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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Winter Wonderland!

On route back from work this evening
King's Lynn


I woke up to a winter wonderland and knew I would be walking to work! The snow was approximately 4 to 5" deep and deeper than this in drifts. There was no way I was even going to attempt to get my car off my sloped drive, backing out close to other cars and then attempting to drive down the big hill near me – it just wasn't worth the risk. So got my wellies on, warm coat, overtrousers, hat and gloves and walked to work. I wanted to take some pictures on route, but I couldn't face taking my gloves off to take some snaps with the iphone!

Arriving at work, most of my team did geventually get in, apart from a couple of people who live out in the wilds and were completely and utterly stuck!

Phoned mother at lunchtime and was amazed that Sainsbury's had delivered her food shopping! The delivery driver said he 'nearly turned back' – so huge thanks to him and Sainsbury's for their excellent service.

I had a beautiful walk home this evening and to my surprise saw a Woodcock, a Pheasant and two Muntjack Deer all at the same time along the cycle path!!! Never seen a Woodcock in King's Lynn before!

More snow and 40mph east winds tomorrow, resulting in temperature feeling like -12°!!! Great! https://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/0/2645456

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  
Waxwing in Chapfield Gardens, Waxwing flew over, Glaucous Gull flew over Colney Way, Norwich
Shorelarks x 9 at Holkham Bay
Purple Sandpiper at Hunstanton

MEGA NEWS 
None

RBA Weekly Round-up 21st to 27th February!

By Jon Dunn
https://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2018-09.aspx?s_id=838076718

MASSIVE SNOW BLIZZARD GOING ON NOW!

I was doing mother's on-line shop this evening, (which I'm not even sure will be delivered tomorrow because of the weather situtation) when I heard a loud noise outside. When I opened the front door, the noise was a snow blizzard blowing across like something from the arctic!!! I havn't seen a blizzard like that for many, many years. My green car is a complete white out and its 3" deep in snow along my path.

I will most definitely be walking to work in wellies tomorrow morning! Oh dear. This will also mean the hospital will be seriously understaffed with people that can't get to work. It's going to be a crazy day – good night!

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/weather/north-norfolk-set-for-up-to-20cm-of-snow-as-beast-from-the-east-hits-1-5411947

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

URGENT REQUEST – PLEASE FEED THE BIRDS!!!

I'm sure most of my readers do this anyway, but just in case any non birders or beginners are reading this – here are some tips for looking after birds in cold weather.

In these extreme conditions, many birds will die without our help. Many natural food sources and water supplies will be frozen solid. It doesn't matter if you don't have any bird seed right now. Here are some good food sources that most of us have in the kitchen cupboard for our feathered friends: apples, cores of apples, sultanas, currents, raisons (very popular with Robins), dried apricots chopped up small, oat flakes, muesli, brown bread, cheese (any going off a bit that you are about to throw), cooked rice, cooked potatoes in skins.

Water for drinking and bathing is vital – dig out an old enamel plate or bowl or even a plastic plant saucer to fill up daily – little tip, empty the water after dusk (birds will be roosting then and not drinking) to save you having to bash the solid lump of ice out in the morning and then simply fill up with water again! 

Anyone at work thinking of throwing an apple or core into the bin or sandwich crusts? Please throw it out for the birds – they are relying on us! If you want to go a step further, pop into Wilkinsons, who have a good range of bird seed, fat balls, dried mealworms and lots of other goodies at cheap/reasonable prices OR go to Moulham and Hall (my mother has her bird seed delivered from here) at Heacham, Norfolk for a huge selection OR Titchwell RSPB, CleySpy at Glandford or by mail order: Garden Wildlife Direct.

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  
Water Pipits x 2, Long-tailed Duck at Titchwell RSPB
Mealy Redpolls x 2, Willow Tit, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Bittern at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Great Grey Shrike at Wighton
Black Brant at Cley NWT
Great Northern Diver off Hunstanton Cliffs
Black Redstart in gardens, Purple Sandpiper at North Beach, Heacham
Little Gulls x 6 at Cromer
Firecrest in wood opposite Reffley Community Centre, King's Lynn
Shorelarks x 9 at Holkham Bay
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Mealy Redpolls x 2 at Great Broad, Whitlingham Country Park
Purple Sandpipers x 2 at Sheringham

MEGA NEWS 
None

Monday, 26 February 2018

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  
Water Pipits x 2, Long-tailed Ducks x 2, Great Northern Diver at Titchwell RSPB
Twite x 15 at Thornham Harbour
Mealy Redpoll, Lesser Redpoll x 6 at Beeston Common, Sheringham
Jack Snipe at Kelling Water Meadows
Great Grey Shrike at Wighton
Black Brant plus hybrid at Snettisham RSPB
Snow Buntings x 2 at Happisburgh
Bittern at Glandford
Mealy Redpoll at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve

MEGA NEWS 
None

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve, Hempton Marsh Reserve, Titchwell RSPB & Holme Bird Observatory!

I had a fabulous day's birding in the sunshine, but it was bitterly cold and every layer of clothing was required! The main aim of the day was to see Willow Tit and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve – both of which were reported yesterday. Got the car washed on route too – way overdue!

Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
I had not been to this reserve for a long time, which is dreadful really as it is a cracking reserve and has improved even more since my last visit. As a member, I should visit more often! Andrew, Nicky and another warden whose name I can't remember, asked me to mention them on the blog and very helpful they were too with lots of birding information and advice.

The new (two years old now) 'Volunteer Hide' has spectacular views of feeders and a bird table that produces just about everything! Its a very popular hide and several photographers were already seated in the hot seats. I managed to squeeze in and then later on gave up my spot to an elderly man with a little boy – always good to encourage the youngsters.

Birds seen at this reserve were: Blackbirds, Song Thrush, Bullfinches, Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Siskins, Redpolls, Bramblings, Hedge Sparrows, Reed Buntings, Robins, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Marsh Tit, Long-tailed Tits, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Mallards, Red Kite, Common Buzzard.

I walked round the entire reserve and noticed that several new seats were positioned at view points. It is a very well laid out reserve and continually improves to make it a top reserve to visit in Norfolk. Its a good job its not on the coast, otherwise it would be jam packed with birders and visitors. I also love the fact that no dogs are allowed, meaning you can walk freely without having to look down or have to see plastic bags of dog crap adorned from bushes! All good!

I spent a long time trying to see/hear Willow Tits, but failed miserably. There is also a Ermine Stoat on the reserve and it was seen today, not by me though! I also failed, as did everyone else to see Lesser Spotted Woodpecker – but I was told that someone had taken a picture of it on their phone a few days ago!!!

Back in the visitor centre it was toasty warm! It felt wonderful to be out of the bitter cold for a short while. The centre provides a hot drinks machine and a few snacks, so you need to bring your lunch with you. There a nice little range of things to buy, including notebooks, reserve hats/clothing, jewellery, walking sticks and more. Toilets are also inside (what a treat!). Sat and had my 'diet' lunch in the car park whilst watching a Robin.

Hempton Marsh Reserve, NOA
This reserve is a short distance away from Sculthorpe, so decided to have a quick look, just to see if there were any Willow Tits. The only bird here of note was a Marsh Tit. There are two locked hides at this reserve, (only NOA members with key can access). The last time I visited here there were lots of feeders to view from the hide and it was a really busy spot, but the few feeders left were all empty, so no birds to see. But, there is a new set up of feeders positioned just to the right of the boardwalk path and although they were all freshly filled, I didn't see any birds on them – maybe just unlucky or wrong time of day. Left here and headed north.

Along the B1454 between Tattersett and Syderstone I saw my second Red Kite of the day. Headed to Thornham Farm Shop to buy some vegetables etc for mother and then headed to Titchwell.

Titchwell RSPB
I walked as far as Island Hide where I saw Brent Geese, Shelducks, Avocets x 3, lots of Gulls, Teal and Pochard. It was seriously cold now. I walked back and around the Fen Trail in hope of seeing a Bittern from Fen Hide. No Bittern, but I had the wonderful surprise of watching a Water Shrew swimming across the front edge of the pool! 4 Marsh Harriers were over the reed beds – I'm sure there would have been far more later, but I needed to get to Holme before sunset.

Holme Bird Observatory
Drove to Holme Bird Observatory to pay my respects to my father. The road was like a roller coaster! 'Sandy Ridge' (where we once lived for a short while) opposite the 'standing caravan' (that was) is no more – the little bungalow that has stood here since time began has gone – looks like its going to be replaced with a massive great house.

Tons of Fieldfares flew over the pines at HBO and across the marshes, a Woodcock flew over and a Tawny Owl was calling. Where we had scattered the ashes, I sat and played 'The Lark Ascending' whilst watching the glow of the deep pink sun setting over the marshes. My mind filled with fond memories of my time here with father and all who knew him, joyous days that will never be forgotten. I felt so sad, so upset, which is why I haven't been here for a while – in fact that last time I visited HBO, it was father's birthday on 2nd November 2017.

Delivered shopping to mother, chatted to her about my day and discussed the atrocious weather we have coming our way this week! http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/weather/snow-could-cause-rush-hour-delays-1-5408983

Little snippets from last week: went to hairdressers, took mother home from hospital appointments, lost 4lbs at WW!

LOTS OF PICTURES TO BE ADDED THIS 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  
Water Pipit, Long-tailed Ducks x 3, Snow Buntings x 3 at Titchwell RSPB
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at Santon Warren, Santon Downham
Lapland Bunting at Weybourne
Willow Tit, Mealy Redpoll at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Little Stint, Water Pipit at Cley NWT
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl, at Haddiscoe Island
Bittern at Glandford
Russian White-fronted Geese x 7 at Halvergate Marshes
Tundra Bean Goose, Pink-footed Geese x 14 at Welney WWT
Great White Egret, Russian White-fronted Geese x 70 at Holkham Freshmarsh
Glossy Ibis flew over Berney Marshes RSPB
PINE BUNTING again on Thursday briefly and Little Bunting but no sign since, still in area with no general access [access requested but not granted] at Holt

MEGA NEWS 
None

Saturday, 24 February 2018

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 3, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Glossy Ibis at Breydon Water
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island
Raven flew over Ken Hill Wood, Snettisham
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Mealy Redpolls x 5 at Kelling
Snow Buntings x 30 at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Willow Tits x 2, Mealy Redpoll at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Glaucous Gull, Little Auk at Mundesley
Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Water Pipit, Little Stint at Cley NWT
Bittern at Glandford
Shorelarks x 9 at Holkham Bay
Russian White-fronted Geese x 3, Hen Harrier on Acle new road marshes, Acle
Short-eared Owl at Holme NWT
Shorelarks x 7 at Happisburgh
Iceland Gull at Buxton
Common Cranes x 2 at Horsey
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at Santon Warren, Santon Downham
Short-eared Owls x 3 at Berney Marshes RSPB
Glaucous Gull at Weybourne
Hen Harriers x 3 at Stiffkey

MEGA NEWS 
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER
Achill Island, County Mayo, Ireland

Friday, 23 February 2018

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 3, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 12 probable, Mealy Redpoll at Houghen Plantation, NW of Horsford
Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers x 2 at Santon Warren, Santon Downham
Hawfinch at Alymerton
Glaucous Gull at Mundesley
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl at Haddiscoe Island
Black Brant at Salthouse
Lapland Buntings x 4 at Weybourne
Bittern, Jack Snipe at Glandford
Iceland Gull at Buxton
Shorelarks x 9 at Holkham Bay

MEGA NEWS 
None

In Memory Of My Dearest Father

PETER CLARKE
 Ornithologist, Naturalist, Photographer, Author,
Founder and first Warden of Holme Bird Observatory and NOA
Dearly loved husband of Margaret
Dearest father of Penny, Lucy and Vivien
We miss you so much, forever in our hearts 💔

2nd November 1926 — 23rd February 2017


At 7.10am, a year ago today, I received a phone call from Summerville Care Home that you had died. I can't believe a year has passed, its seems like only six months ago, the pain of losing you is still raw. I will never forget that moment of complete shock, disbelief and utter sadness that you had passed away and that you were alone, without any of us with you – that really hurt. I felt as though my world had ended, how could I possibly go on without you? The deep sadness we suffered of losing you was immense – the funeral on the 20th March was the most difficult day of my entire life and the scattering of your ashes on the 4th May was equally difficult – but somehow we got through and we are all still here, your wife Margaret and your three daughters. I think about you every day – a lifetime of happy and treasured memories. Your love has given me the strength to get through each day, each week, each month and now a year has passed, but you will never fade from my heart. I hate the saying 'life goes on', but it does, but never without you – always with you, in our thoughts daily, in our souls, our hearts – forever, until we meet again.



The Lark Ascending
(Romance for Violin and Orchestra)
Ralph Vaughan Williams

Thursday, 22 February 2018

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  
Raven just south of Boughton Fen
Great White Egret east of Wickhampton
Little Stint at Cley NWT
Snow Buntings x 60 at Gramborough Hill, Black Brant at Salthouse
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 2 probable, yesterday at Houghen Plantation, NW of Horsford
Bittern at Glandford
Long-tailed Ducks x 10, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egret at Holkham Freshmarsh
Hen Harrier at Stiffkey
Glaucous Gull at Waterworks Road, Norwich
Snow Buntings x 3 at Breydon Water
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 20 at Santon Warren, Santon Downham
Short-eared Owls x 3 at Haddiscoe Island

MEGA NEWS 
None

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

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 14, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Black Brant on saltings west of Blakeney Bank
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at Santon Warren, Santon Downham
Shorelarks x 9 at Holkham Bay
Common Cranes x 34 at Clippesby
Bittern at Glandford
Glaucous Gull at Mundesley
Black Brant, Dark-bellied Brent Geese x 650 at Cley NWT
Rough-legged Buzzard, Bittern x 2 at Haddiscoe Island
Twite x 20 at Thornham Harbour
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Mealy Redpolls x 2 at Kelling
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, probable at Choseley Drying Barns
Hawfinches x 5 at Lynford Aboretum

MEGA NEWS 
None

RBA Weekly Round-Up 14th to 20th February!

By Jon Dunn
https://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2018-08.aspx?s_id=673199677

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

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  
Hooded Crow, Hen Harrier east of Choseley Drying Barns
Long-tailed Ducks x 17, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Spotted Redshank at Thornham Harbour
Glaucous Gull at Waterworks Road, Norwich
Lapland Buntings x 4 at Weybourne
Black Brant, Dark-bellied Brent Geese x 600 at Cley NWT
Golden Pheasant (yesterday) at Wolferton
Shorelarks x 9 at Holkham Bay
Twite x 10 at Blakeney Freshmarsh
Spoonbill flew east, Great White Egret, Russian White-fronted Geese x 30 at Holkham Freshmarsh
Iceland Gull at Buxton
Great White Egret west of bypass at Caister-on-Sea

MEGA NEWS 
None

Overhead power lines to be removed in Cley to restore coastline’s natural beauty

This was done at Holme many years ago. This is dreadful news, no more wires for birds to perch on, no more Swallows, Martins, Starlings, Kestrels, Linnets, no potential Bee-eaters, no nothing. The disturbance to wildlife through digging up the land to put underground cables will be FAR WORSE! Very angry and sad to hear this. The wires along Beach Road are always exciting to watch for birds perched or landing, can't believe these will be gone!

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/cley-overhead-lines-removal-1-5397217

A HUGE THANK YOU!

To all my very concerned friends and readers

I had so many emails re my post about buying a Motorhome to live in, that I still havn't got round to replying to everyone and for that I most sincerely apologise. Several people pointed out things to me that I had not even considered and I soon realised that it maybe not such a good idea afterall!!! So back to the drawing board!

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR ADVICE AND CONCERNS

Monday, 19 February 2018

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  
Shorelarks x 9 at Holkham Bay
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 12, possible (yesterday) at St Faith's Common, NW of Horsford
Snow Buntings x 50 at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Iceland Gull at Buxton
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, probable Mealy Redpolls x 2, Snow Buntings x 20 east of crossroads at Kelling
Great White Egret west of bypass at Caister-on-Sea
Long-tailed Ducks x 10 at Titchwell RSPB
Lapland Buntings x 2 at Weybourne

MEGA NEWS 
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER
Achill Island, County Mayo, Ireland

SAVE THE COASTHOPPER BUS SERVICE!

This essential bus service around the Norfolk coast NEEDS to be saved! Please sign, it only takes a few seconds, thank you. My mother uses this bus regularly – it is the only service to operate from Holme to Hunstanton, otherwise its a taxi which is incredibly expensive and very difficult to book.

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-the-coasthopper-bus-service?bucket

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Sorting Mother's Garden & Hot News!

Overslept after setting the alarm early, I obviously needed the extra hours! Spent the afternoon at Mother's house sorting out the garden with Vivien and Ray who had arrived in the morning and done tons already. Well, to be honest I didn't do that much – I pruned all the buddleias outside the front gate, balanced on a step ladder, so mother can see the pond and changed the water in the bird drinking baths. The pond area and willows is excellent for Spring migrants, but if the neighbour's get their way with their planning permission, this wonderful view could cease to exist. I do wish that people who move into little cottages and want to extend them to twice the size and ruin the history of 'my' village, would leave, go elsewhere and simply buy a bigger property! There will be serious issues if the cottage is extended with the 'new parking area' re-located to opposite where I currently park, as I have no intention of moving my car, so how will they get out/in of their drive?!!! Oh dear! I have a feeling my mother's immediate neighbour will do the same with her car – we are not happy at all and neither is anyone else in the road. Also, the road is not tarmacked and is privately owned amongst the residents and is a quagmire when there has been a heavy downpour – any increase in traffic will churn up the road even further.

Another neighbour who had complained about mother's owl box, will now be very happy to hear that the fallen box (in recent high winds) has now been removed expertly by Ray. It had fallen and was hanging, suspended by a thick rope around the tree and could have fallen at some point and the neighbour had complained that it might fall into his garden and hit him on the head! This would have been highly unlikely as the angle it was positioned, mean't that it was much more likely to land into mother's garden. Mother has been worrying about it constantly, so NOW it is her garden, which should keep the neighbour happy! Thanks to Ray and Vivien for sorting it – they both did loads of other work and are hoping to have a big bonfire in the next few weeks.

After having a hot drink, we all departed and headed home. I then picked Lucy up at around 6.20pm and took her back to my house so she could sit at my Apple iMac to mark down the 'bowings' for the next concert she is playing in. Cooked my tea whilst Lucy was doing this – she finished at 8pm and then sat with me to watch the 'Call The Midwife', but chatted all the way through, so I didn't really get to watch it all! Took her home at 9pm and then made a wonderful 'Beetroot Couscous with roast squash and feta' for work tomorrow. Busy weekend, but lots achieved!
I also joined 'Weight Watchers' last Wednesday and signed up and paid for the next four months! I have been comfort eating so much over the last couple of years and things have got out of hand. I have to take back control of my health before I end up on my own ward!!! I realised how much better this diet is than Slimming World, as with WW you simply have 23 'Smart Points' a day and 42 extra for the week – long story short, this way of dieting works much better for me – so, here we go!

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  
Lapland Buntings x 5 at Weybourne
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 16, Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers x 2 at Santon Warren, ENE of Santon Downham
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLLS x 5, Mealy Redpolls x 7, Twite x 2 at Kelling
Snow Buntings x 80, Lapland Bunting at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Long-tailed Ducks x 7, Spotted Redshank x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Hooded Crow still east of Chalkpit Lane at Choseley
Shorelarks x 9 at Holkham Bay
Smew at Rollesby Broad
Bittern at Glandford
Great White Egret west of bypass at Caister-on-Sea
Long-tailed Ducks x 2 at Holme
Tundra Bean Goose at Welney WWT
Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Cley NWT
Hen Harriers x 3 at Warham Greens
Water Pipit at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owls x 5 at Haddiscoe Island

MEGA NEWS 
None

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Otter, Bittern, Sunshine & More!

Took Lucy out for the day to help her with some shopping and managed to have a cracking afternoon out in the field as well! The sun shone all day long and it really felt like a Spring day! On route, a car in front kicked up a stone which hit my windscreen – we couldn't see a chip, so presumed there wasn't one.

The choice of shoe shops in King's Lynn is diabolical, so took Lucy to Holt and went into 'Siddalls' and 'Bakers & Larners' to look for a new pair of concert shoes, which she did find, so mission accomplished!

Met up with Eddie and John F. at Natural Surroundings cafe in Glandford, where we had lunch to celebrate Eddie's birthday. The red pepper and sweet potato soup that Lucy and I had was absolutely delicious, followed by cake (that I didn't have) and washed down with 'pink lemonade'. John was in full swing with jokes from the second he arrived until we all parted later on! Lucy found him very amusing!

The afternoon produced some spectacular sightings indeed! We all walked along the path by the lake and had distant, but extremely lucky views of an Otter!!! Sadly, Lucy was not quick enough with my borrowed binoculars to see it. There was also several Little Grebes, a Shoveler, a Fieldfare (I didn't see) and a Great Crested Grebe. Lots of Snowdrops and also Aconites – all looking very Springlike! Later on we were treated to stupendous views of a Bittern in the afternoon sunshine!

Returned to the car park, where we gave Eddie a piece of Lucy's 50th birthday cake (its nearly finished!) and then listened to John's choral works (via CD in his car), which was on Radio 3 in October 2017. Lucy was very impressed and was talking about this for a good while after we left!

We left Glandford and headed to Cley to look at the sea before heading west. On route Lucy suddenly said 'Penny you have got a crack on your windscreen' – I stopped the car to find that the stone had chipped behind my NHS car parking permit and had decided to crack across the screen for approximately 10 inches!!! So, that will be a new windscreen and excess to pay! This is the second windscreen I will have had replaced for this car – they don't make things like they use to!

At Coastguards, the sea was like a millpond, which I hadn't expected at all! Several fishermen were along the shingle bank and the light was beautiful. Continued along the coast road to Holme to visit mother, picking up fish 'n' chips from Eric's at Thornham on route. Mother was exhausted, as she had not slept at all last night – she doesn't often get a full night's sleep nowadays, which does worry me. The cat has now got another favourite chair – its amazing how much room one cat can take up! Got back to King's Lynn after 9pm. A 'cracking' day all round!

Happy Birthday Eddie!

Hope you had a lovely birthday!

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  
Bewick's Swans x 28 at Breydon Water
Iceland Gull, Long-tailed Ducks x 7, Water Pipit, Spotted Redshank, Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB
Glossy Ibis at Bure Park at Great Yarmouth
Lapland Buntings x 8 at Weybourne
Russian White-fronted Geese x 315 at Heigham Holmes
Black Brant, Little Stint at Cley NWT
Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl, Common Cranes x 2 at Upton Fen
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 2, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at Santon Warren, ENE of Santon Downham
Snow Buntings x 2 at Holme
Shorelarks x 9 at Holkham Bay
Great White Egret at Holkham Freshmarsh
Bittern at Glandford
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLLS x 6, Mealy Redpolls x 6 at Kelling
Mealy Redpoll at Sculthorpe Moore Nature Reserve
Bittern flew over Blakeney Freshmarsh
Jack Snipe between Wymondham and Kimberley
Mealy Redpoll at Pensthorpe Waterfowl Park
Snow Buntings x 50 at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Hen Harrier at Roydon Common
Twite at Thornham Harbour
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl, Hen Harrier at Haddiscoe Island
Hen Harrier at Stiffkey

MEGA NEWS 
SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT fem.
probable (for 5th day), 1 mile NNW of Barnby Dun, Yorkshire
FORSTER'S TERN
Kinvarra, County Galway, Ireland

Friday, 16 February 2018

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  
Mealy Redpoll at Sculthorpe Moore Nature Reserve
White-fronted Geese x 4 along Stone Road, Halvergate
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 15 at Santon Warren, ENE of Santon Downham
Glossy Ibis at Bure Park at Great Yarmouth
Black Brant, Dark-bellied Brent Geese x 275, Little Stint at Cley NWT
Caspian Gull at Buxton
Twite x 20 at Thornham Harbour
Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Lapland Buntings x 7 at Weybourne
Twite x 10 at Blakeney Freshmarsh
Hawfinch at Holkham Park
Jack Snipe, Bittern in Glaven Valley, Glandford
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLLS x 2, Mealy Redpolls x 5, Lesser Redpolls x 25 at Kelling
Short-eared Owls x 2 at Haddiscoe Island
Tundra Bean Goose at Welney WWT
Hawfinch at Lynford Aboretum
Short-eared Owl at Holme NWT

MEGA NEWS 
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER
Achill Island on Keel Beach, County Mayo, Ireland

Thursday, 15 February 2018

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  
Great White Egret near greyhound stadium Caister-on-Sea
Tundra Bean Goose at Thornham
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 16 at Santon Warren, ENE of Santon Downham
Shorelarks x 9 at Holkham Bay
Caspian Gull, Iceland Gulls x 2 at Buxton
Iceland Gull, Caspian Gulls x 3, Little Gulls x 2, Yellow-legged Gulls x 2 at Fisherfleet, King's Lynn
Mealy Redpoll at Sculthorpe Moore Nature Reserve
Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Snow Buntings x 60 at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Glossy Ibis at Bure Park at Great Yarmouth
Black Brant, Little Stint at Cley NWT
Twite x 20 at Thornham Harbour
Water Pipits x 2, Hen Harrier at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Mealy Redpoll at Kelling
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owls x 3 at Haddiscoe Island

MEGA NEWS 
None

The Biking Birder 2016: A Green Birding Quest for 300: Volume 3 (Biking Birder Adventures)

NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK FOR £9.99!

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

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  
Little Stint, Water Pipit at Cley NWT
Shorelarks x 9 at Holkham Bay
Hooded Crow NNE of Docking
Caspian Gull, Iceland Gull at Buxton
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 19 at Santon Warren, ENE of Santon Downham
Snow Buntings x 70 at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Mealy Redpolls x 5 at Kelling
Black Redstart at South Beach, Heacham
Glossy Ibis at Bure Park at Great Yarmouth
Twite x 25 at Thornham Harbour
Mealy Redpoll at Sculthorpe Moore Nature Reserve
Hen Harrier at Acle

MEGA NEWS 
None

RBA Weekly Round-Up 7th to 13th February!

Andy Stoddart
https://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2018-07.aspx?s_id=508330933

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

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  
Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Snow Bunting at Thornham Point
Little Stint, Water Pipit, Black Brant, Iceland Gull at Cley NWT
Shorelarks x 9 at Holkham Bay
Snow Buntings x 100 at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Iceland Gull, Caspian Gull at Buxton
Twite x 20 at Thornham Harbour
Glaucous Gull at Mundesley
Glossy Ibis at Bure Park at Great Yarmouth
Hen Harrier at Stiffkey
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLLS x 2, Mealy Redpolls x 5 at Kelling
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 2 at Santon Warren, ENE of Santon Downham

MEGA NEWS 
None

Monday, 12 February 2018

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  
Water Pipits x 3, Little Gull at Titchwell RSPB
Shorelarks x 3 between Holme and Hunstanton
Black Brant, Water Pipit, Caspian Gull (German ringed) at Cley NWT
Great White Egret by greyhound stadium at Caister-on-Sea
Hen Harrier at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Tundra Bean Goose in field st Bluestone Farm, Ringstead
Shorelarks x 9 at Holkham Bay
Kittiwake at Great Broad, Whitlingham Country Park
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 17 at Santon Warren, ENE of Santon Downham
Hen Harrier at Warham Greens
Hen Harriers x 3 at Stiffkey
Caspian Gulls x 2 at Buxton
Hooded Crow east of Choseley Drying Barns
Mealy Redpolls x 2 at Sculthorpe Moore Nature Reserve
Twite x 15 at Thornham Harbour
Snow Buntings x 70 at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Hawfinches x 2 at Lynford Aboretum
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island
Glossy Ibis at Bure Park at Great Yarmouth
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLLS x 2, Mealy Redpolls x 5 at Kelling

MEGA NEWS 
None

Sunday, 11 February 2018

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  
Snow Bunting at Thornham Point
Twite x 20 at Thornham Harbour
Iceland Gull at Buxton
Tundra Bean Goose in field st Bluestone Farm, Ringstead
Glossy Ibis at Bure Park at Great Yarmouth
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 20 at Santon Warren, ENE of Santon Downham
Great White Egret by greyhound stadium at Caister-on-Sea
Hooded Crow east of Choseley Drying Barns
Shorelarks x 9 at Holkham Bay
Mealy Redpolls x 2 at Whitlingham Country Park
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLLS x 2, near Letheringsett Mill
Scaup on lake at Holkham Park
Great White Egret at Holkham Freshmarsh
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island
Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Caspian Gull, Water Pipit, Bittern at Cley NWT

MEGA NEWS 
None

Saturday, 10 February 2018

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  
Shorelarks x 9 at Holkham Bay
Black Brant at Holkham Freshmarsh
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island
Tundra Bean Goose in field st Bluestone Farm, Ringstead
Twite x 25 at Thornham Harbour
Mealy Redpolls x 3 south of Little Broad at Whitlingham Country Park
Glossy Ibis at Bure Park at Great Yarmouth
Snow Buntings x 70 at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
PARROT CROSSBILLS x 11 at Santon Warren, ENE of Santon Downham
Black-throated Diver, Little Gulls x 3 at Titchwell RSPB
Mealy Redpolls x 2 at Sculthorpe Moore Nature Reserve
Hooded Crow east of Choseley Drying Barns
Caspian Gull at The Nunnery, Thetford
Hen Harrier at Stiffkey
Great White Egret by greyhound stadium at Caister-on-Sea
Hawfinches x 17 at Lynford Aboretum

MEGA NEWS 
None

HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY LUCY!

I can't believe my sister Lucy is 50 today, she doesn't look more than 35! The weather was atrocious and it rained for most of the day, which wasn't helpful at all! I stuck a 50th banner on my dashboard to surprise Lucy when I picked her up to head for Holme – she loved it!

I have bought Lucy a very exciting present, which was produced and shipped over from America, a throw/blanket to put on a sofa or bed, which is covered in music notes with a big violin in the middle and words which I added for a personal touch. I spent several hours last night, making her a very special birthday card, which mother had too.

We celebrated with birthday lunch at Briarfields Hotel, Titchwell. I had organised for the staff to make Lucy a 50th birthday cake with a musical theme earlier in the week. On arrival, one of the staff took me discretely away to look at the cake, leaving Mother, Lucy and Vivien sitting at our table. I was overcome with emotion when I saw the cake! It was stunning to say the least, way beyond what I had envisaged – it was almost breathtaking! Lucy's favourite cake is chocolate, so they had made a chocolate cake, but it had been entirely iced with white icing to represent paper and then around the sides of the cake and on top was the most intricate black piping of music notes and bars and a violin had been created from icing with so much detail – it was incredible and I am so grateful for the work they had put into making this.

We had a wonderful lunch and dessert and then the cake was brought out, as we all sang Happy Birthday – Lucy looked really surprised and was very impressed with her musical cake – it was far too good to cut, so we didn't! We took the cake home, where I took several photographs and later on we succumbed and had some for tea and very nice it was too!

Helped Lucy arrange her cards, flowers and banners in her room after I took her back to King's Lynn – I was exhausted by the time I got home, but it had been a lovely day and Lucy said it was the best birthday she had ever had, so all the hard work paid off.

PICTURES TO BE ADDED

Friday, 9 February 2018

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Happy Birthday to My Dearest Mother

Spent the evening with mother – we had fish 'n' chips for tea, which was mother's request. Mother had some lovely presents including: perfume, chocolates and books from Vivien, a lovely cast iron bird bath from Ray, lambswool socks x 6, chocolates and cake from me, books, chocolates, scarf, cardigan and more from Lucy! Some nice birthday cards from Malcolm & Eileen, Helen who lives a few doors away and a couple of distant relatives – thank you all.

Spending the evening with mother mean't that Lucy had to get a taxi to her rehearsal, but after leaving mother's at 9am, I picked Lucy up later on at 10pm and took her home. Back at my house at 10.30pm and now cream-crackered after working 6 days as well! Busy day tomorrow as its Lucy's 50th! Expensive time for Vivien and I!

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  
Tundra Bean Geese x 2 in field at Ringstead 
Great White Egret by greyhound stadium at Caister-on-Sea
Glossy Ibis at Bure Park at Great Yarmouth
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLLS x 2, Mealy Redpolls x 4 at Kelling
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island
Shorelarks x 4 at Gore Point, Holme
Little Gulls x 3 at Titchwell RSPB
Shorelarks x 9 at Holkham Bay
Twite x 30 at Thornham Harbour

MEGA NEWS 
None

Thursday, 8 February 2018

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  
Shorelarks x 9 at Holkham Bay
Glaucous Gull at Mundesley
Purple Sandpipers x 3 at Sheringham
Glossy Ibis at Bure Park at Great Yarmouth
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island
Snow Buntings x 80 at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Short-eared Owls x 2 at Snettisham RSPB
Great White Egret at Holkham Freshmarsh
Tundra Bean Goose near Bluestone Farm between Thornham and Ringstead
Iceland Gull NW of Buxton
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at Santon Warren, Santon Downham
Hen Harriers x 3 at Stiffkey

MEGA NEWS 
None

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

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  
Slavonian Grebe, Long-tailed Duck, Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egret at Earlham Marsh
Glossy Ibis at Bure Park at Great Yarmouth
Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Dark-bellied Brent Geese x 350, Water Pipit, Caspian Gull at Cley NWT
Great White Egret at Bowthorpe Marsh
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Mealy Redpoll near Letheringsett Mill
Snow Buntings x 20 at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Shorelarks x 9 at Holkham Bay
Glaucous Gull at Mundesley
Great White Egret near greyhound stadium, Caister-on-Sea
Twite x 20 at Thornham Harbour
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLLS x 2, Mealy Redpolls x 2 at Kelling
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddisoe Island
Goshawk at Ludham
Hawfinches x 5 at Lynford Aboretum

MEGA NEWS 
None

RBA Weekly Round-Up 31st January to 6th February!

By Andy Stoddart
https://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2018-06.aspx?s_id=343441128

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

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 in Norwich
Snow Buntings x 50 at Gramborough Hill, Black Brant at Salthouse
Shorelarks x 9 at Holkham Bay
Velvet Scoters x 2, Long-tailed Duck, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Glossy Ibis at Bure Park at Great Yarmouth
Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Lapland Bunting, Hen Harrier at Cley NWT
Great Northern Divers x 2 at Blakeney Harbour
Snow Bunting, Long-tailed Duck at Holme
Great White Egrets x 2 near South Park, Bowthorpe
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLLS x 4, Mealy Redpolls x 5 at Kelling
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL near Letheringsett Mill
Shorelarks x 7 at Happisburgh
Hen Harriers x 2 at Warham Greens

MEGA NEWS 
None