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HOLME BIRD OBSERVATORY WINDOW APPEAL, PLEASE HELP! — £1,944.00 Raised So Far!

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Green-winged Teal at Breydon Water
Whooper Swans x 50 at Wymondham
White-fronted Geese x 2, Common Cranes x 4 (flew east), Long-tailed Duck x 3, Velvet Scoter, Snow Buntings x 7 at Titchwell RSPB
Golden Pheasant x 2 at Wolferton
Common Cranes x 4 at North Walsham
Long-tailed Duck, Purple Sandpiper at Cley
Bewick's Swans x 45 at Sea Palling
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE at Flitcham, Harpley and Great Bircham
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Bewick's Swans x 200 at Ludham
Bewick's Swans x 120, Hen Harrier at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
Hen Harrier x 2, Short-eared Owl at Hickling Broad NWT
Bewick's Swans x 105 at Taverham

Norfolk's Unique Reef!!!

Amazing footage – log onto NWT website and scroll down to watch the youtube video:
http://www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk/Conservation/Living-Seas.aspx

Norfolk Bird Fair 2014!!!

http://eznowaxcm7eaus.iwopop.com/

Russell Slack – Rest in Peace

Russell Slack, author of several books including "Rare Birds, Where and When" has sadly passed away. So terribly sad at such a young age. My most sincere condolences to his family.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Short-eared Owl at Haddiscoe Island
Bittern at Pensthorpe Waterfowl Park
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE at Bircham
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Red-necked Grebe, Long-tailed Duck, Velvet Scoter x 3, Twite x 12 at Titchwell RSPB
Bewick's Swan x 103, Hen Harrier at Breydon Water
Rough-legged Buzzard at King's Lynn

RBA Weekly Round-Up 20th-26th February

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2013no09.aspx?s_id=788704793

WEIGHTWATCHERS

WEEK SIXTEEN
Lost 1lbs.    Total loss so far ONE STONE exactly!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE at Anmer
Long-tailed Duck, Hen Harrier, Twite x 2, Spoonbills x 2, Bittern at Titchwell RSPB
Bittern x 2 at Filby Broad
Long-tailed Duck at Cley
Rough-legged Buzzard x 2, Short-eared Owl, Bewick's Swans x 12 at Haddiscoe Island
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Common Scoter at Welney WW
Great White Egret at Wymondham

Monday, 25 February 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE at Great Bircham
Rough-legged Buzzards x 3 at Haddiscoe Island
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Golden Pheasant at Wolferton
Firecrest at Wymondham
Waxwings x 10 at Swaffham

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Golden Pheasant x 2 at Wolferton
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE at Dersingham
Hen Harrier at Hassingham
Waxwings x 3 at Norwich
Hen Harrier at Bircham
Rough-legged Buzzard at Anmer
Long-tailed Duck at Holkham
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Hen Harriers x 3 at Roydon
Hawfinch at Lynford Aboretum
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 20 at Holkham
Purple Sandpiper at Cley

Saturday, 23 February 2013

WHITE-TAILED EAGLE!

WHITE-TAILED EAGLE – Houghton.
 Arrived at Bunkers Hill which is east of the Anmer cross roads at just after 9.30am. Andy W. and Justin L. were there along with a few other birders, but no one had seen the White-tailed Eagle yet. In fact it took most of the day before it put in an appearance! It was seriously cold, but I had so many layers of clothes on it wasn't too bad standing there really. Three Common Buzzards were seen along with a Red Kite, Kestrel and lots of woodpigeons and gulls. Sat in the car and had some soup. Andy and Justin left to go and watch Norwich play, so they sadly didn't see the eagle. I went for a drive and went all along the back roads around Houghton and saw good numbers of Fieldfares and Redwings and also a few Mistle Thrushes. I ended up at Abbey Farm Hide at Flitcham where I had a nice selection of birds including the Little Owl sitting in the right hand side of the oak tree, Common Buzzard, 2 egyptian geese and a massive amount of Fieldfares, so many it was a job to count them, I reckon there were at least a 100 on the fields around the central oak tree.


  WHITE-TAILED EAGLE 

Back at Bunkers Hill there was still no sign of the White-tailed Eagle and nothing had come up on the pager all day. I decided to have a nap in the car, I felt so tired. Closed my eyes but kept the window open slightly to keep an ear out for eagle news from other birders! In the midst of my snooze I had to jump out of the car quickly, as I could hear hear a scurry of excitement as news came on the pager that the WHITE-TAILED EAGLE had been seen 'WSW of Bircham, 1/2 mile west of Shernborne in field 'til 2.55 then flew SE towards Anmer'. Several of us decided that it was best to stay put as it seemed the eagle should be heading our way. We waited and waited and suddenly someone shouted 'there it is'. There it was indeed at 3.24pm – its obvious silhouette in the distant, slowly but with strong flight steadily heading our way. For a moment it appeared to be heading straight for us, but then changed direction and flew across the field in front of us and then over the copse and out of view. Lots of cheers went up, especially from the birders who had been here from first light! Magical to watch, but the light was dire sadly and a bit too distant to photograph, but did manage to get a few record shots. So glad I got to see it in the end. I left immediately and drove round trying to relocate it as others did, but no more sightings from me. Apparently it was seen by others flying across a field towards 'The Lake' which I believe is behind Houghton Hall and not accessible. I also heard from another birder that the eagle had been sitting in the field near Bircham for a couple of hours without anyone bothering to put news out!!! I saw a very accommodating Barn Owl when I was driving round and also bumped into Dave A. and David N. along a very narrow road!
Barn Owl.
Light was rubbish now and it was snowing again, drove to Ringstead to buy a bag of sticks from the farm house for mother and then went to visit my parents before returning home.

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Waxwings x 30 at Norwich
Long-tailed Duck at Titchwell RSPB
Velvet Scoters x 2, Long-tailed Duck, Snow Buntings x 35 at Holkham
Hawfinch at Lynford Aboretum
Lapland Bunting x 2 at Cley
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE at Anmer
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island
Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Geese x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe
Rough-legged Buzzard at Holkham
Short-eared Owl at Winterton

Wild Arabia!

First of a three part series on the wildlife, culture and people of Arabia (BBC2 9pm Friday). This was a brilliant documentary (last night) including stunning blue-cheeked bee-eaters! If you missed it, watch on iplayer now:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p013mrl8

Friday, 22 February 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE still here between Anmer and Flitcham in fields east of B1153 at 10.35am!!!
Waxwings x 50 at Norwich
Golden Pheasants x 2 at Wolferton
Great White Egret at Lynford Aboretum
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Waxwings x 4 at Great Yarmouth
Hen Harrier at Sharrington
Spoonbills x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Hen Harrier and Short-eared Owl at Roydon Common
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Short-eared Owls x 2 at Haddiscoe Island
Whooper Swans x 10, Bewick's Swans x 60 at Ludham
Bewick's Swans x 80 at Reedham
Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl x 4 at Claxton Marshes
Long-tailed Ducks x 3, Snow Bunting x 40 at Holme NWT

Sundown Festival - Norfolk Showground!!!

http://www.sundownfestival.co.uk/

This line-up for this looks absolutely awesome, can't believe who's going to be performing and all here in sunny Norfolk!!!

Example Jessie J Rita Ora JLS
James Arthur
Amelia Lily Union J etc!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Rough-legged Buzzard at Framingham Pigot
Golden Pheasant x 2 at Wolferton
Long-tailed Duck at Titchwell RSPB
Snow Buntings x 12 at Salthouse
Waxwings x 40 at Norwich
Great White Egret at Lynford Aboretum
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE at Great Bircham at 10.45am and 4.48pm
Hen Harrier x 3 at Stiffkey

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

RBA Weekly Round-Up 13th-19th February

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2013no08.aspx?s_id=579571430

WEIGHTWATCHERS

WEEK FIFTEEN
Lost 0.5lbs.    Total loss so far 13lbs

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings x 10 at Attleborough
Golden Pheasant at Wolferton
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE at Dersingham
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Snow Buntings x 25, Hen Harrier at Salthouse
Smew at Tottenhill Gravel Pits
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Haddiscoe Island

Re: WHITE-TAILED EAGLE – a birder on BF wrote the following:
"If you are going for the eagle early morning, you are best to view fromTf 758 283 and hopefully pick the bird coming out of Bunkers Hill. The bird was last seen today flying over Fir plantation viewed from the road at Tf 774 296 presumably heading towards the lake behind the Fir plantation."
http://gridreferencefinder.com/gmap.php#

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

More Snow Forecast!

East Winds and more snow are coming our way from Thursday to Saturday. Maybe I won't be putting up my new fence panels etc on Saturday!!!

British Gas are absolutely rubbish - had an appointment with them last week for my gas boiler to be serviced, which they cancelled on the evening. The next appointment I had with them was supposed to have been this evening and on my return from work I found a card in my door from an engineer saying that he 'didn't work after 5pm'. Phoned BG up to ask what the h*ll was going on and just got passed from dept to dept and ended up with making an appointment in my Easter holidays! British Gas don't accommodate for people that live on their own and work full time. After stating to me previously that I could request an appointment after a certain time, they are now saying this isn't the case and that they can only offer me a two hour time slot – I am not booking holiday hours off work to get the boiler serviced!!! So boiler service will have to wait until my first holiday of the year.

So tired this week, have been falling asleep more or less as soon as I get in the door!

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Golden Pheasants x 2 at Wolferton
Waxwings x 30 at Great Yarmouth
Waxwings x 9 at Norwich
Great White Egret at Bowthorpe
Long-tailed Duck, Purple Sandpiper at Cley
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Snow Buntings x 41 at Salthouse
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl at Haddiscoe Island
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE, between Dersingham and Houghton
Hen Harrier at Morston
Short-eared Owls x 4 at Roydon
Long-tailed Duck at Titchwell RSPB
Snow Buntings x 6 at Holme

Does anyone have a more detailed location for the White-tailed Eagle please?

Monday, 18 February 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Long-tailed Duck, Snow Buntings x 20, Purple Sandpiper at Cley
Golden Pheasants x 2 at Wolferton
Waxwings x 12 at Norwich
Waxwings x 31 at Great Yarmouth
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE, Hen Harrier at Anmer and Dersingham at 10.30am and 1pm
(White-tailed Eagle seen flying in off sea at Hunstanton on Saturday at 4.30pm and flew towards Ringstead Downs)
Long-tailed Ducks x 7 at Titchwell RSPB
Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Geese x 2, Rough-legged Buzzard, Spoonbills x 2 at Holkham
Common Cranes x 2 at Welney WWT
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Great White Egret at Bowthorpe
Rough-legged Buzzard x 2, Short-eared Owl, Bittern, Waxwings x 35 at Haddiscoe Island
Snow Buntings x 30 at Salthouse
Hen Harriers x 4 at Roydon Common
Great White Egret at Hickling

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk - RBA
Waxwing at Wymondham
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Rough-legged Buzzard at North Wootton
Rough-legged Buzzard x 2 at Haddiscoe Island
Spoonbills x 2 at Holkham
Great White Egret at Bowthorpe
Short-eared Owl at Winterton
Smew x 3 at Tottenhill Gravel Pits
Hen Harriers x 4 at Roydon Common
Long-tailed Duck at Cley
Long-tailed Duck at Holme
Short-eared Owl at Claxton

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Busy, Busy Bee!

Well, I didn't get much birding in today – in fact so little, its hardly worth mentioning!

I spent most of today with a very kind person (Eddie) who helped me to remove all the panes of glass from the damaged greenhouse, take the frame apart etc, whilst I stacked it all round next door's garden. The neighbour said he would dispose of it for me, being as it was his tree that fell into the greenhouse in the first place! It was a perfect day for working outside, sunny, mild and no rain – quite lucky really. A song thrush appeared in the garden along with a pair of robins and also watched a great spotted woodpecker bounding across the neighbour's garden. Also repaired the central fence and another piece of recently, wind blown trellis!

My garden now looks a complete wreck of plant pots, old plant trays etc etc and needs a massive revamp. Next Saturday has been booked to put up five fence panels and posts etc and then my garden will at last be enclosed again. Weekends after that need to be spent taking tons of stuff to the local dump. After that it will be spring and Hot Birding!!!

With the greenhouse removed, I now need to decide what to do with my garden. It would be great to come home from work, to find that I'm on one of those TV garden make-over programmes, and that my garden has been transformed into a mini paradise! Dream on Penny! Choices, choices...... nature pond, vegetable plot (not really big enough), chickens. I have always wanted to keep my own chickens and collect my own fresh eggs, but again I don't think my garden is quite big enough. My parents always kept chickens when we were small children and I remember excitedly going to the hen house to pick up newly laid eggs. Well I say 'hen house', it was in fact a third of one of the sheds! We had names for all the hens, but I can't remember them now. Neither can I remember what breed the hens were, but they were an inky, jet black with a rainbow of colours that shimmered in the sunshine. We used to pick up cuttle fish off the beach at Holme as the hens loved to peck at these for calcium carbonate (needed for egg production). That's made me think...... can't remember the last time I saw cuttle fish on the beach!

Anyway at 3.30pm I gave Eddie a lift to Titchwell RSPB for him to meet up with his friend Simon to go birding etc and get a lift back to Cley. On route we stopped for moments only, to watch 16 Corn Buntings sitting on wires at Choseley Barns. It's Eddie's birthday tomorrow, so gave him a few presents to celebrate his day, as well as a thank you gift for all his hard work and expertise today – I certainly couldn't have done it without him. As soon as I dropped Eddie off, I drove straight back to King's Lynn to continue sorting through garden rubbish, pots etc and filling my 'brown' bin until 6.45pm. I noticed several bats zipping round the garden and with a blackbird singing at dusk, it really felt like the beginnings of 'Spring'. I collapsed on the sofa for the rest of the evening!

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Shorelark, Snow Buntings x 29 at Salthouse
Golden Pheasants x 2 at Wolferton
Snow Buntings x 34, Black-throated Diver at Holme
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Overy Staithe
Waxwings x 5 at South Walsham
Hawfinch x 2, Firecrest at Lynford Aboretum
Great White Egret at Bowthorpe
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Purple Sandpiper at Cley
Long-tailed Duck at Titchwell RSPB
Short-eared Owls x 2 at Claxton Marshes
Rough-legged Buzzard, Hen Harrier, Waxwings x 37 at Haddiscoe Island
Spoonbill at Burnham Norton
Scaup x 2 at Barton Broad
Ferruginous Duck at Cockshoot Broad
Hen Harriers x 3 at Roydon Common
Long-tailed Duck at Overstrand

Asteroid 2012 DA14 in record-breaking Earth pass!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21442863

Meteorites Injure Hundreds in Russia!!!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21468116
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21471942

Friday, 15 February 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwing at Wymondham
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Bewick's Swans x 14 Hockwold Washes
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Overy Staithe
Golden Pheasant x 2 at Wolferton
Shorelark, Snow Buntings x 25 at Salthouse
Snow Buntings x 40 at Holme
Spoonbill, Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, White-fronted Geese x 200 at Holkham
Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Hen Harrier at Wells
Great White Egret at Norwich
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island
Slavonian Grebe at Titchwell
Rough-legged Buzzard at Holkham
Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl at Buckingham Marshes RSPB

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Clampdown on Dangerous Dogs

http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2012/04/23/clampdown-on-dangerous-dogs/

Valentine's Day!

I had so many cards this morning, I hardly had time to open them all before leaving for work!!! Ha Ha!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwing at Wymondham
Black-bellied Dipper, Waxwings x 30 at Thetford
Great White Egret at Norwich and Bowthorpe
Taiga Bean Geese x 15 at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
Short-eared Owls x 2 at Claxton Marshes
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Ruddy Shelduck, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 20, Pink-footed Geese x 2000 at Haddiscoe Island
Purple Sandiper, Pale-bellied Brent Geese x 5, Dark-bellied Brent Geese 1,750 at Cley
Waxwings x 40 at Hellesdon
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Overy Staithe

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Owl Trapped in Car Grille for 60 Miles!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-21439857

RBA Weekly Round-up 6th-12th February

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2013no07.aspx?s_id=415112213

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings x 6 at Felthorpe
Shag, Great White Egret at Norwich
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe
Short-eared Owls x 2  at Claxton
Taiga Bean Geese x 28 Buckingham Marshes RSPB
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Short-eared Owl at Haddiescoe Island
Green-winged Teal, Smew, Jack Snipe, Short-eared Owl at Breydon Water
Hen Harrier at Sculthorpe Airfield
Waxwing at Wymondham
Purple Sandpipers x 4 at Sea Palling
Hen Harriers x 2 at Stiffkey
Long-tailed Duck, Twite x 12 at Titchwell RSPB
Waxwings x 6 at Downham Market
Snow Buntings x 21 at Salthouse
Waxwings x 35 at Thetford
Waxwings x 6 at Great Yarmouth

WEIGHTWATCHERS

WEEK FOURTEEN
Lost 0.5lbs.    Total loss so far 12.5lbs

The same as last week, half a pound. I have now found out why I am not losing as much as I should be and am very annoyed that all the correct information regarding the pro-points was not given to me when I started with Weightwatchers. I bought the calculator which converts protein, carbs, fat and fibre in 'pro-points' and presumed I was doing everything correctly but eg a 40g slice of Hovis, medium brown bread works out as 2 'pro-points', so one would be presume that two slices would be 4 'pro-points' – wrong, it is in fact 5 'pro-points'!!! NOW I know, fully what I need to be doing. BUT I was so cross, I rebelled and this evening I had fish 'n' chips, 2 oat bars and a ginger pudding and sauce. Scrumptious!!! Then I worked out all the points, which means I now only have 7 'extra' points for next week! I don't know why I bothered to be honest, as I couldn't even really taste the fish 'n' chips – since developing this nasty head cold, all foods have been tasteless. Although I could taste the ginger pudding!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk - RBA
Golden Pheasant x 2 at Wolverton
Shag, Great White Egret at Norwich
Great White Egret at Bowthorpe
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Green-winged Teal at Breydon Water
Bewick's Swans x 272, Whooper Swans x 5 at Catfield Fen
Taiga Bean Geese x 30 at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
Ross's Goose (esc.), Barnacle Geese x 6, Pink-footed Geese x 250, Common Cranes x 4 at Horsey
Black Brant at Holkham
Waxwing at Wymondham
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Overy Staithe
Waxwing x 30 at Attleborough
Rough-legged Buzzard x 2, Short-eared Owl x 2, Water Pipit, Bewick's Swan x 4, Ruddy Shelduck at Haddiscoe Island
Scaup at Salhouse Broad
Common Crane x 4, Short-eared Owl at Hickling Broad
Waxwings x 21 at Norwich
Waxwings x 7 at Great Yarmouth


Stinking cold – feel like death.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Bird News etc!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Shag, Great White Egret at Norwich
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Overy Staithe
Common Cranes x 4 at Horsey
Slavonian Grebe, Goosander x 5, Red-breasted Merganser at Wigganhall St Mary Magdalen
Waxwings x 12 at Downham Market
Smew x 4 at Tottenhill Gravel Pits
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Short-eared Owls x 3 at Claxton
Black Brant at Wells
Purple Sandpiper, Black Brant, Dark-bellied Brent Geese x 1000, Pale-bellied Brent Geese x 3 at Cley
Snow Buntings x 25 at Salthouse
Golden Pheasant x 2 at Wolverton
Great Skua flew over Buckingham Marshes RSPB


I had a tickly, aggravating cough over the weekend, which has now developed into a nasty head cold this evening, so early night required! Bitterly cold this evening – really fed up with winter now – enough is enough.

My car tax renewal arrived this week – has a year really disappeared that quickly! Can't believe I have had my new car almost a year!

Time and life is disappearing like sand through a egg timer.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Mealy Redpoll at Whitlingham Country Park
Green-winged Teal at Breydon Water
Waxwing at Whymondham
Black-bellied Dipper, Waxwing x 20 at Thetford
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 10 at Holkham
Ross's Goose (esc), Barnacle Geese x 6 at Horsey
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Overy Staithe
Pale-bellied Brent Geese x 5, Common Crane x 4 at Sea Palling
Bewick's Swans x 225 at Catfield
Waxwings x 2, Hawfinch, Great White Egret at Norwich
Ferruginous Duck at Cockshoot Broad
Scaup at Salhouse Broad
Smew x 4 at Tottenhill Gravel Pits
Hen Harrier at Blakeney
Snow Buntings x 2 at Salthouse
Hen Harrier x 3 at Stiffkey
Tundra Bean Goose, Taiga Bean Geese x 30, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 55 at Cantley Marshes RSPB
Shag x 2 at Nar Valley Fisheries
Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Hen Harrier x 2 at North Wootton marshes.

Note: More cracking pictures of the Shetland PINE GROSBEAK on Surfbirds this evening. Such a striking bird – would be nice to find one in Norfolk!

Wild Goose Chase and More Birthday Celebrations!

North Wootton Marshes
Only a few miles from my house is the location for the Richardson's Canada Goose which was found by local birder Steve West, so off I went to see it. It was a dismal, gloomy, rainy, cold day. North Wootton Marshes are not the most exciting place to be, which is why I hardly ever visit them – the gloomy weather set the scene. I parked up carefully, alongside the River Babingley (big drop into river next to car) along Marsh Road with a few other cars. I could see half a dozen birders standing by a farm building distantly, including LGRE and hundreds of geese even more distantly. It was raining and cold and I was just about to get out of the car, when three of the birders started walking back along the field. I decided to be really lazy and cheeky and wait until the birders got back to their car and ask if they had seen the goose. As they approached me I could see Pete Dolton, who told me he been standing there for four hours (sadly for him) with no sightings of the Richardson's Canada Goose. Shortly after this, the remaining few birders also started walking back along the track. I know I should have gone to look anyway, but that goose didn't inspire me to walk along a muddy field in the rain and in anycase, if Pete Dolton and LGRE couldn't find it, then there was no point in me going to look!!!

I left the marshes and tried to see if I could get closer to the geese from a different angle, but I couldn't and ended up at Lynn Docks where I bumped into Steve West! Saw the Peregrine on the top of the building. Lots of the usual turnstones, teal, mallard, herring gulls etc etc here. A Merlin flew high over the road as I was leaving.

Drove along the old Castle Rising road, which is now a farm track with no vehicular access (smiley face) to look for geese. The marshes adjacent to the track are a good place to find geese (sometimes). Only found a few greylags though. Other birds seen were: a few long-tailed tits, robin, linnets, barn owl, red-legged partridges. I left to go to Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve.

Along the A148, just after the Houghton Hall sign (on the left) I had awesome views of a Red Kite right over my car! I was driving at quite a speed, so it was difficult to keep tabs on the bird but shortly after I saw it, I could see there was a road turning off towards Harpley, so spun down here in search of the Red Kite. I saw the bird again along this road and it appeared to drop down near a phone mast and that was the last I saw of it! I had lovely views of three mistle thrushes together in a field in Harpley, when I was looking for the kite.

Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
As I pulled up in the carpark I could see a small bird flitting about in the brambles – to my surprise it was a goldcrest, but it wasn't playing ball for a photo. I sat in the car watching the goldcrest whilst having my exciting lunch (not), which was a quorn and tomato sandwich and a cup of coffee. It was really cold now and I had to put every layer on, including my seriously warm hat.

The gloomy day continued, but the rain had stopped. I had a colourful array of birds here to brighten up the afternoon, including bullfinches, chaffinches, great tits, coal tits, blue tits, marsh tits, long-tailed tits, chaffinches, greenfinches, hedgesparrows, blackbirds and loads and I mean loads of bramblings! All of these birds were seen on and around the first bird feeders by the wooden shed/building before I even got onto the main reserve! I walked straight to the "Paul Johnson" hide in hope of seeing a bittern – saw 5 mute swans, 3 Common Buzzards circling above the tree line and three reed buntings feeding on grain in front of the hide. Walked back and saw bramblings and all the tits at another feeder on route to the "Whitley Hide" and also a Common Buzzard just over my head. From this hide I saw a huge amount of bramblings along with all the tit family, chaffinches and greenfinches. The bird table was a frenzy of birds! A Water Rail was below the bird table along with loads more bramblings and chaffinches below. I took a video of the action on the bird table (see below). Got back to the car by 4pm (just) when the reserve closes, had a quick cup of coffee and went home.


Lucy's Birthday
Dumped my gear in the house and whizzed straight round to my sister Lucy's house, who's birthday it is today. Vivien was there too and we all had a jam and cream scone! That scone cost me 8 pro-points (weightwatchers)! Just to give you an idea of how much that is – I have an allowance of 26 pro-points a day and 49 extra a week. Makes you think doesn't it! Or maybe not, I hear some of you say. I had already given Lucy her presents, but also bought her a bunch of flowers this evening, which brought a smile to her face.

Back at my house later on, I watched a DVD that Vivien had bought me for christmas "The Tourist" starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie which was an absolutely brilliant film. But then any film would be brilliant with Johnny Depp starring in it!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Green-Winged Teal, Teal x 3000, Caspian Gull, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 88 at Breydon Water
Black-belled Dipper at Thetford
Great White Egret, Waxwing x 30 at Norwich
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Overy Staithe
RICHARDSON'S CANADA GOOSE, Pink-footed Geese x 300 at North Wootton
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Haddiscoe Island
Snow Buntings x 13 at Salthouse
Bewick's Swans x100 at Catfield
Snow Buntings x 40 at Caister-on-Sea
Ross's Goose (esc), Barnacle Geese x 7 at Horsey
Golden Pheasant
at Wolverton
Hawfinch x 2, Firecrest at Lynford Aboretum
Long-tailed Duck at Titchwell RSPB
Short-eared Owl, Bittern, Slavonian Grebe at Holme
Short-eared Owl at Claxton Marshes

Happy Birthday!

To my dear mother today!

Spent the day with my family to celebrate mother's birthday. I spent some time spring cleaning for my parents after lunch. Later on I left mother, Lucy and Vivien chatting in the dining room and I joined father in the living room for an afternoon nap! I felt really tired and could feel an aggravating, tickly cough developing. I really wanted to go out in the sunshine this afternoon and see some birds etc but I felt exhausted. Dropped Lucy and Vivien off later and then I went home. I watched a fascinating documentary on Giant Sea Otters of the Amazon with photographer Charlie Hamilton-James. In some ways I wished I hadn't watched this, after four out of six cubs were killed by a Caiman!

I don't have any shifts booked tomorrow as it's Lucy's birthday. Expensive time of the year, 9th and 10th of February! But hopefully will be able to squeeze in some birding if I am not feeling ill or we don't all get snowed in again!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Snow Buntings x 4 at Salthouse
Golden Pheasant x 2 at Wolverton
Shorelark x 2, Snow Buntings x 52, Twite x 20, Slavonian Grebe, Common Scoter at Holme
Pomarine Skua at Cley
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Taiga Bean Geese x 31 at Cantley Marshes RSPB
Ferruginous Duck at Cockshoot Broad
Shag at Long Stratton

I notice the PINE GROSBEAK is still in Shetland – pity this isn't a bit closer, looks a cracker and there are some stunning photographs of this bird.

WEATHER IN NORFOLK THIS WEEKEND
Saturday
Mainly dry and cold with a few wintry showers possible along the Norfolk coast, some brighter spells in the southeast. Scattered mainly light wintry showers developing inland later. Light winds.

Sunday
Cloudy on Sunday with locally heavy snow likely and a marked wind-chill with further sleet and snow on Monday.

High Tide: Saturday – 5.36am (7.1 m.). Sunday – 6.24am (7.4 m.).

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Waxwings x 15, Great White Egret at Norwich
Snow Buntings x 4 at Salthouse
Rough-legged Buzzard, Pale-bellied Brent Geese x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe
Bramblings x 100, Bittern at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Water Pipit at Cantley Marshes RSPB
Taiga Bean Geese x 30 at Limpenhoe
Long-tailed Duck, Twite x 4 at Titchwell RSPB
RICHARDSON'S CANADA GOOSE (form hutchinsii) along with Pink-footed Geese x 300 at North Wootton Marshes
Green-winged Teal, Teal x 800, Bittern, Willow Tit, Short-eared Owl at Hickling Broad NWT
Taiga Bean Geese x 30, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 60 at Cantley Marshes RSPB
Hen Harrier at Thornham

NOTE: re the Richardson's Canada Goose - M.A.G. informs me that this is the bird that was in Lancashire in October '12.

Rather frustrating that this 'goose' is just down the road from me and I'm at work!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

RBA Weekly Round-Up 30th January–5th February

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2013no06.aspx?s_id=205959640

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings x 22 at Thorpe St Andrew
Waxwings x 33 at Thetford
Waxwings x 7 at Gorleston
Snow Buntings x 2 at Salthouse
Purple Sandpiper at Cley
Smew x 4 at Tottenhill
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Great White Egret at Norwich
Hawfinch x 2 at Lynford Aboretum
Waxwings x 6 at Norwich
Twite x 15, Long-tailed Duck at Titchwell RSPB

WEIGHTWATCHERS

WEEK THIRTEEN
Lost 0.5lbs.    Total loss so far 12lbs

Stuck to my points and worked hard to achieve a good weight loss this week, but was disappointed with half a pound.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Fair Isle Lighthouse hit by 45ft Waves!

Incredible and scary watching this video. I stayed in this lighthouse the last time I time I was on Fair Isle!

"On Monday Fair Isle experienced some of the highest seas in the world with waves battering the islands lighthouse destroying a “break water” wall." This wall was 121 years old!

Dave Wheeler wrote on his facebook page on Sunday: "The biggest seas currently on the planet are going to be west of Orkney over the next 60 hours. They will be monstrous, with a height of 48+feet. Whilst grand for driving 'stuff' ashore, its simply 'no witty' to be out in. Please STAY SAFE, take NO CHANCES. You won't get a second one from mother nature."

http://news.stv.tv/highlands-islands/212804-man-ran-back-into-home-before-45ft-wave-destroyed-lighthouse-wall/

http://www.shetnews.co.uk/news/6281-phenomenal-waves-destroy-lighthouse-wall

Also see this incredible video on Eshaness, Shetland taken yesterday: http://youtu.be/8pUzrl-uRtQ

Gyrfalcon in Norfolk!!!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-21334866

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Shorelarks x 2, Purple Sandpiper at Cley
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Waxwings x 21 at Gorleston
Waxwing at Thorpe St Andrew
Smew at Tottenhill Gravel Pits
Waxwings x 27 at Norwich
Bittern at Costessey
Snow Bunting at Hopton-on-Sea
Rough-legged Buzzard, Red Kite, Hen Harrier at Holkham
Snow Buntings x 46 at Caister-on-Sea
Rough-legged Buzzard x 2, Short-eared Owl at Haddiscoe Island
Bittern at Felbrigg Hall

Queen Opens New Unit at My Hospital!!!

KING’S LYNN: Queen opens new unit at hospital - SEE PICS - Health - Lynn News

Sadly I missed out seeing HRH by a few seconds. There was, as expected very tight security today. A lady in our team who is a Speech Therapist was selected for the 'line-up' and told us that for a moment she was speechless (ha ha) when the Queen stopped to ask her 'and what do you do?'

Video HERE

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-21338563
http://news.uk.msn.com/relaxed-queen-opens-hospital-unit

Monday, 4 February 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Common Cranes x 9 at Whitlingham Country Park on Sat. 2nd Feb (late news)
Waxwings x 3 at Gorleston
Snow Buntings x 4 at Salthouse
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Waxwings x 10 at Thorpe St Andrew
Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, Twite x 23, Snow Bunting, Red-crested Pochard, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Haddiscoe Island
Meditterranean Gulls x 55 at Great Yarmouth
Snow Buntings x 12 at Holme

New Year's Resolution and Latest News!

To add pictures to the posts on my blog within the first few day's of posting, instead of typing 'PICTURES TO BE ADDED LATER'

I am paying dearly for kneeling in mud for two hours whilst photographing the Black-bellied Dipper on Saturday, as when I woke up on Sunday morning I could hardly get out of bed. I must have pulled a muscle in my back and I could barely walk, the pain was that bad. I don't know how I managed to pull off working a double shift on Sunday! It's not much better today either! Getting old is rubbish!

I am working the early shifts this week, so finishing half an hour earlier than normal. It was light when I left work this evening, which was a refreshing change.

I had a lovely email yesterday (which I have only just read) from Jane Ferguson who kindly emailed me to say that she watched the 6 Common Cranes fly over Lynford Aboretum at 1.30pm on Saturday, which she then 'tweeted' and thinks RBA (who follow her tweets) then put the message out on the pager.

Rachael returned to work today after travelling for three months on a career break. I was listening to wonderful tales of 'Toucans' being seen flying through a jungle and 'Flamingoes' and 'lots and lots of amazing, colourful birds'. It all sounded fantastic and made life here seem rather drab!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Taiga Bean Geese x 28 at Buckingham
Rough-legged Buzzard, Bewick's Swans x 26 at Hemstead Marshes
Rough-legged Buzzard x 2 at Haddiscoe Island
Snow Buntings x 4 at Salthouse
Bewick's Swans x 392, Whooper Swans x 20 at Catfield
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Purple Sandpiper x 2, Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Cley
Hawfinch at Lynford Aboretum
Rough-legged Buzzard, Bewick's Swans x 6, Snow Buntings x 36 at Burnham Overy Staithe
Scaup x 2, Smew at Barton Broad
Snow Buntings x 46 at Caister-on-Sea
Waxwings x 3 at Brundall
Rough-legged Buzzard at Hickling
Waxwings x 4 at Gorleston
Waxwings x 15 at Thorpe St Andrew
Waxwings x 25 at Norwich
Hen Harrier x 6 at Roydon
Shags x 2, Slavonian Grebe at Wiggenhall St Germans
Hen Harriers x 4 at Warham Greens

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Black-bellied Dipper Singing in the Sunshine!!!

 BLACK-BELLIED DIPPER

A full day's birding and a spectacular day!!!

Thetford
I have been meaning to go and see the very obliging and photogenic Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford for ages. Unbelievably, I didn't get round to going until today! It's actually less mileage than going to Cley from King's Lynn. 33.9 miles I clocked up on arrival. We were supposed to have snow here this morning, but no snow when I woke up. Chatted to Eddie this morning on route, who reported snow and hail in Cley!

Anyway, I arrived at the Riverside Carpark by the Three Nun's Bridges by the River Thet at Thetford at around 10am. It was easier to find than I thought it would be. After parking the car I walked across the metal bridge, turned left for a few yards and then right and across a second, smaller bridge. I then turned left, following the trees which line the river and walked in thick, squelchy mud to where two streams meet. There were a few birders and photographers here. I could see three big lens photographers in a good spot, so I walked round to join them. One of the three photographers was 'Kit Day' who is one of my favourite photographers, he really does take some awesome shots. I am sure he will have far superior shots to mine – we shall see! (I jest). The Black-bellied Dipper was a seriously, cracking bird – a real poser. I was ashamed I had left it so late to go and see this bird. I would have been kicking myself if I hadn't of seen it. It dipped, flicked, dived, flew, stretched wings, caught food and sat looking pretty on stones and logs and just to top it all, it sang!!! I actually got a picture of it singing too, but not a particularly good pose or sharp enough really. What more could I ask for! I took tons of photographs and kneeled on one knee in squelchy mud for over two hours – dedication/madness! I was most intrigued by the food the Dipper was catching and I'll be honest, I'm not sure what some of the delicacies were. It was fascinating to watch. I managed to capture some wing stretch photos and well every possible pose really! I didn't turn round very much, but when I did look round, I could see Richard 'The Hat' (as he is affectionately known). I eventually tore myself away and plodded back in the mud. I was frezing cold now after being in one place for so long, so I decided to stretch my legs a bit. Just before the metal bridge, I walked left along the river footpath, which is part of the BTO's Nunnery Lake Reserve and up as far at the next bridge and then back to my car. This walk certainly warmed me up a bit, but didn't see any birds along here, although I did hear a great spotted woodpecker. Sat in my car enjoying my homemade lentil soup and bread and then planned the rest of the day.


Lynford Aboretum
I have not been here for a good while and noticed a few developments since my last visit. There are now a good number of bird feeders and tables situated along the path not far from the carpark. There were good numbers of birds at these feeders including blue, great, coal, long-tailed and marsh tit, chaffinches, blackbird, robin, siskin. I heard from another birder that the 'new owner' is 'very interested in birds' which is brilliant news for all of us!

I walked around the 'Folly' area just in case I was lucky enough to see a Firecrest, which of course I didn't, but did see a party of long-tailed tits and a robin. Walked across the bridge to view the trees in the 'paddock' to look for hawfinch, but none were seen. Bumped into Richard and other birders again here, who talking about the pager message that had come through about 6 Cranes west of Lynford Aboretum! There was no time stated on the message, so don't know what time they were seen flying over. The cranes were later/earlier seen at (if the same ones) at Costessey, flying north west at 12.15pm. Anyway, I continued to walk around the 'paddocks' and was in luck when some birders had a single Hawfinch in their scope! (thank you very much). I turned right at the bridge (with the fast flowing stream) and then walked along the river path. I had fabulous views of a Marsh Tit feeding on some seed by a bench/seat and also of a Treecreeper. Further along the path I had a massive flock of Siskins and Redpolls feeding on an Alder Tree – there were at least 50+ in the flock!!! When I reached the next bridge (by the paddocks) I had wonderful views of a few Siskins and a cracking Lesser Redpoll feeding along a path, that is until a man walked through them! I waited and waited for them to return, but of course they didn't! Only managed to get an out of focus shot of the very bright Redpoll – oh well! A blackbird and a few chaffinches were turning over leaves in search of food by the bridge. Didn't see much else on the walk back to the car, apart from a couple of carrion crows overhead.

UPDATE: Jane Ferguson emailed me on the 3rd February to say that she saw the 6 Cranes fly over Lynford Aboretum at 1.30pm which she then 'tweeted' and thinks RBA (who follow her tweets) then put the message out on the pager.

 Treecreeper at Lynford Aboretum.

 Mute Swan at Lynford Aboretum.

 Lesser Redpoll with Siskins at Lynford Aboretum.


 Siskin – one of several at Lynford Aboretum.

Tottenhill Gravel Pits
The light was fading fast now, but I still managed to scope a 'Red Head' Smew through the trees distantly and also a great-crested grebe, 2 tufted ducks and a few coots at 4.35pm.

Roydon Common
Parked the car up and made a cup of coffee and lazily watched the 'roost' from my car. A cracking male Hen Harrier and ring-tail Hen Harrier were seen together along with two Barn Owls at around 5.15pm. The evenings are slowly getting lighter thank goodness.

As I drove away from Roydon a Woodcock flew over the road, which was a nice end to the day.

A cracking day all round. Only wish I could do the same again tomorrow – work all day again.

Have just transferred photos onto computer and I took 1,275 pictures of the Dipper!!!

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Great White Egret, American Wigeon at Marlingford
Sooty Shearwater at Cromer
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Short-eared Owls x 2 at Haddiscoe Island
Bewick's Swans x 400, Whooper Swans x 20 at Catfield
Snow Buntings x 4 at Salthouse
Waxwings x 6 at Norwich
Hen Harrier at Hardley Flood
Purple Sandpiper at Cley
Black Brant at Salthouse
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 50, Bittern at Holkham
Pale-bellied Brent Geese x 5, Dark-bellied Brent Geese x 400, Waxwing at Waxham
Hawfinch x 3, Common Cranes x 6 (flew over west ) Lynford Aboretum
Common Crane x 6 flew NW over Costessey
Caspian Gull at Norwich
Smew x 2 at Stoke Ferry
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Overy Staithe and Holkham
Smew 'Redhead' at Tottenhill Gravel Pits
Taiga Bean Geese x 28, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 40, Short-eared Owls x 5, Water Pipit at Buckingham Marshes RSPB

Also MEGA News of a PINE GROSBEAK at Collafirth, Shetland! See picture HERE

Refined Mineral Oils Blamed for Bird Contamination

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-21291294

UK Moth Numbers Suffer Crash, 40-year Study Shows!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21246322

Friday, 1 February 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Rough-legged Buzzard, Lapland Bunting at Burnham Overy Staithe
Waxwings x 67, Bewick's Swans x 5 at Gorleston
Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Dark-bellied Brent Geese x 30, Purple Sandpiper at Cley
American Wigeon, Great White Egret at Marlingford
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 100 at Holkam
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owls x 2, Ruddy Shelducks x 2 at Haddiscoe Island
Long-tailled Duck, Twite x 4 at Titchwell RSPB
Snow Buntings x 3 at Salthouse
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Hen Harrier x 5 at Roydon
Smew x 3 at Tottenhill Gravel Pits
Taiga Bean Geese x 25 at Buckingham Marshes RSPB