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Friday, 31 October 2014

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Snow Buntings x 17, Black Redstart, Velvet Scoter, Short-eared Owl, Twite x 3 at North Beach, Winterton.
Firecrests x 2 (in garden), Long-tailed Duck at Salthouse.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Walsey Hills NOA.
SURF SCOTER Adult Male, Shorelark, Water Pipits x 2, Velvet Scoter, Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl, Jack Snipes x 2 at Holkham.
Grey Phalaropes x 3, Snow Buntings x 7, Twite at Cley NWT.
Richard's Pipit, Short-eared Owl, Ring Ouzel at Horsey.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Lapland Buntings x 2, Slavonian Grebe, Long-tailed Duck, Little Gulls x 5, Curlew Sandpiper, Shorelark, Spotted Redshanks x 3, Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB.
Woodlark flew east over Blakeney.
Short-eared Owl at Caister-on-Sea.
SWIFT Sp. over war memorial at Sheringham.
Rough-legged Buzzard at East Somerton.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Twite x 12 at Breydon Water.
PALLID SWIFT Probable at Sheringham.
Hen Harrier x 3 at Hattiscoe.
Black Redstart at Sea Palling.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Welney WWT.
Spoonbill, Spotted Redshank, Hen Harrier at Holme.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! EASTERN CROWNED WARBLER for second day at Hunley Hall Golf Course, by hotel car park at Brotton, Cleveland.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Grey Phalaropes x 3, Snow Bunting at Cley NWT.
Black Redstarts x 2, Glaucous Gull, Velvet Scoter at Winterton.
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Warham.
Lapland Bunting at Wells Woods.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Walsey Hills NOA.
SURF SCOTER Adult Male, Red-necked Grebe, Snow Bunting at Holkham.
Rough-legged Buzzard at west end of Holkham Pines.
Caspian Gull at Cromer.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Titchwell RSPB.
Grey Phalarope, Red-necked Grebe, Scaup, Velvet Scoter, Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl, Great Skuas x 6, Snow Buntings x 3, Ring Ouzel at Horsey.
Black Redstart at Hunstanton.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Breydon Water.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Yellow-browed Warbler, Ring Ouzels x 2 at Waxham.
Snow Buntings x 3 at North Denes, Great Yarmouth.
Ring Ouzel at Burnham Norton.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Stiffkey Campsite.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Welney WWT.
Short-eared Owl at Snettisham RSPB.
Shorelark, Snow Buntings x 6, Short-eared Owl at Sea Palling.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at Eccles-on-Sea.
Lapland Bunting, Velvet Scoters x 2 at Holme.
Barred Warbler, Rough-legged Buzzard, Twite x 8 at Happisburgh.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! EASTERN CROWNED WARBLER, 3rd for Britain! Hunley Hall Golf Course in plantation by hotel car park at Brotton, Cleveland.
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN again, County Dublin, Ireland.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
SURF SCOTER Adult Male again, Slavonian Grebe, Velvet Scoters x 4 at Holkham Bay.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Great White Egret, Yellow-browed Warbler at Holkham.
Black Redstart at South Dunes, Winterton.
Snow Buntings x 10, Velvet Scoter at North Beach, Winterton.
Grey Phalaropes x 3, Shorelark, Greenland White-fronted Geese x 2 (probable) at Cley NWT.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Ring Ouzel at Wells Woods.
Lapland Buntings x 2, Snow Buntings x 2, Little Gulls x 31, Whinchat, Ring Ouzel at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Black-throated Diver, Snow Buntings, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Lapland Bunting, Little Gulls x 336, Purple Sandpiper at Horsey.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Reedham.
Hen Harrier at Warham Greens.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl, Jack Snipe at Breydon Water.
Hen Harrier, Twite x 7, Velvet Scoters x 2, Little Gull at Holme.

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

MEGA! GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH , Fetlar, Shetland, Scotland.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 22nd to 28th October!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2014-43.aspx?s_id=131499760

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Made Me Smile!

A local birder posted the following on Birdforum today:

"Penny, I've really enjoyed reading your blog over the last couple of weeks. Very informative, news-filled, interesting and fun to read. Thanks very much for taking the time to update it daily. It must take up ages of your time and it shows great dedication to birding that you do. Thanks very much also for your touching tribute to Derek Moore OBE who I met at a local bird-club meeting about a year ago. Lovely chap and I can see why he will be dearly missed........"

This took me by surprise and really cheered me up when I read this!!! Thanks Steve!

Not having a particularly good week, so far. Can't say much more than that, but let's just say I am at a important crossroads in life with decisions to be made. Will update about this when I am able to!

This is the third day I have returned home to find dog cr*p, in more or less exactly the same spot in my gravel drive, right next to where I get out of the car. I don't see why I have to clear it up and put it in MY wheelie bin!!! So angry. This does not normally happen, so am guessing a new neighbour with dog has arrived on the estate who is being totally selfish. Posted this on facebook and someone suggested getting a camera trap set up, I will do this if it carries on. However I can't do what some of them suggested to do with the dog cr*p. Its different if you are female and live alone. If I was a big burly bloke and posted stuff through someone's letter box etc, I probably wouldn't get too much of a response, but being female, I would probably get a brick back through my window. I'm coming back a big burly man in the next life I can tell you!!!

My father will be 88 years old on Sunday, so I'm sure we'll all be having the usual family get together. He's done well to make it this far since his stroke. If he hadn't had the stroke and not suffered with his Macular Degeneration so badly, I'm sure he would have made a 100! It's so sad when someone loses part of their character through loss of cognition, but thankfully he has still retained some of his sharp sense of humour!

Looking forward to the weekend!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Shorelark, Snow Buntings x 6, Black Redstarts x 3 at North Beach, Winterton.
Hen Harrier at Thornham.
Twite x 20 at Thornham Harbour.
SURF SCOTER Adult Male again, Velvet Scoters x 5, Red-necked Grebe, Long-tailed Duck at Holkham Bay.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Red Kites x 2, Firecrests x 2, Great White Egret at Holkham.
Rough-legged Buzzard at  Burnham Overy Staithe.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 3, Hen Harrier at Breydon Water.
Yellow-legged Gull at Whitlingham Country Park.
Black Redstart, Shorelark, Grey Phalarope, Garganey at Cley NWT.
Grey Phalarope at Salthouse.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Mundesley.
Richard's Pipit at Hemsby.
Slavonian Grebes x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Osprey at Lenwade.
ELEONORA'S FALCON Possible half a mile east of Burnham Deepdale, flew south over A149 plus lost to view over wood just east of Barrow Common at 11.40am. Rough-legged Buzzard half a mile SW of Barrow Common.
Firecrest at Walsey Hills NOA.
Hen Harrier at Warham Greens.
Black Redstarts x 2 at Holme NOA.

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

Monday, 27 October 2014

River Wensum Restoration Project At Pensthorpe Will Provide A Haven For Our Rarest Wildlife

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/river_wensum_restoration_project_at_pensthorpe_will_provide_a_haven_for_our_rarest_wildlife_1_3820062

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Rough-legged Buzzard at  Burnham Overy Staithe.
Raven, Grey Phalarope at Salthouse.
SURF SCOTER Adult Male again, Velvet Scoters x 4, Red-necked Grebe at Holkham Bay.
Great White Egret, Rough-legged Buzzard at Holkham.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Breydon Water.
Great White Egret (on Saturday) at Lynn Point, King's Lynn.
Jack Snipe on Far Point, Blakeney Point.
Purple Sandpiper at Sheringham.
Osprey at Lenwade.
Lapland Bunting at Holme.
Caspian Gull at Cley NWT.
Short-eared Owls x 2 at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest.
Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB.
Twite x 60 at Thornham.

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

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve!

I nearly didn't bother posting, but felt I should write something on the last day of my holiday. I didn't feel very well this morning, so didn't go out. However, by the afternoon I felt like escaping somewhere, even if it was only for a short while. The weather has been gloomy all day.

I went to Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve to try and see the kingfisher, but failed – it didn't show at all whilst I was here. Bumped into Richard B. and between us, we put the world to rights!!! Common Buzzard and Kestrel on the way back, not much else, too late in the day. The Fen Hide pool has had its front edge scraped out, resulting in lovely muddy edges for waders – looks really good! Just need to cut back a few reeds on the left for the kingfishers and it will all be perfect! Also a huge dyke is being dug out in front of the Whitley Hide which looks brilliant. This reserve is one of the few reserves in Norfolk that is constantly developing and improving its habitats and also the only one that doesn't allow dogs on its reserve at all. So peaceful to spend time on a reserve without hearing a dog barking – I must visit this reserve more regularly. Now Autumn Migration is virtually over (and I missed most of it), its time to get back to normal birding if you know what I mean!

Back to work tomorrow with months of darkness before and after work. Weekend birding only from now on. Roll on Spring! A good opportunity to catch up on pictures on my blog though!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Snow Buntings x 9 at North Beach, Winterton.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Berney Marshes RSPB.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 3 at Breydon Water.
Grey Phalarope at Salthouse.
SURF SCOTER Adult Male again, Velvet Scoters x 4, Red-necked Grebe at Holkham Bay.
Hawfinch at Lynford Aboretum.
Great White Egret (flew east), Caspian Gull, Twite, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 9 (yesterday) at Cley NWT.
Lapland Bunting at Sidestrand.
Great White Egret, Snow Bunting, Short-eared Owl, Ring Ouzel at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Great White Egret, Hen Harrier at Burgh Castle.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Blakeney Point.
Great White Egret, Short-eared Owls x 3, Hen Harrier at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Holkham.
SURF SCOTER flew south past wind farm, Velvet Scoters x 3 at Caister-on-Sea.
Slavonian Grebe, Velvet Scoter at Titchwell RSPB.
Pomarine Skua, Long-tailed Duck, Great Skuas x 14 at Hopton-on-Sea.
Black Redstarts x 3 at Great Yarmouth Docks.

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

Fair Isle Croft Available to Rent!!!

http://www.nts.org.uk/Lettings/Available/?utm_content=buffer1d9ff&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Searching for Rares at Burnham Overy Dunes, Gun Hill, Holkham & Garden Drove, Warham!

RED KITE
One of two flying together over Holkham Pines

Parked the car up in the lay by at Burnham Overy and set off on a very long walk to search for rares. The plan was to walk to either Holkham or Wells and then get the coastliner bus back to my car. It was a beautiful, sunny day with South West winds, but very nippy first thing!

Several Robins in the hedges, but nothing else of note. Loads of Brent Geese on the marsh and lots of starling flocks throughout the day. 3 Mute Swans and a Little Grebe on the pool east of the sea wall. 3 Bearded Tits flew across the reeds 'pinging'. In the 'Magic' bushes, as I'm now going to call them (since Stuart W. did!) at the end of the sea wall, there were 3 Reed Buntings in the Apple Tree and a couple of Robins. Met a birder who reads my blog – he smiled and said he done what I had asked and got out there to look for birds, but hadn't found anything of note! Well done to him for trying. We discussed unruly dogs and he told me that 2 labrador's that were soaking wet jumped up at him and the owners were a long way off. I noticed that the "dogs must be a lead" sign has disappeared by the 5-bar gate, so need to find out about that from Andrew B. I spoke to two dog owners about how dogs should be on leads, I gave up after that as loads of groups of people were walking along the sea wall and most (some were on leads and with well-behaved dogs) were off the lead and out of control and a long way from their owners.

At Gun Hill, there were 6 Grey Partridge, 4 Redwings, 2 Greenfinches, 2 Reed Buntings, 1 Blackbird and a huge flock of Goldfinches by the 'Grey Goose' and also a Wren. Walked back through the dunes and headed east past the seawall/good bushes. A couple of Stoats were racing round chasing briefly, which was nice to watch. I searched every gully and patches of bushes that I could and worked hard to find something – found a few Robins and Redwings, but that was it. Lots of Pink-footed Geese flying over. I sat at the end of the dunes by the edge of Holkham Pines to watch – several Redwings in and out of the bushes and also a couple of Blackbirds, a few Robins and an Acro that I COULD not find again! I also saw a slender bird with what seemed like an eye ring and in my wild imagination was a RFB, I waited for it to appear again for over an hour, but nothing! Extremely frustrating to say the least! A massive flock of Redwings went overhead, approx. 100+ all going west! There were several smaller flocks of Redwings throughout the rest of the afternoon, again heading west. Tons of Common Darter Dragonflies in the dunes and also a Honey Bee and a Comma Butterfly.

Started my walk through Holkham Pines. Found a Tit flock with a few Goldcrests, but nothing more exciting. Another Redwing flock of approx. 50+ birds going west. Nothing by the crosstracks/Joe Jordan Hide. Carried on past Washington Hide, still nothing. At 'Salts Hole' there were 3 Little Grebes and then suddenly I spotted a fabulous Red Kite soaring in the sky at 3.25pm – highlighted this to Sue and Paul Bryan who were walking towards me and then a second appeared! Both Red Kites then sailed directly over our heads and looked magestic against the blue skies!!! I then bumped into a birder who said he had four Red Kites from Washington Hide a short while ago! Chatted briefly with two people who read my blog – nice to meet you both. There was a Tit flock near the end of the path, but I didn't see any Yellow-browed Warbler or Firecrest with them (both of which have been seen here today apparently).

Black clouds were rolling in fast and the weather didn't look good at all. It was now 3.50pm. Either I carried onto Wells and take a risk of missing the last bus, or I walk down Lady Ann's Drive and catch the 4.15pm bus back to my car? I decided to catch the bus at Holkham. There were tons of people along Lady Ann's Drive, it was a like a bank holiday – children and dogs criss-crossing the roads, bad driving and some very loud people! It started to lightly spit with rain. I made it in good time for the bus stop and got back to my car in 10 minutes for £1.50, much cheaper than parking here!

Drove to Wells and parked up at the concrete pad and walked along Garden Drove, for one last chance to find something before the light disappeared. 1 Goldcrest, 1 Robin and a Chaffinch was all I managed to find!

Last day tomorrow!

PICTURES TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
SURF SCOTER Adult Male for fourth day, Grey Phalarope, Velvet Scoters x 4 at Holkham Bay.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Holkham.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 5 at Breydon Water.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 3 at Great Yarmouth.
Short-eared Owls x 9 at Burgh Castle.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Hen Harrier, Black-throated Diver, Red-necked Grebe, at Titchwell RSPB.
Osprey flew east over Sparham Pits.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Hen Harrier at Holme Dunes NWT.
Slavonian Grebe, Water Pipit (ringed at NOA), Holme.
KILLDEER Probable flew east past Kelling Hard.
Grey Phalarope on marsh behind duck pond at Salthouse.
Hen Harrier over Berney Marshes RSPB.
Black-throated Diver, Hen Harrier at Waxham.
Great White Egret at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Rough-legged Buzzard in tree at Thornham.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Attlebridge.
Great White Egret at Welney WWT.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Walsey Hills NOA.
Water Pipits x 2 at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! ELEONORA'S FALCON Adult over Kingston Seymour, Somerset.
MEGA! GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH still, Fair Isle.
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN again, County Dublin, Ireland.
MEGA! CHIMNEY SWIFT again, Butt of Lewis, Western Isles.

Friday, 24 October 2014

The Weekend!

No birdy post from me today as devoted the day to helping my mother which involved big food shop, taking her shoe shopping, pruning stuff, helping father etc etc.

I wrote the following on Facebook yesterday:
"No megas in Norfolk. Fed-up. All this amazing birds today as a result of Hurricane Gonzalo.... CHIMNEY SWIFT, HERMIT THRUSH on the Western Isles, YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO in Cornwall, BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO and a GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH on Orkney and another on Barra, turning up south and north, what about us!?

James Hanlon replied with ".........BUT Norfolk has one of the best track records on the east coast for yanks. I think everyone available should be out looking everywhere this weekend."

Too right, lets hope everyone available is looking everywhere this weekend, please! I will be searching hard and hope something mega turns up, none of this sitting at home waiting for the pager to go off, we all need to get out there!

Oh..... and Fair Isle has a Grey-cheeked Thrush now too!!!

Weather for the Weekend
http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2652856
High Tides – Wells Bar
Saturday: 7.43 and 20.05
Sunday: 7.19 and 19.38

Don't forget the clocks go back one hour this Sunday at 2am.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Rough-legged Buzzards x 3, Short-eared Owls x 8, Scaup, Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Breydon Water.
Snow Buntings x 10 at North Beach, Winterton.
SURF SCOTER Adult Male for third day, Velvet Scoter at Holkham Bay.
Rough-legged Buzzard over Holkham Freshmarsh.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Caspian Gull, Twite x 10, Black Redstart (still in churchyard), Cley NWT.
Short-eared Owl, Great Skuas x 2 at Horsey.
Hawfinches x 2, Firecrest at Lynford Aboretum.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Thornham Harbour.
Rough-legged Buzzard over Berney Marshes RSPB.
Great White Egret, Hen Harrier at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest.
Lapland Bunting, Common Cranes x 2 at Waxham.
Short-eared Owl at Sheringham.

Come on people – I want to see NORFOLK in the list below at the weekend, please!

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH, Fair Isle.
MEGA! YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, for second day, Porthgwarra, Cornwall.
MEGA! CHIMNEY SWIFT, for second day, Butt of Lewis, Western Isles.
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN, County Dublin, Ireland.

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.