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HOLME BIRD OBSERVATORY WINDOW APPEAL, PLEASE HELP! — £1,160.00 Raised So Far By 21st February!

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Bird News in Norfolk etc!

Main Highlights – RBA
Waxwings x 22 at Norwich
Waxwings x 6 at Great Ryburgh
Ring Ouzel at Great Hockham
Gargeney x 2 at Great Yarmouth
Great Grey Shrike at Egmere
Glaucous Gulls x 3, Caspian Gulls x 2, Velvet Scoter at Sea Palling
Stork sp., Common Crane at Winterton
Pale-bellied Brent Geese x 4 at Kelling
Bittern, Water Pipit at Aldeby
Snow Bunting at Salthouse
Brambling x 150 at Sculthorpe Moore Nature Reserve
Common Cranes x 3 at Welney WWT
Water Pipit x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Glaucous Gull at Sheringham
Rough-legged Buzzard at Breydon Water
Waxwings x 9 at Fakenham
Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers x 2 at Lynford Aboretum
Hen Harrier at Stiffkey
Hen Harrier, Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Burnham Overy Staithe
Black-throated Diver, Velvet Scoter x 4 at Holme Dunes NWT

After working 11 hours today and then ironing for an hour I am more than ready to go to sleep! Getting up an hour earlier this morning was not funny at all! The good news is that evenings will be longer after work, which is excellent news for birding – although there is very little birding to be done at the moment in these winds.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Bird News in Norfolk!

Main Highlights – RBA
Waxwings x 18 in Norwich
Ring Ouzel at Great Hockham
Glaucous Gull at Sheringham
Great Grey Shrike at Egmere
Waxwings x 15 at Taverham
Purple Sandpiper at Cley
Black-bellied Dipper, Otter at Thetford
Waxwings x 6 at Great Ryburgh
Glaucous Gulls x 4, Caspian Gull at Sea Palling
White Wagatail at Breydon Water
Waxwings x 11 at Stalham
Ring Ouzel at Stow Bedon
Hen Harrier at Horsey
Crossbills x 10 at Holme

DIY for almost two days!

Well, its been almost all work and no play this Easter. But at last the new fence panels are now up, thanks enormously to Eddie who has been amazing this weekend and has spent almost two days helping to put up the new panels, digging out existing fence posts, concrete, and clearing loads of stuff etc. We have been working throughout the snow blizzards. We did manage to get some birding in late today though: Nuthatch calling in the copse along the old Castle Rising Road off the A149 and a adult Med. Gull at Titchwell RSPB being the highlight. Again as on Wednesday when I went, there were thousands of gulls in the roost. Also lots of avocets, couple of pintail, shoveler, teal, shelducks, little egrets, marsh harriers and a barn owl. Popped in to visit parents for half an hour. Mother showed me a new photograph of father and RAR together, which Ruby Jackson had sent to her in the post – the picture shows both of them sitting on a bank (looks like the East Bank at Cley to me) and father looks so young, maybe early twenties. My hands were so cold that father lent me his hot water bottle to warm up on for a few moments!

Got a chinese takeaway from King's Lynn and then Eddie went home. He will be glad to get back to a normal day tomorrow! For me, sadly I am working all day. Bank Holiday Monday will be a full day's birding, but not sure where yet. My garden looks like its been ransacked, now the greenhouse has gone and all the plants that were demolised etc from the neighbour's tree fall. Still loads of things to take down the dump and stuff to sort, but with lighter evenings now, I have no excuse!

DON'T FORGET THE CLOCKS GO FORWARD THIS EVENING!

Also Happy 49th Wedding Anniversary to my parents today and also Happy Birthday to Lorraine!

Friday, 29 March 2013

Good Friday Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings x 5 at Norwich
Great Grey Shrike, Hen Harrier at Egmere
Little Gull x 2 at Hunstanton
Purple Sandpiper, Bittern, Crossbill x 2, Ross's Goose, Barnacle Geese x 7, Pink-footed Geese x 20 at Cley
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Glaucous Gull at Sheringham
Glaucous Gull, Black Redstart at Sea Palling
Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl at Haddiscoe Island
Common Cranes x 20 at Waxham
Spoonbill x 2 at Stiffkey
Ring Ouzel at Great Hockham
Hooded Crow at Winterton
Glaucous Gull x 2 at West Runton
Hawfinch at Lynford Aboretum
Short-eared Owl at Horsey
White Wagtail at Breydon Water

Unfortunately I will not be able to go birding until Bank Holiday Monday as doing a two day big DIY job!

Lackford Lakes, Suffolk and a Long Overdue Visit

THURSDAY – 28th March
I had had arranged my outing today a few months ago, to visit my good friend Christine who lives with her husband in Bury St Edmunds. I have known Christine since my early twenties when I was a lodger in her little cottage in Lavenham, Suffolk. This was when I worked at 'The Lavenham Press' for many years. Until today, I had not seen Christine for nine years! I greeted her with an easter flower arrangement and some easter eggs. It was great to see her again and she hadn't really changed a bit since I last saw her! After coffee, Christine gave me a grand tour of her house and garden, met Garfield the tabby cat and then went to a pub for lunch before going to Lackford Lakes Nature Reserve.

It was bitterly cold again today. I was excited about going to this reserve as I had never been here before. It was certainly a beautiful place – consisting of 121 hectares of wetland, woodland and scrub along with sand heathland, created from former gravel pits and is a SSSI site. There are eight bird hides overlooking lakes and several pools. Star species include kingfisher, but we were not lucky enough to see one today. We did have a nice selection of birds though including: 100+ Fieldfares along with starlings and 1 kestrel on a sandy heath area, 1 Redpoll on niger seed outside the visitor centre, a flock of 10+ Siskin feeding on alders by the entrance to Orchid Hide, great crested grebe, 1w Med. Gull, black-headed gulls, herring gulls along with tufted duck, teal, mallard, shoveler, mute swans, canada geese, egyptian goose, coot, moorhen and 2 grey herons on the Sailing Lake. Lots of plants and trees coming into bud. We managed to get round most of the reserve but it was so icy cold we turned back when we reached 'Atlas Hide'. Back at the carpark a couple of birders informed us that had had a flock of crossbill overhead earlier in the day.

Back at Christine's house I met her husband Clive for the second time only (last time was at their wedding) and he very generously had bought me a present 'in honour of my visit' a wonderful book called 'A Season of Birds' – 'A Norfolk Diary - 1911' – a very kind and lovely surprise. Clive was pretty on the ball for a man (smiley face) and had 'hot' buttered, hot cross buns on tea plates for Christine and I before we had barely taken our shoes off! Very impressed!

Lots of story telling and reminiscing resulted in me leaving much later than I had anticipated and arrived home at around 8.30pm.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Bird News in Norfolk!

Main Highlights – RBA
BLACK-BELLIED DIPPERS x 2, 3 Otters at Thetford
Common Crane x 4 at Acle
Waxwing x 12 at Norwich
Great Grey Shrike, Hen Harrier at Egmere
Glaucous Gulls x 4, Caspian Gull and Yellow-legged Gulls x 5 at Sea Palling
Mandarin at Kimberley Hall Estate
Hen Harrier, Long-tailed Duck, Med. Gull at Titchwell RSPB

Other News: LESSER SCAUP remains at Freiston Shore RSPB.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Extinct Elephant Bird's Fossilised Egg up for Auction!!!

"A sub-fossilised egg belonging to an extinct Elephant Bird has been put up for auction today."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/who-will-shell-out-for-my-pre17th-century-fossilised-bird-egg-8552458.html

Possible Yellow-headed Blackbird in Cambs!!!

Rare Bird Alert: 'unconfirmed report of possible male Yellow-headed Blackbird - Wittering - off Parker Road. At Broadhurst Road this afternoon then flew off  PE8 6AW'

Also discussion here: http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=253621

Bird News in Norfolk!

Main Highlights – RBA
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Waxwings x 5 at Norwich
Glaucous Gull, Little Gulls x 2 at Overstrand
Great Grey Shrike, Hen Harriers x 2 at Egmere
Glaucous Gull at Sheringham
Little Gull x 20, White Wagtail at Hopton-on-Sea
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at Kimberley
Spoonbills x 2 at Cley
Yellow-legged Gulls x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Short-eared Owl at Acle
Garganey x 4 at Syderstone
Little Gulls x 10 at Hunstanton

Garganey sightings at Syderstone this morning here:
http://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=2692166&postcount=19647

Other News: LESSER SCAUP remains at Freiston Shore RSPB.

Titchwell RSPB

Jobs to do this morning etc etc. Visited parents as not seen them for a while and then went to Titchwell.

Thousands of gulls in a feeding frenzy at Titchwell RSPB this evening, both on the fresh marsh by Parrinder Hide, on the shore and also at Thornham Point. I can't ever remember seeing that many gulls – they were jostling for space on the islands and the water!!! Couldn't see any Little Gulls though. Loads of washed up starfish amongst the razor wreck. Also found a whole Sea Urchin which is very unusual – I used to find loads as a youngster, but they are hard to find nowadays. Five Little Egrets flew east over the main path to roost. Good numbers of avocet, but didn't count them, shelducks, teal, shoveler, mallard, cormorants, good numbers of brent geese, greylags, 2 marsh harriers. The biting east wind whipped through my gloves, as though I had none on, but my paramo coat, with layers underneath kept out the wind very well. The sand has built up to a mini sand dune at the end of the main path and the seat is almost immersed!

RBA Weekly Round-Up 20th-26th March

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2013no13.aspx?s_id=328778564

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Bird News and Holiday!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings x 12 at Taverham
Spoonbills x 2 at Stiffkey and Morston
Waxwings x 11 at Thetford
BLACK-BELLIED DIPPER x 1 at Thetford
Glaucous Gulls x 4, Purple Sandpipers x 7, Little Gulls x 3, Med. Gull, Yellow-legged Gull at Sea Palling
Common Cranes x 2 at Acle
Little Auk, Little Gull x 19 at Gorleston
Great Grey Shrike at Egmere
Caspian Gull, Spoonbill x 2 at Cley
Little Gull x 3, Pale-bellied Brent Geese x 4 at Salthouse
Little Gull x 6 at Holme
Waxwings x 22 at Norwich

Now on holiday until next Tuesday!

Artificial Osprey Nest built at Ranworth Broad!

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/artificial_nest_built_to_attract_ospreys_to_ranworth_broad_1_1981837

Monday, 25 March 2013

Bird News etc!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Caspian Gull, Little Gull x 20, Purple Sandpiper at Cley
Little Gull x 3 at Gorleston
Common Cranes x 6 at Acle
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Black-necked Grebe at Welney WWT
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island
Glaucous Gull x 3 at Sea Palling
Common Cranes x 16 at Waxham

Car serviced, valeted, waxed and looking shiny new again. One more day at work and then on holiday until next Tuesday! The weather remains wickedly cold here with biting east winds.

My Leica binoculars that I recently sold recently to Oliver Katcher, arrived in New York today!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Glaucous Gull at Caister-on-Sea
Little Gull at Breydon Water
Waxwings x 56 at Norwich
Little Gulls x 12 at Gorleston
BLACK-BELLIED DIPPERS x 2, Otter at Thetford
Common Cranes x 7 at Acle
Wheatear at Great Snoring
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at Wymondham
Little Gull x 15 at Thetford
Purple Sandpiper x 4, Glaucous Gull x 4, Little Gulls x 7 at Sea Palling
Short-eared Owls x 2 at Haddiscoe Island
Black-necked Grebe at Welney WWT

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Lazy Birding!

I have had such a lazy day. It was so cozy in bed and I was exhausted from a very emotional week, both personally and at work. I crawled out of bed at 10am. By this time I had already received texts from ETM to say he had had an adult Med. Gull at Wiveton Stone Bridge and then another Med. Gull close by and then another to say he had seen an adult Little Gull close offshore at Coastguards, Cley along with a Common Scoter. Then a further text to say Ian Wallace was in the 'Beach Hotel' (Coastguards)!!! Text from A. Wilkinson to say he had seen a Glaucous Gull, 12 Little Gulls and 60 Kittewakes at Caister this morning.

Made some porridge with manuka honey. Topped up the bird tables with lots of goodies and cleaned the bird ponds out. A male blackbird sat on the bird table looking pretty fed-up, sheltering from the snow blizzard. I then spent loads of time trawling through websites for the cheapest car insurance. Can't believe I have had my car exactly a year this weekend! Phoned Skoda Insurance who I am currently with for a quote – you would have thought that it would have been cheaper than last year – I was quoted £525.05!!! Input all my details into moneysupermarket.com and I eventually choose Moreth>n Insurance which was £193.34 for a year – quite a difference! Read the metres and phoned through to British Gas who informed me that my electric and gas was £418.00 for a a quarter – roll on summer! I immediately turned the thermastat from 17° to 15°. Flew into town to pay water rates etc at Barclays and missed the doors closing by 1 minute! Went into a cafe for brunch. Nipped into M&S to buy cake and choccies for a friend in hospital.

King's Lynn Docks – from the car!
SHELLFISH SHED
Lesser-backed Blacked Gulls x 2 sitting on the fishing boats. Loads of Herring Gulls, Great Blacked-backed Gulls, Common Gulls, Black-headed Gulls in summer plumage (some), at least 50+ Turnstones, Redshanks x 3, loads of Mallards, Oystercatchers x 2 and best of all a pair of Goosanders!!! Peregrine on the tower.

Goosanders at Lynn Docks in the snow blizzard.

Snow Blizzard over Streep Lamp at the Docks, King's Lynn.

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Glaucous Gull, Little Gulls x 12 at Caister-on-Sea
BLACK-BELLIED DIPPER x 2 at Thetford
Black-necked Grebe, Red-crested Pochards x 2 at Welney WWT
Waxwings x 11 at Thetford
Little Gulls x 4 at Gorleston
Glaucous Gulls x 2, Little Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Purple Sandpipers x 4 at Sea Palling
Common Cranes x 3 at Acle

Freezing Britain Faces Gas Rationing!!!

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/britain-faces-the-prospect-of-gas-rationing-for-the-first-time-8544975.html

Friday, 22 March 2013

Peregrine's First Egg Laid at Norwich Cathedral!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-21877588

Also watch live now on: http://www.camscape.com/view/33485

Bird News etc!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
BLACK-BELLIED DIPPERS x 2 at Thetford
Little Ringed Plovers x 2, Water Pipits x 2, Pale-bellied Brent Geese x 4, Dark-bellied Brent Geese x 80 at Cley
Waxwings x 5 at Norwich
Waxwings x 11 in King's Lynn
Waxwings x 15 at Taverham
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 3, Hen Harrier, Red-crested Pochard at Titchwell RSPB
Snow Bunting x 9 at Holme
Purple Sandpiper x 5, Glaucous Gull at Sea Palling

The cold, east wind is bitterly cruel, beyond belief this evening!!! Don't think I will venture out of the house tomorrow. Flurries of snow today and more forecast tomorrow, horrible, horrible weather!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Spring at Last!

Well it is officially the first day of Spring – snow forecast tomorrow and Saturday!

A very difficult and emotional week, especially today. A good friend is going through a really tough time right now, can't talk about it though for so many reasons.

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
BLACK-BELLIED DIPPERS!!! x 2 at Thetford plus TV's Mike Dilger!
Bewick's Swan x 4 at Salthouse
Glaucous Gull, White Wagtails x 16, Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Short-eared Owl at Breydon Water
Short-eared Owls x 2 at Claxton Marshes
White Wagtail at Cley
Waxwings x 30 at Norwich
Great White Egret flew east over Cley
Great White Egret at Acle
Short-eared Owl at Rockland Broad

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Bird News etc!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Common Cranes x 3 at Acle
Cory's Shearwater at Weybourne
Glaucous Gull at Waxham
Waxwings x 45 at Norwich
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Haddiscoe Island


I didn't go to Weightwatchers this evening, as I was visiting a dear friend in hospital. I can't believe it was snowing again today!

RBA Weekly Round-Up 13th-19th March

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2013no12.aspx?s_id=164193474

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Long-tailed Duck, Red-crested Pochard at Titchwell RSPB
Purple Sandpiper, Snow Bunting x 4 at Cley
Waxwings x 15 at Thorpe St Andrew
Glaucous Gull at Waxham
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE at Cockley Cley (3.15pm and flew SE)
Greenshank, Twite x 14 at Thornham Harbour

ALSO: LESSER SCAUP at Freiston Shore RSPB (Lincs)
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE NE over Kirton (Lincs) into The Wash at 1pm

Monday, 18 March 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings x 15 at Taverham
Hen Harrier at Blakeney
Long-tailed Duck, Scaup, Med. Gull x 2, Red-crested Pochard at Titchwell RSPB
Sandwich Tern at Sheringham
Black Redstart at Winterton
Short-eared Owl at Burnham Overy Staithe
Short-eared Owls x 2 at Morston
Glaucous Gull at Horsey
Short-eared Owl at Snettisham RSPB
Lesser-spotted Woodpecker at Wymondham
Spoonbill at Holkham
Garganey at Welney WWT
Hen Harriers x 2 at Warham Greens
Waxwings x 7 at Great Yarmouth
Short-eared Owls x 4 at King's Lynn (on marsh by hospital)
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Lapland Bunting at Holme NOA
Jack Snipe at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
Short-eared Owls x 2 at Claxton Marshes

Other bird news via BF: Sandwich Tern fishing offshore at Titchwell.

Can't believe there are four short-eared owls round the corner from my house and I haven't seen them yet!!!

Blakeney Point Lifeboat House Restoration Project!

Video and photo gallery: Blakeney Point lifeboat house restoration project’s race against time - News - Eastern Daily Press

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Glaucous Gull at Horsey
Waxwings x 20 at Thetford
Short-eared Owl at Morston
Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB
Waxwings x 12 at Little Snoring
Rough-legged Buzzard at Blakeney
Hen Harrier at Stiffkey
Spoonbill x 2, Hen Harrier at Hickling Broad

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Cley all day


Pied Wagtail at Beach Carpark, Salthouse.
Rain and blustery winds forecast all day and this forecast turned out to be absolutely correct. The rain hammering down, didn't exactly entice me out of the house particularly early.

Walsey Hills NOA: 1 great tit, 2 long-tailed tits but little else. A heron flew into the ditch by the main road opposite the carpark.

NWT Visitor Centre: catch up with P.D. (not seen since 2012)

Lunch at 'The Three Swallows' pub in Cley with Eddie and Pete. Whilst I enjoyed a wonderful roast dinner, I noticed an absolutely gorgeous, ginger tabby cat who I was told is the 'pub cat' and is called Asbo. He strutted around to each table and demanded to be petted and stroked. Amusingly I noticed that he didn't move onto the next table until he had received some attention – I fell in love with this cat, he was such a sweetie pie. Although I was warned by a local man to be careful as he 'could turn' – surely not!

Cley Deli: Purchased ginger and pear cake.

Cley Coastguards: Pete, Eddie and I sat eating cake and then walked to North Hide in hope of finding the first spring Wheatear. The blustery wind made it feel freezing cold – I had so many layers of clothes on. Pete picked up a male Hen Harrier over the windmill. Eddie found the Spoonbill later. Hundreds of brent geese feeding by the Eye puddle and a couple of dunlin close by. A few little egrets around. Nothing of note from the hide really – four canada geese, wigeon, teal, redshank, 2 shelduck and a marsh harrier. Walked back and then we went to the visitor centre for a pot of tea. I was most intrigued by Brian Bland's new book 'The Profit of Birding" see review HERE.

Stonechat at Little Eye, Salthouse.
Pete then went home and Eddie and I parked up at Salthouse Beach Carpark and walked to Little Eye. We saw an unringed, very bold, male Stonechat, but no luck with any wheatears. There were a few pied wagtails flitting about and plenty of wigeon, but not alot else. Also walked up to Gramborough Hill, but saw nothing here at all really. Eddie then went home.

Pied Wagtails at Beach Carpark, Salthouse.
I finished the day at Glandford Ford in the semi-dusk, in hope of seeing an otter. It was very peaceful here, listening to the water trickling over pebbles. I saw a barn owl here, heard a tawny owl and watched a snipe fly across the marsh.

Very worried about John F., phone switched off when we tried to phone him and no usual post and comments on Birdforum tonight – very unusual, hope he is ok!

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings x 37 at Thorpe St Andrew
Purple Sandpiper, Spoonbill, Snow Buntings x 14 at Cley
Hen Harrier, Long-tailed Ducks x 3, Bittern at Titchwell RSPB
BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS X 6 west past Titchwell RSPB
Glaucous Gull at Horsey
Water Pipit, Hen Harrier at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
Crossbills x 9 at Holkham
Hen Harrier, Scaup x 2 at Welney WWT
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Hawfinch at Lynford Aboretum

Friday, 15 March 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Glaucous Gull at Sheringham
Waxwings x 58 at Thorpe St Andrew
Spoonbill, Yellow-legged Gull at Cley
Golden Pheasant at Wolferton

Heavy rain forecast for tomorrow AGAIN!!!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

A Rubbish Day

Today was an absolutely rubbish day both at work and personally. A very sad, emotional time with patients today. I wish I was more detached, but its so hard not to get involved with patients you have cared for and worked with for so many weeks and then so, so sad to see them suddenly slipping away.

My love goes out to a friend who got some tough news today – life is so unfair to the most beautiful people. I will be there for you x

More heavy rain forecast for this Saturday – another Saturday where I won't be able to put up the new fence panels! Whatever the weather is doing, I am going to escape and go birding to one of my favourite places – clue: RAR.

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Spoonbill, Scandinavian Rock Pipit at Cley
Hen Harrier at Egmere
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Red Kite at Wymondham
Snow Buntings x 6 at Salthouse
Short-eared Owls x 2 at King's Lynn

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Smew at Tottenhill Gravel Pits
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Waxwing x 8 at King's Lynn
Curlew Sandpiper, Purple Sandpiper at Cley
Mealy Redpoll at Lynford Aboretum
Long-tailed Duck at Titchwell RSPB
Black Brant, Dark-bellied Brent Geese x 300 at Wells

WEIGHTWATCHERS

WEEK EIGHTEEN
Lost 0.5lbs.    Total loss so far One Stone and 0.5lbs!

RBA Weekly Review 6th-12th March

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2013no11.aspx?s_id=993214182

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

New Local Paper Launches this Friday!

"Only three more days to go before 'yourlocalpaper' hits the streets of West Norfolk! 20,000 copies every week and its FREE! Pick up a copy from your newsagent, any supermarket or be handed one in King's Lynn, Downham Market and Hunstanton town centres between 12-2pm EVERY Friday." 

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Otters x 2 at Thetford (no sign of Black-bellied Dipper)
Red-crested Pochard, Long-tailed Duck at Titchwell RSPB
Snow Buntings x 3, Purple Sandpiper at Cley

After work this evening, I cycled to the rough field between my estate and the QEH and watched three barn owls together. One of the barn owls was sitting on the same post as it was on Saturday when I visited this site! No sign of any short-eared owls though. Hedgesparrow singing, a couple of carrion crows and three magpies. I only bought my 'car binoculars' with me (a pair of Nikon 8x25's) as I don't want to risk being mugged for my Swarovski's!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Traffic Noise Drives Songbirds to the Limit

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21716030

Bird and Weather News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Long-tailed Duck at Titchwell RSPB

I can't believe winter has returned with a vengeance! There is a good covering of snow here in King's Lynn today and snow blizzards have continued all day and into this evening. It is absolutely freezing cold. British Gas will be rubbing their hands with glee with the bills were are all going to be paying! I am so looking forward to SPRING – PLEASE!!!

Update: forgot to say – after work this evening, whilst I was sorting out garden waste to put in the 'brown bin', I heard a Chiffchaff calling above me in the tree.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Decline in UK Moths!

http://www.rothamsted.ac.uk/PressReleases.php?PRID=208

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings x 54 at Norwich
Spoonbills x 3 at Holkham
Bittern at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Black Brant, Dark-bellied Brent Geese x 200 at Wells
Snow Buntings x 9 at Cley
Great White Egret at Boughton Fen
Golden Pheasant at Wolferton Triangle
Purple Sandpiper at Sheringham
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford

Mother's Day

I awoke to more sleet and snow, but it had not really laid except for a light covering on higher ground I noticed, as I drove through Sandringham. Cruised round the Wolferton Triangle to look for Golden Pheasants but no luck. Along the clifftop at Hunstanton black-headed gulls sat stood battling it out against the driving sleet. Delivered presents and cards to mother, got the coal in and made father a hot water bottle. The house was chilly. Mother was short on a few essential items, so when she thought I had left to go to Holme Marsh Reserve, I went to Sainsbury's instead to get her a few surprise items and delivered them back to Holme. With no time left now, I had no choice but to head back to King's Lynn as I was working this afternoon at a new earlier time and a much longer shift than normal. I diverted through Sandringham though, to have a quick look at the bird table, but there were no birds here at all – there were no fat balls or seed here either, so that might have had something to do with it! This spot is normally alive with all the tits, nuthatch, treecreeper, jays, blackbirds, robins etc etc, but nothing at all today.

A long eight hour shift this afternoon. These new shifts are rubbish!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Urban Birding!

The weather today was atrocious to say the least. I crept out of bed and peeped out of the curtains. The BBC weather was indeed correct – it was raining and you could just tell it was set for the entire day. I crept back into bed and snoozed. I eventually decided to get up and spent most of the day sorting the prospective sale of my recently advertised Leica 8x32 BN Binoculars. When I first posted the advert in December '12, I didn't bother posting any pictures, which I should have done. This may be the reason why they have taken so long to sell! Through working in advertising for over twenty years, you would think I would know that an item is more likely to sell with pictures! Today I took lots of pictures of the Leicas for insurance reasons (and to post to my advert etc) at different angles and with case, paperwork, box etc. I then spent ages trying to find out the best and safest way of posting. I have never had to post anything outside the UK before, so I needed to get it right with such an expensive item. I found out that the safest and cheapest way to transfer money is to transfer from one bank to the other and I needed an 'Iban Number' (this is a code for your account number and sort code) which is typed on the top of your bank statement, and a "Swiftbic". By the time I had sorted all this it was mid afternoon. Went to the post office in town and got my parcel weighed and quoted for Parcel Force "Global Priority", fully tracked, signed for and insured.

I then did a spot of 'urban birding'. Another birder kindly emailed me recently with directions and location of at least three Short-eared Owls that have been seen recently at a location not far from Asda in King's Lynn. I found to my amusement that the large area of rough ground and fields that the SEO's have been seen from, is in fact the fields which are just round the corner from my house!!! I didn't feel comfortable birding here though, being female and with bins. I have visited this area before and although it is a nice walk along a tarmacked cycle path with river, rough ground, mature trees and patches of reed beds, there are far too many dodgy looking people with monster dogs on chains walking round here! I kept my bins zipped inside my coat and only got them out when no one was around – that's not relaxed, enjoyable birding in my eyes! I didn't see any Short-eared Owls, but did have one barn owl sitting on a post, two reed buntings, three pheasants sitting on elders, one hedgesparrow singing next to the path, one robin, two blackbirds, two carrion crows, one great spotted woodpecker, two moorhens, one coot, pair of mallard and three Muntjac Deer. This area is also is a stronghold for Adders and Grass Snakes – I nearly cycled over an adder here last year, when looking for a neighbour's missing dog. The rain had now turned to sleet and it was freezing cold. The sleet then turned to snow.

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Snow Bunting x 6 at Salthouse
Spoonbills x 2, Great Northern Diver at Cley
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Ring-necked Parakeet at Thetford
Long-tailed Duck at Titchwell RSPB
Golden Pheasant at Wolferton
Great White Egret at Marlingford
Great White Egret at Boughton Fen

Raining cats and dogs ALL day and then blended into sleet and snow this evening!

My LEICA Bins are now SOLD!!!

My LEICA 8x32 BN Binoculars are now sold for £600+p&p to a birder in New York, USA. See my latest addition of pictures and update HERE

I find it very amusing that I had little interest in these binoculars since I first advertised them in December. It probably didn't help not adding any pictures to my advert! I then had interest from Thailand (prosptive buyer then bought brand new Leicas) and then recently from New York. It has taken a huge amount of work to find out the best and safest way of transferring money from USA to UK and also posting. I then had two people from UK interested in the last couple of days!!! I do wish the UK birders had expressed an interest/seen my advert before the New York man, it would have been much simpler!!! But the main thing is they are sold and I hope very much that M. K. in New York enjoys using the Leica's as much as I did. I would have loved to have kept them as a spare pair of bins, but not really in a financial position to be able to do this. I know this is probably a sad thing to say, but I am really going to miss those bins, they have seen some seriously MEGA birds in their time!!! Bon Voyage!!!

Friday, 8 March 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Spoonbill x 2, Snow Bunting x 2 at Cley
Waxwings x 12 at Rackheath
Snow Buntings x 35, Short-eared Owl at Holme
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Long-tailed Duck at Tichwell RSPB

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Osprey at Strumpshaw Fen (yesterday)
Golden Pheasant x 2 at Wolferton
Great Grey Shrike at Egmere
Short-eared Owl at Claxton
Spoonbill x 2 at Cley
Great White Egret at Marlingford
Long-tailed Duck, Red-crested Pochard at Titchwell RSPB
Waxwing x 6 at Fakenham
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford

BREAKING NEWS: New newspaper for West Norfolk

BREAKING NEWS: New newspaper for West Norfolk

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

OMG!!! The most unbelievable footage!!!



WEIGHTWATCHERS

Didn't go this evening and yes I did have a genuine excuse, honest! I was in the hairdressers, an appointment I booked three months ago and there was no way I was going to cancel it. It takes several weeks and sometimes even longer than that to get an appointment in my hairdressers. I was really pleased when my hairdresser Beth said she could instantly see that I had lost weight, hopefully I will be at least another stone lighter when I next see her in May.

Feel really stressed at the moment, there are so many things and stuff to sort out I don't know which way to turn, both at work and personally. What I really need is a very long holiday, but then don't we all! In fact if I had the guts and circumstances allowed, I would go off travelling with my camera indefinately! Winter blues at the moment, roll on Spring!

RBA Weekly Round-Up 27th Feb-5th March

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2013no10.aspx?s_id=997837985

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Spoonbill, Purple Sandpiper at Cley
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl at Haddiscoe Island
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE at Burston and Great Bircham
Hawfinch x 5 at Lynford Aboretum
Great White Egret at Boughton
Long-tailed Duck at Titchwell RSPB
Scaup at Barton Broad

Also someone saw an Osprey today in the mid-Yare valley – HERE

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

"Lessons in how not to twitch a mega… "

A well written, interesting and amusing (as always) account from
Mark Golley here: http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/pineing_for_a_grosbeak.aspx?s_id=784042163

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Glaucous Gull at Framingham Earl
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE at Great Bircham
Spoonbill, Purple Sandpiper at Cley
Ruddy Shelduck at Gressenhall

Short list today!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE at Great Bircham
Golden Pheasants x 2 at Wolferton
Little Gull, Black-throated Diver, Long-tailed Ducks x 7 at Titchwell
Purple Sandpiper, Long-tailed Duck at Cley
Snow Bunting x 5 at Salthouse
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 14, Bewick's Swans x 23 at Breydon Water
Firecrests x 2 at Taverham
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owls x 2 at Haddiscoe Island
Waxwings x 9 at Fakenham
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Great White Egret at Boughton Fen (found by Paul Jeffery)
Snow Buntings x 20 at Holme
Short-eared Owl at Claxton
Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl at Rockland Broad

WALRUS IN ORKNEY!!!

Wonderful footage of the Walrus on Orkney with Mark Warren (ex FIBO A.W.) from the North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory, along with local people talking about the excitement of seeing this amazing creature. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=595813093779808

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-21647421

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/9905827/Birdwatcher-spots-a-very-rare-walrus-in-Orkney.html

http://northronbirdobs.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/3rd-march.html

Norfolk sighting of a Walrus in 1981: http://www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk/forums/mammal-forums/8584-re-introduction-walrus.html

Apologies – my original posting about the Orkney Walrus yesterday has disappeared as I have just deleted it accidentially!!! Sorry Paul, this resulted in your post about the Norfolk Walrus also being deleted! Please post again (if you wish).

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Golden Pheasants x 2 at Wolferton
Great White Egret at Lynford Aboretum
Great White Egret at Bowthorpe
Black-bellied Dipper, Otters x 2 at Thetford
WHITE-TAILE EAGLE – still here! at Great Bircham and Houghton Park
Smew at Martham
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 167, Bewick's Swans x 50 at Berney Marshes RSPB
Black-throated Divers x 2 at Holme NWT
Purple Sandpiper, Long-tailed Duck, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Dark-bellied Brent Geese x 750 at Cley
Whooper Swan x 83 at Chedgrave Marshes
Bittern at Ormesby St Margaret
Black-throated Diver, Red-necked Grebe, Velvet Scoter, Long-tailed Duck x 2, Red-crested Pochard, Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB
Rough-legged Buzzard at Holkham
Waxwing at Fakenham
Ross's Goose (esc.) at Horsey
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island
Common Cranes x 22 at Waxham
Purple Sandpiper at Sea Palling
Great White Egret, Hen Harrier x 2 at Horsey Mere
Snow Bunting x 14 at Salthouse

Titchwell RSPB, Holme and a Surprise Visit!


Shoveler at Titchwell RSPB.
SATURDAY
I stayed in bed until half way through the morning because of low mood, due to crappy stuff going on at work. This wasted my precious day off, but tried to make up for it later. No sun this morning until lunchtime.

Lots of bright yellow hammers in the hedgerows at Choseley. Arrived at Titchwell RSPB for lunch and also met up with Eddie. As we wandered along the main path, I was shocked to see that the pool on the west side (not owned by the RSPB) was completely drained. I found out that there was a land dispute going on – won't say any more than that. It was weird seeing it like this, but it does potentially look good for waders! Also bumped into Chris and Jackie Mills and we all spent a good while here, photographing pintail and shoveler – the light was beautiful. Saw the red-crested pochard distantly, loads of golden plover, teal, lapwings, avocets, spotted redshank, a ring-tail hen harrier, marsh harrier and snipe. Walked round the Fen Trail – very little seen here. I heard from another birder, via someone else, that the White-tailed Eagle had been seen flying across the wash in Lincolnshire, so maybe its departed? If this is the case, again as last week, its a pity they didn't ring the bird news services to let people know!


Shovelers at Titchwell RSPB.

Mallards at Titchwell RSPB.
Pintail at Titchwell RSPB.

I left Titchwell and went to NWT Holme Marsh Reserve, where I saw a water rail, pair of gadwall and a marsh harrier. I was intrigued by 15+ magpies who, in ones and twos were perching on the stems of reedmace briefly, before departing inland to roost.

Visited my parents for a while and then drove to Syderstone to surprise and visit my friend and work colleague Caraline, who is not very well at the moment.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Golden Pheasants x 2 at Wolferton
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE at Houghton, early am, then flew north - so sign since
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Whooper Swans x 250, Bewick's Swans x 2 at Surlingham
Waxwings x 12 at Attleborough
Purple Sandpiper at Walcott
Waxwings x 9 at Fakenham
Red-necked Grebe, Black-throated Diver, Slavonian Grebes x 2, Long-tailed Duck, Hen Harrier, Red-crested Pochard at Titchwell RSPB
Hen Harrier at Anmer
Bewick's Swans x 68, Short-eared Owl at Breydon Water
Purple Sandpiper, Black-throated Diver, Long-tailed Duck at Cley
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owls x 2, Bewick's Swans x 288 at Burgh Castle
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl, Haddiscoe Island
Rough-legged Buzzard at Holkham
Rough-legged Buzzard at North Walsham
Hen Harrier at Sennowe Hall
Common Cranes x 40 at Waxham
Short-eared Owl at Stoke Ferry
Great White Egret, Hen Harriers x 2 at Horsey Mere
Bittern at Blakeney

Friday, 1 March 2013

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Purple Sandpiper at Cley
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE at Great Bircham and Houghton Park
Black-bellied Dipper, Otters x 2 at Thetford
Slavonian Grebes x 2, Long-tailed Duck, Snow Buntings x 3 at Titchwell RSPB
Rough-legged Buzzard x2, Short-eared Owl at Haddiscoe Island
Short-eared Owl, Bewick's Swans x 50 at Burgh Castle
Great White Egret, Common Cranes x 4, Hen Harrier at Hickling Broad
Short-eared Owl at Hardley Flood