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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Cley and Salthouse Birding!

I started to walk Blakeney Point, but then turned back as I realised it was too soon with my ankle. Felt really sad about this, but never mind!

Walsey Hills NOA produced a Female Blackcap, Blackbird, Song Thrush, 3 Blue Tits, 3 Great Tits, Male Bullfinch, Chaffinch and 1 Robin all in one bush in the copse by Snipe's Marsh.

Gramborough Hill at Salthouse produced 1 Goldcrest. I counted 77 Curlew on the flooded marsh along with a few Redshanks. Flushed a Snow Bunting just west of the hill which then flew over the shingle ridge. Beautiful sunset this evening.

Bumped into Kieran and we chatted about Patch Challenges and birding in general before I left for home.

Several Mega Birds today as a result of Hurricane Gonzalo.... CHIMNEY SWIFT,  GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH and HERMIT THRUSH on the Western Isles, YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO in Cornwall, BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO and a GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH on Orkney!!!

PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
SURF SCOTER Adult Male for second day, Common Scoters x 3 at Holkham Bay.
Arctic Tern at Gorleston-on-Sea.
Snow Buntings x 9 at North Beach, Winterton.
Richard's Pipit, probable along beach towards Thornham Point.
Pomarine Skuas x 6, Grey Phalarope, Great Skuas x 91, Arctic Skuas x 8, Velvet Scoters x 5, Little Gulls x 5, Long-tailed Ducks x 2, Sooty Shearwater YESTERDAY at Holme.
Hen Harriers x 2, Great Skuas x 2 at Holme Dunes NWT.
Lesser Canada Goose, Firecrest, Yellow-browed Warbler, Whooper Swan at Holkham.
Great White Egret, Black Brant at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Breydon Water.
Common Cranes x 2 at Narborough.
Caspian Gull, Black Redstart (on Church) at Cley NWT.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Little Stints x 2, Yellow-legged Gull, Velvet Scoter at Titchwell RSPB.
Snow Bunting west of Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.
Twite x 18 at Thornham Point.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HERMIT THRUSH still, Balranald RSPB, North Uist, Western Isles.
MEGA! GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH, Barra, Western Isles.

MEGA! YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, Porthgwarra, Cornwall.
MEGA! BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO, North Ronaldsay, Orkney.
MEGA! GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH, North Ronaldsay, Orkney.
MEGA! CHIMNEY SWIFT, Butt of Lewis, Western Isles.

What a list!!!

DEREK MOORE 1943-2014

Derek Moore at The Rutland Bird Fair 2013

Very, very sad news to hear from Stephen Moss, that Derek Moore has passed away today after a long illness. A huge character and wonderful man – he will be very sadly missed by all. I enjoyed tremendously chatting to him at the Rutland Bird Fair on several occasions. He signed his book "BIRDS – Coping With An Obsession" for me last year and wrote "For Penny Gorgeous Woman Birder! Derek Moore Bird Fair 2013" which made me smile. He brought smiles to lots of people's faces.

For those of you that don't know Derek Moore, read his blog: http://derekbirdbrain.blogspot.co.uk/ – his profile reads:

"I have been birding since leaving the womb. Spent years in my native Suffolk as a volunteer holding positions like BTO Rep., County Bird Recorder, Founder Landguard Bird Observatory etc. In 1985 became Director of Suffolk Wildlife Trust, 1999 - 2001 Director of Conservation Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts and finally CEO Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales 2001-2004. Awarded OBE 1999. Now Chairman Welsh Ornithological Society."

My sincere condolences to his wife Beryl,
his children and grandchildren.
May You Rest in Peace with the Birds Derek

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Seawatching Extravaganza & 'Surfin' at Holkham!

Sheringham
Got up in the dark and arrived at Sheringham at 6.35am. I could hear the roar of the sea as soon as I got out of the car. It was high tide at 6.20am, so I knew it wouldn't get any higher. As I walked down the steps to the shelter I hesitated. Was it really safe to be walking down here? Large stones were being hurled up from the beach and smashing onto the promenade, right in front of the shelter! The noise was terrific as they hit the concrete! When I reached the bottom of the steps, I waited before walking round the corner into the shelter, to ensure I missed the next wave of stones!

The first section of the shelter was full and Baz H. had pinched MY seat (only joking.... not!) The second section was almost full and I got the last spot on the right hand side. I sat next to someone I didn't know – a man from Cambridge who later told me he had forgotten his gloves and only had shorts on under his waterproof trousers – he must have been frozen! I had leggings, trousers and waterproof trousers and certainly wasn't hot! Dave Holman, Mick Saunt (I think), Ian P. and Baz H. were in the first shelter amongst others. Pete Dolton, Phil Heath and later James McCallum were in my shelter. The UEA lads who found the recent 'bluetail' at Stiffkey arrived to bag the last shelter – I'd dunno.. .these youngsters getting up late, LOL!

As I waited for daybreak I wished I was still in bed, felt wrecked. The stones continued to smash onto the prom. but fortunately didn't make the shelter! Turnstones ran along the promenade in front of us. It was dry and sunny the entire time I was here. Suddenly birds came into view and I saw my first gannets cruising past in the breakers. It was a fabulous morning and I enjoyed the excitement as always, but it wasn't the same without Justin L. and Andy W. being here – for their general banter and who I can hear very clearly when they call birds out. I've decided we need a speaker system set up, so we can all hear each other!

The main highlights were 3 Short-eared Owls that were picked up by Dave Holman and Phil Heath and unusually 2 Little Egrets flying west at 10.20am close in along the beach! Lots of discussion on ID on some of the distant skuas as always! Someone picked up a Grey Phalarope, but I just couldn't see it.

Several gulls on the beach, a couple of Turnstones, a smart Ringed Plover and even smarter Purple Sandpiper just before I left. Several people walking along the prom staring at us all like we were animals in a zoo and several toddlers in pushchairs merrily waved at us which made me smile!

6.45am to 1.20pm
List in no particular order – birds that I saw were:

Short-eared Owls x 3
Gannets x 128
Great Skuas x 42
Arctic Skuas x 13
Skua sp. x 1
Auk sp. x 6
Pomarine Skuas x 4
Velvet Scoters x 4
Common Scoters x 4
Arctic Tern x 1
Little Gulls x 8
Sooty Shearwater x 1
Goldeneye x 1
Great Crested Grebes x 7
Red-necked Grebe x 1
Cormorants x 25
Red-breasted Merganser x 1
Red-throated Divers x 5
Little Egrets x 2
Brent Geese x 2
Knot x 3
Curlew x 2
Turnstone x 1 

I was burnt out by the afternoon and the birds had tailed off for a while, so decided to leave. Plodded back up the steps to my car. I sat and amalgamated my list and phoned through to RBA. James Mc. had told us all in the shelter, that the sea had breached again at Cley and Beach Road was closed and marshes flooded at Salthouse. I headed west.

Salthouse
The marshes were indeed flooded either side of Beach Road and wildfowl had taken up residence in the newly created pools! I only had to drive through a couple of areas of tidal water and then parked up at the end of the road. Sat and had my lunch and enjoyed some of my home-made cheese scones – I shouldn't have made these, far too moorish! There was a Heron and Little Egret feeding by the side of the road in the flood and loads of gulls were happily socialising in their new home. I was looking forward to my walk to Gramborough Hill, when the pager bleeped up at 2.58pm with "SURF SCOTER Adult Male at Holkham Bay, 2.56pm with Common Scoter". I've seen one of these before in Norfolk and hesitated for a few minutes before deciding that I would go and see this, even though I guessed it would be distant.

Holkham
Parked up at Lady Ann's Drive and begrudgingly put £3.00 in the ticket machine for a 2 hour slot. News came on the pager that the Surf Scoter had been seen this morning at Holme at 11am... so why put the news out over four and a half hours later? It wasn't any of the Holme regulars or wardens etc, I found out. Seems very odd  indeed, especially as it suddenly came on the pager an hour after the finding at Holkham. So was it being suppressed at Holme and then the person realised he/she would have go public to claim it as their find when the Holkham finding was announced? Who knows! I'll probably get a load of grief for writing this, but who cares! I congratulate whoever found the Surf Scoter at Holkham and for putting it on the pager 2 minutes after finding it.

Anyway, I headed north, straight out to Holkham Bay. As I walked out across the beach, I heard from someone else that the Surf Scoter had been seen from the path the leads out to the beach from Washington Hide. I phoned Sue and Steve G. to alert them, Phil Heath and Sue B. who were standing out by the sea and we all walked further west.

Phil Heath re-found the Surf Scoter for us all! But the views as expected were distant. It took ages to find the Common Scoter flock, never mind the Surf Scoter and even then I only had a couple of brief nano second views in the rolling troughs! Good job this bird had a white nape to pick out! A few bonxies were flying through, but I didn't bother counting them. Felt tired and cold now. Trudged back to walk back along the path from Washington Hide.

Several Blackbirds scattering, a couple of Robins and a few Goldcrests were seen. Pink-footed Geese flying in and gathering on the marshes. Just before the end of the path I watched a little party of birds! 2 Blackbirds, a Robin, 3 Blue Tits, a Great Tit and 1 Goldcrest were having a wash 'n' brush up in a leafy puddle, just yards in front of me – beautiful scene to end my day.  Back at my car I had a nice catch up and chat with Geoff and Pat who I have known for years and we reminisced about the 'good old days', as you do! Feasted on another cheese scone and drove home exhausted.

Fell asleep as soon as I got home. Wrote this blog post up and was just about to publish it when Firefox crashed and I was mortified to find that it wasn't saved. I tried for ages to try and find a way of retrieving it, but no hope! I had to type the whole post again, not happy.... technology!!!

PICTURES TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Velvet Scoter at Happisburgh.
Common Cranes x 6 at Attlebridge.
Long-tailed Skua, Pomarine Skuas x 29, Black-throated Diver, Slavonian Grebe, Long-tailed Duck, Velvet Scoters x 2, Little Gulls x 40, Great Skuas x 54, Manx Shearwaters x 2, Lapland Buntings x 2, Black Redstart (in churchyard), Twite x 15 at Cley NWT.
Glaucous or Iceland Gull and Garganey yesterday at Cley NWT.
Common Cranes x 6 at  East Dereham.
Pomarine Skuas x 20, Grey Phalarope, Sooty Shearwater, Great Skuas x 42, Arctic Skuas x 13, Little Gulls x 8, Arctic Tern, Red-necked Grebe, Purple Sandpiper, Velvet Scoters x 4, Short-eared Owls x 3 at Sheringham.
Leach's Petrel, Pomarine Skua, Great Skuas x 8, Little Gulls x 32, Velvet Scoter, Snow Buntings x 8 at Winterton.
Pomarine Skuas x 3, Great Skuas x 45, Arctic Skuas x 10, Long-tailed Ducks x 2 at Holme Dunes.
Great White Egret at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Wells Woods.
Common Cranes x 3 at Horsey.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Terrington Marsh.
Red-necked Grebe at Trimingham.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Stiffkey Campsite Wood.
SURF SCOTER Adult Male at Holkham Bay at 2.56pm with Common Scoters and then an hour later reported from Holme as being seen at 11am.
Rough-legged Buzzard (over Burnham Overy Marshes/Holkham), Red-necked Grebe, Great Skuas x 16 at Holkham Bay.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island, viewed from Waveney Forest.
Common Cranes x 12 at Stubb Mill, Hickling Broad NWT.
Red-necked Grebe at Sidestrand.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
Rough-legged Buzzard, Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire.
Red-backed Shrike still just north of Neiss Point, Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Great White Egret, Shorelarks x 3 at Benacre Broad, Suffolk.
Great White Egret, Rough-legged Buzzard at Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.
Glossy Ibis at Earith, Cambridgshire.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HERMIT THRUSH Balranald RSPB, North Uist, Western Isle, Scotland.

MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN Cape Cornwall, Cornwall.

Bird Guides Review of the Week 15th to 21st October!

http://www.birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=4671

RBA Weekly Round-up 15th to 21st October!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2014-42.aspx?s_id=782287518

New Norfolk Bird Recorder!

From 1st January 2015 Chris Allen will be taking over from Dave and Jacquie Bridges as bird recorder for Norfolk.
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?p=3098147#post3098147

Norfolk Bird & Mammal Report 2013!

Now Available!!!
http://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=3097833&postcount=23498

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Hair, Shoes & Rolling Seas at Cley!

A very productive day! Lashing down with rain this morning and strong winds but the sun did come out a couple of times. In Hairdressers for most of the morning. Looked for walking shoes in King's Lynn, but either couldn't find any I liked or they hadn't got my size. Changed my dodgy, leaking kettle (still under guarantee) at Tescos for a nice shiny new one – I don't have a lot of luck with kettles – not made like they were in the old days! Went home, quick lunch and out again to Holt. Went into Siddalls shoe shop in the high street where I found a very expensive pair of walking trainers, but again not in my size! Walked into Morston Town and Country Clothing Store and tried on a pair of Grisport Women's Dartmoor Hiking Shoes which I immediately fell in love with – made in Italy and felt instantly comfortable (with my new insole) and looked a very sturdy, strong shoe, suitable for walking to Blakeney Point! Plus they were loads cheaper than others I had been trying on today! They sold Northface boots/shoes in here too which I am a big fan of, but the traditional leather shoe won me over. Very happy with these and lots of good reviews on Amazon I noticed this evening.

Now for some birding!

It was sunny with dark clouds and the winds remained strong. Went to Walsey Hills NOA where I didn't see a single bird. A birder who had just come out as I walked in there, had only seen a goldcrest. Went to Cley churchyard as the pager informed me there was a Black Redstart in there. I eventually found it by a green shed, where it then flew up onto the church roof at 5.15pm. I only managed a distant record shot. I spent a little while trying to get closer views and pictures, but couldn't find this pretty little bird again.

Whizzed up to coastguards, Cley. As I drove along Beach Road, the waves were rolling above the horizon!!! The sea looked fearsome! Parked up on the beach car park to find Eddie, Mark G. and Andy J. sea-watching along with a couple of other birders. In the short time that I was here, I managed to see 3 Arctic Skuas fairly close in, heading east. The others had seen Bonxies, Little Gulls, Kittiwakes and Pomarine Skuas, but can't remember how many. The winds were still west, but supposed to be North West at some point this evening and then all day tomorrow. It was thought with the sea as it was and before it changes to NW, that the carpark could well be shut in the morning because of flooding. Its just so exhilarating when the waves are this big. I crunched over the shingle to stand next to the waves and took a video – the roaring noise of the sea was almost deafening and it was a job to stand up. Walked back to my car and had a coffee – the car was rocking in the wind! Drove home, made some cheese scones and got ready for tomorrow's big bird day!

Video and pictures to be added

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Firecrest at Holkham.
Great White Egret at Felbrigg Park.
Little Gulls x 11, Velvet Scoter at Winterton.
Pomarine Skuas x 7, Great Skuas x 24, Little Gulls x 51, Purple Sandpiper at Sheringham.
Rough-legged Buzzard yesterday at Hickling.
Grey Phalarope, Little Stint at North Scrape, Cley NWT.
Black Redstart at Cley Churchyard.
Pomarine Skuas x 2, Arctic Skuas x 3, Great Skuas x 3 at Cley.
Grey Phalarope at Titchwell RSPB.
Shorelark at Thornham Point.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
Great White Egret at Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.
Red-backed Shrike still just north of Neiss Point, Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Great White Egret at Fen Drayton RSPB, Cambridgeshire.
Leach's Petrel at Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire, then eaten by Herring Gull.
Pomarine Skuas x 2, Great Phalarope, Great Skuas x 5, Arctic Terns x 2 at Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Pomarine Skua, Great Phalaropes x 3, Great Northern Diver, Spoonbill at Gibraltar Point NNR.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BRIDLED TERN flew west at 9.45am past Pendeen Watch, Cornwall.

Achilles Tendinopathy

I didn't go birding on Monday, loads of things needed sorting, the main one being my Achilles Tendinopathy which I have self-diagnosed. Someone I know who read my blog yesterday, very kindly emailed me with advice on how to manage this painful condition, for which I am very grateful. I needed a 'heel aligning insole'. After much research on the net I purchased from Boots the chemist (the late opening store on Hardwick Ind. Est) this evening a pair of "Scholl Orthaheel Sports Orthotic" http://www.boots.com/en/Orthaheel-Sports-Small-Size-5-6-5-1-pair_9203/ and carefully cut these to fit my 'Northface' trainers.

I could have gone down the podiatrist route, but found out today that the waiting list to see one via my GP or my work physio is 3 months! You would have thought the route would have been quicker through work, but this is not the case! I will still request to see one as this is obviously a free service, but meanwhile I need to manage this myself. I have all the exercises that my work physio gave me for my recent ligament damage and these are the same exercises I need for this condition, so that's ok. Hopefully these new insoles will help, trying them on feels good anyway.

I have realised that you simply can not wear walking boots of any description. Anything against the back of the ankle is torture, however comfortable your boot is and mine are (normally). The only low cut trainers I have for walking are my summer 'Northface' ones which are brilliant, but not really sturdy enough for winter, plus they are really old now and don't stay dry anymore. So now on the look out for heavenly winter walking shoes/trainers.

Looking back, my treks out to East Hills are probably to blame, combined with me being overweight (being honest): jumping over creeks to get out there and removal of my size 4 wellingtons at the end. I bought them half a size smaller purposely, so that they wouldn't come off in the mud, which worked, but were agony to remove at the finish!

Those 'Le Chameau' wellies cost a bomb too, anyone want to buy them? If you are interested, they are a size bigger than your normal size, I am normally size five and a half. So these are the right size for someone who is a UK size 5 – email me at pennyclarke@dsl.pipex.com if interested.

Re-scheduled my hair appointment for Tuesday morning, as I realised I could be driving home from sea-watching on Wednesday when my appointment at 6pm was!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Hurricane Gonzalo Heading Our Way!!!

Its really calm here this evening. Calm before the storm!

Sea-watching on the cards for possibly Tuesday afternoon and most certainly on Wednesday!

Mega's to be found on Thursday!!!

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/20/hurricane-gonzalo-hit-uk-overnight-up-to-75mph-winds

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2635167#extra-uk-content

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Rough-leggged Buzzard flew west over Holme NOA and then south over Old Hunstanton.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at Holt Country Park.
Yellow-browed Warbler in garden at East Dereham.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Shorelark, Pomarine Skua at Titchwell RSPB.
PALLAS'S WARBLER rear of Snipe's Marsh, Grey Phalarope on Northscrape, Spoonbill, Caspian Gull, Yellow-legged Gulls x 9 at Cley.
Hen Harrier at Thornham Marsh.
Water Pipit, Ring Ouzels x 2 at Horsey Mere.
Great White Egret at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Great White Egret at Waveney Forest.
Velvet Scoter at Winterton.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Beeston Common, Sheringham.
Great Grey Shrike at Snettisham RSPB.
Great White Egret at Lynn Point, King's Lynn.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Holkham.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Wells Woods.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
Rough-legged Buzzard, Yellow-browed Warbler, Hen Harrier, Spoonbill at Gibraltar Point NNR, Lincolnshire.
Great White Egret, Ring Ouzels x 2 at Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.
Red-backed Shrike still just north of Neiss Point, Lowestoft, Suffolk.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN still, County Dublin, Ireland.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

NOA Annual Report 2013!

Has just been published – just received my copy of the report. Very pleased that three of my photographs were selected: Black Redstart and Turtle Dove taken at Holme and a Four-spotted Chaser at Walsey Hills.

If you are not an NOA member, the report is £5.00 and obtainable from Holme Bird Observatory and I believe Walsey Hills. See the website here: http://www.noa.org.uk/

Link to my Black Redstart, Turtle Dove and Four-spotted Chaser.

Penduline Tit at Titchwell RSPB & Holme Reserves!

Titchwell RSPB
I was up early and arrived at Titchwell RSPB at 7.30am. Bumped into Trevor Girling in the carpark who was a few steps ahead of me! I made a beeline for the main path and joined a small crowd of birders including Warden Paul Eele. All eyes were fixed intently on the reed mace that runs alongside the path out to Parrinder hide. Apparently, the Penduline Tit that was found last night had been seen just in front of where we stood, along with a Stonechat! We watched and waited. It would be a awesome view if it appeared here! Shortly, the Stonechat appeared – now for it's partner in crime. Time ticked by, the sun broke out through the clouds and this made viewing more difficult. Trevor Girling spotted a Reed Warbler skulking about, which I tried to photograph, but in vain. A Wren and a Reed Bunting got us excited until they revealed themselves fully and the Stonechat acted Penduline Tit like, hanging onto reedmace, just to raise the blood pressure every now and again! Hundreds of Chaffinches and Starlings flying west. 2 Snow Buntings also flew west over the path. Cetti's Warbler calling and also saw one by Island Hide and a Marsh Harrier glided over the pools. I scanned the reed mace over and over again with bins and scope, searching and hoping. I stuck it out until 10am and then gave up! I didn't want to watch reed mace ALL day long!

Eddie had seen 3 Yellow-browed Warblers round the Meadow Trail and then sat watching the reed mace just south of Island Hide – nothing. I joined Eddie and we both walked round the Meadow Trail, where I had a full on, but brief view of a Yellow-browed Warbler in a sallow, but not enough time to take a picture. Chatted with three Norfolk birders on route back to the cafe and then sat and had a coffee before we left. Eddie then joined me for the rest of the afternoon.

Holme Marsh Reserve NWT
Little Grebe, several Redwings flying through and starling flocks. 2 Marsh Harriers over the marsh and 3 Snipe flew over.

Holme Dunes NWT – The Firs
Lunch in the new cafe. I was very impressed – the jacket potatoes were much nicer (or so it seemed) than the ones at Cley – maybe it was just my imagination! So, I had jacket potato with cheese and a salad. I didn't give into cake though – that was pushing the purse strings too far! News of a Long-eared Owl at Walsey Hills came on the pager and I heard that there were loads of people there with cars all along the main road and people were queueing to see the LEO sitting in a hedge. I would like to have gone to see this obviously, but didn't want to drive all that way for one bird at the end of the day, especially when I have seen several before!

Holme NOA
Chatted with Sophie for a short while and looked at the new Annual Report for 2013 (see separate post). Sophie didn't think the NW winds on Tuesday/Wednesday would come to much, but mentioned there could be a window of opportunity for rares to drop in the following weekend. Sophie said there were 3 Wheatears along the Thornham Bank today, but not too much else around of note.

Holme NWT – The Forestry
At least half a dozen magpies in here, a couple of Robins and a single Goldcrest was all we managed to see here.

Eddie left to return to Titchwell and I went to visit my parents. Whilst there, the pager bleeped up with Penduline Tit again at 4.45pm!!! Eddie was here around this time and he didn't see or hear anyone that had seen it, so don't know how many people saw it at this time and who etc.

PICTURES TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
PALLAS'S WARBLER, Long-eared Owl, Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at Walsey Hills NOA.
PENDULINE TIT 4.45pm only, Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Lapland Buntings x 2, Snow Buntings x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at Trimingham Churchard.
Great White Egret, Lapland Bunting at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Grey Phalarope on Eye Pool at Cley NWT.
PALLAS'S WARBLER, Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Firecrest, Rough-legged Buzzard at Holkham.
Ring Ouzel at Hopton-on-Sea.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Horsey Mere.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Waxham.
Ring Ouzel, Redstart, Woodlark inland of River Hun at Golfcourse, Hunstanton.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Salthouse.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Stiffkey Fen.
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Morston.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Beeston Common, Sheringham.
Common Cranes x 6 flew in off sea at Kelling and then flew NE.
Grey Phalarope, Common Cranes x 6 at Happisburgh.
Lapland Buntings x 2 at Holme.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Wells Woods.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
Grey Phalaropes x 12, Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Hen Harrier, Yellow-browed Warbler at Gibraltar Point NNR, Lincolnshire.
Glossy Ibis at Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.
Red-backed Shrike still just north of Neiss Point, Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Swift at Aldringham, Suffolk.
Great White Egret at Wicken Fen NT, Cambridgshire.
Pectoral Sandpipers x 2 at Burwell Fen, Cambridgshire.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN, County Dublin, Ireland.

MEGA! SNOWY OWL, yesterday at Camster, Highland, Scotland.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

The Party's Over!

Bad night's sleep, got up late. Didn't miss the Isabeline Shrike, as it did the usual Friday Night Bunk and had disappeared, much to the disappointment of the all the birders who were at work this week!

A very disappointing day, most things cleared out! Windy, but incredibly warm – too hot to be wearing a coat really!

King's Lynn's Hardwick Cemetery
I decided to start off birding at the Hardwick Cemetery which is somewhere no one else goes birding as far as I know, to find myself a Siberian Thrush (I wish). It was spitting with rain at this point. Very dodgy birding in here alone and with binoculars (similar to Great Yarmouth Cemetery!). Kept camera hidden in bag. It's so beautiful in here and has so much potential, with very mature trees including sycamore, oak, holly, fir and a fabulous mix of vegetation and bushes. Managed to see a few Robins, 3 Blackbirds, 2 Jays, 2 Magpies and a Green Woodpecker. Left here and went to 'Norfolk Country Clothing' on Hardwick Industrial Estate and bought a pair of Sealskinz waterproof socks and some Toggi walking socks.

Garden Drove, Warham
My ankle was in agony – not from my ligament damage/sprain, but from what I think is Achilles tendinopathy, I could hardly walk along the track it was that bad. I find that wearing walking boots makes it worse, I need to wear trainers tomorrow. Very few birds seen here, but tit flock with around half a dozen goldcrests, 1 Redwing, a couple of Blackbirds, a few Robins and a Common Buzzard. Walked back to my car and John F. arrived, who also then went to search for birds. Took 2 paracetamol and 2 ibuprofen which didn't make any difference to my pain whatsoever!

Stiffkey Campsite
Walked up to the campsite wood and found a tit flock with chaffinches mixed in – flushed a Robin and Blackbird in the end copse (where the Red-flanked Bluetail was this week). Nothing else of note. I was then going to walk east to the whirligig, just in case the Isabelline Shrike had decided to appear again and to try and see a Rough-legged Buzzard, when Eddie rang me to say he had found a Pallas's Warbler (with others) at the back of Walsey Hills NOA/Snipe's marsh.

Walsey Hills NOA/Snipe's Marsh
Joined a few of the locals to wait and hope, but no sign. Saw both male and female Bullfinch, a female Blackcap, Blue Tit, Great Tit and a Redwing, but nothing more. No sign of any YBW's. News of a Penduline Tit at Titchwell RSPB bleeped up in the pager! Too late to get there now! Later found out that this was found by young birder Craig Reed and has a picture too on twitter! Congratulations to him!

Coastguards, Cley
Lovely views of the Grey Phalarope in the Eye Pool as the sun was setting. Pager bleeped up with 'Pallas's Warbler again at Snipe's Marsh' – Bother!!! No sign of the Snow Bunting on the beach, but did find a nice Wheatear. Drove home feeling very glum and fed-up.

I heard some awful things today about this week's twitches in Norfolk including someone losing their rag and getting hold of someone just because that 'someone' had asked them not to walk and stand in front of them – unacceptable, completely out of order and very sad. Also behaviour at the Stiffkey 'bluetail' was also unacceptable.

On a happier note, the winds from the tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo look awesome for Tuesday/Wednesday AND its north west, so at least some seawatching will be on the cards for next week! See discussion about this HERE.

Let the next Party begin!

One picture to be added!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
PALLAS'S WARBLER, Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Firecrest at Walsey Hills NOA.
Great White Egret, Spoonbill at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Great White Egret at Waveney Forest.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Yellow-browed Warbler south of whirligig at Warham Greens.
Grey Phalarope on Eye Pool, Snow Bunting on beach, Shorelark and Lapland Buntings x 2 flew west, Little Stints x 2 on Simmond's Scrape at Cley NWT.
Short-eared Owl at Hemsby.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Rough-legged Buzzard at Stiffkey.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Stiffkey Fen.
Rough-legged Buzzard NNE of Wells flew west at East Hills.
PALLAS'S WARBLER by Shangri-la Cottage, Lapland Bunting at Waxham.
Little Gulls x 2, Great Skua x 2, Velvet Scoters x 2, Purple Sandpiper at Horsey.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Holkham.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Surlingham.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Brancaster.
Ring Ouzel at Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
Lapland Buntings x 2, Little Stint at Gore Point, Holme.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 in village, 1 at entrance to NOA, Holme.
PALLAS'S WARBLER, Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Firecrests x 2 at Holkham.
PENDULINE TIT, Yellow-browed Warbler at Titchwell RSPB.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Wells Woods.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Spoonbill, Curlew Sandpiper at Breydon Water.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Muckleburgh Hill.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 3 at Ringstead Downs NWT.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
Glossy Ibis at Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire.
Grey Phalaropes x 15, Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Red-necked Grebe, Arctic Skua, Little Gulls x 9, Velvet Scoter, Black Redstart at Gibraltar Point NNR, Lincolnshire.
Red-backed Shrike still just north of Neiss Point, Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Great Grey Shrike, Ring Ouzels x 2 at Landguard Nature Reserve, Suffolk.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Great White Egret, Firecrest, Ring Ouzels x 2 at Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.
Great White Egrets x 2 at Wicken Fen NT, Cambridgshire.
Pectoral Sandpiper at Burwell Fen, Cambridgshire.
Great White Egret at Fen Drayton RSPB, Cambridgshire.

MEGA NEWS!
None.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Hot Birding Starts Here!

At last the week has ended! The longest week EVER! The winds have turned South West and the list has shortened today, however there are still birds to be seen and hopefully more to arrive. Can't wait to get out there! Did I mention I had NINE days off!!! I'm so eager to get out there that I have cancelled my hair appointment tomorrow! Managed to get an evening appt. this coming Wednesday instead.

My mother phoned me this evening to say she had loads of birds in the pond area opposite her house around 3.30pm, including Redwings, Blackbirds, Robins, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps all coming down to bathe! She also had a possible Bluethroat which promptly disappeared!

Weather for the Weekend
http://www.xcweather.co.uk/forecast/cley_next_sea
http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2652856
Saturday
Generally rather cloudy and breezy with rain or drizzle at times and a continuing risk of a sharp shower but some brighter spells possible, especially in the east. South/South West winds all day.

Sunday
Sunday, early sharp showers then sunny spells, isolated showers and still quite warm despite the breeze. South West winds all day.

High Tides – Wells Bar
Saturday – 2.31 and 15.24  Sunday – 3.37 and 16.24

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Grey Phalarope on Eye Pool, Beach Road, Little Stint, Jack Snipe, Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at Cley NWT.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at Walsey Hills NOA.
Lapland Buntings x 2, Rough-legged Buzzard at Salthouse.
Great Grey Shrike in paddocks, Shorelarks x 2 on Beach, Holme NWT.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Pomarine Skua, Short-eared Owl, Water Pipit, Spotted Redshank at Holme NOA.
ISABELLINE SHRIKE, Yellow-browed Warbler, Ring Ouzel near the Whirligig at Warham Greens.
Great Grey Shrike at Roydon Common.
Yellow-browed Warbler in Campsite Wood, Stiffkey.
Red-backed Shrike still in paddocks north of Station Close, West Runton.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Sidestrand.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Fulcher Avenue, Cromer.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 3, Lesser Whitethroat (possibly of an eastern form), Rough-legged Buzzard at Wells Woods.
Red-throated diver in Wells Harbour.
PALLAS'S WARBLER, Yellow-browed Warblers x 5, Siberian Chiffchaff, Lesser Whitethroat (possibly of an eastern form), Rough-legged Buzzard at Holkham.
Great White Egret at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Brancaster Staithe.
Short-eared Owl at North Denes, Great Yarmouth.
PALLAS'S WARBLER, Yellow-browed Warbler, Short-eared Owl at Titchwell RSPB.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 reported over Kelling Heath.
Honey Buzzard at Winterton.
Yellow-browed Warbler at cliff top wood, Trimingham.
Twite x 3 at Happisburgh.
Red-breasted Flycatcher, Yellow-browed Warbler x 3, Balearic Shearwater, Sooty Shearwaters x 2, Long-tailed Ducks x 2, Velvet Scoters x 2 "recently" at Sea Palling. (tweeted news!)
PENDULINE TIT, unconfirmed report at Fen Hide, Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
Great Grey Shrike, Yellow-browed Warblers x 3, Black Redstarts x 2, Hen Harrier, Jack Snipe, Spoonbill, Rough-legged Buzzard at Gibraltar Point NNR, Lincolnshire.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.
Red-backed Shrike still just north of Neiss Point, Lowestoft, Suffolk.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! SNOWY OWL near Ben Macdui, Aberdeen, Scotland.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Getting Ready for My Holiday!

I got home from work and fell asleep until 9.30pm! Going out birding after work and typing up hours and hours worth of bird news has taken its toll!!! I didn't see the point in going to Stiffkey again this evening, wasting fuel, time and with a very good chance of dipping on the Isabelline Shrike a second night running, so gave it a miss and had a night in.

As Phil Andrews on Birdforum said this evening, "Hopefully the mega is doing the decent thing and keeping low until the weekend" Let's hope so!!!

No. 13 in the Fatbirder "Birding Top 1000" today, thanks everyone!

ONE DAY TO GO AND THEN NINE DAYS OFF!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'

Not quite so crazy as the last three days thank goodness, for me typing it all up!
PALLAS'S WARBLER, Yellow-browed Warbler in carpark, Grey Grey Shrike (in paddocks behind houses), Yellow-browed Warbler at Holme Dunes NWT.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Thornham Point.
ISABELLINE SHRIKE (elusive), Great Grey Shrikes x 2, Ring Ouzels x 3 near the Whirligig, Shorelarks x 4 (north of Whirligig on mud east of creek, Lapland Buntings x 2, Short-eared Owl at Warham Greens.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 4 at Campsite Wood, Stiffkey.
Rough-legged Buzzard flew over Stiffkey.
Green-winged Teal south of A149 on flood by roadworks, Stiffkey.
STEPPE GREY SHRIKE still at Burnham Norton!
Lapland Buntings x 2, Snow Buntings x 6 at Salthouse.
Great Grey Shrike, Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at Walsey Hills NOA.
Great White Egret, Rough-legged Buzzard on Holkham freshmarsh.
PALLAS'S WARBLERS x 2, Wood Warbler, Yellow-browed Warblers x 4, Firecrest, Tree Pipit at Holkham Pines.
Ring Ouzels x 3, Great White Egret at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Ring Ouzels x 2 at Winterton Dunes.
OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT still, Yellow-browed Warbler still at Wells Woods.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Lapland Bunting, Twite x 2 at Happisburgh.
Common Cranes x 4 flew SW over Hempton.
Yellow-browed Warbler in garden at Sheringham.
NORTHERN TREECREEPER, PALLAS'S WARBLER, Yellow-browed Warbler at Muckleburgh Hill, Weybourne.
PALLAS'S WARBLERS x 2, Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Ring Ouzels x 2 at East Hills, Wells.
Grey Phalarope on Eye Pool, Twite x 3 (east of), beach carpark, Cley.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Thurne.
Red-backed Shrike still in paddocks north of Station Close, West Runton.
Spoonbill, Spotted Redshanks x 2, Firecrest at Breydon Water.
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Friary Hills NT, Blakeney.
Barred Warbler on cliff face, Cromer.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Firecrest, Tree Pipit at Waxham.
Great Grey Shrike at Roydon Common.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT (yesterday), Great Grey Shrike, Ring Ouzels x 4, Hen Harrier, Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Spoonbill, Black Redstart, Jack Snipe at Gibraltar Point NNR, Lincolnshire.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Great White Egret at Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.
Red-backed Shrike still just north of Neiss Point, Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Pectoral Sandpipers x 2 at Wicken Fen NT, Cambridgeshire.
Pectoral Sandpipers x 2 at Burwell Fen, Cambridgeshire.
Glossy Ibis at Ouse Washes RSPB, Cambridgeshire.

MEGA NEWS!
None.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

MEGA! SIBERIAN THRUSH!!!

9th for Britain – First Winter Female, Trapped and bearing Norwegian ring, released in large wooded garden on NE side at Scousburgh at 6.30pm, Shetland.

Pictures HERE, same picture & info HERE & also HERE
Discussion HERE

From Twitter
http://tranatrampers.blogspot.no/2014/09/trntrampen-2014.html

http://artsobservasjoner.no/artportalen/gallery/Image.aspx?rappsyst=1&obsid=14000245&imageID=451093

ISABELLINE SHRIKE TWITCH!!!

DIPPED!!!
I was going home to collapse with exhaustion after work, but news on the pager of an ISABELLINE SHRIKE at Stiffkey had me flying up the road. Lorries, tractors, bl**dy horse boxes and all kinds in the way on route! Pager message when I had got as far as Wells said 'no further sign'. I carried on anyway as it could show again. As I drove along Greenway, there were several smiley birders in the carpark who had seen the shrike and several glum faced birders walking back who hadn't seen it! Even Eddie didn't make it in time, so I had no hope whatsoever! Shrike gone to roost most probably was the general consensus. As Eddie said, if it had been sunny, it would more than probably still be showing, but the weather was cloudy and dull. Passed LGRE and several Norfolk birders along the path as I sped up to the whirligig in hope that it showed again. Stood at the whirligig with Eddie, Andy J. and Phil and all I saw were a few Robins and Blackbirds in failing light. Think I will go to roost until Saturday! Walking back to the carpark with my torch I spotted a bird roosting in a tall pine tree – looked like a woodpigeon – how exciting, not! Two days to go.

Wish I had seen what the large thrush was last night at Holme in the NWT Forestry..... Siberian Thrush maybe! Who knows, another one that got away!

Lots of lovely posts on the Norfolk thread on Birdforum including info that the Isabelline Shrike had been at Stiffkey yesterday!!! Was photographed and was thought it was a Red-backed Shrike! Now.... if news of that 'Red-backed Shrike' had gone out at the time, then birders would have gone to see it and news of a Isabelline Shrike would have been out yesterday!

Another Isabelline Shrike was discovered at Kilnsea, Yorkshire today.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'

Day 3 of Cracking Birds!!!
STEPPE GREY SHRIKE still, Great Grey Shrike, Lapland Buntings x 2 at Burnham Norton!
Hawfinch at Aylmerton.
PALLAS'S WARBLER still by toilet block at Holme Dunes NWT
(does this mean by the public toilets at the end of Beach road does anyone please know or toilets by NWT Firs house?)
Great Grey Shrike in paddock Holme Dunes NWT, Yellow-browed Warbler by toilet block, Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 in NWT carpark, Lapland Bunting flew SE, Siberian Chiffchaff in caravan park at Holme.
PALLAS'S WARBLERS x 2 at Holme Dunes NWT
PALLAS'S WARBLER trapped and ringed at Holme NOA.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 4, Short-eared Owls x 3, Velvet Scoters x 3 at Holme.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Firecrests x 3 in garden at Salthouse.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Waxwing, Ring Ouzel at Walsey Hills NOA.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Ring Ouzel, Redstart, Black Redstart, Firecrest at Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
Waxwings x 3, Bittern by East Bank, Great Skuas x 6 at Cley NWT.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 5, Ring Ouzel, Redstart, Jack Snipe, Purple Sandpipers x 2 at Winterton.
OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT still, RADDE'S WARBLER still, PALLAS'S WARBLER, Yellow-browed Warblers x 3 at Wells Woods.
DUSKY WARBLER, PALLAS'S WARBLER, Yellow-browed Warbler at East Hills, Wells.
Great Grey Shrike, Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at Campsite Wood, Lapland Buntings x 2, Richard's Pipit at Stiffkey.
MEGA! ISABELLINE SHRIKE near the 'whirligig', Great Grey Shrike at Stiffkey.
LITTLE BUNTING Probable along coast path opposite Garden Drove, Warham Greens.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 3, Rough-legged Buzzard, Shorelarks x 2, Lapland Bunting, Short-eared Owl, Grey Phalarope, Velvet Scoters x 3 at Titchwell RSPB.
Yellow-browed Warbler west of boardwalk, Great White Egret at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Great Grey Shrike on concrete building on saltmarsh at Thornham and Grey Phalarope at Thornham Point.
Wood Warbler, Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 by cross tracks, west end of Holkham Pines & another YBW half a mile west of Lady Ann's Drive.
Shorelark on beach at Holkham.
Spoonbill at Breydon Water.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at Muckleburgh Hill.
Siberian Chiffchaff, Lapland Buntings x 2, White-fronted Geese x 7 (flew NE) at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.
Woodlark at Sheringham.
Short-eared Owls x 2, Great Northern Diver at Weybourne.
PALLAS'S WARBLER at Kelling Water Meadows.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
Loads of migrants in Suffolk, Lincolnshire and Cambridgshire, similar to Norfolk, too many to type, but main highlights were:
RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL reported, Great Grey Shrike at Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire.
RADDE'S WARBLER, Great Grey Shrikes x 2, Yellow-browed Warblers x 6, Black Redstarts x 2, Ring Ouzels x 40, Shorelark, Rough-legged Buzzard, Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owls x 2, Lapland Bunting at Gibraltar Point NNR, Lincolnshire.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! SIBERIAN THRUSH at Scousburgh, Shetland.
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN, County Dublin, Ireland.
MEGA! SNOWY OWL, Thurso, Scotland. 

RBA Weekly Round-up 8th-14th October!

By Jon Dunn
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2014-41.aspx
Thanks to the RBA team for including my Great White Egret photograph in their review. Also thanks to Brian Egan for my new banner!

Birdguides Review of the Week 8th-14th October!

http://www.birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=4661
Thanks to the Birdguides team for including my Steppe Grey Shrike and Great White Egret photographs in their review.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Holme NWT After Work!

Thousands of birds in Norfolk again today. Just imagine how many more would be found if it was the weekend!!! Goodness knows what's still undiscovered out there! Devastated to be at work this week, absolutely devastated! No time to get to coast before work and by the time I have got through the traffic at night I end up with half an hour on the coast before dusk.

Went slightly further this evening and decided to blitz Holme NWT Forestry after hours (REBEL!) Riddled with Goldcrests and Robins in the failing light, Blackbirds and a few Song Thrushes. Managed to flush a fabulous Short-eared Owl at 6.15pm. Also spotted a big Thrush sp. that got away, no doubt someone will find that tomorrow – White's Thrush I expect!

There are far too many hours and days until Saturday when I have a week off – seems to be westerlies next week – not good! If someone can lift my spirits to tell me next week is going to be awesome, please tell me! Just read some very interesting predictions about next week HERE – cheered up no end now!

I can't believe the massive numbers of migrants dropping into our county over the last couple of days and more tomorrow!

105 Ring Ouzels on Blakeney Point, yesterday!!!! That must be a record surely?

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'

ANOTHER AWESOME DAY!!! 
Yellow-browed Warbler at Cromer.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Walsey Hills NOA.
White Stork at Great Yarmouth.
STEPPE GREY SHRIKE still with Great Grey Shrike & Red-backed Shrike at Burnham Norton!
Firecrest at Waxham
Eastern Common Tern (possible) at Salthouse.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at Bard Hill, Salthouse Heath.
Richard's Pipit, Yellow-browed Warbler at Sowbury Hill, Salthouse.
RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL, Long-eared Owl, Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Redstart, Lapland Bunting at Campsite Wood, Great Great Shrike at Stiffkey.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Stiffkey Fen.
Ring Ouzel at Norwich.
LITTLE BUNTING east of whirligig at Warham Greens.
Yellow-browed Warbler in copse at end of Garden Drove, Black Redstart at Warham Greens.
OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT, RADDE'S WARBLER, Yellow-browed Warblers x 8, Ring Ouzels x 2, Short-eared Owl at Wells Woods.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Grey Phalarope, Pomarine Skua, Slavonian Grebe, Little Stint, Long-tailed Ducks x 5 at Titchwell RSPB.
RADDE'S WARBLER (Gun Hill), Great Grey Shrike, Great White Egret, Ring Ouzels x 2, Lapland Buntings x 4, Yellow-browed Warbler, Short-eared Owl at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Red-necked Grebe, Velvet Scoter x 9, Little Gulls x 29, Great Skuas x 11, Arctic Skuas x 6, Short-eared Owl at Hunstanton.
Short-eared Owl at Cromer.
Black Redstart at Norwich.
Great Grey Shrike at Cley NWT, Grey Phalaropes x 2, Pomarine Skuas x 2, Great Skuas x 45, Arctic Skuas x 7, Long-tailed Ducks x 2, Little Gulls x 800, Short-eared Owl flew past beach carpark, Cley.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Bayfield Hall.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at Brancaster Staithe.
Spoonbills, Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Breydon Water.
PALLAS'S WARBLER, Great Grey Shrike, Long-eared Owls x 2, Short-eared Owls x 4 at Scolt Head Island NNR
Great Grey Shrike, Richard's Pipit, Shorelark, Yellow-browed Warbler, Lapland Buntings x 2, Short-eared Owls x 2, Long-eared Owl, Redstart, Purple Sandpiper at Blakeney Point.
Ring Ouzel, Woodlark at North Beach, Great Yarmouth.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Angles Lane, Burnham Market.
PALLAS'S WARBLER, Siberian Chiffchaff, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Yellow-browed Warblers x 8, Ring Ouzels x 5, Redstarts x 2, Short-eared Owls x 4, Velvet Scoters x 9, Spotted Redshank at Holme Dunes NWT.
Twite x 2 at Thornham.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Gorleston-on-Sea.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Firecrest, Redstart, Lapland Buntings x 2, Ring Ouzel, Short-eared Owl at Winterton.
PALLAS'S WARBLER, Yellow-browed Warblers x 5, Twite x 2, Short-eared Owl at Happisburgh.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at Kelling Heath.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 3, Firecrest, Short-eared Owl at Waxham.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Holkham Pines.
RADDE'S WARBLER east of Beach Road at Brancaster.
RADDE'S WARBLER, PALLAS'S WARBLER, Yellow-browed Warblers x 3 at Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Black Redstart at Back Lane, Great Yarmouth.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Ring Ouzels x 3 at Bure Park, Great Yarmouth.
Common Crane at Roydon Common NWT.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Firecrest, Little Gulls x 70 at Horsey.
Long-eared Owl at Beeston Bump, Sheringham.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Beeston Common, Sheringham.
Short-eared Owls x 4, Red-necked Grebe, Little Gulls x 335, Great Skuas x 39, Arctic Skuas x 2, Manx Shearwaters x 3 at Sheringham.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at Cliff Top Wood, Trimingham.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Holkham Pines.
Pied Flycatcher in churchard at Burnham Deepdale.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 3, Lapland Bunting, Ring Ouzels x 2, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owls x 9, Jack Snipe at East Hills, Wells.
Ring Ouzel at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More! 
Loads of migrants in Suffolk, Lincolnshire and Cambridgshire, similar to Norfolk, too many to type, but main highlights were: 
RADDE'S WARBLER, ARCTIC WARBLER at Donna Nook, Lincolnshire.
Great Grey Shrike, Glossy Ibis, Ring Ouzels x 2 at Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire.
RADDE'S WARBLER at Gibraltar Point NNR, Lincolnshire.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! SOLITARY SANDPIPER still, County Wexford, Ireland.

Monday, 13 October 2014

RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL at Warham!!!

RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL
Found and photographed at Garden Drove, Warham by John Furse!
CONGRATULATIONS!

Dripping with Birds in Norfolk!!!

"Its all kicked off with stacks of birds" was a text I received at work this afternoon from a birder out in the field!!! So frustrating to be at work when its like this! I have next week off, I really hope I havn't got it wrong!!!

Rushed home after work, rushed straight out and drove to the nearest half decent place before it gets dark to Snettisham Coastal Park – got there about 5.40pm. In the pouring rain the place was alive with thrushes: blackbirds, songthrushes, redwings – also robins and hedgesparrows. Couldn't find any with a blue tail though!!! At one point I could see at least 5 robins in one small hawthorn! Several LBJ's zipping across me into cover at dusk. I WANT TOMORROW OFF!!!

Then went to Hunstanton to Tescos and Sainsburys and delivered shopping to my parents, then back to King's Lynn, filled up with diesel and got home at about 8.30pm. Phew! Just having a microwave tea and then need to type up yesterday's birding day – I knew I should have done that last night!

There are tons more birds that are not on the pager yet. Heard about 2 Great Grey Shrikes and several Ring Ouzels at Walsey Hills alone!!!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'

WHAT A DAY!!!
STEPPE GREY SHRIKE still at Burnham Norton!
Little Gulls x 10 at Titchwell RSPB.
Great Skuas x 2, Arctic Skuas x 4, Little Gulls x 10 at Gorleston-on-Sea.
Great Grey Shrike flew in off sea, Jack Snipe on Golf Course at Hunstanton.
Sooty Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Great Skuas x 3, Little Gulls x 83, Velvet Scoter at Weybourne.
Spoonbill at Breydon Water.
Pomarine Skua, Great Skua x 10, Arctic Skua, Short-eared Owl at Winterton.
Yellow-browed Warbler (+ another 2 in churchyard), Ring Ouzels x 3, Whinchat, Redstart at Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
Leach's Petrel, Pomarine Skuas x 2, Sooty Shearwater, Great Skuas x 3, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl x 9, Barred Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Firecrest, Ring Ouzel at Horsey.
Black Redstarts x 2 at North Lodge Park, Cromer.
Great Grey Shrike, Siberian Chiffchaff at Walsey Hills NOA.
Great Grey Shrike just west of Sowbury Hill, Salthouse.
Red-backed Shrike 1w still at West Runton.
Grey Phalarope at Cley NWT.
Sabine's Gull, Little Auks x 3, Short-eared Owls x 2, Grey Phalaropes x 2, Black-throated Diver, Sooty Shearwaters x 18, Manx Shearwaters x 20, Little Gulls x 300, Great Skuas x 25, Red-necked Grebe, Velvet Scoter, Puffin at Cley.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Warham Greens.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Campsite Wood and Redstart, Short-eared Owl and Ring Ouzels x 8 at Stiffkey.
RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL at Garden Drove, Warham Greens (found by John Furse)
Ring Ouzel at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford.
Great Grey Shrikes x 2, Ring Ouzels x 105, Short-eared Owls x 2, Redstarts x 2 at Blakeney Point.
Great Grey Shrike (probable) by recycling bins at Thornham.
Ring Ouzel at Hopton-on-Sea.
Siberian Chiffchaff in trees leading up to cemetery at Sheringham.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Pomarine Skua, Lapland Bunting, Short-eared Owls x 6, Sooty Shearwater, Velvet Scoters x 4, Ring Ouzels x 15 at Happisburgh.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at Sidestrand.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Firecrest, Short-eared Owl, Ring Ouzel, Black Redstart at Holkham.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.
Great Skuas x 5, Little Gulls x 4, Mealy Redpoll at Holme NOA. I can't believe Holme had no other migrants reported from either NWT or NOA, surely they must have more than this!

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
MEGA! LITTLE CRAKE, Great White Egret, Yellow-browed Warbler, Firecrests x 2 at Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.
Sabine's Gull, Leach's Petrel, Pomarine Skua, Sooty Shearwaters x 3, Great Skuas x 15, Long-tailed Ducks x 3, Little Gulls x 19 at Aldeburgh, Suffolk.
Leach's Petrel at Pakefield, Suffolk.
Plus similar migrants to Norfolk all along the Suffolk coast.
Radde's Warbler, Pallas's Warblers x 2 at Donna Nook, Lincolnshire.
Ring Ouzels x 25, Yellow-browed Warbler, Long-tailed Skuas x 2, Sooty Shearwater at Gibraltar Point NNR.
Pomarine Skuas x 15, Great Skuas x 42 at Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire.
Great Skuas x 11, Little Gulls x 74, Kittiwakes x 173 flew over south over Foul Anchor, north of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! BRUNNICH'S GUILLEMOT flew north past Flamborough Head, Yorkshire.
MEGA! EASTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER still at Scalloway, Shetland.
MEGA! LITTLE CRAKE still, Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.
MEGA! SOLITARY SANDPIPER still, County Wexford, Ireland.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

STOP PRESS! MEGA! AUDOUIN'S GULL!!!

Audouin's Gull 2nd Winter at Dungeness Point, on beach by fishing boats late afternoon.

Found by Dave Walker.
Screen shot of picture via twitter. Here is the LINK

Autumn Migrants – A 'Great' Day!

GREAT WHITE EGRET
Burnham Overy Dunes


Garden Drove, Warham Greens
Arrived at the concrete pad, Garden Drove at 8.30am. It was very cold, but sunny and it was great to be out birding again. A very familiar car was parked here already.... James Mc! This famous track is just so good for birds – I don't really know why it is – maybe its because it has a real mix of trees, bushes and vegetation, its sheltered and with the copse of the end, its 'hot, hot birding'!!!

Along the track, it was alive with birds, including good numbers of Chaffinches – a male Blackcap put in a brief appearance (at the section of the track which zig zags with the fallen ivy covered trees), a male Great Spotted Woodpecker called and landed on a high sycamore branch before flying off south. A tit flock appeared with Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits and with them was a single Goldcrest. A few Blackbirds scattered as I walked along and also several Robins which I carefully checked, several hedgesparrows and one Chiffchaff! I had just reached the large sycamore tree near the end of the track when I was aware of a presence behind me! Kieran Nixon and friend John had crept up behind me. Together we heard and saw Bramblings high up in the sycamore along with some chaffinches. In the copse at the end a female Blackcap appeared in a hawthorn. I have never seen so many Wrens as I did today along this track, every LBJ that moved, blossomed into a Jenny Wren! James McCallum then joined us. Very unusual to hear the James had not seen as much as we had! I found it most interesting that we had all seen birds at different times – Kieran and John had seen 'loads of thrushes scattering' as they drove up the track, but I had seen none when I drove up a bit earlier. James had seen none of the warblers... as he said, he had probably been too early for them. We chatted briefly and then all split, James went west, Kieran and John went east and I stayed put! I spent a while here watching and trying very hard to find something really good. A couple of Jays flew over as I made my way slowly back along the track. Lots of Blackbirds scattering from the hedges and also equal numbers of Robins. I just caught a glimpse of my first Autumn Redwing which flew up the track and landed momentarily on a dead branch before flying off. Found another male and female Blackcap together. In the puddle at the end of the track by the concrete pad, Robins, Goldfinches and Hedgesparrows were coming down to drink. James caught me up and we saw a Grey Wagtail fly over and also a Common Buzzard being mobbed by corvids. More Jays flew overhead. James left to walk to one of his favourite places. Sat in my deckchair to have lunch – I had no intention of staying here as long as I did – don't where the time disappeared to! I watched a female Blackcap coming down to the puddle to bathe, 2 Meadow Pipits landed on the dead tree with 2 Pied Wagtails and also a Garden Warbler showed briefly in a hawthorn, which was a nice surprise. I drifted off and had forty winks and was woken by a very noisy Robin who was perched only a few yards from my head and looked at me as if to say wake up – it continued to serenade me until I moved! left here at 12.50pm.

Wells Woods
I drove along East Quay to stop and watch the Rose-coloured Starling garden bird feeder – remember that? The feeders were full of House Sparrows, busily feeding, chirping, socialising and bathing in the bath – love to watch these birds! Nothing else more colourful appeared though.

I would have been walking Blakeney Point this afternoon if my ankle had allowed me to, but it's not strong enough to be plunged and twisted into shingle for 10 miles! So I decided that Wells would be a safer place to search for migrants, even though I hate paying to park. Scraped together £3.00 for a 3-hour ticket and set off in search of goodies. I skulked around and covered all areas – crept down into the 'Dell' and pished, squeaked and whistled to find a 'bluetail' – there was quite a few birds in here, mostly Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits along with a few Goldcrests, a Chiffchaff and a beautiful Treecreeper. Several Jays flying over. I was surprised I didn't see or hear a YBW whilst here. Bumped into a bird touring party who suddenly realised I was the 'lady that has the website' – nice to meet you all and hope you had a fab day's birding. There wasn't much bird action outside of the Dell area and there were no birds at the drinking pool. Very poor all round compared to Garden Drove earlier on.

Wells Lifeboat Station
Re-parked the car closer to the cafe to save time – I had 15 minutes left of my parking ticket. Nipped over the seawall to check out the underwatched scrub and buckthorn next to the lifeboat station. A Blackbird flew off from underneath a buckthorn bush and next to the station itself I flushed a Wheatear! Whilst admiring the amazing view of all the waders on the mud flats between here and East Hills, I noticed there was a massive flock of Golden Plover. This reminded me of something Dawn Balmer was talking about the other day... something about counting Golden Plover.... and I turned round to see Dawn, her husband and daughter walking towards me! When I think about Red-flanked Bluetails they don't appear and walk towards me! Huge numbers of birds here including the huge flock of Golden Plover, same of Oystercatchers, Brent Geese, a Grey Plover, Redshanks, Gulls and a single Avocet. I scurried back to my car before the ticket man got me!

Stopped along the quay for chips, yummy! As I drove along the coast road, I was trying to decide if I had time to bird Burnham Overy Dunes – well at least to try and see the Great White Egret that had popped up on the pager a few times today, having been seen east of the seawall. I guessed the views of this bird would be distant out in the marsh. The sun had gone in and it was dull and grey weather for the rest of the evening.

Burnham Overy Dunes
It was now 4.15pm and was far too late to walk out here really, but I had to give it a bash, afterall I was at work tomorrow, no chance again until next Saturday when I am then on holiday for a week – can't wait! I started to walk down the track and just as I reached the stile I glanced to look along the hedgerow and the big field on my left, when I saw a huge white bird – OMG!!! There was the Great White Egret strolling along the bottom of the hedge towards me!!! I couldn't believe it – best views I have ever had of one of this monster birds! How people can mistake Little Egrets for these I will never know, the size difference is massive! Anyway it carried on walking towards me, searching for food and suddenly it spotted something.... and stabbed into the ground and caught a mole! Awesome to watch this bird – it must have clocked me, as it started to look a bit restless – I had kept still enough and was kneeling by the gate with camera balanced through the bars, but suddenly it flew off to the furthest side of the field. I don't expect I will ever get that lucky with a GWE again! Wow!
 GREAT WHITE EGRET
Burnham Overy Dunes

I continued along the seawall to the 'magic' (as Stuart White called them recently) bushes and only found a Chaffinch and a Robin here. Nothing else of note on route and no birds on the pool east of the seawall. So now I had a choice.... either Gun Hill or walk east as far as the recent 'Barred Warbler' scrub. I decided to walk east for a change. Had a look in the hollow where the RBFly was recently, nothing. Got to the scrub where the BW was and again found nothing.... but then got really excited – a LBJ bombed out of a bramble and into another. I walked up to the bramble and kept my eyes fixed – the bird appeared, it was a Robin! Saw a few Grey Partridges on the way back and a Kestrel.

Got back to my car with just enough light to still see. Drove to Ringstead to buy some sacks of sticks for my parent's fire, went to Holme, dropped sticks off and spent a while chatting to parents before returning home. A cracking day for general migrants, even though nothing mega was seen. Bird of the day was most certainly the awesome views of the Great White Egret. A 'Great' Day all round!

MORE PICTURES TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
STEPPE GREY SHRIKE still at Burnham Norton!
Pomarine Skua, Little Gulls x 20, Red-necked Grebes x 2, Slavonian Grebes x 2, Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Little Stints x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Pomarine Skua, Osprey, Slavonian Grebe, Little Gulls x 2 at Holme Dunes NWT.
Richard's Pipit flew north along dunes at Horsey.
Spoonbill at Breydon Water.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Hawfinch (flew east) at Stiffkey Campsite Wood.
Richard's Pipit at Gun Hill, Burnham Overy Dunes.
Caspian Gulls x 2 on beach by pier at Cromer.
Little Stints x 5, Wood Sandpiper at Hickling Broad NWT.
Red-backed Shrike at West Runton.
PENDULINE TIT heard only, yesterday & 8am today, Jack Snipe at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Jack Snipes x 2 at Kelling Water Meadows.
Firecrest at Holkham Pines.
Great White Egret at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at Happisburgh.
Grey Phalarope at Thornham Point.
Osprey at Lenwade.
Pomarine Skua, Little Gulls x 76, Snow Bunting at Horsey.
Lapland Bunting at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.
Little Gulls x 3 at Old Hunstanton.
Caspian Gull at Sidestrand.
RADDE'S WARBLER (YESTERDAY) at Sea Palling

News of an escaped Californian Quail has surfaced! The bird has been seen and photographed at Holkham. Dave Appleton has some fabulous photos of this bird HERE

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
MEGA! LITTLE CRAKE, Great White Egret at Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.
Red-backed Shrike just north of Ness Point at Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Arctic Warbler, Radde's Warbler at Donna Nook, Lincolnshire.
Grey Phalarope at Freiston Shore RSPB, Lincolnshire.
Great White Egrets x 2 at Upware, Cambridgeshire.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! AUDOUIN'S GULL 2w at Dungeness Point.
MEGA! SOLITARY SANDPIPER still, County Wexford, Ireland.
MEGA! LITTLE CRAKE still, Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.
MEGA! EASTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER at Scalloway, Shetland.

MEGA! SNOWY OWL still at Ben Macdui, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.