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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwing at Costessey
American Wigeon, Great White Egret at Marlingford
Snow Buntings x 40 at Holme
Waxwings x 60 at Gorleston
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Great White Egret at Hickling
Smew at Kimberley Hall Lake
Hen Harrier x 2, Slavonian Grebe, Long-tailed Duck, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB

Hundreds of Seabirds Washed up on South West Coast!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-21275648

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

B&Q and Wickes pledge to withdraw products harmful to bees

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jan/29/retailers-withdraw-products-bees

RBA Weekly Round-Up 23rd-29th January

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2013no05.aspx?s_id=210607684

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Great White Egret at Wymondham
Waxwings x 2 at Watlington
Taiga Bean Geese x 2 at Cantley Marshes RSPB
Waxwings x 55 at Gorleston
Garganey, Slavonian Grebe, Water Pipit, Scaup at Titchwell RSPB
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Rough-legged Buzzard at Terrington St Clement
Rough-legged Buzzard x 2 at Haddiscoe Island
Smew at Tottenhill  Gravel Pits
Waxwings x 16 at Thetford
Snow Buntings x 30 at Holme
Smew at Welney WWT
American Wigeon at Marlingford

WEIGHTWATCHERS

WEEK TWELVE
Stayed the same today.    Total loss so far 11.5lbs

My group leader said that I had done very well to 'stay the same' after what I had eaten at the weekend with my birthday celebrations – that still didn't make me feel any better though! Only myself to blame! Focus Penelope!

Hedgehog Population in Dramatic Decline!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jan/29/hedgehog-population-dramatic-decline

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Please Sign to Save Our Bees!

This only takes a few seconds to complete:
http://www.avaaz.org/en/hours_to_save_the_bees_g/?fgAeUdb&pv=10

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Great White Egret at Wymondham
American Wigeon at Marlingford
Garganey (found by Alan Davies and Ruth Miller), Bittern, Scaup at Titchwell RSPB
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Barnacle Geese x 7, esc. Ross's Goose at Horsey
Great Northern Diver at Filby Broad
Smew x 4 at Ormesby St Margaret
Waxwings x 53 at Gorleston
Golden Pheasant at Wolverton
Snow Buntings x 60 at Holme
Snow Buntings x 20 at Cley
Bittern at Holkham
Waxwings x 18 at Watlington
Eider at Wiggenhall St Germans
Bittern at Whitlingham Country Park
Hawfinch at Lynford Aboretum

Monday, 28 January 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk RBA
Smew x 2 at Tottinghill Gravel Pits
Slavonian Grebe at Whitlingham Country Park
Eurasian White-fronted Geese, Bittern at Holkham
Smew x 2 at Ormesby St Margaret
Smew at Kimberley Hall
Great White Egret at Wymondham
Waxwings x 8 at Thetford
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Bittern at Colney Gravel Pits
Smew x 2 at Filby Broad
Taiga Bean Geese x 31 at Cantley Marshes RSPB
Bewick's Swan x 3, Short-eared Owl at Breydon Water
Waxwings x 13 at Gorleston
Mealy Redpoll at Norwich
Barnacle Geese x 7, esc. Ross's Goose, Tundra Bean Goose at Horsey
Hen Harriers x 2 at Roydon
Smew x 2 at Welney WWT
Red-crested Pochard, Bittern, Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB


Gale force winds this evening here in King's Lynn!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Smew x 6 at Tottenhill Gravel Pits
Waxwings x 40 at Bradwell
Waxwings x 5 at Winterton
Ruddy Shelduck at Hardley Flood
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 140 Holkham
Slavonian Grebe at Whitlingham Country Park
Smew at Ormesby St Margaret
Hen Harrier at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
Hen Harriers x 3 at Roydon Common NWT
Waxwings x 8, Warham Green
Short-eared Owl, Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island
Short-eared Owls x 3 at Claxton
Waxwing at Cley
Woodlarks x 6, Waxwings x 3 at Holkham

MY BIRTHDAY!!!

HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY – OTTER!!!

For some reason I didn't sleep too well last night and the day didn't start how I imagined. I had planned to be out birding at dawn, but being as I didn't wake up until 8.45am, that didn't quite go to plan! Tested out my new plastic, microwaveable egg poacher this morning – followed the instructions to the letter and the egg exploded like a bloody firework in the microwave, resulting in a laborious cleaning session!!! Gave up on that and had toast with ginger marmelade for breakfast.

Last night's torrential rain had cleared all snow this morning and it was considerably warmer today with glorious sunshine and blue skies! I cruised to Cley to meet with friends for lunch and birding. I decided to have a quick stop at Glandford Ford to see if there were any grey wagtails around. I parked the car up and stood on the footbridge for a while – now 12.40pm. The fields were heavily flooded and the river was alot higher than normal. No birds really of note, but a grey heron was fishing nearby. I was just about to go back to the car when a big animal, kind of ran/galloped across the road, just the other side of the Ford – it took me a good few seconds to take in what I had just seen – OMG it was an OTTER!!! How cool to see that and on my birthday too!!! I smiled and got excited. I ran to the car like lightening, grabbed the camera and then ran back just as quick. I searched and searched for that Otter, but of course I didn't see it again.

I had pre-arranged my birthday lunch with a few good birdy friends and met up with John, Pete and Eddie at "The Three Swallows" Pub in Cley at 1pm. We all had a wonderful meal – I had a vege roast: yorkshire pudding, roast and new potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce with filo pastry vege thing (can't remember the name of it) which was scrumptious, as was the 'Bailey's' Cheesecake to finish off with! Eddie was showing us some of his pictures that he had digiscoped with the Swarovski adaption kit, with iphone 4S and his scope – he had some cracking pictures with this set up. Don't really need SLR's after seeing those pictures! Only problem is I don't have a Swarovski scope or iphone 4S (mine is 3GS) After lunch, Eddie left to go and watch football and then John, Pete and I walked along a footpath at Glandford (where I had never been to) in hope of finding something exciting. We saw very little of note, but did hear and see a pair of bullfinches in a hedgerow and also a kestrel and sparrowhawk. Pete and John then departed and I went off to Cley Visitor Centre to buy some birthday cards and then walked along the 'East Bank' at Cley in hope of a second sighting of an Otter, possibly!

Hundreds of Brent Geese grazing by the 'East Bank' – my walk produced very little really. Pintail, shoveler, teal, curlews, bar-tailed godwits, shelducks, dunlins and one barn owl hunting over the reed beds on the way back. Pete told me earlier that he had counted 15 Woodcocks flying over last night at Cley Sluice, so my next stop was there. I waited at Cley Sluice for quite awhile and I saw no Woodcocks or Otters at all!

Now felt tired and a bit fed-up, as I didn't feel like driving all the way home and didn't want to spend the rest of my birthday alone. Went to Wells, bought chips – big mistake, they were rock hard and over-cooked, the worst chips ever! Ate a third and threw the rest out. Carried on along the coast road and visited parents who weren't in a very good mood really, mother was stressed and father was tired, so didn't stay very long and then went home. Had a phone call off a friend whom I haven't spoke to for a while, so it was really nice to catch up. No more naughty food, back on Weight Watchers tomorrow and normality!

Had loads of Happy Birthday messages on Facebook which was really lovely – thanks everyone!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Pre-Birthday Celebrations!

I awoke to a another heavy snow fall this morning and brilliant sunshine. The thaw had started and the gutters were pouring with water all morning. I had some boring jobs to sort before I left the house.

Met up with my sisters Lucy and Vivien in Archer's Cafe in King's Lynn and had a wonderful lunch together. We spent the rest of the afternoon with my parents at Holme. I was sitting with father in the living room alone, when suddenly the lights went out...... "Happy Birthday to you......" sang my youngest sister Vivien, as she walked in with a 'Smartie' mini birthday cake adorned with four lit candles! How sweet! The cake was small she exclaimed, on account of me 'being on Weight Watchers'. We cut the cake into five pieces and it was gone! I presumed the four candles represented the 'forty' bit! Lucy bought me some flowers. Later on this evening I put Lucy's very bright purple flowers in a vase and the water turned purple! Don't know what's going on there!!!

It's my birthday tomorrow, but I decided to spend time with the family today, as tomorrow I want to go birding all day. Having a Sunday roast with a few good birdy friends tomorrow lunch time, which I am really looking forward to.

Oh, just remembered, I saw a Redwing sitting in a tree in a playground at Hunstanton (just past the police station) as we drove to Holme this afternoon.

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Great White Egret at Wymondham
Lapland Buntings x 2, Purple Sandpiper at Titchwell RSPB
Snow Buntings x 60, Twite x 5 at Holme
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Slavonian Grebe at Whitlingham Country Park
Smew x 2 at Tottenhill Gravel Pits
Black Brant at Holkham
Great White Egret, Hen Harrier at Horsey
Rough-legged Buzzard, Waxwings x 50, Snow Buntings x 3 at Salthouse
Hawfinch x 6 at Lynford Aboretum
Waxwings x 15 at Bradwell
Short-eared Owls x 2 at King's Lynn
Short-eared Owls x 3, Hen Harrier at Claxton Marshes
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island

Friday, 25 January 2013

Bird News

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Black Brant, Dark-bellied Brent Geese x 600, Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Cley
Great White Egret at Wymondham
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Hen Harrier x 2 at Thornham
Lapland Bunting, Scaup, Hen Harriers x 2, Bittern at Titchwell RSPB
Waxwings x 8 at Sheringham
Twite x 17, Hen Harrier at Brancaster Harbour
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl at Burgh Castle
Ross's Goose (esc.), Barnacle Geese x 7 at Horsey
Slavonian Grebe at Whitlingham Country Park
Smew at Filby Broad
Great Grey Shrike at Weybourne
Caspian Gull at Breydon Water
Rough-legged Buzzard at Holkham
Purple Sandpiper at Cley

My Birthday Weekend Celebrations!

A whole weekend with no work – awesome!!!

The expected heavy snow has not started yet in King's Lynn, or Ely or Cley this evening by 10.45pm, but it doesn't look good for the morning: BBC WEATHER

FRIDAY
"Snow spreading east, heaviest across northern counties, turning to sleet or rain in the south and more generally to rain later, eventually clearing, leaving icy conditions by morning. Winds easing later with mist forming." Looks a great forecast for driving around in!

SATURDAY
"Brightening up after a grey start, then dry with some sunny spells for most. Still on the cold side, although higher temperatures than recently, giving a slow thaw of snow." Brighter day!

OUTLOOK FOR SUNDAY TO TUESDAY
"Much milder with a rapid snow thaw. Often very wet and very windy, especially overnight into Sunday and later Monday through early Tuesday. Brighter spells with squally showers in between." Warm, windy day with flooding!

RSPB BIG GARDEN BIRDWATCH!

Saturday 26th January and Sunday 27th January

http://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/

FREE BIRD SONG CD AND GUIDE!!!

Emily Heginbotham from the promotions team at 'The Telegraph" emailed to ask me if I would promote this free offer in tomorrow's paper, so here it is:

FREE INSIDE THE TELEGRAPH
JANUARY 26th & 27th

KATE HUMBLE'S GUIDE TO 100 BIRDS OF BRITAIN

An exclusive spotters' guide and birdsong CD, produced in celebration of the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch. Visit www.telegraph.co.uk/rspb  for more information.

Free Bird Guide in Saturday's 'Telegraph" and
Free Bird Song CD in Sunday's "Telegraph"

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Bird News etc!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Purple Sandpiper, Smew, Black Brant, Dark-bellied Brent Geese x 600, Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Cley
Waxwings x 15 at Burnham Overy Staithe
Slavonian Grebe, Scaup at Whitlingham Country Park
Taiga Bean Geese x 22 at Cantley Marshes RSPB
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island
Pomarine Skua at Holme
Great White Egret at Wymondham
Smew, Bewick's Swans x 20 at Ranworth Broad
Lapland Bunting, Barnacle Geese x 45, Bittern's x 2, Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB
Smew x 4 at Tottenhill Gravel Pits
Slavonian Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser at Wigganhall St Mary Magdalen
Scaup at Wroxham Broad
Waxwings x 15 at Norwich


Went back to work today and even though it was manic, it was good to be amongst people again. It doesn't do your mind any good, being on your own for three days! I am looking forward to having a whole weekend off. I didn't book any shifts on Sunday as its my birthday!

It does amuse me – I have been receiving alot of emails lately, from companies trying to sell me packages to improve my ratings on my blog and increase traffic. Well if any of those companies are reading this now, you will see that my ratings and traffic flow are fine thank you very much! No. 44 in fatbirder ratings and an average of 1,100 blog views daily and regular lovely emails from my readers keeps me happy!

MORE Snow forecast for tomorrow evening – see HERE but thawing and sunshine on Saturday!

WEIGHTWATCHERS

WEEK ELEVEN
Lost 1lb today.    Total loss so far 11.5lbs

Why does it take so long to lose weight, but you can gain it so quickly! Oh well, at least its another 1lb towards my goal.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 16th-22nd January

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2013no04.aspx?s_id=861402944

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Bird News

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings x 4 at Norwich
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Snow Buntings x 2 at Salthouse
Lapland Bunting, Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, Great Skua, Hen Harrier's x 3 at Titchwell RSPB
Black-necked Grebe, Scaup, Smew x 2, Sacred Ibis's x 2, Great White Egret at Filby Broad
Slavonian Grebe, Bittern at Whitlingham Country Park
Black Brant, Dark-bellied Brent Geese x 2500, Pale-bellied Brent Geese x 4, Water Pipit x 2, Black-throated Diver at Cley
Slavonian Grebe at Breydon Water
Waxwing x 8 at Attleborough
Red-necked Grebe at Sheringham
Waxwings x 5 at Cringleford
Slavonian Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser at Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen
Hawfinch x 3 at Lynford Aboretum

FOR SALE

KENKO TELEPLUS PRO 300 1.4 X DG Tele-Converter for Canon EOS

Hardly used, mint condition, in bag/box as purchased.

Bargain at £115 inc. p&p for 'Special Delivery', to be signed for, tracked etc.


Also Canon 40D Battery for sale £10.00 inc p+p

Please email me at pennyclarke@dsl.pipex.com

Hebrides - New Series starts this Spring!

See information about this new series and stunning pictures on the Outer Hebrides here: http://johnaitchison.net/

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Bird News

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings x 15 at Burnham Overy Staithe
Smew at Cley
Slavonian Grebe, Yellow-legged Gulls x 3 at Breydon Water
Short-eared Owl, Red Kite at Holme
Golden Pheasant at Wolferton
Black-necked Grebe, Scaup, Smew x 2, Bittern at Filby Broad
Smew at Ormesby St Margaret
Barnacle Geese x 58, Lapland Bunting, Bewick's Swans x 10, Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB
Slavonian Grebe, Bittern at Whitlingham Country Park
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Velvet Scoter at Great Yarmouth
Short-eared Owl at Stoke Ferry
Taiga Bean Geese x 31 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Waxwing x 2 at South Walsham

Norfolk Wildlife Trust urges government to increase marine protection - Environment - Eastern Daily Press

Norfolk Wildlife Trust urges government to increase marine protection - Environment - Eastern Daily Press

Campaigner highlights plastic problem at Blakeney Point wildlife haven - Environment - Eastern Daily Press

Campaigner highlights plastic problem at Blakeney Point wildlife haven - Environment - Eastern Daily Press

Leica Trinovid 8x32 BN Binoculars Still For Sale!

My original post: http://pennyshotbirdingandlife.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/my-binoculars-for-sale.html

I had some interest on these binoculars and was asked about cost of postage to another country, which I found out for them, but then heard nothing more!

So these are still for sale if anyone is interested.

I don't want to drop my asking price really, as these are as new condition (see original post on above link). I would be quite happy to meet up with a prospective buyer so they can examine the binoculars before purchasing (Norfolk only). Please email me on pennyclarke@dsl.pipex.com

Reduced to £650 ono

Monday, 21 January 2013

Bird News

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Brambling x 100 at Glandford, Cley
Snow Buntings x 36 at Caister-on-Sea
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl at Burgh Castle
Waxwing x 12 at Bowthorpe
Great Northern Diver at Hemsby
Waxwing at South Walsham
Bittern's x 2, Slavonian Grebe at Whitlingham Country Park
Hawfinch x 3, Crossbill x 5 at Lynford Aboretum
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 208 at Holkham
Rough-legged Buzzard at Swaffham

At home and ill

We have had the dreaded D&V bug at work. What makes me really cross is the fact that I have heard, that the bug was brought in by a visitor onto the ward, passed it on to their already sick relative and now its gone round other patients and staff. That's the last thing people need when they are already seriously ill. Some people are so selfish and have no idea what problems this can cause.
I felt sick last week, but was well enough to go to work. I was really pleased that I managed to battle through without having time off. Two of my colleagues in my team and ward staff were off with D&V last week. But this morning I had no choice – I won't go into detail, work it out for yourself! I was on 'three episodes' of sickness over the last year and now because I am off ill today I will now be on 'four episodes' which means you get called into the office to be interviewed and asked silly questions like 'why have you been ill?' You are not allowed to be ill in the NHS! I hate being at home ill, what a waste of time and really fed-up on my own. Although at least this 'bug' will help with my dieting!!!
Thick snow here again this morning and icicles hanging from the guttering. Saw my robin briefly from the kitchen window today. A blackbird managed to polish off the entire dish of mealworms by himself without interruptions! Lots of gulls flying low over the gardens I noticed, which is unusual, so they must be hungry.
I didn't eat all day, because I couldn't, but had two dry ryvita's this evening. 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Slavonian Grebe at Whitlingham Country Park
Lapland Bunting at Titchwell RSPB
Snow Bunting x 2 at Salthouse
Bittern at Sculthorpe Moore Nature Reserve
Little Gulls x 6, Rough-legged Buzzard, Shorelark x 2, Hen Harrier at Cley
Smew x 3 at Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen
Velvet Scoter, Whooper Swan x 19 at Hemsby
Waxwing x 2 at South Walsham
Twite x 15 at Brancaster
Waxwings x 15 at Burnham Overy Staithe
Snow Buntings x 32 at Caister-on-Sea
Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander x 46 at Denver Sluice

Snowing Again!

Walked to work this morning, did an 11 hour Nursing Auxilliary shift (my second job) with some lovely colleagues and then walked home in a snow blizzard arriving home at 9pm. Was very kindly offered a lift home, but I wanted the fresh air. Very pretty walk home in the newly laid snow! Now ready to sleep!

Started snowing around 4pm and still snowing now at 11pm. Looks like I will be walking to work again in the morning!

The most slippery pavement in Norwich?!!!

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/video_is_this_the_most_dangerous_pavement_in_snow_covered_norwich_1_1797565

Saturday, 19 January 2013

150 Turnstones!

I just couldn't get out of bed this morning, I felt ill and tired. Several of us have been ill at work with 'the bug', although I seemed to have suffered less than some and managed to get to work each day. I just dossed around really most of the day, which probably did me some good to be honest. I put out a wonderful selection of treats for the birds: buttery potatoes (cooked up especially), a microwaved christmas pudding, creamed coconut, wholemeal bread, peanut butter in dish, apples and a plateful of dried fruit and the usual bird seed. Spent ages knocking out the ice from the bird pools and re-filling. I sat with my eggs and soliders and waited for my garden to fill with birds. I waited and I waited. Eventually I had one male blackbird, who only stopped briefly to peck at the bread and 1 collared dove. I was shocked – where were all the hungry birds? For the first time I didn't even see my usual robin! I hadn't seen any cats in my garden for a long time until today, one suddenly appeared from around the corner of the caved in greenhouse and preceeded towards my bird table, until I shouted and hammered on the patio doors. My three fence panels are not back up yet, so any cat can get into the garden easily at the moment, the sooner that's sorted the better! Still waiting for my neighbour to remove the tree stump and cut down his row of leylandi before I replace my fence. I did have a new garden tick though, a heron flew over my house! Also saw a great spotted woodpecker on the tall willow trees (in a neighbours garden) and a big number of woodpigeons sitting in the top branches. These willow trees are the tallest willows I have ever seen in my life and they stand out even more now, since the fallen leylandi has exposed them.

Went to Wilkinsons to buy bird seed for mother who had hinted she had run out and also a new bath seat from the mobility shop for father. Still pretty slippery getting out of my estate, but all main roads clear.

It was now around 4pm and on route to Holme I decided to try and see the peregrine at King's Lynn Docks. I counted 150+ Turnstones feeding by the moored boats and tons of gulls sitting on the roof of a snow covered, fishing shed and managed to see one of the Peregrine's sitting a ledge at the side of the tower.

Went to Holme, delivered seed and bath seat and returned home. Ironed all my uniforms and then drove to work to put them in my locker to save me carrying them all tomorrow when I walk to work. Lots of snow predicted tomorrow! Take care if you are all out and about tomorrow.

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Bittern's x 3, Slavonian Grebe at Whitlingham Country Park
Black-bellied Dipper, Waxwings x 15 at Thetford
Great White Egret at St Olaves
Little Gull, Rough-legged Buzzard at Cley
Rough-legged Buzzard at Holme
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burgh Castle
Shorelarks x 2 at Cley
Scaup at Wroxham Broad
Lapland Bunting at Titchwell RSPB
Crossbills x 2 at Burnham Deepdale
Short-eared Owl at King's Lynn
Smew x 2 at Ormesby St Margaret
Taiga Bean Geese x 27 at Cantley Marshes RSPB
Hen Harrier, Whooper Swans x 3 at Chedgrave
Snow Buntings x 2 at Salthouse
Smew x 3 at Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen

Friday, 18 January 2013

Survey will monitor Dersingham Bog’s stonechats - News - Eastern Daily Press

Survey will monitor Dersingham Bog’s stonechats - News - Eastern Daily Press

Funding boost for Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve at Cley - Environment - Eastern Daily Press

Funding boost for Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve at Cley - Environment - Eastern Daily Press

Amazing Aerial Footage of Norfolk Coast!

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/video_amazing_aerial_footage_of_coast_from_great_yarmouth_to_walcott_1_1795682

Wow, look at this!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/g5CCejDFSAY

Bird News and Snow Update!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Bitterns x 2, Yellow-legged Gull, Slavonian Grebe at Whitlingham Country Park
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Lapland Buntings x 2, Snow Buntings x 30, Jack Snipe, Hen Harriers x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Twite x 15 at Thornham Point
Hen Harrier, Bittern at Cley

News from Paul Eele, Warden at Titchwell RSPB
Lapland bunting – 2 males on saltmarsh by beach boardwalk. We are now feeding winter passerines on the flat area of saltmarsh to the west of the beach boardwalk. Please do not enter this area to prevent flushing the birds. Good views can be obtained from the path
Skylark – 60 feeding on saltmarsh.
Snow bunting – 30 on east beach
Twite – 15 at Thornham Point
Jack snipe – 1 showing well on grazing meadow pool this afternoon
Whooper swan – 7 south over reserve @ 12:15
Spotted redshank – 4 on Volunteer Marsh
Red kite – 1 over grazing meadow this morning
Hen harrier – 2 ringtails to roost
Brambling – 20+ around visitor centre

Snow Update
Most of the main roads are clear in King's Lynn, but back roads and estates are still snow covered and icy. Fakenham area is apparently pretty bad and Cley is similiar situation to north, west Norfolk.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk - RBA
Lapland Bunting, Water Pipit at Cley
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl x 2 at Great Yarmouth
Mealy Redpoll at Norwich
Lapland Bunting, Velvet Scoter, Snow Bunting x 30, Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egret at Hickling
Med. Gull at West Runton
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Bittern x 2, Scaup, Bewick's Swan x 7 at Whitlingham Country Park
Smew x 3 at Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen
Smew, Bittern x 3 at Ormesby St Margaret

PLEASE FEED THE BIRDS!

For anyone reading this who doesn't normally feed birds

In these freezing conditions birds are desperate for food and water. Any kitchen scraps will be quickly consumed. Robins love dried fruit, especially raisons and sultanas. Blackbirds and Thrushes love apples with a passion. Brown bread, left over potatoes, oat flakes, cheese, suet, pastry, cheese, fruit cake. I know we can't afford to throw good food away, but if you are going to throw out eg dried fruit that's a bit out of date, this would be gratefully received by several species of birds. When you have finished eating your apple throw the core outside for the blackbirds. Put an old enamel tin plate or similar outside and re-fill daily for drinking, bathing. Then if you really start to enjoy watching the birds in your garden, take it more seriously and buy some bags of birds seed from Wilkinsons or similar, peanuts, fat balls, meal worms etc, bird table and feeders etc. Massive entertainment for you and your children too! More advice on feeding birds from the RSPB HERE

Also found this on the net:
"You can make your own bird cake by pouring melted fat (Dripping, suet or lard) onto a mixture of ingredients such as birdseed, chopped nuts, dried fruit (soak first ideally), porridge/ oatmeal, hard cheese scraps and leftover cake. Use about one-third fat to two-thirds mixture. Stir well in a bowl and allow it to set in a container of your choice. A strung empty coconut shell, plastic cup, or an  old pine cone makes an ideal bird cake 'feeder'. Alternatively, you can turn it out onto the birdtable when solid. "

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Freezing Conditions!

I walked home from my w.w. meeting this evening and I was frozen. I was wearing my warmest clothes: waterproofs over trousers, walking boots, 2 pairs of socks, thermal top, fleece, gilet, waterproof coat, my fur hat, mittens and I was still so cold. I didn't even really warm up much as a I walked and with the fog and black ice it felt like Siberia!

It does make me worry about our elders, especially those that live alone and don't have anyone to help them with shopping and who are scared of turning up the heating because of worrying about bills. I for one am determined I am not going to give British Gas anymore than I have to this winter. My quarterly bill for October was about £220 for gas and electric, but my recent bill was £358!!! Goodness knows what the next one will be!!! Keeping my room stat on 16˚c and wearing an extra jumper! If that doesn't work I will have to have a boogie round the kitchen to keep warm! Or an even better solution, go to bed early with my three hot bottles! On that note, good night!

Happy Birthday Malcolm!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MALCOLM!!!

Special birthday wishes to Malcolm who I have not sent a card to, no excuses! I have known Malcolm and Eileen W. since I was, well since I was born really. There are wonderful couple and we have had lots of fun times over the years. Mostly about Malcolm winding me up (smile) when I was a teenager. Malcolm is an amazing photographer and I have very fond memories of Malcolm and Eileen visiting Holme Bird Observatory at the weekends and Malcolm walking up to the observatory with a selection of cameras slung around his body! I could carry on with loads more stories, but now very tired, so may update this tomorrow.

RBA Weekly Update 9th-15th January

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2013no03.aspx?s_id=866070335

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk - RBA
Smew x 2 at Ormesby St Margaret
Lapland Bunting, Snow Bunting x 8, Twite x 25 at Titchwell RSPB
Snow Buntings x 30 at Holme
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Bittern at Lynford Aboretum
Bittern x 2 at Whitlingham Country Park
Smew x 2 at Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen
Short-eared Owl at Holme
Snow Buntings x 2 at Snettisham

WEIGHTWATCHERS

WEEK TEN
Lost 0.5lb today.    Total loss so far 10.5lbs

Not one of my best losses today, but better than gaining I suppose!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk - RBA
Waxwing x 6 at Taverham
Waxwings x 20 at Salthouse
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Snow Bunting x 20, Twite x 30 at Titchwell RSPB
Velvet Scoter at Hemsby
Glaucous Gull, Black Brant at Cley
OTTER x 3 at Cley Sluice (seen by ETM)
Shorelark at Blakeney Point
Snow Buntings x 50 at Holme
Goshawk, Hen Harrier x 5, Waxwings x 4, Water Pipit at Strumpshaw RSPB

Freezing tonight with icicles hanging from my porch!!!!! Walked to work, no point in writing the car off on these icy roads!

Monday, 14 January 2013

WHITE-TAILED TROPICBIRD Washes Up in Cumbria!!!

http://www.facebook.com/CumbriaBDC

"BIRD NEVER RECORDED IN BRITAIN......
UNTIL NOW!


DEAD WHITE-TAILED TROPICBIRD WASHES UP ON MAWBRAY BANK, CUMBRIA

" The Tropicbird, which normally occurs and breeds in tropical areas (such as Caribbean islands), was found on the tideline at Mawbray Bank by Peter Scott of Workington, on 6 January. It was rotten and Peter only collected the two tail streamers to use to identify the bird. Peter showed the feathers to Steve Hewitt (Natural History Curator at Tullie House Museum) that evening and they decided it was probably a Tropicbird. Steve was keen to recover the body so they went back up to Mawbray and located the bird in the dark before the tide moved it. The specimen is intact but very smelly and shedding patches of feathers. It is now in the freezer at Tullie House Museum. The information has been submitted to the British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC), the official adjudicator of rare bird records in Britain, and if accepted, will be a new species for the British list."


What a sad and tragic end to what could have been MEGA of the year!!!

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Green Sandpiper at Scarning
Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Glaucous Gull, Hen Harrier, Cetti's Warbler x 2 at Cley
Lapland Bunting, Long-tailed Duck x 2, Bewick's Swans x 5, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB

Winter Wonderland!

The alarm went off at 6.45am – I peeped out of the window to a snowy scene and it continued to snow all day. Main roads are okish around King's Lynn this evening, but as usual my estate has not been gritted and my car went out of control as I turned to go up the hill. Out of control enough to ensure I will be walking to work tomorrow morning! Luckily I didn't collide with anything else and I was only in first gear!

Blakeney Point featured on 'Winterwatch'

Blakeney Point on 'Winter Watch BBC2 8.30pm to 9.30pm now!

The seal colony at Blakeney Point was featured on tonight's episode. It was wonderful to see Fair Isle being featured and young Henry Hyndman showing off his waxwings!!! See video of Henry and waxwings HERE. I miss Fair Isle very much and would so much like to go again soon.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

My Binoculars Still for Sale

http://pennyshotbirdingandlife.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/my-binoculars-for-sale.html

Now Reduced to £650.00

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA

Twite x 31, Water Pipit, Whooper Swans x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Hen Harrier at North Wootton
Ross's Goose, Barnacle Goose x 6 Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl x 6, Hen Harrier at Haddiscoe Island
American Wigeon at Marlingford
Black Brant at Cley
Lapland Bunting x 2 at Weybourne
Mealy Redpoll, Firecrest at Loddon
Glaucous Gull, Whooper Swan x 2 at Salthouse
Tundra Bean Goose, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 50, Common Crane x 4 at Martham

Other Bird News: Siberian Chiffchaff at Boughton Fen this morning.


Working all day again today. Work, work, work, is there no end to working six days a week!!!!!?

No snow here yet, but its freezing cold!

Two weeks to my birthday – 21 again!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Pallas's Warber – First for Berkshire!

Cracking find in January!!!
http://www.lookatthebirds.co.uk/blog/archive/2013/01/12/pallass_warbler_-_a_berkshire_first.asp

Bird News etc!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Siberian Chiffchaff at Cley
American Wigeon at Marlingford
Sacred Ibis at Salthouse
Waxwings x 3 at Norwich
Common Crane x 12 at Repps
Smew, Scaup at Ormesby St Margaret
Rough-legged Buzzard x 2, Great White Egret at Haddiscoe Island
Long-tailed Duck x 2, Red-crested Pochard, Water Pipit  at Titchwell RSPB
Hawfinch x 5 at Lynford Aboretum
Velvet Scoter x 3 at Waxham
Black-throated Diver, Slavonian Grebe at Holkham
Short-eared Owl at Halvergate Marshes
Short-eared Owl, Hen Harrier x 2 at Stiffkey
Ross's Goose at Reedham
Snow Buntings x 15 at Thornham Point

I certainly havn't been doing very much 'Hot Birding' over the last few weeks! Mentally exhausted this morning after my traumatic day yesterday, up late and jobs to do this morning. Started clearing my garden and pruning etc this afternoon. Went to visit my parents in the evening and delivered them some shopping. No exciting news from me today I'm afraid!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Bird News!

Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
American Wigeon at Marlingford
Snow Buntings x 17 at Salthouse
Water Pipit, Long-tailed Duck x 2, Hen Harrier x 3, Yellow-legged Gull, Twite x 12 at Titchwell RSPB
Snow Bunting x 7 at Thornham Point
Hawfinch, Firecrest at Lynford Aboretum
Velvet Scoter x 3 at Gorleston
Waxwing x 5 at Taverham
Black Brant, Dark-bellied Brent Geese x 30, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 100, Bittern at Holkham
Black Brant at Cley
Rough-legged Buzzard, Great White Egret, Short-eared Owl x 3, Bewick's Swan x 9 at Haddiscoe Island
Scaup at Barton Broad
Smew x 2 at Ormesby St Margaret
Short-eared Owl x 3 at Claxton
Taiga Bean Goose x 20, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 35 at Buckenham Marshes

An Exceptionally Crap Day at Work!

A very, very tough day – proud to be part of our ward. Thanks to everyone who supported each other in a very difficult case. I did my first CPR today, along with others, can't say anymore for confidentiality reasons. This also then resulted in the whole day going pear shaped after that. We were also informed of more bad news later on. We all left late and when we were just about to leave, the fire alarm went off at the end of the day!!! An exceptionally, crappy week all round!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Bird News and Heavy Snow Forecast!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Black-bellied Dipper, Waxwings x 28 at Thetford
Red-crested Pochards at Methwold
Twite x 31 at Titchwell RSPB
Snow Bunting x 25, Purple Sandpiper at Cley
Snow Bunting x 36 at Caister-on-Sea
American Wigeon at Marlingford
Smew x 2 at Ormesby St Margaret
Scaup, Bittern at Barton Broad
Hawfinch x 8 at Lynford Aboretum

HEAVY SNOW FORECAST FOR THIS WEEKEND AND FOR THE NEXT THREE WEEKS!!!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

RBA Weekly Update 2nd to 8th January

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2013no02.aspx?s_id=656925090

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Little Auk at Hemsby
Rough-legged Buzzard at Hemsby
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Taiga Bean Geese x 15 at Buckingham Marshes
Lapland Bunting x 2, Snow Bunting x 20, Great Skua, Water Pipit x 3 at Cley
Snow Bunting x 30 at Caister-on-Sea
Snow Bunting x 80, Twite x 30, Water Pipit, Hen Harrier x 2, Bittern at Titchwell RSPB
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl x 3 at Haddiscoe Island
Smew x 2 at Ormesby St Margaret
Short-eared Owls x 2 at Halvergate Marshes
Hawfinches x 3 at Lynford Aboretum
Snow Buntings x 30 at Salthouse
Snow Buntings x 60 at Holme
Ross's Goose (escape) at Bayfield Hall Lake
Purple Sandpiper between Cley and Salthouse

WEIGHTWATCHERS

WEEK NINE
Lost 2lbs today.    Total loss so far 10lbs

With Christmas out of the way, there is no stopping me now!

Time for a change?

It has been so stressful with big changes at work this week, I seriously think its time to look for another job. I didn't turn my computer on after Sunday until late Tuesday night, which is very unusual for me. I've hardly slept at all since Saturday evening and feel massively stressed, exhausted and fed-up. I only wish I could earn the money that I do, working in a residential home or similar which I feel would be very fulfilling. I enjoy tremendously caring for elderly people and trying to make them feel cared for and happy, but the pay is generally diabolical in private care homes. Plan B is to apply for an NHS Band 3 desk job!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owls x 3 at Haddiscoe Island
Smew x 2 at Ormesby St Margaret
Hawfinch x 7 at Lynford Aboretum
Ross's Goose, Snow Bunting x 20, Purple Sandpiper x 2 at Cley
Slavonian Grebe, Twite x 27 at Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egret at Hickling
Rough-legged Buzzard, Snow Bunting x 25, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 3 at Holkham
Lapland Bunting at Holme

Main Highlights in Norfolk for Monday – RBA
Taiga Bean Geese x 100 at Buckingham Marshes
Taiga Bean Geese x 37, Short-eared Owl, Water Pipit at Cantley Marshes
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island
Bewick's Swans x 5, Twite x 32, Red-necked Grebe, Long-tailed Duck x 2, Water Pipit x 2, Red-crested Pochard at Titchwell RSPB
Waxwings x 6 at Norwich
Snow Buntings x 19 at Salthouse
Purple Sandpiper at Cley
Scaup x 9 at Heacham
Hawfinches x 3 at Lynford Aboretum
Common Cranes x 9, Hen Harriers x 2 at Hickling
Waxwing at Holme
Bittern at Felbrigg Hall
Great White Egret at Buckingham Marshes

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Black-bellied Dipper, Waxwings x 26 at Thetford
Hawfinch at Lynford Aboretum
Snow Bunting x 20, Purple Sandpiper, Velvet Scoter x 2 at Cley
Snow Bunting x 5 at Salthouse
Waxwings x 14 at St Olaves
Twite x 20 at Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egret, Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island
Velvet Scoter at West Runton
Short-eared Owls x 2 at Buckingham Marshes
Bewick's Swans x 12 at Geldeston
Bewick's Swans x 14 at Horsey
Purple Sandpiper at Sea Palling
Scaup at Barton Broad
Snow Buntings x 40 at Holme
Waxwings x 2 at Titchwell RSPB

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Black-bellied Dipper, Waxwings x 24 at Thetford
Waxwings x 11 at Wymondham
Glaucous Gull (Pat's Pool), Hen Harrier, Snow Bunting x 10, Black Brant at Cley
Snow Bunting x 40 at Caister-on-Sea
Waxwing x 5 at Brancaster
Twite x 30 at Thornham Point
Black-throated Diver, Long-tailed Duck, Red-crested Pochard at Titchwell RSPB
Short-eared Owl at Winterton
Rough-legged Buzzard, Great White Egret, Short-eared Owl x 2 at Haddiscoe Island
Scaup at Barton Broad
Purple Sandpiper x 2, Snow Bunting x 20 at Salthouse
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Hawfinches x 2 at Lynford Aboretum
Common Crane, Hen Harrier at Waxham
Eurasian White-fronted Goose x 153, Snow Bunting x 50 at Holkham
Short-eared Owl at Morston
Hen Harrier at Blakeney
Hen Harriers x 6 at Warham Greens

Main Highlights in Norfolk for Friday– RBA
Black-bellied Dipper, Waxwings x 5 at Thetford
Waxwings x 12 at Wymondham
Snow Bunting x 35 at Holme
Rough-legged Buzzard, Great White Egret, Short-eared Owls x 3 at Haddiscoe Island
Purple Sandpipers x 2, Snow Buntings x 9 at Cley
Twite x 19 at Thornham Point
Slavonian Grebe x 2, Water Pipit, Bittern at Titchwell RSPB
Black Brant, Dark-bellied Brent Goose x 35 at Stiffkey
Waxwing at Morston
Hawfinch x 2 at Lynford
Snow Buntings x 40, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 17 at Holkham
Short-eared Owls x 4 at Claxton
Siberian Chiffchaff at Hickling Broad on Wednesday

Busy, Busy Bee!

I have had a very, very busy day. First of all Eddie arrived at my house to very kindly assess my fencing situation and advise/price up stuff for me. We then went to Wickes to make a list of what I needed to buy etc. Then we had a scrumptious lunch at a cafe in King's Lynn – cheese omelette, chips and peas followed by ginger pudding, ginger sauce and ice-cream!!! I bought myself a very funky Jean Pierre watch for work, as my nurses watch has just broken and wanted something a bit different (typical me).

We then went to Titchwell RSPB. Watched a massive 1000+ flock of Lapwings along with a few thousand golden plover, 7 Marsh Harriers, 1 Barn Owl and 16 Magpies roosting! Popped into my parents for a very quick cup of tea and then Eddie went on the bus back to Cley. I then drove back to Lynn and dropped my birding gear back at home.

I then went straight out again to work at 7pm and stayed until 10pm moving stuff around. We are very crowded in our gym at work with acute team, community team, speech and language team and all the filing cabinets and patients having therapy in the same area. We have at last been allocated a big room next to ours, which was used as a day type ward for patients. The team in that room moved out on Saturday morning. On Friday afternoon we we warned that there was rumours that another team were planning to hijack our space at the weekend, before we moved in! I decided that, that was NOT going to happen! We were told not to leave the room empty, otherwise someone else would use it. So I went to work and moved all the tables, chairs and a few other bits and pieces and revamped our gym at the same time. It all looks fabulous now and I hope the rest of my team like what I have done – if they don't they will just have to move it. Still lots of filing cabinets and bookcases to move on Monday with the porters though.

Double shift tomorrow – another busy day

Operation Update
I had an appointment with my consultant yesterday, who informed me that he was not prepared to carry out my operation as it was too risky. Too many complications eg: carotid artery (major artery of the head and neck) is next to the bone that needs to be cut etc etc. The diagnosis that I was given recently (see my previous posts about this) of 'Eagles Syndrome' is so rare, that my consultant has never performed the operation and even though a specialty doctor under him has performed this op., it would be the consultant's head that would be on the block if it went wrong! He told me that he would research more about this condition and get back to me with alternative treatments etc. So I will have to put up with the pain for the time being! He also told me that it 'would be the last operation that I would want to have myself'

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Norfolk Wildlife Trust's New Blog!

http://norfolkwildlifetrust.blogspot.co.uk/

Seal swimming in flooded fields in Cambridge!!!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2013/jan/02/seal-flooded-field-50-miles-from-coast-video

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford!
Bittern, Whooper Swan at Felbrigg Lake
Taiga Bean Geese x 20 at Buckingham Marshes
Snow Bunting x 50, Short-eared Owl at Holme
Twite x 23, Long-tailed Duck at Titchwell RSPB
Common Cranes x 4 at Heigham Holmes
Great White Egret, Hen Harrier, Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl at Haddiscoe Island
Waxwings x 20 at Thetford
Goosanders x 8 at Lyng
Purple Sandpiper at Salthouse
Scaup at Barton Broad
Hawfinch at Lynford Aboretum
Shags x 13 at Hunstanton Cliffs

Africa, Part One: Kalahari – David Attenborough

"David Attenborough explores two deserts in Africa's south west, where he sees meerkats, black rhinos partying, giant insects and the greatest giraffe battle ever filmed."

I watched the first episode of this new six part series on BBC iplayer this evening – absolutely fascinating. So if you missed it last night, watch it now: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p010jc6r/Africa_Kalahari/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/gallery/2013/jan/02/africa-david-attenborough-bbc1-series-pictures

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New Year's Day Bird Race Write-up

Is now complete! http://pennyshotbirdingandlife.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/my-new-years-day-county-bird-race.html

WEIGHTWATCHERS

WEEK EIGHT
Gained 1.5 lbs today.    Total loss so far 8lbs

There haven't been any WW group meetings for the last two weeks. I went to a group meeting this evening and considering it was the christmas period I didn't do too badly really!!! I wasn't happy that I had gained obviously, but felt better when another lady said she had gained 7lbs over the last two weeks.

RBA Weekly Round-up 18th Dec to 1st Jan

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2013no01.aspx?s_id=468235856

Bird News

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Bewick's Swans x 80 at Repps
Dark-bellied Brent Geese x 70 at Holkham
Waxwings x 10 at Bintree
Scaup x 3 at Barton Broad
Hen Harrier at Hardley Staithe
Bittern at Thorpe Marshes
Twite x 25 at Titchwell RSPB
Common Crane at Stiffkey
Waxwing at Snettisham RSPB

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

My New Year's Day Norfolk Bird Race!

Team: Penny

It was a glorious sunny day, which bought the crowds out in their droves and the traffic was worse than an August Bank Holiday, especially mid/late afternoon and this affected my birding later on.

High tide was 8.36am, so I knew to get the maximum numbers of birds, I needed to be seawatching around that time, so I didn't start off at my usual spots of Wolverton for Golden Pheasant, Sandringham Bird Table etc. I am not going to list every bird seen at every stop, as the full list is below, but will mention some of the highlights. Had a few birds seen and heard from my garden before I left and started the day with a robin.

I decided to start at Titchwell RSPB, but diverted quickly to Flitcham Abbey Farm Bird Hide on route to attempt to tick Little Owl. On route I saw two barn owls. At Flitcham I got a dodgy Barnacle goose here, so couldn't count that. Got a good selection of birds here including tree sparrow, yellowhammer, reed bunting etc. A stoat ran across the fields. Another birder joined me in the hide and we both very pleased when the little owl made an appearance – the light was still not good and the light is against you anyway at this time of the morning at Abbey Farm (best viewed pm). One of the little owls favoured spots is to sit in the roots at the base of the oak tree to the left side of the main trunk. So there it was, sitting in a hole in the base and typically motionless. BUT when I looked a few moments later, it moved and hilariously it was in fact a rabbit!!! I could not believe what I was seeing. It just shows how light and shape can fool you! I could not believe that a rabbit had just mimicked a little owl, it was seriously funny!

Next Stop was Choseley which produced nothing at all.

Titchwell RSPB – Arrived just before 9am and the carparks were filling up quickly already. It was nice to see Sue B. briefly, who was working at Titchwell, but she understood that I hadn't got time to chat! Also saw a few familiar faces and some new blog readers – nice to see you all. Anyway, highlights here were redpoll, siskins, a cracking male brambling, a cettis's warbler seen skulking off the main path and a red kite! Unbelievably there were no long-tailed ducks to be seen, no one seemed to find a ringed plover and Ray Kimber (volunteer) told me there hadn't been any for weeks and that he had heard they were 'all at Heacham', so why that is I have no idea! Also didn't get treecreeper which is usually seen on the willow tree at the start of the main path. I didn't see water rail on the way down and I declared to others that I wouldn't be leaving until I had seen it, which luckily I did eventually. Frustratingly I didn't see a snipe either or tawny owl or woodcock later on. I walked into the visitor centre only to view the sightings book in case I had missed anything. Pauline who works in the shop kindly asked how I was doing and I replied with '96 so far I think' as I was speedily walking out of the shop. When I got back to the carpark it was a crazy scene of cars queuing to get out and cars queuing to get in!

Thornham Harbour – stopped here briefly where there were other birders too, looking for greenshank which had been here yesterday, but it wasn't now!

Holme Marsh Reserve NWT– was hoping for bullfinch etc, but no luck.

Redwell Marsh NOA – nothing here but teal and a barn owl.

Old Hunstanton Church and duck pond – this can be good for grey wagtail and nuthatch, but no luck with those, but did see great spotted woodpecker and a small flock of linnets.

Hunstanton Cliffs – Fulmar and Rock Dove ticked here. Scanned the beach for ringed plover etc but there were very few birds to be seen at all, as everything had been flushed by the massive numbers of walkers and bounding dogs on the beach. In fact it was the biggest number of people I have ever seen walking below the cliffs today!

My next stop was going to be Snettisham Coastal park to go and look at some waxwings in the carpark that someone had told me they saw. But as I joined the A149 coast road at Hunstanton I was horrified to see traffic at a standstill and queuing in the King's Lynn direction. My heart sunk, this would waste valuable light and time. After sitting in the queue for a while I had to change my plans and turned left at Heacham lavender, nipped inland via Sedgeford and through Dersingham to go to the Sandringham bird table. At least this got me away from the traffic queue! The bird table was very productive and gave me a beautiful nuthatch who was coming down to feed on the table and at least 8 coal tits. I waited here for a good while, hoping for marsh tit, which I have seen here before, but not today! Very unusually I didn't see treecreeper here either. There were the usual blue, great and long-tailed tits here, but I had seen those already earlier in the day.

Because of the traffic, I had to re-plan and I realised that if I re-joined the queuing traffic on the A149, it wouldn't be too bad, if I nipped straight across it to Wolverton in the vague hope of ticking golden pheasant. This turned out to be a very good move. As I drove slowly along the triangle at Wolverton I couldn't believe my luck – bang in the middle of the road was one of the best views of golden pheasant I have seen, a stunning male bird just ambling along! I decided I needed a picture of this as no one would believe I had seen this and especially at this time of the day. I opened the car door very carefully to go and get the camera from the boot of the car, but obviously not carefully enough. I had been clocked and the golden pheasant's amble turned into a full scale olympic sprint as it dived into the cover of the rhododendrons! Oh well!

The light was fading fast now. The traffic was still crawling along to King's Lynn, but it was fine in the opposite direction, so I got to Snettisham Coastal Park quite quickly. Obviously there were no waxwings here now that I could see, but I did tick knot and dunlin which was an added bonus. Doing a bird race is fun but equally stressful and as the light starts to fade you have to make very quick decisions about where to go next.

Snettisham RSPB – I have not been here for quite a while and the light was not sufficient enough to be able to walk to the main reserve, but I remembered that there is often a good number of different geese in the first lake by the fishing ponds. I had not yet ticked canada goose today. I parked the car up and I could see that several people were looking at me as if to say what an earth is she doing, walking to the reserve in semi darkness! There were only greylags on the lake and a few other ducks. I was just about to give up, but walked up the steps at the end of the footpath to gain some height. As I scanned the fields on the other side of the lake a single canada goose came into view! It was now 4.25pm!

Hunstanton Cliffs – yes I know it was almost completely dark, but I was determined to see very bird that I could! Parked my car by the cafe/bowling green and ran to the seats/viewing area at the top of the cliffs. I tried to focus my bins on the outline of the end of the cliffs where the shags roost, but however hard I tried, I could not see any shags! There was just enough light to be able to see any that might fly in, but sadly they were now all roosted for the night! Well you can't say I didn't try!

I drove around Chapel Bank at Old Hunstanton as this can be a really good spot for woodcock, but not this evening! I tried several other places for tawny owl, but no luck there either.

Spent the evening with my parents, which was a really nice way to spend the rest of New Year's Day. I didn't leave Holme until 9pm. The earlier heavy traffic had dispersed thank goodness.

On my return home it took ages to sort my list. I thought I had seen 105 species, but I soon discovered I had written a few things down twice, as you do! Also I had missed two birds out. Quite weird and rather nice to find that I had seen exactly 100 birds at the end of my day. Although it was fun to do, I just couldn't do this all year round, its much too stressful! Although as some of you may remember I did year list as a one off in 2009.

100 Species seen
  1. Robin
  2. Blackbird
  3. Song Thrush
  4. Carrion Crow
  5. Hedgesparrow
  6. Goldcrest
  7. Jackdaw
  8. Rook
  9. Barn Owl
  10. Collared Dove
  11. Common Pheasant
  12. Blue Tit
  13. Pink-footed Goose
  14. Grey-lagged Goose
  15. Coot
  16. Moorhen
  17. Mallard
  18. Stock Dove
  19. Woodpigeon
  20. Little Grebe
  21. Teal
  22. Lapwing
  23. Gadwall
  24. Common Gull
  25. Jay
  26. Kestrel
  27. Red-legged Partridge
  28. Starling
  29. Curlew
  30. Kingfisher
  31. Chaffinch
  32. Tree Sparrow
  33. Yellowhammer
  34. Reed Bunting
  35. Egyptian Goose
  36. Great Tit
  37. Mistle Thrush
  38. House Sparrow
  39. Mute Swan
  40. Grey Partridge
  41. Common Buzzard
  42. Goldfinch
  43. Greenfinch
  44. Redwing
  45. Sparrowhawk
  46. Black-headed Gull
  47. Magpie
  48. Cetti's Warbler
  49. Little Egret
  50. Shelduck
  51. Brent Goose
  52. Golden Plover
  53. Shoveler
  54. Pochard
  55. Tufted Duck
  56. Wigeon
  57. Pintail
  58. Avocet
  59. Great Black-backed Gull
  60. Meadow Pipit
  61. Skylark
  62. Pied Wagtail
  63. Spotted Redshank
  64. Black-tailed Godwit
  65. Redshank
  66. Grey Heron
  67. Herring Gull
  68. Sanderling
  69. Oystercatcher
  70. Eider
  71. Turnstone
  72. Dunlin
  73. Knot
  74. Great Crested Grebe
  75. Common Scoter
  76. Red-throated Diver
  77. Cormorant
  78. Guillemot
  79. Golden Eye
  80. Red-breasted Merganser
  81. Grey Plover
  82. Bar-tailed Godwit
  83. Red Kite
  84. Marsh Harrier
  85. Ruff
  86. Long-tailed Tit
  87. Siskin
  88. Red-crested Pochard
  89. Common Redpoll
  90. Brambling
  91. Wren
  92. Water Rail
  93. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  94. Linnet
  95. Rock Dove
  96. Fulmar
  97. Coal Tit
  98. Nuthatch
  99. Golden Pheasant
  100. Canada Goose
  101. Barnacle Goose (dodgy one)

New Year's Day Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Richardson's Canada Goose, Sacred Ibis, Snow Buntings x 15 at Cley
Short-eared Owls x 2 at Halvergate Marshes
Sooty Shearwater at Cley (seen by ETM)
Great White Egret, Short-eared Owls x 3, Rough-legged Buzzard, Hen Harrier at Haddiscoe Island
Taiga Bean Geese x 40, Short-eared Owl at Buckingham Marshes
Sooty Shearwater, Black-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver at Sheringham
Waxwings x 9 at Sharrington
Waxwings x 20 at Stiffkey Fen
Waxwings x 10 at Wells
Bewick's Swans x 19 at Repps
Waxwings x 10 at Burnham Norton
Waxwings x 11 at Bintree
Snow Buntings x 30 at Caister-on-Sea
Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl x 2 at Rockland Broad
Lapland Bunting and Long-tailed Duck at Overstrand
Short-eared Owls x 2 at Halvergate Marshes
Waxwings x 20, Great Northern Diver, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 7 at Holme
Hen Harrier at Winterton
Short-eared Owls x 5 at Hilborough
Waxwings x 7 at Gillingham

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

FIREWORKS GOING OFF EVERYWHERE!!!!!!