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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
TUESDAY 25TH APRIL
Shorelarks x 9 at Happisburgh
Ring Ouzels x 3 at South Beach, Heacham
Savi's Warbler at Heigham Corner, Spoonbills x 3, White Stork esc. at Hickling Broad NWT
Great White Egrets x 2, Spoonbills x 7 yesterday at
Burnham Overy Dunes
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Burnham Overy Dunes
Waxwings x 13 at Costessey
Glossy Ibis, Great White Egret at Hockwold Washes,
Lakenheath Fen RSPB
Black Redstart at end of the Esplanade, Sheringham
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Great White Egret, Spoonbill at Welney WWT
White Storks x 3 at Feltwell
Ring Ouzel, Spoonbills x 3 at Stiffkey
Turtle Doves x 2, Ring Ouzel at Snettisham Coastal Park
Spoonbill at Titchwell RSPB

MEGA NEWS
None

Monday, 24 April 2017

COUCH TO 5K!!! My First Run!


Today I ran my first 'COUCH TO 5K'! The beginning of a new fitter me! Long distance running was the only sport I really enjoyed at school. I remember going in for the 'Norfolk Trials' and came in 12th behind my friend Veronica Bland in 11th place! I don't think I have ever run since! I was surprised I was able to complete the first stage this morning to be honest. Thanks to Cilla Williams a Physiotherapist I work with, for her advice and encouragement. Cilla is running 10k on the 30th April – here is her donation page: Cilla's 10k for Little Discoverers on MyDonate

Week One – you run three times a week.  You have four trainers to choose from, I choose Michael Johnson. You start off with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk and then run for 60 seconds, brisk walk for 90 seconds, run for 60 seconds and so on until the end of the 20 minute session, when you finish with a 5 minute brisk walk. By the 9th week, you should be able to run 5k in 30 minutes! I'm fed up with dieting, so thought I would run off the stones!

I didn't get any birding done at the weekend. Jobs and errands on Saturday and then worked all day on Sunday. But, I have nine days off from this Saturday – 29th April!!!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Savi's Warbler at Heigham Corner, Spoonbills x 2 at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT
Ring Ouzels x 15 at Burnham Overy Dunes
Ring Ouzels x 2 flew west over Titchwell RSPB
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Waxham
Spoonbills x 2 flew west over Salthouse
Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Black Terns x 2 at Colney Gravel Pits
Ring Ouzels x 2 south of Heacham Dam
Turtle Doves x 2, Ring Ouzels x 5, Whinchat at Snettisham Coastal Park
Shorelarks x 10 at Happisburgh
Glossy Ibis at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB
Ring Ouzel at Wiveton
Black Kite 3.5 miles ENE of Downham Market
Whimbrels x 29 on village hall field at Thornham

MEGA NEWS
None

Sunday, 23 April 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Savi's Warbler at Heigham Corner, Spoonbills x 2, Garganey x 2 at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT
Great White Egret, Spoonbills x 4, Garganey x 4, Common Cranes x 13 at Potter Heigham
Ring Ouzels x 7 flew west, Velvet Scoters x 40 at Titchwell RSPB
Ring Ouzel, Grasshopper Warbler, Garganey x 2 at
Snettisham Coastal Park
Waxwings x 16 at New Costessey
Waxwings x 18 at Burnham Overy Dunes
Glossy Ibis, Great White Egret at Hockwold Washes,
Lakenheath Fen RSPB
Spotted Redshanks x 5 at Breydon Water
Ring Ouzel at Mousehold Heath, Norwich
Ring Ouzels x 2 in garden at North Repps
Ring Ouzels x 29 at West Runton
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Stiffkey Fen
Turtle Dove singing in village, Ring Ouzels x 7 at Holme Dunes NWT, Ring Ouzels x 5 near watch tower at Holme
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Winterton
Blue-headed Wagtail, Ring Ouzel at Kelling Quags
Shorelarks x 10 at Happisburgh
Redstart at East Wretham Heath
White-tailed Eagle at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Common Crane at Barton Broad
Bar-tailed Godwit at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Hen Harrier at Heacham
Hooded Crow flew west, Ring Ouzel at Sheringham

MEGA NEWS
None

Saturday, 22 April 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
White-tailed Eagle, Savi's Warbler singing at Heigham Corner, Spoonbills x 2, Common Cranes x 2 at Rush Hill Scrape at
Hickling Broad NWT
Glossy Ibis, Great White Egret at Hockwold Washes,
Lakenheath Fen RSPB
Black Tern, Spoonbills x 2, Velvet Scoters x 64 at Titchwell RSPB
Ring Ouzel in field at Great Bircham
White-tailed Eagle, Osprey at Ormesby Little Broad,
Ormesby St Margaret
Common Cranes x 18, Garganey, Spoonbills x 2 at
Potter Heigham Marshes
Osprey, Arctic Terns x 5 at Cley NWT
Whimbrel x 11 at Thornham
Ring Ouzels x 3, Woodlark, Common Cranes x 2 at Winterton
Spoonbill at Cantley Marshes RSPB
Ring Ouzel at Sheringham
Osprey at East Dereham
Osprey at Burnham Overy Dunes
Waxwings x 6 at New Costessey
Ring Ouzels x 3 west of Blakeney
Spoonbill at Breydon Water
Shorelarks x 7 at Happisburgh
Bar-tailed Godwit, Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Ring Ouzel at Welney WWT
Purple Sandpipers x 13 at Waxham
Waxwings x 16 at Longwater Retail Park, NW of Norwich

MEGA NEWS
None

Friday, 21 April 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Velvet Scoters x 45, Long-tailed Duck at Titchwell RSPB
Black Brant or hybrid yesterday at Snettisham RSPB
Ring Ouzels x 5 flew west, Blue-headed Wagtail in cattle field by car park at West Runton
Ring Ouzel in garden at Sheringham
Spoonbill, Russian White-fronted Goose at Cley NWT
White-tailed Eagle flew over Ormesby Little Broad, Spoonbill at
Ormesby St Margaret
Savi's Warbler singing at Heigham Corner, Spoonbills x 3 at Rush Hill Scrape, Common Cranes x 2 at Hickling Broad NWT
Ring Ouzels x 2 at South Dunes, Winterton
Ring Ouzels x 2 flew over Meadow Lane, Salthouse
Great White Egrets x 4, Bar-tailed Godwit at Welney WWT
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Burnham Overy Dunes
Waxwings x 16 at Longwater Retail Park, NW of Norwich
Glossy Ibis, Great White Egret, Garganey x 2 at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB
Osprey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
White Stork at Heigham Holmes
White Stork esc. at Waxham
Ravens x 2 flew over Sandringham

MEGA NEWS
None

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
THURSDAY 20th APRIL
Ring Ouzels x 17+, Hen Harrier, Spoonbill, Velvet Scoters x 8 offshore at Burnham Overy Dunes
Turtle Dove, Velvet Scoters x 35, Long-tailed Ducks x 3 at
Titchwell RSPB
Ring Ouzel between Heacham and Hunstanton
Blue-headed Wagtail in paddock south of Hunstanton
Honey Buzzard at Ranworth Broad
White Stork drifted south, Ring Ouzels x 4 at Horsey
White Stork drifted south over Winterton
Ring Ouzels x 2 south of Beeston Bump, Sheringham
Hoopoe flew west over Sheringham
Hoopoe flew west over beach at Salthouse
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Drayton
Shorelarks x 2, Blue-headed Wagtail, White Wagtails x 3 at Happisburgh
Spoonbill at north end of East Bank at Cley NWT
Great White Egrets x 5 at Welney WWT
Savi's Warbler singing at Heigham Corner, Hickling Broad NWT
Great White Egret at Holkham
Garganey x 2, Bar-tailed Godwit at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Common Cranes x 9 flew ESE over Norwich
Common Cranes x 9 flew east over Brundall/Strumpshaw
Waxwings x 16 at Longwater Retail Park
Crossbills x 2 flew SE over Sidestrand
Osprey at Rockland Broad

MEGA NEWS
None

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Turtle Dove, Velvet Scoters x 37, Long-tailed Ducks x 2 at
Titchwell RSPB
Ring Ouzel, Black Redstart at Kelling Quags
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Drayton
Ring Ouzel flew south along cliffs, Ring Ouzel at Searles Golf Course at Hunstanton
Ring Ouzels x 3, Redstart, Garganey x 2, Cuckoos x 2, Whimbrels x 2 at Snettisham Coastal Park
Ruddy Shelduck east of East Bank at Cley NWT
Common Cranes x 2 at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Glossy Ibis, Great White Egret at Hockwold Washes,
Lakenheath Fen RSPB
Ring Ouzels x 5 at Gun Hill, Spoonbill at Burnham Overy Dunes
Ring Ouzels x 5, White Stork (presumed esc.) at Horsey
Hoopoe on lawn at Mundesley
Dartford Warbler, Shorelarks x 5, Shag, White Stork at Happisburgh
Garganey at Cantley
Ring Ouzels x 4 at Cawston Heath
Common Cranes x 9 flew north over Wiveton

MEGA NEWS
HERMIT THRUSH

Isle of Noss, Shetland

RBA Weekly Round-Up 12th to 18th April!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2017-16.aspx?s_id=926927557

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Burnham Overy Dunes and Gun Hill!

Ring Ouzel
This evening at Gun Hill, Burnham Overy Dunes


Today was my first proper day's birding in ages! I also can't remember the last time I walked to Burnham Overy Dunes! It was a gloriously sunny day, but with a biting north easterly wind to keep you alert! It was obvious that the Easter break was over, as there were very few people about and hardly any dogs.

As I walked along the hedge-lined track, a Swallow flew over and a Spoonbill flew west. A male Blackcap appeared in an elder by the stile. My first Sedge Warbler burst into song, by the first metal gate – this was one of several I heard this afternoon. There were lots of Egyptian Geese, Greylag and Canada Geese on the marshes, along with Lapwings displaying, Red-legged and Grey Partridges, Little Egrets, Shelducks, Mallards, Marsh Harrier, a Kestrel and Meadow Pipits. A Yellow Wagtail flew over calling. At the end of the boardwalk a Hedge Sparrow was singing in the newly blossomed apple tree. I love this apple tree, so many good birds have found shelter in this little tree  – I won't forget photographing a Pallas's Warbler here a few years back.

I headed east through the dunes to the pines. At least five Wheatears were feeding on the short turf, along with a big flock of 50+ Linnets – some of them were very bright indeed, as they perched on the barbed wire fence in the sunshine. I explored most of the dunes, which was hard work – as I'm pretty unfit at the moment. A striking male Stonechat was perched at the top of a bush singing, which was nice and the Wheatear count continued. I walked to the Subalpine Warbler pit (locals will know where I mean) and it started to rain – no birds here. The rain shower was brief thank goodness. I walked around the pines and then back to sit on the high dune overlooking the fenced off area in hope of a Ring Ouzel. I played the 'Lark Ascending' on my iphone and thought about my father, got upset and turned the music off – it was pretty silly to play it in the first place! A Robin sat in an elder the entire time I was here – no Ring Ouzels were seen! Two Marsh Harriers were cruising over the marshes distantly. The best bird here was an unexpected Fieldfare, which flew past me at eye level, going east towards the pines.

I walked back through the dunes with several more sightings of Wheatears and Meadow Pipits. I climbed the high dune to walk along the flat area next to the barbed wire fence, but looked back for a few moments and suddenly spotted a blackish bird distantly – looked through bins to find a smart male Ring Ouzel! Another appeared and another..... four in all – good job I looked back before I continued my walk. They were too far away for photos though. Back at the boardwalk, I headed west to Gun Hill – it was now 6pm.
Ring Ouzel at Gun Hill, Burnham Overy Dunes


Along the lower path I found three lovely Reed Buntings in the suada scrub and more Wheatears appeared, along with another big flock of Linnets. There were approximately 400 Brent Geese on the marshes and two Spoonbills were in the creek just south of Gun Hill. There were at least 10 Wheatears in this area. Three Whimbrel flew overhead calling. I walked to the far west end of Gun Hill and then back along the seaward side. The only bird I found in the scrub just below the hill was a Hedge Sparrow sneaking around in the undergrowth. As I walked around the hill to view the slope below, I had wonderful surprise of four more Ring Ouzels! They were nigh on impossible to get close to and even more difficult to photograph! They are typically nervous birds and I have never obtained a crisp shot of one yet. There was also a pair of Stonechats perched up with the Ring Ouzels and along with the Wheatears and Meadow Pipits flitting around, it was a lovely scene to watch.
Stonechat at Gun Hill, Burnham Overy Dunes


I made my way back to the boardwalk – it was extremely chilly now, which helped me to quicken my pace! I saw another Spoonbill near the sluice and heard more Sedge Warblers on route. Got back to my car before dark and headed to Holme to visit mother for a short while and collected the on-line shopping list, which I only just got done in time before the deadline, when I returned to King's Lynn. Back to work tomorrow.

I have wasted quite a bit of time over the Easter period, but my spirit is still feeling so sad and its difficult to pull yourself together at times. Once we have scattered father's ashes, hopefully time will heal and normality (what ever normality is) will I'm sure return to some degree. I have a week's holiday starting on Saturday 29th April, but not sure if I want to be on my own for a week with the way I am still feeling – I may cancel it. On the other hand, maybe I'll wait and see what the weather and winds are doing for that week!😀

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Velvet Scoters x 10, Spoonbill at Titchwell RSPB
Glossy Ibis at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB
Ring Ouzels x 2, Whinchat at Cawston Heath
Iberian Chiffchaff reported yesterday was a Chiffchaff at Foxley Wood
Ring Ouzel at Beeston Regis
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Drayton
Ring Ouzels x 8 + 4 at Gun Hill, Spoonbills x 2 at Burnham Overy Dunes
Garganey x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Serin male esc. (bearing blue ring) at Snettisham Coastal Park
Arctic Tern flew over Colney Gravel Pits
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Ringstead Downs
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Horsey
Iceland Gull at Ashwicken Gravel Pits, north of East Winch
Great White Egrets x 3 at Welney WWT
Shorelarks x 2 at Happisburgh
Siberian Chiffchaff probable at Thorpe Marshes, Thorpe St Andrew

MEGA NEWS
None

Monday, 17 April 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Osprey flew west over Overstrand
Ring Ouzel at Kelling Hard
Velvet Scoters x 18, Long-tailed Ducks x 6 at Titchwell RSPB
Glossy Ibis, Great White Egret at Hockwold Washes,
Lakenheath Fen RSPB
Ring Ouzel flew over Nunnery Lakes, Thetford
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Burnham Overy Dunes
Ring Ouzel west of Blakeney
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Horsey
Montagu's Harrier or Pallid Harrier fem/juv flew east over Chalkpit Lane near Choseley Barns
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Potter Heigham
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Drayton
Iberian Chiffchaff probable at Foxley Wood
Turtle Dove, Ring Ouzels x 5 at Cawston Heath
Great White Egrets x 2, Garganey at Welney WWT
Shorelarks x 5, Blue-headed Wagtail at Happisburgh
Short-eared Owl at Winterton
Redstart at Beeston Common, Sheringham
Garganey x 2 at Snettisham Coastal Park
Osprey, Whimbrel at Hingham
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Grimston Warren
Common Cranes x 8 flew over Stubb Mill, Hickling Broad NWT

MEGA NEWS
None

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Easter Sunday at Titchwell RSPB!

Bloody-nosed Beetle
Taken with Apple iphone 6 on the East Trail, Titchwell RSPB


I picked Lucy up and headed for Holme, to persuade mother to come out with us for the morning. She agreed in the end and off we went to Titchwell RSPB (via the farm shop at Thornham for bread etc) and parked in a disabled spot, using mother's new official badge. It was cold but fairly bright with sunny intervals. Neither my mother or sister Lucy are able to walk very far, so I knew it we wouldn't be covering the entire reserve!

We walked around the Fen Trail. We had good views of two male Blackcaps in the main feeding station area, along with Goldfinches, Robins and Wrens. Chiffchaffs were singing and Cetti's Warbler heard and seen at close range. At the Fen Hide, we headed towards the East Trail. We had lovely views of a Bloody-nosed Beetle on the wide concrete area – to be honest, I couldn't remember what beetle it was until I ID'd him in an insect book later on.

We sat on the seats overlooking Patsy's Pool – the water level was pretty high, in fact I haven't ever seen it this high before and there were no muddy edges on show. Fabulous close views of a Great Crested Grebe along with Gadwall, Mallards, Tufted Ducks, Greylag Geese with fluffy bundles of young. A Marsh Harrier was seen distantly over the far wood. It started to spit with rain, so we headed back to the cafe for lunch. We didn't see any hirundines and it was not exactly buzzing with birdlife – cold north winds not helping at all!

We all had the Potato skins with cheese and red onions with salad and coleslaw, which were very nice indeed, but the potatoes were considerably smaller than what they usually are. The hot desserts have gone up in price – I'm pretty sure they were £2.95, they are now £3.95! I wasn't going to pay that much, so we bought a piece of cake and shared it.

If I had been on my own, I would have gone on to walk along the main path, to the hides and sea, but Lucy and Mother had had enough. They both spent a long time in the shop, where mother bought some bird seed and Lucy purchased a bird book and some very expensive chocolate! I looked at the price of the 'Paramo' jackets which are now £325 – mine was £300 when I bought it several years ago and has now ripped beyond repair – it will have to stay ripped as can't afford £325.00 for another!

We headed home and spent the afternoon chatting about Trump, Kim Jong-un, Nuclear war, diets and lots of other depressing subjects – the rain was pelting down with dark and gloomy skies. All in all it was a very jolly afternoon!!! Oh, and there is something really weird going on with the cat – it has a new habit of sleeping on a plastic carrier bag on a wide low shelf in the bathroom! What is all that about? I picked it up and brought it downstairs and it went straight back up again to snooze on the bag?! Weird cat!

MORE PICTURES TO BE ADDED LATER

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Ring Ouzels x 10, Spoonbill at Burnham Overy Dunes
Garganey x 6, Knot at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Velvet Scoters x 28 at Titchwell RSPB
Ring Ouzel at North Dunes, Winterton
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Beeston Common, Sheringham
Glaucous Gull, Spoonbills x 2, Ring Ouzels x 3 all flew west at Sheringham
Spoonbill, Garganey at Potter Heigham Marshes
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Costessey Mill
Ring Ouzel east of church at Morston
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Syderstone Common
White Stork flew over Cley NWT
Osprey at Wroxham
Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Gramborough Hill, Ring Ouzel at Dun Cow Pub garden at Salthouse
Glossy Ibis at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB

MEGA NEWS
AMERICAN COOT

Balranald RSPB, North Uist, Western Isles

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Hitches Ride To Work in Chicago!

Date For Your Diary – 30th April 2017!


Hope to see some of you at this exciting event!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Mood, Hair, Rant & Acknowledgments!

Not a good day for me, but lovely weather! I felt very sad today and kept thinking about my dear father. This resulted in no action, no birding, no nothing at all really.

My recent new hair cut has grown too quickly, so nipped to a walk-in hairdressers late in the day, to get it cut back into shape. My regular hair salon was closed, due to the Easter weekend – it was a bit risky going somewhere else, but Hayley at "Envy" did a good job and it was cheaper! I couldn't wait until my three month appointment in mid May!

Had lunch and tea all rolled into one, which was the salad I prepared for when I went out birding today, followed by strawberries, raspberries and soya custard – yummy!

Acknowledgment in the EDP today and on-line:
http://www.familynotices24.co.uk/edp/view/4342954/peter-robert-clarke

I'm seeing a lot of messages on social media today about dogs going missing in Norfolk, when people are out walking on beaches and in woods etc. Keep them on a lead, its quite simple! Plus, it protects other people, children and wildlife from being jumped at, slobbered over, snarled at, bitten etc – win, win all round! Happy owner, happy dog, happy everyone else!

My younger sister Vivien is cruising with her partner Ray on his narrowboat for a week, so won't see her for a while. Lucy, Mother and I are going birding locally tomorrow, hope the rain holds off!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Ring Ouzels x 8, Purple Sandpipers x 3 at Waxham
Long-tailed Ducks x 3, Velvet Scoters x 26 at Titchwell RSPB
Ring Ouzel at Dersingham Bog
Ring Ouzel at Gunthorpe
Short-eared Owl at Cley NWT
Ring Ouzels x 10 at Burnham Overy Dunes
Ring Ouzel at Weybourne Camp
Common Cranes x 15 at Winterton
Glossy Ibis at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB
Spoonbills x 2 at Holme NOA
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Holme Dunes NWT
Spoonbill at Breydon Water
Ring Ouzel south of Blakeney

MEGA NEWS
ROCK THRUSH Male
 
St Martin's, Isles of Scilly
AMERICAN COOT
Balranald RSPB, North Uist, Western Isles

Develop A GCSE In Natural History!

Please sign the petition below and pass the message on, thank you.

"Re-engagement with Britain's natural history has never been more urgent. Young people need the skills to name, observe, monitor and record wildlife. It is vital to understand the contribution nature makes to our lives physically, culturally, emotionally and scientifically both in the past and today.

Britain’s reputation for recording its natural history was unsurpassed anywhere in the world. Those skills are disappearing as new generations are increasingly disconnected. The UK also has outstanding nature writing, art, poetry, film and radio. It has always been integral to our culture and heritage."
  • Tony Juniper: “This is a brilliant idea and I am happy to endorse, support and advocate however I can.”
  • Professor Tim Birkhead FRS: “This is the best idea I have heard about for a long time.”
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/176749

Friday, 14 April 2017

Ringstead Downs NWT!

The picnic area at Ringstead Downs NWT


I felt exhausted this morning and didn't get up very early at all. With good numbers of Ring Ouzels along the Norfolk coast, I decided to search for my own. The slopes of Ringstead Downs are an excellent place to find Ring Ouzels and I felt pretty sure there would be some there.

The parking area for the 'Downs' has been enlarged considerably – there was only space for approximately four cars before. Two large 4x4's arrived seconds after me, with loads of dogs piling out for their late afternoon walk. I set off along the track in search of migrants. I had the place to myself as the dog walkers headed towards the chalk face and picnic area. It was a very dull afternoon with rain filled clouds looming.

Considering the dull weather, I saw a good number of birds. Five British White Cattle were grazing the slopes of the Downs and there was a notice up stating this at the gate, with a 'keep dogs on leads' notice. The cattle did not seem bothered at all when I ambled past them. Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were both singing as was a Mistle Thrush. I had good views of a female Blackcap later on. I had both Great Spotted Woodpecker and Green Woodpecker in the tops of the trees on route. There were several Robins and Blackbirds gathering food on the slopes. I saw a Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush and a single Swallow over the farm buildings and a Pied Wagtail on a roof. Bees were collecting nectar from nettle flowers. There were some lovely clumps of 'Lords-and-Ladies' and some Periwinkle flowers. I could not believe there were not ANY Ring Ouzels!!! If they are elsewhere in Norfolk, I have always found them here! Very disappointing not to have found any.
Periwinkle (Vinca minor)

Lords-and-Ladies (Arum maculatum)

Cowslips (Primula veris)

Just before the chalk face and gate at the north end of the downs, I witnessed a Sparrowhawk chasing a mistle thrush, but thankfully the Sparrowhawk failed! Around the corner of the farm buildings I watched several birds feeding on the edge of a sloped ploughed field, including: Red-legged Partridges, Hedgesparrow, Linnets, a single Yellowhammer, Greenfinch, Chaffinch and some Goldfinches in the elders adjacent to the field. On the way back I had a Common Buzzard circling overhead, a Kestrel hovering and two Greylag Geese flew over. A single Long-tailed Tit was seen, along with Great Tit and a Blue Tit. Bird of the day was a Whitethroat 'tacking' and seen in an elder bush about half way along the track.
Picnic area at Ringstead Downs


Picnic area at Ringstead Downs
 

I made my way through the trees to the picnic area and chalk face. It was very pretty here with lots of cowslips, carpets of forget-me-knots and other flowers. There are picnic tables and a bench here and its a very scenic spot. Unfortunately it was spoilt by a very selfish dog owner, who had not cleared up mess, left right bang in the middle of this pretty scene – disgusting, even more, so if any children come here to play over the next few days. I have always imagined a wallcreeper adorned over this chalkface, wouldn't that be incredible!

I headed back to the car and noticed the fabulous array of colourful bluebells in the woods on private land, on the left hand side of the path just before the car park. How lucky was I, it started to rain pretty heavily just as I opened my car door!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Ring Ouzels x 3 south of Holme Bird Observatory
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Holme Dunes NWT
Long-tailed Ducks x 35, Velvet Scoters x 32 at Titchwell RSPB
Whimbrel flew north, Garganey, Ring Ouzels x 3, Redstart male at Snettisham Coastal Park
Swift at North Dunes, Hobby at South Dunes, Hen Harrier at Winterton
Glossy Ibis, Great White Egret, Garganey x 2 at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB
Black Redstart at South Beach, Heacham
Great White Egret at Berney Marshes RSPB
Ring Ouzels x 8 at Sidestrand
Ring Ouzels x 8 at Waxham
Spoonbills x 6 on saltmarsh, Ring Ouzels x 4 at Garden Drove,
Warham Greens
Purple Sandpiper at Sheringham
Ring Ouzels x 11 at Gun Hill, Burnham Overy Dunes
Arctic Tern at Barton Broad
Glaucous Gull at Stalham
Ring Ouzel, Firecrest, Kingfisher at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Garganey at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT
Ring Ouzel at Weybourne Camp
Great White Egret, Spoonbill at Breydon Water
Ring Ouzel, Common Cranes x 2, Redstart, Black Redstart at Horsey
Knot at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Short-eared Owl at Cley NWT

MEGA NEWS
ROCK THRUSH Male

St Martin's, Isles of Scilly
NORTHERN HARRIER
North Ronaldsay, Orkney

Stop the Illegal Slaughter of Migrating Songbirds on MoD land in Cyprus!

PLEASE SIGN HERE:

Thursday, 13 April 2017

EASTER WEEKEND!

HAPP EASTER!


I have been treating patients out in the community all day and had my lunch out on route. My lunch spot was a field entrance a few miles from Swaffham! It was really peaceful and I heard a Blackcap singing and saw an Orange Tip butterfly. When I finished work, I picked mother up from her hospital appointment and took her home to Holme, where we both shared a portion of fish 'n' chips. The north wind in Hunstanton was freezing! I expect there will be some silly holidaymakers in shorts over the weekend! When I returned to King's Lynn, I had to do a supermarket run before going home. I have travelled almost a 100 miles today!

Now finished work for the Easter break and booked (ages ago) an extra day, so have Tuesday off as well and then return to work next Wednesday. Looking forward to seeing some Spring Migrants, although I don't think there will be tons with the cold north winds!

Weather for Easter Weekend!

GOOD FRIDAY
"Generally cloudy with some brighter spells possible especially in the morning. Mostly light rain will spread to all parts through the afternoon. South West Winds."

SATURDAY TO MONDAY
"Breezy on Saturday with sunny spells, and isolated showers. Starting dry but chilly Sunday with cloud and patchy rain later. Rain clearing later on Monday leaving brighter but colder conditions. North West/West and North winds on all three days."

Saturday is forecast to be the sunniest day – still too cold for shorts or beach wear! Also if you are not local, please read my post here.


HAPPY BIRDING!

Donations Raised in Peter's Memory!


Thank you all so much, to those who so kindly donated in memory of my father, who died on the 23rd February. £157.00 was raised at the funeral itself, with a further £552.24 sent in cheques/cash/BT Donate to both John Lincoln Funeral Directors and to the NOA, totalling £709.24 (to be shared equally between NOA & NWT).

A single donation of £500.00, along with other donations amounting to £74.00 was collected by the NOA, which totalled £574 and were specifically requested by donors, to be added to the windows fund for the observatory.

There will be a plaque in memory of Peter on the observatory building, after the new windows and door have been completed later this year. We may get a seat as well, but not decided yet!

I will be taking the "In Loving Memory" condolence book back to Holme Bird Observatory this weekend and will leave it there for a few months, for those of you that would like to sign or share a story. I thought it would be nice to give people a chance to add their name to the book, who were not able to make the funeral or wake.

The following will be published in the "Family Announcements" section under "ACKNOWLEDGMENTS" in Your Local Paper (a free north west Norfolk newspaper available in local supermarkets, shops and garages) tomorrow and in the Eastern Daily Press this Saturday:

CLARKE


The family of the late Peter Robert Clarke would like to thank everyone who attended and assisted with the funeral service and for the kind messages, cards of sympathy and donations they received, following their sad loss. A total of £1,283.24 was raised in memory of Peter, with £709.24 to be split between NOA and NWT and a further £574 donated specifically for the Holme Bird Observatory windows – the observatory will be named in Peter’s honour. Special thanks to Summerville House Care Home at Heacham for bringing joy and kindness to Peter, in the last few months of his life and to all staff at The Stroke Unit, QEH for their excellent care and support during Peter’s last admission. Thank you to Holme NWT for allowing us to hold the wake in the visitor centre, to Holme Bird Observatory for the memorial exhibition and to John Lincoln Funeral Directors for their comforting service. Please accept this as our only but most sincere acknowledgment.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Long-tailed Ducks x 10, Velvet Scoters x 16 at Titchwell RSPB
Ring Ouzels x 4 at Burnham Overy Dunes
Spotted Redshank, Common Scoter at Breydon Water
Garganey at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT
Ring Ouzel at Costessey Mill, Drayton
Ring Ouzels x 7 at Waxham
Osprey (probable) flew north over UEA, Norwich
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, then flew west at Holt Lowes
Gargeney x 2 at Snettisham Coastal Park
Spoonbills x 2, Garganey x 2 at Potter Heigham Marshes

MEGA NEWS
ROCK THRUSH Male

St Martin's, Isles of Scilly
NORTHERN HARRIER
North Ronaldsay, Orkney
AMERICAN COOT
Balranald RSPB, North Uist, Western Isles

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Common Scoter on St Andrew's Broad, Thorpe St Andrew
Long-tailed Ducks x 8, Velvet Scoters x 15 at Titchwell RSPB
Glossy Ibis at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB
Black Redstarts singing, yesterday at Great Yarmouth
Common Crane flew north over Gorleston-on-Sea
Ring Ouzels x 3, Redstart at South Valley, Glaucous Gull flew north at Winterton
Ring Ouzels x 6 at Burnham Overy Dunes
Common Crane NE of South Walsham
Ring Ouzels x 6 at Waxham

MEGA NEWS
ROCK THRUSH Male

St Martin's, Isles of Scilly

RBA Weekly Round-Up 5th to 11th April!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2017-15.aspx?s_id=762032411

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Ring Ouzel at Framingham Earl
Long-tailed Ducks x 16, Velvet Scoters x 10 at Titchwell RSPB
Common Cranes x 11 at Horsey
Garganey x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Common Scoter on St Andrew's Broad, Thorpe St Andrew
Glossy Ibis at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB
Ring Ouzels x 5 at Waxham
Ring Ouzel, Yellow Wagtails x 2 at Holme NWT
Hen Harrier at Ranworth
Black Redstart at South Beach, Heacham
Cuckoo at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB

MEGA NEWS
ROCK THRUSH Male
 

St Martin's, Isles of Scilly
NORTHERN HARRIER
 

North Ronaldsay, Orkney

Monday, 10 April 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Kentish Plover, Short-eared Owls x 2 at Breydon Water
Purple Sandpiper at Sheringham
Ring Ouzel at Beeston Regis
Ring Ouzels x 10 at Kelling Heath
Ring Ouzel at North Dunes, Ring Ouzel at South Dunes, Winterton
Common Cranes x 13 at Horsey
Common Cranes x 4 at Heigham Holmes
Ring Ouzels x 5 at Holme Dunes NWT
Glossy Ibis at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB
Shorelarks x 5 at Happisburgh
Garganey x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Ring Ouzels x 2, White Wagtails x 4 at Mundesley
Ring Ouzel at Burnham Overy Dunes
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Roydon Common NWT
Garganey at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT
Garganey x 2 at Potter Heigham Marshes
Ring Ouzels x 8 at North Creake
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Sidestrand
Ring Ouzel at West Runton

MEGA NEWS
ROCK THRUSH Male

St Martin's, Isles of Scilly
AMERICAN COOT
Balranald RSPB, North Uist, Western Isles

Warning from HM Coastguard After Three Separate Rescues Involving People Cut Off At Scolt Head Island, Wells and Titchwell!

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/warning-from-hm-coastguard-after-three-separate-rescues-involving-people-cut-off-at-scolt-head-island-wells-and-titchwell-1-4969080

MY ADVICE!
Check the tides before you go! If crossing any marshes or creeks to reach beaches or if out on a beach a long way from safety, ALWAYS return at least three hours BEFORE high tide. Don't be fooled by the fact that the sea is still a long way off, when you are sitting or walking on the beach – incoming tides fill in creeks and tributaries around you, without you realising. You are then faced with a very scary situation and this can prove fatal! Sandbanks are deceiving and it is difficult to judge the level of water distantly. Don't walk out to tidal islands you are not familiar with and do not under any circumstances let your child out of sight for even a moment. What can seem like an idyllic beach, can be a death trap for youngsters if not supervised – one moment you can see them and the next you can't – a beach is never flat. There are many gullies and different levels on a beach and a toddler or young child can easily disappear from view. Also there are numerous patches of quick sand all along the coast – many people are unaware of this.

Also DO NOT, walk along the edges of cliffs. You are often walking on an overhang and these regularly crumble away – there have been several accidents in Norfolk. Do not dig holes in dunes, climb into, and expect the sandy tunnel to remain intact when you are inside! Again, there have been several accidents.

Tide Tables are available from many shops and Tourist Information Centres along the Norfolk coast and often high tides are marked up on boards at various places along the coast or google to find out. Always be aware of the tide. A particularly high tide will cover ground quicker and if the wind is north and has any strength to it, will also increase the speed of the tide.

King's Lynn Port Tidal Information:
http://www.kingslynnport.co.uk/page4.html

Burnham Overy Staithe:
https://www.deepdalebackpackers.co.uk/tides/

Wells Bar:
https://www.tidetimes.org.uk/wells-tide-times

TIDE TIMES FOR UK LOCATIONS:
https://www.tidetimes.org.uk/

GUIDE TO BRITAIN'S BEACHES & TIDE TABLES:
https://www.thebeachguide.co.uk/

General Beach Safety:
http://www.norfolkcoastaonb.org.uk/partnership/tide-times-and-beach-safety/623#

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Hottest Day Of The Year!

I didn't leave the house. I felt rock bottom and in a bad emotional state, which resulted in wasting a glorious day for both weather and birds.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Ring Ouzel at Sidestrand
Golden Pheasant at Wolferton
Purple Sandpiper, Common Cranes x 7, Great White Egret, Short-eared Owl at Sheringham
American Wigeon, Kentish Plover, Richard's Pipit, Black Terns x 3, Arctic Skua, Short-eared Owl at Breydon Water
Glossy Ibis, Great White Egret, Common Crane on Hockwold Washes
Glossy Ibis at Lakenheath Fen RSPB
Ring Ouzels x 2 at East Somerton
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Terrington Marsh
Short-eared Owl at Langley Marshes, Chedgrave
Ring Ouzel at Trimingham
Serin flew east, Gargeney x 2, Long-tailed Duck, Velvet Scoter x 5 at Titchwell RSPB
Glaucous Gull at Weybourne
Ring Ouzels x 4 at West Runton
Ring Ouzel at Ringstead
Glaucous Gull, Redstart, Black Redstarts x 2, Ring Ouzel at Winterton
Black Redstart at Gorleston-on-Sea
Black Tern, Little Gull at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Black Redstart at Happisburgh
Common Cranes x 7 at Stiffkey
Common Cranes x 7 at Kelling
Common Cranes x 7 at Cley
Green-winged Teal at Burnham Norton
Common Cranes x 7 at Aylmerton
Common Cranes x 7 at Northrepps
Little Bunting yesterday (ID'd from photographs) at Lynford Aboretum
White Stork (red-ringed) over Potter Heigham
Great White Egrets x 2 at Attleborough
Great White Egrets x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe
Ring Ouzels x 10 + Short-eared Owl behind golf course, Redstart at Holme NWT

MEGA NEWS
None

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Holme Birding!


The day commenced with taking mother's cat to the vets in Hunstanton. The cartoon above is a typical (although a little exaggerated!) scenerio, that many cat owners have when attempting to get their cat into the carrier! I love this cartoon, always makes me smile!

I find that the element of surprise generally works! The cat was washing its whiskers on the windowsill in the sunshine – I picked up the cat for a cuddle, two seconds later I have placed her slickly into the cat carrier – the cat suddenly realises it was a mean trick and was not getting a cuddle – meowing starts, mother gets stressed and is usual in our family – everything is my fault! Mother gets more stressed, cat meows more and this continues until we got to the vets. The vet confirmed that the cat STILL has fleas, even after the three months of Frontline medication that I have administered. This is probably due to the fact that mother refused to use the recommended spray for cat bedding etc. The vet issued us with more Frontline medication and a can of spray, which mother said she will not be using – looks like it will carry on then! Take cat and mother back home and the cat then gets loads of fuss from mother with 'poor cat', 'what an ordeal'!!! Anyone would have thought the cat had just had an operation!

Lucy and Vivien arrive at the house, both looking lovely and summery in their colourful outfits. We are all fed-up with fish 'n' chips, no one wants to cook and I suggest we go out for a simple jacket potato lunch. Mother refuses to go and I don't understand why, as she doesn't go out when we are at work. No one can decide what we are doing, so I storm out of the house. Tensions are running high today as we need to decide where to scatter father's ashes. I feel very, very emotional today and angry all rolled into one. I drive to Hunstanton to get rolls from Sainsbury's for everyone, but they have sold out. I return to Holme and my sister's and I go to lunch without mother, who angrily refuses. There was an orange tip butterfly by the pond opposite the house.

We head to The Firs at Holme NWT for our lunch. The weather is glorious and I can't believe how hot it is! NWT Warden Gary Hibberd has found a unique way of slowing the traffic down along the road – after the 5-bar gate he has staggered several plastic barriers, left and right along the road, which means people have no choice but to slow down! A bit difficult to explain how these are laid out, but it works! We park our cars and manage to get a table outside for our lovely jacket potato meals.

We followed the path to the beach and the sea looks beautiful through the pines. We then headed east along the path, through the pines and up along the boardwalk to sit at Post 10, which is the seat high on the hill overlooking the scrub, which was part of the original nature trail. The view from here is beautiful overlooking the broadwater, marsh and north of us, the dunes and beach. We sit for a while and reminisce about our childhood days spent on the reserve. We then went to the observatory to give Sophie a late donation cheque in memory of father. It was boiling hot outside the observatory, so much so, that we had to sit inside to get in the shade – can't remember April ever being like this! A Swallow graces the blue skies above us and an Orange Tip flutters by.

Lucy and Vivien head back to mother's house and I went to the wader pools for a short while. The highlight were 3 Med Gulls and 3 lovely Yellow Wagtails feeding amongst the Konik ponies. I then met up with Lucy and Vivien at Holme churchyard to discuss this, as one of our options for the ashes. But as my family have said, father stated no hymns, no priests at his funeral, so how can we leave him in a churchyard? I don't want to scatter his ashes anywhere, it doesn't seem right somehow, I would like him to have a headstone, but it doesn't look like that will be happening. Vivien then leaves early evening to return to Ely and takes Lucy back to King's Lynn.
I spent the evening at Holme Marsh Reserve NWT. Blackcaps and Cettis Warblers singing, a pair of Gadwall, Mallards, Little Grebes, Marsh Harriers, Robin, Blackbird and Pied Wagtail and that was about it. Headed back to King's Lynn, playing 'The Lark Ascending' (played at father's funeral) on route and feeling very upset. I really miss him – I don't think it has really hit me properly yet.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Long-tailed Ducks x 73, Velvet Scoters x 5 at Titchwell RSPB
Glossy Ibis, Great White Egret at Hockwold Washes
Green-winged Teal at Burnham Norton
Glaucous Gull at Waxham
Great White Egret, Crossbill at Walsey Hills NOA
Great White Egret on Billy's Wash, Cley NWT
Short-eared Owl at Breydon Water
Great White Egret flew over Muckleburgh Hill
Short-eared Owl at Holme Dunes NWT
Great White Egret flew over west, Whimbrel x 7 flew over Weybourne
Spoonbill yesterday at Burnham Overy Staithe

MEGA NEWS
NORTHERN HARRIER

North Ronaldsay, Orkney

Friday, 7 April 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Glossy Ibis, Great White Egret, Short-eared Owl on Hockwold Washes
Ring Ouzels x 2 yesterday in garden at North Repps
Little Gull at Barton Broad
Garganey x 4 at Potter Heigham
White Stork by River Wensum, Fakenham
HOOPOE at east end, Iberian Chiffchaff male, probable, singing at Walsey Hills NOA
Green-winged Teal at Burnham Norton
Osprey yesterday at Burnham Norton
Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB
Short-eared Owl at Burgh Castle
Hen Harrier at Ten Mile Bank

MEGA NEWS
None

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Hot Birding, Hot Weekend Ahead!

62.5° Fahrenheit on Saturday and 69.8° on Sunday, along with southerly winds, means its going to be a cracking weekend for weather and Spring migration!

Tiring week at work, but so good to be back with my colleagues and the routine is helping me get through the days. Coal Tits have been feeding at my new secret feeding station at work!

Someone was looking down kindly on our family today, when my mother had some positive health results. The beginning of this year couldn't have been any worse, therefore the rest of the year has to be an improvement!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Whinchat, Great White Egret, Hobby, Water Pipit, Long-tailed Ducks x 44, Velvet Scoter at Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egret flew over Blakeney Point
Little Gull at Barton Broad
White Storks x 2 flew over Fakenham
Glaucous Gull at Winterton
Glaucous Gull at West Runton
Common Crane at Alymerton
Stone Curlew yesterday, flew over Hemsby
Garganey on Hall Marsh Scrape, Gargeney x 3 on Rush Hill Scrape, Scaup x 3 at Hickling Broad NWT
Glossy Ibis on Hockwold Washes
Glaucous Gull at Hopton-on-Sea
Iceland Gull at Ashwicken Gravel Pits, East Winch
Green-winged Teal at Burnham Norton
Hen Harriers x 3 at Warham Greens
Garganey x 3 at Welney WWT

MEGA NEWS
ALLEN'S GALLINULE

Found dead at St Kilda, Western Isles
BLUE ROCK THRUSH Male
Beachy Head, Sussex
BLUE ROCK THRUSH Male
On Tuesday, but no sign since at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
AMERICAN COOT 
Balranald RSPB, North Uist, Western Isles

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Garganey x 4 at Potter Heigham Marshes
Serin male, flew over Weybourne
Glaucous Gull at Overstrand
Water Pipit, Jack Snipe at Titchwell RSPB
Green-winged Teal, Garganey x 2 at Burnham Norton
Ring Ouzel at North Repps
Great Great Shrike at Sparham
Little Gull at Nar Valley Fisheries
Great White Egrets x 3 at Welney WWT

MEGA NEWS
KILLDEER
 

Mainland at Sandwick, Shetland
AMERICAN COOT
Balranald RSPB, North Uist, Western Isles

RBA Weekly Round-Up 29th March to 4th April!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyRoundup2017-14.aspx?s_id=597140309

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Black Redstart at Hunstanton
Golden Pheasant at Wolferton
Great Great Shrike at Sparham
Spoonbill flew west over Salthouse
Long-tailed Ducks x 20, Velvet Scoters x 6 at Titchwell RSPB
Green-winged Teal, Garganey x 2, Water Pipits x 2 at Burnham Norton
Spoonbill flew west past Sheringham

MEGA NEWS
KILLDEER
Mainland at Sandwick, Shetland

Monday, 3 April 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Whimbrel, Garganey at Cley NWT
Long-tailed Ducks x 20, Slavonian Grebe, Whimbrel, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Hen Harrier at Thornham Point
Great Great Shrike at Sparham
Lesser Whitethroat at Snettisham Coastal Park
Glaucous Gull at Horsey Gap
Spoonbill, Common Cranes x 16, Garganey x 5 at Hickling Broad NWT
Osprey flew north over Broome
Spoonbills x 2 at Warham Greens
Ring Ouzel, Short-eared Owl at Winterton
Little Gull at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Green-winged Teal at Burnham Norton
Whinchat NE of Heacham Dam
Crossbills x 2 flew west over Weybourne Camp

MEGA NEWS 
SLATE-COLOURED JUNCO
On Saturday for 2nd day, but no sign today, in garden at Dingleton, Melrose, Borders, Scotland
NORTHERN HARRIER 
North Ronaldsay, Orkney

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Birding at Holme Reserves!

I've had a pretty chilled day, ambling around all four reserves at Holme! Gloriously sunny weather – in fact it was too hot at times! I started off at Holme Marsh Reserve NWT, where I had the male Blackcap singing again and seen, 6 Marsh Harriers, 2 Common Buzzards, Bullfinch, Robin, Chiffchaffs, Cetti's Warbler, Little Egret, 4 Shelducks, Snipe, Teal and some Mallards.

Visited Mother for a short while. Whilst I was writing something at the desk by the window, the cat decided to use my legs, as a springboard up to the windowsill – I was not expecting this and suddenly felt the pain of needles being plunged into my flesh. I screamed in agony, the cat shot off and guess what! I was in trouble! 'Poor cat' my mother said in an anguished tone, 'she looks really frightened'!!!

Went to Holme Dunes NWT to have a lovely jacket potato lunch, followed by a hot fruit scone with jam and pot of tea at the Firs cafe! I sat outside at one of the big round picnic tables – the perfect setting and lovely weather. There was a Black Redstart somewhere around, but it failed to show whilst I was here.

At Holme Bird Observatory I had a wonderful sighting of a female Firecrest in the hand! Sophie had caught the same bird in the same mist net twice today! There was a female Wheatear on the grassy slope along with a few Meadow Pipits, just east of the observatory, which was my first one this Spring. Lots of Goldfinches around and a Red Kite was soaring over the marsh. A lovely family arrived, who had recently joined the NOA and I gave them a mini guided tour, until Sophie arrived back from her net round. Their little girl was so sweet, she looked about aged one and a half at a guess and she was fascinated by everything, as toddlers are at that age!

I walked up and along the coastal path to what was Post 10 (which was part of the nature trail years ago) and sat on the seat thinking about father. I remember him photographing Cinnabar Caterpillars feeding on Ragwort here, by the side of the path, not that many years ago. 'Post 10' used to lead down the steps, through the scrub to the bottom path and was brilliant for migrants, but these steps have been removed and path grown over etc for many, many years now. The views from here are wonderful and you can see Holme marsh, church, the sea, the Broadwater, Hunstanton, Thornham, Titchwell, Brancaster and beyond!

Back at the observatory, I spent a long time chatting with Sophie and then left to look for the Black Redstart again. Sophie had heard it singing just west of the Dell Hide today, so I sat in the hide to see if it would appear – it didn't. Headed back to the NOA car park, where I had a coffee and then left.

At Redwell Marsh NOA Reserve, I had my first Swallow this Spring! It was flying north over the back of the scrape. There were also 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Shovelers, 2 Mallards, 2 Teal, Coot, Little Egret, 2 Snipe, 3 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Avocets, 4 Shelducks, 1 Marsh Harrier and a Bumblebee! Took some photographs, but all a bit too far away for my 300mm lens.

My sister Lucy performed (2nd Violin) in concert with the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra today – I am so proud of her, especially as she has managed to continue with all of her rehearsals (but one) at what has been a very difficult time for us all.

I spent the evening with my mother, before returning to King's Lynn. Uniforms ready, bag ready, salad ready, me ready?.... back to work tomorrow!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT"
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Hawfinch x 6 at Santon Warren
Spoonbills x 2 flew west over Sidestrand
Ring Ouzel, Purple Sandpiper, Spoonbills x 2 flew west at Sheringham
Long-tailed Ducks x 73, Velvet Scoter, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Great Great Shrike at Sparham
Black Redstart at Hindringham
Waxwing x 10 at Taverham
Reed Warbler at Cantley Beet Factory
Great White Egret at Holkham
Garganey x 2 at Burnham Norton
Grasshopper Warbler, Garganey x 4, Scaup x 7 at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT
Short-eared Owl at Breydon Water
PALLID HARRIER juv. fem at New Holkham
Garganey x 2, Hen Harrier at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
White Stork (presumed escape) at Pensthorpe
Crossbills x 7 flew NNW over Blakeney
Black Redstart west of Dell Hide, Holme NOA
Glaucous Gull flew SE past Sea Palling
Short-eared Owl at South Beach, Heacham
Ring Ouzel at Warham Greens
Great White Egret at Welney WWT

MEGA NEWS
NORTHERN HARRIER

North Ronaldsay, Orkney

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Ringstead & Titchwell RSPB!

I had go into town (hate doing this on a Saturday) to buy some new work trousers, which took far longer than expected! Headed to the Docks on route to the coast, there were lots of gulls feeding, but no sign of the Peregrines on the tower. It was fascinating watching huge numbers of racing pigeons drinking and bathing at a large puddle on the quayside near the tower. Mixed weather today with dark clouds and sunshine and it turned quite chilly later on.

Headed towards Ringstead and sat in my car at Greenway, to enjoy the view and have my lunch. I had wonderful sightings of a Red Kite, gliding west over the fields. Several Hares were lounging in the grass field and a Skylark was singing. Jackdaws were feeding on the lawn of the large property by Greenway and a beautiful tabby cat was sitting in a patch of long grass, observing the Jackdaws!

At Titchwell RSPB, I walked straight along the main path towards Island Hide. I was feeling very lazy and withdrawn and couldn't be bothered to haul the telescope and tripod out of the car. Much better travelling light with just bins and camera. But, when I reached the first pool on the left, I wished I had bothered to bring the scope, as I could only just about make out the two Little Ringed Plovers feeding in the shallow pools and mud. A Greylag Goose caused some excitement when it took off and dive-bombed a Heron that was fishing in the new cut reed channel – the Heron squawked in protest, as it was moved out of its fishing patch. I could hear Cetti's Warbler's bursting into tune, intermittently. It was really cold now. I had just walked past Island Hide and noted a very familiar figure sitting in the hide, so back-tracked and went to join Eddie! I was ranting and raving about all kinds of things to Eddie – he had been quietly enjoying the peace and tranquillity until I arrived! Sorry!

We walked back and around the Fen Trail and saw a Sparrowhawk speedily flying behind some bushes, but not much else of note, oh apart from good views of the Cetti's Warbler skulking about at the bottom of the reeds in the largest pool. In the car park a Robin appeared close by, giving us cute upward glances and seemingly begging for morsels. I only had grain in my camera support bag – I scattered a small amount and the Robin dived straight in! Eddie saw a Woodcock fly through the car park and over the hedge! I somehow managed to miss this.

I returned to King's Lynn and carried out lots of jobs on the Mac that needed to be completed. Last day tomorrow and then back to normality and work on Monday.