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Thursday, 26 May 2016

CleySpy, Walsey Hills and Gramborough Hill!

I returned the Kowa binoculars to CleySpy and exchanged the binoculars for another pair to trial! Bought a vegetable pie and some pear & ginger cake from Cley Deli and went to have my lunch at Coastguards. The forecast North East winds kicked in by mid afternoon, so I hoped something good would be found.

Searched Walsey Hills NOA thoroughly – found a good number of Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap singing, a couple of Reed Buntings and Hedgesparrows. Also Orange Tip, Speckled Wood and Small Copper butterflies seen.

Bumped into Marcus Nash who had just seen a Glaucous Gull flying west and a Short-eared Owl. Walked to Gramborough Hill which produced the usual Stonechats, Whitethroats, 2 Goldfinches, Meadow Pipits, Swallows and Sand Martins. Disappointed not have found any migrants, I left at 6pm to give the new binoculars to Mother. Phoned Sommerville Care Home to ask how father was and then returned home.

Typical that the Weybourne Icterine Warbler turns up an hour after I leave! Out early in the morning to find my OWN Icterine Warbler!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Short-eared Owl flew west over Cley.
Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB.
Spoonbills x 2 at Breydon Water.
Red-backed Shrike fem. at Newport Cottages, Hemsby.
Short-eared Owl south of Horsey Mill.
Garganey at Welney WWT.
TURTLE DOVE on Tuesday, near Wilton Bridge at Hockwold cum Wilton.
Black Terns x 2, Sanderling, Little Gulls 1s x 2 at Pentney Gravel Pits.
PALLID HARRIER male (probable) flew south over A148, West Rudham.
Glaucous Gull flew west +Short-eared Owl at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse (MN).
Icterine Warbler in pines in car park at Weybourne.
Icterine Warbler singing, along Cliff Hill, just north over Cliff Hotel at Gorleston-on-Sea.
Garganey x 2 on lake at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper at Hickling Broad NWT.

Cambridgeshire Highlights
GREAT REED WARBLER still, singing at Paxton Pits NR at Little Paxton.

MEGA NEWS
MEGA! BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO again, in gardens 1 mile WNW of Bayhead on North Uist, Outer Hebrides.
MEGA! GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO still, flew from Culverwell to Top Fields, Portland, Dorset.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN at Drift Reservoir, 2 miles west of Penzance, Cornwall.

Priceless Letter Written By My Mother In 1967!

I bumped ito Moss Taylor at the Bird Fair on Sunday and he told me that Alan Wood had sadly passed away. I'm pretty sure that Alan used to do some drawings for the NOA Reports in the early days. Friends of Alan's passed on RAR related items to Moss Taylor recently – this included a letter that my mother had written to Alan and his wife Carol in May 1967! Moss kindly said he would send me jpg's of the letter, so here it is. I was rolling with laughter when I read the references to me. This letter has made my week. How fascinating to read that my mother flushed a corncrake at Holme and the retrap of a Cuckoo from a couple of years ago, but the highlight for me was my mother talking about taking me along the promonade at Hunstanton to keep me amused and going on the roundabouts and eating ice-cream's and how much I loved the noise – she then goes on to say that 'she definitely won't be a birdwatcher, or will be very surprised!!' She also mentioned that in their new flat, I was smacked twice for throwing pegs etc out of the window! I was aged 2 at this time!

My sister Lucy was born in the same flat, approximately a year later. My little sister Vivien was born a couple of years later in the house at Holme, where my Mother still lives (was about to say where my parents still live!).

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

North West Winds, Rain & Jobs!

It was north west winds and rain for most of the day, so I stayed at home as planned. My MacBook Pro has run out of space and I had to move thousands of photos onto two external hard drives. Copied other stuff too and this all took several hours to complete.

Went to Mother's early evening to see if she liked her new binoculars – she didn't! I have been instructed to return them and buy binoculars with a wider field of view and she insists the weight doesn't matter – ok! Back to CleySpy tomorrow!

The wind is currently now south west and easterly winds are predicted to hit Norfolk at 1pm tomorrow – these east winds continue all the way through until late Saturday evening, so hopefully something BIG will turn up! Friday and Saturday I will be searching very hard for my Spring Mega!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Garganey x 2 on lake at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Spoonbill at Breydon Water.
Garganey at Patsy's Pool, Titchwell RSPB.
Great White Egret flew in off sea at Hopton-on-Sea.
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Spoonbills x 2 off East Bank at Cley NWT.
Spoonbill on Bob Hall's Sands at Wells.
Little Stint at Snettisham RSPB.
WHITE STORK esc. on roof at East End Farm at Aldeby.
Common Cranes x 2 west of B1159 at Horsey.
Stone Curlew in sheep field, east of B1159 and south of Horsey Mill.
Common Crane at Stubb Mill, Hickling Broad NWT.

Cambridgeshire Highlights
GREAT REED WARBLER still, singing at Paxton Pits NR at Little Paxton.

MEGA NEWS
MEGA! BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO again, 1 mile NW of Bayhead on North Uist, Outer Hebrides.
MEGA! GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO still at Reap Lane, Portland, Dorset.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN at Drift Reservoir, 2 miles west of Penzance, Cornwall.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 18th to 24th May!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2016-21.aspx?s_id=690299526

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Holme & CleySpy!

I feel the need to spend more time with my Mother than I thought I would be – she feels like she's grieving. I do understand – you spend your entire life with someone and then they are gone. She wants to visit father, but feels initially this will make him worse, which I am inclined to agree with to be honest. I know he will plead to come home when she visits and that will be very difficult for her to deal with – he says to me that he wants to come home when I've seen him, but I know he can't, so I'm probably coping with it better than mother would.

I arrived at my mother's house, a few minutes after her new mattress was delivered and helped her put all the sheets etc back. I spent a good while trying to persuade her to come to CleySpy with me, as she wants to buy some new binoculars. Her old Carl Zeiss Dialyt 7x42's are pretty old now and are out of alignment – but she refused to come with me and said she didn't feel up to it, but was happy for me to choose a pair! So, I left her my 'car/work bins', which are a pair of Nikon 8x25's and took the Carl Zeiss bins with me to get repaired, as she wants to keep these anyway.

Arrived at CleySpy and spent ages in there, selecting binoculars. Mother insisted she wanted a pair with a wide field of view, but I didn't want her having anything too heavy. My Swarovski EL 8.5x42's are heavy and I didn't want her to have anything of that weight. I ended up choosing either the new Swarovski EL 8x32's or the Kowa Genesis 8x33 Prominar binoculars. Obviously I would have chosen the Swarovski 8x32's, but the Kowa bins were on offer at £497 and there didn't seem like a £1000 difference between them to me. Also the field of view was obviously a fraction better on the Kowa's. I sought further advice from a local birder who turned up in the shop and long story short, bought the Kowa bins – very difficult buying binoculars for someone else. I also treated myself to a new Healthy Back Bag in black – my holiday treat!

Went to Beach Road, Gramborough, but it was so bitterly cold, I decided it wasn't worth the walk to Gramborough Hill – may sound lazy, but I felt really tired and it was seriously cold and very windy.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Hooded Crow 1/3 mile east of Lady Anne's Drive, Holkham.
TURTLE DOVE yesterday in garden at Blofield Heath.
Garganey x 2 on lake at Felbrigg Hall NT.
WHITE STORK esc yesterday, by railway east of Acle.
Spoonbill flew east over A149, Spoonbills x 2, Continental Black-tailed Godwits x 2 at Cley NWT.
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
WHITE STORK in ploughed field at Burgh St Peter.

Cambridgeshire Highlights
GREAT REED WARBLER still, singing at Paxton Pits NR at Little Paxton.

MEGA NEWS
MEGA! BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO again, 1 mile NW of Bayhead on North Uist, Outer Hebrides.
MEGA! GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO still at Portland Bill, Dorset.
MEGA! LAMMERGEIER
viewed from Winnard's Perch, Cornwall.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN
flew east over St Just, Cornwall.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Crazy Day!

Arrived at Summerville House Care Home to assist the manager in doing the official 'Care Plan' for father. I presumed this would take an hour tops – how wrong was I!!! I actually thought they were joking when they said we had to answer 400 questions – you heard that correctly!!! The plan is all done on line and each question has a choice of answers that you click and then choice of typing in the 'Comments' box if required. As you answer the questions, there is a tally on the screen that tells you how many questions you have left to answer – eventually it gets down to three hundred odd left, and then ages later to two hundred and something and by this time I was losing the will to live – then onto one hundred and something – I was ready to end it!!! Three coffees and a plateful of biscuits later we had finished! I had no idea that any questionnaire could be THAT long!!! I was mentally worn out and felt like I had done an entire weeks work! I was supposed to be on holiday! How awful that staff have to go through that with every new resident – mind blowing! It took four hours to complete!!! However, I had a fabulous surprise today when I found out that the cook here, was a lady I used to go to primary school with – she was in my sister Lucy's year – so nice to know that she works here and thank you for your very kind support.

Father had hardly eaten any main course and was tearful, but had eaten his dessert I heard from the staff. I took father outside in the wheelchair and we sat by the horse field which had two ponies, one donkey and a cute foal amongst the flowers. I soon realised I had made a big mistake – it was too cold for him and he was not impressed – got him back inside and the staff transferred him to a very comfortable armchair. He was not happy at all and asked when was he going home and also said 'no one wanted him anymore and he had just been dumped here' – I explained again, why he was here and did my best to cheer him up, but he turned from being sad to grumpy and told me to go and said 'I don't want to see you for a month'!!! Obviously I didn't take it to heart! I left him as he closed his eyes in an attempt to nap, but the television and radio was on, so it would have been difficult – my guess is that this is why he is going to bed alot earlier than he does at home, as he likes to be quiet – difficult to achieve that in a care home. Anyway, left here at 2.20pm and headed to Hunstanton to do a couple of chores.

Went to Holme to see Mother and found her asleep in the chair – she is still very upset. At 5pm she agreed for me to take her out for a little drive for a change of scene. I drove her to Choseley Drying Barns, but compared to last night, there was nothing of note aside from Woodpigeons, one Pheasant and Yellowhammer – this is probably due to the fact that there were three other cars here and one couple standing out in the open. Left here and went to Titchwell RSPB, but Mother didn't feel like getting out of the car, so went to buy some chips from Eric's fish 'n' chip shop at the Thornham Farm shop complex. I then drove up to the reservoir, pulled into a field lay by and we had a lovely time eating our chips with the fabulous views of the coast and sea! It was lovely sitting here and we had beautiful views of a male Yellowhammer singing away in the blackthorn of the hedge, right next to us. Swallows skimmed past over the corn field and a pair of Red-legged Partridges scurried along the roadside. Drove back but took a detour via Thornham boat house and the Lifeboat Inn and then returned to Holme.

Mother said it had done her good to get out of the house. I left here shortly after that and had to drop an electric air cushion off at the care home, but didn't go in as didn't want to disturb father again. I fell quite ill this evening when I got home – the 400 question care plan had wiped me out! Good night!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spoonbills x 2 at Breydon Water.
Garganey on lake at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Little Gull yesterday at Ranworth Broad.
Spoonbills x 2 yesterday, flew over Walsey Hills NOA.
TURTLE DOVE in garden at Tivetshall St Mary.
Quail singing, Short-eared Owl at Holme Dunes NWT.

Cambridgeshire Highlights
GREAT REED WARBLER still, singing at Paxton Pits NR at Little Paxton.

MEGA NEWS
MEGA! BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO again, 1 mile NW of Bayhead on North Uist, Outer Hebrides.
MEGA! GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO still at Reap Lane, Portland, Dorset.

MEGA! LAMMERGEIER reported 1.75 miles west if Princetown, Dartmoor, Devon.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN NE of St Just at Tregeseal, Cornwall.
MEGA! COLLARED FLYCATCHER on Fair Isle. 

Sunday, 22 May 2016

NORFOLK BIRD & WILDLIFE FAIR!

Me with celebrity 'Biking Birder' Gary Prescott!
A fabulous day at the Norfolk Bird & Wildlife Fair at Mannington Hall! The weather was a bit dull when I first arrived, but the sun came out and everything looked beautiful. The moated hall looked just as idyllic as I remembered it – a beautiful setting indeed. Saw a Great Spotted Woodpecker bounding through the trees and a Grey Wagtail sat on the roof of the hall. I heard that the Spotted Flycatcher was seen in the rose garden, but I wasn't lucky in seeing it.
Rob and Jill Wilson
Organisers and hosts of this wonderful event

I started the day off with Richard Brooks's talk on 'Lemnos, The New Lesbos?' and very interesting it was too, the variety of birds there looks amazing, only wish I could afford to go. Took some lovely pictures of Richard and Jessica after the talk. Bumped into Andrew Bloomfield who was one of many who kindly asked after my father. Met several blog readers today, lovely to meet you all and hope you enjoyed your day in this spectacular setting. Also chatted with Moss Taylor and other Norfolk birders.

Richard Brooks with his better half Jessica!

The moat around Mannington Hall

Met the new owner of CleySpy in the optics marquee, nice to meet you Tim. Bumped into Gary Prescott, The Biking Birder, who had his own stand with bike in the main marquee! Also saw Roy Robinson, who have not seen for many years, he was a warden at Walsey Hills NOA a few decades ago – lovely to see you!

A good variety of stands where on offer including artists, photographers, Jessops Academy who are branching into 'Photography Breaks and Holidays', Optics Tripod Chair Company, book sellers including WildSounds, Second Nature etc., craft stands, clothing, boots, sculpture, a very nice assortment of bird tables for sale, chainsaw art, basket weaving, a very tame raven, tortoise, Lamas!, falconry, bird ringing, moth traps and more!

Food outlets on offer were Vette's Veggi Van (my favourite), home-made cakes, fudge, ice-cream, hog roast, fish 'n' chips etc, beer tent. I very much enjoyed my veggi lunch under the shade of the trees with a nice cup of tea.

Jill and Rob Wilson did an amazing job, pulling off their third Bird Fair, congratulations to them both! Next year sounds bigger and with celebrities in the pipeline! Very, very tired when I wrote this, may add more tomorrow.

Headed north to the coast. I arrived at Beach Road, Salthouse to find out from 'Dave' that the Bee-eater over Gramborough Hill earlier was John Furse! So pleased for him to have seen/heard this stunning bird on 'his' hill!!!

Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Meadow Pipits, Reed Buntings, Linnets, Stonechats x 2, Common Whitethroat, Sand Martins.

East Bank, Cley NWT.
Fabulous views of two Short-eared Owls hunting along the shingle ridge, east of north end of the East Bank, mid evening. Met Paul, a birder from Leicestershire (hello Paul's mum!) who was in the new shelter overlooking Arnold's Marsh and as I was walking back along the East Bank,  I met a lovely couple who read my blog – made me chuckle when the lady said I was her husband's other girlfriend, because of the amount of time he spends reading my blog! Bumped into Eddie M. at the car park end of the East Bank and had a catch up before I drove home.

LOTS MORE PHOTOS TO BE ADDED THIS WEEK

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Little Gull at Titchwell RSPB.
White-beaked Dolphins x 2 east past North Bank, Cley.
Great White Egret NW of farm buildings at Somerton Holmes.
WHITE STORK esc. circled over Sennowe Park.
Dotterel in field at Choseley.
Short-eared Owl flew south over Heacham.
BEE-EATER flew west over Gramborough Hill, Salthouse (J.F.).
Short-eared Owl flew west over Great Walsingham.
TURTLE DOVES x 2 by boardwalk from first car park at Holme Dunes NWT.
Short-eared Owls x 2 by grazing marsh, Holme NOA.
WHITE STORK esc. still by A47, east of Acle.
Short-eared Owls x 2 this evening, east of north end of East Bank at Cley NWT.

Cambridgeshire Highlights
GREAT REED WARBLER still, singing at Paxton Pits NR at Little Paxton.

MEGA NEWS
MEGA! BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO at Paible, North Uist, Outer Hebrides.

MEGA! GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO still at Reap Lane, Portland, Dorset.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN NE of St Just at Tregeseal, Cornwall.
MEGA! LAMMERGEIER reported Dartmoor, Devon.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Change of Plan!

I had full intentions of going to the Norfolk Bird & Wildlife Fair today, but it didn't work out. I went to the garage to get a fault looked at in my car, free wash and hoover thrown in and then returned home. I was so exhausted from everything that has gone on this week, I could have slept all day.

I still had intentions of going to the fair in the afternoon, but instead I persuaded Mother to get her hair cut. She normally cuts her hair herself and makes a terrible job of it, but its got much longer lately and this in turn has showed off her awful hairdressing skills! She is finding things very difficult and not sleeping this week at all – she needs looking after far more than father does right now. I managed to book her in for a dry hair cut at 'Salon 63' in Hunstanton – flew to Holme to pick her up and told she had 6 minutes to leave. Initially she was pretty cross, but I got her there in time and it almost brought tears to my eyes watching her have her hair done properly for the first time. Her hairdresser, Emma made a fantastic job and we have booked her in for approx 5 weeks time, so she doesn't find the excuse to cut it herself again! Mother admitted her new hair cut looked loads better and seemed pleased. Took her straight home, she didn't want to go anywhere else. So worried about her state of mind and may have to take her to GP next week, she is so low in mood and said she wants to sleep forever – this is a sure sign of being depressed – I know, I've been there. Very difficult times. Mother and I both fell asleep in the afternoon. I woke up feeling chilly. Tried to persuade Mother to come to the Norfolk Bird Fair tomorrow, but she says it would be too much, which I can understand, but just want to get her out of the house.

Left Holme and went to Choseley Barns and sat by the concrete pad in my car – it was alive with birds! Three Turtle Doves were feeding here! Along with Collared Doves, Woodpigeons, Red-legged and Grey Partridges, Yellowhammers, Goldfinches, Corn Buntings x 2, Pied Wagtails, Carrion Crow, Pheasants and a Chiffchaff having a splash in a puddle only yards from my car! Swifts and Swallows skimming overhead and Hares in the fields. The only thing that spoilt this wonderful scene was the rain and wind!

Went to visit Father at Summerville House Care Home and he had just been put to bed. Went upstairs to say goodnight (7.30pm) and he was very much awake and rattling the bed rail! He had someone elses's pyjamas on! He had got himself into a poor position in bed. Helped him to use the bottle and then sat on the bed next to him and gave him a big hug – 'it's lovely to see you' I said, 'it's nice to see you too' he replied. I put HIS pyjamas on and got him into a perfect position in bed. A very kind senior member of staff came in to dish out tablets and as soon as he had taken them, he was asleep. I didn't even get a chance to tell him about Mother's new hair cut! I can understand clothes getting mixed up, it must be very difficult for staff, but I did label all his clothes up! Gave him a goodnight kiss and left quietly.

Looking forward to the Norfolk Bird & Wildlife Fair tomorrow!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Red-breasted Merganser at Breydon Water.
TURTLE DOVES x 3 on concrete pad, Honey Buzzard flew SE over Choseley DB at 3.40pm, Dotterel viewable in field from Thornham Road at Choseley.
Little Stint, Spoonbill flew west at Titchwell RSPB.
WHITE STORK esc. in flooded fields, east of Acle, Montagu's Harrier ringtail flew over A47, just west of Acle.
TURTLE DOVE in field, view from B1149, just north of Norwich.
Garganey on lake at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE possible, unconfirmed report by road at Colkirk.
Spoonbill at Salthouse Marsh.

Cambridgeshire Highlights
GREAT REED WARBLER still, singing at Paxton Pits NR at Little Paxton.

MEGA NEWS
MEGA! GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO still at Reap Lane, Portland, Dorset.

NORFOLK BIRD & WILDLIFE FAIR!!!

T O D A Y !

Held in the grounds of the beautiful Mannington Hall and gardens.
See my post from last year HERE and HERE.

Friday, 20 May 2016

HOLIDAY!

TWO WEEKS OFF!!!
At last, some time off work! Kicking off with the Norfolk Bird & Wildlife Fair this weekend, which is held in the grounds of the beautiful Mannington Hall and gardens. See my posts from last year HERE and HERE.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spoonbills x 5, Short-eared Owl at Berney Marshes RSPB.
Dotterel in field west of bend in road, south of Choseley Drying Barns.
TURTLE DOVES x 2 at Church Hill, Beighton.
Harrier sp ringtail flew over Kelling Heath.
Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB.
HOOPOE reported at Elveden Centre Parcs, Thetford.
TURTLE DOVES x 3, Short-eared Owl at Holme NOA.
Montagu's Harrier flew over Norwich Road, towards Mulbarton, Wymondham.
Glossy Ibis flew east over Wells Pinewoods.
Short-eared Owl at Breydon Water.
Garganey on lake at Felbrigg Hall NT.

Cambridgeshire Highlights
GREAT REED WARBLER still, singing at Paxton Pits NR at Little Paxton.

MEGA NEWS
MEGA! GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO at Reap Lane, Portland, Dorset.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN circled over A30 Camborne Junction, Cornwall.

MEGA! LAMMERGEIER over Cookworthy Moor Plantation, Devon.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

NORFOLK BIRD & WILDLIFE FAIR!

 
THIS WEEKEND!

Heacham and Holme Visits

In brief, went to visit father in his new care home early evening. He was sitting in the conservatory crying his eyes out and stating that he wanted to go home and wanted 'the next train out of here!' I did manage to calm him down quite a bit and went up to his room to get his rug to put over his knees and a cadbury's caramel cake bar from his tin. He soon demolished the cake bar and a very kind member of staff informed me he had had a sandwich, banana and two chocolate mousses for his tea, which is far more than he eats at home! Father had had a difficult night and they had to give him something to calm him down, which resulted in him being lethargic for most of the day I was told.

Father fell asleep in the chair and I was so tired I nearly did too! Had an interesting and fascinating time talking to some of the residents!!! A blackbird hopped past the conservatory doors and I could hear a Blackcap singing. It started to rain heavily and the sound of raindrops on the conservatory roof was very relaxing. It was somehow comforting sitting here – but I saw sad faces that were not able to understand what was going on and happy faces that were not able to understand what was going on! Dementia is a very difficult thing for older people and their families. Someone kindly made me a coffee, which was very nice indeed, as not used to being waited on! I quietly said goodbye to Father without waking him up properly and left him peacefully at about 7.45pm. Each time I visit this home, I know I have picked the right place – I haven't seen a single member of staff that I don't like the look of yet – they all look very caring and kind.

Headed to Hunstanton to pick up chips for Mother and I – my arrival at 8pm mean't ALL the chip shops were closed! Plan B – went to the Indian restaurant and bought a vegetable biryani and peshwari nan bread for Mother and I to share. Arrived at Holme and we had a lovely time eating our meal together in the kitchen and this momentarily cheered her up. I left mother a treat of cakes I bought from the hospital volunteer shop. Got the cat into the shed in its bed for mother – still raining. Gave mother a big hug as I left and tried to reassure her everything would be ok. She looked so tired and disturbed this evening – its going to take a long time for her to recover – I intend to look after her and do some nice things in my two week holiday – one day to go!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Great White Egret at Burnham Overy Dunes.
TURTLE DOVE in scrub behind watchtower along Firs Road, TURTLE DOVES x 2 in paddocks, Short-eared Owl south of Broadwater at Holme.
TURTLE DOVES x 2, Dotterel in field at Choseley Drying Barns.
Spoonbills x 5 at Berney Marshes RSPB.
TURTLE DOVES x 2 just west of pig farm, 1/2 mile east of Wells.
Garganey at Welney WWT.
Spoonbills x 2 at Stiffkey Fen.
Garganey at Hockwold Washes.
Redstart on west side in hawthorn, 20 yrds along first minor road north off A149.
TURTLE DOVE ast South Creake.
TURTLE DOVES x 3 at Church Hill, Beighton.
Spoonbill at Titchwell RSPB.
Garganey on lake at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Garganey at Strumpshaw Fen RSP'B.

Cambridgeshire Highlights
GREAT REED WARBLER still, singing at Paxton Pits NR at Little Paxton.

MEGA NEWS

MEGA! GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO in middle of top fields at Portland Bill, Dorset.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN at Helston, Cornwall!!!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Thank You!

Thank you immensely for all the very supportive comments and wonderful emails I have received yesterday and today over a number of issues and life in general. They are very much appreciated and help me to stay strong. I was quite aghast at the number of kind emails I have received, cheered me up no end!

Had a chilled 'me' time in the hairdressers this evening, which helped me to relax. It's going to be busy all week! Back to the care home tomorrow after work, to go through a 'Care Plan' for my father. Taxi x 2 to Lucy on Friday night for her concert rehearsals. Saturday and Sunday I will be at the Norfolk Bird & Wildlife Fair with two weeks off work – can't wait!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Little Stint, Spoonbills x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Hen Harrier flew west over SE end of Wiveton Downs.
Great White Egrets x 2 on North Wall Marshes at Breydon Water.
Whinchat at Weybourne Camp.
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Garganey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
TURTLE DOVES x 2 singing at Reedham.
Spoonbills x 2 on The Serpentine at Cley NWT.
TURTLE DOVE at Choseley Drying Barns.

Cambridgeshire Highlights
GREAT REED WARBLER still, singing at Paxton Pits NR at Little Paxton.


MEGA NEWS
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN at Hayle Estuary RSPB, Cornwall!!!
MEGA! GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO at Reap Lane, Portland, Dorset.

MEGA! SNOWY OWL on Bryher, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! ELEONORA'S FALCON pale morph, (probable) between Alnwick and South Charlton, Northumberland.
MEGA! BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS probable, reported from boat off Inner Farne, Farne Islands, Northumberland.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 11th to 17th May!

By Andy Stoddart
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2016-20.aspx?s_id=481119269

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Horrible Evening & Cyber Bullying!

Went to visit Father this evening and wished I hadn't, it was awful, truly awful, that's all I will say, I drove home in floods of tears. When I got in the door I noticed an email link to a shocking blog post. I was still crying from my visit to Father and after reading this post I felt like I was going to be sick.

It was highlighted to me from a regular blog reader of mine, that somebody was writing some pretty awful things about me – you know who you are and your cruel, nasty, sarcastic, childish and theatening post on your blog has been photographed to be used as evidence, so don't bother removing it now. A pretty low thing to do when I am going through hell with my family and other stuff, you are obviously a very sick individual. I am very tempted to copy here what was said and why it was said and my reply, but I refuse to increase the ratings on that person's blog!!! Oh and by the way, yes I do vet comments on my blog, I have no choice and for one reason only – blogs that have alot of traffic, sadly increase links to sick and undesirable website links which get sent sent automatically into my comments section if I don't check them out first – I don't want my blog littered with sick trash. I don't remove genuine negative comments as you suggested, amazingly I have only ever received ONE negative comment since I started this blog, sorry to disappoint you, but all my comments are positive and supportive – thank god there are alot of nice people out there. You are incorrect in saying I vet all blog comments and only publish the positive ones (that's because 99% are!!!), so I am looking forward to receiving your entire 'negative' post into a comment box on my blog post (if you have the guts) and I will gladly reply publicly. But, do you really want two and half thousand plus birders (my average views per day currently) to see what you have written about me? I guess not. I have amended my spelling you referred to sarcastically – massive apologies (note my sarcasm) for spelling a single letter wrong, sadly I'm not perfect and often write in a fatigued state. The 'tresspassing' you referred to wasn't actually, as I have known the owner personally since year dot (its a grass field, children have played in this field for years), so maybe I shouldn't have written that at the time and gave the wrong impression (only that, do I apologise for), note I have now replaced that word! Your ending comment is very disturbing:

Quote: "If I ever see this person in the field, or indeed any other person, committing wrongdoing, I will make them aware of their irresponsibility in language I am sure they would understand"

What does this mean exactly? 'language I am sure they would understand' - very theatening tone, could mean any number of things couldn't it?!!! Writing that to a woman you don't even know is extremely threatening and intimidating, you are treading on dangerous ground. Thanks for making my crap day even more crap, but then that was probably the plan.

You can see why Cyber bullying breaks some young people to suicide, but being as I am older and wiser, I will NOT be bullied by ANYONE!

UPDATE: Wednesday evening
It was highlighted to me by friends, that I have received an apology, not sent as a comment here, but an apology on the person's birding blog. The person in question commenced by saying:

"I sincerely apologise for causing offence to the individual in question here, however, my post does not contain expletives, nor is it threatening........" and it goes on, but I won't include everything said, as trying to be kind and not give away the identity of this person. I accept your apology, thank you, but did feel your words were threatening, as did someone else who found your blog (who I don't know) but sent me an email supporting my thoughts and said: "His original post was, in my view aggressive, patronising, threatening and totally unjustified."

I could respond back to things that were further said, but I don't want to get into a slanging match, life is too short and I'm far too busy! On a positive note, I totally agree with you that the countryside is for all to enjoy and I also encourage others to learn and enjoy the wonders of nature – I enjoy immensely showing non-birders/beginners etc a bird they have never seen before, and love their excited response after looking through my telescope to view a bird in close up, be it common or rare – I always hope that this special moment may spark an interest. Nature is a joy and therapeutic for all. Anyway, once again, thank you for apologising and Happy Birding.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spoonbills x 2 at Breydon Water.
TURTLE DOVE yesterday at Beighton.
Great White Egret yeserday, reported at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
TURTLE DOVE x 2 on concrete pad, Snow Bunting by road 200 yds south at parking area at bottom of hill at Choseley Drying Barns.
Spoonbills x 6 yesterday at Berney Arms RSPB.
HOOPOE west of Wood Green at Parkers Lane, Long Stratton.
TURTLE DOVES x 4 at Barrow Common, Brancaster.
Spoonbills x 2 on Arnold's Marsh, Cley NWT.
TURTLE DOVE x 2 behind bungalows by pay hut along Firs Road at Holme.
Great White Egret flew to south end of marsh at Holme Dunes.
Pectoral Sandpiper at Titchwell RSPB.
Little Stints x 6 on flowing tide at Snettisham RSPB.
TURTLE DOVE at Back Lane, Little Walsingham.

Cambridgeshire Highlights
GREAT REED WARBLER still, singing at Paxton Pits NR at Little Paxton.


MEGA NEWS
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN still at Drift Reservoir, 2 miles west of Penzance, Cornwall!!!
MEGA! GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO at Portland Bill, Dorset.
 
MEGA! ROCK THRUSH, unconfirmed report at north end of Bryher, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! SNOWY OWL on Bryher, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! LAMMERGEIER imm. reported again over Darmoor, Princetown, Isles of Scilly.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Father's New Home – An Atrocious Day, Saved By A Golden Angel!

I was shattered when I woke up this morning and really wished that I had sensibly booked the entire day off work. I was scheduled to finish work at 12.15pm. I went to work, but broke down completely when talking to colleagues about the weekend and the awful news I received about someone else. Both Gemma, Cilla and Emily were very sweet and supportive and I was nicely ordered to return home and go back to bed! Felt really bad leaving, but they were right, I was in no fit state to carry out my job, so now taking the whole day as holiday. I returned home and was in bed by 9.10am! Collapsed and dozed, but didn't really sleep properly, but it did me good. Got up, dressed again etc and was determined that I wasn't going to get emotional any more today – I needed to be strong and supportive to my parents today.

Arrived at my parents at 12.30pm. Father had just finished his lunch and was sitting in his usual armchair. I think he guessed that my arrival mean't he would be leaving soon – he became very emotional with uncontrollable sobbing and was getting cross as well and said he wouldn't be leaving his home and 'I don't want to go to Heacham' etc etc. Who can blame him for reacting that way, why should he have to leave his home for so many years! He obviously feels like he was being forced out and in a way, he is. But as I have said before, my Mother can't go on any longer, she has gone way beyond the call of duty. She is the strongest woman I have ever known – there are few 76 year olds that could have done that job for so long. Anyway, I didn't get that upset and just tried to soothe things – Mother however did get very upset and left the room. Father calmed down and I kept him quiet. Now, I knew that when the community transport turned up, there was no way anyone would get him into the wheelchair, so I had be extremely sneaky and crafty and somehow get him into the wheelchair before they arrived! I achieved this and gave myself a gold star! A bit later on he requested to use the commode and whilst on there, I told him I had to move his chair to clear some things up underneath – I took the chair into the dining room and replaced it with his wheelchair. Father was then transferred from the commode to what he thought was his usual armchair. 'Is your chair comfortable' I asked.... 'yes' he said – mission accomplished! He had no idea that his chair now had wheels!!!

The transport was booked at 2pm – I know that community transport is famously not punctual, so didn't get too stressed when the wheelchair taxi didn't turn up, but at 2.40pm I phoned Social Services (who had booked this transport) to ask what had happened. The lady I spoke to said she would phone them and then get back to me. I received a phone call to say the community transport was a long way behind schedule and they now had to do the school run and they would be there about 4pm!!! Now I was stressed and angry (don't get me angry!!!). 'So' I said 'school children were being put before my 89 year father who is now uncomfortable in his wheelchair and increasingly distressed..... I have taken the day off work, which I needn't have done...... this is making him and my family very stressed.... two hours later is out of order and also I could have taken all father's belongings and clothes over to the home earlier to unpack to save me time later!!!' The lady from social services apologised but there was nothing else she could do.  It was now 3pm. I phoned Nigel Playford, the Manager at Summerville House Care Home to let him know we would be much later than he had expected. Nigel said that if community transport said 4pm it could be 5, 6 or 7pm!!!

Mother and I decided that it would be better for me to take all Father's belongings to the care home now and leave them in his room and then return to be back for 4pm, so off I went. Delivered things to care home and was very kindly helped by Bibin and Nigel who were very kind and supportive. I was just about to leave the care home, when I received a phone call from Mother to say the transport had turned up with one lady!!! This lady refused to get Father out of the property..... quote 'she couldn't get him out of the property and wouldn't be allowed to lift the wheelchair and she was about to leave the property! My temper was a 10 out of 10 and beyond at this point. Nigel, very very kindly said he would come back to my parents with me to assist, so off we went in my car. On route I phoned (hands free) and asked Mother to put the transport lady on the phone, so I could speak to her, which I did and she repeated the same as she had said to Mother. I explained that I was only 10 minutes away, but unbelievably she said she might not be able to wait!!! Shortly after this, my mother phoned me to say the lady (did I say 'lady'!) had bloody well left!!! I WAS FUMING!

Nigel and I arrived at the house to very distressed parents. I immediately phoned social services and told them what had happened and asked why the hell did they sent one woman out to a property that had difficult access – it required two men to do this job. I can't even remember the answer I got now to be honest – how stupid and unprofessional. I was the told that an ambulance could be arranged later and that also two local Occupational Therapists could be called to come and assist. 'Thanks' I said, I'll sort it myself! I work with therapists all day long and am one myself, I didn't need their assistance, I needed two men and transport. What a disgusting service.

Its amazing what you can achieve when you are angry. Anyway, next job was to calm Father down who was sobbing and very upset. I am fiercely protective of my family and this massive cock-up had riled me to the extreme. There was no way, I was delaying this any further. They could stuff their taxi's and ambulances. Nigel was just awesome and is extremely compassionate and very very kind – he did an excellent job of calming father as best he could. It was extremely kind of Nigel to come out and especially as he shouldn't have even been there anyway, as I think he had finished his shift, before he came over here with me!

Father's original wheelchair had four small wheels and I have never been able to get him out of the property, but a few weeks ago (thinking ahead) I got this changed to a self-propelling chair which has two enormous side wheels and I knew this would be easier to get out of the property. Father was crying and protesting as I wheeled him towards the door, but I didn't get upset as I was so angry! Nigel wanted to do more physically, but I wouldn't let him, after all he is staff, I am family, family can break health and safety rules! The door threshold is the most difficult bit, but I was determined to get him out, I managed that bit, then the next big step down, along the concrete path, turned the chair around and went up the big step and we were out!!! Whahooo! This new chair is brilliant, if I had known this, I would have taken Father hours ago – I do far heavier things in my job on a daily basis.

This was the first time Father had been out of the house for god knows how long. I cheered him up when I pointed out that he was now sitting in the sunshine in the garden and we left him here for a few minutes, gave him a drink and mopped up the tears and he was ok. But – as soon as I started to wheel him towards my car, he was very emotional again, it was awful, really awful. I don't know quite how we got him in the car, but we did. Used my therapy knowledge (from Lesley Kemp) and put a dustbin bag on the front passenger seat – this works brilliantly to help swivel someone into their seat and it worked beautifully! With Father belted in and washing up bowl on his lap (as he suffers terribly with travel sickness) we were off. He became calm again when I said excitedly that I had been waiting for ages to get him in my car again and isn't this great and general words of encouragement etc.

The first 5 minutes of the journey was fine, but then it all turned into a traumatic situation. 'How much longer?' father kept asking me.... 'I feel sick'. In Ringstead I had to do an emergency stop and just moved the bowl under father 's chin in time, when he was violently sick – all the raspberry dessert he had had a lunchtime!!! The rest of the journey was awful, he was continuously sick over and over again, until we reached the car home. Because of my quick reaction the first time and Nigel doing a brilliant job of holding the bowl under his chin from his position in the back seat, Father didn't get any sick on his clothes at all, which was a miracle really.

It was such a relief to arrive at the home. The sunshine was beautiful and there was a donkey in the horse field next to the care home and it looked very pretty. Nigel got Father out of the car this time (bless him) and we got him into the wheelchair. He was sick again, but no more after this – he looked very pale and I was worried about him now – I gave him some water from my bottle. I had suggested to Nigel earlier that it would be better to take him straight upstairs to his room. It would have finished him off to then join 25 residents, after the day and stress he had had. So, we took him upstairs in the lift and wheeled him into his new bedroom.

He didn't cry any more and was simply exhausted. I helped to toilet him and then transferred him into the armchair where he promptly fell asleep. I met some lovely staff today including Gay, Josie and Bibin who were all wonderful and caring people and massive thank you to them all, but the Golden Angel of the day was without a doubt Nigel Playford, so thank you so much. Whilst father slept, I unpacked all his things, which I really enjoyed doing. It wasn't funny packing them all up this weekend at all, but it nice to be able to put everything away nicely and in an organised fashion.

Father woke up and was calm and I pointed out where everything was and what was in the room, not that he could really see anyway, but there was one thing that super organised Penny had forgotten – after I listed everything, he said questionably 'clock?' 'Ahhhh....' I said, "I forgot about that, I'll get you one'. Father likes to see the time and if its a huge clock, he can see the hands on the clock, so will have to nip to Argos or somewhere and get him one. I decided to stay with Father until he got into bed and then leave. The evening was beautiful and I could hear Blackcaps singing in the garden.

A very clever qualified lady, I think her name was Josie discussed Father's medication with me and came back a bit later to give him his tablets. I could hardly believe what I witnessed – she put three tablets on a spoon, he took them instantly, had a drink and it was all done in under 20 seconds. Why then did it take Mother and I two bloody hours at times! If I had known he was going to comply so quickly with strangers, I would have put him in this home yonks ago!!! Well, you know what I mean! Got Father into his pyjamas etc and got him into his new bed (hospital bed) which is much more suitable, more spacious and had two big rails and cot sides. I brought his own pillow with me, as we all like our own pillow don't we. The first thing he said was when I got him into bed, was 'rails again, don't want these, I can't get out' 'exactly' I replied, 'that's the idea...... just like when you were at home'. The only time I got emotional whilst there, was when he said 'when will I be going home?', which for a moment I didn't khow to answer and then said, 'well it depends if you like it here, you might want to stay'. Anyway, I have typed far too much, but I find blogging helps to get everything off your chest. I left Father peacefully in bed at 9.20pm. All the staff were awesome and I felt very happy to leave him here, but my only worry was the call bell string is a very thin string and I don't think he will be able to pull it, but they will check him regularly anyway.

I then drove back to Mother's at Holme to make sure she was ok and showed her a little video I took of Father in his room to reassure her. She looked knackered. I had a quick coffee and a piece of coffee cake I found in the tin, as I hadn't eaten this evening. As Mother and I both said, it was very very weird with Father not being in the house. I tried to paint a rosy picture for Mother and pointed out that she would be able to sleep in, go out and do anything she pleases now!!! I can't wait to take her out birding! Drove home and felt relieved the day was over. Back to work tomorrow!

If any old friends of Father's would like to visit him, the care home is Summerville House, Fenway, Heacham, Norfolk PE31 7BH. It's going to be good for birding too, loads of horse fields around there! There has to be a hoopoe at least! Can't wait to take father out for a walk in the wheelchair, good times ahead all round hopefully! Good Night!

http://www.carehome.co.uk/carehome.cfm/searchazref/10001510SOMA#reviews

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
BEE-EATER still early morning, but no further sign after 8.30am, North Market Road, near BT building at Winterton.
RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER fem. still, in bushes by cricket ground behind Lesley Curtis bench at Overstrand.
Black Redstart in beer garden at Lord Nelson pub, Short-eared Owl at Nelson Head track at Horsey.
Dotterels x 8 viewed east from minor road between Choseley and Thornham, SW of Choseley Drying Barns. Also Snow Bunting by 2nd telegraph pole, south of parking area
TURTLE DOVES x 2 on East Trail at far end of horse paddock, Little Stints x 2, Arctic Tern on freshmarsh at Titchwell RSPB.
TURTLE DOVE, Short-eared Owl at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Garganey still on lake at Felbrigg Hall NT.
WHITE STORK flew south at 1.45pm over Heacham.
Black Terns x 2, Garganey x 4 at Welney WWT.
TURTLE DOVES x 2 at Weybourne.
TURTLE DOVES x 3 along Firs Road, Short-eared Owl over grazing marsh at Holme.
Whinchats x 2 on footpath to Dauke's Hide at Cley NWT.

Cambridgeshire Highlights
GREAT REED WARBLER still, singing at Paxton Pits NR at Little Paxton.


MEGA NEWS
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN still at Drift Reservoir, 2 miles west of Penzance, Cornwall!!!
MEGA! GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO in observatory garden at Portland Bill, Dorset.
MEGA! SNOWY OWL on Bryher and Tresco, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! LAMMERGEIER imm. re-found, Dartmoor, 3.5 miles NNW of South Brent flew NE over Avon Dam Reservoir at 11.35am and seen up until 9pm, Devon [presumed to be a wild bred bird from reintroduced population in Alps].
MEGA! GREEN WARBLER still, Baltasound, Unst for 3rd day, trapped & ringed, Unst, Shetland.

IUCN Calls For The Commission To Protect The Turtle Dove Against Spring Hunting Season In Malta

About bl**dy time!!!
http://iucn.org/about/union/secretariat/offices/europe/european_union/?22696/IUCN-calls-for-Commission-to-protect-the-Turtle-Dove-against-spring-hunting-season-in-Malta

Also see:

BBC naturalist back in Malta on anti-spring hunting mission

"BBC's Springwatch presenter Chris Packham returns to Malta to monitor the spring hunting season on 'the island where doves die' • Hunting lobby FKNK warns that 'infamous Englishman's' visit is unwelcome."

http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/lifestyle/environment/64394/bbc_naturalist_back_in_malta_on_antispring_hunting_mission_?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter#.VzpO09d0GqQ

Devastating News & A Pants Weekend!

I would love to have seen that gorgeous Bee-eater at Winterton that has delighted so many birders over the weekend, but its been dawn 'til dusk sorting out stuff for Father's move tomorrow and general assisting at home. If I ever have to cut out, write or iron another label on a garment, I will lose the plot completely!

Heard some absolutely shocking news this morning (can't talk about it at the moment, not appropriate) that had me in floods of tears. Why do the most dreadful things happen to the loveliest people – life is so cruel at times. It's been a pants weekend all round. I wished I had booked tomorrow morning off as well as the afternoon now, oh well.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Temminck's Stint, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB.
TURTLE DOVE singing along The Firs Road at Holme.
Dotterels x 25 viewed east from minor road between Choseley and Thornham, SW of Choseley Drying Barns.
BEE-EATER still on North Market Road, near cable station at Winterton and also at East Somerton.
Short-eared Owl at North Dunes, Winterton
Black Tern at Sparham Pools, Lyng.
Garganey x 2, Black Terns x 7 flew past Hemsby.
TURTLE DOVES x 3, Short-eared Owl at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Garganey x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Great White Egret at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
WHITE STORKS x 2 presumed escape, flew over church at Ingoldisthorpe.
RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER fem. in bushes by cricket ground behind Lesley Curtis bench at Overstrand.
Garganey x 2 still on lake at Felbrigg Hall NT.
BLACK KITE over North Tuddenham.
Ring Ouzel at Stiffkey Fen.
Little Stints x 2 at Cley NWT.

Cambridgeshire Highlights
GREAT REED WARBLER singing at Paxton Pits NR at Little Paxton.


MEGA NEWS 
MEGA! LAMMERGEIER imm. on Thursday, on rocks then flew east, then NE along Severn Estuary at Sudbrook, South Wales.
MEGA! GREEN WARBLER on Baltasound, Unst for 3rd day, trapped & ringed, Unst, Shetland.
MEGA! GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO at Reap Lane, Southwell, Portland, Dorset.

MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN at Drift Reservoir, 2 miles west of Penzance, Cornwall!!!
MEGA! SNOWY OWL on Tresco, Isles of Scilly.

MEGA! WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW probable, on 4th May in garden at Port Niz, Lewis, Western Isles, Scotland.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

STOP PRESS! MEGA! Britain's 2nd GREEN WARBLER in Shetland!!!

GREEN WARBLER on Unst for 2nd day!
Trapped & ringed, Baltasound, Unst, Shetland.

Pictures HERE and HERE.
Discussion HEREHERE, HERE
and HERE

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Temminck's Stint, Little Gull at Titchwell RSPB.
BEE-EATER still on North Market Road, near North Dunes entrance at Winterton and also at East Somerton.
Dotterels x 28 in ploughed field, west of bend in road at Choseley Drying Barns.
Garganey x 2 still on lake at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Great Northern Diver flew past Sheringham.
TURTLE DOVE, Whinchat at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Little Stints x 2, Spoonbills x 2 at Cley NWT.
Great White Egret at Welney WWT.
Short-eared Owl at Holme.

Lincolnshire Highlights
BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER still at Frampton Marsh RSPB.


Cambridgeshire Highlights
GREAT REED WARBLER singing at Paxton Pits NR at Little Paxton.


MEGA NEWS
MEGA! GREEN WARBLER on Baltasound, Unst for 2nd day, trapped & ringed, Unst, Shetland.
MEGA! GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO at Reap Lane, Southwell, Portland, Dorset.MEGA! FEA'S/ZINO'S PETREL flew north past Flamborough Head, Yorkshire.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN still 2-3 miles NW of Polgigga, flew over Skewjack Farm towards Nanjizal, Cornwall!!!
MEGA! SNOWY OWL on Bryher and Tresco, Isles of Scilly.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Friday Night Update!

Considerably cooler today with north winds and rain. Tomorrow continues with North, North West Winds and mainly dry, rather cool day with variable cloud and some bright or sunny spells. However the brisk northerly winds will bring in isolated showers from the North Sea.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2652856?day=1

I have spent two nights after work this week, buying new clothes for Father and spent one evening this week helping Mother out with getting Father to bed, which wasn't very successful at all because of refusing tablets etc – he is aware that something is going on, although I don't think he really understands fully. However, he did state very clearly that he wouldn't be going anywhere – he is not aware of Mother's mental and physical state at all – all very difficult. Very stressful week again, with social workers suggesting to me on Tuesday evening that Father could go into the care home on Thursday, which although he needs to go asap for Mother's sanity, both Mother and I agreed this was too soon and much too short a notice to get everything ready. Also Lucy and Vivien would have been very upset if they had not seen him at home before he went. I also visited the care home again and was shown the room Father will have – the staff all seem very kind and helpful. The home is in a beautiful setting, surrounded by horse fields and there were lots of birds singing – I'll be looking out for Ring Ouzels in those fields!

Father is now leaving to go to his new home this Monday 16th May – I have booked a half day off work to help out and make things go as smoothly as possible, but I know it will be far from smooth, quite the opposite and I'm not looking forward to it at all. The care home is in Heacham – we would have liked one in Hunstanton, but he has to be in an EMI home and there are none that are suitable or that I liked enough in Hunstanton.

I have a lot to do this weekend – arriving at parent's early morning to help my Mother all weekend. Sorting all Father's clothes out, packing things up. Ironing on name labels on every item of clothing will take a while! Lucy and Vivien also coming over tomorrow – it will be the last time we are altogether in our family home, which is a very sad thought.

This has all happened at a fairly good time, as next Friday I'm on holiday for two weeks, so I can visit Father and help Mother to adjust to her new way of life and freedom for the first time. My main aim in that two weeks is to sit in the Cley NWT Visitor Centre with my Mother eating a cheese scone!!! Somehow I don't think that will happen though, as she is not in a good state at all. The first weekend of my holiday is the Norfolk Bird and Wildlife Fair at Mannington Hall, which I will be attending both days, so hope to see some of you there – spread the word!

Hope you all have a fabulous birding weekend. I would be at Winterton for dawn to see the spectacular Bee-eater if I was free, but sadly I'm not. Must be a record for the longest staying Bee-eater in Norfolk, surely?

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Osprey flew north of Wiveton.
Black Tern east of sea wall, Redstarts x 2, Ring Ouzel, Tree Pipit at Burnham Overy Dunes (2 Spoonbills yesterday).
Wood Sandpiper, Blue-headed Wagtail, Spoonbill at Breydon Water.
Ferruginous Duck x Pochard hybrid (probable) fem. opposite Walsey Hills NOA at Cley NWT.
Arctic Terns x 3 flew north over Cley NWT.
Dotterels x 28 in ploughed field, west of bend in road at Choseley Drying Barns.
BEE-EATER still on North Market Road, near North Dunes entrance at Winterton.
WHITE STORK esc. flew NE over Beighton Marshes.
TURTLE DOVES x 2, Short-eared Owl at Holme Dunes NWT.
Garganey x 2 still on lake at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Pied Flycatcher, Redstart fem. in The Plantation at Blakeney Point.
Dotterel yesterday on Great Sandy Low at Blakeney Point.
Temminck's Stint, Little Gull at Titchwell RSPB.

Lincolnshire Highlights
Broad-billed Sandpiper, but no further sign after 4.18pm at Frampton Marsh RSPB.

MEGA NEWS 
MEGA! GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO at Wallsend, Portland, Dorset.
MEGA! CALANDRA LARK still on Fair Isle, Scotland.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN south of Sennen at Trevilley circling inland of B3315 and seen over Polgigga, Cornwall!!!
MEGA! SNOWY OWL on Tresco, Isles of Scilly.

Chris Packham Branded "nut job" By Hunting Firm After Asperger Admission

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/springwatch-host-chris-packham-branded-7956600#ICID=sharebar_facebook

The only 'nut jobs', are the sick people who are killing our birds of prey and other wildlife!!!

Ban Driven Grouse Shooting
Grouse shooting for 'sport' depends on intensive habitat management which increases flood risk and greenhouse gas emissions, relies on killing Foxes, Stoats, Mountain Hares etc in large numbers and often leads to the deliberate illegal killing of protected birds of prey including Hen Harriers.

Please keep the petition going:
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/125003

Thursday, 12 May 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
BEE-EATER still on wires near Low Road/North Market Road and later on north side of cricket club in evening at Winterton.
Garganey, Wood Sandpiper at Titchwell RSPB.
Spoonbill at Breydon Water.
BEE-EATER viewed from Big Sky Cottage, along Manor Farm Road at East Somerton.
Dotterels x 28 in ploughed field, west of bend in road at Choseley Drying Barns.
Garganey, Arctic Terns x 49 at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Grey-headed Wagtails x 2 at Kelling Quags.
BEE-EATER reported at 9.50am (heard only) flying west over visitor centre at Cley NWT.
BEE-EATER over Hilltop at 10.27am then flew north, Grey-headed Wagtail in Eye Field late evening at Cley NWT.
Montagu's Harrier flew in off sea and then flew inland at Holme, Short-eared Owl at Holme Dunes NWT.
PALLID SWIFT flew west over villlage at 12.10pm, then just west of junction at Langham Road +A49 with Common Swifts at 12.20pm then flew west + lost to view, Blakeney.
Wood Sandpiper at Pensthorpe Waterfowl Park.
Garganey x 2 still on lake at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Common Crane, Spotted Redshank at Hickling Broad NWT.
Short-eared Owl at Salthouse.
WHITE STORK esc (green ringed) at duck pond at Fakenham Garden Centre.

Lincolnshire Highlights
Broad-billed Sandpiper at Frampton Marsh RSPB.

MEGA NEWS
MEGA! LESSER SPOTTED EAGLE unconfirmed report (probable) west of Otford off A225 flew SW over wetland towards M26, Kent.
MEGA! CALANDRA LARK still on Fair Isle, Scotland.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN circling over Higher Alsia Farm at St Buryan, Cornwall!!!
MEGA! WESTERN RUFOUS TURTLE DOVE (form meena) 1w still, on south side of Otford, east of A225 in tree in back garden on The Old Walk, viewed from The Butts, Otford, Kent.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
TURTLE DOVE, Temminck's Stints x 3, Little Stints x 2, Wood Sandpiper, Little Gull at Titchwell RSPB.
Spotted Redshank on pool east of Lady Anne's Drive at Holkham.
Spoonbill, Curlew Sandpipers x 3, Little Stint at Breydon Water.
Wryneck reported, Red-backed Shrike, just west of Holkham Pines in bushes just south of fence, Ring Ouzel, Redstart at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Whinchat on golf course at Caister-on-Sea.
Black Tern, Short-eared Owl, Little Gull at Holme NOA.
Dotterels x 26 in ploughed field, Montagu's Harrier, west of bend in road at Choseley Drying Barns.
Pied Flycatcher at Walsey Hill NOA.
Firecrest at Southtown Common, Gorleston-on-Sea.
Osprey flew NW over Tasburgh.
ALPINE SWIFT at Framingham Earl SE of Norwich.
Firecest at Wells Woods.
Garganey x 2 still on lake at Felbrigg Hall NT.
BEE-EATER at bottom of paddocks in tree on Low Road at Winterton.
Garganey x 2 on Simmond's Scrape at Cley NWT.
Pied Flycatcher, Redstarts x 3, Whinchat, Short-eared Owl at Blakeney Point.
Richard's Pipit at Weybourne.
Short-eared Owl at Hickling Broad NWT.

MEGA NEWS
MEGA! SEMIPALMATED PLOVER at Tacumshin, County Wexford, Ireland.
MEGA! CALANDRA LARK still on Fair Isle, Scotland.
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT, Bardsey Ireland, Wales.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN on sea at Porthgwarra and SE of Sennen, near St Levan, Cornwall!!!
MEGA! WESTERN RUFOUS TURTLE DOVE (form meena) 1w still, on south side of Otford, east of A225 in tree in back garden on The Old Walk, viewed from The Butts, Otford, Kent.

MEGA! SNOWY OWL at Gugh and St Mary's, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! GREY CAT BIRD wholly unconfirmed report, possible, on Monday in garden in  Bersted at Bognor Regis, Sussex.