THE NORFOLK BIRD & WILDLIFE FAIR – Mannington Hall – Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd May 2016!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS AND UK MEGA'S POSTED DAILY, PHOTOS, BIRDING AND MORE! Standing Up For Nature!


Ring RARE BIRD ALERT with your sightings to: 01603 456789 or Hotline: 0207 0382820 or Text: 07624 800479

Thursday, 5 May 2016

MEGA Twitch!

I arrived home from work feeling exhausted and immediately fell asleep on the sofa. At 6.10pm my Mother phoned me to say she had just walked into the garden to get the washing in when she flushed a bird on the ground, that was almost/similar size to a thrush and was finch like. The bird immediately flew up into the willow tree and to the back of the garden towards the adjacent field. Mother didn't notice any obvious colour to the bird, but it had a fairly long tail – she only saw it for seconds. It was the song that excited her, which she described as a strong and warbling type tune with a rich mixture of notes and it carried on with this tune as it flew up into the tree and to the back of the garden. She had never heard any thing like this in her life and 'knew it was something good'. She was very frustrated that it had disappeared.

I flew out of the house with camera and bins, still half asleep and arrived at Holme fairly quickly!!! I skulked around the garden for ages and immediately became very p*ssed off when I realised whatever this bird was had passed through. We sat for ages discussing every possibility and I played no end of tunes via phone apps. When I played a BOBALINK, Mother immediately said 'that's it, that's what it sounded like'!!! A brief/poor view and song does not nail this at all, but just need to hope that someone else finds this over the next few days. Also as Mother said, it could have been a cage bird of some kind, who knows!

I refused to let this go and phoned Eddie M. for advice who said that Bobalinks like grasslands, so I trespassed into the field adjacent to the garden. This entailed climbing over a high barbed wire fence that lines Mother's garden. I cut my hand and trashed my trousers, but it had to be done. I walked all round that field and found nothing. Returned back over the barbed wire fence – trousers now need to be binned. Tried to phone NWT and NOA wardens for advice and assistance, but no replies on their phones.

Drove around the village in desperation and searched the huge green field in the centre of the village, then drove to the village car park and searched the grass area. Then walked around part of the golf course until dusk. Lots of Swifts over the golf course. Sulking massively, I returned to my parents.

The evening got much worse as Father started to hallucinate and was hell on earth to get changed for bed and really played us up. I left at 10.45pm.

So, Holme birders and all, please search hard tomorrow. I so wish I wasn't at work – I would cover every possible area to find this bird. Roll on Saturday!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spoonbills x 2 at Breydon Water.
Dotterels x 10 in field, west of bend in road, Ring Ouzel at Choseley Drying Barns.
Common Cranes x 2 flew east over Langham.
Common Cranes x 5 flew west, Little Stints x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Common Cranes x 5 flew west over Holme NOA.
Montagu's Harrier fem. flew west, Pied Flycatcher in pines at Holme.
Great White Egret, Garganey x 4 at Welney WWT.
Glaucous Gull juv. flew west past Sheringham.
TURTLE DOVE singing, Black Terns x 2 at Sparham Pools, Lyng.
Curlew Sandpiper on Arnold's Marsh, Wood Sandpipers x 3 at Cley NWT.
Black Terns x 2 over lake at Kimberley Hall.
Garganey x 2 still on lake at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Wood Sandpiper at Nar Flood Storage Reservoir between Blackborough End and Wormegay.
Temminck's Stint, probable on Sunday at Nar Flood Storage Reservoir between Blackborough End and Wormegay.

Lincolnshire Highlights
BLACK-WINGED STILT at Anderby Marshes.

Suffolk Highlights
SAVI'S WARBLER singing at Island Mere, Minsmere RSPB.

NIGHT HERON yesterday, at Long Melford Country Park.
 
MEGA NEWS 

MEGA! WESTERN RUFOUS TURTLE DOVE (form meena) 1w still, on south side of Otford, east of A225 in tree in back garden on The Old Walk, viewed from The Butts, Otford, Kent.
MEGA! SNOWY OWL on Bryher, Isles of Scilly.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Wryneck south of Hermanus Restaurant at South Dunes, Winterton.
Dotterels x 16 in ploughed field, west of bend in road at Choseley Drying Barns.
Ring Ouzel at north end of Scratby.
Serin flew south at 6.50am over Hunstanton Cliffs.
Great White Egret, Curlew Sandpiper at Welney WWT.
Serin on slope west of slope at Weybourne Camp.
Grey-headed Wagtail Male on north side of Blakeney Freshes at 11.05am then flew west. Black Brant on saltmarsh at Blakeney.
Little Gull, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB.
Black Redstarts x 2 in Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
Garganey still on water meadow, north of lake at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Pied Flycatcher at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.
Ring Ouzel on golfcourse at Caister-on-Sea.
Great White Egret, Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Short-eared Owl flew over Sidestrand.
Ring Ouzels x 2, Whinchat, Tree Pipit at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Quail at Blakeney Point.

Lincolnshire Highlights
BLACK-WINGED STILT fem. on wet grassland opposite visitor centre at Frampton Marsh RSPB.

Suffolk Highlights
SAVI'S WARBLER singing at Island Mere, Minsmere RSPB.

MEGA NEWS

MEGA! GREAT BUSTARD flew in off sea at 8.28am to Samphire Hoe Country Park, Kent
MEGA! LESSER KESTREL reported at Pegwell Bay Country Park briefly at 11.15am then flew west, Kent. 
MEGA! ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK 1s Male again, 4 miles SW of Scalloway at West Burra on feeder in garden near Bridge End, Shetland.
MEGA! WESTERN RUFOUS TURTLE DOVE (form meena) 1w still, on south side of Otford, east of A225 in tree in back garden on The Old Walk, viewed from The Butts, Otford, Kent.
MEGA! SNOWY OWL on Tresco, Isles of Scilly.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 27th April to 3rd May!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2016-18.aspx?s_id=276593608

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Nurse Penny!

I never expected the Black-headed Wagtail to reappear again today, I thought it was long gone. Very frustrating to hear it had turned up again this afternoon at Titchwell RSPB, when I wasn't really able to go. I'd love to know where its been spending its time after 4.30pm (ish) yesterday and today?! Far too early to roost and where its spending its time in the mornings – elusive and tantilising bird!

I had committed myself to giving Mother a break for the entire day and arrived at their house just before 7am. Mother was woke up by a Turtle Dove singing in the garden at 5.30am!!! How fabulous was that! Father was already up when I arrived, having already had a wash etc, but I shaved him and helped him with breakfast. Put Mother's washing out on the line, made some essential phone calls for her and then went to Hunstanton to do a mini shop and some banking. Bumped into a dear school friend called Veronica Bland who lives in Hunstanton – not seen her for years, so nice to see her – she still holds the record for the fastest 400m and 800m runs at the Smithdon High School!

Made a roast dinner and an apple and sultana crumble with cream for dessert. Father's doctor turned up (as requested) for a family discussion about tablets, going into a care home etc. The doctor said he thought Father should have gone into a home a long time ago and he said "your Mother had always insisted she carry on". I think he could see Mother was at breaking point. Father's BP was pretty good today. After the doctor left, we all had a siesta!!! I felt so tired. Helped with chores in the evening and then left at 9pm.

Back to work tomorrow, but have the entire weekend off. South and South East winds from Thursday onwards, could be the beginning of some seriously good birds! I have two weeks off from 21st May, which is also the weekend of the Norfolk Bird & Wildfair at Mannington Hall – see my link to the website at the top of my blog.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Dotterels x 18 in ploughed field, west of bend in road at Choseley Drying Barns.
Garganey on Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
Ring Ouzel, Hen Harrier at Holme Dunes NWT.
TURTLE DOVE singing at 5.30am in garden at Holme.
Spottted Redshank at Breydon Water.
Ring Ouzel at South Dunes, Winterton.
Ring Ouzel on allotment near racecourse at Great Yarmouth.
WHITE STORK presumed esc. flew over Sculthorpe.
Richard's Pipit on clifftop at Beeston Bump, Great White Egret flew east at Beeston, Sheringham.
Ring Ouzel in paddocks off East Trail, Garganey, Little Stint, White Wagtail at Titchwell RSPB.
BLACK-HEADED WAGTAIL male, seen at 2.15pm, 4.07pm, 4.19pm only, in cut area of reeds just before Island Hide at Titchwell RSPB.
Ring Ouzel at Waxham.
Great White Egret, Garganey at Welney WWT.
Garganey x 2 on lake north of bridge at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Spoonbills x 4, Whinchat at Burnham Overy.
Ring Ouzel at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Common Crane flew north over Somerton Holmes.
Short-eared Owls x 3 between Horsey and Waxham.
Montagu's Harrier fem. probable, in main reedbed at dusk, Cley NWT.
WHITE STORK presumed esc. in field at North Park at Fakenham.

Lincolnshire Highlights
BLACK-WINGED STILT fem. on wet grassland opposite visitor centre at Frampton Marsh RSPB.


Suffolk Highlights
SAVI'S WARBLER singing at Island Mere, Minsmere RSPB.

BLACK KITE flew over Hen Reedbeds SWT, Reydon, flew towards Southwold.

MEGA NEWS 
MEGA! ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK 1s Male 4 miles SW of Scalloway at West Burra on feeder in garden near Bridge End, Shetland.
MEGA! SNOWY OWL Adult Male on Bryher, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! WESTERN RUFOUS TURTLE DOVE (form meena) 1w still, on south side of Otford, east of A225 in tree in back garden on The Old Walk, viewed from The Butts, Otford, Kent.
MEGA! ALPINE ACCENTOR on 13th April on Scolt Head Island, Norfolk.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Black-headed Wagtail At Titchwell RSPB!

My plans changed several times today! As yesterday, I slept through the alarm – surprise surprise! I was going to spend the day at Cley and was thinking about doing Blakeney Point – note I said 'thinking'. Then I had a lovely phone call from a dear family friend who lives in Heacham, who asked me the exact location of the Wryneck on Saturday  – he also very kindly emailed me a cracking picture of a male blackcap in his garden that was eating mistletoe berries!
Blackcap enjoying a Mistletoe Berry
© Malcolm White

The time was flying by and I changed my mind about Cley and decided to search Garden Drove at Warham and then Wells Woods this afternoon. A message came up on the pager at 1.02pm about a 'probable' Black-headed Wagtail at Titchwell RSPB, which I didn't take seriously at this point. Another message later at 2.09pm to say it WAS a Black-headed Wagtail and had been seen again, but flew west and no further sign. Shortly after this message, another popped up at 2.20pm to say it was in the cut reeds again, before Island Hide. Ok, so now I need to go sharpish!

Off I sped (I mean drive sensibly – must remember that at least two policemen read my blog!) to Titchwell RSPB. When I arrived by the cut reeds just before Island Hide, there were only a few people standing there and the Black-headed Wagtail was not on show at this moment. Quote from another birder 'most people have been and gone' – obviously birders were either close by or went on the first message. I wished I had gone on the first message too now! Not too long after I arrived here, Eddie M and Mark G. also joined me and then shortly after that, a birder I know called Mat turned up to say he had heard someone in the Visitor Centre say he had just been watching it from the Parrinder Hide! Now, I'm presuming that person must have walked past all of us, so it was jolly nice of him to stop and tell us all, not!!! We promptly all legged it up to the Parrinder hide to find that birders in there had indeed been watching it and it had also been fairly close to the hide! But of course it wasn't there when we arrived. Feeling frustrated at not seeing this exciting bird, I was muttering and cursing etc etc!

We were standing in the left hand side of the hide and eventually we had a few seconds view of the wagtail in flight over the fence line, at the end of the spit on the far left side and then not long after that it appeared on the edge of the spit, as if it was going to continue working its way towards us. I only saw this cracking bird for seconds – jet black head, contrasting with vivid yellow. At this point I phoned Eddie and Mark who had left the hide (don't quite know where they were) to say it was here. A second after that the wagtail had took off and bounded across momentarily to an island in the middle of the scrape and then back to the cut reed area by Island Hide. I didn't even get a chance to get a picture, not even a blob on the camera! Heavy showers of rain on and off until early evening when the sun came out for a short while.

By the time I got back to Island Hide, it had disappeared again. Eddie had obtained some phone-scoped pictures. I can't remember what time this was, but I never saw it again. Determined not to give up, I stayed at Titchwell searching for this bird until dusk. I headed back to Parrinder Hide and sat in there with Jill Wilson for what must have been a good hour and a half, then Rob came and joined us (Jill's husband). No sign at all. Snipe, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, Avocets, Shelducks, Teal, Shovelers, Redshanks, Grey Plover, gulls and a good number of Swifts around the reserve. We walked back to the cut reed area by Island Hide, still no sign. Richard M. was also here and a couple of other birders.

I headed to the East Trail and to the small pool next to Patsy's Pool, in hope that it had favoured this muddy edged area, which looks excellent habitat for any wagtails, but no joy there either. I had stunning views of a Short-eared Owl in perfect light at 7.23pm, which flew straight over my head, but camera was in bag and wasn't quick enough. Cetti's Warbler singing and Greylag Geese with fluffy youngsters and Pied Wagtails on the horse meadow just south of here. I returned to the cut reed area near Island Hide to find Richard M still there – I headed back to Parrinder Hide, just in case! Pied Wagtails here, but no yellow and back one. Took some sunset pictures and returned to Island Hide and walked back to the car park with Richard and heard a Cuckoo at 8.30pm. I'm glad I saw the Black-headed Wagtail, but it would have been much nicer to see it for a bit longer and an added bonus would have been to get it on the camera!

Last day of my holiday tomorrow and on Father/nurse duties to give Mother a break.  Cooking a vegetarian meal (Father doesn't know that yet) and an apple crumble, plus jobs to do whilst there.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
SAVI'S WARBLER singing by Weaver's Way, 200 yards before Rush Hill Scrape, Common Crane flew east at Hickling Broad NWT.
Dotterels x 13 in ploughed field, west of bend in road, Hen Harrier at Choseley Drying Barns.
Ring Ouzel in hedge just east of Choseley Drying Barns.
Velvet Scoters x 3 flew past Sheringham.
HOOPOE flew SW over A47/Narford Road junction at 8.45am at Narborough.
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
TURTLE DOVES x 2, Ring Ouzels x 2, Short-eared Owl at Holme Dunes NWT.
Ring Ouzel on playing field, south of Beeston Bump, Sheringham.
Ring Ouzel, Short-eared Owl at North Dunes, Winterton.
Curlew Sandpiper at Breydon Water.
Whinchat north of pipe dump at Waxham.
Great White Egret, Garganey, Spotted Redshank at Welney WWT.
Ring Ouzels x 2, Redstart fem., Whinchat at Snettisham Coastal Park.
BLACK-HEADED WAGTAIL male, seen from Parrinder Hide and in cut area of reeds just before Island Hide at Titchwell RSPB.
Little Stint, Short-eared Owl at Titchwell RSPB.
Dotterel x 4 in ploughed field, just west of whirligig at Stiffkey.
Whinchat at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Spoonbill north of duck pond at Salthouse.
TURTLE DOVE singing at Beighton.
Great White Egret flew east over coastguard cottages at Weybourne.
Garganey on lake north of bridge at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Great White Egret at Holkham Freshmarsh.

Suffolk Highlights
SAVI'S WARBLER singing at Island Mere, Minsmere RSPB.


MEGA NEWS
MEGA! WESTERN RUFOUS TURTLE DOVE (form meena) 1w still yesterday and again today, on south side of Otford, east of A225 in tree in back garden on The Old Walk, viewed from The Butts, Otford, Kent.

MEGA! GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL still, Castletownbere, County Cork, Ireland.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

May Birding, Mega Month!

Alarm was set pre dawn. I didn't hear a thing. Opened my eyes and glanced at the clock – it was 7.15am. Got out of the door fairly quickly. It was another good day for sunny weather and it felt warmer by the afternoon than it has over the last few days.

Arrived at the Wryneck garden in Heacham, in hope that it would still be around. I waited and waited. Starlings, Blackbirds, Robins and a Mistle Thrush seen. Spoke to the finder who said he had some lovely pictures of the Wryneck, perched on the short chain link posts – I could only imagine! Like most birders, seasoned and new, we all love to see a Wryneck, they are simply fascinating birds. I stubbornly continued to wait. I drove around other roads, peering onto all the short turfed lawns and then returned to the original garden. I fell asleep a couple of times, so I could have missed it!!! After two hours, I gave up.

Dotterels came up on the pager, so headed to Choseley via Ringstead, to search for my own on route. I stopped by a large puddle at the edge of a ploughed field and watched Linnets, Pied Wagtails and a pair of Mallards. House Martins and Swallows were overhead and Grey and Red-legged Partridges were seen. In Thornham village, I took the road signposted to Choseley that heads south and soon found a couple of birders scoping the Dotterels in a large chalky field. A lovely start to May, but as is usual, the 9 Dotterels were very distant – fuzzy blobs through the scope and heat haze! A Wheatear and a few Hares were also close by. Several more cars of birders turned up, including Twitcher of old, 'Big Jake' and his wife. I left and headed to Titchwell RSPB.

I started off with lunch at the 'Feeding Station' and sat outside on a picnic table, which I shared with a biker from Boston, who I had a nice conversation with. I was very impressed that Titchwell is now selling veggi sausage baps, it was very nice, but a bit dry – what it needed was a fried egg – might suggest this to Warden Paul Eele – in fact I'll tweet him now! Met a lady blog follower, who caught me red-handed, collecting my hot dessert and lovely it was too – nice to meet you and to another gentleman later on. Its always nice to meet my readers, gives me incentive to carry on. Whilst enjoying my lunch, it was lovely to watch a Song Thrush at close range and the usual Robins were hoovering crumbs up under the tables. A Hobby had been seen at Titchwell today and M.A.G. had also seen one at Cley.

I suddenly felt very tired – I still haven't recovered from the last few days. I ambled around the Fen Trail at a mega slow pace. Wonderful chorus of birds including Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Great Tit and Cetti's Warbler. I didn't walk the main path to hides as wanted to go to Holme NWT Forestry before it officially closes at 5pm. Returned to the picnic area and sat for a while, looking up into the tops of the trees for possible Wood Warblers, chance would be a fine thing!

Left Titchwell and went to Holme to visit parents for a short while. Asked Father if he would like to get in the new wheelchair I got him, so I could see if I could get him outside in the sunshine (I requested an exchange for the wheelchair we already had with 4 small wheels, for a self-propelling one, which has two massive back wheels and is much easier to manoeuvre) – Father point blank refused, so that was a waste of time! Headed to Holme reserves.

I had just parked up by the 5-bar gate, to walk to the Forestry, when Dave Holman and his wife stopped in their car and kindly told me there was a Whinchat further back along the road, in the paddocks, flitting about around the grasses. I drove along the road and searched, but no luck with that at all, but did see 9 Yellow Wagtails bounding over Holme marsh. I decided to carry on along the Firs Road, parked on the NOA carpark and then walked back to the NWT Forestry. Apart from a single Willow Warbler singing, I didn't see any birds in there! Nor did I find the Ring Ouzel that was supposedly lurking in the bushes. Bumped into Richard Brooks and his partner Jessica and chatted with them for a while. Richard reminded me about his forthcoming lecture 'Lemnos – The New Lesbos?' on Sunday 22nd May at the Norfolk Bird & Wildlife Fair, which I'll be going to. Richard and Jessica had been listening to a Grasshopper Warbler by the 5-bar gate earlier, but I didn't hear it.

Walked back along the Firs Road and again, did not see the Whinchat! Watched a couple of Chiffchaffs in the large sallows, just before the car parks. Chatted to Warden Gary Hibbard who had been strimming on the reserve. There has been some good clearance work of the buckthorn, opposite the NOA car park and I spent a very enjoyable hour here, sitting in my Skoda Green Hide watching birds appearing in the clearing of Spring Beauty (or button hole flower as its also known). A cute bunny was nibbling the Spring Beauty. Fab views of a Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Robins, Goldfinches and several Magpies around. Saw my first Swift this Spring, flying over the car park. I fell asleep again! Back along the road I watched a Barn Owl flying over the path to Redwell Marsh Hide and saw several House Sparrows at the entrance to the Firs Road. Drove home in the rain.

PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
TURTLE DOVES  x 2, Ring Ouzel, Redstart fem., Redstart male, Whinchat at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Curlew Sandpiper at Breydon Water.
Garganey x 2 on water meadow north of lake at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Dotterels x 9 in ploughed field, west of bend in road, plus Whinchat at Choseley Drying Barns.
Garganey x 2, Wood Sandpipers x 5, Whimbrels x 20 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Short-eared Owl flew South over Northrepps.
Spoonbill on The Serpentine, East Bank, Whinchat at Cley NWT.
Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB.
Great White Egret, Garganey x 2, Spotted Redshank at Welney WWT.
Ring Ouzel, Whinchat, Short-eared Owl at Holme NWT.
SAVI'S WARBLER singing early morning only, west of Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
WHITE STORK esc. by A47, east of Acle.

Suffolk Highlights
SAVI'S WARBLER singing at Island Mere, Minsmere RSPB.


MEGA NEWS 
MEGA! WESTERN RUFOUS TURTLE DOVE (form meena) 1w still yesterday and again today, on south side of Otford, east of A225 in tree in back garden on The Old Walk, viewed from The Butts, Otford, Kent.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Dawn 'til Dusk!

It just about killed me to get up so early, but I did and it paid off! I was out at dawn and arrived at the bowling green at Hunstanton for a quick scan – lots of House Sparrows chirping away, with Greenfinches and Hedge Sparrows by the pitch 'n' putt bushes, adjacent to the bowling green. Fulmars were soaring over the cliff top in the beautiful blue skies. No bank holiday tourists had arrived yet, all was serene! Just remembered..... on the way to Hunstanton I saw four Fallow Deer standing on the edge of a belt of trees on the right handside of the A149, just before the Castle Rising turn off.

Arrived at the village car park at Holme before 6am and used my car as a hide to watch the bushes and willows surrounding the seated area, opposite the toilet block. A Cuckoo was calling from the golf course. It was alive with birds and there wasn't anyone else here – I had even beaten the dog walkers – well impressed! Willow Warblers singing, Chiffchaffs, male and female Blackcaps, Hedge Sparrows, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Wren, Robins, Whitethroats and lots of hirundines hurtling over west. Suddenly a cracking male Redstart appeared in the willows! It posed perfectly and I got some very pleasing shots – happy me! It flicked about feeding contentedly – had this fabulous little bird all to myself... until, Mr Robin decided enough was enough on his patch and like a bullet, launched itself aggresively at my Redstart and duly flushed it, not to be seen again!

I drove along the Firs Road and parked on the verge just past the pay hut – a Marsh Harrier flew across the road and over the Saltings. I walked back along the coastal footpath that runs behind the bungalows. Didn't really see that much hear, but got very excited when I heard the beautiful and magical purring of a Turtle Dove (at 7.10am), but sadly didn't see it! Several Wood pigeons and a couple of Collared Doves were seen along with a Bullfinch and several Whitethroats. Walked back through the village car park, where I was earlier, but no further sign of the Redstart. Noisy, yelping dogs had now arrived for their walk and this completey ruined the ambiance. The biggest surprise of the morning was 2 Little Egrets I found, preening in their roosting spot, which was a tall hedge in someone's garden – the house that sits back quite a way off the road, next to Beach House, opposite the entrance to The Firs road. Lots of Starlings, Jackdaws and House Sparrows around this area too.

I walked back along the Firs Road, but diverted to the river path from Redwell Marsh Hide, which brings you out to the 'standing caravan' as it was called, but its been up-marketed to a posh wooden chalet. Had lovely views of a least 3 Sedge Warblers here, singing away in the small area of reeds alongside the path. Also 2 Mistle Thrushes gathering food in the paddocks and a Cetti's Warbler singing. Increase in hirundines numbers flying over west. I spent a long time photographing a Willow Warbler opposite 'Sandy Ridge'.

At 8.30am I had to leave, as the rest of the day was taken up with continued sorting of care issues. Nipped into my parents briefly and then met my sister Vivien at a care home in Hunstanton for a second opinion. I had short-listed three care homes for Vivien to view – the second two were in Heacham. This took most of the morning up! Vivien then left to go to parents and pick Lucy up on route. I then had to head back to King's Lynn to do some important errands and sorting stuff for Mother. King's Lynn town centre is the last place I wanted to be, but it had to be done – it was packed out with familys trudging round the town with their children.

Arrived back at my parents at around 3.30pm. Family meetings and discussions commenced! I left around 7.45pm (ish). Stopped at Hunstanton to photograph the stunning sunset over the cliffs. The pager bleeped up with 'Wryneck showing well' in a garden in Heacham at 5pm – message came through at 8.20pm. Such a pity the message didn't come up earlier, but I decided to twitch it anyway. Arrived in semi-dusk, but no sign. The person that had put the news out, came out to tell me where it was exactly and how they had watched it for 20 minutes, feeding on the grass, but it had disappeared. Drove wearily home – survived the day on almost no sleep! Far too exhausted to think about getting pictures off the camera! Sorry!

PICTURES TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
TURTLE DOVE singing behind pay hut along Firs Road at 7.10am, Redstart male in village car park at 6am, Holme. (PAC) Black Redstart fem. in horse paddock at Holme Dunes NWT.
Richard's Pipit at 6pm then flushed and no further sign,  Ring Ouzels x 3, Redstart Male, Short-eared Owl on golfcourse at Holme.
Redstart fem. in pines, Tree Pipits x 2 at Holme NOA.
Short-eared Owl, Long-tailed Duck off North Dunes, Winterton.
Garganey x 2 on water meadow north of lake at Felbrigg Hall NT.
WHITE STORK esc, Spotted Redshank, Short-eared Owl at Breydon Water.
Redstart fem., Ring Ouzels x 2 at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Black-necked Grebe at Tottenhill Gravel Pits.
WHITE STORK esc,  flew east just over A148, just east of Hillington.
Whinchat at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Blue-headed Wagtail briefly, mid morning at Sidestrand.
Ring Ouzels x 2, Whinchats x 2 at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Tree Pipits x 2, east of Gun Hill at Burnham Overy Dunes.
WHITE STORKS x 2 esc,  flew west over Lyng.
Temminck's Stint on pool behind The Serpentine, viewed from East Bank, Whinchats x 2 at beach car park, Short-eared Owls x 2 at Cley NWT.
Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB.
Ring Ouzel at Kelling Water Medows.
TURTLE DOVE singing at Reedham
Wryneck in front garden at 5pm, but no further sign late evening at Heacham.

Suffolk Highlights
SAVI'S WARBLER singing at Island Mere, Minsmere RSPB.

MEGA NEWS

MEGA! WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW trapped & ringed at Woolston Eyes NR and then seen at No. 3 bed , left of John Morgan Hide, Cheshire and Wirral.
MEGA! SNOWY OWL again on Bryher, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! WESTERN RUFOUS TURTLE DOVE (form meena) 1w still yesterday and again today, on south side of Otford, east of A225 in tree in back garden on The Old Walk, viewed from The Butts, Otford, Kent.

The Norfolk Bird Race, Today 30th April!!!

https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/Norfolk-Bird-Race-2016

The Norfolk Bird Race in association with the Norfolk Bird and Wildlife Fair run an annual 24 hour sponsored bird race. This year the race will be raising money for Wader Quest as five teams compete to become Bird Race Champions 2016.

"On 30th April 2016, the Norfolk Bird Race in association with the Norfolk Bird and Wildlife Fair will be raising money for Wader Quest (http://www.waderquest.org/). Five teams of four people will be sponsored to spend 24 hours trying to see or hear as many birds as possible in East Anglia.

Wader Quest is a charity that aims to get more people directly involved in wader conservation through Community Wader Conservation projects, or indirectly as a Friend or Sponsor of Wader Quest.

Waders are under more global pressure today than at any time in the past, particularly long distance migrants that depend upon the intertidal zone for refuelling and resting. Nearly half (48%) of waders species, where a population trend is known, are in decline.

By sponsoring participants in the race you will be helping Wader Quest and therefore helping waders and their habitats. If you donate £5.00 or more, you will also be eligible to become a Friend of Wader Quest for a year, so please leave your details. If you are supporting a particular team then leave a message of support for them in the comments section."

Friday, 29 April 2016

Three Peregrine Falcon Chicks Hatch Overnight At Norwich Cathedral!

https://www.facebook.com/HawkandOwlTrust/videos/605868756238294/

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/three_peregrine_falcon_chicks_hatch_overnight_at_norwich_cathedral_1_4515598

Bank Holiday Weekend!

I didn't get out birding today at all, I'm sorry to report. Tons more stuff went on today concerning parents. Took Lucy to rehearsals for her next concert this evening. Dawn start tomorrow to get in some hot birding, before meeting with Vivien to look at my short list of care homes.

Hopefully with bank holiday birders added to the mix, some good birds might be found – hopefully anyway. Weather looks considerably warmer and sunnier tomorrow – early start will avoid the queues of holiday traffic! Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend.

Weekend Weather
Saturday
After a sunny start for most areas, a few well scattered showers will develop, mainly during the afternoon. Feeling warmer with winds staying mostly light.

Outlook for Sunday to Tuesday
A bright start on Sunday, though turning cloudy with some patchy rain overnight, becoming more persistent before eventually clearing late Monday. Sunshine and showers following for Tuesday, and feeling warmer.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2652856

King's Lynn Docks – Hide Tides
Saturday 30th April – 12.31. 
Sunday 1st May – 13.49.
Monday 2nd May – 15.09.

Wells Bar – High and Low Tides
Saturday 30th April – Low Tide: 08.15. High Tide: 13.08. 
Sunday 1st May – Low Tide: 09.16. High Tide: 14.29.
Monday 2nd May – Low Tide: 10.19. High Tide: 15.46.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Short-eared Owl at Brancaster.
Short-eared Owl flew west past Sidestrand.
Glossy Ibises x 2 flew in off sea and then flew SW over Winterton.
Short-eared Owl at North Dunes, Winterton.
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Ring Ouzel, Black Redstart just west of visitor centre at Holme Dunes NWT.
Great White Egrets x 2, Garganey x 4 at Welney WWT.
Garganey on water meadow north of lake at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Ring Ouzel, Whinchat at Cawston Heath.
Wryneck South of A149 in gardens at Hill Top though elusive, Cley.
BLACK KITE unconfirmed report, flew over A149 SE of Norwich.
Black Brant still on saltmarsh at Blakeney.

Suffolk Highlights
SAVI'S WARBLER singing at Island Mere, Minsmere RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL, 4 miles east of Penzance just SE of Perranuthoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.

IUCN - IUCN calls for the Commission to protect the Turtle Dove against spring hunting season in Malta

IUCN - IUCN calls for the Commission to protect the Turtle Dove against spring hunting season in Malta

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Searching for..........

a good residential care home that is registered for dementia or an 'EMI' home. I spent around six hours today, visiting local homes in Heacham, Snettisham, Ingoldisthorpe and Docking. I hadn't arranged any appointments – always best to visit unexpected for a true picture!!! There was only two I would consider for my Father, but currently neither homes have a vacant room. Docking was the last place I visited and then decided to get a spot of birding in, before going to parent's to inform Mother about the care homes I had visited.

At Choseley Barns I only managed to see a Pheasant, as there were lorries and tractors working on the concrete pad. At the village playing field at Thornham I watched 33 Whimbrels feeding in the pouring rain, along with a couple of Oystercatches, Red-legged Partridges x 4 and a Pied Wagtail.

At Holme I found something very unusual – a freshly dead Stoat on the roadside along Beach Road, just off the A149 – I can't remember ever seeing one dead. Along the Firs Road, by the 5-bar gate, I watched a cracking male Bullfinch which exploded from a hawthorn and then disappeared into the sea-buckthorn. No sight or sound of the Wood Warbler seen this morning by the pay hut, but had lovely views of a pair of Grey Partridges in the paddock next to 'Sandy Ridge'. A Grey Heron flew over the Holme Marsh. The weather was atrocious this afternoon with rain and cold winds.

Spent the rest of the evening with my parents. My Mother is not good at all and I stayed to get Father into bed, which resulted in me getting home late. My sister Vivien is joining me on Saturday to look round my short list of care homes, to make a final decision for when a room becomes available. Out birding tomorrow unless any emergencies crop up. Winds turning south west over the next few days, so should be considerably warmer!

PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Lesser-spotted Woodpecker north of water meadow briefly, Redstart fem., Garganey x 2 at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Ring Ouzel at Friary Hills NT.
Wryneck South of A149 in gardens at Hill Top, Cley.
Spoonbills x 2 at Cley NWT.
Ring Ouzel at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Wood Warbler by pay hut along Firs Road, Firecrest trapped and ringed, Ring Ouzel at Holme NOA.
Richard's Pipit and Spoonbill flew West over Sheringham.
Short-eared Owl at Titchwell RSPB.
Spoonbill at Salthouse.
Ring Ouzel in sheep field at Kelling Water Meadows.
Whimbrels x 33 on village hall sports ground at Thornham.
Garganey, Short-eared Owl at Hickling Broad NWT.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! BELTED KINGFISHER Male on Friday, on River Bann at Mountsandel Wood in tree above Cutts, viewed from East bank in evening, but no sign since, South of Coleraine, County Kerry, Ireland.
MEGA! WESTERN RUFOUS TURTLE DOVE (form meena) 1w on Sunday still, in gardens on estate behind Volkswagen dealer on south side of Otford off A225, 3.5 miles north of Sevenoaks.

SIX DAY'S HOLIDAY!!!

Hot Birding, Hot Weather (not), here we go!!!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Wryneck in gardens west of warden's house along A149 at Cley.
Ring Ouzel at Sidestrand.
Garganey x 2 in water meadow North of Felbrigg Hall NT.
Temminck's Stint, Continental Black-tailed Godwit still on Pat's Pool at Cley NWT.
Great White Egrets x 2, Garganey x 2, Short-eared Owl at Welney WWT.
Arctic Terns x 2 flew East past Horsey.
Wood Warbler singing just east of Washington Hide, briefly at 2.30pm, Firecrest in pines just east of Lady Anne's Drive at Holkham.
Black Brant, Dark-bellied Brent Geese x 100 on saltings on North side of Blakeney Bank.
WHITE STORK esc. flew SW over Surlingham Marsh RSPB.
Ring Ouzel in sheep field at Kelling Water Meadows.
WHITE STORK esc. flew West over Whitlingham Country Park.
Whimbrels x 23 on village hall sports ground at Thornham.
Garganey x 3 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Hen Harrier at Ten Mile Bank.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL still at Castletownbere, County Cork, Ireland.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 20th to 26th April!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2016-17.aspx?s_id=67453667

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Inside A Russian Fur Farm!

Warning: disturbing footage of Mink, Arctic Foxes and a Lynx kept in miniature cages and clearly distressed – CRUELTY for fashion and status at the expense of the cruel torture and finally death of these wild animals – sick and desperately sad.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-36135834?post_id=10207282523006332_10209286382221560#_=_

Winter Weather!

We've had some pretty bizarre weather today – strong North West Winds, rain, sun, sleet and as I was writing notes in the day room at the QEH this afternoon, we had the heaviest and longest hail storm that I can recall for a very long time. A new member of staff rushed to the window for a few moments, to witness the hail storm – she had never seen hail before and looked so excited – it was very touching. The country this member of staff came from, never has hail! Early evening produced the most spectacular blue/pink skies with rays of sun and dramatic black and white clouds.

Tons more parent related phone calls had to made at lunchtime and as soon as I returned home from work to Social Services, GP's etc etc – then cooked my tea. I was supposed to do the supermarket run, but fell asleep. Burnt out. One more day left at work and then I have FIVE DAYS OFF!!! Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Bank Holiday Monday and Tuesday! Some of those days will be sorting stuff to do with Father, but should definitely get some quality birding in somewhere – that is if these bitterly cold North Winds disappear!!!

'Human Swan' Sacha Dench To Join 4,500-Mile Migration!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36138082

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Wrynecks x 2 in gardens west of warden's house along A149 at Cley.
Spoonbill West of East Bank car park, Continental Black-tailed Godwits x 2 on Pat's Pool at Cley NWT
Common Cranes x 3 flew over Fring Road junction at Sedgeford.
Spoonbill flew east over saltmarsh at Wells.
Great White Egret at Welney WWT.
Great White Egret at Holkham Freshmarsh.
Arctic Terns x 4 at Thorpe Marshes, Haddiscoe.
Arctic Terns x 2 at Colney Gravel Pits.
Ring Ouzel distantly at Kelling Water Meadows.
Ring Ouzels x 5+ in dunes east of sea wall at Burnham Over Dunes.
Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB.
Ring Ouzel on playing field at Dilham.
Arctic Terns x 18 flew North over Thetford.
WHITE STORK esc. South of A147, 1/2 mile West of Britannia Farm at Halvergate Marshes.
WHITE STORK esc. (green ringed) in field North of Setchey Road, at Setchey near King's Lynn.
WHITE STORKS esc. x 2, 2 miles east of Stacey Arms, by A47 East of Acle. 

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! SNOWY OWL, still on Bryher, Isles of Scilly.

Monday, 25 April 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Garganey x 4 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
WHITE STORK esc. at Ashwicken Lake, Ashwicken Road, North of East Winch and South of Ashwicken.
Redstart fem. at Beeston Common, Sheringham.
Hen Harrier at North Dunes, Winterton.
Wryneck in gardens west of warden's house along A149 at Cley.
Great White Egret at Welney WWT.
Black Redstart, Whinchats x 2 in horse paddocks at Holme.
Great White Egret at Holkham.
Ring Ouzels x 6 in dunes east of sea wall at Burnham Over Dunes.
Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB.
TURTLE DOVE singing at Gressinghall Museum.
Arctic Terns x 2 at Rockland Broad.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! SNOWY OWL, at Bryher and then Tresco, Isles of Scilly.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Snettisham Coastal Park!

The weekend has been pretty dire all round. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings taken up with parents. I won't even go into the disgusting service from Social Services – you wouldn't believe me if I told you the stuff that's gone on recently. Saturday up late with exhaustion and then visited another care home. Spent rest of time at parents and fell asleep whilst there. Worked all day today.

After work I visited Snettisham Coastal Park, hoping to find my own Wryneck. It was FREEZING cold! Wore waterproof trousers on top of my trousers to keep warm, coat and gloves etc! I only saw a handful of birds in these bitterly cold North West winds. A few Goldfinches, Sedge Warbler singing briefly, Cetti's Warbler, Black Birds and Chaffinches. No sign of any Wheatears or anything else on the large expanse of short turf. The only highlight was my first Cuckoo of the Spring calling, when I returned to my car.

Had to go to my parent's to help again this evening. Mother had had another night of no sleep last night. It was a dreadful evening and I broke down in tears – long story, can't go into it all now.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spotted Redshank from Dauke's Hide, Spoonbill south of Babcock Hide at Cley NWT.
Pomarine Skua, Long-tailed Duck flew past Winterton.
Ring Ouzel, Hen Harrier at North Dunes, Winterton.
Ring Ouzel at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Common Cranes x 2 circled over North Wall at Breydon Water.
Purple Sandpipers x 13 on first rock groyne, south of church at Waxham.
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Waxham Sands Holiday Park.
Great White Egret at Welney WWT.
TURTLE DOVE in garden at Little Barningham.
Wryneck in gardens west of warden's house along A149 at Cley.
Arctic Tern at Poplar Lake, Aylsham.
Black Terns x 2, Arctic Terns x 12 at Whitlingham Country Park.
Common Crane on Rush Hill Scrape at Hickling Broad NWT.
Pale-bellied Brent Geese x 2 yesterday on saltmarsh at Morston.
Garganey x 2, Whinchat at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Spotted Redshanks x 4 on marsh by Marsh House Farm at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Jack Snipe x 2 at Blakeney Harbour.
WHITE STORK esc. by A47 at Acle.
Common Crane, Short-eared Owl flew over River Waveney, West of Belton.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! SNOWY OWL, Bryher, Isles of Scilly.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SATURDAY 23rd April

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Northrepps.
Little Stint, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB.
Ring Ouzels x 2 on slope with sheep opposite Kelling Water Meadows.
Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Breydon Water.
Manx Shearwater, Great Skua, Arctic Skuas x 2 at Winterton.
Caspian Gull 1s at mouth of River Yare, Gorleston-on-Sea.
Wryneck in bushes across road from visitor centre at Cley NWT.
Whinchats x 2 along sea wall, opposite car park at Thornham.
Redstart near Moors Pool at Upton Marshes NWT.
Redstart at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Short-eared Owl at Castle Marshes, Aldeby.
Ring Ouzel at North Dunes, Winterton.
Garganey x 3 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Black Redstart at Holme Dunes NWT.
WHITE STORK esc. by A47 at Acle.
Whinchat between north end of Beach Road and Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.

MEGA NEWS!
 
MEGA! WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER (ID'D from DNA), trapped and ringed at Nanjizal Valley, Cornwall. 
MEGA! SNOWY OWL, Bryher, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL, still Mount's Bay, east of Penzance at Marazion at Trenow Cove, Cornwall.

Friday, 22 April 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Ring Ouzel, Spotted Redshank at Breydon Water.
Spotted Reshank at Thornham Marsh.
Ring Ouzel at Sparham Hole.
Ring Ouzels x 3 at North Dunes, Winterton.
Great White Egret near Joe Jordan Hide at Holkham.
Great White Egret, Common Cranes x 9 at Stubb Mill, Hickling Broad NWT.
Common Cranes x 8 flew over Brograve Mill, Horsey Corner.
White Wagtail at Waxham Sands.
Ring Ouzel, Redstart male at St Mary's Church car park at East Somerton.
Ring Ouzels x 2 on slope with sheep opposite Kelling Water Meadows.
Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB.
WHITE STORK presumed esc. in grass field by farm resevoir at Setchey.
Spotted Redshank from Dauke's Hide at Cley NWT.
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Burnham Overy Dunes.

Suffolk Highlights
SAVI'S WARBLER singing at Island Mere, Minsmere RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL, still Mount's Bay, east of Penzance at Marazion at Trenow Cove, Cornwall.

HAPPY 90TH BIRTHDAY!

Thursday, 21 April 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Ring Ouzel at Beeston Bump, Sheringham.
Ring Ouzel in NW corner of sheep field at Kelling Water Meadows.
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Kelling Quags.
Great White Egret flew North over Snettisham Coastal Park.
Common Cranes x 2 circled over Cley NWT Visitor Centre.
Little Stint on Arnold's Marsh at Cley NWT.
Dartford Warbler in gorse 200 yards North of red lifeboat station at Caister-on-Sea.
Common Cranes x 2 flew NW over Blakeney Harbour.
Common Cranes x 3 flew West over Blakeney.
Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB.
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Short-eared Owl, Lavendar Marsh, Holme Dunes NWT.
Ring Ouzel still North of Choseley Drying Barns.
Garganey x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Hen Harrier at North Dunes, Winterton.
Ring Ouzels x 2 North of Low Road at South Wootton.
WHITE STORK esc. (bearing green ring Z1213) yesterday at Burgh Castle.

MEGA NEWS!
None.

Prince, Singer & Superstar, Dies Aged 57!

  R I P  P R I N C E  

I have been helping my parents again this evening and on returning home I decided to wind down and relax for a bit. Turned on the news and was gobsmacked to see the 'Breaking News' that PRINCE had died!!!! Another part of my teenage years has been erased. Can't quite believe it!!!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-36106778

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/video_and_audio/headlines/36106764

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Holme Birding!

A short birding trip to Holme this evening, after I did Mother's on-line food shop. Parked the car by the gate to Redwell Marsh NOA, to search for today's reported singing Turtle Dove. Walked back along the Firs Road to Beach Road. Watched a Barn Owl over the paddocks, a Mistle Thrush harassing the owl, Pheasants, Red-legged Partridges x 2, Rabbits, a Muntjack deer and several House Sparrows chirping away in the brambles at the entrance track. Turned right to walk past the toilet block and was very upset to see the very large willow tree had been lopped dramatically to mere stumps – that won't be holding any migrants any more!!! I suppose it had be neat and tidy for visitors, after all, we mustn't let things stay wild in a SSSI area!!! Everything has to be 'managed'!!!

Walked through the village car park and saw 2 Oystercathers, 2 Pied Wagtails and several Woodpigeons feeding in the strip of ploughed mud at the far end of the car park. Continued along the path that leads to the coastal footpath, which overlooks the paddocks, hawthorn scrub and houses along the Firs Road. This area is excellent for Turtle Doves and they are regularly seen here in Spring – but alas I didn't see or hear any this evening. It was too cold and late in the day for any small birds to be showing. In fact it wasn't just cold, it was FREEZING with the East wind cutting through me and my gloves! Saw a few Linnets and heard a Willow Warbler singing briefly and that was it. Walked up as far as Gore Point and scanning over the marshes, spotted a lovely male Hen Harrier. I then crossed over to the dunes and walked back along the coastal footpath to the car park near the pay hut and then continued back along the Firs Road to my car at Redwell. From the hide, there were 2 Avocets, Shovelers x 2, Mallards, Coot and some Black-headed Gulls. I left here at 8.20pm.

Popped in to see my parents. My Mother fell again this evening, whilst on route to hanging washing out, she told me on my arrival – she's ok and got away without doing any serious damage. This was supposed to be a brief visit, but I ended up staying for ages, trying to get Father to take his tablets. He dug his heels in and refused and got really cross with Mother and I. We were exasperated and beyond despair. We tried to make him take the tablets, but that just resulted in wet pyjamas as he refused to gulp any drink to wash the tablets down. We got one tablet in eventually, but the second one came up again later...... I had just got him into bed and then had to sit him up extremely quickly, as his face suddenly turned bright red – he had started to choke on the tablet he led us to believe he had swallowed, but had in fact been storing it in his mouth!!! Sitting him up that quickly, didn't do my painful hip any favours whatsoever.

It may sound harsh, trying to make Father have his tablets, but he has already been refusing all his main tablets every morning, which include blood pressure tablets, aspirin and heart tablets. The two he takes at night are actually the most important ones, an indigestion tablet which stops him coughing all night and even more importantly 'Quetiapine' which stops him hallucinating. Mother has this battle with him every night now and can't take it any more. Enough is enough. Final plans will be going into place this week! My poor Mother had gone way beyond the call of duty in her excellent care – the lack of sleep is what's draining her – not even an 18 year old can cope with all she is doing. It's all so difficult and emotional – we don't want him to go into a Residential Home as we know he will hate it, but there is no choice left now.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Ring Ouzel at Mundesley Holiday Camp.
Ring Ouzels x 2 flew North, Hen Harrier at North Dunes, Winterton.
Ring Ouzel at Beeston Bump, Sheringham.
Blue-headed Wagtail, Yellow Wagtails x 8 at East end of Eye Field, Spoonbill at The Serpentine, Common Cranes x 6 flew west, Cley NWT.
Common Cranes x 5 flew North over Lessingham.
Ring Ouzel in car park at Somerton Church.
Spoonbill at Stiffkey.
Shorelarks x 2 briefly, Common Cranes x 6 at Burnham Overy.
Common Cranes x 6 flew West over Brancaster Marsh.
TURTLE DOVE singing at Redwell Marsh NOA, Whimbrel flew over, Common Cranes x 6 flew North, Hen Harrier at Holme.
Redstart fem., Arctic Terns x 15, Spotted Redshank, Short-eared Owl at Breydon Water.
Common Cranes x 6 flew West over Titchwell RSPB.
Great White Egret, Common Cranes x 6 circling then flew East at Holkham Freshmarsh.
Common Cranes x 6 flew South over Muckleburgh Hill.
Common Cranes x 6 flew East over Kelling Water Meadows.
Spoonbill at Burnham Norton.
WHITE STORK flew over Fakenham.
Redstart at Overstrand.
Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! COLLARED FLYCATCHER possible fem. (or male brownmorph Pied Fly) at Orcombe Point, Exmouth, Devon.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 13th to 19th April!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2016-16.aspx?s_id=932068327

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
RED-FOOTED FALCON possible, yesterday at West end of South Wall in evening, but no sign today at Breydon Water.
Ring Ouzels x 2 in Dell, Beeston Bump, Sheringham.
Ring Ouzels x 2, Firecrest at Kelling Heath.
Ring Ouzel east of Nelson's Head Track at Horsey.
Common Cranes x 14 flew over Horsey Mere.
Ring Ouzel at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Ring Ouzel in hedge, South of Choseley Drying Barns.
Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB.
Green-winged Teal on flood at Burnham Norton.
WHITE STORK flew over just west of Sheringham.
WHITE STORK near West Runton.
WHITE STORK flew South over Cromer.
Common Crane flew SE over Denver.
Great White Egret on Freshmarsh, Spoonbills x 2 flew over at Holkham.
Hen Harrier at North Dunes, Winterton.
Short-eared Owl at Waveney Forest.

Suffolk Highlights
SAVI'S WARBLER singing from Island Mere Hide, Minsmere RSPB.


MEGA NEWS!
None.

Monday, 18 April 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
WHITE STORK esc. on flood at railway crossing at Acle.
Hen Harrier at Horsey.
Black Redstart in shelter on East Bank at Cley NWT.
Spotted Redshank at Breydon Water.
Rough-legged Buzzard between Stiffkey and Wells.
Ring Ouzel in horse paddock off Mill Lane at Hindringham.
Blue-headed Wagtail at Welney WWT.
Garganey x 2 at middle wall at Potter Heigham.
Ring Ouzels x 2 on grass bank, on NE side at Dersingham Bog.
Firecrest in 'The Plantation' at Blakeney Point.
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Osprey (this morning) flew over Hunstanton.
Ring Ouzels x 2, east of bend in road, South of Choseley Drying Barns.

Suffolk Highlights
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW flew north at 8.10am over Thorpeness.
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW flew north (am) over North Warren RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! SNOWY OWL on Tresco, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, just SE of Perranuthnoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Cley NWT & Beyond!

Blue-headed Wagtail
The 'Eye Puddle', Eye Field, Cley NWT.

Considering I've had the entire weekend free, I've not been birding much at all, which is dreadful really, especially being as its April! However, I did have some quality birding this afternoon, with some new Spring birds and fabulous sunny weather!

Saturday
I spent yesterday with my family at Holme, including both my sisters. I also helped my sister Lucy to choose a lovely vase of Spring flowers, to be delivered on the day from Interflora, to a very dear older friend of Lucy's, who has been extremely ill of late. Lucy's friend has been very supportive of her throughout the tough times in her life and has been very kind, spending time with her, lunches etc. Lucy was very upset over how ill she has been and wanted to show her support. The flowers arrived early evening and Lucy received a lovely thank you text from her friend later on. After we ordered the flowers, I took Lucy to Holme via Ringstead where we stopped at the shop and bought some lovely cards to send to Lucy's friend.

At our parent's house, Father looked very pleased, when he realised all of his daughters were there and he looked pretty well. But..... later on he was not a happy bunny at all – all too much for him I think, plus he can't stand lots of noise and people. No wonder Mother is finding it difficult to put him into a residential home – she's right, he would hate it. Its really, really difficult at the moment for all of us. We tried to persuade Mother to go out with Vivien for a short while, whilst I kept an eye on Father, just to get her out of the house, but she refused point blank and said she was too tired. Vivien left early evening and Lucy and I left shortly afterwards. We stopped to buy some chips in Hunstanton and drove to the promenade, where we watched the Fulmars soaring round the cliffs as we enjoyed our chips. It was wickedly cold!

Sunday
It was a glorious day, but still cold with the NW winds. My hip and lower back are still annoyingly painful from my recent accident at work and this is made worse by driving. I used cruise control on the Skoda for the first time today and this helped reduce the pain considerably! On route to Cley I saw a Common Buzzard overhead at Bayfield Lake.

I parked the car close to the wire fence along Beach Road at Cley, yards behind Steve G! The Blue-headed Wagtail feeding around the Eye puddle was magical to watch in the sunshine, silhouetted in the blue water. Also saw 2 Pied Wagtails, lots of Wheatears, Linnets, Redshank, Oystercatchers x 2, Shovelers x 2, Marsh Harrier. There were several local birders standing on the path above the road, enjoying the Blue-headed Wagtail.

Blue-headed Wagtail at The 'Eye Puddle', Eye Field, Cley NWT.

Wheatear at The 'Eye Puddle', Eye Field, Cley NWT.

Walsey Hills NOA produced a singing Willow Warbler, male Blackcap, Cetti's Warbler, several Chiffchaffs, Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinches and Robin. A pair of Pochard and Little Grebe were on Snipe's Marsh and a Peregrine flew south overhead (shouted out to me by John F. from the other side of the marsh!). Lots of bees around, but didn't see any butterflies. A Heron flew over as I stood talking to Eddie M., who I haven't seen in ages. The white flowers of the blackthorn and yellow gorse looked so beautiful in the sunshine.

I returned to the Eye Field and had much closer views of the Blue-headed Wagtail, but still too far for my 300mm lens, but did manage to get some good record shots. Eddie was standing on the bank with others and phoned me to point out a Peregrine distantly in the white clouds.

Stopped at Beach Road, Salthouse briefly and saw lots of Wheatears east of the road and also bumped into and chatted with Rob and Jill Wilson who had seen 4 Short-eared Owls here.

I spent the evening at Kelling Water Meadows. It was colder now, but the light was still good and the sunset this evening was stupendous. Saw my first House Martin this Spring, just above me as I parked the car. A Barn Owl flew over the fields along the track. Just before the pool I heard my first Whitethroat of the Spring, in the hedge along the path. There was a wonderful frenzy of hirundines skimming over the pool: Sand Martins and Swallows – lots of them! A pair of Egyptian Geese were feeding around the pool with cute babies, waddling through the long grass. A pair of Teal and Gadwall were in the water. Two Stonechats in the brambles, lots of Rooks feeding amongst the sheep on the hill, but I couldn't spot any Ring Ouzels – there had to be one there somewhere! I also saw a Wren, Chaffinches, Goldfinches and Heron. It was too late in the day to see any wagtails.

I stopped at Beach Road, Salthouse again and saw a Heron and 2 Pied Wagtails. At Cley Sluice I stopped briefly and listened to my first Sedge Warbler singing and a Cetti's Warbler burst into song. A Barn Owl flew over my head and across the reedbed, just as I left to go home.

I have heard some very sad news from several people this weekend. Sending my condolences, best wishes and support to you all – you know who you are x x x.

PICTURES TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Great White Egret, Black Brant, Short-eared Owl at Stiffkey Fen.
Ring Ouzels x 5, South of Choseley Drying Barns.
Ring Ouzels x 3 at North Dunes, Black-throated Diver, Velvet Scoter, Winterton.
Little Gull at Felbrigg Hall Lake.
Whinchat at Thornham Point.
Black Redstart by 'The Funky Mackerel Cafe', Sheringham.
Ring Ouzel at Roydon Common.
WHITE STORK presumed escape, flew NE over Scania Way, King's Lynn.
Osprey flew over Surlingham Church.
Ring Ouzels x 6 at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Great White Egret at Holkham Freshmarsh.
Ring Ouzel in paddock behind chip shop off Beach Road at Snettisham.
Redstart, Whinchat at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Short-eared Owl, Spotted Redshank at Breydon Water.
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Kelling Heath.
Common Cranes x 2 flew West over Claxton.
Common Cranes x 3 flew over Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Garganey x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Blue-headed Wagtail in Eye Field at Cley NWT.
Arctic Terns x 2 at Sparham Pools, Lyng.
Rough-legged Buzzard yesterday at Haddiscoe Island.
Ring Ouzel at hides at East end of village at Holme.
Short-eared Owls x 2 opposite 'The Dun Cow Pub', plus another 2 east of Beach Road at Salthouse.
Short-eared Owls x 2 at Burgh Castle.

Suffolk Highlights
SAVI'S WARBLER singing from Island Mere Hide, Minsmere RSPB.

Lincolnshire Highlights
TURTLE DOVE singing at Frampton Marsh RSPB.


MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! SNOWY OWL 2 miles SE of St Just, east of B3306 at Bartinney Downs, Cornwall.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, just SE of Perranuthnoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.
MEGA! GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL still at Castletownbere, County Cork, Ireland.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Ring Ouzel at Beeston Common, Sheringham.
RAVEN flew east early morning, Black Redstart near The Leas, Sheringham.
Arctic Tern at Colney Gravel Pits.
Red-necked Grebe, Arctic Terns x 3 at Ormesby Little Broad, Ormesby St Margaret.
Iceland Gull juv flew over Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford.
Arctic Terns x 4 at Pentney Gravel Pits.
Ring Ouzels x 4, South of Choseley Drying Barns.
Ring Ouzels x 7 at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Redstart at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Short-eared Owl at Welney WWT.
HOODED CROW flew east at 3.33pm over golf course at Cromer.
Blue-headed Wagtails x 2 east of Beach Road, Salthouse.
Great White Egret at Holkham Freshmarsh.
Arctic Terns x 2 at Three Bridges Farm at Elsing, Lyng.
Arctic Terns x 8 at Whitlingham Country Park.
Short-eared Owl at Drayton.
Great White Egret, Short-eared Owls x 2 at Admiralty Point.

Suffolk Highlights
SAVI'S WARBLER singing from Island Mere Hide, Minsmere RSPB.

Lincolnshire Highlights
TURTLE DOVE at Frampton Marsh RSPB.


MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL still at Castletownbere, County Cork, Ireland.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, just SE of Perranuthnoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.

Friday, 15 April 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Manx Shearwater flew east past Sheringham.
Firecrest at Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
Grey-headed Wagtail by Beach Road, Salthouse.
Blue-headed Wagtail at Kelling Water Meadows.
Hen Harrier at Rockland Broad.
Little Gull, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Breydon Water.
Whinchat, Redstart, Hen Harrier at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Whimbrel x 4 in field north of Beach Road, Snettisham.
Lapland Buntings x 2 at Blakeney Freshmarsh.
Red-necked Grebe at Ormesby Little Broad, Ormesby St Margaret.
Black-throated Diver, Arctic Terns x 2 flew past, Ring Ouzels x 3 at Weybourne Camp.
Spoonbill at Cley NWT.

Suffolk Highlights
SAVI'S WARBLER singing from Island Mere Hide, Minsmere RSPB.


Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW at Freiston Shore RSPB.


MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! SNOWY OWL below Carn Kenidjack, NE of St Just, Cornwall.

MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, just SE of Perranuthnoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Blue-headed Wagtail male, Yellow Wagtails x 19 yesterday by Beach Road, Salthouse.
Jack Snipe by fence at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.
Ring Ouzels x 3 flew across bank, Whinchats x 2 at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Great White Egret at Holkham Freshmarsh.
Montagu's Harrier in 1st field just West of Winterton, Hen Harrier at North Dunes, Winterton.
Montagu's Harrier flew West over wind turbines between West Somerton and Winterton.
WHITE STORK esc. on lamp post by A47 at Acle.
Hen Harrier at South end of Horsey.
Blue-headed Wagtail male at Kelling Water Meadows.
Glaucous Gull, Spotted Redshank at Breydon Water.
WHITE STORK esc., Rough-legged Buzzard reported at Cockshoot Broad.
WHITE STORK esc. flew South over Dersingham.
Ring Ouzels x 2 1/2 mile South of Choseley Drying Barns.
Arctic Tern flew over Costessey Gravel Pits.
Ring Ouzels x 4 at Holme Dunes NWT.
Spoonbill flew West over Titchwell RSPB.

Suffolk Highlights
SAVI'S WARBLER again, singing from Island Mere Hide, Minsmere RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! ALPINE ACCENTOR yesterday (photographed) at Brownwich Cliff towards Hill Head, near Chilling, Hampshire.

England's Last Golden Eagle Feared Dead!

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/14/englands-last-golden-eagle-feared-dead

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Great White Egret at Holkham Freshmarsh.
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Sidestrand.
Sandwich Tern, Shag on Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford.
Firecrest at Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
Black Redstart, Redstart male at Bure Park, Great Yarmouth.
Spotted Redshank at Breydon Water.
Ring Ouzel in Forestry at Holme Dunes NWT.
Little Gull at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Common Cranes x 3 flew NW along coast at Paston.
Ring Ouzels x 5 at Burnham Overy Dunes.
WHITE STORK presumed esc. flew over river in King's Lynn.
Garganey x 2, Spotted Redshank at Upton Broad and marshes.
Whimbrel on beach at Waxham.
Ring Ouzel, Short-eared Owl between Horsey Gap and Nelson's Head.
Red-necked Grebe viewed from Filby Bridge on Ormesby Little Broad at Ormesby St Margaret's.
Blue-headed Wagtail, Yellow Wagtails x 10 at Kelling Water Meadows.
Ring Ouzels x 3, Black Redstart at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Redstarts x 2, Short-eared Owl, Spotted Redshank, Firecrest in wood at east end of trail at Titchwell RSPB.
Blue-headed Wagtails x 2 by fence in overspill car park at north end of Eye Field, Spoonbill off East Bank at Cley NWT.
Ring Ouzel at North Dunes, Winterton.
Common Cranes x 2, Little Gull at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Black Redstart on pitch 'n' putt course at Old Hunstanton.
Short-eared Owl over Blakeney Eye.

Suffolk Highlights
SAVI'S WARBLER for second day, singing from Island Mere Hide, Minsmere RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
 
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still 4 miles east of Penzance, just SE of Perranuthnoe at Boat Cove, Cornwall.