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HOLME BIRD OBSERVATORY WINDOW APPEAL, PLEASE HELP! — £1,350.00 Raised So Far By 26th March!

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Last Post!

.....for 2013!

Absolutely Fabulous!!!

GryCrakes has uploaded a brilliant video – 'The Ballad of Terry and Lou' 'To list, or not to list, that is no question'

"Twitching – British birdwatching goes bad as spotters ramp up competition"

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/dec/31/twitching-british-birdwatching-wild-side?CMP=t

NEW YEAR'S EVE Etc!!!

Wishing you all a fabulous New Year's Eve!

I'm having the most boring NYE EVER! I feel like getting a one-way ticket to somewhere exotic! If only I could......

These are my Top Ten most viewed posts since I started this blog on 1st January 2010.  I obviously need to post more about rabbits than birds!!!

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And Page Views All Time History is: 901,290!

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Velvet Scoters x 3 at Hopton-on-Sea
Richard's Pipit at North Dunes Beach, Great Yarmouth
Whooper Swans x 16, Bewick's Swans x 81 at Ludham
Great White Egret at Narborough
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB
Glaucous Gull at Edgefield Tip
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 2 at Edgefield
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 30 at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
Red-necked Grebe at Whitlingham Country Park
Snow Buntings x 3 at Breydon Water
Mealy Redpoll, Lesser Redpolls x 6, Yellow-legged Gulls x 2 at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford

Other News
MEGA! BRUNNICH'S GUILLEMOT still, Portland Harbour, Isle of Portland, Dorset!

Monday, 30 December 2013

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Long-tailed Duck at Breydon Water
Velvet Scoters x 3 at Titchwell RSPB
Glaucous Gull at Edgefield Tip
Great Skuas x 2, Pomarine Skua, Snow Buntings x 100 at Winterton
Little Stint (yesterday) Snettisham Coastal Park
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 100 at Holkham
Hen Harriers x 6 at Warham Greens

Other News
MEGA! BRUNNICH'S GUILLEMOT still, Portland Harbour, Isle of Portland, Dorset!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Titchwell RSPB & The Storm Damage!

Sanderling at Titchwell RSPB

There was a severe frost this morning and it was a job to crawl out of bed to be honest – woke up early, but bashed down the 'sleep' button several times, as you do. I normally have all kinds of pains in my legs after walking Blakeney Point, but unusually there were none today! It was a hairy drive out of my estate – the roads were so frosty, it looked like snow! The sun was out and it was another beautiful day and I now regretted not getting up earlier.

Arranged to meet up with Andy Wilkinson to go birding at Titchwell RSPB. If you remember on my post on the 5th December I visited Titchwell reserve as the storm surge was happening! But I have not visited since that dramatic night and was intrigued to see how much damage the storm surge had created. It was considerably worse than I had imagined.

On route to Titchwell I saw a Common Buzzard soaring in blue skies over the fields at Choseley – a beautiful sight. I stopped at Choseley Barns for a few moments and was absolutely shocked to see that the farmer (or someone) has removed the hedgerow next to the concrete pad where all the Corn Buntings and Yellowhammers perch and congregate – I just looked in disbelief!!! It is now simply a low bank of earth. I could not see the reason for this at all – anyone know why please?

Anyway, I met up with Andy in the RSPB carpark and we walked around the Fen Trail and onto the East Trail to Patsy's Pool. Several good species of bird seen here including 2 Song Thrushes that flew over and landed in a bramble, several Goldfinches, Blue Tits, a Wren, a female Bullfinch on the Fen Trail, lots of Tufted Duck, 20+ Pochard and Shoveler on the pool, a Heron and a Marsh Harrier. It was quite shocking to see all the tidal debris on the far bank where the wooden screen was (and isn't any more) at the furthest point of the East Trail. Walked back via the Fen Trail and onto the main path back to the 'Feeding Station' at 12.15pm to have lunch. Along the main path I said to Andy 'you look in the right ditch and I will look in the left for Water Rail' – as I finished my sentence I said 'here's one' – right on cue, there was a Water Rail in MY ditch!!!
Andy W. posing again!

Me and Andy enjoying the sunshine.

Got the best table in the house! Enjoyed Cheese & Onion Potato Skins and Salad and a cup of tea – Andy had a bacon butty something or other! I'm normally hard core and sit outside, but it was much too cold for that today. There is now a bookcase full of second-hand books for sale in here now which makes the room look nice and homely I think, but does mean there is a little less leg room between the tables I noticed.

Along the main path to the beach we saw the usual waders etc: large flock of Golden Plover, Lapwings, good numbers of Dunlin, Pochard, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, Tufted Ducks, Shelducks, 3 Pintails, 4 Avocets, Little Egret, Bar-tailed Godwit, 20+ Ruff, Snipe x 2, Redshanks, Pied Wagtails and 4 Marsh Harriers.
The wrecked boardwalk with Andy W. posing!
Tidal rubbish on the salt marsh, by the boardwalk.


The first pool on the left (west side) had lots of tidal debris and was transformed! Had I known how close the sea had been to me, I don't think I would have walked up to the first seat on that night!!! At the end of the main path the boardwalk had been tossed and twisted and it was quite shocking to see how much dune had been whisked away from underneath it. There was also tons of surge debris and plastic rubbish and bottles on the west side of the path. The biggest shock was the transformation and disappearance of the dunes!!!! My goodness it looked so different! The dunes both West and East of the boardwalk were almost flat – well what was left of them! The strands of marram left on the sand told you how much dune had been stripped away that night. It was dramatic scenery indeed!
 Dunes stripped back – looking west towards Brancaster.
 
 Dunes flattened – looking west towards Brancaster.
 
Looking east towards Brancaster.

 Looking east towards Brancaster.

Looking west towards Thornham Point.

Looking west towards Thornham Point and Andy W!

Sanderling at Titchwell RSPB

On the sea we counted at least 10+ Golden Eye, 1 Great Crested Grebe and 2 Velvet Scoters (I only saw one though). I spent a long time kneeling in the wet sand by the tideline, photographing Sanderlings and Turnstones feeding – the light was perfect. This perfect moment was only spoilt by incredibly inconsiderate dog owners who seemed to think it was fine to allow their wet, shaggy dog run up to me and stay with me – I held my camera in the air to save it getting wet and waited for them to call the dog away – they didn't bother and then they proceeded to walk in front of me! The dog came back to join me for a second time – my temper escalated and I shouted that people 'should keep their dogs under control' – either they didn't hear me or didn't bother replying. I waited patiently and the sanderlings and turnstones did return again. We were going to walk to Thornham Point, but then changed our minds and walked back along the main bank to Parrinder Hide.

The same birds were seen from here, as we saw along the main bank. A snipe was feeding on the grassy bank very close to the hide (see pics). Big gull roost, but light fading fast. 4 Marsh Harriers in the roost. Whilst at Titchwell today we bumped into Ray Kimber, Ray and David Roche and also Mark Bradbury and also a nice couple I met yesterday at Cley.
Snipe from the Parrinder Hide.

We were going to end the day in the 'Feeding Station' with a coffee, but it was closed by the time we got there so had a coffee from my flask and then left.

I then went to the farm at Ringstead to get two bags of sticks for my parents's fire and visited them for a short while, before returning home. Back to work tomorrow, but looking forward to my usual New Year's Day Bird Race!! See last year's post. I saw 101 species last year, will I be able to beat this? – well not too long to find out!

Watched Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides tonight – I never tire of watching Johnny Depp!!!
Sanderling and Turnstones

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 8 at Edgefield
Richard's Pipit at Kelling
Black-throated Diver, Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Cley NWT
Glossy Ibis, Velvet Scoters x 3 at Hopton-on-Sea
Shorelarks x 2 at Great Yarmouth
Snow Buntings x 32 at Caister-on-Sea
Snow Buntings x 111 at Winterton
Hen Harrier at Stiffkey
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at Great Hockham
Common Cranes x 6, Marsh Harriers x 56 at Stubb Mill Roost, Hickling Broad NWT
Rough-legged Buzzard, Great White Egret at North Wootton Marshes

Other News
MEGA! BRUNNICH'S GUILLEMOT still, Portland Harbour, Isle of Portland, Dorset!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

BLAKENEY POINT!

 SEAL PUP AT BLAKENEY POINT

I finally got out of the house today and decided I needed a long walk! I also fancied finding a Ivory Gull!!! It was a beautiful sunny day with almost no wind at all – a contrast from yesterday! I see more strong winds and rain are forecast for Sunday/Monday, oh joy!

I was told from a local birder that Beach Road at Cley was now open, but on my arrival it wasn't! The 'Road Closed' barrier was across the road with police sign, so I squeezed my car in the last available space next to the barrier. I was most annoyed when I reached the top of Beach Road to see two 4x4 vehicles leaving Coastguards and drive past me!!!

The walk out to Blakeney Point was devoid of birds, aside from a few gulls floating past. The shingle has certainly changed! Whereas the beach east of Coastguards has hardened and is easier to walk on, the walk to the 'Point' is now the opposite in places. In some areas the newly laid shingle, which has been shifted further inland, is ankle deep in some areas – this is not funny to walk through at all. For those of you that don't enjoy trudging up the 'Point', you will enjoy it even less now!!! I changed my normal pattern of walking inland along the sueda to 'The Plantation' and back along the beach – today I walked along the beach as far as 'Halfway House' and then switched to walking alongside the sueda. I was surprised at how many people were out here, especially considering the closure of Coastguards carpark!

It was fascinating to see how high the surge had come up to around 'The Hood', with masses of tidal debris all around the dunes, intermingled with lots of plastic rubbish and bottles etc. Sadly, as expected, I came across a few dead seal pups on route. Quite a few sueda bushes have been lost, but overall it doesn't look that different. At 'The Plantation' I sat down for late lunch and coffee. No birds here at all, which was expected at this time of the year. There was a large piece of tree trunk positioned by one of the buildings I noticed. The Lifeboat House is still intact, but there is damage and its all cordoned off for safety/inspection. Large areas of the boardwalk have also been destructed. Lots of shelduck, curlew and wigeon in Blakeney Harbour. Found a seal pup alone in the dunes, which didn't look in a particularly healthy state – bloody eye etc. Phoned someone to report it and I was told that the mother would probably be back to feed it later. I have never seen seal pups this far into the dunes, but I have been told that after the storm, they were everywhere!
 Seal Pup at Blakeney Point.

Walked back via the beach for a while. I could see the seal colony not that far away, but there is a roped area with a 'NO FURTHER' sign to protect them. Pity some people and dogs I saw distantly earlier, didn't take any notice of that! Found 5 Turnstones and a solitary Sanderling scurrying along the tidal debris. The tideline looks so different – masses of bits of sueda and pine branches along with lots of plastic rubbish. It was difficult to find an easy route back, all I could find was deep shingle! I zig-zagged across the shingle to find a comfortable solid route to walk on, but this was inconsistent all the way back! I had to cross over to the sueda after 'Halfway House' in the end. In the semi-dusk I flushed a bird from the shingle, but have no idea what it was! The extra walk along Beach Road to my car, made the trek even longer! It was 5pm when I reached my car and I could still just about see, so the night's are getting lighter again, hurrah!

Latest update on Blakeney Point and the aftermath of the storm surge here:
http://norfolkcoastnationaltrust.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/the-flooding-of-blakeney-freshes.html

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Glaucous Gull at Edgefield Tip
Whooper Swans x 27, Bewick's Swans x 58 at Ludham
Richard's Pipit, Little Auk, Lapland Bunting at Kelling
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Crossbills x 23 at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest
Waxwings x 5 at Norwich
Hen Harrier at Potter Heigham
Green-winged Teal at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT
Black-necked Grebe still at Snettisham RSPB
Snow Buntings x 50 at Holme

Other News
MEGA! BRUNNICH'S GUILLEMOT still, Portland Harbour at south end north of Castletown, between the Aqua Hotel and Marina, Isle of Portland, Dorset!
MEGA! SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER at North Ronaldsay, Orkney!

Friday, 27 December 2013

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Glaucous Gull at Edgefield Tip
Velvet Scoters x 5 at Gorleston
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 8 at Edgefield
Whooper Swans x 23, Bewick's Swans x 58 at Ludham
Green-winged Teal at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT
Richard's Pipit at Kelling

Other News
MEGA! BRUNNICH'S GUILLEMOT still, Portland Harbour at south end north of Castletown, between the Aqua Hotel and Marina, Isle of Portland, Dorset!

Thursday, 26 December 2013

BOXING DAY!

I have had the laziest day EVER! Did not leave my house at all!

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham
Glaucous Gull at Edgefield Tip
Richard's Pipit at Kelling
Taiga Bean Geese x 28, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 30 at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
Velvet Scoter x 3, Common Scoter x 300, Black-throated Divers x 2 (probable), Water Pipit, Avocets x 5, Puffin at Cley NWT
Hen Harriers x 2 at Blakeney

Other News
MEGA! BRUNNICH'S GUILLEMOT Isle of Portland, Dorset
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at Patrington Haven, Yorkshire!
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at Lewis, Western Isles!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Snow Buntings x 75 at Winterton
Long-eared Owl, Great White Egret at Wymondham
Richard's Pipit remains at Kelling
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB
Taiga Bean Geese x 24, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 24 at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest
Black Brant, Great Northern Diver at Burnham Overy Staithe
Hawfinch at Lynford Aboretum

Other News
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at Patrington Haven, Yorkshire!
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at Lewis, Western Isles!

CHRISTMAS DAY!

Spent a lovely day with my parents and both my sisters, Lucy and Vivien at home in Holme. Fabulous roast dinner, which nearly went badly wrong, when mother and I discovered the gas oven had turned itself off, mid way through cooking the roast!!! Far too much was eaten as usual. The whole family – well all four of us, had decided for the first time not to bother doing presents, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but it did feel a little disappointing, not having a single present to open today! Shouldn't grumble at all though, when you think about everything going on in the world! Father just about coped with four women in the house, but had to have a few naps to cope with it all!

I managed to escape for a short walk late afternoon and walked round the entire village and reminisced about past events – the church where I married in June 1992, where my dear father proudly walked me down the aisle, the adjacent village school, which I have so many fond memories of, Baker's Field where school sports day was held and summer fetes, the village hall where the school held gymnastics. My father also hired this village hall to stage nature exhibitions for the NOA, many moons ago, which I also used to help with the running of and taking the entrance fee from visitors etc – very fond memories of this, ahhhhh.... the good old days! There used to be three village shops in Holme, hard to believe now! Peter Tipple's shop, known as 'Tipples' was on the main road opposite the council houses, 'Arnold's' Shop was opposite the White Horse Pub and the third shop was just west of the bottom of Peddar's Way, but I can't remember the name of that one. As I walked back to the house Tawny Owls were calling in the village and Pink-footed Geese were flying overhead as the sun set.

Didn't get home until 10.30pm and now very, very tired. I won't be setting the alarm in the morning!

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas To All My Blog Followers!

Wishing You All
A Very Merry Christmas!


Thank you all for your continued support
throughout the last year & especially for all the lovely comments & emails I have received.
It's much appreciated & makes it all
seem worth while!

RBA Weekly Round-Up 18th-23rd December!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2013no52.aspx?s_id=126324304

CHRISTMAS EVE!

Well, its a normal evening at home so far! Usual stuff, fell asleep on sofa after work etc etc! I did have a very exciting offer out this evening (nudge, nudge, wink, wink), but declined....why did I do that? You only live once!!!

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Cley NWT
Black Redstart at Happisburgh
Green-winged Teal at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT
Black-necked Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser at Snettisham RSPB
Common Cranes x 2 at Billockby
ROSE-COLOURED STARLING remains at Caister-on-Sea
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Hen Harrier at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest
Taiga Bean Geese x 3, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 2 at Buckinham Marshes RSPB

Other News
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at Patrington Haven, Yorkshire!
MEGA! IVORY GULL for 4th day on Lewis, Western Isles!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Pre-Christmas Update

Not a very good day - feel ill, my head is rocking, feel 'ruff'! Pulled a muscle in my shoulder/neck this morning and can't turn my head fully left or right! Fed up with supermarket shopping. Roll on Boxing Day! Didn't feel very good all weekend either, which is why there are no bird/storm postings from me, sorry!

At work all day on Christmas Eve, hope I make it!

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Glaucous Gull at Edgefield Tip
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB
Black Brant at Cley NWT
Storm Petrol, Red-necked Grebe at Titchwell RSPB

Other News
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at Patrington Haven, Yorkshire!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Long-tailed Duck at Cley NWT
Glaucous Gull at Edgefield Tip
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 11 at Edgefield
Black-necked Grebe, Water Pipit at Snettisham RSPB
Rough-legged Buzzard, Water Pipit, Ruddy Shelduck at Reedham
Green-winged Teal, Hen Harrier at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT
ROSE-COLOURED STARLING remains at Caister-on-Sea
Snow Buntings x 69 at Caister-on-Sea
Hen Harrier at Morston
Common Cranes x 9, Hen Harriers x 4, Marsh Harriers x 50 at Stubb Mill Roost, Hickling Broad NWT
Taiga Bean Geese x 30 at Buckingham Marshes RSPB

Other News
MEGA! STELLER'S EIDER at Cockenzie, Lothian
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at Patrington Haven, Yorkshire!

Storm Surge Videos, Norfolk!

Found some amazing footage of the Storm Surge:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=je_vmN3-h30
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztaLlWdpaYc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lTf1lIh_Ew
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7r4iDwmZ8w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlqusoC9PQg

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Glaucous Gull at Edgefield
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 3 at Edgefield and 8 at Holt Lowes
ROSE-COLOURED STARLING remains at Caister-on-Sea

Other News
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at Patrington Haven, Yorkshire!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Former gamekeeper denies killing and possessing dead birds

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/former_gamekeeper_denies_killing_and_possessing_dead_birds_1_3134925

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB
Richard's Pipit at Kelling
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest
Glaucous Gull, Caspian Gull at Edgefield Tip
Short-eared Owl, Black-throated Diver at Holme

Other News
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at Patrington Haven, Yorkshire!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Christmas Lunch & Dobbies!

We had another Christmas Lunch today at work – it's a seriously bad place to work if you want to keep trim – no hope whatsoever!!!

A young lady at work who is a Band 5 OT and whom we are all very fond of, is leaving us to rotate into another team (compulsory when you are B5) and several of us decided to meet for coffee after work to say our goodbyes. We met up at Dobbies Garden Centre and Restaurant which is part of the massive new Tescos on Hardwick, King's Lynn. The size of that store is monsterous! After coffee we all split and I had a look round. Dobbies is amazing and had tons of christmas gifts, decorations, garden and house stuff and a Santa's Grotto with moving polar bears which were fabulous! Penguins and all kinds. Huge puppetry animals dressed in coats and tails playing musical instruments – all moving – stunning and fabulous for children to watch, well and me!

I was very impressed with the vegetarian section in Tescos itself, so much so that I will have to use use this store as my new regular supermarket. http://www.dobbies.com/find-a-garden-centre/kings-lynn

The Skoda is going in for a service tomorrow, valet and wash – can't believe I have had this car two years in March – how the time flies. Will probably trade it in for another new one then. Going to buy a black car next time so it looks a bit more funky and girl racer 'ish!!! I can hear some of you laughing your socks off and rolling about uncontrollably in hysteria – how can a Skoda possible be funky etc? Well its been a fabulously nippy, 100% reliable car and its overtaken tons of cars with ease! My only gripe is that the boot isn't very spacious for loads of birding, camera gear.

Can't see me having time to go birding this Saturday to be honest and I'm working on Sunday. Roll on Boxing Day when I will be out birding all day!

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Great White Egret at King's Lynn
Richard's Pipit at Kelling
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Hen Harrier at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest
Taiga Bean Geese x 11 at Buckingam Marshes RSPB
Green-winged Teal at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 9 at Edgefield

Other News
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at Patrington Haven, Yorkshire!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Specsavers, King's Lynn

This Opticians is the best place to go for eye tests and selecting glasses. The staff are very professional and give you an honest opinion about which frames suit you. They have so much patience and genuinely want to help you choose the best glasses. The last time I bought glasses from them, I could not fault their service and it was the same when I went a couple of weeks ago for my eye test and also today when I finally decided on my two new 'Red or Dead' glasses. I can't fault their service or recommend them highly enough. Thank you to the Manager and the two ladies who advised me this evening. Brilliant offer on too – buy one pair and get the second free, but I did add anti-glare to both pairs, which meant the total cost was £144.00, not too bad at all! They will be ready to collect before Christamas Eve! These are the pairs I selected:
http://www.specsavers.co.uk/glasses/red-or-dead-86?sku=25382464
http://www.specsavers.co.uk/glasses/red-or-dead-72?sku=25239393

We had our christmas lunch today in the staff canteen which was very nice indeed, thanks to Gemma for organising it. Another lunch tomorrow in our office! I can't believe it's one week to Christmas!

RBA Weekly Round-Up 11th-17th December

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2013no51.aspx?s_id=131024566

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Black Brant at Titchwell RSPB
Glaucous Gull at Edgefield Tip
ROSE-COLOURED STARLING remains at Caister-on-Sea

Other News
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at Patrington Haven, Yorkshire!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Storm Footage Update!

All pictures now added to my Storm Posts!

SUNDAY 15thSATURDAY 14th and SATURDAY 7th DECEMBER

Also another Article here by Andy Stoddart for "Rare Bird Alert"
The December 2013 Floods - a north Norfolk perspective


Also found a video on YouTube of the surge at Wells Quay

New Species of Tapir Discovered in Brazil & Colombia!

Scientists make one of the biggest animal discoveries of the century: a new tapir
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2013/1216-hance-new-tapir-kabomani.html#dHmfRIlGDbmXKfCY.99
http://news.mongabay.com/2013/1216-hance-new-tapir-kabomani.html
In what will likely be considered one of the biggest (literally) zoological discoveries of the Twenty-First Century, scientists today announced they have discovered a new species of tapir in Brazil and Colombia.
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2013/1216-hance-new-tapir-kabomani.html#dHmfRIlGDbmXKfCY.99
n what will likely be considered one of the biggest (literally) zoological discoveries of the Twenty-First Century, scientists today announced they have discovered a new species of tapir in Brazil and Colombia.
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2013/1216-hance-new-tapir-kabomani.html#dHmfRIlGDbmXKfCY.99
n what will likely be considered one of the biggest (literally) zoological discoveries of the Twenty-First Century, scientists today announced they have discovered a new species of tapir in Brazil and Colombia.
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2013/1216-hance-new-tapir-kabomani.html#dHmfRIlGDbmXKfCY.99
In what will likely be considered one of the biggest (literally) zoological discoveries of the Twenty-First Century, scientists today announced they have discovered a new species of tapir in Brazil and Colombia.
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2013/1216-hance-new-tapir-kabomani.html#dHmfRIlGDbmXKfCY.99

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Richard's Pipit at Kelling
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB
Green-winged Teal, Bittern at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest
Great White Egret at Nar Valley Fisheries, Narborough
Taiga Bean Geese x 28, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 34 at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
Whooper Swans x 23, Bewick's Swans x 48 at Ludham Airfield

Other News
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at Patrington Haven, Yorkshire!

RSPB STORM APPEAL!!!

Help us recover from the worst storm in 60 years!

"As the full impacts of the storm hit us on Thursday night, it quickly became apparent that this was going to be devastating. Homes, businesses, landmarks and habitats were suddenly going to be hit by a wall of water. It's left a trail of destruction all along our coastline."

http://www.rspb.org.uk/supporting/campaigns/flood-appeal/

Monday, 16 December 2013

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 9 at Edgefield
Common Cranes x 5 at West Somerton
Bewick's Swans x 30 at Catfield
Greenland White-fronted Goose, Barnacle Goose with 10,500 Pink-footed Geese between South Creake and Barmer
Barnacle Geese x 3, 6,500 Pink-footed Geese NW of Stanhoe
Barnacle Goose, 850 Pink-footed Geese between Docking and Fring
Firecrest at Great Yarmouth Cemetery
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB
Common Cranes x 5 at Stubb Mill Roost, Hickling Broad NWT

Other News
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at Patrington Haven, Yorkshire!

Gamekeeper charged over wild birds in Norfolk!

http://www.dissexpress.co.uk/news/regional/gamekeeper-charged-over-wild-birds-1-5752867
http://raptorpolitics.org.uk/2013/12/16/norfolk-gamekeeper-charged-with-wildlife-and-firearms-offences/
http://www.fieldsportsmagazine.com/UK-Shoots/stody-estate-norfolk.html
http://dustybins.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/raptor-persecution-at-heart-of-game.html
http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/crime/norfolk_man_64_charged_with_seven_wildlife_offences_1_3115635

Sunday, 15 December 2013

My Journey Continues East!

West Runton Cliffs


Kelling, Sheringham & West Runton
After buying my lunch from the Cley Deli – the day properly began with a hot cheese scone! Yep, you've guessed – at the Cley NWT Visitor Centre! I left the house late with no breakfast, so I needed this – yes I did Eddie!

The sun was shining, but I was only too aware that heavy rain was forecast after lunch, so time was precious. I stopped briefly on the main road at Salthouse just before Beach Road, to see if yesterday's Chiffchaff was still around, but there was no sign of it. There were however several Blackbirds, House Sparrows and Goldfinches flitting about in the debris covered Willows.

Kelling Quags
The track down to the Quags was clear and I had no problems getting to the pool, but my goodness the devastation here was huge! Tons of reedbed debris churned around everywhere. This is where the NWT North Hide has ended up! Pieces of the board walk, hide flaps, notice board and the main hide were strewn about amongst the tons of reed debris. I could see birders standing at the end of the track looking for the Richard's Pipit, so I decided to look elsewhere and took the path that veers off left towards Salthouse. Great piles of reed debris lined the path on the left hand side that were about 8ft high! On my right the ditches were filled with reed debris and there was a rowing boat, planks of wood, barrels, plastic rubbish, a book and all kinds of other stuff – what a mess! The path itself was a challenge to walk on! No sign of the Richard's Pipit here, although just for a moment I thought I had it, but the bird I saw land on the path up ahead, did one of those aggravating disappearing acts! I flushed a Kestrel from behind the huge stacks of reeds. I walked back and joined the other local birders. We discussed the devastation this storm has left behind and how it was going to take a very long time before everything (if ever) looked normal again. A really nice couple I was talking to (always forget their names, sorry!) were saying that Walcott was devastated and there was still furniture sitting on the front of the sea wall/promenade from smashed up houses!!! There were a pair of coloured-ringed Stonechats here, which was a nice surprise. I bumped into several people today, who stopped to say how much they enjoyed my Storm Post last week, thank you all very much!
The path that veers off left to Salthouse at the end of the track at Kelling Water Meadows. Gramborough Hill can be seen distantly.

 The path that veers off left to Salthouse at the end of the track at Kelling Water Meadows.
Path is to the left of the reed debris.

 The path that veers off left to Salthouse at the end of the track at Kelling Water Meadows.

 The path that veers off left to Salthouse at the end of the track at Kelling Water Meadows.

 The 'North Hide' Flaps from Cley at Kelling Water Meadows!

 The path that veers off left to Salthouse at the end of the track at Kelling Water Meadows. Looking towards the Quags.
Tidal debris at Kelling Water Meadows.

 Standing with the pool behind me at Kelling Water Meadows.
The track that leads to the shingle bank at Kelling Water Meadows.
 Tons of reed debris and part of North Hide at Kelling Water Meadows.

Birders searching for the Richard's Pipit in vain – main pool on left.

Track to the single beach enveloped with tons of tidal debris at
Kelling Water Meadows.
Part of the boardwalk from Cley NWT Hides!
Gramborough Hill in the distance.
 Standing on the shingle bank (Kelling Hard).

 The track below the shingle bank, looking towards
Kelling Water Meadows.

Kelling Water Meadows.


Sheringham
Stopped to look at the Sea Watching Shelter under 'The Leas' and the Promenade. The steps down to the shelter have barriers fixed across and no one can get down there at the moment. Understandably its all got to be checked out before anyone goes and stands in a concrete building that's taken a humongous bashing! The concrete promenade directly in front of the shelter was completely smashed in and huge pieces were missing both here and all the way along west of the shelter – unbelievable that this concrete has been smashed up to this extent!!! The power of this storm has caused so much damage to our coastline, far more than we had anticipated. The rain had arrived and the skies had developed into a depressing grey colour and you could see it was set in for the rest of the day.
The sea-watching shelter at 'The Leas', Sheringham – cordoned off.
The promenade in front of the sea-watching shelter!

The promenade east of the sea-watching shelter!
The promenade west of the sea-watching shelter!


The promenade directly below the sea-watching shelter!

West Runton
Parked the car in the cliff top car park and sat in the car for a while as the rain fell. On the cliff top there were grey plovers, lapwings and starlings all in a group together sitting on the grassy field. I braved the rain and walked down to the beach. As expected, there was tons of cliff fall all the way along the beach and part of the coastal footpath was hanging in the balance! Also another section of fence was slid part way down the cliff face. It was dramatic scenery indeed! A single Turnstone ran along the surf edge in front of me. I searched for fossils, coins and tusks (ha ha) but found nothing of special interest. A Herring Gull sat poignantly at the end of the groynes. I really enjoyed this walk along the bottom of the cliffs, even though it was raining – it was so beautiful here, wild, rugged and beautiful.
WEST RUNTON CLIFFS

Again the day had disappeared, the light was fading and it was time to go home. Saw two Woodcocks on the way back. On my return I had more lovely emails from people, thank you and a very interesting one from a man who sent me a fascinating account of the storm damage he had encountered in Norfolk including the fact that the Gun Hill end of Burnham Overy Dunes "was cut back nearly to the chimney stack". That's a real shame, this area is one of my favourite places to search for migrants. I'm sure there are loads more areas of erosion and changes that lay undiscovered along our beautiful, but ever more fragile coastline.
 Pebbles at West Runton Beach.