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Saturday, 31 January 2015

Curled Up & Hibernating!

Curled up underneath my wonderful scottish rug with a hot water bottle on the sofa, all afternoon! It looked evil outside and felt bitterly cold when I opened the front door earlier. Sleet and rain for most of the day and dull skies. How lazy, some of you might say! But one has to rest now and again at my grand old age of 50 and it felt so cosy and snug, whilst the wind howled outside! I was exhausted after my party last night and no I wasn't hung over, I only had four drinks – well I say 'only' thats alot for me, as I rarely drink and certainly not on a regular basis. I had to get up early this morning to let a British Gas engineer in, to fix my faulty hot water tank and after he left, I thought about getting back into bed, but opted to doze on the sofa instead. On hindsight I would be have been better going to sleep properly and then the entire day would not have been wasted. I also slept through my Skoda test drive appointment and woke up after the garage closed! Oh dear! Will try and get another appointment for tomorrow and also need to go to CleySpy too, so hope the snow doesn't lay. I have just remembered a nice little cafe I am going to for my lunch tomorrow, which I had almost forgotten about.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Smew at Felbrigg Hall Lake.
Richard's Pipit, Twite x 14 at Breydon Water.
Hen Harrier at Hemsby.
Common Cranes x 34 at Horsey.
Hawfinch at Lynford Aboretum.
Water Pipit, Snow Buntings x 12, Bittern at Titchwell RSPB.
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB.
Pomarine Skua (west past beach car park), Snow Buntings x 45 at Cley NWT.
Jack Snipe at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Tundra Bean Geese x 2 at Holkham.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Great White Egret at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath RSPB.
Black-throated Diver, Hen Harrier at Holme.
Purple Sandpipers x 2 at Sheringham.
Bewick's Swans x 226, Whooper Swans x 38 at Ludham.
Firecrest at Beeston Common, Sheringham.
Short-eared Owls x 3, Hen Harrier at Haddiscoe Island, viewed from Waveney Forest.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Bewick's Swans x 10 at Halvergate Marshes.
Hen Harriers x 3 at Stiffkey.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Beighton Marshes.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, North of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Ancient Underwater Forest Discovered Off Norfolk Coast!

"Nature experts have discovered a remarkable submerged forest thousands of years old under the sea close to the Norfolk coast."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-30905267

Friday, 30 January 2015

Birthday & Work Leaving Party!

 Kelly, Penny and Jules

Fabulous 50th and Leaving Party with some of my colleagues this evening at The Stuart House Hotel for a fabulous meal and disco and then the 'The Globe' to continue dancing, with Jules, Sarah, Hilary, Suzy, Andrea, Sara, Caraline, Amy, Kelly, Scott and James. Just a few pictures for now, as its 1am!

Kelly, Hilary, James, Scott, Jules, Suzy, Sarah and Penny.

Sarah, James, Scott, Penny, Sarah, Jules and Suzy,
plus some random lasses in the background!

Penny, Caraline and Sara.

Sarah, Scott, James and Kelly

Sarah, Scott and James

DJ at The Stuart House Hotel

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Tundra Bean Geese x 14 at Breydon Water.
Smew at Rollesby Broad.
Smew at Felbrigg Hall Lake.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Great White Egret at Lyng.
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB.
Hen Harriers x 3, Marsh Harriers x 50 (yesterday) at Stubb Mill Roost, Hickling Broad NWT.
Common Cranes x 2, Hen Harriers x 2 at Stubb Mill Roost, Hickling Broad NWT.
Common Cranes x 32 (yesterday) at Waxham.
Common Cranes x 23 at Waxham.
Tundra Bean Geese x 2 at Horsey.
Water Pipit, Bittern, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB.
Purple Sandpipers x 3 at Sheringham.
Snow Buntings x 50 at Cley NWT.
Great White Egret, Water Pipit, Whooper Swans x 4 at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath RSPB.
Hawfinch at Lynford Aboretum.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, North of Aberdeen, Scotland.
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT still, Balranald RSPB, North Uist, Western Isles.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Earthquake in East Midlands Felt In Norfolk!

"An earthquake measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale hit the village of Cottesmore in Rutland in the East Midlands last night, the US Geological Survey said."

"The tremor was reported on Twitter to be felt as far east as Syderstone in Norfolk and near to the University of East Anglia in Norwich when it happened at 10.25pm."

See the EDP Website for full report and also on the BBC Website.

Snow Storm!

Ok so I have exaggerated!!! The snow started heavily falling at just before 2pm, but quickly disappeared by the end of the afternoon. Update on the EDP website

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Twite x 40, Spotted Redshank at Thornham Harbour.
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB.
Caspian Gull at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford.
Snow Buntings x 30 at Holme.
Water Pipit, Spotted Redshanks x 2, Bittern x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Twite x 12 at Breydon Water.
Caspian Gull, Bittern, Water Pipit, Marsh Harriers x 21, Pink-footed Geese x 850, Tundra Bean Geese x 6 at Cley NWT.

MEGA NEWS!
None.

David Attenborough's Paradise Birds!

"Documentary tracing David Attenborough's lifelong passion for birds of paradise, from the forests of New Guinea more than 50 years ago to the desert of Qatar today."

Shown tonight on BBC2 and available on iplayer for 29 days.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p023wbh0/attenboroughs-paradise-birds

Kiesza Peforms on the Ellen DeGeneres Show

http://www.ellentv.com/videos/0-yv0em6h0/

Kiesza is one of my favourite artists. Also see her perform on previous posts here and here.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Another Birthday Celebration!

Back at work today, everyone bought food in for my birthday lunch. My work colleagues very kindly gave me a big bouquet of beautiful flowers and a lovely card.

Went for another chiropodist appointment this morning, just before I started work and the plaster cast moulds were made in order to make my new shoe inserts, which I will get in about 5 weeks time – fascinating watching how they are made.

I can't believe that I only have two weeks left at work this Friday, before I start my new job!

Whizzed into town after work to get a quick fringe trim at the hairdressers, supermarket run and fuel fill-up. Shattered when I got home. It's supposed to be snowing by the morning, so got the wellingtons ready in case I have to walk in!

RBA Weekly Round-Up 21st to 27th January!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2015-04.aspx?s_id=96596140

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Great White Egrets x 3 at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath RSPB.
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB.
Water Pipit, Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Titchwell RSPB.
Water Pipits x 2 at Thornham Harbour. 
Rough-legged Buzzard, Bewick's Swans x 15 at Halvergate Marshes.
Red-necked Grebe (reported yesterday again) at Wells Harbour.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, North of Aberdeen, Scotland.
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT still, at Balranald RSPB, North Uist, Western Isles.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

STOP PRESS! LITTLE BUSTARD Found Dead in Norfolk!

"Norfolk, dead, Little Bustard on Thursday
22nd January, east of Norwich near Blofield picked up from road.
" via Rare Bird Alert.


Picture here on RBA and Twitter:
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/RealData/gallery_show.asp?GalleryID=30362
https://twitter.com/RareBirdAlertUK/status/560137320687751168

Such a shame to be have been found dead, so sad. That would have been a MASSIVE twitch had it been found alive!!! There hasn't been one in Norfolk since 1968 and that was also found dead!

Previous Records via RBA
I find these previous records fascinating to read on Rare Bird Alert – well worth subscribing to for bird and mega news, past records, articles etc.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Tundra Bean Geese x 5, Pink-footed Geese x 10,000, Barnacle Goose, White-fronted Goose at Docking.
Purple Sandpiper at Walcott.
Common Cranes x 28 at Waxham.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Hawfinches x 8 at Lynford Aboretum.
Snow Buntings x 3 at North Beach, Great Yarmouth.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Great White Egret at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath RSPB.
Snow Buntings x 8, Twite x 2, Water Pipit, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB.
Twite x 50 at Thornham Harbour.
Great Grey Shrike at Roydon Common.
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Hen Harriers x 7 at Warham Greens.
Snow Buntings x 40 at Cley NWT.
STOP PRESS!  Norfolk, dead, LITTLE BUSTARD on Thursday
22nd January, east of Norwich near Blofield picked up from road.


MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, North of Aberdeen, Scotland.

MEGA! AMERICAN COOT still, at Lough Gill, County Kerry, Ireland.

STOP PRESS!  Norfolk, dead, LITTLE BUSTARD on Thursday 22nd January, east of Norwich near Blofield picked up from road.

MY 50th BIRTHDAY!

The Beginning!
My parents were living at 'The Firs' at Holme in Norfolk (now the NWT Visitor centre) which they rented, whilst father was still in the early days of establishing Holme Bird Observatory. My mother was told she could possibly have a difficult first birth and so she moved to live with her adoptive mother in Loddon to be closer to the old Norwich Hospital. This was a few days before I was born on 27th January 1965. My mother continued to stay with her mother for a few days, before returning with me to 'The Firs', were my first year was spent. There is a picture in the family album of my mother holding me in 'The Firs', I will have to digg it out – will try and find it later today.

Today!
Got up at a fairly decent time, but didn't get out birding when I wanted to, as needed to help Mother with a few errands. Opened some presents and cards from friends. It was a gloriously sunny day and quite mild. Calm before the snow storms maybe, which are forecast from Wednesday onwards! Stopped at Tescos to get a bit of shopping for parents. Drove to Ringstead to get sack of sticks at a local farm for parents fire, but there wasn't any, which was unusual. Dropped in shopping to parents, but didn't stop.

Titchwell RSPB
At the Visitor Centre, Sue B. popped her head out of the shop door to kindly say 'Happy Birthday' – two other birders greeted me the same!

Walked around Fen Trail and up as far as Island Hide, but didn't see much to be honest. Then had to walk back to meet my sisters Lucy and Vivien for lunch. I managed to get a corner table in the cafe just before they both arrived. We all had main course and dessert, apart from Vivien who declined dessert, which is exactly why she is considerably slimmer than me! We spent a long time in here, just enjoying each other's company and having a catch up. The sun had now disappeared to leave a dreary, dull afternoon until dusk.

We then walked as far as Island Hide. Lots of Shoveler in front of the hide and I could see 2 Avocets distantly, with the usual waders on the scrapes. Lucy decided she wanted to go back, so both my sisters left and went to my parents, leaving me to continue to the beach. On route I found a single Pintail, 5 Little Grebes, Mute Swans, Redshanks, Teal, Wigeon, Brent Geese and a couple of Little Egrets. On the shoreline there were at least 20+ Turnstones, Sanderlings (6+) and 1 Grey Plover amongst the usual gulls. The tide was out, so very little movement on the sea. I started to walk to Thornham Point, but then turned back, dreary weather, and light disappearing fast. Saw a Barn Owl on the way back to the car, but no harriers seen whilst I was there.

Holme
What a lovely surprise – there were several brightly coloured '50' Balloons tied to a shrub in the front garden at my parent's house, which Vivien had bought! On entering the house I was greeted with two bouquets of flowers from my sisters and a homemade chocolate cake (made by Vivien) adorned with chocolate and white chocolate buttons, this looked scrumptious! Vivien had also made cheese scones! Opened some wonderful presents and cards. Vivien (I think) had bought a card and managed to get father to write in it for my birthday, don't know how he did this with his poor vision, but it was eligible, just! That was very special. I did request that father put his new trousers on, just for me on my birthday, but he point blank refused – he's still wearing the shorts!

Vivien and I went to Hunstanton to the Indian Restaurant to pick up a takeaway for everyone, except father (he hates anything spicy, always has) and managed to get it back to Holme still hot enough to eat. Vegetable Biryana and Peshwari Naan – my favourite choice! My mother loves Indian food and rarely gets the chance for anything like this, which is why I decided to get a takeaway.

The birthday cake was adorned with candles and lit. Vivien and I were in stitches as the candles for some reason, were really difficult to light and when we had lit most of them, Vivien breathed too heavily and most went out!!! We had to start again! Everyone sung the usual 'Happy Birthday' and a hilarious video was taken! Cup of tea with yummy birthday cake was enjoyed by all.

Vivien then left to drive back to Ely. Mother mentioned that father's nails needed cutting and how she didn't like doing this (because she can't see very well, but she won't admit to it). When I asked father if I could cut them, he agreed (nearly fell over, as he doesn't agree to anything nowadays). So spent quite a while trimming and filing his nails, which he said felt 'very good' and looked chuffed. Lucy and I said our goodbyes and then left. I drove via Ringstead just to see if the farmer had filled up any sacks of sticks – he had, so bought 2 sacks and went back to mother's to deliver, before returning to King's Lynn at around 10pm. Dropped Lucy off and then went home. Took me ages to unload the car with birding gear, flowers, balloons, presents etc.

I had some wonderful presents today including a: Manfrotto MVH500AH Video Head, £100 worth of Vouchers, Thorntons Champagne Bottle with 'Happy 50th' inscribed, M&S Birthday Cake, Home-made Chocolate Cake, Flowers, Balloons, new pens for work, 'I am 50' Badge, Natural Stone/Bird Earrings, a pair of 'Pandora' Sparkling Amethyst Stud Earrings,  posh soap, pink highlighter, an owl ornate bag from Thailand, Chanel No. 5 & mini birthday cake! Wow! Cards mean so much and I had some beautiful cards from my closest friends and family – thank you.

Huge thank you to everyone for all my wonderful and extremely generous presents and to my family for making my day so special
Love Penny x x x x x

After finally unloading the car and sorting stuff, I turned on the Mac, I couldn't believe how many emails were in my inbox.... 142!!! Also had around 100 facebook birthday wishes, Wow! Thank you all so much!

Pictures to be added on Thursday

Monday, 26 January 2015

49 – The Last Hour!

Got up late and have been in the doldrums all day. I don't know quite why, I just have. Well, ok its probably due to my mid-life crisis about being 50 tomorrow. Couldn't motivate myself to do anything at all. Did some washing and even that was an effort. Cooked brunch, snoozed on sofa.

Looked through the new Skoda Fabia brochure to select options to add to the car and made a list before I go to the garage to sign on the dotted line over the next few days. Can't decide on the colour, but think I will pick black this time, yes I know black shows the dirt, but then so does my current pacific blue colour! I thought black would make it look a bit trendier!!! Well maybe not, but my currrent Skoda has been a fantastic car, so why not get another! Excellent service from Walkers Skoda in King's Lynn http://www.skoda.co.uk/models/fabiahatch2015/default.

The last hour of being 49! Can't believe I'm going to be 50 tomorrow – so depressing, how did I get that old!!! Going birding in the morning and then spending the rest of the day with my family. "The older you get the quicker time goes".... as said by an old neighbour of mine Derek Rochester in Sudbury, Suffolk where I lived many moons ago.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Shag at Wells Harbour.
Golden Pheasant at Wolferton.
Great Grey Shrike at Roydon Common.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Snow Buntings x 50 at Cley NWT.
Great White Egret at Lyng.
Tundra Bean Geese x 8, Pink-footed Geese x 10,000, Barnacle Geese x 2, White-fronted Goose at Docking.
Tundra Bean Geese x 17 at Somerton Holmes.
Caspian Gull, Yellow-legged Gull at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford.
Great White Egrets x 2, Yellow-legged Gull, Whooper Swan at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath RSPB.
Hawfinch x 5 at Lynford Aboretum.
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 183 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, North of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Sunday Roast, Raptor Roost & CleySpy!

As expected, I woke up with the usual Blakeney Point hip ache, in fact I felt pretty shattered all over. It takes me a day to recover from that walk. Woke up early, but decided to stay under the duvet for a while longer. Eventually got up and ready for my Sunday Roast date with Pete S., Eddie M. and John F. at The Three Swallows pub in Cley.

The Three Swallows does a very good Sunday Roast and caters equally well for vegetarians – I had a nut roast with my yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and veg, followed by Bailey's Cheesecake. 'Asbo' the pub cat is still going strong – he is such a gorgeous, ginger tabby cat, but apparently can strike out at any time, hence his name! It was lovely having lunch with Pete, Eddie and John – we seem to have got into a habit of eating here every now and again.

Pete went home for a rest (had been at work all morning), Eddie and John went off to the Warham Raptor Roost. I went to CleySpy to collect my birthday present, which had been very kindly purchased for my birthday from my Mother and sister Vivien. My present at CleySpy was a Manfrotto MVH500AH Head which is a much improved upgrade to my current Manfrotto 128RC head. This will improve panning when doing phonescoping and videoing with either the phone or SLR.

The lovely Suzanne who works at CleySpy, had very kindly wrapped my birthday present and adorned with a fancy bow – what a lovely surprise! All the staff had also written in a 50th Birdy birthday card for me – made my day! Don't know where they managed to find that card from! 'A First Class Service' indeed and thank you to all the staff there. I felt really bad about unwrapping the present to be honest, but had to really, in case there were any issues with attaching the new head.... which there was, because of my tripod column being slightly corroded (sea salt/water), it was difficult to take apart to attach the new head and also my Nikon ED50 scope (which had a new footplate added a long time ago) needed a slight adjustment to make it align to fit into the new plate (long story). Phil and Andrew sorted it all for me, so all good in the end. Traded in the old 128RC head part payment for a spare plate to attach onto the Canon 7D bracket, so I don't have to swop between scope and camera.

Went to Warham Raptor Roost later than intended, to join Eddie and John and a few other birders. In the short time that I was here I saw 2 Male Hen Harriers, 1 Ring tail Hen Harrier, 1 Marsh Harrier and a Merlin which Eddie had spotted sitting on a post way out in the distance – I couldn't see this with my scope at all! Eddie and John had added to this before I got there: 4 Marsh harrier east, an adult male Peregrine, a Sparrowhawk and a Barn owl. Cruised home and fell asleep on the sofa again.

PHOTOS TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Twite x 14, Short-eared Owl at Breydon Water.
Tundra Bean Geese x 3 at Weybourne.
Purple Sandpipers x 4 at Sheringham.
Snow Buntings x 60, Twite x 50 at Cley NWT.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Holkham.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island.
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB.
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 190, Bewick's Swan, Water Pipit at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Taiga Bean Geese x 2 at Cantley Marshes RSPB.
Tundra Bean Geese x 17 at Somerton Holmes.
Shorelark at North Dunes, Winterton.
Green-winged Teal at Welney WWT.
Great White Egret at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath RSPB.
Black Brant (or hybrid) at pitch + putt, Wells.
Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB.
Caspian Gull at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford.
Bewick's Swans x 200, Whooper Swans x 17 at Ludham.
Great White Egret at Lyng.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT still, at Lough Gill, County Kerry, Ireland.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

BLAKENEY POINT!

Stopped in Holt on the way to Cley, to look in Morston Country Sports for new waterproof mittens, but they didn't have any in my size. Whilst trying on a posh (expensive) pair of wellies, something really funny happened..... my waterproof trousers split from top to half way down my left leg in one quick and massive rip!!! I laughed, but it wasn't funny really, as this was going to cost me! Tried on a pair of waterproof trousers in shop, but didn't love them AND they were £50! I had bought my now split trousers from Mountain Warehouse, quite a while ago now, so decided to go to their shop just around the corner, to see if they had any similar waterproof trousers – they did indeed and I got seriously lucky when the lady working in there, phoned her Manager who said 'just do a straight swop for a new pair'! So I got a brand new pair for nothing, jammy!!! Pleased as punch, I duly left!

My pre-birthday celebrations started with a cheese scone at the Cley Visitor Centre! Naughty me – it tasted so good! The views over the marshes looked stunning in the glorious sunshine.

The sun shone all day long and it was a beautiful day. I felt like a long walk and Blakeney Point seemed like a nice, but crazy idea. Blakeney Point was featured on 'Winterwatch' this week and Michaela Strachan suggested that people walk to Blakeney Point to see the seals. I like Michaela alot, as a person and presenter, but I really, really wish she hadn't mentioned this! I have never seen so many people walking down BP!!! Loads of people in front of me and loads behind, a continuous stream of families, dogs, couples and children – several people were underdressed and had no drink or food either. 'Winterwatch' didn't mention the fact that its a 10 mile walk on shingle, maybe they should have done! There will be alot of people snoozing in tomorrow morning with tired joints and achey hips! That includes me!!!

I saw quite a few birds really, considering the time of year. Several pairs of Reed Buntings in the sueda bushes, three Blackbirds and a Hedgesparrow. Bird of the day was a spectacular Ring tail Hen Harrier, which appeared distantly over the Blakeney channel, flew over the sueda, across me and then east along the beach at Halfway House at 12.30pm. My camera was still in the rucksack at this point, so no pictures obtained. I sat on the front door steps at Halfway House in the warm sunshine and a had a coffee and lunch. It was beautiful sitting here and so peaceful. All the seal watchers had walked along the beach, so I had escaped them all, until later that is.

'Long Hills' didn't produce any snow buntings or shorelarks sadly, but I did have a big flock of Goldfinches. I continued on to 'The Plantation' which looked very barren with all trees leafless and the single pine tree was the only coverage for any birds. But, as to be expected, there were no birds in here at all. I sat high up on the dune enjoying the spectacular views in the winter sunshine, whilst having another coffee.

I crossed over the dunes and onto the beach and very sadly found three dead Seal Pups, each one a different age. There was another young seal in a small pool that didn't particularly well at all – slow moving and its eyes looked glazed over, I hope it survives. There was a pup in the sand dunes which looked really healthy and was a real poser – I got some pretty good pictures, considering the failing light. Further east along the beach, there was another very young pup with parents. I spent a while photographing these from a distance – didn't need to be close with a 300mm lens. A couple with a dog came much too close and both of the pup's parents looked alarmed and I suggested that the dog should not come any closer, which they did then respect. But this was late in the day, goodness knows what happened earlier. I actually wish they had been loads of seals here. The fact that there were only a few, would have been much tougher for them to put up with all those people today and some of those people would have got too close to get their pictures. As I left and started to trudge back along the beach, I turned and looked back. A youngish man on his own moved in closer to the seal family far too close to get his picture on phone, which distressed the parent's who then attempted to go after him, but he stayed close to get his pictures before leaving them. I don't know if anyone from the National Trust was there today to keep an eye on people's behaviour, but if they weren't, maybe they should have been, considering the massive advertising on BBC1!

I was told by a friend that phoned me up, the Cley beach carpark was packed out and emergency access for National Trust vehicles had been blocked with cars! Chaos! Anyone would have thought there was a major twitch on! The NWT would have made a bomb today, had they had someone on the hut taking carparking fees. I'm sure it will be the same tomorrow.

The walk back was cold and relentless and it seemed to take, forever (as always) to get back to Coastguards. I arrived back in the car park at 5.45pm. Drove home and duly collapsed on the sofa to watch 'The Voice'.

PHOTOGRAPHS AND VIDEO TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Short-eared Owl at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Tundra Bean Geese x 2, Pink-footed Geese x 1,000 at Weybourne.
Snow Buntings x 50 at Cley NWT.
Snow Buntings x 65 at Salthouse.
Purple Sandpipers x 4 at Sheringham.
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB.
Snow Buntings x 23, Lapland Bunting at Holme.
Caspian Gull at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford.
Hen Harrier east over Halfway House, Blakeney Point (PAC).
White Storks x 3 (esc) at Filby Broad.
Smew at Ormesby St Margaret.
Tundra Bean Geese x 13 at Welney WWT.
Waxwing, opposite Tescos, Hunstanton.
Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl at Breydon Water.
Great White Egret, Yellow-legged Gull at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath RSPB.
Great Grey Shrike at Roydon Common NWT.
Hawfinch at Lynford Aboretum.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Caspian Gull at Fisher Fleet, King's Lynn.
Hen Harriers x 4 at Stubb Mill Roost, Hickling Broad NWT.
Hen Harriers x 5 at Warham Greens.
Waxwings x 3 in garden at Thornham.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, North of Aberdeen, Scotland. 
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT still, at Lough Gill, County Kerry, Ireland.
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT still, at Balranald RSPB, North Uist, Western Isles.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Celebration Weekend!

Four Days off and Birthday Celebrations!!!

Birding and lunches organised with friends and family. Combined birthday/leaving meal booked for work colleagues next Friday!!!

Looking forward to some time off work. The weather doesn't look too bad either! Saturday looks the best day for sunshine.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Hen Harrier at Stiffkey.
Smew, Red-breasted Merganser at Ormesby St Margaret.
Waxwing, Water Pipit x 2, Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB.
Firecrest at Beeston Common, Sheringham.
Water Pipit at Blakeney Fresh Marsh.
Tundra Bean Geese x 2, Pink-footed Geese x 1,000. Eurasian white-fronted Geese x 2 at Weybourne.
Waxwings x 4, opposite Tescos, Hunstanton.
Red-necked Grebe at Wells Harbour.
Hen Harrier at Winterton.
Great Grey Shrike at Grimston Warren NWT and Roydon Common NWT.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Lapland Buntings x 2 at Holme.
Twite x 65 at Thornham Harbour.
Caspian Gull, Yellow-legged Gull at Fisher Fleet, King's Lynn.
Great White Egret, Yellow-legged Gulls x 2 at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath RSPB.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Ongar Hill.
Caspian Gulls x 2, Yellow-legged Gull at Aldeby.
Hawfinches x 4 at Lynford Aboretum.
Tundra Bean Geese x 6 at West Somerton.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Marshes.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Boughton Fen.

MEGA NEWS!
None.

Confirmed – Norwich To Host BBC Radio One’s Big Weekend in May!

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/confirmed_norwich_to_host_bbc_radio_one_s_big_weekend_in_may_1_3927608#cxrecs_s

Thursday, 22 January 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Waxwings x 2 still, opposite Tescos, Hunstanton.
Snow Buntings x 82, Black-throated Diver at Cley NWT.
Great White Egret at Lyng.
Great Grey Shrike at Roydon Common.
Lapland Bunting at Brancaster.
Smew at Rollesby Broad.
Hen Harrier, Spotted Redshank at Breydon Water.
Red-necked Grebe, Shag at Wells Harbour.
Waxwing at Burnham Deepdale.
Red- breasted Merganser, Bittern at Ormesby Little Broad.
Twite x 54 at Thornham Harbour.
Waxwing, Water Pipits x 2, Hen Harrier, Snow Buntings x 50, Spotted Redshank, Long-tailed Duck at Titchwell RSPB.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 4 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Caspian Gull at Nunnery Lakes Nature Reserve, Thetford.
Great White Egret, Bittern, Hen Harrier, Bewick's Swans x 4 at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB.

STOP PRESS!!! A lady sent the following correspondence about a possible Harlequin Duck at her Snettisham holiday home, but decided it wasn't in the end: http://pennyshotbirdingandlife.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/norfolk-bird-news-megas_4.html

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, North of Aberdeen, Scotland.
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT still, at Balranald RSPB, North Uist, Western Isles.

Blakeney Seals Its Place In The Record Books!

"Blakeney Point has shot to number one as the largest breeding site for Grey Seals in England. The number of Grey Seals born on this beautiful stretch of Norfolk coastline has increased one hundred fold in just 14 years, when the first 25 pups were born on the spit."

"......a total of 2426 seals were born this season......."

Read the full account from Coastal Ranger Ajay Tegala on the RBA website here:
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/Blakeney_seals_its_place_in_the_record_books.aspx?s_id=961219921

THE NORFOLK BIRD & WILDLIFE FAIR 2015!

Date for your Diary!

Last year's Norfolk Bird Fair was a success that lots of people attended. But lots of people heard about it after the event and were upset they missed it, so you have heard it here! Pencil on your calendar now! Here is my account last year:

Day One:

Day Two:

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Result!

Another 1.5lbs lost this evening. Just hope I stick to the diet this time!!!

Oh dear, seven days to go to the big birthday!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Waxwings x 2 still, opposite Tescos, Hunstanton.
Black-throated Diver, Great Skua, Water Pipit at Cley NWT.
Great White Egret at Sparham Pools, Lyng.
NIGHT HERON (esc) at Lenwade.
Purple Sandpipers x 2 at Sheringham.
Long-tailed Duck at Holme.
Twite x 45 at Thornham Harbour.
Otters x 2 at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Water Pipit at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Tundra Bean Geese x 2, Pink-footed Geese x 9,000 at Brancaster Staithe.
Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB.
Shag at Wells Quay.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 3, Barnacle Geese x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Bewick's Swans x 3 at Ingham.
Common Cranes x 6, Hen Harrier at Stubb Mill Roost, Hickling Broad NWT.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, North of Aberdeen, Scotland.

MEGA! AMERICAN COOT still, at Lough Gill, County Kerry, Ireland.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 14th to 20th January!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2015-03.aspx?s_id=961218962

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Tuesday – fell asleep!
Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Twite x 70 at Thornham Harbour.
Tundra Bean Geese x 3 at Binham.
Hen Harrier at Choseley Drying Barns.
Great Grey Shrike at Roydon Common.
Waxwing, Bittern at Whitlingham Country Park, Norwich.
Twite x 11 at Breydon Water.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Short-eared Owl, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Snow Buntings x 50, Long-tailed Ducks x 2 at Holme.
Velvet Scoter at Holkham.
Shag at Wells Harbour.
Twite x 50 at Cley NWT.
Common Cranes x 4, Hen Harrier at Billockby.
Hen Harrier at Scolt Head Island NNR.
Hen Harriers x 4, Short-eared Owls at Warham Greens.
Waxwing along Holt Road, Cromer.
Water Pipit x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Waxwings x 2 opposite Tescos, Hunstanton.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, North of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Monday, 19 January 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Shag at Wells Harbour.
Black Brant at Holkham.
Snow Buntings x 50, Purple Sandpiper, Twite x 25 at Cley NWT.
Snow Buntings x 20 at Holme.
Great Grey Shrike at Roydon Common.
Richard's Pipit, Short-eared Owls x 3 at Breydon Water.
Tundra Bean Geese x 3, Pink-footed Geese x 1,290 at Docking.
Twite x 40 at Thornham Harbour.
Tundra Bean Geese x 2, Pink-footed Geese x 4,000 at Brancaster.
Snow Buntings x 60, Twite x 3 at Salthouse.
Black Redstart, Snow Bunting at Winterton.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl, Barnacle Geese x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Hawfinches x 8 at Lynford Aboretum.
Hen Harriers x 4 at Warham Greens.
Waxwings x 2 at Cromer.
Waxwings x 3 at Dersingham.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! CANVASBACK Female, possible – reported yesterday, Wimbledon Park Lake, London. Also on 28th December '14 on Queensmere, Wimbledon Common.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, North of Aberdeen, Scotland.
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT still, Lough Gill, County Kerry, Ireland.

Anne Kirkbride, Coronation Street's Deirdre Barlow, dies aged 60!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-30891246

I've grown up with Deirdre – a brilliant actress and national treasure.... so very sad – RIP

Winterwatch & Blakeney Point!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b050m18h/winterwatch-series-3-episode-1

Sunday, 18 January 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Hawfinch at Lynford Aboretum.
Snow Buntings x 60 at Holme.
Purple Sandpipers x 3 at Sheringham.
Black Redstart at Winterton.
Great Grey Shrike, Hen Harrier at Roydon Common.
Common Cranes x 2 at Horsey.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Bewick's Swans x 3 at Halvergate Marshes.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Tundra Bean Geese x 10 at Welney WWT.
Snow Buntings x 65 at Salthouse.
Richard's Pipit, Short-eared Owls x 2 at Breydon Water.
Twite x 35 at Thornham Harbour.
Snow Buntings x 3 at Caister-on-Sea.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Black Redstart at Somerton Holmes.
Great White Egrets x 2, Whooper Swan at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB.
Bewick's Swans x 10 at Ingham.
Water Pipits x 2, Hen Harriers x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Hen Harriers x 4, Short-eared Owl at Warham Greens.
Waxwing at Kelling.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! SLATY-BACKED GULL still at Killybegs, County Donegal, Ireland.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, North of Aberdeen, Scotland.
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT still, Lough Gill, County Kerry, Ireland.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Titchwell RSPB!

No snow here in King's Lynn today, the sun was out, but it was cold enough to freeze your hair! It snowed for a while in Cley this morning, so Eddie told me, but hadn't laid. I had jobs and things to sort this morning, so didn't get out birding until the afternoon.

On route to Titchwell I had fabulously close views of a Common Buzzard perched in the hedge, next to the roadside on the minor road to Choseley Drying Barns. I slowed down, but as soon as I stopped the car, the buzzard flew off – so there was no chance of opening the door to sneak out and get the camera out of the boot! Isn't it annoying when that happens – I usually have the camera sitting on the seat at the ready!

It was so cold, I didn't want to get out of the car at Titchwell – sat and had my vege sausage sandwich and a coffee before I ventured out. I always wear mittens when its seriously cold, but even they didn't keep my hands warm today. I didn't actually get very far at Titchwell, in fact I was pretty lazy! There had been (note I say 'had been') a Woodcock showing from the path in the usual undergrowth between the car park and visitor centre, but it wasn't showing when I and a few other people looked. We were all rewarded with wonderful views of a Chiffchaff close by though and the usual Robins.

Chaffinches, greenfinches etc were on the feeders and Moorhens feeding below, at the beginning of the Fen Trail. Bumped into and had a brief catchup with Warden Paul Eele, which was nice. A Barn Owl was hunting just beyond the Fen Hide and a Song Thrush, Blackbirds, Moorhens and Pheasants were feeding along the path adjacent to the field, just outside the reserve boundary. I walked the East Trail past Patsy's Pool and was excited to see that a new pool has been dug out, just south of Patsy's Pool and to the left of the path – there weren't any birds on here, but it potentially looks like a fabulous addition to this area of the reserve.

I waited and waited for harriers to appear. I nearly gave up it was so cold and started to walk back, but then returned when I saw them fly in. One Ring-tail Hen Harrier put on a massive display along with at least 5 Marsh Harriers. Hundreds of Brent Geese flew north over the reserve and landed on the main pools, but then later all headed south again over my head towards inland fields. It was dark when I arrived back at the car.

Visited Tescos, Sainsburys and Redwells in Hunstanton to get various shopping for my mother and then spent the evening with my parents. Father is STILL in those bl**dy shorts with blankets wrapped round his legs!!! The house was cold, so I kept my coat on. Mother won't wear thermals, she 'doesn't want nylon against her skin'. I explained that thermals do not feel hot and itchy in this weather! She always wears a cotton teashirt next to her skin throughout the winter and wonders why she is cold – why do my parents have to be sooooo different to everyone else – feels like that anyway. Was sent home with two of the three pairs of trousers that I got for father for M&S to return to the shop – mother and I left one pair, just in case a miracle happens and he actually puts them on! Got home at 9.30pm. I should got have got straight on with ironing uniforms for tomorrow, but fell asleep on the sofa until Vivien rang me for a chat.

Ahhhh...... just remembered, my cafepress Sigg Bottle that I designed recently arrived this morning, but it was printed incorrectly, so they have to send another one out. Slightly annoying as the print quality is crystal, but the Sigg logo was printed over my Parrot Crossbill picture and not underneath as it should be – see here.

Update – Sunday
The Customer Service from Cafe Press is excellent. I received an email today to say that they will send out a replacement right away and to keep the current bottle as their way of an apology. So I will have two bottles for the price of one – even though the design isn't quite right – bargain!

PICTURES TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Rough-legged Buzzard, Richard's Pipit at Breydon Water.
Golden Pheasant at Wolferton.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Hen Harrier at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl, Bewick's Swans x 3 at Halvergate Marshes.
Bewick's Swans x 135, Whooper Swans x 25 at Catfield.
Hen Harrier at Upton Broad NWT.
Slavonian Grebe, Velvet Scoters x 2, Spotted Redshank, Snow Buntings x 40, Twite x 35, Water Pipits x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Tundra Bean Geese x 4 east of Choseley Drying Barns.
Tundra Bean Geese x 12 at Welney WWT.
Great White Egrets x 3, Whooper Swan at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl, Velvet Scoter, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 25, Firecrest at Holkham.
Slavonian Grebe at Blakeney Harbour.
Tundra Bean Geese x 4, Common Cranes x 3 at Horsey.
Tundra Bean Geese x 4, Pink-footed Geese x 6,000 at Brancaster.
Shag at Wells Harbour.
Hen Harriers x 3 at Warham Greens.
Water Pipits x 2 at Cantley Beet Factory.
Common Cranes x 6 at Hickling Broad NWT.
Short-eared Owls x 3 at Haddiscoe Island.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! SLATY-BACKED GULL at Killybegs, County Donegal, Ireland.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, North of Aberdeen, Scotland.
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT still, Lough Gill, County Kerry, Ireland.

Friday, 16 January 2015

End of an Era and A New Job!

The big decision I have been trying to make over the last few weeks has been about my job. I still enjoy my work to a degree, but lots of things have changed. On a public blog I can't really go into the reasons why I wanted to leave though. I have applied for three different jobs over the last few months – the first job I got an interview for, but two days before the the interview I sprained my ankle – remember that?!!! so couldn't go to that one. The second job I applied for, which I thought I would get an interview for..... I didn't! The third job was for a Discharge Planning Assistant, which I got an interview for on the 22nd December – the exact day that I started my current post six years ago – how weird is that!!! Booked the afternoon off as annual leave. The interview was really hard, but I felt that it went really well. It obviously did go well, as the following day I had a phone call to say I got the job!!! I was very excited, but at the same time very worried that I might be making a mistake. I have spent the last few weeks in turmoil to be honest. You can't afford to make a mistake with a job when you get to my age and especially when I am the main and only 'bread winner' in my house!

I work with some wonderful people and will miss working with them, but the good thing is that in my new role I will be covering two wards, one of them being the Stroke Ward, so I will still be involved with my current team to a degree. My new job will be alot easier physically, but on the other hand I will be walking alot more, going back and forth between the two wards.

Received my new job contract today and then gave my notice in as Senior Therapy Assistant on The Stroke Rehab Team. I will be leaving on Friday 13th February and start my new post as a Discharge Planning Assistant with the Discharge Planning Team on Monday 16th February! Its a Band 3 job the same as I am now, so no financial gain, but a very different job – should keep me busy! I will still have to do my second bank job at weekends to keep the bank account happy though. The hours are so much better for birding – earlier start but finish at 4pm instead of 4.45pm – 45 minutes is a huge difference when you need to get to a rare bird! Every 4/5 weeks I have to work on a Saturday from 8am to 2pm, then work two days the following week until 5pm instead of the usual 4pm and then have a whole day off in the week. It's going to be scary leaving, but now I have made my decision I'm looking forward to my new job!

The Weekend!

I will be working all day on Sunday, but if snow allows will be out birding locally on Saturday. It always snows just before, during or after my birthday. January is not an ideal month to be born in!

Weather
Saturday – A dry start and bright, then briefly becoming cloudy later in the morning with a chance of the odd wintry shower. Mainly dry and bright again to end the day.

Sunday – Remaining cold with further wintry showers and sunny periods. Most showers during Sunday, probably some prolonged snow for a time, then becoming mostly confined to coastal areas. Widespread overnight frosts.

 YELLOW WARNING OF SNOW  http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2646403

High Tides
Saturday – 03.06 and 15.47. Sunday – 04.12 and 16.42.

Have a lovely weekend!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Tundra Bean Geese x 15 at Hemsby.
Snow Buntings x 2, Twite x 30 at Salthouse.
Taig Bean Geese x 7 at Cantley Marshes RSPB.
Bewick's Swans x 250 at Ludham.
Snow Buntings x 4 at Winterton.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Glaucous Gull, Short-eared Owls x 9, Hen Harrier at Breydon Water.
Common Cranes x 3 at Horsey.
Great White Egret at Lyng.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owls x 2, Hen Harrier at Halvergate Marshes.
Hen Harrier, Ruddy Shelduck at Acle.
Great White Egrets x 2, Yellow-legged Gulls x 2, Whooper Swan at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB.
Common Cranes x 9 at Woodbastwick.
Great Northern Diver at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
White-fronted Geese x 40 at Holkham.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Short-eared Owl, Hen Harrier at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Hawfinches x 6 at Lynford Aboretum.
Great Grey Shrike at Roydon Common.
Hen Harriers x 3 at Stiffkey.
Twite x 40 at Thornham Harbour.
Common Cranes x 13 at Stubb Mill Roost, Hickling Broad NWT.
Hen Harrier at Snettisham RSPB.
Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB.
Purple Sandpipers x 2 at Sheringham.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, North of Aberdeen, Scotland.
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT still, Lough Gill, County Kerry, Ireland.

Happy Birthday!

Holme Beach, September 2012
 
Happy 70th Birthday Malcolm! 
 A dear friend, whom along with his lovely wife Eileen,
have known me since year dot.
Wishing you a fabulous birthday and a peaceful day.
Love & Best Wishes Penny x

Bar-headed Geese: Highest Bird Migration Tracked!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30799436

Thursday, 15 January 2015

NORFOLK BIRDING & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Great Northern Diver at Rockland Broad.
Black Redstart, Great Skua at Winterton.
Great Grey Shrike at Roydon Common.
Great Northern Diver at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Snow Buntings x 9 at Holme.
Common Cranes x 2 at Horsey.
Richard's Pipit at Breydon Water.
Snow Buntings x 30 at Cley NWT.
Twite x 30 at Thornham Harbour.
Great White Egret at Lyng.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Great Northern Diver, Hen Harriers x 2, Water Pipits x 2, Hen Harrier, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, North of Aberdeen, Scotland.

MEGA! AMERICAN COOT still, Balranald RSPB, North Uist, Western Isles, Scotland.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

New Year, New Me, Medical & Weather Update!

OK......so, started diet AGAIN last week. Lost 3.5 pounds at my first weigh in this evening! A long way to get my goal though. Lots of changes this year in my mid-life crisis!

Goals for 2015
  1. 9 Stone in weight – achievable
  2. Move house – possible
  3. Change job – highly likely
  4. Go on Holiday – work harder
  5. Marry Johnny Depp – unlikely, though one has to dream!
  6. Change my car before guarantee runs out – currently sorting
  7. Find my own Mega! – yeah right! pigs flying!
  8. Spend more time with my family – important
  9. Keep blogging – hard work, but now part of daily life
  10. To keep up-to-date with adding pictures on my blog! – ?
The wind is howling and a gale is going on right now, but no snow here yet in North West Norfolk. Looks like we have escaped so far, but I'm sure we will get some – it always snows either just before or after my birthday. Been very, very busy lately with personal stuff. Got a very early birthday card this morning, thanks!

I had an appointment at St James's Clinic today with an Orthotic Consultant who assessed my Achilles tendinopathy in my ankle and my feet generally. The appointment was fascinating because of what I learnt about my feet and also because the consultant was half my age and well, rather dishy! Being serious now, I was told that from birth I have 'Rear Foot'/Forefoot Varus' – basically this means that I don't walk correctly! This also explains why I have pulled the ligaments in the same left ankle so many times. The consultant was very impressed with the orthotic insert that I had already purchased for my shoes, but said it needed adjusting. I waited around 15 minutes for him to make an adaption to my inserts – these would now suffice until my next appointment, when he will make a cast of my feet and make me a pair of three-quarter orthotic inserts to be worn in any shoe! He also complimented my shoes and said he rarely sees anyone walk into his clinic with good quality and supportive shoes. I was given exercises to do three times a day to improve my pain and have to go back in two weeks – its very rare that I look forward to going to any hospital appointment, but this one I am! He also kindly gave me a catalogue for my mother called 'Wider Fit Shoes' – these are the widest shoes you can buy in the UK apparently – my poor mother has tiny feet but because of bunions (result of being shoved into cheap, ill-fitting shoes as a little girl) she finds it impossible to find comfortable and wide enough shoes.

Out on a Community appointment this afternoon with Suzy, I spotted a Red Kite flying over the A10 just north of Downham Market, which was a nice surprise. I hope I'm not snowed in here at the weekend as I NEED to go birding – getting withdrawal symptoms!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Great White Egret at Lyng.
Great Northern Diver at Rockland Broad.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Short-eared Owls x 2, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Glossy Ibis (probable), Short-eared Owl, Spotted Redshank, Hen Harrier at Breydon Water.
Tundra Bean Geese x 9, Pink-footed Geese x 400 at Hemsby.
Common Cranes x 8, Hen Harriers x 3. Marsh Harriers x 50 at Stubb Mill Roost, Hickling Broad NWT.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Hen Harrier at Halvergate Marshes.
Twite x 40 at Thornham Harbour.
Bewick's Swans x 160, Whooper Swans x 10 at Ludham.
Tundra Bean Geese x 5 south of Choseley Drying Barns.
Hen Harrier at Waveney Forest.
Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB.
Tundra Bean Geese x 7, Common Cranes x 7 at Horsey.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Welney WWT.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, North of Aberdeen, Scotland.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 7th to 13th January!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2015-02.aspx?s_id=719007174

Fingerprints 'breakthrough' for Wildlife Crime Investigators!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30802401

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl at Halvergate Marshes.
Bewick's Swan x 180, Whooper Swans x 20 at Ludham.
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB.
Long-tailed Duck at Wells Harbour.
Firecrest at Holkham.
Tundra Bean Geese x 5, Pink-footed Geese x 1000, Common Cranes x 2 at Horsey.
Purple Sandpipers x 2 at Sheringham.
Richard's Pipit, Short-eared Owl at Breydon Water.
Great White Egret at Lyng.
Snow Buntings x 30, Twite x 20 at Holme.
Twite x 30 at Thornham Harbour.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Short-eared Owls x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Tundra Bean Geese x 9, Pink-footed Geese x 6,000 at Docking.
Great Northern Diver at Rockland Broad.
Tundra Bean Geese x 15 at Winterton.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, North of Aberdeen, Scotland.
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN at Corranroo, County Clare, Ireland.

Monday, 12 January 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Pomarine Skua, Great Skua, Tundra Bean Geese x 9 at Winterton.
Tundra Bean Geese x 5 at Hemsby.
Spotted Redshank at Breydon Water.
Tundra Bean Geese x 2, Pink-footed Geese x 1,610 at Choseley.
Snow Buntings x 50 at Cley NWT.
Taiga Bean Geese x 2, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 12, Water Pipit, Bittern at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Greenland White-fronted Goose, Pink-footed Geese x 5,500 at Burnham Market.
Caspian Gull, Yellow-legged Gull at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford.
Hen Harriers x 3 at Warham Greens.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, North of Aberdeen, Scotland.
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT at Lough Gill, County Kerry, Ireland.