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Friday, 31 January 2014

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Slavonian Grebe, Loddon
Waxwing at Gorleston
Glossy Ibis x 2 at Martham
Common Cranes x 2, Bewick's Swans x 5 at West Somerton
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 194 at Holkham
Snow Buntings x 50 at Old Hunstanton
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 8 at Edegefield
Smew x 2, Black-throated Diver at Horsey Mere
Snow Buntings x 4 at Heacham
Glossy Ibis at Cley and Wiveton
Jack Snipe at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Overy Staithe
White-fronted Goose, Barnacle Goose x 3, Pink-footed Geese x 6,780 at Docking
Pale-bellied Brent Goose, White-fronted Goose, Pink-footed Geese x 5,100 at Burnham Market
Barnacle Goose, Pink-footed Geese x 5,400 at Fring
Hen Harrier, Spotted Redshank, Velvet Scoter at Titchwell RSPB
Waxwing at Aylsham
Mealy Redpoll at UEA, Norwich

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Waxwing at Gorleston
Mealy Redpoll, Lesser Redpoll at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford
Lesser Snow Goose at Holkham
Short-eared Owl x 3 at Brancaster
Smew, Slavonian Grebe at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Glossy Ibis at Wiveton
Black Redstart at Happisburgh
Common Cranes x 2, Black-throated Diver at Horsey Mere
Glossy Ibis x 2 at Martham
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL Male, Crossbills x 8 at Lynford Aboretum

Other News
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN, County Mayo, Ireland 
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland

Pictures and full write up now completed on my birthday POST

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Mild Weather Sees Record Number of Birds at Slimbridge!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-25918056

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
White-fronted Goose at Sidestrand
Great Skua, Black-throated Diver, Smew x 3 at Horsey Mere
Hen Harrier, Spotted Redshank, Red-throated Diver, Velvet Scoters x 4 at Titchwell RSPB
Waxwings x 4 at Norwich
Shorelarks x 2 at Great Yarmouth
Mealy Redpoll at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford
Black Redstart at Happisburgh
Glossy Ibis x 2 at Martham
Common Cranes x 3 at Waxham
Common Cranes x 7 at Horsey
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 8 at Edgefield
Glossy Ibis at Wiveton
Black-throated Divers x 4, Great Northern Divers x 5, Little Gull at Blakeney Harbour
Mealy Redpoll at UEA, Norwich
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Market
Hen Harrier at Holme
Snow Buntings x 45, Velvet Scoters x 7, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 130 at Holkham

Other News
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland

RBA Weekly Round-Up 22nd-28th January

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2014no04.aspx?s_id=98222502
Thanks to the RBA Team for using my Glossy Ibis Photograph this week!

One Thousand Twitter Followers!

https://twitter.com/Pennyshotbirdin

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Glossy Ibis at Cley
Arctic Skua, Snow Buntings x 21 at Horsey
Velvet Scoters x 4, Snow Buntings x 59 off Gun Hill, Burnham Overy Staithe
Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl at Burnham Overy Staithe
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 8 at Edgefield
Purple Sandpipers x 2 at Sheringham
Glossy Ibis x 2 a Martham
Smew at Martham Broad
Common Cranes x 3, Smew x 2, Black-throated Diver, Whooper Swan at Horsey Mere
Shorelarks x 2, Snow Buntings x 30 at Great Yarmouth
Waxwing at Gorleston
Black Redstart at Happisburgh
Rough-legged Buzzard, Hen Harrier, Bewick's Swans x 10 at Holkham
Lapland Bunting at Holme
Black-throated Divers x 4, Long-tailed Ducks x 4 at Blakeney Harbour

Other News
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland

DENTIST UPDATE (see yesterday's post)!
Got up at 5.50am. Got to my parent's house at just after 7am when mother was supposed to be ready but typically wasn't. In 15 minutes I sorted out the adopted stray cat, made father another hot water bottle, made mother a marmalade sandwich and gave instructions to father about what we doing and what he should/shouldn't be doing whilst we were gone – phew! We arrived at the dentist in King's Lynn at 7.58am precisely! Booked mother in and helped her fill in the laborious medical form – she got lucky, the first person booked in hadn't turned up, so she was seen straight away. I then left, had no choice as I had to be at work for 8.30am –  I hated leaving her. I phoned the dentist during the morning in my tea break, but of course because of 'patient confidentiality' – (this can be so bl**dy annoying at times!!!) the receptionist would not tell me what treatment mother had had and all she would tell me was, that mother had left. I phoned mother at lunch time who reported that she had had an abscess under that tooth and a massive hole in the tooth next to it and both teeth had to be removed! Later on after I finished work, I drove straight over to Holme and did a bit of shopping for mother in Hunstanton and assisted with a few chores around the house and then went back home late and utterly exhausted.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Steller's Sea Eagle Missing in Yorkshire Dales!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-25909222

Update on 30th Jan – seen heading towards Blackpool: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/blackpool-missing-sea-eagle-nikita-3094678#.UurIgvZ0G9Y

BIRTHDAY BIRDING!

Glossy Ibis at Cley


My birthday begun at Cley. I got really lucky with the Glossy Ibis, who was being watched by birders and photographers in the field next the Three Swallows pub. I was able to get really close to this elegant bird, but the light was shockingly poor, so I was never going to obtain any fabulous shots.

I got a distressed phone call from my mother about finding a dentist, as she was in screaming agony with toothache. Part of me was really worried about her and part of me was cross with her as she had told me around christmas time that a 'bit of tooth had broken off' and I had advised her at the time to get it looked at because, as I had said 'if you get an infection in that, you will be screaming in pain' and that's exactly what's happened now!!! Throughout the day I tried to google (with typically crap mobile phone signal) dentists, in an attempt to get mother an appointment, but failed miserably. This stressed me out for the entire day and I also felt really guilty being out, but without an appointment for her, there was nothing I could really do anyway to be fair. Mother's own dentist had struck her off their list, I found out as she had not been since 2009! This dentist could see her as an emergency on Friday at the earliest. I eventually got through to the emergency dentist in King Street, King's Lynn (which I have used before and are brilliant) and they said we would have to ring at 8am tomorrow to get an appointment. So nothing I else I could do at this moment in time.

 Glossy Ibis feeding at Cley.

At the Cley Visitor Centre – it was more chilled than yesterday! It nearly always snows on my birthday and I didn't think that it would be this year – but as I munched through my hot, cheese scone, big snow flakes fell for about quarter of an hour! It looked so pretty! I had a nice catch up with Warden Bernard Bishop just before I left.
 The famous Cheese Scone at the Cley Visitor Centre!


At Cley Coastguards I enjoyed watching the Stonechats in the Eye Field again. Quite a few people about for a cold Monday morning – good to see people around the reserve and beach again. Walked along the beach, which remains stripped of shingle and still looking very atmospheric and beautiful. Bumped into Mark G. who pointed out a Velvet Scoter, fairly close in on the sea and also a Grey Phalarope flew past west! No other birds of note really. Mark then went off birding elsewhere with R.M.
 Cley Beach looking towards Salthouse (iphone).

I parked up at Beach Road, Salthouse and walked to Gramborough Hill. Everything is still exactly the same since the storm surge – the carpark is still immersed by tons of shingle. There was a redshank in the pool on route, but nothing else of note at all – oh, apart from a Red-throated Diver on the sea. I stopped briefly on the verge by the main road, just round the corner from Beach Road to look for any wintering chiffchaffs in the willows and bushes, but no luck. There were however a few House Sparrows and Goldfinches in here.

I received a Parrot Crossbill tip off and arrived at Edgefield to join Mark G. and R.M. to watch a lovely Parrot Crossbill (three were seen by M. and R.), high up in a pine tree and then a Red Kite shortly afterwards! Not too bad a list at all so far! Went into Holt to do some errands and to buy mother some stronger painkillers for her toothache and then bought a vegetable and leek pie from Byfords for my lunch.

I had intended on continuing west and going to Gun Hill to look for the Rough-legged Buzzard, but the time was disappearing fast, so I decided to stay put. I went back to Coastguards and watched Lapwings feeding on the west bank, but did not see the Stonechats again, which I was hoping for as the light was better now for photography. Looked out to sea and saw no birds at all. But I did bump into Sue and Steve G. which was lovely. Spent a while trying to take a 'selfie'. It does make me laugh... the word 'selfie', basically for those of you that don't know, its a self-portrait!
 Me, aged 49, Coastguards carpark, Cley – 'Selfie' with iphone!

Parked at the Cley V.C carpark and walked out to Bishop's Hide for the first time since the storm. I was the only person in the hide, which was nice and peaceful. I could see the damage to the central hides from here, overall they didn't look too bad, but you could see they had some damage too them. I haven't heard if the hides are going to be repaired or replaced yet, but I know that the boardwalk out to them has got to be re-built and put into place. Sat here as the sun set watching birds flocking in to roost. Lots of wigeon here, 2 Avocets and 70+ Lapwing (can't remember the rest as writing this two day's later, sorry!). Pink-footed Geese filled the skies as the day disappeared into night.

Teal, Dauke's & Avocet Hides Cley NWT, damaged from the storm surge.

 Taken from Bishop's Hide, NWT.

Drove to Holme to take mother her painkillers. I felt so sorry for her – she was in so much pain. Inspection of her tooth showed that it was not a bit of tooth that had chipped off, but the entire tooth! No wonder she was in pain! She had played that down at christmas! After much discussion about the dentist tomorrow, I decided that the only guaranteed way to get mother to the dentist was to drive her there myself before work. It would have cost her £24 to get a taxi and even then she might not have been able to get there in time for her given appointment. Father was not in a good state of mind and this made things even more difficult. We had no choice, but to risk leaving father tomorrow morning to fend for himself as there was no one to ask and at such short notice to sit with him.

Got home late, not the kind of day I had planned. I was supposed to have lunch out and I also imagined (in my dreams) of having a romantic meal out in the evening – you know the kind of dream ladies......... tall, dark, handsome, stranger bearing roses, champagne, black magic, diamond ring, Chanel No. 5, tickets for a jet-setting weekend away – the list goes on!!! Oh well, maybe next year!

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Glossy Ibis, Grey Phalarope, Velvet Scoter at Cley
Glossy Ibis x 2 at Martham
Black Brant at Holme
Common Cranes x 4 at Horsey
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 3 at Edgefield
Rough-legged Buzzard at Holkham
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest
Mealy Redpoll at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford

Other News
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland

MY BIRTHDAY!

Sent to me as an e-card from a friend!


I can't believe how old I am today! Where do the years disappear to? The older you get, the quicker time seems to go. Life is so incredibly short and this year I need to do some crazy things!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Cley, Rain, Rain & More Rain!

STONECHAT
Eye Field, Coastguards, Cley.

It rained ALL day! Well, I say all day, there was a couple of brief interludes when it didn't! A shockingly, appalling day to say the least.

I arrived at Cley and went straight to the NWT Visitor Centre for a cheese scone! I timed this sooooo badly. There was a large queue of teenagers with clip-boards (obviously doing some kind of survey) all wanting coffee, latte, hot chocolate, some who couldn't make their mind up and so on. I queued patiently and eventually got my scone and managed to sneak a seat on the bench with window view. Don't get me wrong, it was fabulous to see the centre so busy, they need to be busy after the recent closure, but I just wish I had got there a bit earlier! Whilst enjoying my scone I watched the rain pelting down, with no sign of it giving up.

It's January and not the time for deliberately getting soaked looking for migrants, so I opted for dude, car birding. I re-located to Coastguards and positioned the car next to the Eye Field so I could view the 'Eye Puddle' and beyond. I poured a coffee and had a piece of coffee cake (which Vivien bought me for my birthday tomorrow and yes I have opened it early!). It was quite nice sitting in the car listening to the rain lashing down, but the novelty eventually wore off. The rain continued all afternoon. I dozed, drank more coffee and waited for the rain to stop. Much later on the rain did stop for a few moments and as it did, I saw a small bird appearing from the long grass – it was a male Stonechat! This really cheered the afternoon up and then a second one, a female! These stonechats stayed feeding on and off for the rest of the afternoon and at times they were really close to me. The wind and rain were driving in the car when I wound the window down, which didn't help my camera lens at all. Took some fabulous pictures of a Lapwing close up, or so I thought, until I realised there were tons of rain spots on the lens! Rain and cameras do not mix, I should know that more than anyone with my past mishaps!!! Apart from a lone black-headed gull, I saw nothing else!

At 3.15pm I whizzed up to the NWT Visitor Centre to meet up with Pete S. for a quick cup of tea. Whilst waiting for Pete I was chatting to Jean (from Sheringham) and she was telling me how she had watched thousands and thousands of Pink-footed Geese flying unusually low (after dusk), just above the breakers of the sea last night – this went on for a considerably time. She said although it was almost dark she could still see them flying just above the waves. After my tea and brief catch up with Pete I then left to go home.

MORE PICTURES TO BE ADDED

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Tundra Bean Goose, Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Geese x 5 at Cley NWT
Hen Harrier, Velvet Scoters x 8 at Titchwell RSPB
Mealy Redpoll, UEA, Norwich
Glossy Ibis x 2 at Martham Ferry
Glossy Ibis at Wiveton
Black Brant, Snow Buntings x 30, Short-eared Owl at Holme
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 8 at Edgefield
Waxwing at Norwich
Lapland Buntings x 2, Rough-legged Buzzard, Black Brant at Holkham
Shorelarks x 2 at Great Yarmouth
Black-throated Divers x 2, Great Northern Diver, Hen Harrier at Blakeney Harbour

Other News
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Mealy Redpolls x 2, UEA, Norwich
Shags x 4 at Hunstanton
Glossy Ibis at Wiveton and Cley
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 7 at Edgefield
Waxwings x 10 at Norwich
Purple Sandpipers x 2 at Waxham
Shorelarks x 2, Snow Buntings x 60 at Great Yarmouth
Glossy Ibis x 2, Common Cranes x 7 at Martham
Common Cranes x 4 at Horsey
Golden Pheasant at Wolferton
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest
Rough-legged Buzzard, Snow Buntings x 40 at Holkham
Whooper Swans x 20, Bewick's Swans x 175 at Ludham Airfield
Common Cranes x 3 at Welney WWT
Great Northern Diver, Hen Harrier, Jack Snipe at Burnham Overy Staithe
Black-throated Divers x 4, Great Northern Divers x 2, Black Brant at Blakeney Harbour
Black-throated Diver at Holme
Waxwing at Old Hunstanton
Scaup at Titchwell RSPB
Black-throated Diver west of Martham Broad, Thurn

Other News
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland

Torrential Rain, thunder and lightening this afternoon – weird weather for January!

Friday, 24 January 2014

My Birthday Weekend!

Three day's off – Wahooooooooo!!!!!!!

Don't know what I'm doing exactly yet, but I NEED to wake up tomorrow without setting the alarm. The weekend will include birding, a cheese scone at the V.C. on Monday (possibly), family time and photo editing, same as usual really!

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Shorelarks x 2, Snow Buntings x 80 at Great Yarmouth
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 40 at Cantley Marshes RSPB
Mealy Redpoll, UEA, Norwich
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Overy Staithe
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest
Purple Sandpiper, Great Skua at Sheringham
Common Cranes x 3 at Horsey
Glossy Ibis x 2, at Martham Ferry
Black-throated Diver at Martham Broad
Glossy Ibis, Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Goose x 3 at Cley NWT
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 6 at Edgefield
Black-throated Divers x 3, Great Northern Divers x 4, Long-tailed Duck at Blakeney Harbour
Great White Egret at Admiralty Point, King's Lynn
Hawfinches x 3 at Lynford Aboretum
Bewick's Swans x 4 at Ranworth Broad NWT

Other News
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at County Wexford, Ireland

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Ruddy Shelduck at Blickling Hall Lake
Waxwings x 4 at Norwich
Red-necked Grebe at Burnham Overy Staithe
Tundra Bean Goose at Horsey
Black-throated Divers x 3, Great Northern Diver, Long-tailed Ducks x 2, Slavonian Grebe at Blakeney Harbour
Glossy Ibis x 2 at Martham Ferry
Shorelarks x 2 at Great Yarmouth
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest
Rough-legged Buzzard at Holkham
Glossy Ibis at Wiveton and Cley NWT
Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Barnacle Goose, Pink-footed Geese x 6850 at Docking
Whooper Swans x 15, Bewick's Swans x 100 at Ludham Airfield
Common Cranes x 10, Hen Harriers x 2 at Stubb Mill Roost, Hickling Broad NWT
Black Redstart at Happisburgh
Red-throated Diver at Filby Broad

Other News
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland

Is part of Norfolk’s coastline about to be abandoned to the sea?

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/politics/is_part_of_norfolk_s_coastline_about_to_be_abandoned_to_the_sea_1_3236229

Severe Weather Warning for East Anglia!

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/severe_weather_warning_downgraded_for_east_anglia_1_3236728

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Winterwatch Unsprung Episode 3!

The conclusion to the dropped stone in the bucket bird!!!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03sbqd8/Winterwatch_Unsprung_Series_1_Episode_3/

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Glossy Ibis at Cley
Golden Pheasant at Wolferton
Waxwings x 4 at Norwich
Black-throated Divers x 4, Great Northern Diver, Long-tailed Ducks x 6 at Blakeney Harbour
Glossy Ibis x 2 at Martham
Lapland Buntings x 2, Velvet Scoters x 5, Rough-legged Buzzard, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 8 at Holkham
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Overy Staithe
Firecrest at Great Yarmouth Cemetery

Other News
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland

Weekly Round-Up 15th to 21st January

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/RealData/Articles.asp
Thanks to the RBA team for including my Glossy Ibis picture this week!

Some North Norfolk Coast Flood Defences May Not Be Reinstated Following Surge

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/politics/some_north_norfolk_coast_flood_defences_may_not_be_reinstated_following_surge_1_3235825

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

BIRDGUIDES REVIEW OF THE YEAR!

My photograph of an Icterine Warbler at Blakeney Point is featured on the Birdguides Review of the Year (Part II) by Josh Jones, thanks!
http://birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=4177

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Black Redstart at Happisburgh
Rough-legged Buzzard at Holkham
Glossy Ibis at Cley
Shorelarks x 2, Snow Buntings x 5 at North Beach, Great Yarmouth
Snow Buntings x 40 at South Denes and 17 at North Denes, Great Yarmouth
Hen Harrier, Velvet Scoter x 3 at Titchwell RSPB
Waxwings x 4 at Norwich
Rough-legged Buzzard, Tundra Bean Goose at Burnham Overy Staithe
Black-throated Diver at Holme

Other News
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at County Wexford, Ireland

Nick Baker Favourites My 'TWEET' and I'm on Winterwatch Unsprung!!!

Watch Winterwatch 'Unsprung' with Nick Baker at 9pm Red Button (Channel 301), there may be a remote possibility that I might be mentioned in tonight's show. I tweeted a reply to Nick last night about someone who contacted them about a bird they heard in woodland, that sounded like a stone falling in a bucket. My reply was Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming and Nick favourited my tweet!

Update at 9.05pm Wahoooo..... I just got mentioned on 'Unsprung'!!!!!! Well chuffed!

Last night's show on iplayer HERE where the question was asked and tonight's show HERE

Simon King Catches Intruder on His Wildlife Cam!!!

Simon King catches an intruder on his Wildlife Cam!!!!
The footage will be shown on Crimewatch tomorrow! We obviously all need a wildlife cam in our gardens!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Waxwings x 4 at Norwich
Glossy Ibis at Martham Broad
Purple Sandpipers x 2 at Sheringham
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 5 at Edgefield
Glossy Ibis at Cley
Red-necked Grebe, Black-throated Diver, Yellow-legged Gull at North Beach, Heacham
Hen Harrier at Burnham Norton
Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Barnacle Goose, Pink-footed Geese x 7,200 at Docking
Snow Buntings x 40 at Holkham
Snow Buntings x 50, Long-tailed Duck, Black-throated Diver at Holme
Black-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver at Blakeney Harbour
Shorelarks x 2, Snow Buntings x 100 at North Denes, Great Yarmouth
Firecrest at Great Yarmouth Cemetery

Other News
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN remains at County Mayo, Ireland 
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at County Wexford, Ireland

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Birds' Migration Secrets to be Revealed By Space Tracker!

"Icarus, a wildlife receiver circling above Earth, will monitor the epic journeys of tiny birds and insects, helping to warn us of volcanic eruptions and to protect us from diseases"

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/19/migration-secrets-birds-icarus-space-station

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Golden Pheasant and "*The Queen" (*spotted by Sue Bryan!) at Wolferton
Great Skua at Winterton
Glossy Ibis at Cley
Great Skuas x 2, Little Gulls x 257 at Hemsby
Rough-legged Buzzard over Gun Hill, Burnham Overy Staithe
Black Brant half a mile west of Stiffkey Fen
Great Northern Divers x 6, Black-throated Divers x 6, Long-tailed Ducks x 6 at Blakeney Harbour
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 8 at Edgefield
Long-tailed Ducks x 4, Black-throated Divers x 2 at Holme
Short-eared Owl, Hen Harrier at Thornham
Whooper Swans x 5 at Horsey
Black-throated Diver at Martham Broad
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Short-eared Owl at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest
Black Redstart at Haddiscoe
Shag at Wells Harbour
Barnacle Geese x 8 at Burnham Overy Staithe
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 180 at Holkham
Waxwings x 2 at Norwich
Shorelark at Great Yarmouth
Caspian Gull at Hockwold Washes
Little Gulls x 158 at Hopton-on-Sea
Hen Harriers x 5 at Roydon Common
Purple Sandpiper at Sheringham

Other News
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN remains at County Mayo, Ireland 
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at County Wexford, Ireland

Saturday, 18 January 2014

A Mandarin, Glossy Ibis & A Sad End!

GLOSSY IBIS
CLEY

Started the day visiting my sister Lucy. It was a rain filled morning with gloomy skies. I had a very kind text from a fellow birder, which took me to The Walks in King's Lynn to see a very fine Drake Mandarin Duck sitting on a wall above the river by the bandstand. To be exact it was just below Guannock Gate. The Mandarin was sitting on the wall on the far left hand-side of the picture at the top of this website! It had no rings at all and outshone all the mallards by miles! Lots of people and dogs in the Walks, not one of my favourite places to be honest. In the summer it's heaving with people and more dogs! It would be really nice is there was a no dog ban, but that's never going to happen in the middle of a town! I remember seeing a spotted flycatcher by the church once, many years ago, but don't know if they are still seen or not.
 Mallard in The Walks, King's Lynn.

 Drake Mandarin in The Walks, King's Lynn.


 Visited my parents and delivered papers etc. Father was very fed-up and mother sadly wasn't much better. Mother pointed out an excellent picture of a bittern in yesterday's EDP that had been taken at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB – it was indeed an excellent flight shot. She also said she has been seeing a Chiffchaff fairly regularly in the garden. The sun appeared after lunch and remained quite bright for the rest of the day!

Cruised to Cley in search of the Glossy Ibis. On route I saw a Barn Owl over the marsh at Burnham Overy Mill and also a Marsh Harrier at Stiffkey Flash. Arrived in Cley and as I drove along Glandford Road near The Three Swallows Pub I passed Pete Snook, who kindly said he would 'drive round the block' to look for the Ibis and we would meet up by Wiveton Bridge. Met a lady birder by the bridge also looking for the Ibis. Both she and I were very pleased when Pete appeared to say he had found the Glossy Ibis in a field in Leatherpool Lane at 3.35pm. It was lovely having the bird all to ourselves. It was with a single curlew, but flew off later when disturbed by a big flock of curlew that took off in alarm – it flew high west, as if going towards Blakeney Fresh Marsh.
 Glossy Ibis at Cley.

On hearing that the A149 coast road through Cley and Salthouse was now open, Pete and I both drove to Coastguards. I needed my sea fix desperately. The carpark has been stripped of shingle and two thirds of it now looks the same as pre the storm surge. We soon realised why..... the shingle had been bull-dozed back into massive heaps to allow access for vehicles to get through onto the beach to collect the helicopter wreckage, you could see the tracks going east all along the beach. Took some funky sunset shots on the iphone. Hundreds of Brent Geese on the Eye Field.
 Sunset over the Eye Field at Cley – taken with iphone.

Pete and I walked east as the sun was setting. We had no intention of walking up as far as the crash site, which I thought was much closer to the East Bank than it was and we were a long way off reaching the East Bank. But, suddenly we realised we were standing there. I felt like I was tresspassing, like we shouldn't have been there. It was incredibly sad standing here and my thoughts raced back to that fateful night. The area is fenced off for two years, but I think it should stay fenced permanently out of respect. I still, even now, can't believe that a helicopter has crashed and killed four crew here..... RIP. Cley NWT and the local people have really taken a battering over the last few weeks, let's hope everyone can pull through and things can return to some sort of normality. I really hope that the breaches in the sea wall can be repaired soon, to give this amazing reserve a chance to recover.

The sunset and skies were just awesome this evening at Cley – looking towards the Eye Field.
 

Anyway, Pete and I turned back and walked back along the shoreline to Coastguards. We sat and had a hot drink and then Pete went home for his tea. I sat in my car drinking coffee, thinking, pondering and dreaming – then left to go home!

Next weekend is my birthday weekend and I have THREE days off – Wahooooo!!! It will more than probably be snowing by the weekend, it generally is on my birthday!

Please note that none of my pictures will be sharp until I get the lens fixed. The IS is not working correctly and this has to be replaced – on order now.

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Glossy Ibis at Cley
Hawfinches x 2 at Lynford Aboretum
Great Northern Diver, Puffin, Red-necked Grebe at Hemsby
Black-throated Diver at Martham Broad
Shorelarks x 2 at Great Yarmouth
Firecrest at Great Yarmouth Cemetery
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest
Shag at Wells Harbour
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 8 at Edgefield
Mealy Redpolls x 2 at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford
Snow Buntings x 35, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 12, Slavonian Grebes x 2 at Holkham
Black-throated Divers x 4, Great Northern Divers x 2, Slavonian Grebes x 2, Long-tailed Ducks x 6 at Blakeney Harbour
Glossy Ibis (probable) flew SW over Heacham
Eurasian White-fronted Geese at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
Snow Bunting at Breydon Water

Other News
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN remains at County Mayo, Ireland 
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland
 MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at County Wexford, Ireland

Cley and Salthouse Now Open!

The A149 coast road from Cley to Salthouse is now open earlier than expected. Beach Road at Cley and also Beach Road at Salthouse is also open. Cley NWT Visitor Centre opens its doors again at 10am tomorrow and also Bishop' Hide, but the rest of the NWT reserve will remain closed until further notice. See HERE

Friday, 17 January 2014

Northern Lights Visible From Cley Tonight!

From the Rare Bird Alert Website, posted at 9.32pm.

Described as a "narrow, red orange strip low down" by an observer in Cley at 10pm.

Key Wildlife Sites Hit in Flooding

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25778385

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Golden Pheasant at Wolferton
Glossy Ibis between Cley and Wiveton
Black-throated Divers x 3, Great Northern Divers x 4, Long-tailed Ducks x 6, Slavonian Grebes x 2 at Blakeney Harbour
Shorelarks x 2, Lapland Bunting at Great Yarmouth
Mealy Redpoll at UEA, Norwich
Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB
Common Cranes x 3 at Waxham
Snow Buntings x 30, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 12 at Holkham
Black Redstart at Happisburgh
Snow Buntings x 80 at Winterton

 Northern Lights visible from Cley tonight (message at 9.32pm) 

Other News
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN remains at County Mayo, Ireland MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland  MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at County Wexford, Ireland

Memorial Service Honours Four Aircrew Who Died in Norfolk Helicopter Crash

http://www.itv.com/news/anglia/update/2014-01-17/thousands-packed-into-hanger-7-to-honour-the-aircrew-who-died-when-their-helicopter-came-down/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/10564899/Wifes-tribute-to-pilot-killed-in-Norfolk-helicopter-crash.html

Cley NWT Open This Sunday!

http://www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk/Home/News/Update-on-Cley-Marshes.aspx

Don't forget to visit the Cley Deli for lots of scrumptious cakes etc: http://www.picnic-fayre.co.uk/

Thursday, 16 January 2014

New Weather Station at Holme Bird Observatory!

 You can see LIVE readings of the weather at HBO HERE!

Birds' V Formation Finally Explained

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25737960

Norfok Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Purple Sandpipers x 2 at Sheringham
Black-throated Divers x 4, Great Northern Divers x 2, Long-tailed Ducks x 5 at Blakeney Harbour
Short-eared Owl at Holme
Glossy Ibis at Cley
Shorelarks x 2 at Great Yarmouth
Snow Bunting x 50 at Winterton
Glaucous Gull at Kelling and Salthouse
Mealy Redpolls x 3 at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford
Rough-legged Buzzard x 2, Hen Harriers x 2, Crossbills x 10 at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest
PARROT CROSSBILL Female, Crossbills x 25 NW of Fritton at Waveney Forest

Other News 
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN County Mayo, Ireland
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland 
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at County Wexford, Ireland

....and Life!!!

 TODAY!
  • Gas Boiler now repaired and house warm again!
  • Camera lens will at least be in perfect working order for Spring Rares and Megas!
  • British Gas will be taking half my wages at the end of the month!
  • Warm, but fed-up as will soon be another year older!
  • I won't be working double shifts on Sundays, as there are no bank shifts available!
  • Booking holiday for this year is now definitely scrapped!
  • Need to take up painting again, make a mint and move to my country residence! Ha Ha Ha!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

....and Life!!!

TODAY!
  • Gas Boiler broke down, no heating, stress of getting appt etc etc
  • Camera Lens now has a big repair bill of £310
  • Biggest bill from British Gas yet for the quarter
  • Cold, fed-up and feel aged 100!
  • Return to working double shifts on Sundays!
  • Booking holiday for this year is now on hold (same as last year, bla bla bla)!

Apologies to anyone that has sent me emails recently, I have lots to reply to. Please bare with me, I will reply to everyone soon!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Purple Sandpipers x 2 at Sheringham
Glossy Ibis between Cley and Wiveton
Shorelarks x 2 at Great Yarmouth
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL, Hawfinches x 4 at Lynford Aboretum
Long-tailed Ducks x 5, Black-throated Divers x 3, Great Northern Divers x 2 at Blakeney Harbour
Short-eared Owl, Hen Harrier at Holme
Hen Harriers x 2 at Stiffkey
Rough-legged Buzzard, Hen Harrier at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest

The Nar Valley Ornithological Society now has a new website: http://www.narvos.org.uk/
This is added to my Recommended Websites on my blog. 

Other News
MEGA! STEJNEGER'S SCOTER at Musselburgh, Lothian, Scotland
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland
MEGA! IVORY GULL
remains at County Wexford, Ireland

RBA Weekly Round-Up 8th-14th January

By Jon Dunn
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2014no02.aspx?s_id=753714630

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Two Orcas Captured, to be shown at 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics!

THIS IS ABSOLUTE DISGUSTING!
How unbelievably cruel. Surely this must be a joke! But sadly.... no, its not, it's real!

"According to the Mirror, hunters have officially captured two wild orcas that will be kept in a “small concrete tank following a 4,614-mile flight” from Russia’s far east. The aim is to have these two orcas on display at the Sochi Dolphinarium just in time for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, which will begin on February 7."

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/two-orcas-captured-by-hunters-for-2014-sochi-winter-olympics/ 

SIGN PETITION AGAINST THIS HERE:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/838/738/517/tell-winter-olympic-city-not-to-display-wild-orcas/

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Glaucous Gull Juv., Long-tailed Ducks x 5, Black-throated Divers x 2, Great Northern Diver at Blakeney Harbour
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 8 at Edgefield
Shorelarks x 2 at Great Yarmouth
Glossy Ibis between Cley and Wiveton
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Norton
Rough-legged Buzzard at  Holkham
PARROT CROSSBILL Female, Crossbills x 12 at Waveney Forest
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL at Lynford Aboretum
Hen Harriers x 2 at Roydon Common
Snow Buntings x 105 at Winterton

Other News
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at County Wexford, Ireland

My Pictures on BBC Look East Tonight!

Didn't say anything about details yesterday, but BBC Look East is doing a feature on golf courses that have been damaged through the storm surge and the four pictures of mine that are being shown are of Holme Golf Course at 6.30pm tonight. Hopefully I can watch it on the net later, as I can't get or see BBC Look East!

6.42 Minutes into the video is a general East Coast report on the debris left behind.

9 Minutes into the video the Hunstanton/Holme Golf Course reports starts with my pictures shown. Although I was asked for four pictures, they actually showed two pictures in the end!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03pqbmf/Look_East_East_14_01_2014/ 
 Holme Golf Course
My pictures that were shown tonight on BBC Look East.

Monday, 13 January 2014

My Storm Pictures Going on Air Tomorrow!

I have just been contacted by BBC Look East to show some of my storm pictures from 5th December on a special feature they are airing shortly! Will keep you posted when it's going to be aired.

The amusing thing is that I can't watch Look East, as many people can't in North Norfolk. There seems to be small pockets where people can watch it, but the majority of people in this area have to put up with watching Yorkshire news! It's been like this for donkey's years!

Update: The storm feature is tomorrow night at 6.30pm!!! Just edited pictures, saved at 300dpi and emailed them with my name embedded in the jpg (as suggested by a FB friend, thanks). So annoying I can't watch the programme, but may be able to watch it on the net afterwards I suppose.

Not too bad a Monday today with above news and also that I lost 4lbs in weight on my first weekly weigh-in with my diet this morning! A new Penny by mid-summer!

"Nature Reserve Could Create Memorial to Helicopter Crash Victims"

http://www.itv.com/news/anglia/update/2014-01-13/nature-reserve-could-create-memorial-to-helicopter-crash-victims/

http://www.itv.com/news/anglia/2014-01-12/services-held-across-the-region-for-dead-aircrew/

A second military helicopter which landed on Cley marshes after US servicemen saw their colleagues crash has taken off from the site today:
http://www.itv.com/news/anglia/update/2014-01-13/exclusive-pictures-second-helicopter-takes-off-from-north-norfolk-crash-site/

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Common Cranes x 2, Hen Harrier at Acle
Glossy Ibis at Cley
PARROT CROSSBILL female at Forest Lodge, Waveney Forest
Ruddy Shelduck at Blickling Hall Lake
Black-throated Divers x 4, Great Northern Divers x 2, Long-tailed Ducks x 9, Hen Harrier at Blakeney Harbour
Mealy Redpoll at UEA, Norwich
Firecrest at Great Yarmouth Cemetery
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest
Little Auks x 2, Purple Sandpipers x 2 at Sheringham

My mother had a 'very bright' Chiffchaff in her garden at Holme today.

Other News
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at County Wexford, Ireland

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Service at Salthouse Church for Helicopter Crew

Military Chiefs attend poignant service at Salthouse Church to remember four tragic helicopter crew.
See Eastern Daily Press HERE

Punkbirder the Moviefilm Trailer II!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPXAGuqPMqw

Stiffkey Fen & A Frenzy of Birds!

A stunningly beautiful, frosty start to the day – some of the roads were treacherous this morning.

Met up with Pete Snook at Stiffkey Fen this afternoon. The path to the fen was very water-logged and the wet, muddy stiles were a challenge to climb over! Lots of Greylags on the field west of the path. A Rock Pipit flew over calling as we walked past the fen. At least 300+ Lapwing on the Fen itself. Stood by the boats, slightly east of the fen and joined Paul W. and together with two other birders a bit later, we watched: 2 Black-throated Divers, several Guillemots, at least 6 Red-breasted Mergansers, 1 Golden Eye, *3 Long-tailed Ducks, *1 Kingfisher, *Peregrine (*not seen by me!), 2 Marsh Harriers, several Grey Plovers, Redshanks, several Pintail, Teal, Wigeon, Shelducks, Knot and Turnstones. Also 2 Little Grebes were ducking and diving in the creek next to us. It was bitterly cold when we left. The wavering reeds shimmered gold as the sun was setting. An excellent selection of birds here!

Pete went home east and I went on to Stiffkey Campsite where I saw 1 Barn Owl, 1 Merlin and at least 20+ Little Egrets flying east to roost. I missed a Hen Harrier which had flown through east, moments before I arrived. I left to drive along the coast road to Holme – on route I saw a Barn Owl flying across the road at Holkham.

Went to visit my parents. Father was sitting on the sofa in his shorts with a blanket over his knees with a hot water bottle. He's been wearing shorts since the summer and every time I ask him 'why....?' and 'are you not cold?' he just smiles and says 'no.... it's just my hands that get cold'. Crazy!!! I really don't get the shorts and blanket!!! Incidentally, I suddenly realised the other day that its my parent's GOLDEN WEDDING ANNIVERSARY on 30th March this year! I got a very blunt reply of 'NO' when I asked them if they wanted any celebrations – which is the reply I expected really!

I went home via Ringstead and saw my third Barn Owl sitting on a post and also a Muntjac Deer in a hedgerow. Three Barn Owls in one day was a real treat!

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Black-throated Diver at Horsey Mere
Great Northern Diver at Hemsby
Shorelarks x 2, Snow Bunting at Great Yarmouth
Glossy Ibis between Cley Sluice and Wiveton Bridge
Glaucous Gull Juv., Great Northern Diver, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Black-throated Divers x 2, Long-tailed Ducks x 3 at Blakeney Harbour
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL Male, Hawfinch at Lynford Aboretum
Richard's Pipit remains at Kelling
PARROT CROSSBILLS Male & Female x 2, Crossbills x 20 at Waveney Forest
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Short-eared Owl, Bittern at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 8, Crossbills x 20 at Edgefield
Glossy Ibis at Bure Park, Great Yarmouth
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 4 at Grimes Graves
Mealy Redpoll at UEA, Norwich
Snow Buntings x 41 at Caister-on-Sea
Black-throated Diver at Martham Broad
Whooper Swans x 15, Bewick's Swans x 112 at Ludham
Black Redstart, Snow Buntings x 12 at Happisburgh
Slavonian Grebes x 2, Velvet Scoters x 8 at Holkham

Other News
MEGA! WHITE-WINGED SCOTER Musselburg, Lothian, Scotland (on 26th December, identified from photos)
 MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at County Wexford, Ireland

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Fair Isle Job and Volunteer Vacancies 2014!

http://fibowarden.blogspot.co.uk/p/vacancies-2013.html?m=1

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Glossy Ibis at Bure Park, Great Yarmouth
Shorelarks x 2 at Great Yarmouth
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL Male, Crossbills x 6, Hawfinches x 3 (yesterday) at Lynford Aboretum
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL Male, Firecrest at Lynford Aboretum
Black Redstart at Happisburgh
Short-eared Owl, Snow Buntings x 70 at Holme
Black Brant at Burnham Overy Staithe
Richard's Pipit remains at Kelling
Common Cranes x 2 at Acle
Great Northern Diver, Long-tailed Ducks x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe
Crossbills x 10 at Holt
Black-throated Divers x 2, Great Northern Diver, Hen Harrier at Blakeney Harbour
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest
Glossy Ibis at Halvergate Marshes
PARROT CROSSBILL Female, Crossbills x 20 by Squirrel Lodge, Waveney Forest
Velvet Scoters x 13, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Glaucous Gull in field by Edgefield Tip
Purple Sandpiper at Sheringham
Mealy Redpoll at UEA, Norwich
Hen Harriers x 2 at Roydon
Hen Harriers x 3 at Warham Greens
Glossy Ibis at Thornham
Snow Buntings x 6 at Thornham Point

Other News
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at County Wexford, Ireland

Friday, 10 January 2014

The Weekend!

I have the entire weekend off!!!

A sunny day is forecast for tomorrow, not so good on Sunday though:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2646722

High Tides for King's Lynn Docks:
Saturday: 15.04 and Sunday: 16.04

Helicopter Crash Update!

From the Eastern Daily Press:
Low fly concerns raised in wake of crash

• Coast Road between Cley and Salthouse could remain shut for 10 more days after USAF helicopter crash

• Rescue workers fall silent to honour crew killed in Cley helicopter crash

New information and pictures of Pave Hawk Helicopters flying very low over Salthouse, last November on my post yesterday HERE

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Great White Egret at Burgh Castle
Glossy Ibis, Great White Egret at Titchwell RSPB
Black Redstart at Happisburgh
Black-throated Diver at Barton Broad
Black Brant at Cley NWT
Snow Buntings x 26, Velvet Scoters x 9, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 110 at Holkham
Glossy Ibis, Shorelarks x 2 at Great Yarmouth
Long-tailed Ducks x 9, Great Northern Divers x 2, Black-throated Divers x 2, Slavonian Grebes x 2 at Blakeney Harbour
Common Cranes x 2 at Acle
Firecrest at Great Yarmouth Cemetery
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Chedgrave Marshes
PARROT CROSSBILL Female, Crossbills x 20 at Waveney Forest
Glaucous Gull at Edgefield Tip
Richard's Pipit remains at Kelling
Snow Buntings x 50 at Caister-on-Sea
Purple Sandpiper at Sheringham
Water Pipit at Earlham
Mealy Redpoll at UEA, Norwich
Glossy Ibis at Welney WWT
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 168, Bewick's Swans x 4, Water Pipit at Buckingham Marshes RSPB

Cley NWT & Visitor Centre will remain closed until 19th January

Other News
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at County Wexford, Ireland
MEGA! SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER at North Ronaldsay, Orkney

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Helicopter Crash – Tributes Paid to US Personnel

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25664075

The bodies of the air crew were removed from site today:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25665641http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25665641

The investigation as to why the helicopter crashed is still ongoing. More news HERE and HERE

Niagra Falls Freeze!! Images Capture the Moment!

http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/images-capture-moments-niagara-falls-froze-over-1.1630526

Storm Surge Impact on Cley NWT Reserve!

"Storm surge impact on Cley nature reserve far worse than damage caused by helicopter crash, says wildlife chief"
See the Eastern Daily Press HERE

A Sad & Frustrating Account of a Day out in the Field from a British Asian Birder!

This was highlighted by David Lindo on Facebook.

Disgusting behaviour from a group of birders that Jonathan encountered and also from the police!
http://therandombirder.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/the-fugitive-birder.html

Unique Bird Migration Discovered!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-25661650

Low Flying Aircraft Over Norfolk Coastal Reserves!

For many years now, there have been paragliders, light aircraft, jets, helicopters etc flying over our coastline either for pleasure or training purposes. It has been witnessed many, many times that some of these aircraft have flown dangerously and inappropriately low at times. Paragliders (especially) and other aircraft regularly fly very low over Cley NWT Reserve (a designated SSSI site) during summer months, scattering and disturbing all birds on the reserve and in the breeding season this can be catastrophic. I have watched them do this on countless occasions and when watching paragliders through binoculars, I can see that the person in the glider is either simply not bothered or ignorantly unaware of what he/she is doing when the entire bird population of the reserve is scattered in all directions underneath and around them! There is a height zone in place, but this is not adhered to by many!

I witnessed paramotors flying low over Blakeney Point Nature Nature Reserve on 7th October 2013 and my pictures were requested for use on the NT Blog – see HERE. National Trust staff wrote the following: "There was a "Moment of Chaos" on Saturday evening. Two paramotors flew dangerously low along the Point, disturbing hundreds of birds on the reserve. This unnecessary disturbance was frustrating, if it had occurred during the breeding season then there could have been catastrophic consequences. To prevent disturbance to sensitive wildlife, paramotors should not fly over Blakeney National Nature Reserve.".

I also witnessed two jets flying dangerously low over my head at Salthouse last summer – the noise was so loud as they flew overhead, that it hurt my ears!

A birder wrote on FB this evening "A couple of years ago, just outside the entrance to Cley VC, I was totally gobsmacked when a military helicopter, coming from the village direction, flew east between the coast road and the main hides. It was so low, I was looking down on it from the car park. I have to admit it was a fascinating sight, but stupid and dangerous"

I had an email from a fellow birder who sent me the following:
"....I have attached two photos of Pave Hawk Helicopters flying very low over Cley/Salthouse marshes on 7th November 2013....." "The pilots were clearly trying to out fly each other or that was the impression that we had at the time. At one point they flew very low over a flock of about 300 Brent Geese and many Black-tailed Godwits. Fortunately the geese flew inland and the helicopters turned round and flew back to Weybourne Beacon. These pilots clearly had no regard or were unaware of the wildlife on the marsh. The comment at the time was it was an accident waiting to happen......"
Pave Hawk Helicopters flying very low over Salthouse on
7th November 2013.
Should those two helicopters have being flying that close together?!!!
Photographs by a local birder who I will keep anonymous!

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest
Golden Pheasant at Wolferton
Shorlarks x 2 at Great Yarmouth
Firecrest, Hawfinch at Lynford Aboretum
Common Cranes x 2 at Acle
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 25 at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
Hen Harrier at Stiffkey
Snow Buntings x 46 at Caister-on-Sea
Hen Harriers x 4 at Stubb Mill Roost, Hickling Broad NWT
Snow Buntings x 40 at Holme

Other News
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland
MEGA! IVORY GULL remains at County Wexford, Ireland

NEW BLOG started, covering Hunstanton and Holme areas with five contributors so far: Gary Hibberd, Chris Mills, Robert Smith, Andy Brown and Robin Jolliffe.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Snowy Owl Invasion Puzzles Scientists, Dazzles Enthusiasts!

http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/snowy-owl-invasion-puzzles-sci/21127590

Norfolk US Helicopter Crash Dead Named!

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jan/08/us-helicopter-crash-dead-airmen-named-norfolk

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2535501/BREAKING-NEWS-Four-people-believed-died-helicopter-crash-Norfolk.html
Heartbreaking looking at these pictures! RIP

Low flying over Norfolk nature reserve 'was accident waiting to happen'

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jan/08/low-flying-norfolk-nature-reserve-accident

Note a Norfolk's birders remarks how the same (possibly) helicopter was flying very low over the reserve the day before the accident and was "scaring the crap out of all the wildfowl...."
http://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=2904221&postcount=22107

There should be no planes, helicopters, handgliders etc flying so low over this world famous nature reserve at all!!! Creates a massive and unnecessary disturbance to wildlife, people and at huge risk of..... well it's happened now! It could have been soooo much worse though – could have been on a Saturday on a nice sunny day in Spring or Autumn Migration with hundreds of birders and walkers enjoying the beauty of this reserve or/and maybe masses of twitchers watching a mega – it doesn't bear thinking about!!! I read somewhere that they only fly these aircraft 'that low' at night, but I distinctly remember seeing a couple of fighter jets (that's what they looked like to me) flying scarily low over me at Salthouse once (last summer) and had to put my hands to my ears quickly because of the noise and pain experienced!

This tragic accident is a massive wake up call! Surely there are other far less sensitive sites to train over, other than the most famous nature reserve in the UK!!!

Also had information from a friend that "one of the Cley sluices (East Bank?) had been damaged, in the attempt to get heavy equipment out to the crash scene. "

Fatal US helicopter crash in Norfolk: Investigation starts

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-25649464

More here on ITV including 'our' Duncan MacDonald being interviewed!
http://www.itv.com/news/anglia/update/2014-01-08/helicopter-crash-how-the-events-unfolded/ 

NOTE TO ALL VISITING BIRDERS: Please note that Cley NWT Reserve, Visitor Centre and Salthouse Beach Carpark area is closed until at least Monday.

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights - RBA
Snow Buntings x 40 at Old Hunstanton
Snow Buntings x 4, Spotted Redshank at Breydon Water
Golden Pheasant at Wolferton
Red-necked Grebe, Black-throated Diver, Snow Bunting at Holme
Rough-legged Buzzard at Chedgrave Marshes
Shorelarks x 2 at Great Yarmouth
Whooper Swans x 20, Bewick's Swans x 100 at Ludham
Velvet Scoter at Hopton-on-Sea
Snow Buntings x 40 at Caister-on-Sea
Green-winged Teal at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT
Snow Buntings x 130 at Winterton
Glaucous Gull in field by Edgefield Tip
MEGA!!! Wholly unconfirmed report of 3 CEDAR WAXWINGS yesterday, 3 miles ENE at Norwich at Thorpe St Andrew, briefly in morning.

Other News
MEGA! IVORY GULL at County Wexford, Ireland
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland!

RBA Round-Up 24th December 2013 to 7th January 2014

By Jon Dunn
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2014no01.aspx?s_id=544590977

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Taiga Bean Geese x 15, Water Pipit at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
Richard's Pipit at Kelling
Velvet Scoter, Arctic Skua at Hopton-on-Sea
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest 
Little Gulls x 2 at Winterton
Glossy Ibis at Stubb Mill, Hickling Broad NWT
Red-necked Grebe, Velvet Scoters x 3, Twite at Titchwell RSPB
Red-necked Grebe at Holme

Other News
MEGA! SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER at North Ronaldsay, Orkney!
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland! 

Tidal surge-hit Norfolk seal pup donations top £90,000!

Really good news that the RSPCA's wildlife centre in East Winch received so many donations!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-25564036

RBA Scarce and Rare Bird Round-up Photograph of 2013

Massive thanks to Mark Golley, Brian Egan and the RBA Team for short-listing and featuring my Yellow-browed Warbler shot that I took at Blakeney Point in their Rarity Photo Round-up for 2013! Really chuffed – cheered me up no end!
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/RBA_Scarce_and_Rare_Bird_Round-up_Photography_of_2013.aspx?s_id=330763449

Also here is the picture on my blog on 19th October 2013

HELICOPTER CRASHES AT CLEY THIS EVENING!!!

Helicopter Crashes at Cley This Evening with Four Dead!!!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25646978

Shocking and Tragic News!!!

 From a friend on FB:
"An American US military Pave Hawk Helicopter crashed at 19.45 07-01-14 near the East Bank, Cley next the Sea, killing 4 crew on board. It allegedly has live ammo on board and can't be dealt with by UK Emergency Services. They have to wait until the Americans arrive before they can do anything!!"

More here on the Eastern Daily Press Website 

My thoughts are with the families of those that were killed – so terribly sad!

Several local people said that a helicopter flew very low over the village shortly before it crashed. There is talk on the web that it could have been a bird strike – could have been pink-footed geese on mass, especially if the helicopter was low, who knows..... won't know until at least first light tomorrow.

http://www.klfm967.co.uk/news/uk-news/1171448/helicopter-crashes-off-north-norfolk-coast/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/aviation/10557518/Norfolk-helicopter-crash-four-killed-on-US-military-training-mission-in-north-Norfolk.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2535501/BREAKING-NEWS-Four-people-believed-died-helicopter-crash-Norfolk.html

http://www.itv.com/news/story/2014-01-07/helicopter-air-crash-cley-north-norfolk/

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/north-norfolk-helicopter-crash-live-2999236

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jan/07/norfolk-helicopter-crash-cley-next-sea

http://www.times-series.co.uk/news/national/news/10920126.Four_killed_in_helicopter_crash/

http://www.northnorfolknews.co.uk/news/four_people_dead_following_helicopter_crash_in_the_cley_area_north_norfolk_1_3182375

Monday, 6 January 2014

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Common Cranes x 12 at Ludham
Common Cranes x 3, Hen Harrier at Stubb Mill, Hickling Broad NWT
Richard's Pipit at Kelling
Snow Buntings x 100 at Winterton
Green-winged Teal at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island, viewable from Waveney Forest
Common Cranes x 4 at Acle
Lapland Bunting, Snow Buntings x 4, Twite x 9, Shags x 2, Velvet Scoters x 5, Red-necked Grebe at Thornham Point
Red-necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, Black-throated Divers x 2 at Holme
Great White Egret at Nar Valley Fisheries, Narborough
Velvet Scoters x 2 at Hopton-on-Sea
Hen Harrier at Choseley
Great White Egret, Black Brant, Dark-bellied Brent Geese x 1250, River Ouse, King's Lynn
Black Brant at Cley NWT
Taiga Bean Geese x 10, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 6 at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
Bittern at Felbrigg Lake

Other News
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT remains at Loch Flemington, Highland, Scotland

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Holiday: Birds, Bikini & Beach!

I have not had a holiday away since 2010 and I have decided that I'm going away this year to sunnier climates. I don't care if my bank balance approves or not! I need to escape! Therefore I also need to shed some pounds! The diet begins (again) tomorrow! Anyone that sees me queuing up for a cheese scone at the Cley Visitor Centre or the Cley Deli for a piece of pear & ginger cake, please stop me! I havn't decided where or when I'm going yet, but I AM going!