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

Friday, 31 July 2015

The UK government just okayed a plan to sow bee-endangering seeds across the country!

PLEASE SIGN, only takes seconds. These 'seeds' will affect OUR health too. http://action.sumofus.org/a/neonics-uk/?sub=fb

Parent Issues, Dips, Lows & Highs!

As I'm sure my regular readers have noticed, I haven't posted anything other than the daily bird news for a good while now! Last weekend was so rubbish, I didn't see the point of writing how rubbish it was! Last Saturday consisted of dipping the Broad-billed Sandpiper again (less said about that the better) and then having to make an urgent, speedy drive to Holme as I thought something had happened to my Mother – no response for an hour and a half when I tried to phone them, until my Father answered the phone, which made me massively panic, as Father can't walk by himself safely or get as far as the phone on the desk!!! When he answered the phone, he was short of breath and sounded distressed. When I asked where Mother was, he muttered something about 'over an hour' which I obviously concluded that he had not seen her for an hour. If my Father made the effort to get to the phone, something serious must be up. I also knew that Mother had had a tree surgeon over that afternoon (which cost her £100) to take down a tree which was in danger of falling through the shed roof and knowing her, she was more than probably moving logs left from this tree fell. My imagination ran riot and had visions of her hurting herself or much worse. I flew like the wind to their house. As I ran into the house, both parents were there. I went berserk and broke down in tears simultaneously! I won't repeat the words that followed, when I told Mother off for not answering the phone – and yes, she had been moving logs (I know her so well!) all around the garden for bird perches! Logs that I wouldn't have been able to lift. She is a time bomb waiting to go off – at 75 years old she should not be doing that! Role reversal with parents acting like wilful, naughty children! What made me really cross was the fact that Father was clearly emotional and upset by the fact that he had been worried about the amount of time he had not seen her. When your cognition is not 100% and you have no sight, an hour can seem like several. She insisted that she had told him she would be a while, but he had forgotten this. I got home late. Sunday I was working ALL day!

Onto this week – I lost another 1lb at SW, totalling 5.5lbs altogether now, its going to be a long road to a new me, but sticking with it! I'm really enjoying the food and this new way of eating, but its not bird friendly at all! Eg, I have porridge, soya yogurt and frozen fruit and a banana for breakfast/mid-morning snack, followed by a massive salad with things like falafels, new potatoes, salad, egg, cucumber, tomatoes, dressing etc for lunch and a piece of fruit. It would be difficult to take a salad if I was walking to Blakeney Point for example. If I have porridge oats, I can't have bread, so no sandwiches! Basically you can choose one item from the 'A' List and one off the 'B' List (bread and porridge are both on the B list!). Then you can have anything off the Free foods list like potatoes, rice, pasta, beans, pulses, eggs, quorn, sardines and loads more that I won't bore you with. You can also have up to 15 'syns' a day eg one of my favourites is 'Alpro Gingerbread Man Dessert' which is 5.5 syns, so you do have to be careful!

As from today (Friday) I'm now connected to 'Superpowered Fibre Broadband' with TalkTalk!!! I upgraded my account last week and have just spent a short time connecting the new router, which surprisingly went smoothly. I can't wait to load up some youtube videos to see the difference in speed. I can already see the difference in opening websites, much quicker.

My Father has suffered with another infection over the last couple of days and my poor Mother hasn't slept for the last two nights and is exhausted and stressed. My Mother has a serious phone phobia and I usually have to end up making the necessary phone calls. The last time Father was ill, he saw a community nurse, but no doctor. I decided that he needed to see an actual doctor this time and phoned his surgery. An on call doctor came out yesterday and prescribed and bought with him some sleeping tablets to try and calm him at night – not happy with this as they are addictive, and that wasn't the bl**dy issue! I know that my Father has a small degree of dementia set in (so would we all, if we sat in the same room 24 hours a day, couldnt' see and didn't see anybody else apart from our family), but NOT to the degree he has displayed over the last 48 hours – I knew he had another infection and the only answer to this, was to have another dose of anti-biotics, not sleeping tablets to screw him up further! A matron came out today to collect the requested urine sample which was clear, but borderline, so possibly an 'official' sign of infection. When I finished work I had to phone the surgery to get them to issue more anti-biotics which they faxed to a local pharmacy who will kindly deliver them to my parents tomorrow. Father seems to have calmed alot today, but has been sleeping alot, probably with sheer exhaustion from the hallucinating and shouting he's been doing. Such a desperately sad situation.

Anyway, here I am this evening, thinking about fluffy balls of colourful baby Bee-eaters perched on a bowed branch in the sunshine, way too far away for me to drive to Cumbria and too expensive, so need to forgot about that! Because my fibre broadband went live today, I was unable to access the RBA website in my lunch at work, until I got home to connect the new router and put the new code in. This meant that I had no idea about the Melodious Warbler at Blakeney Point until someone sent me a text early evening to say they were walking 'The Point'!!! If I had left when I found this out, I wouldn't have got to Cley Coastguards at a sensible time and would have ended up seeing the Melodious Warbler either in poor light or not at all, so that's another bird I've missed! If someone had sent me a text about it during the afternoon, I could have gone promptly after work, but they didn't. Let's also be realistic, it's highly unlikely to be there in the morning!

Hoping to get some birding in this weekend. Just over a month to collecting my new car! I still can't decide where to move to and if I should rent or buy. I don't like making big decisions, especially financial ones. You can't get things wrong when you get to my age!!!

The weather looks fabulous for the weekend and with southerly/easterly winds, may bring in some good birds hopefully. http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2652856

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Pomarine Skua, Cory's Shearwater (possible), Arctic Skuas x 5, flew west along beach, Wood Sandpiper at Cley NWT.
Spotted Redshanks x 4 at Breydon Water.
MELODIOUS WARBER in The Lupins, Blakeney Point.
Little Stint at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
Stone Curlews x 2 landed near Kimberley.
Spoonbills x 8, Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Redshanks x 3, Crossbills x 3 at Titchwell RSPB.

Suffolk Highlights
BLACK KITE over Bawdsey Marshes.

RED-NECKED PHALAROPE at Levington Marina.

MEGA NEWS!
STOP PRESS! BEE-EATERS x 6 at two nests, SSW of Brampton, Cumbria (present since mid-June). Access 8am-8pm only to RSPB viewpoint. Follow all on site instructions. £5.00 to park. (see my main post with links to further details).

BLUE MOON Tonight – A Rare Event!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/space/11775016/Rare-super-Blue-Moon-to-light-up-summer-night-sky.html

http://www.theguardian.com/science/across-the-universe/2015/jul/31/blue-moon-how-to-see-tonights-rare-event

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/blue-moon-rare-cosmic-event-to-light-up-the-sky-10429337.html 

http://earthsky.org/space/when-is-the-next-blue-moon


STOP PRESS! BEE-EATERS Nesting in Cumbria!!!

FABULOUS NEWS!

http://www.rspb.org.uk/news/404609-rare-beeeaters-breed-in-cumbria?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=News  

https://www.rspb.org.uk/community/ourwork/b/investigations/archive/2015/07/30/come-and-see-brilliant-bee-eaters.aspx

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/RSPB_bee-eaters_breed_in_Britain_for_second_year_running.aspx?s_id=501207414

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-33732567?post_id=10207282523006332_10207282522526320#_=_

Thursday, 30 July 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Arctic Skuas x 3 at Sheringham.
Common Cranes x 2 at Horsey.
Pomarine Skua flew over Cley NWT.
Spoonbills x 5, Spotted Redshank, Wood Sandpiper, Little Gull at Titchwell RSPB.
Quail at Kettlestone.

Suffolk Highlights
PURPLE HERON again at King's Fleet.


MEGA NEWS!
None!

DEMAND JUSTICE FOR CECIL THE LION IN ZIMBABWE

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-33674087

PLEASE SIGN, THANK YOU
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/821/738/351/demand-justice-for-cecil-the-lion-in-zimbambwe/

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Wood Sandpiper flew over Thornham.
Arctic Skuas x 2 at Blakeney Point.
Cory's Shearwater flew ENE at 8.13am past Cley Beach car park.
Spoonbills x 5, Curlew Sandpiper at Cley NWT.
GOLDEN ORIOLE by visitor centre briefly at 2pm, Curlew Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Spoonbills x 6, Red-crested Pochards x 7, Short-eared Owl at Titchwell RSPB.
Little Gull, Spotted Redshanks x 6 at Breydon Water.
Spoonbills x 14 at Stiffkey Fen.
Curlew Sandpipers x 3 (no news on Broad-billed Sandpiper since Sunday) at Snettisham RSPB.

Suffolk Highlights
BLACK KITE over Shingle Street, Alderton and Bawdsey.


MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BAROLO SHEARWATER, 8.17am to 8.22am then flew west, Pendeen Watch, Cornwall.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 22nd to 28th July!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2015-30.aspx?s_id=73596754

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spoonbill, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Gulls x 7, Continental Black-tailed Godwits x 2 at Cley NWT.
Great Skua, Arctic Tern at Weybourne.
Arctic Skua, Arctic Terns x 5, Little Gull at Sheringham.
Garganey, Spoonbills x 7, Bittern, Red-crested Pochards x 7, Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Titchwell RSPB.
Spoonbills x 16 at Stiffkey Fen.

Suffolk Highlights
Swifts x 4,077 flew south past Languard Nature Reserve.


MEGA NEWS!
None!

Monday, 27 July 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Wood Sandpiper, Spoonbills x 3 at Cley NWT.
Spotted Redshank at Horsey.
Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Yellow-legged Gull at North Beach, Winterton.
Yellow-legged Gull, probable at Kimberley.

Cambridgshire Highlights
PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER or AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER, 7.50pm at Paxton Pits, then flew south with Golden Plover.


Suffolk Highlights
BLACK KITES x 2 probable, flew east at 1.50pm over Holton St Mary.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Redstart Male yesterday, later afternoon at Snettisham Coastal Park.
BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER on The Wash opposite chalets, Scaups x 4 on Pits, Curlew Sandpipers x 2 at Snettisham RSPB.
Sooty Shearwater flew north past Winterton.
Arctic Terns x 55, Wood Sandpiper, Little Gulls x 7 at Cley NWT.
Honey Buzzard at Kimberley.
Garganey, Spoonbills x 5, Little Gulls x 2, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB.
Arctic Terns x 20 at Gorleston-on-Sea.
Little Gulls x 3 at Walcott.

Suffolk Highlights
BLACK KITE flew north over Pipps Ford.


MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! KERMADEC PETREL possible pterodroma sp. (most closely resembling pale morph (Kermadec Petrel), Pendeen Watch, mid afternoon, lingering with Manx Shearwaters, but no further sign by 6pm – Cornwall.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert' 
Black Tern flew past Great Yarmouth.
Black Terns x 2, Little Gulls x 2, Arctic Terns x 3, Manx Shearwater flew past Cley.
Wood Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Black Tern (on Arnold's Marsh) at Cley NWT.
Black Tern flew south past Gorleston-on-Sea.
BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER midway between Rotary Hide and chalets, Scaups x 3 (on first pit past car park) at Snettisham RSPB, Little Gulls x 5 flew north past Snettisham Coastal Park.
Little Gulls x 2, Black Tern, Arctic Terns x 17 at Sheringham.
Wood Sandpiper at Rush Hill Scrape, Curlew Sandpiper at Hickling Broad NWT.
BlackTerns x 2 flew past Hemsby.
Little Gull at Winterton.
Spoonbills x 20 at Stiffkey Fen.

Cambridgshire Highlights
BLACK KITE probable flew west over Stretham.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.

Friday, 24 July 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER midway between Rotary Hide and chalets, TURTLE DOVES x 2 at Snettisham RSPB.
Spoonbills x 12, Little Gull, Spotted Redshanks x 6 at Titchwell RSPB.
Quail at Methwold.
Arctic Tern, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Breydon Water.
Gannet flew over Norwich.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! LEAST SANDPIPER Adult, still on Big Pool, St Agnes, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.

Friday Update!

I lost 2lbs on Wednesday at SW, so my weight loss is off to a good start. Long may this continue!

On Thursday evening we had a works get together at The Swan, South Wootton for Ines's last day at work – excellent turn out from work and was fabulous to see Caraline E. and Lesley K. there (love Lesley's new blonde look!). The £5.99 Hogroast however, did not impress us all (I had a bean burger) with meat in a bun served on a small square plate the size of a saucer and no salad at all, not exactly exciting. People were happier when we told we could go up for second helpings, but there were no second helpings for Elyse (also vege) and I we were told! Why should you be treated differently, because you are vegetarian! I was very surprised as The Swan has always had a good reputation for excellent food and service – it didn't impress me this evening at all. We were lucky with the weather however and it was a beautiful sunny evening sitting out in the pub garden. A few of us went back to Lesley's house, where Hilary kept us entertained with her amusing antics and stories before we all returned home. Ines is an extremely enthusiastic, hardworking OT and will be very much missed. She made the big decision to leave the UK and return to her birth country with her new family – wishing her lots of happiness in her new venture.

Its been pouring with rain all day and still raining now this evening, looks like a grim forecast for the weekend! I really can't decide what to do tomorrow yet!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Quail singing at Walsey Hills NOA.
Curlew Sandpiper, Spoonbills x 6, Little Gulls x 3, Spotted Redshanks x 5 at Titchwell RSPB.
Spoonbills x 9, Little Gulls x 6 at Cley NWT.
Quail at Letheringsett Ford.
Garganey x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 4 at Breydon Water.
BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER midway between Rotary Hide and chalets at Snettisham RSPB.
Great White Egret at Horsey.

Suffolk Highlights

BEE-EATERS x 2 at Field Farm (2pm-3pm), Covehithe.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! LEAST SANDPIPER Adult, still on Big Pool, St Agnes, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spoonbills x 8, Garganey, Wood Sandpipers x 2, Little Stints x 3, Little Gulls x 6, Yellow-legged Gull at Cley NWT.
Spoonbill, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Spotted Redshank, Little Gulls x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER from Rotary Hide, Scaup x 3 at Snettisham RSPB.
Spotted Redshanks x 4 at Breydon Water.
BEE-EATER at c4pm on wires at Sidestrand, then flew west.
PURPLE HERON flew to ditch north of Walsey Hills NOA at 3.30pm, Temminck's Stint on pool north of Walsey Hills then flew west.

Suffolk Highlights
BLACK KITE just north of Witnesham over fields, north of Ipswich.


MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! HUDSONIAN GODWIT at Ballyconneely, County Galway, Ireland.
MEGA! LEAST SANDPIPER Adult, still on Big Pool, St Agnes, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 15th to 21st July!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2015-29.aspx?s_id=938200178

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Masses of Birds at Titchwell RSPB!

I spent the evening at Titchwell RSPB, mainly to find the Spotted Crake on the Autumn trail, but failed miserably! Not having much luck with recent rare birds! But I had an amazing time anyway, the light was beautiful and apart from one birder leaving as I arrived and bumping into one another just before I left, I had the entire reserve to myself!

A Song Thrush and Robin greeted me as I drove along the approach road to the car park. I didn't see anything of note along the Fen Trail, but the long hedge that runs alongside Patsy's Pool produced a Common Whitethroat, a party of Long-tailed Tits and a Barn Owl.  Cinnabar Caterpillars adorned the Ragwort plants on route to the Autumn Trail and Rabbits were feeding amongst the long grasses. The usual Mute Swans, Coots, Red-crested Pochards, Lapwings, Mallard, Tufted Ducks etc were on Patsy's Pool. I stood for a long time at the furthest point on the Autumn Trail and kept a close eye on any movement by the reed bed. I got very excited for a few seconds, only to find that the bird skulking along and through the dark base of the reeds was a Water Rail, not the hoped for Spotted Crake! I could hear Bearded Tits 'pinging' away close by. Tons of waders on the scrape and pool including loads of Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, Dunlins, Lapwings, Shelducks, Redshanks and huge flocks of Starlings etc. 2 Kestrels were hovering close by as I walked back. I noticed a new sign that informed me that a new 150 metre extension to this path is now open eastwards – this looked inviting, but decided to do this another time. I took lots of funky sunset pictures with the dead trees in the foreground and then briefly went into Fen Hide. Wow! Maybe not to everyone's liking but I loved it! The entire inside of the hide has been painted brightly with a bird mural, obviously aimed at the younger generation and looked very cheerful.

I walked around the Meadow Trail and walked along the main path to Island Hide. The scene before me was mind blowing! I can't recall seeing that many birds here before. There was mass numbers of everything. Tons of Avocets and tons of Dunlin for starters along with big numbers of Lapwing, also Redshanks, Shelducks, Black-tailed Godwits, Curlew, Black-headed Gulls, Common Gulls, Herring Gulls, Oystercatchers, Ruff and big flocks of Starlings swirling around. I hadn't got time to count everything, so decided to concentrate on the huge number of Dunlin who were in a feeding frenzy in the foreground of this magnificent scene– I counted 460 Dunlin!!! Reserve record maybe? I couldn't believe I had counted that many – to be fair, there was probably more than that. I looked hard for a Broad-billed Sandpiper or something more exciting. Every so often something would spook everything and the skies were filled with birds, until they settled down to feed again. I stayed until 9.30pm and then headed to Holme to pick up Mother's shopping list. Fabulous evening!

PICTURES AND VIDEOS TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spoonbills x 8 at Stiffkey Fen.
TURTLE DOVE flew over Cromer Golf Course.
BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER from Shore Hide until 12.40pm, Scaup x 2 at Snettisham RSPB.
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 2 reported at Snettisham RSPB.
SPOTTED CRAKE, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 7 at Titchwell RSPB.
Garganey, Spoonbills x 4, Little Stint, Little Gulls x 6, Arctic Tern at Cley NWT.

Suffolk Highlights
PURPLE HERON still at King's Fleet.

BLACK KITE over Bawdsey and north of Ipswich.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! LEAST SANDPIPER Adult, still on Big Pool, St Agnes, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN Belfast Harbour RSPB, County Down, Ireland.

Ban Driven Grouse Shooting!

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/104441

At 10,000 signatures, government will respond to this petition.

At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.

Please share this with everyone, only takes seconds to sign – lets reach 100,000!

Monday, 20 July 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER from Shore Hide until 10.53am at least, but no sign pm, Scaup x 2 at Snettisham RSPB.
Pomarine Skua, Spoonbills x 9, Little Gulls x 2, Curlew Sandpipers x 4, Spotted Redshanks x 3, Little Stints x 8, Wood Sandpiper at Titchwell RSPB.
Great White Egret, Garganey x 2, Quails x 2 at Welney WWT.
Arctic Tern at Breydon Water.
Quail at Binham.
Spoonbills x 7, Little Stint, Little Gulls x 5 at Cley NWT.

Suffolk Highlights
PURPLE HERON still at King's Fleet.


MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! LEAST SANDPIPER Adult, still on Big Pool, St Agnes, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Snettisham RSPB, Holt Country Park & Cley NWT!

I started the day far too late, but I was completely wiped out from everything that had gone on over the last few days. The Broad-billed Sandpiper appeared on the pager again, so I headed off to Snettisham RSPB to see it.

It was a glorious day, but extremely windy. There were a good number of cars in the car park at Snettisham, which was to be expected really. I started the long trek out to Shore Hide, which is the furthest hide on the reserve and take around 45 minutes to reach. As I battled through the winds I could see lots of familiars faces walking back – oh dear this wasn't a good sign and then a message appeared on the pager informing me that the Broad-billed Sandpiper had been flushed (by a Sparrowhawk I was told) and had headed back out to The Wash! That's the second day I had missed out on seeing this bird! I felt really fed-up – early bird catches the worm and I didn't. No one to blame but myself. I carried on regardless and continued my walk to Shore Hide. I have never seen so many Black-tailed Godwits in one place! I estimated at least one and half thousand here – a fabulous sight! Also Common Terns feeding cute fluffy chicks, Cormorants, Knot, Dunlin, Oystercatchers, Egyptian Geese and young, Greylag Geese, and also a Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and several Linnets around. I spent around an hour here enjoying the scenery and mass of birds, before heading back to my car.

I sat in my deckchair enjoying my salad lunch and fruit and was promptly joined by two white ducks, who presumed I would have some bread. I threw a small piece of my potato for them and they turned their beaks up and left it! What a waste! Fussy ducks! When they realised there was nothing else on offer, they waddled back to the pond in disgust.

I drove directly to Holt Country Park from here to look for the recent Valensina form of Silver-washed Fritillary – this form is only found in the female and is a wonderful array of browns and blues/greens. I really, really wanted to see one of these. I paid my £1.50 to park and bumped into Dawn B. and her daughter Bethany – together we headed off to try and find these butterflies. I was joined by John F., Eddie Myers, Jill and Rob W. and also saw a few other people looking for them. I have never seen so many Silver-washed Fritillaries, there must have been at least 20 along the sunny rides! White Admirals, Ringlets, Commas, Red Admiral, Tortoishells, Gatekeepers also joined the party. Someone found a very torn 'Valensina' – only half its wings were there, poor thing! Later on Rob W. found one, but by the time we all got there it had disappeared. I then returned alone to an area we had all previously been watching and at last found one!!! Took a few photos in case it disappeared and then called John F. who alerted the others to join me. It didn't hang about for long though and disappeared into the tree tops. I got some half decent pictures, but it never opened its wings fully for that perfect shot! Amazing colours and so glad I found one. Young Bethany was having a fab time taking pictures of us all, as well as butterflies – hope she took my best side! Later on I thought I found a second one, but realised this was simply a pale female Silver-washed Fritillary. I left and headed for Cley.

I spent the rest of the evening in Daukes's Hide, Cley NWT. There was a wonderful selection of birds out here including: 11 Little Ringed Plovers, 6 Little Gulls, Yellow-legged Gull, Black-headed Gulls, 9 Spoonbills, Garganey, Little Stint, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Greenshank, Barn Owl, Marsh Harrier, Little Egret, 2 Grey Herons, Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, Shelducks, Sandwich Terns, several Ruff and Mute Swans.

PICTURES TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER from Shore Hide until 11.10am at Snettisham RSPB.
Spoonbills x 12, Little Stints x 7, Curlew Sandpipers x 3, Spotted Redshanks x 3, Little Gulls x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Honey Buzzard flew NW over Kelling Heath.
Garganey, Little Gulls x 6, Spoonbills x 12, Red-veined Darter Dragonfly at Cley NWT.
Spoonbills x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Breydon Water.

Suffolk Highlights
PURPLE HERON still at King's Fleet.


MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! SNOWY OWL recently, Arranmore Island, County Donegal, Ireland.
MEGA! LEAST SANDPIPER Adult, still on Big Pool, St Agnes, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Jobs, Gardening & Holme!

My day began at 7.30am with an hysterical, tearful phone call from my Mother. Father had got out of bed at 12.30am and fallen – when asked why, he stated he was looking for beetles. Mother phoned 'Swift Response' (a brilliant 24 hr service to get people up off the floor), but then cancelled them as she had managed to get father up (with him helping), which I really wish she hadn't! Then when Mother came downstairs this morning, she found Father standing by the door with his rollator frame (not safe to walk with one person, never mind on his own!) – the reason this time was because he wanted to get washed and dressed. He didn't have the energy and strength to make it back and just as he went to sit on the sofa, he slithered off onto the floor. Mother couldnt' get him up this time and again had to phone Swift Response who came out very quickly and helped him get back to bed. Let's just say, there was alot of things to clean up as well, which I won't go into details about. I know it sounds mean, but I didn't rush over, I knew that Swift Response would get there before me and I wouldn't have been able to get him up anyway. Hopefully the penicillin will kick in today after the second and third tablet.

I was hoping to see the Broad-billed Sandpiper that turned up at Snettisham and foolishly presumed it would stay longer then two hours, but I was obviously wrong! I also felt guilty about even considering going birding, when Mother was struggling with Father. I spent a long time doing some important jobs and then made a couple of phone calls which have reduced my monthly outgoings. My TalkTalk Account has sneaked up in price from £26.50 to £37.00 a month without me even being informed and I had a big rant at them today and asked how much notice I needed to give to cancel my package – that worked a treat and I was asked if I would like to be put through to the 'Loyalty Team' – 'yes please' I said. Long story short..... I will now be paying £32.30 to include 'Superfast Fibre Broadband' with YouView box as well!!! Result! Looking forward to uploading some youtube videos – should be loads quicker! Will be in place in approximately 5 days time, new router, new TV and a free Sim card (what do I need a Sim car for though?!!!).

I then phoned vodafone to have another rant. The admin team never bothered phoning me back after listening to the transcript phone call between a member of their staff and myself on 26th June who offered me a contract for £31.50 a month for my iphone 6 (with NHS discount). A later phone call discovered this member of staff was incorrect and it should have been £43.20, but I was told to ring the admin team who should honour the £31.50 as it was a verbal offer. Long story short again......! The lady I spoke today was extremely apologetic that no one had called back, offered me a £20.00 apology credit and said my new monthly contract would indeed be £31.50!!! Hurrah!!! (I was paying £33.60 for the iphone 5s!) I'm so glad that member of staff got the price wrong, he's saved me £11.70 a month! Glad I made the effort to ring both companies today!

After making a salad lunch and having a short nap, I headed over to Holme. Got a couple of items for Mother at Sainsbury's in Hunstanton. Tons of day trippers in the town and along the sea front. Father seemed alot calmer when I arrived at Holme – the penicillin had obviously kicked in thank goodness. I spent the rest of the day clearing their garden for them until 9pm – more or less done now. I didn't bother putting gardening gloves on this time, which I now regret as have two nasty blisters on my hand. AT LAST, father gave in and allowed me to help him with ablutions and getting him ready and into bed!!! Another result today! This saved Mother some energy. This mean't I didn't leave their house until 11pm though! Shattered. Hope to get out birding tomorrow – I'll go mad if I don't!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Wood Sandpiper yesterday at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Little Stints x 7, Curlew Sandpipers x 3, Spotted Redshanks x 7, Spoonbills x 9, Little Gull at Titchwell RSPB.
Montagu's Harrier flew south between Holme and Thornham.
BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER (8.20am until 10.50am), Little Stints x 2 at Snettisham RSPB.
Pomarine Skua, Spoonbills x 7, Little Gulls x 5, Little Stints x 2, Wood Sandpiper at Cley NWT.
Pomarine Skua flew west at Sheringham.
Scaup at Boating Lake, Wells.
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.

Suffolk Highlights
PURPLE HERON still at King's Fleet.


MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! LEAST SANDPIPER Adult, still on Big Pool, St Agnes, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Friday Update!

I am exhausted as I write this. I spent last evening chopping down and clearing a large part of Mother's garden, which she can't tackle any more with shears and secateurs. There were masses of nettles and alexander plants to contend with, but I had cleared quite alot by dark. I really needed a strimmer, but don't have one.

My father has not been very well at all over the last 24 hours. I phoned Mother this morning as I do every day before I go to work, to make sure they are both ok. Father had been hallucinating badly and had pulled down a curtain and rail in the middle of the night, besides other stuff going on. Ordered Mother to ring GP straight away. District Nurse came out later and took a u. sample, but nothing found – all normal. But she didn't even take simple observations I found out later! You would have thought she would have taken BP, Pulse rate etc, but no she didn't! Hello..... he's 88!!! Anyway, he carried on like this all day and Mother was beside herself with it all. I rang GP receptionist when I finished work and suggested he may have a general infection (which he had before in the Spring) and they prescribed a course of penicillin, which I then had to go and pick up before they closed at 6.30pm. It's not funny after a hard day at work to then have to fly asap to Burnham Market surgery to pick up a prescription – I got there just in time. I then drove along the coast road to Holme. On route I stopped at the Thornham Farm Shop Fish 'n' chip restaurant to buy Mother some chips as she had said earlier she hadn't eaten all day with worry. By the time I got to Holme, Mother had eaten, but was pleased with the chips anyway.

Father had calmed a little when I arrived, but still very confused and was rambling about everything and nothing. He agreed to take the penicillin straight away, which I hadn't expected. I cooked my diet tea and then sat with father, held his hand and tried to reassure him that he would feel better once the penicillin kicked in over the next day or two. He was very emotional – heartbreaking to see him like this. Mother and I then had to do a Blue Peter job to rectify the curtain situation. Mother found a large piece of dark material in the linen cupboard and we found and removed 2 screw cup hooks from elsewhere in the house and put these up either side of the window and then with rubber bands secured the material over the hooks! Temporary curtain now up!

Father then got agitated and requested to go to bed and said he was exhausted and could sleep for a week, which is hardly surprising after shouting etc for so many hours. He point blank refused to let me help him get to bed, which I found so frustrating as Mother really struggled to sturn transfer him into bed. He was so tired he could hardly hold onto the sturn. I left their house at 9.30pm and then had to go to the supermarket in King's Lynn before returning to my house. Absolutely shattered!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
SPOTTED CRAKE again, Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshanks x 9, Spoonbills x 7, Crossbill, Little Gull at Titchwell RSPB.
Little Stint, Wood Sandpiper at Cley NWT. 

Suffolk Highlights
PURPLE HERON still at King's Fleet.


Lincolnshire Highlights
GULL-BILLED TERN yesterday at Chapel Point.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! LEAST SANDPIPER Adult, still on Big Pool, St Agnes, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Osprey, Little Gull, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Breydon Water.
Sooty Shearwater at Sheringham.
Crossbills x 4 at Wymondham.
Honey Buzzard over Holt Country Park.
Spoonbills x 6, Spotted Redshanks x 4, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Little Gull at Titchwell RSPB.

Suffolk Highlights
LITTLE BITTERN Male still at Lakenheath Fen RSPB
PURPLE HERON still at King's Fleet.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! LEAST SANDPIPER Adult, Big Pool, St Agnes, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Government Makes ‘Outrageous’ U-turn Over Fracking In Precious Wildlife Sites!

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/16/government-makes-outrageous-u-turn-over-fracking-in-precious-wildlife-sites?CMP=share_btn_fb

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

KEEP THE BAN ON FOX HUNTING

https://www.change.org/p/david-cameron-mp-keep-the-ban-on-fox-hunting-2?source_location=trending_petitions_home_page&algorithm=curated_trending

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spoonbills x 14, Wood Sandpipers x 2, Little Stint, Little Gulls x 4, Yellow-legged Gulls x 3, Little Ringed Plovers x 23 at Cley NWT.
Short-eared Owl at Morston Quay.
Spoonbills x 12 at Stiffkey Fen.
Curlew Sandpipers x 3 at Titchwell RSPB.
Honey Buzzard at Swanton Novers.
Spoonbills x 4, Spotted Redshanks x 7, Short-eared Owl, Bittern, Avocets x 535, Red-crested Pochards x 7 at Titchwell RSPB.

Suffolk Highlights
PURPLE HERON still at King's Fleet.


MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.

Bomb Scare in King's Lynn!!!

It took me over an hour to get home tonight! As I approached a roundabout not far from where I live, a police van and car were stationed there, lights flashing etc. A policemen indicated that everyone had to return the same way they had come and find an alternative route – he told me that a child had picked up a unexploded bomb off the beach and brought it to school!!! How on earth had that happened!!! What parent with an ounce of common sense (obviously had none) would allow their child to bring an unknown rusty metal item off the beach and take to school?!!! The link below doesn't mention any of this though!

http://www.lynnnews.co.uk/news/local/latest-local-news/king-s-lynn-road-sealed-off-in-bomb-scare-1-6852175

This made me very late for Slimming World, but got there just in time – lost 2.5lbs! Good job I didn't eat any of the Carrot Cake I made last night before I got weighed! Fell alseep when I got home, so tired today. Where is Mr Albatross I wonder?!

Also note there are pictures of the Burnham Deepdale Terek Sandpiper on the RBA Weekly Review in my earlier posting – lovely pics, but sad Norfolk birders didn't get to see it. I have just updated the Cromer black shadow in the sea post here.

BOMB UPDATE HERE

Pine Marten Seen In England For The First Time In A Hundred Years!

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/pine-marten-seen-in-england-for-the-first-time-in-a-hundred-years-10391404.html

RBA Weekly Round-Up 8th to 14th July!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2015-28.aspx?s_id=903840516

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Carrot Cake, Shopping & Bird News!

Its killing me to cook this Carrot Cake this evening. I want to eat the entire cake, but its for a colleague's leaving lunch tomorrow AND I'm on a mission to lose weight, so none allowed for me! Did Mother's on-line shop this evening – this had been working fairly well each week, should have done it ages ago!

A Terek Sandpiper was reported today (see post below) in an area with no general access. I have a feeling that it was more than probably on a private nature reserve that someone has at Burnham Deepdale. Such a pity they don't open it up to the public – I don't mind paying!!! See more infomation about this on Birdforum.

I saw my first Terek Sandpiper last year on the 20th May at Covenham Reservoir in Lincolnshire. It would be fabulous to see one in Norfolk. When I just looked at the previous records on RBA, the last one was at Snettisham in 2001, which was only months after I moved back to Norfolk – before I got into the current birding scene, before I joined RBA, before I was on the internet and before I got to know alot of fabulous birders both in Norfolk and beyond, so I knew nothing about it! The record previous to that was also at Snettisham in 1995. It's fabulous that we now have another record, but it could have landed somewhere in an area WITH general access!!! How inconsiderate! Maybe its still around, Burnham Norton maybe? Like the Black-browed Albatross, it could be absolutely anywhere!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
TEREK SANDPIPER on 25th June to 1st July and on 5th-7th July in area with no general access at Burnham Deepdale.
Spotted Redshanks x 3, Little Gull at Breydon Water.
Honey Buzzard at Swanton Novers.
Spoonbills x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 2, Little Gulls x 3, Red-crested Pochards x 5 at Titchwell RSPB.
Caspian Gull, Spoonbill x 12, Red-veined Darter Dragonfly at Cley NWT.
Yellow-legged Gull at Weybourne Beach.

Suffolk Highlights
BEE-EATER 1+ possible, heard only at 7.05am, flew over Wickham Market.
PURPLE HERON at King's Fleet.
• Little Terns x 350 at Benacre Broad.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Black-browed Albatross, Peter Hobbs's Account Of This Superb Record!

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/Finders_in_the_Field_Black-browed_Albatross_Minsmere.aspx?s_id=690027678

I still can't take this in at all! It has to be the most fascinating find I can possibly imagine. On a north westerly gale off the Norfolk or Suffolk Coast, yes, but dropping in to land on a pool at Minsmere RSPB in July is just unreal. Massive congratulations again to the finder and photographer.

Also see Josh Jones's thoughts and links to pictures of this bird on its travels HERE.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Mystery Of The Black Shadow, West of Cromer Pier!

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/update_mystery_of_the_black_shadow_to_the_west_of_cromer_pier_1_4151044

UPDATE!
http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/update_mystery_of_the_black_shadow_to_the_west_of_cromer_pier_is_solved_1_4151044

New Survey Reveals The Secret World of Norfolk’s Bats!

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/new_survey_reveals_the_secret_world_of_norfolk_s_bats_and_sheds_light_on_continental_visitors_1_4149703

MEGA! BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS HEADS NORTH TO NEWARK-ON-TRENT!!!

Via RBA – "Wholly unconfirmed report of adult Black-browed Albatross on River Trent in town centre, near B6326 Great North Road Bridge – Newark-on-Trent!!!"

Apparently reported by an elderly lady to a birder!!!

Discussion HERE from Post No. 83

Hot News from Blakeney Point!

http://norfolkcoastnationaltrust.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/12th-of-july-little-terns-behaving-like.html

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spoonbills x 5, Spotted Redshanks x 7 at Titchwell RSPB.
Balearic Shearwater probable, flew west past Sheringham.
Little Gulls x 3, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Breydon Water.
Spoonbills x 8 at Stiffkey Fen.
Spoonbills x 12, Continental Black-tailed Godwits x 2, Arctic Tern at Cley NWT.
Common Cranes x 2 at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS Adult, Wholly unconfirmed report, on River Trent in town centre, near B6326 Great North Road Bridge, Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Black-browed Albatross by Peter Hobbs!!!

Black-browed Albatross by Peter Hobbs

See link to another picture HERE

UNBELIEVABLE PICTURES!!! My jaw dropped when I saw these pictures in my lunch at work today! OMG! There are no words really to describe either seeing this bird, where it was and getting a picture as well. Find of a life time, stuff of dreams and all that jazz!

Sunday, 12 July 2015

STOP PRESS! MEGA!!! BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS ON POOL AT MINSMERE RSPB, SUFFOLK!!!

I was at Titchwell RSPB when a MEGA appeared on my pager:

"MEGA Suffolk BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS Adult Minsmere RSPB on pool behind South Hide at 4.40pm the flew south over sea towards Sizewell and lost to view at 4.51pm."

The immediate reaction from most birders was laughter, chuckling and 'yeah right'. I mean, you couldn't make it up could you!!! An Albatross sitting on a pool at Minsmere, sounds like one of my April Fools jokes!!! Then...... news appeared on Twitter that a picture had been taken!!! OMG! Found by Ian Salkeld and photographed by Peter Hobbs – WOW! Congratulations! I wonder how many others were in the hide before it flew off? I just can't believe this sighting, how incredible and a first for Suffolk to boot.

Discussion on Birdforum HERE. In the media HERE. Also write up on the RSPB Community Minsmere Blog HERE with the history of this mega bird.

PICTURES HERE & HERE

Spotted Crake at Titchwell RSPB!

I felt completely drained and exhausted all day, even after snoozing in late. Left my house and stopped at Ringstead to eat my lunch whilst watching the telegraph wires – after all a bee-eater might have landed! Yellowhammer, Linnet and Woodpigeons were the only birds I saw here. Did some errands for my parents and helped Father with a few things like trimming his nails (mother makes an awful job of this).

Tried to take a selfie of Father and I, but it didn't come out very well. Investigated the state of my parent's garden, which I discovered is like a jungle at the far end and I could hardly get past the greenhouse! Needs a strimmer I think, mind you, so does mine come to think of it! Did a few chores round the house and then left.

I spent several hours at Titchwell RSPB sitting in Island Hide, waiting for the Spotted Crake to appear, along with Eddie, Simon, Rob and Jill W., and a few others. The Spotted Crake eventually decided to put in a very brief appearance at 7.23pm, running to the right hand side of the hide and then disappeared from my view behind the reed mace which has grown far too tall, just to the right of the hide! I only managed an out of focus shot with a reed going right through the eye/bill – lovely, not!

Nice to meet Alec and also Stephen Clark whilst there, whom I walked back with just before 9pm. The Spotted Crake was far more elusive than the bird I photographed here last year on 6th August! On route home I had to do an emergency stop for a Barn Owl sitting on the side of the narrow road that runs south from Jameson's Corner at Thornham – it immediately got up and flew off over the fields.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Ruddy Shelducks x 3, Long-tailed Duck, Spoonbills x 8, Little Gulls x 6 at Cley NWT.
GULL-BILLED TERN east of north end of East Bank on Arnold's Marsh at 5.03pm then flew west at Cley NWT.
Black Redstart Juv in garden at Holme-next-Sea.
SPOTTED CRAKE, TURTLE DOVE at Titchwell RSPB.
Honey Buzzard at Swanton Novers.
Wood Sandpiper at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
Crossbills x 25 at Sheringham.

Suffolk Highlights
BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS at Minsmere RSPB!


MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS Adult on pool behind South Hide at 4.40pm the flew south over sea towards Sizewell and lost to view at 4.51pm at Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

SEARCHING FOR BEE-EATERS!

I didn't leave early, I couldn't see the point of arriving at dawn, when the Bee-eaters didn't roost there last night. But I did spend most of the day looking for the 10 Bee-eaters around Theberton, East Bridge and Leiston.

Some birders had arrived at first light I was told, but nothing seen. I also heard that there was at least 160 birders there last night, more than probably 200 and the road was jam packed. At Theberton Woods I saw a Red Kite, Common Buzzard, Treecreeper, Chiffchaffs, Coal Tit and a Robin, a female Emperor Dragonfly and a Common Darter. I looked all round Leiston and also Eastbridge, spending time by the bridge near the pub to watch all kinds of activity! A Water Vole put in an appearance and sat nibbling a reed stem – I saw two Norfolk Hawkers, lots of Banded Demoiselles, Swallows, Sand Martins, House Martins, Swifts, a  Cettis's and a Sedge Warbler. As I sat eating my salad tea in my deckchair a Barn Owl flew extremely close to me when I had left the camera on the passenger seat! I met some lovely people today, most of which where equally as disappointed as me at not seeing the Bee-eaters.

Back at Theberton in the evening, I stood with around ten other people in hope that the Bee-eaters would come into roost, but no sign again. Someone pointed out a Turtle Dove flying over the telegraph wires which was nice and also a Barn Owl flew over twice carrying prey (looked like a vole to me). Swallows and Linnets perched on the wires where there should have been a colourful array of Bee-eaters! I departed with a heavy heart – I still can't believe they have been there all week and then disappear on Friday.

Left at 8.50pm and got back into King's Lynn at 10.30pm, filled up with fuel and arrived home at just before 11pm. I could hear the finale of Festival Too from my house!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Breydon Water.
Garganey, Spoonbills x 11, Little Gulls x 3, Spotted Redshanks x 5, Arctic Skuas x 3 at Titchwell RSPB.
Spoonbills x 8, Little Gulls x 5, Curlew Sandpiper, at Cley NWT.
Honey Buzzard at Swanton Novers.
Wood Sandpiper at Hickling Broad NWT.
LITTLE BITTERN possible, unconfirmed report at South end of West Bank by Catchwater Sluice early evening, but no sign since.

Suffolk Highlights
BEE-EATERS – no sign whatsoever!


MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

MEGA! CEDAR WAXWING found dead on 27th June, St David's at Treginnis, Pembrokeshire.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Bee-eaters in Suffolk!

I'm mortified. If only I could have had a day off work. Every day this week I gave a sigh of relief and excitement that 10 Bee-eaters continued to be seen at Leiston/Theberton in Suffolk. Every day they have been seen, either very early morning or mid evening when they flew in to roost. Tonight there were around 120+ birders there waiting for them to appear, Justin Lansdell told me. But very very sadly the Bee-eaters didn't come into roost – much to the massive disappointment of everyone there and every other birder who has been at work this week, planning to go either tomorrow or Sunday. My heart sunk to the bottom draw. Not much else to say really.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Quail at Burnham Over Staithe.
Garganey x 2, Spoonbills x 8, Wood Sandpiper at Cley NWT.
Yellow-legged Gull Juv. in Churchyard at Cley.
Lesser Emperor Dragonfly at Ormesby Little Broad.
Lesser Emperor Dragonfly from A149 road bridge at Ormesby Broad.
Honey Buzzards x 6 at Swanton Novers.

Suffolk Highlights
BEE-EATERS x 10!!! again early morning at Theberton, near Leiston then flew east. BUT, they didn't come into roost this evening.

BEE-EATERS x 4 flew over Eastbridge at 11.45am
BEE-EATERS x 5+ viewed from Whin Hill at 11.45am at Minsmere RSPB.
BEE-EATER flew over Bucklesham at 11.30am.
BEE-EATER flew over Alderton early afternoon.
 
MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Reserve Record at Titchwell RSPB!

549 Avocets were recorded today, Warden Paul Eele reported!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spotted Redshanks x 2, Arctic Tern at Breydon Water.
Garganey, Spoonbills x 10, Spotted Redshanks, Little Gulls x 5 at Cley NWT.
Spoonbills x 10, Little Gulls x 3, Crossbills x 10, Spotted Redshanks x 6, Red-crested Pochards x 10, Red-veined Darter Dragonfly at Titchwell RSPB.
Spoonbills x 16 at Stiffkey Fen.
Honey Buzzard at Swanton Novers.
Common Cranes x 2 at Hickling Broad NWT.
Crossbill at Winterton.
Spoonbills x 2 at Burnham Norton.
Quail at Welney WWT.
COLLARED PRATINCOLE reported near Welney at Ten Mile Bank at 7pm, then flew to Welney WWT.

Suffolk Highlights
BEE-EATERS x 10!!! again at Theberton, near Leiston.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

A New Beginning Again!!!

With..... a last ditch attempt at losing weight. Yes, I know I've said this before, many times, but I'm going to try extra hard this time, really I am! I did start again in January, but with Father falling ill and everything thing else that has gone on this year, dieting was the last thing I had time to think about. Re-joined a local group tonight and it all kicks off tomorrow!

Those 10 Bee-eaters are STILL in Suffolk! I really, really want to see them – not enough time after work in the evenings. Just hope and pray they stay until the weekend at least, please! It was really cold this evening, which was a refreshing change from the stifling hot weather of late. Roll on Saturday! Andy Stoddart photographed the Bee-eaters in a tree!!! Here is the picture. Or see screenshot below.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Crossbills x 6 at Gorleston-on-Sea.
Puffin, Arctic Tern at Sheringham.
Garganey, Little Gulls x 5, Spoonbills x 4, Curlew Sandpiper, Arctic Tern, Continental Black-tailed Godwits x 2 at Cley NWT.
TURTLE DOVES x 2 yesterday at Beighton Church.
Garganey, Spoonbills x 11, Red-crested Pochards x 10, Spotted Redshanks x 6, Little Gull, Avocets x 510 at Titchwell RSPB.
Spoonbills x 4 at Brancaster Staithe.

Suffolk Highlights
BEE-EATERS x 10!!! again at Theberton, near Leiston.


MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 1st to 7th July!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2015-27.aspx?s_id=694694093

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Bee-eaters Still In Suffolk!!!

The 10 Bee-eaters in Suffolk popped up AGAIN on the RBA pager late this evening. Obviously this is very, very interesting and exciting indeed!!!! Might have to get a passport to Suffolk this week!!!

Sent my pager off to RBA today (again) to get Lincs bird news put back on. Hopefully will get it back again on Thursday. It's been raining on and off all day, but developed into a beautiful sunny evening. I wanted to go birding, but felt too tired after my Lincs trip last night and work all day.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Breydon Water.
Spoonbills x 9, Garganey, Spotted Redshanks x 9, Little Gulls x 3 at Titchwell RSPB.
Garganey at Cley NWT.
Garganey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Lesser Emperor Dragonfly at Ormesby Little Broad.

Lincolnshire Highlights
White-winged Black Tern for third day at Frampton RSPB.


Suffolk Highlights
BEE-EATERS x 10!!! again at Theberton, near Leiston.


MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

MEGA! PACIFIC SWIFT probable, King George V Reservoir at 8.45am only, London.

Monday, 6 July 2015

White-winged Black Tern at Frampton RSPB!

There was no news on the White-winged Black Tern after 1.45pm when I got home from work. 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go'? As Paul Eele said on Twitter.... 'should have gone anyway Penny. Its a great reserve with loads of birds...' He is obviously correct, I should have just gone anyway. Frampton RSPB is a vast and stunning reserve and you never fail to see a huge variety of birds. But, I did wait on news, so left much later than I should have. Asked RBA to put a no news on message out and around half an hour later a 3.15pm message bleeped up. It was now 6.30pm. I decided to go. Its a simple journey to Frampton from King's Lynn, the worst bit is getting out of King's Lynn! But the A17 is such a depressing road, not exactly a scenic journey!

On arrival the weather was gloomy and spitting with rain – great! The good news was that the cracking, pristine White-winged Black Tern was on show, as soon as I stepped out of the car!!! What a bird – it was so fabulous to watch, even in the rain. It spent most of its time on the pool by the 360┬║ hide, but did venture across the path a couple of times onto the other scrape by Reedbed Hide. The weather was dire for pictures, but got a few distant record shots and some equally naff phone-scoped video. I stayed watching this fabulous tern until 9.40pm! 2 Spoonbills also seen from Reedbed Hide and all the usual Frampton birds including tons of gulls, Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, Great Crested Grebes, Mute Swans, Common Terns, Swifts, Swallows etc etc.

I absolutely loved the Reflection Sculpture on the track to the 360┬║hide. I took a video of this, its the best way to portray it. Basically its around 9ft tall and is like a wave pattern, one side is wooden type slats with mirrors in between and the other side is a whole mirror reflecting the reserve. Etched onto this side are birds which have been designed by local birders – its the coolest thing I have seen on any reserve! The sign reads "Welcome to 'Reflector'. A specially designed artwork, created for the reserve by artists Craig and Mary Matthews. It feature etchings of birds, as designed by local people. Maybe you supplied one, can you spot it? Reflector was fully funded by 'Transported' – an Arts Council England project."

PICTURES & VIDEOS TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Breydon Water.
Spoonbills x 14, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Gulls x 4, Red-veined Darter Dragonfly at Cley NWT.
Lesser Emperor Dragonfly at Ormesby Little Broad.
Quail at Welney WWT.
Honey Buzzard at Swanton Novers.
Spoonbill, Garganey, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB.
ALPINE SWIFT probable, flew in off sea then flew south at 2pm at Cley NWT.
Osprey at Burgh Castle.

Lincolnshire Highlights
White-winged Black Tern for second day at Frampton RSPB.


MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

10 BEE-EATERS IN SUFFOLK!!!

I returned home from work to see on my pager that 10 Bee-eaters had been in Leiston, Suffolk from 11.10am until 4.14pm, off Valley Road at Leiston, then flew NE!!!

It was an exceptionally hard day at work and we were there until the end at 4.30pm, so no leaving early today! I was gutted when I read that pager message and to make it worse the Bee-eaters had departed just before I left off work. I would have driven over there to see them on the second and third pager message had I not been working! I would rather see 10 Bee-eaters than a first for Britain. How awesome it must have been to watch that spectacle!

Pictures here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. That's probably the most picture links I have done to date, but you can never tire of seeing Bee-eaters!

As soon as I got in the door this evening I had a shower, changed, put birding gear in car, made a quick tea and then made the massive mistake of having a little rest...... woke up a 7.15pm – gutted. I was going to Titchwell RSPB, not worth going now really at that time. Later this evening, I started to add the bird news on my blog and was even more gutted to see that there was a White-winged Black Tern at Frampton RSPB!!! When I studied my pager I realised that since it came back from being mended, I now don't have Lincolnshire bird news, which I did before! So that's why I didn't get any pager messages about the tern! I would have defininately gone to Frampton for that this evening – very disappointed, not a happy bunny at all.

Fabulous flight shot here of the White-winged Black Tern

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Curlew Sandpiper at Cley NWT.
Little Gulls x 5 at Weybourne.
Red-veined Darter on pond by Ringland Lane, south of Tavernham.

Suffolk Highlights
BEE-EATERS x 10!!! 4 at 11.10am & then 10 in total at 11.20am until 4.14pm off Valley Road at Leiston, then flew NE.


Lincolnshire Highlights
White-winged Black Tern at Frampton RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Sunset At Hunstanton Cliffs!

A couple watching the sun setting over The Wash at Hunstanton

Saturday 4th July
Another roasting hot day which kept me indoors. I don't do hot weather, far too hot for me. I spent a long time checking that I had copied everything off the iphone 5s before deleting everything on it and the same with my old iphone 3G. The weather is apparently going to be more normal for the time of year next week – lets hope so!

At 4.45pm I left my house to nip into town to sell both phones. But I wasn't going anywhere, a neighbour has purchased a snazzy new, very long car and had parked it alongside the hedge opposite my drive, so that I couldn't get out. I knocked on their door and the lady came out (not English) and then phoned someone and then passed the phone to me... long story short, the driver was at B&Q with a friend – great!!! Very helpful to me that!!!!! I then had to work out who's the other car was and then had to go and knock on their door to move their car. This all took a good 15 minutes and rattled me big time. I still had a problem getting out and had to scrape my hedge in order to do so. If you have a long car, DON'T park alongside the hedge opposite me! I really do need to get organised and sell this house. I really can't be doing with this parking situation any longer and when I get the new car it will be even worse, as its slightly wider and longer than my current Skoda.

I eventually made it to webuy.com shop and got a brilliant price for both phones. Last week when I enquired, I was offered £170.00 for the 5s, but because I found someone on line offering me £205.00, they matched it! They bought the 3G (buying on line for £3) off me for £25.00! The only problem was that they had to run a test on both phones and hadn't got time to do both, so I have to go back either tomorrow if I finish work early or Monday evening. If the neighbour hadn't blocked me in, I wouldn't have to go back again!

Returned home, made a salad tea and then went to Hunstanton to take pictures of the sunset. There were lots of bees feeding on the valerian plant at the top of the zig zag slope down to the cliffs, next to the Salad Bowl Cafe and bowling green. Lots of people around and couples romantically watching the sunset together. Did a bit of shopping for my parents and then returned home. There were loads of moths as I drove home via Ringstead.

These pictures look out of focus, but when you click on them to view, you will see they are sharp. This is because I sent them straight from iphone via Blogpress, which basically takes quality and sharpness out of pictures! I will load them up again tomorrow (copying pictures onto Mac and re-sizing in photoshop).
Sun setting over The Wash at Hunstanton

Saturday, 4 July 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Great White Egrets x 2 yesterday at Hickling Broad NWT.
Spoonbills x 8, Little Gulls x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 9 at Titchwell RSPB.
Garganey, Spoonbills x 12 at Cley NWT.
Lesser Emperor Dragonflies x 2 (both males) at Ormesby Little Broad.
Lesser Emperor Dragonfly yesterday at Rollesby Broad.
Lesser Emperor Dragonfly at Felbrigg Hall Lake NT.
Red-veined Darters x 3 yesterday on pond by Ringland Lane, south of Tavernham.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY EILEEN!!!
Love Penny X

Friday, 3 July 2015

Friday Update!

So glad this week is over, the heat has been unbearable – mind you, I only have one day of rest as back at work on Sunday. Sold my Kowa Photo Adapter and Olloclip 3-in-1 Macro Kit for iphone 5s on Thursday evening to a local Norfolk birder, so that was good. Looks like the heatwave is going to continue this weekend, although Sunday looks a little cooler. Some clearance people have been into my neighbour's fire damaged house and placed a skip in the front garden, which has been filled with damaged stuff and loft insulation – the loft insulation is in pieces all around the street and in people's gardens – surely not something that should be left in a skip in a residential street!!! No other mishaps, gossip or other to report this week!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Great White Egret yesterday at Cley NWT.
Garganey, Spoonbills x 8, Yellow-legged Gull, Red-veined Darter Dragonfly at Cley NWT.
Spoonbills x 8, Little Gulls x 3, Spotted Redshanks x 5 at Titchwell RSPB.
Lesser Emperor Dragonfly Male at Filby Broad.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Roseate Terns adults x 2, Spoonbills x 11 at Arnold's Marsh, Garganey x 2 on Pat's Pool and Red-veined Darter Dragonfly along East Bank at Cley NWT.
Spotted Redshanks x 7, Little Gulls x 2 at Breydon Water.
Red-veined Darter Dragonflies x 30 at Felbrigg Hall Lake NT.
Crossbill flew over Honing Lock.
Lesser Emperor Dragonfly Male at Ormesby Broad Little Broad.
Garganey, Spotted Redshanks x 8, Avocets x 365 and Red-veined Darter Dragonflies x 10 on East Trail pool at Titchwell RSPB.
CASPIAN TERN flew east over Norfolk Showground at 12.30pm.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Hot, Hot, Hot!!!

Hottest day in the UK for nine years!!!

It was so hot at work yesterday, today was a joke! Our team is normally very happy, but the intensity of the heat got to us all today. Its pretty disgusting when your entire uniform is wet with the heat!

Second cold shower of the day as soon as I got home from work – that felt so good.

Had some very important emails to sort and also had to finalise Mother's on-line shop and then drove to Hunstanton to buy fish 'n' chips and chips for Mother. My father looked boiling, he face was red and his forehead and hands felt hot, his hands are always freezing normally – yet when I asked him several times, he insisted that he wasn't hot and that he had felt cold several times today. He sat there in a jumper!!! When I saw the jumper, it made me feel ill!

On the way home I decided to go to Sainsburys – its so hot, I'm not going to get much sleep tonight. There was hardly a soul in there and it was freezing cold, it was heaven!!! Coolest place to be until I stepped back out into the carpark. Don't think many of us will get much sleep tonight. My house is baking!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER,Spotted Redshanks x 6 at Breydon Water.
Wood Sandpiper, Quail at Welney WWT.
Spoonbills x 12, Spotted Redshanks x 6 at Titchwell RSPB.
Roseate Terns adults x 2 at 7.39pm on Arnold's Marsh, Cley NWT.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 24th to 30th June!

By Jon Dunn
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2015-26.aspx?s_id=485543516