NORFOLK BIRD NEWS AND UK MEGA'S POSTED DAILY, PHOTOS, BIRDING AND MORE!

Since 8th September there has been an issue with my link to the FatBirder Website, my ranking is normally No.10! For some unknown reason the F.B website is not recognising my actual daily views, so I'm dropping like a stone on their rankings! BUT in reality I'm not, my Stats for my blog remain the same. Please bear with me until this is sorted! Update 19th September – might be sorted now! Slowing climbing back up - will remove this message when I get back to No.10!



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Saturday, 31 December 2011

Facebook page advertising dead whale’s teeth from Old Hunstanton is condemned - Crime - Eastern Daily Press

Facebook page advertising dead whale’s teeth from Old Hunstanton is condemned - Crime - Eastern Daily Press

NEW YEAR'S EVE!!!

Birding by Bus!!!!

I was cooking so late last night, that I couldn't get up and then when I did get out of the house, I missed the Coasthopper I had intended on catching! So not a good start to the day. Got on a service bus along Wootton Road to Hunstanton and had 20 minutes to kill before the Coasthopper bus left to go to Cley. I walked across the green by the Golden Lion Hotel and watched 44 Turnstones feeding along with a good number of starlings. Caught the 12.07pm bus to Cley. At the Titchwell RSPB bus stop Simeon, James and Joseph got on the bus to go to Cley too! I slept most of the journey as I don't travel well on buses and the best tonic is to shut my eyes. I luckily stirred when going past a whole flock of pinkfeet grazing in a field east of Burnham Overy Staithe.

Arrived at Cley at the respectable time (ha ha) of 1.20pm and went to the Visitor Centre for lunch with Eddie. Well I say lunch, Eddie had cakes and I had a cheese jacket potato and salad. Went to Teal Hide and saw the Western Sandpiper (my second viewing) and a Peregrine that scattered everything in sight. Went into Avocet Hide to see if the sandpiper had relocated closer - it hadn't. Nice surprise of Pete S. and Graham - Happy New Year to you both.

Drove back home via the Sandringham bird table to stock it up for the morning and someone already has! Thanks! Back in King's Lynn this evening and preparing for our Bird Race tomorrow.

I am in the fatbirder top 50 this evening - not been that for a while!!! No. 49! Must be because of Pete's shrike video!

Enjoy your festivities this evening and good birding tomorrow and throughout the coming year. Thank you to all my friends and 'blog followers' for your support.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

Video of the Great Grey Shrike near Fakenham

Pete Snook kindly allowed me to link to his fabulous video of the Great Grey Shrike near Fakenham, Norfolk.

GREAT GREY SHRIKE
Near Fakenham, Norfolk


Discussion on the shrike here:
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=219205

Friday, 30 December 2011

Busy Bee, baking cakes!

Cycling to work and back in the rain is getting rather boring now!

Spending the evening cooking – making a Fruit Cake, Banana Cake and Honey Flapjacks!

Off birding tomorrow by bus!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Getting Excited!!!

Cycled to Tescos straight from work last night to get a few bits of shopping and also bought a Kelly Holmes Weighted Gym Ball with all good intentions to get fit. It was a workout in itself to get the thing blown up!!!!! (pump provided in kit) I then discovered that this gym ball is the perfect height and the best EVER foot/leg rest for my sofa - ha ha ha!!!!!!! Obviously what it was intended for really!!!!! I can see it being used more for a luxury foot rest than anything else!

I'm getting excited about January 1st Bird Race - how many birds will I see this time? But this year it will be "We" as in Eddie and I. Now we should see more with two sets of eyes, BUT will Eddie, who will be driving, be as speedy as Penelope Pitstop between ticks? We shall see!!! Hopefully we will beat my last year's race of 87 species!

I am hoping that someone fills up the 'Sandringham Bird Table' with lots of goodies as this is the best place to start the day's list - I usually tick Nuthatch, treecreeper, woodpigeon, jay, hedgesparrow, robin, blackbird, chaffinches, greenfinches, blue/great/coal/marsh tit etc, at this spot!

Monday, 26 December 2011

Important Bird Feeding Advice and Tips from the RSPB

http://www.rspb.org.uk/news/300504-dont-cause-bird-fatalities

Boxing Day - Whale of day!!!

Old Hunstanton - Sperm Whale
Eddie and I went to look at the remains of the Sperm Whale at Old Hunstanton Beach. It had been pulled and prodded and part of its jaw was missing* and not many teeth were left!!!!! I don't quite understand how someone could hack this animal about - I mean I know its dead but for goodness sake - let it rest in peace!!! Loads of people and dogs yelping all over the place. Not exactly a joyous seen, poor thing and the stench if you stood the wrong side was enough to make you 'whale'!! (John F.'s fault - its catching!) Update: * here.

SPERM WHALE
Old Hunstanton.

Titchwell RSPB

Several robins surrounded our car as soon as the sandwiches came out! Eddie was not amused at me giving away one of his mince pies to some very happy robins - well it is Christmas - poor robins!!! The bird feeders by the centre held a good number of the usual birds including greenfinches, house sparrows, robins, blackbirds, fat wood pigeons etc and a nice surprise of a Brambling. Walking along the main path Eddie found the Coues's Arctic Redpoll for me at 12.30pm, feeding in the alders along with 2 Mealy Redpolls and 3 Lesser Redpolls!!! The light was bad, twigs were in the way and the distance, did not enable me to get any good pictures, sadly. Several goldfinches also feeding alongside the redpolls and a treecreeper. Water Rail feeding in the ditch. John Furse greeted us along the path and we all walked to the seawatching platform and watched 3 Long-tailed Ducks sitting on the sea, along with 1 Scaup, 11 Golden Eye (flew west) and also 1 Slavonian Grebe on the sea. John entertained us as usual!!! Some linnets landed on the brackish marsh on the way back.

Holme Marsh Bird Reserve

From the first hide we saw a Sparrowhawk and a Water Rail along with the usual tufted ducks, mallard and teal. A wren very amusingly peeped around the corner of the hide flap opening and looked in at us!!!

Work tomorrow afternoon (bank shift) and then back to work as normal on Wednesday and for rest of week, then Saturday, Sunday and Monday off. Somebody I know very well has two weeks off!!!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

CHRISTMAS DAY!!!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

I have eaten sooooooooo much today - a lovely Christmas day and the sun was shining too!

Used my new oven for the first time - very impressed. Saw all of my family today which was lovely. One of the highlights of the day was mother's Sherry Trifle was I am sure was well over the legal limit!!!

I have not been birding for two weeks, so looking forward to a full day's birding tomorrow!!! I have serious withdrawal symptoms now. I am hoping to catch up with the Coues's Arctic Redpoll tomorrow.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Eve!!!!

After a difficult week, I had a nice snooze in this morning - lovely! I spent the rest of the day cleaning the house and doing really boring stuff like ironing and going to Tescos! Had to go into town to go to the bank and decided to buy a few christmas presents. Eddie came over in the afternoon and also delivered my amazing new "Rolser" Shopping Trolley, which I have bought from "Bakers and Larners" of Holt so that I can walk to get my food shopping for the next three months. I wouldn't want to risk locking my cycle up outside Tescos!!! It is the most amazing piece of equipment - its lime green and is really trendy looking, not like the typical, tarten trolley aimed at the older generation (no disrespect to any older people reading!) All Rolser trolleys are 100% Waterproof and it looks very robust. See reviews here

Watched a brilliant film last night called 'The Bourne Identity" - a brilliant action thriller and along with a few measures of brandy (in one glass) and munching on crisps, I at last felt quite chilled!

A very busy week and more mishaps!!!

The electrician came round Tuesday evening and told me my electricity WAS earthed and pointed out the cable to me!!!!!!! He installed the new oven and it looks so much better than my old one! Only annoying thing was, that when I was trying to adjust the cheap, plastic, screw-in feet underneath the bottom of the oven to raise it, I noticed that there was something hanging down - on closer inspection there was three strips of insulating stuff, covered in a type of silver foil and taped together - part of this was ragged and hanging to the floor - what's all that about!!!!???

Wednesday lunchtime I ripped into Curry's on the phone and pointed out that my electricity was earthed and demanded that they come out and collect my old oven (which they did the following day) and that my £55 installation fee was refunded - quote "you will have to go into the shop where you bought the oven to do this" - great, that's a bl**dy long way on a bike!!!!

Wednesday night I walked with a sack barrow to Tescos and bought a Microwave and some food shopping - got some funny looks walking home, but hey ho!!! Yeah I could have got a taxi - but it didn't kill me to walk! In fact I spent Thursday and Friday night, walking with that sack barrow getting in food shopping for the weekend. But Thursday didn't quite go to plan!!!

Thursday - I finished work and went to get my bike - had loads to do as it was late night shopping and needed to go into town and also to the supermarket. My bike is locked with two locks - one locks the removable seat to the back wheel and the other stronger, thick cabled lock goes round the frame, front wheel and to a set of external metal stairs in the grounds of the hospital. As I put the key into the front wheel lock, it broke clean off in the lock!!! The word 'bother' came to mind, well not quite that word - shorter word ending in 'k'!!! It was pouring with rain and proceeded to walk home which takes 35 minutes and dumped work rucksack. Walked into town with sack barrow, got shopping and bought a new cycle lock and walked home. Shattered when I got back and like a drowned rat. What has life come to - I am nearly 47 years old (god that sounds scary) and here I am walking with a bl**dy sack barrow to get food shopping!!!!! I thought life was supposed to easier when you got older!!!!!

Friday - phoned the estates dept. at the hospital as I walked into work and asked someone to cut through my cycle lock - which they kindly did. Tough last day at work and then flew into town on my bike to get essential christmas dinner ingredients for christmas dinner.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

A Very Stressful Week!!!

That's an understatement really!!! Sad News and Exciting News!

I hate making big descisions, but was forced to with the bad news that my beloved Hyundai Coupe was going to cost a bomb to fix it for the MOT. I just simply couldn't invest any more money in this car, even though it broke my heart to give it up. Every night this week I sat working out figures, looking at cars on offer around local garages, looking at new car deals etc etc. I decided that I was totally fed up with car bills full stop and decided to buy a new car on finance. Could I afford it? Well no, not really, but I could if I worked a single shift every Sunday, extra to my full time job - which I have being doing for years anyway. Also delaying delivery of a new car until 1st March will help me financially, with no car insurance and no petrol for 3 months! Birding by bus will be the new trend - well for a few months anyway! I suppose its probably the best time of year not to have a car for 'rares' - I will just have to hope that no first for Norfolk's turn up before March!!!

I took Friday afternoon off as holiday to look for cars and to trade in my car. I went to Marshalls Ford Garage in King's Lynn and was very unimpressed with their service. A sales lady dealt with me and basically she didn't know the finance side of things at all or anything much really and every time as I asked something different, she left me sitting at the desk whilst she trotted off to the other end of the showroom to ask a salesman in an office behind closed doors - very personal service indeed - not! In any case I couldn't afford any of the new Ford Cars, apart from a KA but the boot was much too small for all my gear! I went to the shop where I bought my recent new car radio and they kindly took it out for me, so if anyone wants to buy a virtually new JVC KD-R311 CD/Radio for £70 ono then please email me!

With time disappearing fast I ended up making the hopefully sensible decision of going back to Walkers of King's Lynn and trading my car in for £500 and buying a Skoda. The salesman who I have seen each time here was very good at his job and made you feel that you had all the time in the world to make a decision, ask questions etc - an excellent service. I was so exhausted I was too tired to make my mind up properly in the end. I couldn't decide between a petrol or diesel basically. Left my car there as MOT ran out at midnight and went home. I decided to wait until Saturday before making my final decision and signing paperwork.

SATURDAY

I had to wait in to receive my new oven - yep that's been dying for ages too, along with the car, so ordered a new one (my first new oven - wahoooo!) from Curry's. I requested as early as a delivery as possible and guess what, they turned up at 2pm! The bad news was that the electrician refused to disconnect my oven as my electricity is not earthed!!!!! I knew my electric was dodgy, but didn't realise how bad - my heart sank, here I was with a lovely new oven, now sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor. I rang an electrician who is a relative of a colleague at work and thankfully he can come out Tuesday to 'put a spike in' - connect new oven and then on another day, put in a new fuseboard (mine is so old, you wouldn't believe it), hopefully before christmas - more expense! Then of course I will have an old cooker sitting outside which Curry's would have taken away for nothing had they been able to disconnect it!

Got the bike out of the shed - not looked at it for a year - to find both tyres flat which was to be expected really. Pumped tyres up, but the front one stayed flat - bother! It was now 4pm and the Skoda garage shuts at 5.30pm. Walked to Surf55 bike shop, which is not far from me and they put a new inner tube in for me straight away which was good of them. Flew up to Hardwick to the garage and made it there by 5.10pm.

Bought a Skoda Fabia SE 1.6 TDI CR 75PS in Petrol Blue with Telephone preparation GSM II Bluetooth (means I can phone someone/answer phone, play music via my iphone through car speakers, handsfree - how cool is that! The car will be delivered in early March, so I will be ready for spring migration. I can't believe I have signed on the dotted line for a brand new car with 42 months finance - oh well, too late now!!! No MOT for 3 years, no services costs (included), no car breakdown costs (top RAC package inc.) and 3 years full guarantee. Can't go wrong really!

Huge thanks to all those people that emailed me/posted on my blog to advise me.

So, no birding exploits today, but hope to be out soon either on the bus or with Eddie over the Christmas period! Working all next week - finish end of Friday 23rd December.

Update: Eddie said he and several others saw a Black Guillemot this morning at Coastguards, Cley along with bonxies and several other good birds (can't remember them all now). He also found 5 Waxwings at the bottom of Old Woman's Lane.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Urgent car decisions and advice please?

I have been massively stressed this week about my car, what to do, auction it, leave it on the drive for while and declare it SORN, while I take more time to find another car. It will cost £709 to sort my car out and that's with a second hand CAT which the garage would have to source - dead money. Trade it in for a new car etc etc. I am seriously thinking of buying a very, very, boringly, sensible NEW car - a Skoda, Fabia 1.6 TDI CR 75PS on a Personal Contract Plan and they have offered me £500 pounds trade in for my car, better than the estimated £200 max in the local auction or £105 offered from buyanycar.com!!! I am not in a hurry for another car, I can wait, but I am in a massive hurry to do something with the Hyundai!!!! The offer on a new Skoda sounds good to me - free service for 3 years, no MOT, top of the range car breakdown for 3 years, no car tax for the first year and only £20 for the 2nd and 3rd year and full guarantee for 3 years. I test drove the car on Sunday and I was pleasantly surprised - quite sporty looking interior, although nowhere near as nice as my Hyundai, but excellent for a Skoda! The car was nice to drive and actually had more welly than my sports car! Just need to choose the colour - sounds like I am buying it doesn't it! Also allows me to save on insurance and petrol costs, whilst I walk or bike to work as I have to wait for the new car in approx. 9 weeks time. I don't want to buy another older, second-hand car and pay out more repair bills - spent so much on my car over the last year, its sickening thinking about it. Any advice please will be very helpful?

Murder and Mystery!!!!

Our work's Christmas bash this year was 'Murder, Mystery Dinner' at The Stuart House Hotel in King's Lynn. Food was fantastic, couldn't fault it, excellent service. It was nice to see us all dressed up in our finest glitz and glitter, as normally we are in boring uniforms and hair up all week. The actors were placed randomly and seated at our tables and we were able to question each one to find out who the murderer was. It was set in roman times and the dress attire of the actors was togos and was highly amusing. We worked quite hard at playing detective initially, but the novelty wore off as the evening progressed and we all became tired. Our team didn't win, but all good fun. Thanks to Sarah B. who organised the whole evening. It was good to catch up with Donna P. again who I worked with at the Lynn News for seven years - thanks for a fab evening Donna!

Police warning after cars targeted by thieves at West Norfolk beauty spots - Crime - Eastern Daily Press

Police warning after cars targeted by thieves at West Norfolk beauty spots - Crime - Eastern Daily Press

Sunday, 11 December 2011

"Little Mix" win X Factor!!!!!!!

Congratulations to Little Mix - Wahoooooooo!!!!!!! and to their mentor on the show, N-Dubz member Tulisa Contostavlos.

Little Mix are crowned this year's X Factor winners, making them the first group to win the singing contest.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-16132047
http://xfactor.itv.com/

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Rubbish Day!!!

As expected, the car failed its MOT miserably. I will be given a quote on Monday for the work to get it re-tested, but it looks bad news for my beloved Hyundai Coupe. Yes I know its only metal, but I LOVE this car! The day continued to get worse, including dipping on the Coues's Arctic Redpoll, basically because I got there far too late.

Dropped the car in at the garage at 9.15am and was told it would be ready by 11am. So I mooched around the town, window shopping and watched people doing their christmas shopping. My heart sank when I found out it failed, I knew it would, but didn't think it would fail on major things, after all the money spent on it in the last year.

"Offside rear (under sill) suspension component mounting prescribed area is excessively corroded."
"Rear (cross member) Sub-frame corroded and seriously weakened"
and the emissions were "4 CO high at fast idle."

So with welding, labour and a new catalytic converter, you're talking at least £500, if not more. I laughed my head off when I input my car into www.webuyanycar.com - it offered me £105.00!!!!!! How sad!!!! I have only very recently, put two new tyres on the car that cost more than that!!! I was also told that I wouldn't get more than £200 for it at auction. The MOT runs out on Friday, so I have 5 days to do something with the car.

I would probably get a alot more for the car if I traded it in. I did something crazy and went into the SKODA garage to ask how much it was cost to buy a new Skoda Fabia SE 1.6 Turbo Diesel and pay for it monthly. It was very, very tempting. No MOT for 3 years, free services for three years, free roadside recovery for 3 years, no car tax for first year and £20 for second year! I didn't have time to test drive it, but when I sat in the driver's seat, it felt good! But can I afford it? No, not really. So my coupe could be in the local auction on Wednesday. Very, very sad.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Its Friday!!!!!

Its 5 'o Clock and its CRACKERJACK!!!!!!!!

Only anyone over 40 years old, will have a clue what I am going on about!!!

My appraisal was today and its all over for another year, thank goodness. Now I can concentrate on other jobs.

Whilst driving out to see a patient today I was travelling at exactly 60mph and a pheasant ran out into the road, stopped dead centre in front of the car and looked at me - dozy bird!!! There was no way I was going to brake and swerve at that speed, it was the bird or Zoe and I - I am glad I choose the right option! Had the pheasant carried on running, he would have made it. I think this is the first bird I ever killed, I have always managed to avoid hitting any birds. They say things happen in threes. The second incident was someone pulling out of a side road in front of me when I was travelling at 60mph and pulled out slowly out aswell, don't some drivers just wind you up! The third incident was a person breaking in front with no brake lights - great!!! We got back in one piece!!! Stressful day!

MOT tomorrow morning. If the car passes, I will eat my hat! It never does! If it costs alot to put through, it will be left at the garage and I will be buying a bus pass. Ohhhps no, I am not quite that old yet, but I will be birding on public transport - oh what fun that will be, not!!! You can't get anywhere early from Lynn, not early enough for a mega at dawn anyway! I found that out to my cost, when I had no car for about two months when doing my 'Surfbirds' county list in 2009. Not having a car cost me several ticks! Might buy a lottery ticket for Saturday night. X-Factor Final Saturday and Sunday evening - looking forward to that - hope 'Little Mix' win.

VOTE for "Little Mix"!!!

I don't know how people can afford to run all these christmas lights, although there certainly are not as many around my estate as there normally are at this time of the year. If the car passes tomorrow I may venture over to Titchwell RSPB to see the Coues's Arctic Redpoll, but staying local, as weather forecast not good and also need to sort my bird tables and drinking baths out and tidy the patio.

Western Sandpiper still at Cley today, which is good for those that have not seen it yet. Also at Cley a massive number of 57 Little Auks!!! a Short-eared Owl, Water Pipit and the Green-winged Teal remains. 4 Tundra Bean Geese south of Brancaster with pink-footed geese. A Greenland White-fronted Goose between Stanhoe and North Creake.

David Attenborough - Wonderful World

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Rare Bumble Bee discovered in US - last seen in 1956!

http://newsroom.ucr.edu/2805

BREAKING NEWS: Judge rules against Norfolk incinerator legal challenge - Environment - Eastern Daily Press

BREAKING NEWS: Judge rules against Norfolk incinerator legal challenge - Environment - Eastern Daily Press

Windy Day in Norfolk!!!

Very windy here today in Norfolk and lashing down with rain late afternoon, but nothing compared to what's going on in Scotland!
http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/update_east_coast_flood_alerts_likely_for_suffolk_but_environment_agency_says_norfolk_will_not_be_affected_1_1149023

Update on Weather for East Anglia at 10pm: http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/flood_alert_flooding_is_possible_around_suffolk_1_1149393

The Western Sandpiper remains at Cley along with the Green-winged Teal. Here is another video Gary White has taken:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4s4M3JMFqeg&feature=g-all

A possible Coues’s Arctic Redpoll has been found at Titchwell RSPB and the Yellow-browed Warbler remains in the picnic area.

8.30pm - Winds picking up this evening, much stronger than earlier.

Storms rage across the UK!!!

Winds of 165 mph were recorded today in Scotland, only 8 mph off the UK record!!!

A wind turbine spins so fast that it catches fire!!! - see picture here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/uknews/8943507/Parts-of-Britain-are-battered-by-gale-force-winds-and-storms.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-16079849

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/12/08/uk-britain-weather-scotland-idUKTRE7B71H920111208

Monday, 5 December 2011

Saturday, 3 December 2011

WESTERN SANDPIPER - MEGA - My First!!!

1 Western Sandpiper, 1 Sandwich Tern, 1 Green-winged Teal, 40 Barnacle Geese and a Ginger & Pear Cake slice for me!!!

Wow – What a Day!!!


WESTERN SANDPIPER - CLEY NWT

There was an unusual amount of traffic on the road this morning as I made my way to Cley in the dark - arrived in the NWT carpark just after 8am. Good to see someone checking membership cards! I could have parked on the 'triangle' at the bottom of 'Old Woman's Lane' but changed my mind after phoning Eddie, who saw the bird fly from Dauke's Hide towards Bishop's Hide. Also the sun was about to come out, so Bishop's Hide most definately looked the best bet as the sun would be behind the bird. Power walked to Bishop's Hide and Eddie walked in the hide with G. Etherington shortly after me. Annoyingly the Western Sandpiper had flown back to 'Simmond's Scrape' - typical! As I sat in the hide I could see loads of birders in 'Teal', 'Dauke's' and 'Avocet' hide with scopes and bins all looking in the same direction, almost jostling for space - this scene reminded me of Steve Gantlett's picture (might have been Sue's actually?) of the all the birders packed into the hides like sardines in a can, when watching the Great Snipe in May this year!!! The Western Sandpiper was most definately somewhere on 'Simmond's Scrape', but I couldn't see it from Bishop's! A Water Rail was seen fairly close to the hide and also a Sparrowhawk flew across. Quite a few Avocets, loads of Golden Plover, a pair of Pintail, teal, wigeon etc. I stubbornly stayed in the hide, hoping the Western Sandpiper would return as there were only a few people here - I just didn't fancy being jam packed into a hide. But as time went on and Connor kindly informed me a couple of times, that it was still showing from Dauke's, I gave in and power walked round to Dauke's hide with Eddie! Had fabulous views through Eddie's scope of my first WESTERN SANDPIPER at 9.30am!!! Not long after this, the bird was flushed with dunlin by a marsh harrier and flew off to the other side of 'Teal Hide' on 'Pat's Pool'! It was rubbish for photography - I only ever saw the bird distantly - well, cracking views through the scope, but a smudgy dot through my 300mm lens and there was no point in even bothering putting the teleconverter on at that distance. Went back to 'Bishop's Hide' again and had fabulous views of the Green-winged Teal in the sunshine! Eddie left before me for his VC cup of tea! I waited for a while longer in case the sandpiper appeared - it didn't! A Cetti's Warbler burst into a few melodious notes as I left the hide and walked back along the path to the visitor centre. It was nice and warm in the visitor centre. I ate my cheese scone alone - it was scrumptious!

One of the most boring lunches ever - a cheese and cranberry roll and cup of semi hot soup standing outside my car.

Cley Coastguards
Not too bad a seawatch really - the best bird being a juv. Sandwich Tern which I photographed flying west, as I stood at the water's edge photographing a juv. gannet on the sea and a guillemot! Other birds seen: A Shag on the sea, 1 Little Gull going west, a few Goldeneyes flying west, a couple of Red-throated Divers, several Gannets, a few Guillemots and auk sp's, and several flocks of Common Scoter. Note: the Sandwich Tern was seen by several people over the course of the day.

Sandwich Tern, Coastguards, Cley.


Dauke's Hide NWT

Spent the rest of the afternoon here, in hope that I might actually got a half decent photo of the Western Sandpiper - no chance!!! Watched the Western Sandpiper on and off up to 3.45pm – it was nearly always distant, feeding along with dunlin. It tended to feed in a hurried manner and nearly always with beak down, probing for food as it moved. It moved around in a scampering fashion in half circles and was quite flighty at times. It was easy to pick out, as much smaller than the dunlins. It was quite fiesty too - almost butting a dunlin out of the way when it barged in too close! It tended to favour the far left hand corner of 'Simmond's Scrape'. I managed a very poor record shot only. A Merlin appeared on the island in front of 'North Hide' which looked beautiful in the orangy glow, as the sun started to set at 3.30pm. A Water Rail was seen and heard right in front of the hide along with all the usual waders on the scrape: teal, wigeon, shelduck, avocets, godwits, black headed gulls, huge numbers of golden plover etc etc. A fantastic surprise of 40 Barnacle Geese flew over 'Pat's Pool' and landed on 'North Scrape' at dusk!!! Fantastic end to the day. Stopped at the Picnic Fayre in Cley and bought a scrummy piece of Ginger and Pear Cake! Consumed lots of healthy food today!!!!!

Bought vege burger and chips from my favourite Holt fish 'n' chip shop, drove home and ate them watching the X-Factor Semi Final.

Note: Some of the best pictures I have seen so far of the Western Sandpiper are here

MORE PICTURES TO BE ADDED

'The Hide' - Trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctWvMJ0Rw4o

Thursday, 1 December 2011

MEGA - WESTERN SANDPIPER!!!

The Semipalmated Sandpiper that was found in Cley on Monday has now been re-identified as a WESTERN SANDPIPER which is a first for Norfolk!!!

Lets hope it doesn't do a Friday night bunk, which is what has happened several times this year with rare birds! Although I am not really looking forward to cramming into a hide first thing Saturday morning! Lets also hope that permits will be issued to all people that are not NWT members.

See discussions and pictures here:

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=59348&page=572
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=217441
http://www.birdingworld.co.uk/Cley%202011.1.htm

Monday, 28 November 2011

BIRDFORUM steals the Number One Spot!

Birdforum have stolen the Number One spot in the 'Fat Birder's Top 500 Ranking' - see here. Will I ever get there? Ha ha - maybe, possibly, well actually no, never. Does it matter anyway? No. Of course it matters!!!!!! Now, maybe if I posted something raunchy - hmmmm......... Being serious now, the highest I ever got in the 'rankings' was 20 something or other, when I was amongst the first to post pictures of James McCallum's Alder Flycatcher on Blakeney Point.

Birdforum was actually the reason I started my blog. I used to post my sightings on the Norfolk thread and had a habit of waffling on about other stuff - how dare I!!!!! A few members complained about me 'going off thread' and 'what had that got to do with the Norfolk thread' - fair enough, so I decided to start my own blog, so I could waffle as much as I liked, about anything I liked and when I liked and no one could stop me!!!! I soon realised what fun it was to have an on line diary. I still post on Birdforum - its a fabulous site and certainly the best place for reading all the latest up to the minute info on a rare bird - you need to join the site to see the rare birds thread though, but its free to join. The only real downside to keeping up a blog is the massive amount of time spent sorting, choosing, editing and adding pictures!!! I do wish I was paid though, that would be great! I spend a huge amount of time writing posts sometimes and then realise I actually should have been in bed hours ago! On that note, goodnight!

Semipalmated Sandpiper at Cley!!!

Congratulations to Mark Golley who found the SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER today at Cley!!

Update - see 1st December post, now ID'd as a WESTERN SANDPIPER.

Didn't even know about this until late this evening as I had my phone switched off all day and had to fly to Barclays at lunch time, when I normally look on the RBA website via my iphone. Its good to see another good bird turning up in Norfolk! Also a Hume's Yellow browed Warbler was caught and rung at Holme Bird Observatory today.

Whilst chatting to my parents this evening and telling them about Mark's find, father told me that he had found the first Semipalmated Sandpiper for Britain and Europe at Cley in July 1953 (19th-24th).

See pictures and discussion about being a possible Western Sandpiper here:
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=217239
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=59348&page=571


Saturday, 26 November 2011

Lazy Day!

After a stressful end on Friday to a manic week at work, I drove to Barclays through the typical Friday night traffic to pay some urgent bills. I had just made it in time, or so I thought. As the second hand on my watch was just ticking towards the closing time of 5pm, I sprinted across the Tuesday Market Place and rushed through the doors like a whirlwind - I was horrified to find loads of workmen in the store and no staff! I just stood there aghast - one of the workmen explained that the branch had closed and a new one in the high street would be opening on Monday - bl**dy great!

I decided not to get up early on Saturday morning. I had a very late breakfast and then went to Currys to look at ovens - my oven is so old, its probably older then me and its basically had it, yep that's me aswell! I looked and realised I couldn't afford to buy one anyway. The new store "The Range" on Hardwick Industrial Estate is creating massive traffic problems - it took me ages to get out of the estate.

I was going to stay at home today, to do loads of jobs and with my yearly appraisal coming up in two weeks, I really should be doing some case studies, but decided I couldn't possibly stay in, especially being as I am working tomorrow. So I escaped, like a rebellious teenager!

The car made its way along the A149 and I ended up at Cley - surprise, surprise! Silly really as I didn't get there until mid afternoon. Popped into the visitor centre and noticed that "The Birdwatcher's Yearbook 2012" has been published and I have been plugged!!!!! In the 'Blog' section, where only three blogs have been listed - an excerpt from this read '......the best blog I've seen written by a woman.......' - well, thank you very much!!!! Although, I certainly wouldn't describe my blog as that - my only criticism is that my name has been spelt wrong, but hey ho! It would be a whole lot better if I got round to sorting out all photographs taken since July and actual add them to the blog - IT WILL BE DONE!

Joined Eddie in Bishop's Hide to watch a distant Green-winged Teal asleep - awesome views - ha ha!!! A robin was hopping along the path to the hide and two mute swans were in the dyke. A few marsh harriers were cruising over the reedbeds, wavering in the increasing winds.

Got my sea fix at Coastguards, even though I saw very little. A few gannets, kittiwakes, a guillemot, a razorbill and a pied wagtail were the only birds I saw. There were a really weird bunch of people standing in the side of the shelter, all lighting tealights one by one and as each tealight was lit, someone shouted 'fire'. The amusing thing was that I heard a couple of them question what we were doing with our telescopes, 'they are watching wildlife I think', exclaimed one of them!!!! I saw our behaviour quite normal in comparison!!! There were loads of Brent Geese on the Eye Field close to Beach Road and later on they took off and flew towards Blakeney Point against pink and grey, moody skies.

Drove back to King's Lynn and spent some of my evening watching X-Factor - 'Misha B' IS the X-Factor, second choice 'Little Mix' and third choice 'Marcus'.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Nature Notes - Lifestyle and Leisure News - Lynn News

My father's monthly nature notes 'on line' picture is not represented by his recent 'First for Norfolk' Moth!
http://www.lynnnews.co.uk/lifestyle/lifestyle-and-leisure-news/nature_notes_1_3262475

See: http://pennyshotbirdingandlife.blogspot.com/2011/10/rare-moth-in-norfolk.html

A Summer's Day!

This morning was beautiful, sunny and clear blue skies – common darters were seen, bees were buzzing, wasps were sitting on alexander heads, the sun was beaming down and its November!

Holme Marsh Reserve

From the first hide, there was little of note apart from a Pochard, a Heron sitting on the far bank and several Woodpigeons. Lots of blackbirds around this morning and a Song Thrush and Common Darter was seen. 4 Bullfinches were seen in the hawthorns just before the second hide and a Cetti's Warbler burst into song. From the second hide, 2 marsh harriers were seen and distant views of a Bittern flying over the marsh. Met two of my blog readers - nice to meet you both and thanks! Along the public footpath next to the carpark we saw and heard a Water Rail and another Cetti's Warbler.

Titchwell RSPB

Watched and photographed (badly!) the Yellow-browed Warbler in the picnic area as soon as we arrived. Walked around the Fen Trail via the main path. Had wonderful views of both male and female Siskins feeding on catkins at the beginning of the main path. Around the Fen Trail we saw a Cetti's Warbler which I managed to get a photo of (just!) before it disappeared just as quickly as it appeared and also a Common Darter sunning itself on a reed stem. Had a quick hot snack at the Feeding Station and then had to leave by 12.30pm to go to work and had to leave Eddie to carry on birding without me!!!! Torture!

I drove home via Choseley and saw a Marsh Harrier near the barns and about 15 Red-legged Partridges were close to the edge of the road in the field further along the road.

Please see: here and scroll to the bottom of post for 'Udate' on a confirmed Greenland White-fronted Goose that I saw and photographed.

See latest on the Eyebrowed Thrush including a street name now!
https://twitter.com/#!/TillSmith and also discussion here on: BIRDFORUM

PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE ADDED

Saturday, 19 November 2011

We couldn't raise the Eyebrow!!!

Hunstanton Cliffs
A beautiful sunny morning, but very cold. Arrived at St Edmunds Chapel by the lighthouse at Hunstanton and walked along the cliff top and the public footpath that runs past the 'Le Strange Arms Hotel' and through Old Hunstanton Golf course and almost to Holme. Very few birds in the lighthouse garden itself, the usual house sparrows and a blackbird on the wall. Walked past the lifeboat station and through to the wooden chalets on the sandy cliff and continued on through the beach huts and way beyond. Saw a distant Stonechat, a large flock of linnets and greenfinches, a few song thrushes and blackbirds and that was about it! Walked back along the beach and photographed an obliging turnstone. Also bumped into a couple who live locally and told us that they had had awesome views a couple of days ago of the escaped Red Bishop sitting on sea buckthorn and then flying past them, back over the beach huts towards Hunstanton! Back at the pine tree copse by the cliff carpark we had a Red Admiral and a Comma Butterfly which made it feel like a summer's day!

Stood at the lighthouse at 11.25am seawatching and saw the following: 2 Velvet Scoters, 2 Slavonian Grebes, loads of Red-breasted Mergansers (didn't count them today as they were dotted all over the sea!), 8 Eider, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Red-throated Divers, 3 Gannets and lots of Little Gulls and also the usual Fulmars.

Lunch stop and then went to the Ski Ramp at Hunstanton to look for Purple Sandpipers, but no luck. Loads of turnstones feeding on 'The Green' at Hunstanton by the Golden Lion Hotel.

Cruised round some of the roads around the lighthouse area looking for the Eyebrowed Thrush. We found out the Eagle Owl is still about in the area! On the pitch 'n' putt by the lighthouse I counted 56 Oystercatchers along with curlews and black-headed gulls which were all scattered by a Sparrowhawk that bolted through them and across the road.

Titchwell RSPB
Fantastic views of the Yellow-browed Warbler in the picnic area, but no photographs obtained, but a robin posed very cutely for pictures! Along the main trail a Cetti's Warbler burst into song. Two Yellow-legged Gulls were on the fresh lagoon along with thousands of Golden Plover and Eddie also noted one with a white head. A Stonechat sat distantly on a bush out on the marsh and 2 ring tailed Hen Harriers were seen along with 5 Marsh Harriers.

I am removing all twitter information from my posts about the Eyebrowed Thrush as its looks messy on my blog I have decided!!!!!

PICTURES TO BE ADDED

Friday, 18 November 2011

Autumnwatch

Nice to see Bill Oddie on Autumnwatch this evening. Bring back Bill and remove Martin Hughes-Games!!!!

No Sign of Louise"s Mega!!!!

No exciting birds at the hospital this morning I"m afraid. Was there from first light with meal worms, seed and apples!!!!

No sign of the bird at all - had another look at lunchtime and Louise didn't see the bird again either. Very disappointing, another one that got away.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Eyebrowed Thrush in Hunstanton

According to TillSmith on Twitter the Eyebrowed Thrush is still being seen in the garden in Hunstanton today both at lunch time and in the afternoon!! I know where I am going to be on Saturday morning!!!!

If the bird is being seen most days then please ask the owners to take some pictures and post to us all – would love to see some more poses please? If they haven't got a good enough camera to improve on the last picture – I would be more than happy to come and take an nice sharp photo of it!!! I am available to take pictures on Saturday! Please email me via my blog!

https://twitter.com/#!/TillSmith

MEGA in King's Lynn?

The one that got away?

Two of my work colleagues saw a VERY, VERY interesting bird this morning in King's Lynn - they described it as 'black, white and blue' - 'a very striking, pretty little bird' the 'steely blue grey colour was on the back of the bird' and the rest of the bird was black and white, but the black and white was 'more prominent on the sides on the bird'. They are not birdwatchers, but know enough to know that it wasn't any of the common birds that I listed/showed them pictures of. It was a small bird and was seen on the grass by the kerb and also momentarily on a small 2ft wall and also in some lower branches of an oak tree. They described it as around robin(ish) sized. I was naturally VERY excited and flew home lunchtime to get my bins and camera and whizzed back to search for it in my lunch slot, but I could not find the bird anywhere. The only bird that sprang to mind when I asked someone's else advice was a Black-throated Blue Warbler or maybe a Siberian Blue Robin!!!!! Any other more sensible ideas please? Louise (one of the two ladies that saw the bird) has recently bought an iphone 4 and was trying to work out how the zoom worked on the camera to take a picture, but was unable to find this out until later when she did not see the bird again! I am absolutely gutted. I pointed out to Louise that if she had managed to photograph it and it had turned out to be a black throated blue warbler, she and I would have been mega famous - she is now cursing not being able to work the zoom on the camera! I am also cursing her!!!!!!

I will get to the spot at dawn tomorrow which means I will only have about an hour to look before work. Will ring RBA immediately if I find it, if its something good, even though I would be in massive trouble because of where it is - but hey ho, life's too short!!!

Update - 7.15pm - Louise is trying to find the bird she saw on the net and is suggesting 'Black throated Gray Warbler. I have so far come up with Cerulean Warbler and others to match her description...... but she said she is 'sticking with 'Black-throated Gray Warbler'. So I will look VERY hard tomorrow morning!!!!!

I can't cook, rest or do any jobs this evening - this bird is REALLY bugging me massively!!!!!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Desert Wheatear re-locates!

The Desert Wheatear has re-located to Titchwell RSPB. My guess is that it spent most of Sunday at Thornham Point just across the channel from Holme.

One Stop Nature Shop opening in North West Norfolk!!!

This new shop opens in December.

http://www.deepdalefarm.co.uk/dalegatemarket/indshop.asp?UnitID=6

Director Richard Campey opens The One Stop Nature Shop on the 1st December at Dalegate Market, Burnham Deepdale and will feature a wide range of equipment from binoculars and telescopes , to bat detectors, nest box cameras, magnifiers, night vision scopes and a comprehensive selection of microscopes.

The shop will be open seven days a week 10am- 5pm and will also be running a series of courses based around nature conservation.

EYEBROWED THRUSH in Hunstanton!!!!!

Unconfirmed report of an Eyebrowed Thrush in a garden in Hunstanton for second day. No access to garden – RBA!!!!!!!!!!

Apparently I was told of a rumour that the bird was in my parent's garden, well I think I would know if it was!!!!!!!! Also I would have photographed it and I would have posted the picture EVERYWHERE!!!!!! It most certainly isn't in their garden and whoever started the rumour – my parents don't live in Hunstanton either!!!!!!

All gossip/rumours/speculation etc etc and picture now on:
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=216140
and picture linked here from Twitter which crashed!!!: http://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=2290804&postcount=62

https://twitter.com/?photo_id=1#!/TillSmith/status/136187187074056192/photo/1
https://twitter.com/?photo_id=1#!/TillSmith

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Brilliant Torch for iphone!

Search for "iTorch4" in "Apps" - it's a free download and it's brilliant. Considerably brighter than the iphone"s natural light and there is also a strobe effect option aswell. I have the 3GS and it works for this.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Spectacular Morning!

Greenland White-fronted Goose
The Saltings, Holme.


I didn't get up as early as planned, as I needed as much sleep as possible. It was a gloriously beautiful day and I tried to blot out the fact that I had to be at work for 2pm!

Hunstanton Lighthouse
I arrived at Hunstanton Lighthouse just after 9am and parked by the remains of St Edmund's Chapel. A good place to start I decided, just in case the 'Pallid' Swift was still cruising round - but no swift sp.'s were seen at all. Lots of action in the lighthouse garden though – blackbirds, goldfinches, greenfinches, house sparrows and robins. I photographed a female blackbird eating hawthorn berries by the clifftop and also a house sparrow, who posed for a picture. Opposite the lighthouse on the pitch 'n' putt were 28 Curlew feeding, along with a few oystercatchers. I had left the scope in the car and asked another birder who was sea-watching if the birds I could see sitting distantly were Eider – they were indeed. I returned to the car to get the scope and went back to scan the sea. I was gobsmacked when I realised there were a huge number of Red-breasted Mergansers on the sea – my initial count was 11, which I thought was brilliant in itself, but further counts resulted in a massive number of 32 Red-breasted Mergansers!!!!!!! all sitting on the sea, along with 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Tufted Duck, 4 Drake Eiders and a Gannet flew east. I have never seen this many mergansers together before – it was simply magical! No sign of the 'Red Bishop' I mentioned in my post yesterday. The birder who had been seawatching told me that some friends of his had just seen the Hoopoe again at Holme! This was where I was going next anyway. Also the Desert Wheater had not been seen at Holme today at all.

Update: there was I, thinking how brilliant it was to have seen 32 Red-breasted Mergansers until I read on Birdforum this evening, that someone else had seen 40 and in the same spot!!!!! See here.

Holme NWT Reserve
Along the Firs Road, I noticed the owners of the standing caravan (opposite Sandy Ridge) were in their garden so I stopped to ask them very politely why they had cut so many of their trees down and the man replied 'watch this space'. As the youngsters say 'whatever'!!!!! I complimented his 'patch' and said those trees had been there a very long time and did he realise how many rare birds had been in there over the years - he replied 'we had a hoopoe in here this morning, so we can't be doing too much wrong'. Passing Robert at the pay hut, he told me that the Hoopoe had gone south-east over the pay hut, not west, as on the pager message. Parked by the 5-bar gate and worked the NWT Forestry hard, to find this hoopoe. I walked all the way to the far bunk houses and back again. In the gorse opposite Gore Point I had lovely views of a pair of Stonechats - the female being ringed, I noticed. Also a good number of greenfinches and goldfinches here, a few robins, blackbirds and wrens. I ticked off a dog walker - a couple with dog off lead and said they should 'have their dog on a lead on the reserve' and pointed out where the public footpath was. They replied 'we are local' - I replied that 'the warden would be less polite if he saw you' - they replied 'we know the warden' - at this point I gave up - another pointless 'dog' conservation! Back up on the pubic footpath I bumped into Sue Bryan and Andy B. and asked them if they had seen the hoopoe - they had not, but pointed out a Greenland White-fronted Goose to me in the lagoon, seaward side (The Saltings) which I got a few pictures of. Andy B. told me that the large number of red-breasted mergansers I had seen had been there for a while. Just before I got to the car a local birder very kindly let me look through his scope at a lovely Short-eared Owl sitting in the fields by the marshes. Left at 12.45pm to start work in Lynn at 2pm. I made it back in time - just!

DUSKY WARBLERS reported at Blakeney Point and Horsey today!!!!! The Horsey bird being found by Graham Etherington - see picture here.

UPDATE - 19-11-11: Robert Smith very kindly let me know that the day after I saw the White-fronted Goose in Gore Point channel at Holme, it was sadly found dead by a local birder, but was confirmed that the bird was of the Greenland race! Thanks Robert, for letting me know.


PICTURES TO BE ADDED

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Desert Wheatear in glorious sunshine!


DESERT WHEATEAR
Holme


I was tired before I started this morning, which doesn't help one get through the day! As I type, next door's dog is howling and barking continuously, like a devil possessed and all because the owner is not there - in fact they are not there much at all really. I wanted to go to sleep early tonight, but not much chance of that! Part of me thinks poor dog and the other part wants to go round there with a gun - can't take much more of it. People really should not have pets if they are not there, especially a dog, its a full time commitment and they should not be left in the house alone for any length of time. I am so tired tonight, that I am not even watching X-Factor and I ALWAYS watch it normally!

Eddie started at Cley this morning with a seawatch and had quite a good selection: Great Northern Diver, Black-throated Diver, a Bonxie, a Pom Skua, 2 Velvet Scoter etc.

Holme Reserves
I arrived at Holme NOA carpark at around 9.20am. On route along the Firs road I saw 4 Stonechats on the barbed wire fence and brambles. Quite a few cars in the carpark already! Andy W. pulled into the NWT carpark shortly after me, so we both walked across the dunes, through the pines and crossed over opposite the observatory and walked east to see the DESERT WHEATEAR at just after 10am. What a cracking bird! It was eating mealworms along the tide line – somebody had obviously sprinkled a few there earlier this morning! I phoned RBA with an update as no one else had bothered to do so since the first message just after 8am this morning and updated them again at 11.20am and 12.40am. I spent far too long really here - or did I? I sat on the sand for several hours watching and enjoying this beautiful little bird along with a Northern Wheatear who was not happy to be second best and chased the Desert Wheatear at every opportunity! With my 300mm lens I found it incredibly difficult to focus on this bird in the dull light as it camouflaged well against the sand and obviously I couldn't get as close as I would have liked - although I did wiggle as close as I dare! The light did improve later on though and I managed to get some reasonable shots. The bird didn't seem bothered at all by anyone's presence, but it was very much bothered by an unleashed dog. Now everyone knows how I feel about dogs, but this dog did me a huge favour - it bounded right up to the bird and the Desert Wheatear stood in a perfect stance on a large stone - the only shot on my camera I was happy with, so thanks dog! Having not eaten or drank since early morning, my head was rocking and I felt awful. The light was now beautiful but I was now on my last Sansdisk card anyway (still havn't sorted all my photos out!), so left and walked back to the carpark for late lunch. I watched a Woodcock fly from the pines behind the Firs house - it flew out across the marsh in a big circle and returned to the same pines! Sue Bryan came and joined me for a chat and whilst there, two birders walked into the carpark and kindly told us there was a Hoopoe along a grassy track the other side of a gate, half way down the Firs Road! Off we shot down the road! I phoned Eddie to let him know, (who hasn't got a pager anymore) who was watching the Desert Wheatear at this point. Anyway, got to the area where the Hoopoe was seen and guess what, it was out of view. We had missed it by minutes! In fact it stayed out of view for the rest of the day!!!! A few lucky people had seen it and one man showed me a record shot on his camera - see here. Dawn Balmer had found it apparently - congratulations! Lots of people stood there until dusk in hope of seeing this bird, but sadly it didn't appear again. I was bored with waiting and went off to the NWT Forestry to find something exciting, but only came up with lots of blackbirds, robins and hedgesparrows and masses of magpies. I returned to watch for the Hoopoe again with others and saw 4 Barn Owls hunting around the marsh and a Pipistrelle Bat. Whilst standing there, news came through about a Pallid Swift at Hunstanton this morning and also 10 Waxwings that were seen by the Hun Bridge at Holme at 3pm - nice late news now its dark on both lots of birds! A swift sp. has been seen the last couple of days at Hunstanton and had been ID'd as a Common Swift and now apparently re-identified as a Pallid. But is this the same bird? Possibly another swift that actually was a Pallid!!! Well, its gone now anyway, so we may well never know! I also heard through the grapevine, that there is a residing 'Red Bishop' (obviously escaped) in Hunstanton at the moment, that has been frequenting the same garden, but recently has been touring the rest of 'Sunny Hunny' – this morning it was seen in a small bush on the cliff top - how awesome is that!!! See pictures etc here on: birdforum.

Got chips from 'Sunny Hunny' on the way home.

Dog still barking.........

Desert Wheatear, Holme.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Happy Birthday Vivien!!!

Happy Birthday
to my baby sister Vivien

who is..... no I am not going to say her age as this makes me feel REALLY old!!!!!


Have a lovely day Vivien - see you later!

Love Penny x x x

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Rares all Week!!!!!

Yep, and I am stuck at work. How frustrating is that!!!

MELODIOUS WARBLER at Happisburgh along with Pallas's Warblers, Hume's Yellow-browed Warbler, Great Grey Shrike and Firecrest at Trimmingham.

My mother yesterday predicted 'there will be a Desert Wheatear at Holme this week' and up on the pager this afternoon "DESERT WHEATEAR male Holme Dunes at east end on tideline near Thornham Channel at 3.42pm. Access from Thornham harbour car park"

Trying not to think about all these birds too much, plus all the ones undiscovered yet!!!

Roll on Saturday!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

4 Waxwings!

I am working in the community at the moment and a patient I go out to see regularly in Watlington had 4 Waxwings in their garden this morning!!!! Sadly I was too late to see them though!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

SEAWATCHING - CLEY!!!

LITTLE AUK
Coastguards, Cley.



6.50am–12.50pm Cley Coastguards with E.T.M.

Very difficult to get up this morning with the wind howling ferociously outside, but the excitement of a good seawatch enticed me to get out of the house! I arrived at Coastguards at 6.50am and was pleased to be the first one there - I even beat Eddie by 10 minutes! It was freezing cold, but I had prepared well with thermal leggings, trousers and rain trousers etc!!!

The first bird I saw through the scope was an Arctic Skua going east. It all looked very exciting. Huge numbers of wildfowl going through, especially shelduck. Loads of Kittiwakes and good numbers of Little Gulls. We had some surprising birds, as you will see from the list! Most of the passage had tailored off by midday though.

Several birders joined us both throughout the morning including R. M., Robin A., Pete S., Pete D., Steve B., Steve G., Tim and Irene L. and loads of others!

I photographed a Pom Skua which landed in the Eye Field - a stunning bird, but sadly it didn't fly in the short time that I stood there! I was torn between waiting for a flight shot or returning to seawatch! I returned to seawatch instead. Julian B. reported to me later (beaming from ear to ear) that he had got some flight shots - which means of course, they will be more than good!

Pete Snook picked up a Little Auk sitting on the sea (whilst I had nipped away for 10 minutes to go to VC) - luckily it was still there when I returned and I got some record shots of it, fairly close in to the surf. Several very annoying birders walked up the shingle and stood directly on the ridge in front of us - how rude! Eddie got rather hot under the collar (putting it mildly!)

Bird of the morning was a LEACH'S PETROL - seen by Eddie Myers only, at 11.49am going west. Very sadly no one else could get on it and we wondered if had turned and gone east and possibly been the same bird that Stuart White had seen at Gramborough Hill, that then flew inland being mobbed by crows.

Frustratingly I had to leave by lunchtime, as had to be at work for 3pm for a six hour shift.

Now absolutely shattered!

Birds I saw at Coastguards:
Loads of Kittiwakes, Little Gulls, Teal, Wigeon, Common Scoter, Gannets, a few Dunlin and Knot (I didn't count these)

Bonxies x 25
Arctic Skuas x 7
Pom Skua x 6
Little Auks x 3 (2 flying east and one on sea picked up by Pete S.)
Razorbill x 2
Guillemot x 1
Auk sp. x 8 (at least)
Puffin x 1 west at 8.55am
Merlin x 1 west at 7.55am
Shag x 2
Slavonian Grebes x 2 west
Red-necked Grebes x 3
Red-breasted Mergansers x 22
Red-throated Divers x 18
Golden Eye x 7
Eiders x 51
Long-tailed Duck x 1 with 2 Teal west
Shelduck x 173
Shoveler x 2
Gadwall x 3
Avocets x 6 (flew through in two lots of three)
Curlew x 1
Redwings x 3
Skylarks x 2

UPDATE: SABINE'S GULL - seen by Eddie Myers and others this afternoon at 2.55pm going east from Coastguards, Cley.

PICTURES TO BE ADDED

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Cley Birding

Coastguards - 7am-10.15am – foggy – with E.T.M.

2 Great Northern Divers going west at 7.55am, 1 Eider west, 2 Golden Eye going west, 1 Arctic Skua, 1 Bonxie, 1 Razorbill. Lots of Gannets and Little Gulls, Red-throated Divers, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 100+ Common Scoter. A surprise Yellow Wagtail with Meadow Pipits, sitting on the shingle east of the shelter at 9.35am. Skies brightened up by 9.30am. Saw two Blakeney Point regulars heading off down the point. Went to the NWT Visitor Centre for cheese scones with Eddie (bad influence!)

Walsey Hills NOA – with E.T.M.
Quite a lot of birds in here including a Blackcap, Goldcrests, lots of blackbirds, song thrushes, redwings, fieldfares and the usual blue tits, great tits, chaffinches, hedgesparrows and robins.

Warham Greens – with E.T.M and John F.
Male Hen Harrier, 2 juv. Marsh Harriers, a Peregrine sitting on the beach, several Linnets, Greenfinches, Chaffinches, Skylarks and a Barn Owl. A single Lapland bunting came over the path with loads of skylarks and finches.

Coastguards, Cley with E.T.M.
2 Bonxies east, several Little Gulls, a Razorbill, 3 Arctic Skuas and a Woodcock (picked up by ETM) in off the sea at 4pm!

Wells Woods and Cley

FRIDAY 4th NOVEMBER

Had some jobs to do in the morning, but managed to get out for a short while in the afternoon.

Wells Woods - nothing spectacular of note apart from a couple of Goldcrests in the tit flock.

Cley Coastguards - 4 Arctic Skuas this evening along with loads of Gannets and Kittiwakes.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

A career change?

http://www.edp24.co.uk/lifestyle/career_of_the_week_graphic_designer_1_1111708

After spending over 20 years as a typesetter/artworker I most definately have a wealth of experience, but lack photoshop skills. Yes I can do the basics, but you have to be a wizard in photoshop and all other software packages to get anywhere nowadays and also being under 30 helps aswell!!!

Anyone out there want to employ me? – (note 'en' rule used) or an — ('em' rule) I fancy a career change. I miss being creative and I need to earn some serious dosh!!!

If anyone wants anything re-designing, please email me!

Norfolk's Burning Issue!

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/in-depth/norfolk-s-burning-issue
Looking good for seawatching at the weekend!!!

http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/hdfForecast?query=sheringham
http://www.accuweather.com/ukie/forecast.asp?partner=accuweather&traveler=0&postalcode=PE36%206LP&metric=1

I have a day off work tomorrow, so looking forward to some exciting birding - hopefully, anyway!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Happy 85th Birthday!!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

To My Dearest Father!!!


May your day be full of surprises!


Love
Penny x x x

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Friday Night clear out!!!!

There was so little to see today. I didn't even bother writing any sightings into my notebook until the end of the day! The Pallas's Warblers had disappeared and the Daurian Shrike also had done a bunk overnight - so annoying when this bird had been there since last weekend.

Cley Coastguards
A few little gulls, a red throated diver, lapland bunting.

Walsey Hills NOA
Nothing at all of note.

Kelling Water Meadows
Cattle Egret at 10.35am.

Muckleborough Hill
Bullfinch, but little else.

LUNCH - whilst having lunch Pete S. phoned me to say he had had a juv. Sabine's Gull, a Black Guillemet, Grey Phalarope and a Great Northern Diver from Gramborough Hill in 45 minutes - 'the best seawatch I have had' - all I can say is Wow!!!

Coastguards, Cley

Little Gulls and Kittiwakes.

Walsey Hills, NOA

A Brambling was heard, a long tailed tit flock. John F. was the highlight in here!

Warham Roost

Short-eared Owl, 2 Ring tailed Hen Harriers and a Peregrine on the beach.


Very sad news to hear that Jimmy Savile has passed away http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-15507374 I remember 'Jim'll Fix It' very well. I vaguely remember sending in a request as a little girl, but can't remember what it was now!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Exciting Weekend ahead!!!

Its been difficult at work this week and I have felt tired and fed-up. I have not even turned the computer on since Sunday! Sadly the evening light does not allow time enough to go birding after work and from Monday it will be total darkness when leaving work - I will look forward to the spring!

Went to the optician's yesterday for an eye test and yes I need new lenses - more signs of aging!!! Mind you, I needed to replace the lenses anyway, after chucking the glasses out of the car a while back - remember?

BUT the good news is - its Saturday tomorrow and I WILL be out at dawn - hardcore birding until dusk - the bad news........ I am working all day on Sunday.

Pity the Pallid Swift seen at Beeston and Cley didn't hang around!

BIRDS IN NORFOLK TODAY INCLUDE:
Daurian Shrike at Horsey.
Pallas's Warblers at Holme NWT, Burnham Overy Staithe and Winterton (yesterday).
Probable Siberian Chiffchaff at Titchwell and Wells and also one seen at Blakeney Point.
Several Yellow-browed Warblers along the coast.
Sabine's Gull at Cley.
Black Tern at Waxham.
Balearic Shearwaters seen at Salthouse and Sheringham.
Little Auks seen off Cley, Kelling and Sheringham.
Large numbers of Little Gulls seen along the coast.
Red-necked Phalarope at Holkham.
Black Redstart at Salthouse.
Pomarine Skuas seen at Blakeney and Cley.
Cattle Egret at Blakeney.
Jack Snipe at Titchwell.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Holkham.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Yellow-browed Warblers - birds of the day

Beautiful sunny day!

Holme NWT Marsh Reserve – 9.50-10.50am
Watched the heron again in front of the first hide. We had spectacular views of a water rail. A sparrowhawk swooped low in front of the hide and landed in the big willow tree for a brief moment. Other birds seen here were: kestrel, fieldfare, chiffchaff and usual mallards and tufted ducks.

Titchwell RSPB
Yellow-browed Warbler along the Fen Trail - good views, but was flittng about in the tops of the trees and absolutely refused to be photographed - all I managed was a tail shot, which I promptly deleted! Heard a bullfinch here and a couple of cetti's warblers. Lots of red admirals around the ivy covered tree along the Fen Trail just before the hide - same as yesterday. Nothing from the hide. We got back to the carpark and had to walk all the way back again to the fresh marsh and we were told there was a Dotterel sitting amongst the golden plover. We scanned for ages with no joy and then we heard it had flown off earlier!

After lunch we left and went and had a look in Burnham Deepdale Churchyard for Pallas's Warblers and also along the track leading to the copse behind the church, but no birds of note apart from a goldcrest.

Warham - West Track or Garden Drove
Nothing along the track at all, but I did find the Yellow-browed Warbler (found by someone else earlier today) at the very bottom in the trees just beyond the gate. It almost looked Pallas's like for a moment, in the now dimming light! It behaved in the same manner as the one at Titchwell earlier and did not wish to be photographed - couldn't even get a tail shot of this one! When returned along the track, Eddie walked up the field side and I walked along the track - about half way along I could see someone flapping their arms up and down, attempting to represent a bird - on closer inspection, it was of course none other than John F.!!! All three of us then went to the next track to watch roosting hen harriers. Lots of little egrets flying east. I saw at least 2 ring tail hen harriers, 1 male hen harrier and 1 Short eared Owl. Eddie saw more than me as I went off to the 'Pit' with John in attempt to find something good, but it only turned up a blackbird, robin and a few chaffinches.

PICTURES TO BE ADDED