTED FALCON 1s Male still at Willow Tree Fen LWT, WSW of Spalding.

ALPINE SWIFT 2mls NW of Newmarket at 6pm.

MEGA NEWS! 

MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN at Soldiers Point, County Galway, Ireland.
BEE-EATERS still at two nests, SSW of Brampton, Cumbria (present since mid-June). Access 8am-8pm only to RSPB viewpoint. Follow all on site instructions. £5.00 to park.

Friday, 21 August 2015

THE RUTLAND BIRD FAIR!

Simon King and Me

I was quite excited, I had not been to the Rutland Bird Fair for two years! I arrived fairly early, but not as early as I would have liked. I would have been there by 9.15am, but the traffic was queueing to get into the Fair and it took nearly 45 minutes to get parked up. I've never seen queueing like that to the Bird Fair. I could see why later on, it must have been their highest day for visitors on a Friday, it was jam packed! I had a coffee and marmalade sandwich before I left the car park. It was slightly overcast to begin with, but the sun came out later.
I love Bill Oddie's expression when I asked if I could take a selfie!

'Ahh..... a selfie'

I started off in the optics marquee where I bumped into Chris and Jackie Mills, also saw Bill Oddie in here. Nipped into the Simon King marquee and got very, very lucky! There was Simon King at his stand, with no queue of people. He walked across to me and said 'lovely to see you again Penny' – how exciting was that!!! His sister and PA Debbie took a couple of pictures of us and after photo card signing, I continued my walk round the marquee's. Very unusually for me, I decided not to lug any cameras around and simply took pictures on the iphone for the day. Went to the RBA stand to discuss their new pager which they launched today – it looks very cool indeed and the panel of type is totally clear with black type on white background – Swiss made, 4 year guarantee, waterproof (good for me!!!), funky design etc etc, everyone will want this new pager!!!

I approached the Bird Fair very differently this year – I decided to walk round slowly, enjoying all the stands, meeting new people, catching up with people I knew etc and didn't rush round trying to go to any events. I don't expect anyone will believe me, when I tell you I didn't even go to Simon King's talk!!!!! Although I did watch the second half of Mark Carwardine's Whale talk at the back of the main Lecture marquee and then moved closer to the front at the end, for BB Photographer of the year presentation by Adam Rowlands and Simon King. As I walked out at the end, someone said to me 'why were your photos not there Penny?' Don't know who that was, but thanks! I only wish my photography was to that standard.

Bumped into Birdforum's Steve Kirk!!! I had forgotten how tall he was, charming as ever and made me laugh when he looked at the picture someone took of us both and said 'it's like a cartoon strip....you're about 4ft shorter than me! I'm not that short! He's just extremely tall – he looks scary, you wouldn't mess with him if you didn't know him, but he's a puppy dog underneath that hardcore look!!! He'll kill me for writing that....xx, oh well.
Steve Kirk (Birdforum) and me
Steve Kirk (Birdforum) with Mark Karn and ?

Tim and Irene were not on the Fair Isle stand this year – it didn't look the same without them, but I did bump into them later briefly, which was good. Also, it was nice to have a lovely chat with famous photographer David Tipling in the Art Marquee, who very kindly asked after my father, such a lovely man and a real gentleman. Julian Bhalerao joined me for part of his lunch slot as he is now working with Duncan MacDonald at Wildsounds. There were no bands or musicians playing during lunch, that I heard or saw anyway – I feel this makes a huge difference to the atmosphere, hopefully this will feature again next year.
Julian Bhalerao and me

Bird Fair has increased in size since I last came. I liked the addition of the local produce marquee, which sold everything from cakes, meats, honey/jams, cheeses, pies etc and new stands that sold socks, shoes and wellingtons, but still we don't have a range of cheaper clothes on offer for the birder/naturalist. Rohan, Paramo Clothing and Country Innovations sell some fabulous clothes, don't get me wrong, but they are not exactly cheap to buy. Most of my birding clothes are men's, my trousers nearly always are and any khaki green shirts I own are all men's. If you go into any outdoor wear shop to buy women's tops, they are never khaki green, nearly always brightly coloured, so us female birders have a very limited choice on offer. The Bird Fair stand had lots of new additional items to buy along with the usual mugs, pens, teashirts with Bird Fair logos on, including new polo shirts, zipped sweatshirts, new gilets, new hats, thinsulate hats, hoodies etc.

The only thing I wasn't impressed with, was the food on offer for us vegetarians. I was very disappointed when I reached the food marquee's main area, to find the usual servery with waiters and waitresses wasn't there! I couldn't believe it. I loved this choice of foods they offered and for several years had my regular pasta dish, with new potatoes and their fantastic choice of salad dishes. I looked around and found a hogroast, fish n chips, jacket potato van, but nothing specifically exciting for me. The queues for each van/vendor were massive, which was my fault, as it was about 1.45pm. A jacket potato didn't inspire me to queue behind 50 other people. I walked back to the optics marquee area and found a crepe van, where I bought a cheese and spinach crepe, this cost £5.30 and although very tasty, disappeared in a few mouthfuls, there was nothing to it! I eat more on Slimming World! Because I was still hungry, I purchased a danish pastry and cup of tea from a neighbouring van and had an ice-cream (small at £2.50) later on – bang goes the diet today! There was a pink champagne bar here too, pity I was driving, love champagne.
David Lindo with me
David Lindo's 'National Bird Car'

I did spend a few pennies, purchased a fluffy, furry North Island Brown Kiwi from the New Zealand stand to team up with my Kiwi I purchased from the same stand two years ago (can't remember which species of Kiwi the other one was now). Also treated myself to a Neoprene Lens Protection Cover for my camera lens from the Outdoor Photography Gear stand. My home made one was pretty good, but the cotton material was constantly slipping around the lens, which could be very irritating! Also purchased a vibrant, lime green bag from the Birding in Portugal stand! Spent £5.00 on raffle tickets to win an Antarctica Cruise - will keep my fingers crossed!

Had a lovely long chat with Norfolk bird recorders Dave and Jacquie Bridges and also bumped into BTO lady, Dawn Balmer and also Lucy McRobert. Also had hugs and photos with Andy W., Ruth and Alan Miller and David Lindo. Also managed to catch Bill Oddie for a selfie, whilst he was signing books at Wildsounds!
Photographer David Tipling

People I saw and photographed/chatted to today were: David Lindo, Bill Oddie, Simon King, Mark Carwardine, Cery Levy,  Steve Kirk, Dawn Balmer, Julian Bhalerao, Mark Avery, Stephen Moss, Dominic Couzens, Sir Ian Wallace, David Tipling, Dave and Jacquie Bridges, Tim and Irene Loseby, Lucy McRobert, Alan and Ruth Miller, Justin and Chris Lansdell, Andy Wilkinson, Charlie Hamilton James, Jonathan and Angie Scott, Pat and Geoff Douglas and their daughter, Bo Beolens (Fatbirder website), Keith Betton, RBA Team, Toby Carter, Jake Gearty and LOTS of my blog readers – nice to meet you all! Disappointingly I didn't bump into Tim Appleton, Nick Baker (boo hoo) or LGRE in his traditional Bird Fair suit and tie!

I managed to whizz round the Art Marquee at the end, then headed back to my car. Vehicles were queuing to get out, so I settled into my deckchair, had a coffee and my tea in the glorious evening sunshine. I had fully intended on going to Lyndon Reserve to view the Ospreys, but I felt exhausted and knew I had to save any energy left, to drive home safely. An hour later the queues had dispersed and I left to go home. I was going back again on Sunday, but changed my mind when I saw the SE winds and rain forecast – birds to see, hopefully!

Charlie Hamilton James gives a talk on the Canon Stand
Dave and Jacquie Bridges – Norfolk Bird Recorders

Dave and Jacquie Bridges with me

Simon King presents the awards
The British Birds Photography Winners

 Me with Ruth and Alan Miller

Ruth and Alan Miller
Outdoor Photography Gear
Dawn Balmer and me
Sir Ian Wallace

WildSounds

Norfolk birders: Andy Wilkinson, brothers Justin & Chris Lansdell

All photos taken with Apple iphone 6,
but wish I had used my Canon SLR,

oh well, there's always next year!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Little Stint, Spotted Redshanks x 5, Whimbrel at Titchwell RSPB.
Spoonbills x 2 at Stiffkey Fen.
Osprey at Rockland Broad.
Little Stint, Spotted Redshanks x 4, Curlew Sandpiper at Breydon Water.
Little Stints x 4, Wood Sandpipers x 4, Spotted Redshanks at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
Whinchat at North Dunes, Winterton.
Wood Sandpipers x 2 at Kelling Water Meadows.
Wood Sandpiper at Holme NWT.
Little Stints x 7 at Cley NWT.
Honey Buzzard, Whinchat at Warham Greens.
Honey Buzzard at Wells Woods.
Yellow-legged Gulls x 2 at Wymondham.
Great White Egret at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Little Stint at Cantley Beet Factory.

Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-FOOTED FALCON 1s Male still at Willow Tree Fen LWT, WSW of Spalding.

MEGA NEWS!
BEE-EATERS still at two nests, SSW of Brampton, Cumbria (present since mid-June). Access 8am-8pm only to RSPB viewpoint. Follow all on site instructions. £5.00 to park.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Northern Pool Frogs Return To Thompson Common in Norfolk, 20 Years After Becoming Extinct!

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/rare_frogs_return_to_thompson_common_20_years_after_becoming_extinct_1_4199305

Campaigner Condemns Norfolk County Council's Verge Cutting as “Countryside Vandalism”

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/norfolk_county_council_to_look_again_at_verge_cutting_as_campaigner_condemns_its_countryside_vandalism_policy_1_4198650

SE Winds ALL Weekend!

I'm so glad I have chosen to go to The Rutland Bird Fair tomorrow, rather than on Saturday, as the winds are swinging SE all Saturday and Sunday!!! Looking forward to seeing Simon King, Bill Oddie and other birding friends and associates. Will be heading quickly to the RBA stand to look at their new pager!

Got up late, still shattered from my marathan photo editing session on Tuesday evening/morning! Went to Hunstanton to get fish 'n' chips for parents (I didn't have any). Father looked shattered from the last few days – doesn't look too good at all. Took Mother shopping to Sainsbury's which she requested to do, rather than 'on-line' for a change and it made my day when she said 'I can't be doing with this'. After the months of 'discussions' about how it would be much better to do on-line shopping for everyone concerned and her rebelling against it, she now prefers it!!!

Have chosen my new car registration – emailed Skoda late this evening, just hope its still available.

Rutland Bird Fair tomorrow!!!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
ICTERINE WARBLER, Pied Flycatcher, Spoonbill still at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Black Tern, Arctic Skuas x 3 at Old Hunstanton.
Pomarine Skua, Little Stints x 7, Continental Black-tailed Godwits x 2 at Cley NWT.
Black Terns x 3, Spoonbill, Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Redshanks x 23, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 2 at Snettisham RSPB.
Black Terns x 20 in roost at Old Hunstanton.
MEGA! ITALIAN SPARROW possible (or hybrid sparrow), male recently again, east of Northrepps at Hungry Hill at feeders in garden, Norfolk.
Caspian Gull at Cromer.
Wood Sandpiper, Spoonbills x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Honey Buzzard at Wells Woods.
TURTLE DOVE, Wood Sandpiper at Holme.
Wood Sandpipers x 4, Little Stints x 2 at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
WRYNECK by boating pool, briefly at Cromer.
Black Terns x 4, Arctic Skuas x 2 at Winterton.
Wood Sandpipers x 2 at Kelling Water Meadows.

Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-FOOTED FALCON 1s Male still at Willow Tree Fen LWT, WSW of Spalding.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! ITALIAN SPARROW possible (or hybrid sparrow), male recently again, east of Northrepps at Hungry Hill at feeders in garden, Norfolk.

BEE-EATERS still at two nests, SSW of Brampton, Cumbria (present since mid-June). Access 8am-8pm only to RSPB viewpoint. Follow all on site instructions. £5.00 to park. (see my main post with links to further details).

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

NEW RBA "s.QUAD Pager" Launch at The Rutland Bird Fair!

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/sQUAD_pager_from_RBA.aspx

Holiday AND The Rutland Bird Fair!!!

At last four days off!!!
Tomorrow I am spending with my parents as my Father has been very unwell again and fell out of bed last night. Mother had to call out 'Swift Response' (again) to get him up and back into bed. Father has been having lots of hallucinations again, very sad.

The good news is that I have lost another 2lb at SW and now lost 8lbs so far and got my first half stone, sparkly pink certificate this evening! I have also been given a list of new car registrations to choose from – none of them represent a bird though..... second part of reg starting with 'Z'!

I added tons of pictures to my blog last night – just scroll down to view!

I was going to the Rutland Bird Fair on Saturday, but now going on Friday, purchased my on-line ticket last night. Looking forward to it, as I didn't go last year.

http://www.birdfair.org.uk/

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshanks x 4 at Breydon Water.
Little Stints x 2, Continental Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank, Caspian Gull at Cley NWT.
Dotterel flew NE over Felmingham.
ICTERINE WARBLER still at Burnham Overy Dunes.
WRYNECK west end of pines at Holkham.
Wood Sandpiper at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.
Little Stint, Spotted Redshanks x 9 at Titchwell RSPB.
BALEARIC SHEARWATER at Weybourne, West Runton, Sheringham.
Whinchats x 3 at Horsey.
Common Cranes x 2 at Somerton.
Wood Sandpier at Kelling Quags.

Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-FOOTED FALCON 1s Male still at Willow Tree Fen LWT, WSW of Spalding.

MEGA NEWS!
BEE-EATERS still at two nests, SSW of Brampton, Cumbria (present since mid-June). Access 8am-8pm only to RSPB viewpoint. Follow all on site instructions. £5.00 to park. (see my main post with links to further details).

RBA Weekly Round-Up 12th to 18th August!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2015-33.aspx

Thanks to the RBA team for using my Red-footed Falcon video in their review.
http://pennyshotbirdingandlife.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/red-footed-falcon-at-willow-tree-fen.html

Also thanks to Birdguides for also using the video in their weekly review.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

MEGA! FAN-TAILED WARBLER in Sussex!

At south end of Bread Lane in ditch by horse paddock at 7.24pm but no further sign at Climping, Sussex.

There are 8 accepted records of Fan-tailed Warbler in Britain. This would be a first for Sussex. Saw my first and only Fan-tailed Warbler at Holme in 1976 aged 11 and yes I do remember it and even more, so all the twitchers!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Purple Sandpiper, Continental Black-tailed Godwits x 2 at Cley NWT.
Black Guillemot at Weybourne.
TURTLE DOVE at Wood Dalling.
Wood Sandpiper yesterday at Holme NWT.
Black-winged Stilt unconfirmed report (yesterday), Spoonbills x 11, Wood Sandpiper at Titchwell RSPB.

Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-FOOTED FALCON 1s Male still at Willow Tree Fen LWT, WSW of Spalding.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! FAN-TAILED WARBLER at south end of Bread Lane in ditch by horse paddock at 7.24pm but no further sign at Climping, Sussex.

BEE-EATERS still at two nests, SSW of Brampton, Cumbria (present since mid-June). Access 8am-8pm only to RSPB viewpoint. Follow all on site instructions. £5.00 to park. (see my main post with links to further details).

Burnham Overy Dunes!

Monday 17th August

ICTERINE WARBLER
Burnham Overy Dunes


I whizzed over to Burnham Overy Dunes after work this evening in hope of seeing yesterday's Barred Warbler. There was no news on the pager about this bird at all, but that of course doesn't mean to say it wasn't there. I was surprised on how many people were on site when I arrived at the pull-in lay by at Burnham Overy. It was a beautiful evening when I left King's Lynn, but now it was colder, windier and not the glorious sunshine I had left behind me.

I headed down the track to the dunes. Didn't see anything of particular note on route and the Barred Warbler was not seen by anyone I spoke to. I found the Icterine Warbler pretty quickly as Richard Brooks was there! It had re-located to the gully/ scrub just east of the apple tree and was showing very nicely indeed, every now and again. Richard told me his mother had celebrated her 100th birthday this week – what a fabulous achievement! Hope I make 100! I'm half way there already! Anyway, the Icterine Warbler eventually disappeared for a while, Richard headed back, but I stayed a bit longer and re-found the bird skulking in the apple tree in the failing light just before I left.
Linnet in the bushes adjacent to the apple tree

I spent a long time taking funky sunset pictures. The skies were spectacular this evening with swathes of pinks, reds and yellows across the horizon – what a beautiful county we live in. Hundreds of Black-headed Gulls were in the channel – black silhouettes against orange, rippling water. Got back to my car at around 8.45pm and home at 9.30pm. Fell asleep on the sofa and woke after 12am!!!

Sunset and Roosting Black-headed Gulls
 














SPECTACULAR SUNSET
Burnham Overy Staithe