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Saturday, 9 October 2010


Dripping with Goldcrests!

Started walking Blakeney Point at 9.45am. Connor and a friend were way ahead of me at "The Hood" when Connor phoned and asked whereabouts I was! I could see several birders ahead of me aswell, including Richard Porter and Andy Stoddart.

I didn't hurry, I intended to spend the whole day here, which I certainly did! In any case, you couldn't hurry, there were birds flitting everywhere and obviously needed be checked for any blue tails! Half way to Half Way House it all started to happen, hundreds of Redwings and Song Thrushes continuously flying over all day and errupting from every sueda bush. In fact there were birds in almost every single bush!!! It was dripping with birds and the excitement of finding something mega spurred me on. Goldcrests and Robins everywhere and probably hundreds of Chiffchaffs. Its a long time since I have seen this number of birds. Bramblings going over also. Wheatears dotted about, but not in large numbers and a Redstart before Half-way House, also several blackbirds.

Chiffchaffs everywhere!

Half-way House

At Half-way House I had a Brambling by my feet (see pictures) and one on the table! Also a lovely Black Redstart sat on the House (11.50am) and also was feeding alongside a Wheatear. Lots of Meadow Pipits, Reed Buntings and also Hedgesparrows about. Chiffchaffs were everywhere all the way along the point, along with Redwings in equal numbers.

Brambling at Half-way House.

Black Redstart on the roof of Half-way House.

Black Redstart feeding near Half-way House.

Wheatear by Half-way House.

At 2.45pm Andy Wilkinson, along with Justin Lansdell, sent me a text saying he had found a Raddes' Warbler in Great Yarmouth Churchyard - Well done Andy! See picture on:

The Plantation

Siskins feeding by my feet (see pic)! Merlin overhead being mobbed by a Carrion Crow. Several robins, chiffchaffs and blackbirds and a blackcap actually in the plantation, but nothing more exciting. Several people had ring ouzels on the point today, but I wasn't lucky with them!

Siskin, one of several feeding by the Plantation.

The Lupins

Redstart, meadows pipits, redwings, chiffchaffs, blackbirds and blackcaps.

Mid and Far Point

Even more birds up this end! Didn't know which way to look! Found a Yellow browed Warbler at Mid Point at 4.15pm (see photo) which I was very pleased about, although doesn't really compare with John Furse's Red Flanked Bluetail he found today on East Hills!!!!! See pictures on: At least 10 Common Redstarts here (see pics below) flitting about with loads of Chiffchaffs, Meadows Pipits, Redwings. Also a massive flock of 100+ Bramblings flew, close across me and landed!!!

My Yellow browed Warbler!

One of several Redstarts at Mid Point and Far Point.

Suddenly I got VERY excited, 'what the hell is that' went through my mind, Flycatcher sp. sitting on a small piece of sueda with its back to me, panic panic, take picture, get nearer, take another picture....... bird flies across me and lands on the sand, take more pictures, get closer, take more, get closer, take more, bird flies... gone!!! Don't get excited its more than probably a Spotted Flycatcher BUT when I got back as far as the Lifeboat house I noticed Paul (one of the wardens) coming out of the door which was lucky. I showed him my pictures and he said he could see why I was excited - we looked through Collins and eliminated most things, can't be a Brown Flycatcher as no eye ring, 'only leaves Spot Fly or an American flycatcher' he smiled. Wherever I saw the bird sitting, both perched on the sueda and on the ground, it looked very round bellied! I have never seen a spot fly that looked like this or with the same upright stance! Have emailed it to RBA and to two others. As I left the Lifeboat house another Black Redstart sat on the fence by the toilet block.

Update: Thanks RBA and others! Sadly only a Spotted Flycatcher!

THIS was posted to me on Birdforum on the Norfolk thread:

"Penny the spotted flycatcher in your photos may be of the race Musciapa s neumanni as it looks very similar to a bird I caught back in the 1996 fall at Wells , but biometrics are needed to be sure. I would post a photo , but I only have the bird on slide and no way of converting slides onto my PC. ID was confirmed by the late Chris Mead and other ringers at their annunal meeting in Dereham spring 1997. As far as i know this was the first recorded in the UK , but I could be wrong."

Spotted Flycatcher that got the adrenalin going!!!

By the time I got to the Plantation again it was only half light, but still loads of birds coming in, chiffchaffs and redwings being the biggest numbers of the day. I sighed when I realised that it was now 6.40pm and I only now had started to walk back! It was a long, lonely and tiring walk. I felt like an old lady, right hip aching like hell etc etc! Its a VERY long way from Far Point! Thank goodness I bought the torch today, I walked as far as I could with no light, but it was really black out there tonight. When I got 3/4 of the way back something REALLY SCARY happened!! I suddenly became aware of shingle crunching behind me!!!!! I spun round and shone the torch at the crunching shingle to see two people, a man and a woman who explained they were wildfowlers - what they hell they were doing out here at this time I don't know and also were they allowed to be shooting out there!? Anyway they went on ahead of me and I remained alone again, not too long after this I was aware of more crunching shingle behind me!!! Another wildfowler!! who said 'sorry if I startled you'!!!!!!! There was, he explained a whole group of them. This is the last time I walk back from the Point alone in the dark - nearly had two major heart attacks!!!!!!

Arrived back at the car at just after 8pm. Had a coffee and cruised home, arriving just after 9pm and missed most of XFactor!

Where shall I go tomorrow!!!!!!


  1. If only every day was like that, Penny.
    (I reckon that the flycatcher must be a Spotted.)

  2. Yes it is - see note I have added above pictures that someone sent me on Birdforum about the race of this spot fly!!!