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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Visit to Father!

After Father's visit from the GP yesterday, I wanted to go and see him this evening. I cooked a quick tea and headed to Heacham with binoculars and camera – I was hoping to persuade Father to join me (in his wheelchair) to walk along Fenway Road to look for yesterday's Pied Flycatcher, but he refused. He didn't look very good when I first arrived – he was badly positioned in the chair and had obviously wriggled forward on his air cushion and looked fatigued. Mind you, everyone is looking fatigued in this heat wave! I helped him to re-position further back in the chair – it took me three attempts. He looked a whole lot better when he was sitting upright. Unusually his speech seemed clearer this evening and I could understand most of what he was saying. He seemed worried and relieved as soon as I saw him, as he got into his head that I had had a car accident and had obviously been really concerned about me, which made me feel quite sad. He looked confused and relieved all at the same time, when I explained that I had not had a car accident.

I tried all my persuasive powers to encourage him to come outside, but he dug his heels in and said it would be cold and to be fair, it was cooler this evening. We sat and chatted for a good while about recent birds and recent goings on with Mother's neighbours (long story) that I was sorting and told him not to worry and that thank goodness I had inherited my alertness to other people's hidden agendas from him, to which he responded with a little smile. 'Don't worry' I said.... 'I don't miss a trick'. I then rang Mother so he could chat to her on the phone – again his speech was quite good and Mother seemed to understand what he was saying and he her, which was nice.

Father still hasn't settled and it seems like he is giving up, but I reminded him about his 90th birthday on 2nd November and that I had booked the day off work to celebrate his big day. He seems frightened at night times and says he doesn't like 'being put in a room and left'. So I had to explain that the room is his bedroom and went on to explain, that the place he lives in, is just a big house and that all the bedrooms are upstairs and how many people live here and why they are here, just like him etc etc. I have this conversation nearly every time I visit, but its very important to remind people with any level of dementia of 'time and place' as its called professionally – they forget where they are, why they have been moved etc. I makes it even more difficult when someone like my Father can't see – so for him, he doesn't know who staff are and who other residents are. He's not familiar with all the different rooms in the house and can only rely on people's voices.

It's heartbreaking to know that apart from visiting him, I can't improve his situation. He also got tearful a couple of times and said he wanted to go home and again I had to explain why he can't return home. He also asked how he got here and I had the delicate job of explaining that because of Social Services inadequate service of not providing two people and a wheelchair taxi, that it was the Manager Nigel and myself that had brought him here – I reminded him of how sick he had been on the journey, but he couldn't remember this at all.

I tried to get him to drink, but the reason he declined initially was because he said 'I will want to go to the toilet if I drink too much'. I encouraged him to have a drink just before I left. Drove back to King's Lynn and did the supermarket run – it was pouring with rain when I came out of the shop. North East winds and showers tomorrow – could bring a mega or two, you never know!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Garganey, Ravens x 2 flew over Babcock Hide at 7.30am, Cley NWT.
Pied Flycatcher in evening, Curlew Sandpipers x 30, Whinchat by Teal Hide, Caspian Gull on Pat's Pool at Cley NWT.
Black Tern flew west, Spoonbills x 15, Curlew Sandpipers x 11, Little Stints x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Red-backed Shrike juv. in hedge in field behind blue tractor near car park at West Runton.
Glossy Ibis from Tower Hide at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Caspian Gull juv. on beach at Cromer.
Garganey x 2, Curlew Sandpiper at Hockwold Washes.
Wryneck, Pied Flycatchers x 2 near pines west of Weybourne Camp.
Montagu's Harrier flew west over golf course, Pied Flycatcher in Cemetery, Quail, Whinchats x 4 at Sheringham.
Barred Warbler reported in pit by wood (with no general access), but no further sign by 12.30pm, 1.75mls west of Sheringham.
Icterine Warbler, Pied Flycatchers x 3, Redstarts x 2, Whinchats x 3 at North Dunes, Winterton.
Glossy Ibis at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Wood Sandpipers x 2 at Cantley Beet Factory.
Pied Flycatchers x 2 at Beeston Bump.
Turtle Dove at Wighton.
Pied Flycatcher in willow off Francis Road at Long Stratton.
Spoonbills x 6 at Burnham Overy Staithe.

MEGA NEWS 
MEGA! ROYAL TERN ad. (probably American Royal Tern) again NNW of Listowel at Beale Point, County Kerry, Ireland.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN SE of Devoran at Restronguet Creek, Cornwall.
MEGA! AMERICAN WHITE-WINGED SCOTER again, 4 miles NNE of Aberdeen just south of Blackdog off Mucar Links, Aberdeenshire.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, 500yds west of Perranuthnoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN still at Dundalk at Soldier's Point, County Lough, Ireland.
MEGA! LEAST SANDPIPER again at Loop Head 1 mile east of Kilbaha at Cloghaun Lough, County Clare, Ireland.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 17th to 23rd August!

By Andy Stoddart
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyRoundup2016-34.aspx?s_id=620219049
Thanks to the RBA Team for including my Red-backed Shrike photograph in their round-up this week.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

MEGA 'HOT' Birding!!!

Hot was an understatement! My car's dash screen said it was 31c outside, so in old money it was 88F!!! Too hot to do anything really. I wanted to take my Mother out for the day, but she refused, not because of the heat, but because she still can't bring herself to escape and enjoy herself, since father had gone into care, which is such a shame.

Packed the car up, but delayed going out until after lunch. Headed to Wells and to Garden Drove at Warham Greens. Parked on the concrete pad and headed along the hedge-lined track. It was unbearably hot along here. Big numbers of Speckled Woods and Small Whites and other insects were abundant all the way to the copse. However, I didn't see or hear a single bird on route!

Had a nice chat with an elderly, local man with binoculars, who also hadn't seen any birds at all. He described meeting someone here once and I immediately knew it had to be J. Furse! He did a good take off!!! We had an interesting conversation about East Hills – he goes out there regularly to pick samphire and he recalled a story of a few years back, when he had been picking samphire out on the marshes – he stood up and realised the fog had surrounded him completely. He said that he decided not to panic and walked away from the sound of the sea, but a while later found himself by the water's edge!!! Just goes to show how disorientated you can be in this situation. He attempted again and ended on dry land, but at Stiffkey! He said that had it been an incoming tide, he would have more than probably drowned – this was pre mobile phone days. He told me that the creek with the quick sand, was named after a man that lost his life there many years ago, but annoyingly I can't remember the name of the creek now.

Anyway, I returned along the track and stumbled upon a small tit flock, consisting of Long-tailed Tits, Blue and Great Tit along with one Willow Warbler. The heat was almost sickening. Headed east to Cley. As I travelled along the A149 through Cley, I could see that Coastguards was jam packed with holiday makers, so gave that a miss. Went to the Cley NWT Visitor Centre and chilled with a pot of tea outside on the veranda, but had to return inside, there was no breeze at all.

Parked at Beach Road, Salthouse and discovered to my delight, that there was a patch of shade when I opened my car door, so got my deckchair out and relaxed. It was too hot to walk to Gramborough Hill yet. An hour later, I headed east to the 'hill'. The temperature was more bearable and there was a hint of sea breeze, thank goodness. No birds on route at all, apart from a Heron and a Little Egret fishing in the same dyke, with what seemed like argumentative squawks from them both. Sand Martins were cruising over the hill and there were a good number of gulls around, both in the skies and on the sea. I sat on the hill overlooking the large buddleia and counted at least 18 Small Tortoiseshells, 1 Comma and a Meadow Brown here. I sat here for ages, when suddenly some foliage rustled and a smart Willow Warbler appeared and later on I watched three simultaneously. Two Linnets also appeared, but nothing else of note. Trudged back over the shingle to my car.

Had a phone call from Summerville Care Home to say that my father had hardly eaten anything today and had been unusually sleepy, so they called a doctor out to him, who took his obs – his BP was lower than normal, but the doctor just thought he may be too hot and recommended washing him with a flannel to cool him down and tepid water to drink and get him to bed, which they did. Later when I phoned, I was told he seemed more alert. I wish they had told me that earlier as I probably wouldn't have gone out.

I really fancied watching the Pied and Spotted Flycatchers at West Runton again, so headed east. If I had known there was a Pied Fly in Sheringham Cemetery, I needn't have travelled so far! In fact if I had visited my Father instead, there was a Pied Flycatcher reported along Fenway, next to the care home where he lives! There was no sign of any flycatchers in the scrub by the goal posts at West Runton, so walked over to the blue tractor to have a second look at the Red-backed Shrike. Bumped into Rob and Jill Wilson here and we had a nice catch up. The Shrike performed beautifully, but still not close enough for my lens. Two Wheatears and one Whinchat were also flitting about between the fence posts. The light was disappearing fast now and it was still muggy. Two birds flew across the stubble field and a few seconds later another two joined them – Rob, Jill and I walked alongside the clifftop to get a closer look and the four birds turned out to be Golden Plover. Drove home and arrived back at about 9.45pm.

My Mother decided at the last minute, that she did want her weekly on-line shop (she had changed her mind a few days ago), so I had to do that before writing the blog! Back to work tomorrow, which I am not looking forward to in this heat at all, especially when we are moving patients and and us to a temporary new ward, whilst ours is being refurbished over the next 10 weeks!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spoonbills x 12, Curlew Sandpipers x 33, Spotted Redshanks x 10, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB.
Whinchat at Thornham Marsh.
Glossy Ibis, Garganey x 9 from Tower Hide, Osprey flew east at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Curlew Sandpipers x 27 on Pat's Pool at Cley NWT.
Curlew Sandpiper at Hockwold Washes.
Curlew Sandpipers x 20, Little Stints x 5 at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
Red-backed Shrike juv. in hedge in field behind blue tractor near car park, Whinchat, Pied Flycatcher at West Runton.
Pied Flycatcher, Redstart yesterday, at East end of The Firs, Holme NWT.
Pied Flycatchers x 2 at Holme NOA and Holme NWT.
Wrynecks x 2 yesterday, one at Muckleburgh Collection at 3pm and one near pines west of Weybourne Camp.
Wryneck, Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat near pines west of Weybourne Camp.
Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Breydon Water.
Wryneck in sueda by bend in footpath at 1pm, 200 yds from West end, Spoonbills x 9 in pools adjacent to Gun Hill at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Pied Flycatcher near entrance of Sheringham Cemetery.
Whinchats x 3 at Beeston Bump, Sheringham.
Black Tern flew east, Little Stint, Spotted Redshank, Curlew Sandpipers x 2 at Snettisham RSPB.
Curlew Sandpipers x 4 at Welney WWT.
Pied Flycatcher in sycamores on west side of treatment works along Fenway at Heacham.

MEGA NEWS
MEGA! YELKOUAN SHEARWATER possible, Porthgwarra off Gwenna from Scillonian III, Cornwall.

MEGA! ROYAL TERN ad. (probably American Royal Tern) again NNW of Listowel at Beale Point, County Kerry, Ireland.
MEGA! BROWN BOOBY imm. on 14th August at sea for 2nd day on fishing boat off County Kerry, but no news since, Ireland.
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN still at Dundalk at Soldier's Point, County Lough, Ireland.
MEGA! SWINHOE'S PETREL ad. male singing at The Havens at 12.45am, Fair Isle, Shetland.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, 500yds west of Perranuthnoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.
MEGA! AMERICAN WHITE-WINGED SCOTER again, 4 miles NNE of Aberdeen just south of Blackdog off Mucar Links, Aberdeenshire.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Weybourne and West Runton!

 RED-BACKED SHRIKE
Perched on fence wires with two Wheatears and a Whinchat!
West Runton

Arrived at Weybourne this afternoon and parked up alongside the willows – free parking! It was a glorious, sunny but blustery day. I made my way west along the shingle to the pine trees and scrub to see the Wryneck. However, I had made a fatal mistake – I had left my scope in the car. From pictures I had seen on the net, which I presumed where SLR, the Wryneck seemed like it was only a short distance away from the coastal path. I was cursing myself, when I realised I should have brought my scope. At this time of the day I was looking straight at the sun and birds were silhouetted and hard to ID, even through the bins. When I first arrived, Marcus Nash and his son had just seen the Wryneck and said 'I timed that just right' – but I hadn't, I never saw that bird in the 1.5 hours I stood here! Others birds seen here were: Whinchat, Stonechat, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Goldfinches x 2, and Linnets x 2. Marcus had also seen a Redstart here, but I didn't see that either. Another birder thought he had the Wryneck perched on a bramble, but it was sitting away from us and distantly with bins and I couldn't really see if it was or wasn't with the light as it was – I was waiting for it to drop to the ground, when two other birders turned up with a scope and informed us it was the Whinchat I had seen a few seconds earlier – sigh, oh well! I could have waited longer, but I've seen plenty of Wrynecks before and decided to head to West Runton. Obviously the Wryneck would show after I left and of course it did!

I parked at the car park at the end of Water Lane at West Runton. With no sign of the ticket man, I parked free again! The Red-backed Shrike was far more confiding and it only took me a few minutes before I saw it! I stood just east of the blue Ford tractor, by the corner of the fence line. The Red-backed Shrike spent most of its time feeding in the hedge that runs south – but I was very lucky when it flew across the field and perched on one of the fence posts, along with 2 Wheatears and a Whinchat! It was still distant for my SLR camera, but got a reasonable record shot. I saw 2 Whinchats here altogether and also some House Sparrows sitting in the hedge. I wasn't able to phone-scope video the shrike, as it didn't sit long enough, which was rather frustrating.
Whinchat at West Runton

I headed west through the car parking area to the scrub by the goal posts. It seemed to be alive with birds in here and I had a wonderful surprise of not only 2 Pied Flycatchers but also 2 Spotted Flycatchers as well and a Wren creeping around! The light was failing now, so I headed home.

Along the Holt Road, A148 just before Bale I could see lots of blue flashing lights and what looked like a big crash scene, with several big lorries, cars, ambulances, fire engine etc. The road was blocked with a police car and a police officer was directing traffic south along Sharrington Road. I hadn't got a clue where I was going, so stopped to set up the sat nav. and eventually came back onto the A148, where a police car was across the road, directing traffic down the road I had just come from – I note from the Eastern Daily Press website that an air ambulance attended as well – it didn't look good at all.

After arriving home, I found out that the little girl I used to be nanny too, Allegra Loch and who's wedding I attended in 2013, has just given birth to her first child – Aurelia Beatrice, which is wonderful news, but now I really do feel old!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Great White Egret reported this morning at high tide, Spoonbills x 9, Spotted Redshanks x 2, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpipers x 4, Yellow-legged Gull, Turtle Dove at Titchwell RSPB.
Curlew Sandpipers x 25 on Pat's Pool at Cley NWT.
Glossy Ibis, Garganey x 6 from Tower Hide at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Red-backed Shrike juv. in hedge in field behind blue tractor near car park, Whinchats x 2, Pied Flycatchers x 3 in goal post field at West Runton.
GREENISH WARBLER possible (briefly), Pied Flycatchers x 5 at Wells Woods.
Curlew Sandpipers x 3, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Breydon Water.
Wryneck, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Whinchats x 2 – 3/4 mile west of car park, Black Terns x 2 at Weybourne.
Swallowtail Butterfly at North Dunes, Winterton.
Black Tern, Curlew Sandpipers x 34, Little Stints x 5 at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
Spoonbills x 26 at Stiffkey Fen.
Curlew Sandpipers x 4, Little Stint at Potter Heigham Marshes.
Whinchats x 3 near level crossing at Beeston Bump, Sheringham.
Whinchats x 2 at Brancaster.

MEGA NEWS
MEGA! YELKOUAN SHEARWATERS x 6 possible, reported this morning, flew west past St Aldhelm's Head, Dorset.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, 500yds west of Perranuthnoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN SE of Devoran at Restronguet Creek, Cornwall.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Whinchat, Spoonbills x 14, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 2, Arctic Skua, Arctic Terns on freshmarsh, Black Terns x 3 flew west at Titchwell RSPB.
Black Terns x 2 flew west over Thornham Marsh.
Red-backed Shrike juv. in hedge in field behind blue tractor near car park, Pied Flycatchers x 3 at West Runton.
Wryneck, Pied Flycatcher 1/3 mile west of car park, Black Terns x 2 at Weybourne.
Curlew Sandpipers x 27, Little Stints x 8 at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
Black Terns x 3, Curlew Sandpipers x 13, Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Breydon Water.
Balearic Shearwater flew east at 9.57am, Black Terns x 5 past beach car park at Cley.
Curlew Sandpipers x 37, Garganey, Little Stints x 2 at Cley NWT.
Black Terns x 3, Little flew past Hunstanton Cliffs.
Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Little Stints x 4 at Snettisham RSPB.
Whinchats x 2, Curlew Sandpipers at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Great White Egret, Garganey x 9, Bittern, Curlew Sandpipers x 3 at Potter Heigham Marshes.
Arctic Tern, Pied Flycatchers x 4, Redstarts x 2 in pines behind Holme NOA.
Wryneck, Pied Flycatchers x 2, Redstart in north section of Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
Glossy Ibis, Garganey x 5 from Tower Hide at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Curlew Sandpipers x 6 at Blakeney Harbour.
Black Terns juvs. x 2 off Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.
Pied Flycatcher at The Plantation, Blakeney Point.
Short-eared Owl at Horsey Corner.
Pied Flycatchers x 2 at Beeston Bump.
Osprey at Rockland Broad.

MEGA NEWS
MEGA! BROWN BOOBY imm. recently at sea [identified from photograph] off County Kerry on trawler, Ireland.

MEGA! COMMON NIGHTHAWK unconfirmed report SE of Castletown Bearhaven on Bear Island in flight, County Cork, Ireland.
MEGA! ZINO's/FEA'S PETREL flew past Blannan at 10.15am, County Clare, Ireland.
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN at Soldier's Point, County Louth, Ireland.
MEGA! LEAST SANDPIPER still at Loop Head, 1 mile east of Kilbaha at Cloghaun Lough, Loop Head, County Clare, Ireland.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, 500yds west of Perranuthnoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.

MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN SE of Devoran at Restronguet Creek, Cornwall.
MEGA! ZINO's/FEA'S PETREL reported, flew past Port Eynon Point at 8am, Glamorgan, Wales. 

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Victory for residents after West Norfolk location taken off list of potential sites for silica sand extraction!

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/politics/victory_for_residents_after_west_norfolk_location_taken_off_list_of_potential_sites_for_silica_sand_extraction_1_4655176

The Grouse Shooters Aim To Kill: The First Casualty Is The Truth

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/16/grouse-shooters-kill-first-casualty-is-truth-astroturfing-botham-rspb-packham

Time To Close Down Britain's Devastating Grouse Shooting Industry

http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2988026/uk_grouseshooting_industry_is_utterly_beyond_reform.html

Family Day!

Changed my mind about what I was doing today – I felt very tired and stressed. I also felt guilty, as I hadn't seen Father since last Sunday and really wanted to see him. So, I picked up my sister Lucy and drove to Heacham to visit Father. I have not seen Father in the morning for a long time and thought he might be more alert – wrong, he was very sleepy. But amusingly he seemed to wake up a little and chuckled when I told him about the cat incident this morning! Sometimes you think he isn't listening, but when you ask if he is, he gives a little nod – he always appears to be listening intently when I talk about birds. The staff have moved him from his permanent position in the conservatory, as he keeps complaining about the door being left open when other residents go in/out of the garden all day long. He is now sitting in the main living room, which is not so bright and sunny, but he looked much happier and warmer.

He seemed pleased that Lucy and I were there. We took him through to the dining room and helped him with his lunch and dessert. I also used my magic powers to encourage two other residents to eat their entire desserts, which they did! Gold star to me! We took Father back to the living room, where staff transferred him from the wheelchair to the armchair. Father wanted his hat on, so got that from his room, tucked him up with his blanket and left him to doze – he looked snug and happy.

Took Lucy to Hunstanton, where we picked up some lunch and then headed to Holme to join Mother and Vivien. Lucy and I stayed at Holme, whilst Vivien took Mother to visit Father – so he had plenty of visitors today! Father was dozing when they visited him and they couldn't wake him up! Later on Vivien took Lucy back to King's Lynn and I went birding locally. Went to the village car park at Holme and watched the scrub for any migrants – I was hoping for a Pied Flycatcher, but only managed one Chiffchaff. It was extremely windy today, which really didn't help. I then went to Holme Marsh Reserve and sat in the first hide. It was completely dead here apart from 2 Moorhens and a Kestrel. Left and returned to King's Lynn – beautiful sunset as I drove past Ringstead Mill.

Not bothering going to the Bird Fair this weekend – not in a very socialising mood at the moment! Pity I won't get my annual Simon King picture, but there we go!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Whinchats x 2, Spoonbills x 8, Little Stint, Arctic Skua at Titchwell RSPB.
Quail singing in field just east of Coastguard Cottages, Black Terns x 3 at Weybourne.
Wryneck, Pied Flycatchers x 3, Whinchat 1/2 mile west of car park, Pied Flycatchers x 2 at end of Mill Lane at Weybourne.
Pied Flycatchers x 4 at Friary Hills NT.
Curlew Sandpipers x 15, Little Stints x 5 at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
BALTIC GULL 2s probable at 2.20pm, on Pat's Pool from Bishops Hide at Cley NWT.
Pied Flycatcher at east end of North Foreland Wood, Curlew Sandpipers x 16, Little Stints x 3 on Pat's Pool, Cley NWT.
Pied Flycatcher at Salthouse.
Pied Flycatchers x 44 yesterday on Blakeney Point.
Pied Flycatchers x 5 at South Dunes, Winterton.
Whinchats x 7 between West Runton and Beeston Bump.
Osprey flew west at 9.10am, over golf course at Sheringham.
Red-backed Shrike, Pied Flycatchers x 4 near clifftop car park at West Runton.
Pied Flycatcher, Redstart early morning at Beach Road, Brancaster.
Curlew Sandpiper at Breydon Water.
Siberian Chiffchaff reported, 100 yds west of crossroads at Joe Jordon Hide, Holkham Pines.
Great Skuas x 2, Arctic Terns x 4, Little Gulls x 8, Whimbrel x 2 at Hopton-on-Sea.
Wryneck in north section of Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
Common Cranes x 2, Curlew Sandpipers x 3, Little Stints x 3, Garganey x 10 at Potter Heigham.
Pied Flycatchers x 2, Spoonbills x 22 at Stiffkey Fen.
Roseate Tern reported, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint at Snettisham RSPB.
Pied Flycatcher in pines opposite Holme Bird Observatory.

MEGA NEWS 
MEGA! ZINO's/FEA'S PETREL flew past Bridges of Ross at 7.10am, County Clare, Ireland.
MEGA! AMERICAN WHITE-WINGED SCOTER again, 4 miles NNE of Aberdeen just south of Blackdog off Mucar Links, Aberdeenshire.
MEGA! SOLITARY SANDPIPER still at Loop Head, 1 mile east of Kilbaha at Cloghaun Lough, Loop Head, County Clare, Ireland.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, 500yds west of Perranuthnoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.

Car Update!

Went to Skoda first thing. Quote 'very rare that happens.....' But all I needed to do I was told, was reset the tyre pressure in 'settings'!!!!!! Never had to do this, how the hell was I supposed to know that! Back at home and now one of the bleep bleep cats decided to shit right next to my driver's door – been cleaning shoes for the last 20 minutes, not happy!!!!  Now off birding, finally!

Friday, 19 August 2016

Its the Weekend! Hot Birding, The Rutland Bird Fair & Four Days Off!

Its been a very stressful few days – had to make endless, laborious phone calls to Weight Watchers, as I wasn't able to activate my new account – long story short, it is not compatible with Applemacs!!!!!! Hello, its 2016!!! Without activation I can't access the full list of foods to find out their smartpoints or access the App etc. I just couldn't believe this! Asked for refund, wonder how long that will take!

Took the car to the garage this morning for a valet, vehicle check etc – got a phone call at lunchtime to say I had a puncture and that a screw that had gone through the tyre completely and had damaged the tyre behind repair. Original bill at the end of the day should have been £24.99, instead it was a wonderful £142.30 – great!!!

I was thinking about going to the Rutland Bird Fair, but for the first time, I may not go. £15.00 to get in, petrol there, money spent there etc. Can't really afford to go, especially after just paying the garage bill. Plus, it looks like there could be some good birds to see tomorrow! I may go on Sunday, not sure. I have four days off work including this Monday and Tuesday, fabulous!

I hope everyone has a wonderful time at the Rutland Bird Fair and can someone please give Simon King a kiss and a hug from me! Don't forget to look at the Rare Bird Alert sightings board at the Bird Fair, to view the Mega I'm going to find this weekend!!! Open the link below for all the events taking place over the weekend, exhibitors etc!


After writing this post I nipped to the garage shop to get a few supplies and had a warning light come on the dashboard saying 'Loss of Pressure In Rear Left Tyre'!!! This is the same brand new tyre I have just paid for – fuming is an understatement, can't even go birding early morning now. I will be waiting at the Skoda garage when they open in a very angry mood!!! 

The last time I had a few days off work it was ruined by my computer being corrupted, now its the car, so fed up. In desperate need of a stress free break, maybe, one day.

I need to re-title my post  'Its the Weekend! No, Birding, No Bird Fair & Four Days Off!'

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Pied Flycatcher, Black Tern, Little Stint, Spoonbills x 14, Curlew Sandpipers x 32 at Titchwell RSPB.
Curlew Sandpipers x 27, Wood Sandpiper from Dauke's Hide, Wood Sandpiper on North Scrape at Cley NWT.
Black Tern juv. off Coastguards at Cley.
Little Gull at Sheringham.
Turtle Dove at Tivetshall St Mary.
Spoonbills x 2, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper at Snettisham RSPB.
Curlew Sandpipers x 7, Little Stint at Breydon Water.
Whinchats x 2, Turtle Dove at Kelling Water Meadows.
Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat, Redstarts x 3 at North Dunes, Winterton.
Whinchats x 2 at Beeston Bump.
Whinchats x 5 at Lavender Marsh, Holme.
Pied Flycatchers x 2, Redstarts x 3 at Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
Whinchats x 2, Redstart at Horsey.
Great White Egret at Holkham Freshmarsh.
Red-backed Shrikes x 2, Pied Flycatcher x 7 on west side of clifftop car park at West Runton.
Pied Flycatchers x 26, Redstarts x 3, Whinchats x 3 at East Hills, Wells.
Wryneck still at Sidestrand.
Wryneck at Hemsby.
Pied Flycatchers x 4, Whinchats x 2 at Happisburgh.
Pied Flycatchers x 4 at Salthouse.

Suffolk Highlights
BEE-EATER again from 7.15am to mid-morning at Minsmere RSPB.

MEGA NEWS
MEGA! SOOTY TERN possible, reported yesterday at Hilbre Island, Cheshire & Wirral.
MEGA! ZINO's/FEA'S PETREL flew past Galley Head, County Cork, Ireland.
MEGA! BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS flew east at 8.15am, past Prawle Point, Devon.
MEGA! LEAST SANDPIPER still at Loop Head, 1 mile east of Kilbaha at Cloghaun Lough, Loop Head, County Clare, Ireland.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, 500yds west of Perranuthnoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN SE of Devoran at Restronguet Creek, Cornwall.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Pied Flycatcher, Redwing in Dead Man's Wood (no general access), Sheringham.
Redstart in paddocks in Lamsey Lane, Heacham.
Little Stint at Hockwold Washes.
Little Gulls x 3, Curlew Sandpiper at Breydon Water.
Spoonbills x 27, Little Stint, Arctic Terns x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Wryneck at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Spoonbills x 2, Little Stints x 4 at Snettisham RSPB.
Pied Flycatcher, Redstarts x 2, Whinchats x 3 at North Dunes, Winterton.
Whinchat, Little Stint at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
GREENISH WARBLERS x 2 at Blakeney Point.
Garganey x 9 from Tower Hide at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Montagu's Harrier (bearing satellite transmitter) yesterday near Great Massingham.
Whinchats x 3, Wood Sandpiper at Kelling Water Meadows.
Whinchat at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Pied Flycatcher at Holme.

Suffolk Highlights
BEE-EATER at Minsmere RSPB.

MEGA NEWS 
MEGA! LEAST SANDPIPER & SOLITARY SANDPIPER still at Loop Head, 1 mile east of Kilbaha at Cloghaun Lough, Loop Head, County Clare, Ireland.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, 500yds west of Perranuthnoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN SE of Devoran at Restronguet Creek, Cornwall.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Turtle Dove, Spoonbills x 35, Spotted Redshanks x 4 at Titchwell RSPB.
White-rumped Sandpiper on Pat's Pool from Bishop's Hide, Spoonbill, Black Tern juv. off beach car park at Cley NWT.
ICTERINE WARBLER, Wryneck, Pied Flycatchers x 2, Whinchat at Sidestrand.
Spoonbills x 2, Little Stints x 2 at Snettisham RSPB.
Pied Flycatchers x 2 at Wells Woods.
Pied Flycatchers x 2, Redstart at East Hills, Wells.
Whinchat, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Spotted Redshank at Breydon Water.
Red-necked Grebe, Capsian Gull juv. flew west past Sheringham.
Osprey, Garganey x 3 from Tower Hide at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Little Stint at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Black Tern lingering off Weybourne.
Redstart at Warren Lane, Gorleston.
Little Gull 2s flew north past Hopton-on-Sea.
Wryneck, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Whinchats x 3 at Blakeney Point.
Pied Flycatchers x 2, Whinchat at North Dunes, Winterton.
ICTERINE WARBLER at Beacon Hill, Trimingham.
Nightjar flew over garden at 8.30pm at Drove End, Ten Mile Bank.
Garganey, Wood Sandpiper at Cantley Beet Factory.

MEGA NEWS
MEGA! ROYAL TERN ad. (probably American Royal Tern) still, 4 miles SW of Louisburgh at Roonagh Lough, County Mayo, Ireland.
MEGA! SOLITARY SANDPIPER & LEAST SANDPIPER at Cloghaun Lough, Loop Head, County Clare, Ireland.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, 500yds west of Perranuthnoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN SE of Devoran at Restronguet Creek, Cornwall.
MEGA! AMERICAN WHITE-WINGED SCOTER again, 4 miles NNE of Aberdeen just south of Blackdog off Mucar Links, Aberdeenshire. 

RBA Weekly Round-Up 10th to 16th August!

By Andy Stoddart
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2016-33.aspx

40 Eagles, 10 years, 0 Prosecutions!

https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2016/08/11/40-eagles-10-years-0-prosecutions/

Enough Is Enough!

Not something I really want to admit to on a very public blog, but there we go. I'm ashamed to say that I'm currently the heaviest weight I have ever been, partly due all the worry of family issues of father being ill and going into a care home and other issues. I'm your typical comfort eater, if I'm sad, unhappy or stressed I eat for England! Its made me pretty low in mood over the last few months to be honest and being at work does not help at all, as we have far too many awesome cooks in our team – they have been force feeding me for the last 10 years – LOL!!!

No more treats or tempting cakes at work from tomorrow: Re-joined Weightwatchers this evening. Little Black Dress for the Christmas Party!!! 2016 or 2017 depending how long it takes!!!

Burnham Overy Dunes!

Tuesday Evening
My eyes lit up when I saw the pager at the end of my working day: "Greenish Warbler at Winterton', 'Pied Flycatcher in Great Yarmouth Cemetery', 'Wood Warbler at Sheringham and another Greenish at Gibraltar Point and also in Yorkshire, mean't there must be more birds to be found along the Norfolk Coast. This inspired to get out of the house for some 'Hot Birding'!!!

Headed to one of my favourite places to find migrants, Burnham Overy Dunes. It was a beautiful evening and perfect temperature for walking. I was quite disappointed, they was a massive lack of birds overall. I didn't see or hear a single bird along the beginning of the hedge-lined track. On the grazing marshes, there were good numbers of Greylag and Canada Geese and the odd Swallow graced the blue skies and that was it! Once I climbed the sea wall, things improved with nine Spoonbills in the pool east of the path. The sea wall that was scalped earlier in the year, now has a wonderful array of wildflowers, all the way along to the boardwalk end of the path.

In the scrub and bushes at the end of the boardwalk I didn't see a single bird. I headed east and only found 2 Linnets and 1 Meadow Pipit for my efforts. Walked as far as the bottom of the big slope of dunes and sat for a while viewing the deep gulley of scrub and managed to see two Hedge Sparrows only. There were hundreds of small white moths flying around, which I think were Ghost Moths, but I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong. I then returned to the end of the boardwalk. 'Pishing' as loud as I could, produced a smart Sedge Warbler in the middle of the scrub just east of the apple tree. In the main scrub at the end of the boardwalk I watched a very elusive Reed Warbler flitting about, but it wouldn't keep still for a single second, to have its picture taken! I also had a single view of a very pale warbler, which could well have been an Icterine, but I couldn't entice it out for love nor money!

Headed back after sunset. The nine Spoonbills remained in the pool along with a good number of Black-headed Gulls and at least 10 Little Egrets flew overhead east. Phoned Eddie to see what had been found in Cley and he and others had jammed in on an Icterine Warbler, 'showing well' in bushes next to Daukes' Hide!!! Where was my Icterine Warbler?! Made it back to my car before the light went completely and cruised home to King's Lynn passing a Barn Owl near Bircham. So, Autumn begins! Bring it on! I have two long weekends booked in September and for the first time, I have booked two weeks in October for hardcore birding, can't wait!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert' – Tuesday
Spoonbills x 27, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Little Gulls x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Balearic Shearwater flew east, Arctic Skuas x 3, Arctic Tern at Sheringham.
Wood Warbler on East side of Dead Man's Wood at Sheringham.
Red-necked Phalarope from Shore Hide, at Snettisham RSPB.
Garganey x 9 at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Pied Flycatcher in Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
Dotterel x 2 at 12.10pm then flew west at Weybourne Camp.
GREENISH WARBLER at North Dunes, Winterton.
Stone Curlew flew over sea, early morning at Sea Palling.
Little Stint at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Great White Egret briefly, then flew east, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart at Blakeney Point NNR.
Garganey x 9 at Potter Heigham.
ICTERINE WARBLER in bushes by Daukes' Hide, Caspian Gull, Yellow-legged Gulls x 8 at Cley NWT.
Caspian Gull juv. at east end at dusk, Breydon Water.

Lincolnshire Highlights
GREENISH WARBLER at Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve.

Suffolk Highlights
BEE-EATER flew north over Walberswick.

MEGA NEWS
MEGA! ROYAL TERN ad. (probably American Royal Tern) 4 miles SW of Louisburgh at Roonagh Lough, County Mayo, Ireland.

MEGA! SOLITARY SANDPIPER & LEAST SANDPIPER at Cloghaun Lough, Loop Head, County Clare, Ireland.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, 500yds west of Perranuthnoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN SE of Devoran at Restronguet Creek, Cornwall.

MEGA! AMERICAN WHITE-WINGED SCOTER again, 4 miles NNE of Aberdeen just south of Blackdog off Mucar Links, Aberdeenshire.

Monday, 15 August 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Red-necked Phalarope from Shore Hide, at Snettisham RSPB.
Caspian Gull flew west at Sheringham.
Spoonbills x 22, Little Stints x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Honey Buzzard flew over Pretty Corner Woods at Sheringham.
Garganey x 2 at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.

MEGA NEWS
MEGA! SOLITARY SANDPIPER & LEAST SANDPIPER at Cloghaun Lough, Loop Head, County Clare, Ireland.

MEGA! SWINHOE'S PETREL again, Fair Isle, Shetland.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, 500yds west of Perranuthnoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN SE of Devoran at Restronguet Creek, Cornwall.

Giant Starling Mural in Berlin!

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2016/08/giant-starling-mural-in-berlin-by-collin-van-der-sluijs-and-super-a/

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Visit To Parents!

Weekend Update: Spent Saturday recuperating, as I didn't feel particularly brilliant and was exhausted from work. Sadly I didn't even leave the house to go birding.

Today I was work (again). On my return home from work, I spent a couple of hours writing a letter on behalf of/for my mother to Works and Pensions, to contest something (long story). I then went to visit Father at Summerville House Care Home in Heacham – I didn't recognise him when I first arrived, as he was wearing a straw hat with blue flowers! There had a been a barbecue for residents and family earlier in the afternoon and the residents had been adorned with hats!

Father was fairly ok and asked how I was, which was sweet. I helped him to eat a strawberry cheesecake I had bought him. Father asked me several times 'could you take me home with you?' Heartbreaking to hear him request this, it really was. He doesn't seem to like night times and said his feet were cold at night, which I can believe, as when he was at home with mother he wore bed socks and had a hot water bottle. Understandably residents are now allowed to have hot water bottles in a care home, but I've requested that he has his bed socks on, which I thought he had been wearing at nights, maybe he is?! He certainly won't sleep properly if his feet are cold – I'm the same and have two hot water bottles when its chilly! I spent about an hour and a half with Father and then headed to Holme to visit Mother.

Mother complimented me on my two page letter I had written to Works and Pensions and said 'you've written that very well'. Mother rarely pays compliments, so felt quite chuffed. Mother's hip is playing up again and she wasn't walking particularly well. We sat and watched some of the Olympics together and then I left to go home.

Back in King's Lynn, I stayed up into the early hours watching Andy Murray win Gold – what an incredible match – nail biting to the last second! I was then going to bed, but so wanted to watch Usain Bolt run the 100m race live. I managed to stay up and so glad I did – so exciting to see him win and watch him interact with the crowds afterwards – it was worth staying up for!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spoonbills x 2, Spotted Redshank in channel at Burnham Deepdale.
Spoonbills x 2 yesterday in Blakeney Harbour.
Garganey x 10, Common Cranes x 3 at Potter Heigham Marshes.
Garganey at Welney WWT.
Spoonbills x 7, Sanderling at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
Common Cranes x 2 at North Dunes, Winterton.
Red-necked Phalarope from Shore Hide, at Snettisham RSPB.
Turtle Dove, Garganey x 6 at Kelling Water Meadows.
Osprey flew over Washland View Point at Lakenham Fen RSPB.
Spoonbills x 4 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Spoonbills x 19, Little Stints x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Montagu's Harrier (probable) viewed from Burgh Castle at Haddiscoe Island.
Ring-necked Parakeet on Langham Road at Blakeney.
Spoonbills x 7 flew west over Broadwater at Holme.

MEGA NEWS
MEGA! SWINHOE'S PETREL trapped & ringed at Fair Isle, Shetland.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, 500yds west of Perranuthnoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN SE of Devoran at Restronguet Creek, Cornwall.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Pectoral Sandpiper, Garganey x 10, Little Gull at Potter Heigham Marshes.
Spoonbills x 6, Sanderling at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
Red-necked Phalarope from Shore Hide, at Snettisham RSPB.
Black Redstarts x 2 yesterday at Great Yarmouth Harbour.
Spoonbills x 24 at Stiffkey Fen.
Curlew Sandpiper juv. on Arnold's Marsh, Caspian Gull 1s, Spoonbill, Yellow-legged Gulls x 18 at Cley NWT.
Common Cranes x 18 flew over Heigham Holmes.
Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB.
Little Gull off Hopton-on-Sea.
Garganey at Cantley Beet Factory.
Garganey x 7 at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.

Suffolk Highlights
AQUATIC WARBLER briefly at 12.10pm, in bushes by Birds Eye Factory, at Ness Point, Lowestoft.

MEGA NEWS
MEGA! LEAST SANDPIPER at Tacumshin, County Wexford, Ireland.

MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, 500yds west of Perranuthnoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN SE of Devoran at Restronguet Creek, Cornwall.
MEGA! AMERICAN WHITE-WINGED SCOTER again, 4 miles NNE of Aberdeen just south of Blackdog off Mucar Links, Aberdeenshire.

Ban Driven Grouse Shooting Petition At 100,000 Signatures And Still Going!

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/125003

23.44 this evening
Huge thanks to everyone that has signed

Friday, 12 August 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Turtle Doves x 2 in dunes, Spoonbills x 12, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB.
Spoonbills x 6 on salt marsh then flew west at Brancaster.
Pectoral Sandpiper at Potter Heigham Marshes.
Red-necked Phalarope, Spotted Redshanks x 12 from Shore Hide, at Snettisham RSPB.
Quail flew over the Greyhound Pub (heard only) at Hickling.

MEGA NEWS
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, 400yds west of Perranuthnoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.
 
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN SE of Devoran again at Restronguet Creek just west of Point Quay, Cornwall.

Botham And Packham Clash Over Grouse Shoot!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p044fnlg?ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=thetodayprogramme&ns_source=facebook

Well Done Chris Packham!!!

Just looked at : https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/125003

We have 97,900 signatures by midnight!!! Fabulous!

Ban Grouse Shooting – It's Cruel, Harms The Environment And We're All Paying For It

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ban-grouse-shooting--its-8613176

Visit To Father!

Thursday Evening
After work, I went to pick Mother up and we visited Father in the care home this evening. We took him a raspberry trifle and a Cadbury's Caramel cake bar (both were favourites of his when he was at home) – he didn't take long to eat both of these, one straight after the other! He looked really awake and bright when we turned up. We had expected him to be asleep but quite the opposite! Some of the things he was saying made sense and others made no sense at all. I told him about my trip to Minsmere RSPB last Sunday and I knew he was listening and taking it all in, when I told him that I had photographed a juvenile wheatear, to which he replied 'a juvenile what?' He sounded very with it, but a little later on, I could see he was looking tired and became grouchy and told us to go.

Took mother home via Sainsbury's as she had forgotten to order her bird seed, but Sainsbury's didn't sell bird seed, so she bought some expensive, finest porridge oats for them instead! Bumped into Ray Roche, who we had a quick catch up with. Returned home and watched the women's gymnastics final on TV and I then drove back to King's Lynn.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Red-necked Phalarope, Spotted Redshank from Shore Hide, at Snettisham RSPB.
Montagu's Harrier fem. (bearing satellite transmitter) near Snettisham.
Pectoral Sandpiper at Potter Heigham Marshes.
Little Stints x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Great White Egret at Holkham Freshmarsh.
Garganey x 2 still from hide this evening at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.

MEGA NEWS
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, 400yds west of Perranuthnoe near the Greeb, Cornwall.

MEGA! AMERICAN WHITE-WINGED SCOTER again, 4 miles NNE of Aberdeen just south of Blackdog off Mucar Links, Aberdeenshire.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Avocets x 1000, Little Stint, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Breydon Water.
Red-necked Phalarope from Shore Hide at Snettisham RSPB.
Great White Egret at Welney WWT.
Spoonbills x 7, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB.
Spoonbill at Morston Creek.
Turtle Dove at Bawburgh.
Spoonbills x 6 flew early morning over Holme Dunes.

Lincolnshire Highlights
SQUACCO HERON 1s yesterday 8.20pm at fishing pond, east of Barton-upon-Humber.

MEGA NEWS 
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, 500yds west of Perranuthnoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 3rd to 9th August!

By Andy Stoddart
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2016-32.aspx?s_id=415724818

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Pomarine Skua, Sooty Shearwater flew past beach car park, Yellow-legged Gull, Garganey on Pat's Pool at Cley NWT.
Spoonbills x 4 at Salthouse.
Red-necked Phalarope from Shore Hide at Snettisham RSPB.
Mediterranean Gulls x 679 yesterday evening at Breydon Water.
Common Cranes x 3, Wood Sandpiper at Welney WWT.
Spoonbills x 14 at Stiffkey Fen.
Spoonbills x 11, Little Stints x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 5, Yellow-legged Gulls x 4 at Titchwell RSPB.

Lincolnshire Highlights
SQUACCO HERON 1s at fishing pond, still east of Barton-upon-Humber.
White-rumped Sandpiper reported again at Frampton Marsh RSPB. 

MEGA NEWS

MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN 1.25 miles SE of Devoran again at Restronguet Creek off Point Quay, Cornwall.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, 500yds west of Perranuthnoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.

Bill Oddie Speaks Out!

https://www.facebook.com/bandrivengrouseshootingpetition/videos/1242845585757990/

Please sign the petition:
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/125003

80,182 signatures at 19.04 Tuesday 9th August. Keep going, keep signing, keep sharing, pass the message on, thank you all!

Monday, 8 August 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spoonbills x 18, Little Stints x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Little Gulls x 2 at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
Glossy Ibis near Babcock Hide at 6.30pm, Spoonbills x 5 on The Serpentine off the East Bank, Garganey x 2, Spoonbills x 3, Little Stint from Daukes' Hide, Cley NWT.
Garganey x 5 from Tower Hide at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.

Lincolnshire Highlights
White-rumped Sandpiper again at Frampton Marsh RSPB.

MEGA NEWS 

MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN at Dundalk at Soldier's Point, County Louth, Ireland.
MEGA! DALMATIAN PELICAN 1.25 miles SE of Devoran again at Restronguet Creek off Point Quay, Cornwall.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, 500yds west of Perranuthnoe at Trenow Cove, Cornwall.

PEOPLE POWER!

PLEASE KEEP SIGNING, KEEP SHARING, PASS THE MESSAGE ON, KEEP IT GOING!

We have to reach 100,000 signatures by 20th September to get this considered for debate in parliament. Blog about it, email, tweet, facebook etc. Every vote counts! People Power!

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/125003

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Minsmere RSPB!

Wheatear at the Sluice, Minsmere RSPB


I arrived at Minsmere RSPB at 6am, which is a very early start for me! A Green Woodpecker flew up from the approach road, just before I turned into the car park. There was a handful of cars in the car park before me. It was cool first thing which was a refreshing change from the sticky hot weather we've been having of late.

I refused to believe that the Western Purple Swamphen had disappeared and hoped that it would re-appear today. I headed off through the wood to the South Hide. It was a lovely walk alongside the scrub and reed-lined path. In a dyke on route, a shoal of perch had replaced the sticklebacks that were supposed to be there, according to the sign, which I found amusing. At the pool opposite the South Hide, there were 10 Little Egrets feeding, where there should have a been a Purple Swamphen – it was obviously hiding extremely well! Birders had been standing here since dawn with no sign of this mega bird, so I didn't stay here long – there wasn't much point standing in one place for hours on end, when the reserve had been searched thoroughly yesterday – I wasn't going to let it spoil my day.

I headed to the sluice to find several birders watching a very beautiful and obliging juv Wheatear, who favoured a small sandy slope to feed on, which was adorned with yellow Ragwort. Swallows were perched on the fence posts and a Linnet and Reed Bunting landed on the path briefly. A Kestrel was perched on a post along the south path and I saw a Whitethroat and a couple of Swifts adorning the clear blue skies. All the birders departed and a little while later I found myself sitting alone with the Wheatear and with careful fieldcraft there was only yards between us. I got some cracking photos of this gorgeous little bird – it didn't seem bothered by my presence at all. It would often fly off to the sluice to catch something and return to feed on the sandy patch – one time it brought back a large cricket (well that's what it looked like to me) and had a real battle to eat it – after bashing it to death, it preceded to eat different segments until it was devoured completely – fascinating to watch!

After taking far too many pictures of the Wheatear, I decided to head north along the footpath to East Hide, where I saw a male Stonechat on route. From East Hide there were a huge number of Little Gulls – 44 in all! Good numbers of Black-tailed Godwits, Shelducks, Curlews, Greenshank, a Reed Warbler, Marsh Harrier, Herons x 2, Shelducks, Little Egrets, Avocets, Dunlin, Redshanks, Grey lag Geese, Canada Geese and a good number of Pied Wagtails.

There were huge numbers of butterflies today, the most I have seen in one day all year, including: Red Admirals, Painted Ladies, Peacocks, Tortoiseshells, Commas, Walls, Gatekeepers, Small Coppers, Common Blues, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Brown Argus – there were especially large numbers on the huge Buddleias outside the visitor centre. Also saw a few stunning Banded Demoiselles, but none of them landed long enough for me to obtain a decent shot. Good numbers of Dragonflies also around, but too windy for any of them to land.

I walked along the North Wall and onto the Stone Curlew patch, where I luckily saw a pair along with a big fluffy chick! Fabulous views of these through the scope, but too far for the camera. Greenfinches and Goldfinches were in a hawthorn bush along with several Magpies hopping around. Back at the visitor centre I watched 2 female Blackcaps in the same bush, a Robin and a Blackbird. The large buddleia was adorned with butterflies – a wonderful array of colours! The Sand Martin cliff was just awesome to watch – with all the Sand Martins zooming in and out of the nest holes.

I browsed in the visitor centre and although there were lots on offer to buy and to eat, I didn't succumb at all! Returned to my car for lunch and sat in my comfy deckchair and chilled. It was incredibly hot now, but luckily I had parked my car where there was a small patch of shade from overhanging trees. I spent a long time sitting here, I felt very tired after my early rise. My small patch of shade rapidly disappeared and there was no escape from the intense heat.

I walked through the cool wood and returned to South Hide in hope that something purple might come out of hiding, but alas the swamphen did not appear. I spent quite a while in South hide trying to (and failing miserably) to assist RSPB volunteer Peter with the ID'ing of a small wader that was sat asleep (for most of the time) on the furthest scrape from the hide and along with a few others, after much discussion we concluded that it had to be a Sanderling, but it just didn't look right.

Walked back to the visitor centre and spent a good while photographing dragonflies and an unusually tame magpie around the pond. Returned to my car and left at around 6pm – was home by 8pm and promptly crashed out on the sofa!

PICTURES TO BE ADDED