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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Lapland Bunting at Salthouse.
Honey Buzzard flew west over Paston.
Wryneck, East Bank, Bittern, Little Stints x 4, Cley NWT.
PURPLE HERON at Sculthorpe Moor NR.
Great White Egret, Spotted Redshank, Whinchats x 2 at Breydon Water.
Red-backed Shrike west of Stiffkey Fen.
Whinchat at Thorpe Marshes, Haddiscoe.
Osprey at Lyng.
Black-necked Grebe, Spoonbills x 6 at Burnham Overy Staithe.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
Glossy Ibis, Firecrest at Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire.
Red-backed Shrike at Ness Point carpark at Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Great White Egret at Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! LANCEOLATED WARBLER possible, Quendale, Shetland.
MEGA! MYRTLE WARBLER still, Grutness, Shetland.
MEGA! WHITE'S THRUSH still, North of Loch of Brow at Durigarth, Shetland.
MEGA! MASKED SHRIKE Juv still at Kilnsea, Spurn, Yorkshire.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 24th-30th September!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2014-39.aspx?s_id=589381845

Norfolk Gamekeeper Found Guilty of Mass Poisoning of Birds of Prey!

Bob Elliot, Head of RSPB Investigations, “This is the worst case of bird of prey poisoning we are aware of in England, and one of the worst ever recorded in the UK. "

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/Gamekeeper_found_guilty_of_mass_poisoning_of_birds_of_prey.aspx?s_id=375587735

35,000 Walrus Come Ashore in Northwest Alaska!!!

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/35-000-walrus-come-ashore-northwest-alaska-n215356

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Yellow-browed Warbler, Firecrest at Waxham.
Whinchats x 7 (west of south end of Beach Rd), Little Stints x 2 at Cley NWT.
Caspian Gull, Spoonbills x 7 at Stiffkey.
Curlew Sandpiper at Breydon Water.
Curlew Sandpipers x 6, Spotted Redshanks x 14 at Snettisham RSPB.
Red-necked Grebe on sea at Holme Dunes NWT.
Slavonian Grebe, Goshawk over grazing marsh, Holme NOA.
Whinchat at North Dunes, Winterton.
Osprey at Lyng.
Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Montagu's Harrier at Matlaske.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
Red-backed Shrike at Ness Point carpark at Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Bufflehead esc, Great White Egret at Trimley Marshes, Suffolk.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! EYEBROWED THRUSH, North Ronaldsay, Orkney.
MEGA! PECHORA PIPIT, North Ronaldsay, Orkney.
MEGA! MYRTLE WARBLER, again, Grutness, Shetland.
MEGA! WHITE'S THRUSH, North of Loch of Brow at Durigarth, Shetland.

MEGA! MASKED SHRIKE Juv, still at Kilnsea, Spurn, Yorkshire.

Monday, 29 September 2014

'Footnote'

Got a taxi to GP today who has signed me off work for a while – she explained that ligament damage can take longer to heal than a break and to rest as much as possible in these early days especially – after all, its only a week today since my accident.  I couldn't get up the stairs (with crutches) to the GP's clinic, good job they had a lift! A work colleague very kindly gave me a lift home. Booked a physio appointment this week at the hospital. So, doing all I can at the moment. Re-scheduled several appointments and stuff I was supposed to be doing.

Raining here all afternoon, surprised birders didn't find more than they did today with easterly winds and rains, mind you not east for long enough I suppose and less people out birding in the week. Robins, Great Tit and a Blackbird in my garden today. Nothing else interesting to report!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
DUSKY WARBLER, Yellow-browed Warbler at Wells Woods.
Spoonbills x 8 at Warham Greens.
Spoonbills x 6 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Jack Snipes x 2 near 'Little Eye' at Salthouse.
Common Cranes x 37 at Waxham.
Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 4, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB.
SERIN in reedbed near East Bank carpark at Cley NWT.
Jack Snipe on Pat's Pool, Cley NWT.
Dark-breasted Barn Owl, possible at Burgh Castle Marshes.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
Glossy Ibis at Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire.
Red-backed Shrike at Ness Point carpark at Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Great White Egret, Black-necked Grebes x 2 at Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.
Black-necked Grebe at Little Paxton Pits, Cambridgeshire.
Great White Egrets x 5 at Nene Washes RSPB, Cambridgeshire.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! MYRTLE WARBLER, early morning only, Pool of Virkie, Shetland.
MEGA! WHITE'S THRUSH, North of Loch of Brow at Durigarth, Shetland.
MEGA! MASKED SHRIKE Juv, still at Kilnsea, Spurn, Yorkshire.
MEGA! SNOWY OWL, Ben Macdui, Aberdeen, Scotland.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Vivien's Visit & Family Photos from the Archives!

Penny, Vivien and Lucy
Sitting on the step of our family home at Holme-next-Sea.
Lucy and I were wearing our very fashionable 'Beep Beep' Trainers!
I must have been in the middle of painting the fence, I always wore this apron to do that job!
Father used to pay me £2.00 to paint the entire front fence annually!


I can't remember the last time my baby sister Vivien visited my house! Well, it's not her fault I'm never in! I'm always out birding when not at work and sadly for me, Vivien is not a birder. We really should spend more time together, it was lovely spending time with her this afternoon – she came over to cheer me up. Also it was nice to have some contact with the outside world! Turning into a crazy recluse in this house! I always refer to Vivien as my 'baby' sister, because she is! She was always very sweet and remains so. Writing this reminded me of some family photos that a deceased relative passed onto me a few years ago, that I photographed but hadn't got round to doing anything with until today. Here are some photos of photos (taken with my iphone) of my sisters and I, when we were youngsters.

All photos taken by my father ©Peter Clarke.

Penny, Vivien and Lucy
My 8th Birthday Tea Party – eating jelly and ice-cream!
I love this picture – Vivien looks so cute (front)!
Mother always made all the cakes, nothing was ever bought in, except for jam doughnuts!

Penny Aged 4, holding Lucy in the carrycot aged 1!
Vivien not born yet.


 Vivien with 'Grandad Charlie'
In our garden at Holme-next-Sea.
My mother's Adoptive Father.
Very fond memories of our grandad, who used to knock the plums off the trees
with his walking stick for us!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Firecrest (ringed at HBO), Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Whinchats x 3, Tree Pipit, Spotted Redshank at Holme.
Black-necked Grebe, Spoonbills x 6, Whinchats x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Jack Snipe at Kelling Water Meadows.
Osprey at Costessey.
Curlew Sandpiper at Breydon Water.
Caspian Gull, Yellow-legged Gulls x 2 at Cromer.
Spoonbills x 14, Curlew Sandpipers x 3, Whinchats x 2 at Stiffkey Fen.
Black-throated Diver, Turtle Dove, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 6, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB.
Great White Egret at Lynn Point, King's Lynn.
Red-backed Shrike at Waxham.
Whinchat at North Dunes, Winterton.
Pied Flycatchers x 2 at Wells Woods.
Wood Warbler at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Dark-breasted Barn Owl, possible at Burgh Castle Marshes.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
Glossy Ibis, Garganey at Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire.
Red-backed Shrike at Ness Point carpark at Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Great White Egret at Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.
Dotterel at Ouse Fen, Cambridgeshire.
Montagu's or Pallid Harrier Ringtail, possible at Ouse Washes RSPB, Cambridgeshire.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! SWAINSON'S THRUSH, Norwick, Unst, Shetland.
MEGA! MASKED SHRIKE Juv, still for 9th Day, Spurn a the triangle behind Rose Cottage, Yorkshire.
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN, County Louth, Ireland.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Warning: Graphic Content!

SPIDER CITY!!!

My front garden is like fort knox – you can't get in and you can't get out! Garden Spiders on mass have weaved their way through the garden, linking my car, plants, hedges and gate! I have never seen so many spiders!

Being as I couldn't leave the house, I had to entertain myself today, so decided to photograph some of the many spiders that have taken over the garden.
 

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Great White Egret, Common Crane, Short-eared Owl, Curlew Sandpiper, Whinchat at Breydon Water.
Common Cranes x 2 at North Dunes, Firecrest, Winterton.
Balearic Shearwater flew west (11.30am) past Sheringham.
Balearic Shearwater flew west (11.40am) past Salthouse.
Little Stints x 2 at Cley NWT.
Black-throated Diver at Titchwell RSPB.
Osprey at Horsford.
Jack Snipe at Thorpe Marshes, Haddiscoe.
Great White Egret at Lynn Point, King's Lynn.
Curlew Sandpipers x 3, Little Stints x 2 at Snettisham RSPB.
Curlew Sandpiper, Whinchats x 3 at Stiffkey Fen.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
Yellow-browed Warbler at Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire.
Red-backed Shrike at Ness Point carpark at Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Great White Egret at Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.
Black-necked Grebe at Little Paxton Pits, Cambridgeshire.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! OVEN BIRD, Mizen Head, County Cork, Ireland.

MEGA! MASKED SHRIKE Juv, still for 8th Day, Spurn a the triangle behind Rose Cottage, Yorkshire.
MEGA! GREAT SNIPE, still Isle of Foula, Shetland. 
MEGA! PALLAS'S GRASSHOPPER WARBLER on 19th September, Sea Palling, Norfolk in ditch 5.30pm-7.15pm, but no sign on 20th September.

Friday, 26 September 2014

The Weekend!

This is sooooo frustrating, being stuck in this house, I feel imprisoned! Knowing that I can't drive, is torture. Ankle is hurting more today – fed-up.

My sister Vivien rang me this evening to say she jumped up out of her seat at work today when she saw an unusual bird outside – she described it as greyish, with obvious black splodges/marks on the chest and was smaller than a Collared Dove?! Birds I suggested were Mistle Thrush, Fieldfare..... talked to her on phone and then when looking in book she said 'White's Thrush maybe?' Hmmmm...... she then said cuckoo had the nearest chest pattern (she only watched the bird from side on). I explained it would be unlikely to be cuckoo and her reply 'it could be lost' – made me chuckle, but well ok maybe it was! Other birds I suggested were Sparrowhawk, Red-backed Shrike 1w and Barred Warbler. She seemed pretty sure it was none of these. I gave up after that! The bird was on the ground and then flew up to a metal post and then flew off and away into the distance. I hate not knowing what something was – oh well.

Blimey, I've had 2,789 views of my blog today! Must be because of my picture links yesterday.
 
WEATHER
Saturday: South West winds. Warm with some bright or sunny spells, but with variable amounts of cloud, the cloud perhaps thick enough to give the odd spot of light rain or drizzle.

Sunday: South East winds. Pleasantly warm for the time of year with bright or sunny spells after the clearance of any early mist or fog.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2652856
http://www.xcweather.co.uk/forecast/cley_next_sea

High Tides – King's Lynn Docks
Saturday: 8.50am and 21.10
Sunday: 9.22am and 21.42
  
Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Caspian Gulls x 2, Yellow-legged Gulls x 2 on beach by pier at Cromer.
Spoonbill, Curlew Sandpiper, Short-eared Owls x 2, Mediterranean Gulls x 426 at Breydon Water.
Great Skuas x 2, Arctic Skua, Little Stints x 2 at Cley NWT.
Great White Egret at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
Redstart at Holme Dunes NWT.
Whinchat at North Dunes, Winterton.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Norwich.
Spoonbills x 9, Whinchats x 4 at Stiffkey Fen.
Spoonbills x 6, Curlew Sandpipers x 3, Little Stints x 2, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
Long-tailed Skua at Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire.
Great White Egret at Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.
Great White Egrets x 2, Glossy Ibis at Wicken Fen NT, Cambridgeshire.
Great White Egret at Burwel Fen, Cambridgeshire.
Black-necked Grebe at Little Paxton Pits, Cambridgeshire.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! MASKED SHRIKE Juv, still for 7th Day, Spurn a the triangle behind Rose Cottage, Yorkshire.

STOP PRESS! Fair Isle Museum Raffle!!!

Hollie Shaw (as in Hollie and Derek Shaw, ex warden at Fair Isle Bird Observatory) wrote the following on Facebook on 19th September:

There is just one month to go until the draw of the Fair Isle Museum Raffle. We desperately need to raise funds to build a small extension on our wee museum to provide toilet facilities and a small office. We still have plenty of tickets to sell. The raffle has some amazing prizes:

FIRST PRIZE: 
5-night stay on Fair Isle for two people (three nights accommodation at the Bird Observatory and two nights at Southlighthouse), with return flights from Shetland included.

SECOND PRIZE:
 A bespoke, made-to-measure Fair Isle jumper

OTHER PRIZES: 
A framed photo by ‘Dave Wheeler’
Fishermens kep – hand knitted by Elena Mera-Long
Fair Isle scarf, hand knitted by Annie Thomson
Fair Isle kep and wristwarmer set, hand knitted by Annie Thomson
Hand knitted Fair Isle egg cosy
and many more....
Tickets cost £1 each (£5 for a book of 5 tickets).

If you would like to buy tickets please send a cheque made out to:
"George Waterston Memorial Centre" and send to:
Hollie Shaw, Burkle, Fair Isle, Shetland ZE29JU. 

THANK YOU!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Prime Ministerial intervention leads to closure of autumn hunting season - MaltaToday.com.mt

Prime Ministerial intervention leads to closure of autumn hunting season - MaltaToday.com.mt

September Photographs!

All photos for September now added!

Open the links here:
Very impressed with the Tescos food shop delivery today. I amended my delivery last night as I found a £15.00 off voucher code for first time users of the service! It was delivered on time and brought into the kitchen for me – why didn't I do this ages ago!!!

Ankle aching more today – keep taking the tablets Penny! It's really cold this evening, but still refuse to put the heating on yet.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Caspian Gull at Cromer Seafront.
PURPLE HERON at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve.
Pomarine Skua, Sooty Shearwaters x 3 at Sheringham.
Spoonbills x 11 at Warham Greens.
Great White Egret, Little Stints x 2, Curlew Sandpipers x 4, Spotted Redshanks x 4 at Titchwell RSPB.
Spoonbills x 2 at Thornham Point.
Spotted Redshank at Thornham Harbour.
Sooty Shearwater, Pied Flycatcher at Holme.
Great White Egret, Spoonbills x 12, Little Stints x 2 at Cley NWT.
Whinchat at Kelling Water Meadows.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
Long-tailed Skua, Sooty Shearwater, Little Gulls x 8, Jack Snipe x 2, Tree Pipit at Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire.
Jack Snipe at Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire.
RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER at Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Great White Egret at Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.
Great White Egrets x 2, Glossy Ibis at Wicken Fen NT, Cambridgeshire
Black-necked Grebe at Little Paxton Pits, Cambridgeshire.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! MASKED SHRIKE Juv, still for 6th Day, Spurn a the triangle behind Rose Cottage, Yorkshire.

MEGA! GREAT SNIPE still, Isle of Foula, Shetland.
MEGA! SNOWY OWL still, Ben Macdui, Aberdeen, Scotland.
MEGA! PECHORA PIPIT still, Baltasound, Unst, Shetland.

£300 Reward, Missing Cat, Bacton Area, Norfolk

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Survival at Home!

I have had several kind offers of help for food shopping, but I need a big shop and you can't really ask anyone else to do that, so today I joined Tescos on-line grocery shopping. It took a while to set up but as soon as you have added all your items, you can save it all to your favourites, so its quicker next time. So far I am very impressed with this service and the good thing about it is, that if you have felt you have spent too much, you just remove stuff from the shopping basket. I had a £15 voucher off for first time use aswell! It only costs a pound to deliver at certain time slots and tomorrow I have a delivery of shopping to my door! I hate food shopping with a passion and think I will continue this service once I get mobile again.

Spent time editing pictures today, with ankle raised on bag of peas (every so often) – need a big bag of ice really, but will have to make do with peas. I had a job to get the wheelie bins back in this evening with crutches, it took forever! Ankle still swollen and bruising coming out. Feels really cold in my house today, but I refuse to put the heating on yet!

There are so many things I'm having to cancel because of my injury – unbelievable how much is affected because I can't walk and drive. This is the fifth time I have injured my left ankle....the first time I fractured it, falling down a tree house when I was around 10 years old, the second time was from dancing at a club in Great Yarmouth and pulled all the ligaments, the third time was the same injury and again through dancing at a 40th birthday party on grass in a marquee and drinking too much! The fourth time was when I lived in Colchester and stepped outside the backdoor onto the edge of a thick coir mat and ankle crunched sideways and again pulled all the ligaments – I remember falling to the floor in agony and had to crawl to the phone – my husband told me he was too busy to help me (said alot for my marriage at the time!) so phoned my best friend and work colleague Lorraine who immediately came out and took me to A&E. So..... this is the fifth time and hopefully the last, but have a feeling that it will always be a problem!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Red-backed Shrike 1w, Short-eared Owl, Little Gull at Horsey.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Waxham.
Short-eared Owls x 2 at Caister-on-Sea.
Arctic Terns x 2 at Sidestrand.
Harrier sp. at Roydon Common.
Cory's Shearwater flew east (from Coastguards), Little Stints x 2, Spoonbills x 6, Whinchats x 2 at Cley NWT.
Great White Egret at Hickling Broad NWT.
Pomarine Skua, Little Gulls x 6, Caspian Gull, Great Skuas x 2, Arctic Skuas x 6 at Winterton.
Pied Flycatcher at Holme NOA.
Hen Harrier, probable flew over Campsite carpark, Stiffkey.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Short-eared Owl at Hemsby.
Arctic Skuas x 32, Great Skuas x 25, Little Gulls x 11, Manx Shearwaters x 10 at Sheringham.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
Long-tailed Skua, Pomarine Skuas x 3, Great Skuas x 6 flew over Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire.
Wryneck, Otters x 5 at Minsmere RSPB.
RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER at Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Great White Egrets x 2, Glossy Ibis, Garganey at Wicken Fen NT, Cambridgeshire
Black-necked Grebe at Little Paxton Pits, Cambridgeshire.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! MASKED SHRIKE Juv, still for 5th Day, Spurn a the triangle behind Rose Cottage, Yorkshire.

MEGA! GREAT SNIPE, Isle of Foula, Shetland.
MEGA! PECHORA PIPIT still, Baltasound, Unst, Shetland.

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

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2014-38.aspx?s_id=380245262
Thanks to the RBA Team for using my Barred Warbler and crowd shot at the Masked Shrike twitch.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Patient Update!

It's taken all my energy just to do the normal stuff throughout the day. Using crutches is really hard work and getting very boring already and I'm only on Day 2! I only have half a pack of peas in my freezer, so can't eat any of these as I need them for my ice-pack for ankle! I have been applying ice regularly throughout the day and I'm sure this has helped. I can see the bruise starting to develop now! So frustrating that I can't do the things and chores that I would automatically do. I dared to weight bare a little with crutches as was advised – I certainly wouldn't have been able to do that last night. Taking pain relief throughout the day and this has made me sleepy. A massive thank you for all the kind messages and advice by email, blog and facebook.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Caspian Gulls x 2 at Cromer.
GREENISH WARBLER, Firecrest at North Dunes, Winterton.
Red-backed Shrike at Horsey.
Honey Buzzard over Blakeney Point.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Pied Flycatchers x 2 at Holme NOA.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Wells Wood.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER at Gibraltar Point NNR, Lincolnshire.
RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER at Lowestoft, Suffolk.
RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER, RED-THROATED PIPIT at Landguard NR, Suffolk.
BUFFLEHEAD esc. at Trimley Marshes, Suffolk.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! MASKED SHRIKE Juv, still for 4th Day, Spurn a the triangle behind Rose Cottage, Yorkshire.
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN, County Louth, Ireland.

Monday, 22 September 2014

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Firecrests x 2 at Happisburgh.
Long-tailed Skuas x 3, Pomarine Skuas x 2, Pale-bellied Brent Geese x 7, Little Stint at Cley NWT.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Walsey Hills NOA.
BARRED WARBLER at Winterton.
GREENISH WARBLER at North Dunes, Winterton.
BARRED WARBLER at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.
OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT still at 'The Dell', Wells Wood.
Spoonbills x 3 at Warham Greens.
Common Cranes x 10 at Methwold.
Little Stints x 4, Curlew Sandpipers x 3, Whinchats x 3, Common Cranes x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
PALLID HARRIER reported in dead tree at Sculthorpe Moor NR.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Pied Flycatcher at Holme NOA.
BARRED WARBLER, Redstarts x 3, Whinchats x 5, Spoonbills x 2 at Burnham Overy Dunes.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER at Lowestoft.
Wryneck at Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.
Black-winged Stilt esc, Great White Egret at Berry Fen, Cambridgeshire.
Great White Egret at Wicken Fen NT

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! MASKED SHRIKE Juv, still for 3rd Day, Spurn a the triangle behind Rose Cottage, Yorkshire.
 
MEGA! LANCEOLATED WARBLER, Fair Isle, Scotland.
MEGA! PECHORA PIPIT, Baltasound, Unst, Scotland
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN, County Louth, Ireland. 

In A&E!!!

I left work this evening and walked across the same bit of grass I always walk across – stumbled on something and felt my ankle crunch sideways and I collapsed to the ground. I couldn't get up to begin with. Couple of members of staff came across – I stood and said I would be ok. Two colleagues from my team then arrived and they pointed out that an exposed tree root was probably what I had stumbled over. I was offered a lift home, but declined (being stubborn and independent) and said I would be ok. Hobbled to car and proceeded to drive home, which was a massive mistake! Crying with pain... I should never have done this. Phoned Sarah who lives nearby and who I work with to take me to A&E. Sarah came to pick me up and now sitting in A&E, waiting to be seen. Pain is 10/10 and feel faint – been given pain relief, so hopefully will kick in soon. What a time for this to happen! Just started work in Community again. No whizzing after birds for a while either - there will be MEGAS galore turn up this week!!!! There is currently a 2.5 hour wait to be seen!!!!

So I am home..... got back around 9pm. Had an X-ray and as I expected, I have pulled all the ligaments in my ankle. Was given crutches and told to non-weight bare today/this evening, but tomorrow I have to lightly weight bare with the crutches and build this up over the next few day's/weeks. The A&E Sister told me that it will take 3-4 weeks before it's normal again. She also told me that I can't drive until I can stand on tiptoe.... otherwise you are not able to do an emergency stop and not insured. This is absolutely bloody great..... just started my 4-months rotation in the community today! Should have been working this coming Sunday, so money lost there, all kinds of things I needed to do this week, which involved me using the car. No food shopping in, my three month hair appointment and worst of all NO BIRDING.... can't believe I am typing those words, no birding!!! AND it's October... as someone wrote last night  '.....the business end of birding....'

Sarah picked me up from A&E and then kindly went to Tescos to get me some painkillers before dropping me home. It took me ages to crawl upstairs, managed to have a shower, but that was pretty dangerous!!! Came downstairs on my bottom. Used the crutches to get to kitchen, opened tin of macaroni cheese and took ages getting the plate to the table! Sat with foot on bag of peas to reduce the swelling for as long as I could bare. Pain relief now wearing off, so need to take more. Fed-up with these crutches already, its much easier to just crawl everywhere! Plus I can then move things around the house that I need eg water bottle and tablets to take upstairs for the night, by moving them along the floor. You can't carry anything with crutches! Very very pissed off!!!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Last Day of My Bootcamp Birding Extravaganza!

BARRED WARBLER
Gramborough Hill, Salthouse

I arrived at Wells beach carpark by 9.30am. It was a beautiful morning and there were several birders here already. As I walked towards the 'Dell' area, I could see a line of people overlooking a gully. I was very impressed by everyone's behaviour – no-one spoke, no-one hardly even whispered. Fabulous views of the Olive-backed Pipit creeping through the grasses – they are just fascinating birds to watch and seem to remain hidden for ages without you knowing they are there. There were two Redstarts flitting about in the back of the trees aswell. Bumped into teenager Ben Moyes and his father here. A bit later the noise levels rose as more people turned up and one particular person talking loudly with 'where is it?' and also walking right across in front of people when they couldn't see/photograph the bird, which had moved to a little path on the bank we were all standing on. The OBP then landed on a big tree branch and had a preen, but then got flushed by the same man who had moved too close. I heard later on that this same man stayed several more hours and continued to shout every time he could see it – surprised no one mentioned 'fielcraft' and 'being quiet' to him! Time to go!
OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT
The Dell, Wells Woods.

Garden Drove, Warham with Eddie M., Ben Moyes and his Dad to search for migrants: hardly a bird seen. Was going out to East Hills, but Eddie sensibly persuaded me not to, as bit too late to go out and with the strong north wind, the tide would come in quicker. Ben is so enthusiastic about his birds and is an RSPB Volunteer – he has excellent hearing (as mine was at that age!) and seems a very level-headed and sensible young man. I was talking to him about Fair Isle and this was somewhere he was hoping to go to with help from the John Harrison Memorial Fund. Ben's blog is here. Photographed a Comma Butterfly – picture below.

Walsey Hills NOA – spent ages in here skulking about and eventually had a brief glimpse of the Yellow-browed Warbler.
Comma Butterfly
Garden Drove, Warham Greens

Birders watching the Barred and Yellow-browed Warbler at Gramborough Hill.

Parked the car up along a track at Salthouse (where the YBW was) and had peace and lunch! Fabulous views of a hobby flying low west, but wasn't quick enough with camera. I could see loads of birders at Gramborough Hill.

Saw and photographed the showy Barred Warbler at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse, but the Yellow-browed Warbler remained hidden away in the strong northerly wind. Bumped into Eddie, Dawn B. and family, Rob & Jill Wilson and others.
BARRED WARBLER
Gramborough Hill, Salthouse

Greylag Geese
Disturbed by a light aircraft at Salthouse

Went back to Wells to see the Olive-backed Pipit again with Eddie. We bumped into John F. and Josh (who I have not seen for ages!), we chatted briefly and then headed for the 'Dell'. There were three other birders looking for the OBP. Eddie and another man saw the bird very briefly. We all spent ages trying to re-locate it. I flushed it from the area where Eddie had seen it briefly – it made me jump as I hadn't expected it to appear so close to where we were standing. It landed on a branch and posed just long enough for a young man to tick off his first OBP, he did look pleased! This was at 6.10pm – it then disappeared into the undergrowth and we all left.
OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT
My second visit today and my last view – The Dell, Wells Woods

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGA'S!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT, Redstarts x 2 still at 'The Dell', Yellow-browed Warbler at Wells Wood.
Pale-bellied Brent Goose off Lifeboat Station at Wells.
BARRED WARBLER, Yellow-browed Warbler at Salthouse.
Cory's Shearwaters x 2, Long-tailed Skuas x 7, Pomarine Skua, Balearic Shearwater at Coastguards, Cley.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Redstarts x 2 at Walsey Hills NOA.
Ring Ouzel at South Dunes, Pomarine Skua flew south at Winterton.
GREENISH WARBLER at North Dunes, Winterton.
Arctic Terns x 15, Great Skuas x 25, Arctic Skuas x 6 at Cromer.
SABINE'S GULL Adult, Long-tailed Skua, Sooty Shearwaters x 24, Arctic Skuas x 24, Great Skuas x 41, Swift, Pied Flycatcher, Yellow-browed Warbler at Holme NOA.
Black-necked Grebe at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Holkham Pines.
Balearic Shearwater, Sooty Shearwaters x 10, Great Skuas x 70, Arctic Skuas x 25 at Sheringham.
Common Cranes x 2 at Welney WWT.
BLACK KITE at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve.
Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Whinchats x 6 at Old Hunstanton.
Pomarine Skua at Hemsby.
Whinchat at Beeston Common.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
Glossy Ibis, Yellow-browed Warbler at Frampton Marsh RSPB.
RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER, Yellow-browed Warbler, Long-tailed Skua at Gibraltar Point NNR, Lincolnshire.
Long-tailed Skuas x 2, Great Skuas x 11, Arctic Skuas x 5 flew south over Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire.
PALLID or Monty's Harrier (flew south over), Wryneck,  Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.
Red-backed Shrikes x 3 at Landguard, Suffolk.
Montagu's Harrier at Thorpeness, Suffolk.
RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER at Lowestoft.
Great White Egret at Berry Fen, Cambridgeshire.
WHITE-WINGED BLACK TERN Juv. at Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! FEA'S PETREL flew north past Flamborough Head, Yorkshire.
MEGA! BAROLO SHEARWATER County Kerry, Ireland.
MEGA! FORSTERS'S TERN County Louth, Ireland.
MEGA! MASKED SHRIKE Juv, for second day at Spurn a the triangle behind Rose Cottage, Yorkshire.
MEGA! SNOWY OWL still, Ben Macdui, Aberdeen, Scotland.

MEGA! Masked Shrike at Spurn for 2nd Day!

Good luck to all going today and enjoy this stunning bird!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

MEGA! MASKED SHRIKE Twitch at Spurn!!!

MASKED SHRIKE
3rd for Britain – Kilnsea, Spurn, East Yorkshire


The previous records were:
Isles of Scilly on 1st November 2006
Fife, Scotland on 29th October to 14th November 2004.

Discussion HERE.

The alarm went off at 6.30am and I felt wrecked with tiredness. I just couldn't get up, I HAD to carry on sleeping. At some point later my phone rang and I was alarmed to see it was John Furse.... what had he found?, not good when I wasn't even up – 'did you know there is a Masked Shrike at Spurn?'...... 'No I didn't John, thank you'. Immediately phoned Andy W. as he and Justin nearly always twitch megas and Justin promptly answered Andy's phone.... 'Are you going for the Masked Shrike?' I asked. 'Funny that' says Justin, 'we are discussing that right now.... we are in Burnham Market and were just off to Burnham Overy and we've got football in the afternoon (Norwich). I'll ring you back in a minute....' I didn't need to wait for the confirmation call as I knew they would be going, so I shot into the shower, was going to wash my hair, but knew I didn't have time (it did need washing!). Justin rings back, 'see you in 30 minutes' Arrggghhhhhh!!!! 30 minutes, 30 minutes, oh dear! Panic, Panic!!! Flew downstairs, still feeling exhausted. Luckily I made a couple of sandwiches last night. Made flask. Bundled stuff I needed for the day into bags, bins, scope, tripod, camera gear, coat, pager, phone, ready! I was quite impressed with my 30 minutes get ready from being asleep to standing out on the street ready and waiting for them when they turned up!

We left King's Lynn at 10.30am. I don't normally get travel sick when Justin or Andy drive, but today I felt like death, much worse than I let on. I was very close to being very ill (don't need to go into detail!) and could hardly move my head at all. I'm guessing it was due to tiredness and then the mad rush to get ready. Justin had already seen a Masked Shrike at Fife, but was happy to see a second bird with Andy who had never seen one. There was no news on the shrike after 10.30am and still none by 12.24pm, so Justin phoned RBA to put out a 'no news' message and a message then bleeped up on the pager at 12.30pm to say it was still showing at 12.26pm! Works every time, putting a 'no news' message out! Arrived at Spurn at 1.30pm.



 MASKED SHRIKE
Kilnsea, Spurn, East Yorkshire.
Blink and the video will be over – very short, but my only video footage achieved!

Best seats in the house!

Birders enjoying the Mega Masked Shrike.

We genuinely couldn't find the suggested carpark that we were supposed to park in and so parked along the road, along with loads of other cars. It was a fairly wide road and traffic was able to freely drive along, so we couldn't see a problem. We soon found out where to view the shrike from and luckily the MASKED SHRIKE was immediately in view, sitting on a fence wire distantly, across the far side of a field at 1.42pm! Wow, what a cracking bird, so exciting to watch this mega bird and a lifer for me. Eventually it moved forward and along the hedgerow to our right hand side, edging closer and closer. As is usual at twitches, a photographer decided it would be ok to stand in front of me and proceeded to get shots when the bird was at it closest. Two people then left who had been kneeling at the front, right next to the fence, so I asked Andy to look after my bag and scope and nipped up to kneel by the fence line. I really wish I had been here earlier as my pictures would have been considerably closer and sharper. I ended up stuck here and couldn't get my scope to do any phone scoping. I did manage a rubbish video when I was stood further back though. Justin and Andy left to go and look at other birds, leaving me to attempt to get some good pictures of this stunning bird. The shrike never came that close again sadly. Wonderful to watch this bird flying about feeding – it has such a long tail! Magical bird. It was kept company by 2 Redstarts in the hedge, a Magpie and a Kestrel hovered overhead briefly. Later on a Great Grey Shrike also landed on the far fence line and they both sat perched only a matter of yards apart! Awesome! I was very amused by a young lad (around 10 years old I would guess) who was sitting next to me with his father – he had the same lens and camera body as me, which his father told me was his camera/lens. 'But you don't use it dad' declared his son! He was so excited about seeing the bird and photographing it, lovely to see a youngster so enthusiastic. There were some other young birders and twitchers around me and they made me feel quite old, well compared to them I suppose I was! The Masked Shrike remained along the back fence line and hidden in the far hedge for quite a while, so I decided to call it a day and started to get up from my spot. I took some pictures of the crowd, which had obviously grown since we had first arrived. Saw a few Norfolk birders here and too and Eddie's friend Simon Roberts was also there.
Beach by the Crown & Anchor Pub, Kilnsea.


It was spitting with rain now and the light was dire and it felt pretty cold. Walked up to the 'Crown & Anchor' Pub by the beach to find Justin and Andy watching a Pied Flycatcher in a small area of trees which I managed to see aswell. Nipped in the pub to use the loo and buy some chocolate. Took a picture of the sea, looked so lovely here. Pity we couldn't stay longer..... like a week! This was my first trip to Spurn – I have always wanted to go here and so here I was! Just round the corner near where we parked, we watched a Red-breasted Flycatcher in trees opposite the churchyard – it was tricky to see though, flitting about at quite a pace. Also saw 2 Wheatears somewhere, but can't remember exactly where now. We went back to the car and drove down to a cafe/carpark and walked to Canal Scrape and from the hide, we had fabulous views of a Jack Snipe! Justin and Andy had already seen this whilst I was left on my own and very kindly returned so I could see it too – there was a second bird, but I couldn't see this. Bumped into Will Soar here who had got some cracking pictures of the Masked Shrike, handheld with his phone through his scope! Other birds that Justin and Andy saw whilst I was photographing the Masked Shrike were: Siskins, Spotted Flycatcher and Whinchats. Nice to bump into Jack Ashton-Booth, who I have not seen since my last visit to Fair Isle. The weather was rubbish now and we left to go home. On route we stopped at Easington churchyard and watched a Pied Flycatcher and also a Kestrel landed on the face of the church wall (see picture). Can't remember what time we did leave now. On the way back we stopped at a chip shop which Andy and Justin have used before on twitches and we bumped into Will Soar again who was also stopping for his tea!
 Kestrel
Easington Churchyard
Jack Snipe
From Hide on Canal Scrape, Spurn

Got back to King's Lynn at just after 9pm. Now I really am tired!!! Huge thanks to Andy for driving and for both Justin's and Andy's usual excellent banter and company, just a pity I felt so ill on the way up. Also a massive thanks to John Furse who phoned me in the first place! Another mega bird added to my list, so happy to have seen this stunning shrike. It was so beautiful and I would describe this as being the Cinderella of the ball, which is probably why the 'ugly sister'..... the Great Grey Shrike had a go at it apparently, I read on the net this evening!!!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
BARRED WARBLER, Yellow-browed Warbler at Salthouse.
Yellow-browed Warbler along hedge line, just as you start walking to Burnham Overy Dunes (ETM)
RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHERS x 4, BARRED WARBLER, Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Redstarts x 15, Tree Pipit, Spoonbills x 9, Black-necked Grebe at Burnham Overy Dunes.
BARRED WARBLER at South Dunes, Winterton.
GREENISH WARBLER, Redstart at North Dunes, Winterton.
Pied Flycatcher at Holme NWT.
OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT still, Tree Pipits x 3, at 'The Dell', Yellow-browed Warbler at Wells Wood.
Whinchats x 4, Redstart at Sheringham.
Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, White Wagtail, Great Skua at Cley NWT.
Redstart, Whinchat at Beeston Common, Sheringham.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Redstarts x 2 at Walsey Hills NOA.
PALLID HARRIER Juv. flew over Wells Woods at 6.30pm yesterday.
PALLID HARRIER Juv. at Warham Greens at dusk, yesterday.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Redstarts x 8, Whinchats x 4 at Horsey.
Great White Egret at Welney WWT.
Little Stints x 4, Scaup at Cantley Beet Factory.
CORNCRAKE in dunes at Holme NWT.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Burgh Castle.
Black Redstart at Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
Little Stints x 7, Curlew Sandpipers x 4 at Titchwell RSPB.
Osprey at Brandon Creek.
PALLID or Montagu's HARRIER Juv. flew over Wells Woods Carpark at 12.05pm.
Quail, Redstarts x 2 at Long Hills, another 6 Redstarts and Whinchat at Blakeney Point.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 5, Redstarts x 2, Tree Pipit at Holme NOA.
Hen Harrier at Warham Greens.

Suffolk, Cambs, South Lincs Main News & More!
Pectoral Sandpiper, Glossy Ibis, Firecrest at Frampton Marsh RSPB.
OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT, RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHERS x 2, Red-throated Pipit, Firecrest, Redstarts x 2, Tree Pipits x 14 at Gibraltar Point NNR, Lincolnshire.
Red-backed Shrike, Convolvulus Hawkmoth at Landguard, Suffolk.
BARRED WARBLER, Firecrest at Thorpeness, Suffolk.
RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER at Lowestoft.
Great White Egret at Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.
BLACK KITE flew east over Witterting, Cambridgeshire.
WHITE-WINGED BLACK TERN Juv. at Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! MASKED SHRIKE Juv, Spurn a the triangle behind Rose Cottage, Yorkshire.
MEGA! SNOWY OWL still, Ben Macdui, Aberdeen, Scotland.
MEGA! SNOWY OWL, Inchnadamph, Scotland.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Dripping with Migrants at Burnham Overy Dunes!

RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER
East of the boardwalk at Burnham Overy Dunes.

11 Hours Birding!
There was no messing today, no messing about editing photos or anything, time to get some serious birding done! Alarm went off at some insanely hour and I drove in fog to Burnham Overy, arriving at just before 7.25am. I was late, I wanted to be here by 6.30am, but still a vast improvement on yesterday's arrival time! There were four other cars here already. A birder who pulled up after me, kindly let me know there was a Black Redstart along the road that goes south to Burnham Thorpe, so I nipped up there in the car, but no sign. I had to put waterproof trousers on, as the dense fog just soaked everything.
Willow Warbler
At the end of the boardwalk at Burnham Overy Dunes.

Whinchat
Early morning at Burnham Overy Dunes

Redstart
Early morning at Burnham Overy Dunes

Along the hedge-lined track were Robins, Hedgesparrows, Chiffchaffs and Chaffinches. Everywhere was very wet with the fog and there was no sign of it lifting. Walking along the sea wall, a birder informed me he had watched a Siskin feeding along the path, further back – obviously I wasn't looking properly! As I neared the bushes at the end of the seawall, it was alive with birds! I didn't know which way to look first, scattering in all directions were: a stonking male Redstart on the fence, Whinchats x 2, Willow Warbler, a Red-breasted Flycatcher, Wheatears, Hedgesparrows, Chiffchaffs and Robins! In the main clump of bushes at the end were another Red-breasted Flycatcher, Yellow-browed Warbler (found this straight away), female Blackcap, Garden Warblers x 2, Spotted Flycatcher, Willow Warblers x 2, Chiffchaffs x 3, Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroats x 2, Reed Buntings and Robins. I got some fairly good shots of the Yellow-browed Warbler by the apple tree and then headed east over the dune ridge.
Yellow-browed Warbler
By the famous Apple Tree at the end of the boardwalk.

I spent three hours in a hollow trying to get a jaw dropping photo of a Red-breasted Flycatcher, but all it did was tantalise and tease me – magical watching this stunning and cute little bird as it did several fly pasts, dancing around like a fairy, almost inches from my face and then land somewhere completely inappropriate for a photograph (how selfish!). I had breakfast and lunch here! Other birds that dropped in whilst here were: Chiffchaff x 2, Blue Tits x 3, Hedgesparrow and a Chaffinch. Met two blog readers whilst here – nice to meet you both. At midday I tore myself away to continue birding. Several Wheatears and Redstarts around the dunes.
RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER
East of the boardwalk at Burnham Overy Dunes.


Just round the corner was a stonking Barred Warbler – I just love these birds, you know when they are about to come out of hiding, when a bush, stem or branch moves quickly and heavily. I can't recall watching a Barred and a Garden Warbler together, but this is what happened! In fact I was watching a Barred Warbler with 3 Garden Warblers, 2 Wrens and behind me were 2 Redstarts and several Wheatears at 1.15pm! What a cracking day! I only managed a record head shot of the Barred Warbler, as it gobbled blackberries, obscured by dead dock stems and was nigh on impossible to photograph. A couple of birders turned up and stood next to me – the Barred Warbler was in hiding at this point and one of the birders had to be somewhere else in 1 hour, so I walked around the whole dune and bushes to encourage the Barred Warbler to show itself for them. This duly worked, but annoyingly for me, it worked too well! I returned in a couple of minutes to find that it had posed perfectly on a nice green bush and a photographer had nailed it with a cracking shot of the entire bird!!! Bother! I stayed quite a while to try and photograph this fabulous bird, but it remained in the brambles munching on blackberries, only revealing its head. Also bumped into Ben L. here who had arrived here at 6.30am and seen a Stone Curlew fly over – can't remember which direction he said it was flying though.
Garden Warbler
East of the boardwalk at Burnham Overy Dunes.

 Barred Warbler
East of the Boardwalk, Burnham Overy Dunes

Wren
East of the Boardwalk, Burnham Overy Dunes

Wheatear
East of the Boardwalk, Burnham Overy Dunes

I watched the Red-breasted Flycatcher in the hollow again. A birder said he had just watched 2 Red-breasted Flycatchers in a small clump of bushes close to the hollow where the other one was and with another birder saying there was three on show in the main bushes at the end of the boardwalk at the same time, this made a total of 5/6 Red-breasted Flycatchers! I headed back to the main bushes at the end of the boardwalk. As I stood here watching birds flitting about, someone said 'Hello Penny'... I looked up and there was Chris Knights standing on the bank! It was lovely to see him and we had a bit of a catch up and Chris kindly asked how my father was. Several skeins of Pink-footed Geese flew over south in the fog, which Chris said would make a good picture – it didn't look particularly 'good' when I looked on the back of the camera! Chris's eyes lit up when I mentioned that Ben Lewis had seen a Stone Curlew flying over here this morning.
Pink-footed Geese
Flying east in the fog over Burnham Overy Dunes

Chris Knights
Wildlife Photographer, Farmer
Burnham Overy Dunes

I headed off for Gun Hill and was surprised to find so little birds here. I did however find 2 stonking Male Redstarts, a few Wheatears and 1 Chiffchaff. There were 45 Cormorants on the shoreline opposite the hill. As I neared the brick building I could see something sitting on top, I just couldn't work out what it was by my naked eye. Looked through my bins – it was a Squirrel!!! What the h*ll was a squirrel doing out here!? It looked so comical perched on the very top of the brickwork and it kept a close eye on me. It disappeared into a hole in the brickwork when I got closer. I remained still and rattled the bramble bush and it peeked out over the edge of the brickwork to see what I was up to, so funny! I sat and had a coffee and sandwich and watched the big patch of bushes to see what popped up and saw 2 Redstarts here. Something with a blue tail would have been good!
It's cosy up here and I'm lovin' it!

Blooming photographers – don't get any closer!

There are you – no hope of you climbing up here LOL!
 
Grey Squirrel
Settling into new home at the brick building, west of Gun Hill

Back at the main bushes, the Yellow-browed Warbler and Red-breasted Flycatcher were still there along with a Garden Warbler and Chiffchaff. A Sparrowhawk zoomed in and caught a Chaffinch! I started walking back at 6.30pm. I had to run the last few yards to my car as it was thunder and lightening and had started to spit with rain. I just made it before the rain came down with seconds to spare! 11 hours later and I was shattered, but what a fabulous day!