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Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Recovery and Photo Editing!

Recovery morning after Blakeney Point! Then picture editing, which took far too much time up on a sunny day. Out birding all day tomorrow.

Links to where I have added pictures and videos:


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Red-spotted Bluethroat between Weybourne and Sheringham
Spoonbill flew over Weybourne Camp
Turtle Dove, Black Tern, Little Stint, Great Northern Diver, Spoonbills x 3, Little Gull at Titchwell RSPB
BEE-EATER flew north, Turtle Doves x 6, Spoonbill flew over South Beach, Heacham
BEE-EATER flew NE over Sainsbury's, Hunstanton
Temminck's Stints x 2 on scrape east of Wells
Common Cranes x 4 at Welney WWT
Dotterel x 3 at Blakeney Point
Spoonbills x 2 at Potter Heigham Marshes
Great White Egret at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT
Montagu's Harrier, Common Cranes x 2 at North Dunes, Winterton
Spoonbills x 2 at Cley NWT

Nene Washes Cambridgeshire

Monday, 20 May 2019


The Plantation, Blakeney Point

Today's post won't take very long to write! Walked Blakeney Point to find my own birds. Sat by The Plantation and watched a Pied Flycatcher, male Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Garden Warbler, Linnets and Meadow Pipits. Tried very hard to find a good bird, but a north west wind isn't exactly what I wanted. Cloudy skies and spitting with rain on and off, but nothing exciting dropped in. Had a few Reed Buntings and several Meadow Pipits elsewhere on route, but that was it. Late afternoon was beautiful, with full sun and blue skies – the walk back along the beach was beautiful, with waves crashing on the shingle. I had to walk on the inland side amongst the sueda for part of the way back, as the tide was in and I couldn't cope with trudging through deep shingle!
Pied Flycatcher in The Plantation, Blakeney Point

Blackcap in The Plantation, Blakeney Point

The sycamore where the Blackcap and Pied Flycatcher were

Sea Thrift


The Lifeboat House and information centre

The walk back along the sloping shingle!

Palm Oil washed up along the beach!
I had no idea what this was until I read the report in the EDP later this evening and also KLFM!

Beautiful walk back along Blakeney Point

Back at Coastguards I bumped into David Tipling as I stumbled into the car park. David said he had just had an altercation with some dog owners along the East Bank – their big Alsatian was off the lead and jumping around in the reeds off the bank – sheer ignorance!

Driving along Beach Road, I had my bird of the day!!! The magical white Barn Owl that Steve G. and others have had the good fortune to see and photograph, appeared like a ghost over the reed bed towards the end of the road by the A149 and then doubled back. Wow, this bird is stunning! I spun the car round and headed back to Coastguards – the Barn Owl flew alongside my car on the west side of the road and then crossed over to the marshes on the east side and then disappeared over the sea wall – no pictures I'm afraid. I waved down David Tipling as he drove past me and he watched it from the seawall, where it was joined by a 'normal' Barn Owl and then flew over towards the village. Nice end to the day! This Barn Owl is like something from a fairytale!

This was my first BP walk this year and I was pleased that my dodgy ankle managed to behave itself and not give way. Its quite shocking really to think that there is only ONE Pied Flycatcher in the whole of Norfolk in May!!! Equally shocking, is the lack of birds in general. I have only seen two Swallows all day. I drove home exhausted!


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Turtle Doves x 2, Cattle Egrets x 2, Little Gull at Titchwell RSPB
Dotterel x 2 SE of Choseley Drying Barns
Spoonbills x 4 at Breydon Water
Red-spotted Bluethroat between Weybourne and Sheringham
Pied Flycatcher, Spoonbill at Blakeney Point
Ring Ouzel near Southrepps
Osprey flew over, Spoonbills x 5 flew over Holme Dunes NWT
Spoonbills x 4 at Cley NWT
Spoonbill opposite lifeboat station at Wells
Temminck's Stints x 2, Wood Sandpiper on scrape east of Wells
Turtle Dove at Kelling Heath
Blue Fulmar, Velvet Scoter at Sheringham
Spoonbills x 2 flew over Snettisham

On Saturday, Stronsay, Orkney
Nene Washes Cambridgeshire
Musselburgh Lagoons, Lothian, Scotland

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Pensthorpe Bird & Wildlife Fair & A Red-spotted Bluethroat at Weybourne!!!

Simon King and I at the Pensthorpe Bird & Wildlife Fair

Bill Oddie and I at the Pensthorpe Bird & Wildlife Fair

I arrived at Pensthorpe Waterfowl Park at around 10.30am for the first "Pensthorpe Bird And Wildlife Fair". I later regretted not visiting yesterday as well, as I didn't even have time to walk round the reserve itself properly today. I just made it in time to listen to Lizzie Bruce's presentation "The future of RSPB Titchwell" at 11am – Lizzie is Warden at Titchwell and until today I hadn't actually met her. I have no idea how old Lizzie is, obviously loads younger than myself, but I was hugely impressed by her enthusiasm, passion and confidence – she was an excellent speaker. I can waffle away to a handful of people, but to get up there on stage and speak to the masses, there is no way I could do that. It was extremely interesting hearing about the future plans for Titchwell, including the freshmarsh, which is going to be divided up into four sections! Also plans to improve the Fen Pool and much more. Mike Dilger came to listen to her talk. I introduced myself to Lizzie at the end of her presentation.

I made my way over to the marquees and had a lovely time looking at the all the exhibitor stands, chatting to people and handing out my new business cards!😉 I was so pleased that I managed to get selfies with Simon King and Bill Oddie fairly quickly!!! I took lots of pictures of all the stands and pictures of various people, including the fabulous CleySpy Team, NOA, lovely picture of Lucy McRobert and Duncan MacDonald at Wildsounds signing her book and more pictures of Simon King and Bill Oddie at their talks later in the afternoon.

Had a lovely lunch in the picnic area – nice selection of food vendors and a choice of seating in sunshine or shade by the lakes. The weather was fabulous all day, which got the crowds out. Very relaxed atmosphere, except when everyone was jostling to get the best seats for Simon King at 2pm! I don't know how I managed to get a front seat in the lecture marquee, but I did! I felt like the cat that got the cream, as I sat only yards away from Simon King, who as usual presented a fabulous talk, supplemented by the most fascinating photographs, with the usual humour and animal noises thrown in too! I stayed seated for Bill Oddie's talk at 3pm, who also presented a fascinating account of his life in birding. My only issue was my coccyx injury from sitting on a short post at Titchwell a couple of years ago, was agony sitting on a wooden chair for two hours – I really regretted not bringing my fold up cushion!

I now had one hour left until the fair closed at 5pm. Met Joe Harkness (Bird Therapy) and his wife and child. I was hoping to bump into Craig Jones, who is an awesome photographer, but our paths didn't cross. David Tipling was showcasing all his amazing work, such a nice man too. Took more pictures of stands, took some pictures of Simon King on the CleySpy stand for Tim and managed to wander around the reserve for half an hour. My phone battery had died completely, so couldn't take any more pictures, which was a little annoying. Saw Bill Oddie wander off around the reserve at the end of the day. I'm sure there must have been an after party for all the exhibitors and celebrities. Bill and Deb Jordan certainly pulled off a fabulous event, just like a scaled down Rutland Bird Fair really, in a very beautiful, but more family orientated setting. They are already planning next year's event.


Love this picture! Me with some of the CleySpy Team
From left: Tim (boss), Simon, Phil and Suzanne

Self explanatory!

Simon, Penny and the lovely Suzanne

Phil and Susie!
 Lucy Ferrer and Ray Roche at the NOA Stand!

David Tipling: Photographer

Simon King with me again!

Simon King on the Zeiss Stand

Bill Oddie with me
Duncan MacDonald with Lucy McRobert signing her new book at the WildSounds stand!

Simon King presenting his always enthralling talk

Bill Oddie presenting his life's birding in one hour – hugely entertaining as always!
Only a small part of Bill's talk – my phone battery ran out!

The crowd behind me in the Lecture Marquee for Bill and Simon!

A lovely lady I met who reads my blog – Christina who was here with her family, nice to chat with you

White-naped Crane!

Barnacle Goose


Bill Oddie having a stroll at the end of the day

Stained glass in the courtyard garden

Back at my car parked in the field, I had a coffee and something to eat and then had to make a decision...... the sensible Penny should have gone home, but the crazy Penny decided to twitch the Red-spotted Bluethroat at Weybourne! So off I went! I can't resist a Bluethroat!

Parked the car up along the road opposite the windmill at Weybourne and walked east for a very long way and joined Andy Hale to search for the Bluethroat. It was spitting with rain and it looked pretty hopeless to be honest. We were the only ones here searching, until Ashley Banwell, his wife Claudia and daughter Alice turned up and found the Bluethroat within minutes! Not bad going for a family that had already done Blakeney Point today! A few others turned up: John Hurst, Jake G. and a couple of other young lads (can't remember their names, sorry!). Young Alice had the best views, when she flushed it unknowingly only yards from her feet, as we stepped down onto the shingle beach to search for it! The Bluethroat was incredibly difficult to photograph and didn't pose anywhere for more than a nano second, but what a fabulous day all round! Didn't get home until 10pm though! On holiday for the rest of the week, looking forward to seeing some more hot birds! Not back to work until Tuesday 28th May!

Between Weybourne and Sheringham this evening!