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Wednesday, 31 October 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  
Waxwings x 3, Long-tailed Duck, Slavonian Grebe, Purple Sandpiper, Pomarine Skua, Snow Buntings x 10 at Titchwell RSPB
Mealy Redpolls (probable) flew over Burnham Deepdale
EASTERN STONECHAT 1w. male sp. (probably Stejneger's), Great White Egret at Meadow Lane, Kelling
KING EIDER drake on sea, Arctic Tern, Shag x 11 at Sheringham
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Waxwing, Mealy Redpolls x 4 at Wells Woods
Snow Buntings x 4 on beach at Wells
Waxwings x 2, Water Pipit, Spotted Redshank, Lapland Bunting, Pomarine Skua, Long-tailed Ducks x 3, Hen Harrier at Holme
Rough-legged Buzzard, Hen Harrier at North Dunes, Winterton
Barred Warbler still at east end of Burnham Overy Dunes
Great White Egret at Bowthorpe
Black-necked Grebe, Velvet Scoter, Black-throated Diver, Snow Buntings x 25, Shag x l3 off beach car park at Cley
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL midway between beach car park and Halfway House at Blakeney Point
Water Pipits x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Yellow-browed Warbler, Hen Harrier, Mealy Redpolls x 2 at Stiffkey Campsite
Yellow-browed Warbler at Muckleburgh Hill
Hen Harrier flew over Claxton Marshes
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 flew over Overstrand
Lapland Bunting, Hen Harrier, Velvet Scoter at Happisburgh
Shorelarks x 10, Red-necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, Velvet Scoters x 5 east of Holkham Gap
Waxwing in garden, Shorelark, Snow Buntings x 10 west of Beach Road at Salthouse
Richard's Pipit flew over cliffs at Trimingham
Barred Warbler east of Whirligig at Warham Greens
Barred Warbler at Happisburgh Corner
Water Pipit, Hen Harrier at Cantley Marshes RSPB
Long-tailed Duck at Barton Broad
Waxwing, Lapland Bunting, Snow Bunting flew over Hunstanton Cliffs
Short-eared Owl at Burnham Norton
Great White Egret, Common Cranes x 2 at Brograve Level, Horsey
Great Grey Shrike at Roydon Common NNR

MEGA NEWS
GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH
St Mary's, Isles of Scilly
AMERICAN WHITE-WINGED SCOTER
Musselburgh Lagoons, Lothian, Scotland

A Rubbish Day and Rant!

Feeling very low and fed up. Did nothing all afternoon after I returned from work, when I could have looked for birds, but couldn't be bothered. Looking at the pager, no one has found a mega, so that's Autumn migration over with – no more exciting birds until next Spring. I suppose I can now at least get on with sorting my house out, in preparation to move next year. I have a million things to do and don't want to do any of them. Fed up with trying to get hold of my little sister, who rarely answers the phone or my texts, when we have so many things to sort out, impossible to get hold of and you are more likely to get hold of the Queen! Vivien rarely reeds my blog, but I'm sure she will see this particular post so: we need to set a date for a boot sale please?

I've just had another row with BT over my mother's phone account and I thought TalkTalk (who I am with) was bad – TalkTalk are awesome compared to BT and it confirms that I will NEVER have a phone package with BT! They are trying to charge us £224+ for cancelling the internet package within the 18 month contract, when I already have the name of the person and date when it was confirmed that we would not have to pay any fee for cancelling this after my mother died – completely and utterly unprofessional and insensitive – I discussed this with someone a couple of weeks ago, they apologised and refunded the money that they took out of my account (without my consent) and STILL they sent a demanding letter today – unbelievable! In fact, BT owe us – I got so much compensation out of them for all their failings we are in credit! The phone cuts off tomorrow anyway and will be getting refund cheques soon – bet that doesn't go smoothly. It will be my last dealings with BT ever!

Trick or Treat Families are knocking on doors right now – don't even think of knocking on my door, you may be the ones getting a 'trick'!!! Can't wait to get away from this estate – I'll only miss one couple, the rest don't even speak unless they forced to and some don't bother at all. No community spirit in my road, except when someone wants something – there will be no 'treats' from me!

My best friend is now in heaven and there is nobody to talk to about birds anymore on a daily basis and its no good anyone telling me that times heals, because that's bollocks! I miss my mother so much – I miss her voice, her eccentric ways, her spirit, her passion, her laughter, her determination, her stubbornness, her support, her everything. Since I have moved back to my house, it has only just started to sink in that she is really not here anymore. I can't believe Lucy and I will be having our Christmas dinner at my house alone. We always have Christmas dinner at Holme! The last two years have been utterly devastating – surely 2019 will be better?!

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

By Jon Dunn
https://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyRoundup2018-44.aspx?s_id=166742353

NORFOLK BIRD & MAMMAL REPORT 2017 REVIEW!

Now published and available from
The Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists' Society 


OR this report can be purchased from Wildsounds (also see RBA) or at several of the nature reserve shops along the coast, including Cley Visitor Centre NWT and Titchwell RSPB.

Sadly I don't have any pictures published in this fabulous report, as I didn't get round to submitting anything, due to bereavement and illness of both parents, but hope to have some in the 2018 report, fingers crossed!

This is the best report I have seen so far and is now full colour throughout. I love the fact that pictures are now placed with the relevant species within the systematic list and not clumped together in batches, which was obviously done for cost reasons in previous reports. Overall the quality and layout is very good, although as an ex-typesetter of twenty years and so therefore incredibly critical😀, there are a several spacing issues between picture captions and main body of text, but this certainly doesn't affect the overall standard of the report. I was very impressed by the quality of printing and was delighted to see that it was Lavenham Press, whom I worked for over nine years and put together many of their books in my time there! They are based in Water Street Lavenham, Suffolk, where I also lived for a few years – a very happy time in my life. I started off working for them as an Editorial Assistant for famed maritime author 'Robert Malster' and then moved across to work in the Production Department as a Paste-up-Artist alongside Billy Byford, Henry Haggar, Malcolm ?, Mike? and then as technology progressed, became a Typesetter. Neither of those job roles exist now, currently I would be a 'Mac Operator' or 'Art Worker'!

Anyway, back to the report! I was fascinated to read Peter Allard's wonderful article at the front of the report titled "Norfolk birdwatching: the changing scene", where he mentions my father starting up the NOA etc, which brought a smile to my face, thank you – this article is illustrated with some old twitching scenes and is worth buying the report, for this article alone! The report also has wonderful drawings by Julie Curl, Phil Jones and Gary Wright besides all the wonderful photographs. There are several articles, but also of note also is Stuart White's finder's account of the Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler at Burnham Overy Staithe, which I frustratingly dipped on😞!

My top five favourite photographs are:
  1. Male Blue-headed Wagtail at Happisburgh – by James Appleton
  2. Swallow – by Rob Holmes
  3. Waxwing – a classic portrait – by Steve Gantlett
  4. Juvenile Cuckoo – by Neil Bowman
  5. Short-eared Owl – by Andrew Bloomfield
My congratulations to all involved with this report, a mammoth task involved collecting all the data, and putting together the best report I have seen to date.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Holkham Pines & Burnham Overy Dunes!

The rain did not deter me in my quest to find a mega – there had to be something out there somewhere! So, after returning home from work (still on my phase return), I headed to Holkham and parked at Lady Ann's Drive. There were not many cars here, which was hardly surprising with the rain and wind today. I was accosted by a car parking man, within a couple of minutes of arriving, who stated that I did not have a ticket showing – 'no' I replied.... 'I have only just arrived and was just eating a sandwich before getting out to get a ticket'!!! I tried not to sound sarcastic!

Waterproofed up and with camera in rucksack ready for any exciting birds that I may find (ha ha), I set off west through the pines. There were hundreds if not thousands of Fieldfares, Redwings and Blackbirds in flocks overhead and feeding on hawthorn berries either side of the path and also good numbers of Robins. Because of the rain, I didn't get my camera out of the rucksack, so no pictures I'm afraid. I didn't want to get the camera soaked, unless a mega jumped out at me and that sadly did not happen. There were lots of Goldcrests in the pines and sycamores and tit flocks included Long-tailed Tits, Blue Tits, Great Tits and also one Coal Tit. I had a dark Chiffchaff in a small sycamore in front of Washington Hide and was thinking about getting the camera out, when it duly vanished! A Cetti's Warbler was also singing here.

By the cross tracks it was very busy with yet more Fieldfares, Blackbirds and Redwings feeding in a large hawthorn and drinking from puddles on the path and saw another tit flock, but no Yellow-browed Warblers seen, which was very frustrating indeed. Every thrush I saw had to be 'cheeked' out – where is OUR Grey-cheeked Thrush?! I flushed three Woodcocks throughout the afternoon. I searched hard and veered off the path several times to find something exciting – I even searched the small copse where I watched a Red-flanked Bluetail on 12th October 2015. I know the weather was atrocious, but even still, I was surprised that I didn't see another birder at all. Actually it was quite nice, having the entire place to myself, although there were a handful of dog walkers around.

I leaned over the fence to look in the garden at Meals House and imagined how beautiful a Siberian Rubythroat would have looked on the bright, wet green grass – dream on! Eventually I reached Burnham Overy Dunes, but sadly I didn't have as much time here as I would have liked. Either everything was hunkered down, or there were no birds here at all really, but did have lots of Goldcrests in the big sycamore where the Citril Finch spent most of its time back in 2015. The light was fading fast now and I had already gone over my ticket slot in the car park – I walked back with increased pace!

Just after Meals House I witnessed a mega spectacle! A HUGE murmuration (thousands) of Starlings, which then landed in the trees around me and the reeds either side of the path towards Washington Hide – the noise was just amazing and I was in the middle of them all! No one else here but me, fabulous! Heard the Cetti's Warbler again by the hide and watched more thrushes drinking from puddles on route back to the car. Luckily I did not have a fine for being way over my ticket time! I did not waste any time faffing about with wet gear in my car, in case the ticket man walked across to slap a fine on the windscreen! I very quickly did a Penelope Pitstop out of there! A lovely afternoon, but my hoped for mega did not reveal itself. No doubt with the sunshine and no rain tomorrow, something big will be found by the usual rarity finders – hopefully anyway!

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  
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Mealy Redpoll, midway between beach car park and Halfway House, Little Auks x 2, Little Gull at Blakeney Point
KING EIDER ecl. drake on sea, Leach's Petrels x 8, Blue Fulmar, Little Auks x 2, Pomarine Skua, Little Gulls x 79 at Sheringham
Little Auk, Pomarine Skua, Velvet Scoters x 5 at Winterton
Little Auks x 4, Long-tailed Duck, Pomarine Skua, Snow Buntings x 25 off beach car park at Cley
Firecrest, Pomarine Skuas x 2, Sooty Shearwater at Titchwell RSPB
Firecrest north of beach gap at Waxham
Sabine's Gull, Little Auks x 3, Little Gulls x 5, Velvet Scoter, Lapland Bunting (on marsh) at Salthouse
Sabine's Gull, Little Auk, Pomarine Skua, Velvet Scoters x 2, Long-tailed Duck, Great Northern Divers x 3 at Holme
Lesser Whitethroat (possibly of an eastern form), Snow Bunting, Hen Harrier at Garden Drove, Firecrest at Warham Greens
Snow Buntings x 30 at Holkham Bay
Little Gulls x 7 flew past Weybourne Camp

MEGA NEWS
GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH
St Mary's, Isles of Scilly
WILSON'S SNIPE
Possible, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly

John Furse's 'Moot Points' Recorded for Regent Records!

In John's words: 
THREE YEARS and more have passed since the first performance of my organ piece "Moot Points" – and not far short of four years since I composed the piece (January 2015). This won first prize in the competition associated with the restoration of the fine organ in Colchester's Moot Hall. 

It had another 'outing' earlier this month: at Blackburn Cathedral – again played by the performer who gave its première.

Last year Tom Bell informed me that he was to record it, for Regent Records, on the splendid 4-manual organ in the Chapel of the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, Suffolk. Apart from its wonderful sounds, this possesses the largest (organ) grille front in the UK.

In mid-October, I made the drive down to Suffolk and met Tom and the owner of Regent, Gary Cole, for the recording. I now eagerly await an advanced copy of the CD and its release next Spring.
Mikes in front of the grille

Monday, 29 October 2018

Red-flanked Bluetail at Titchwell RSPB!

After work twitch! Arrived at Titchwell RSPB with 'no further sign of the Red-flanked Bluetail' message on pager. I expected this to be honest, I mean, it wasn't going to stay feeding on a public footpath with birders, general public, beach walkers and dogs etc going back and forth! It was last seen in the sueda just west of the path. An usual place for a RFB to be, as they prefer woodland habitat – I have never seen one in sueda. The last one at Titchwell was amongst the trees, along the Meadow Trail.

Obviously there were several birders and locals here, but no one had re-found it yet. I decided to head out to Thornham Point, in the vague hope that it might have continued west. As I walked along the edge of the dunes, I found two Woodcock and a Snipe on route! I hadn't got too far along there, when Jake G. kindly phoned me up, to say he had re-found the bluetail! I returned along the beach for speed! I only saw the Red-flanked Bluetail twice, the first sighting was in flight and the second sighting at 2.45pm, when the bird landed briefly on top of a sueda bush, very briefly! But enough time to see that it was a 1st winter bird, I then lifted the camera to take a picture and it melted beneath the sueda! I don't think anyone got a single picture of the Red-flanked Bluetail this afternoon, it was extremely elusive. Its the first RFB that I have not got a picture of that I have seen, oh well!

John Furse turned up later, but sadly he was unlucky and didn't see the bluetail. It was bitterly cold at the end of the day and I had forgotten to bring my gloves, not a good idea! What will tomorrow bring I wonder?!!!

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 imm. over sea at Weybourne
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE imm. over Salthouse Heath
Little Auk flew past, Short-eared Owl at North Dunes, Snow Buntings x 12, Arctic Redpoll (probable) at Winterton
Hawfinch at Great Yarmouth Cemetery
RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL 100yds south of beach along path, Pomarine Skuas x 5, Slavonian Grebe, Long-tailed Duck, Little Auk, Red-necked Grebe, Short-eared Owl at Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egret along Marsh Road at Potter Heigham
WHITE-BILLED DIVER flew east, Little Auk at beach car park, Waxwings x 2 flew over Cley
EASTERN STONECHAT 1w. male sp. (probably Stejneger's) at Meadow Lane, Kelling
Lapland Buntings x 2, Lesser Whitethroat (possibly of eastern form), Mealy Redpoll, Hen Harrier, Snow Bunting at Garden Drove, Warham Greens
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL for 2nd day, Siberian Chiffchaffs x 2, Mealy Redpolls x 3, Lesser Whitethroat (possibly of an eastern form) at Wells Woods
Little Auk at Kelling Water Meadow
Great White Egret at Welney WWT
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLLS x 2 midway between beach car park and Halfway House, COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL at The Marrams, OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT at Yankee Ridge, OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT or Tree Pipit west of Lifeboat Station though elusive at Blakeney Point
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE imm. over Broadlands Business Park, Norwich
Barred Warbler at east end, Waxwing, Short-eared Owl, Pomarine Skua, Velvet Scoter, Lapland Bunting, Little Gulls x 5 at Burnham Overy Dunes
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE imm. probable, flew over Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Little Auk flew past Holme
KING EIDER imm. drake, flew north, Little Auk, Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl, Long-eared Owl at Horsey
Rough-legged Buzzard, Mealy Redpolls x 2, Long-tailed Ducks x 3, Short-eared Owl at Waxham
DUSKY WARBLER NW of Weybourne Camp, Little Auk, Lapland Bunting at Weybourne
Waxwings x 2 at Morston
Yellow-browed Warbler south of A149 at Stiffkey
Shorelarks x 6 on beach near golf course at Holme Dunes NWT
Sabine's Gull, Little Auks x 3, Slavonian Grebe, Long-tailed Duck, Great Northern Diver, Lapland Bunting, Snow Buntings x 25, Short-eared Owl at Holme
Shorelarks x 14 at Holkham Gap
Little Auks x 3, Red-necked Grebes x 2, Great Northern Divers x 4, Snow Bunting, Little Gulls x 63 at Sheringham
Great Northern Diver, Snow Buntings x 13, Hen Harrier at Hunstanton Cliffs

MEGA NEWS
GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH
St Mary's, Isles of Scilly
GREY CATBIRD 
Land's End, Cornwall

FOR SALE: BIRD BOOKS & PAINTINGS

More items will be added to this post over the next few weeks

Handbook of the Birds of Europe
the Middle East and North Africa

 The Birds of the Western Palearctic
Nine Volume Set
£250.00


Limited Edition Print 198/250 (12.5" W, 25" D – framed) of
'The Mill, Cley-next-the-Sea'
 By Robert Brookes
Price: £60.00

Oil painting (28" W, 18" D – framed) of Blakeney Harbour with Halfway House, Blakeney Point.
 By G R Sayers in 1976.
Price: £200.00

THE BIRDS OF THE BRITISH ISLES
David A Bannerman and illustrated by George E Lodge
Published by Oliver & Boyd Edinburgh, 1953-63, all first edition, illustrated with 387 plates in total.
 
12 Volumes – complete set. Books in very good condition, jackets a bit tatty at ends on some books and mark on spine of volume one, overall a very good set. 
Purchased by my mother in 2009.
Price: £250.00

Please email me at: pennyclarke@dsl.pipex.com



ALL ITEMS BELOW NOW SOLD
Watercolour painting (21.5" W, 17.5" D – framed) of a Curlew flying over Holme/Thornham (you can see the pines of Holme Bird Observatory/NOA and NWT in the far distance)
By the late John Shepperd, who has held several exhibitions of his work in Norfolk, including Ringstead Gallery.
Price: £150.00 SOLD

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Searching For Sibes!

Garden Drove, Warham Greens
I started my search at Garden Drove, Warham. It was a beautiful sunny morning and it felt like something good would turn up. There were already four cars parked up on the concrete pad. I made my way along the hedge-lined track and found a tit flock, which included a Lesser Whitethroat (not eastern), a Chiffchaff and several Goldcrests. Blackbirds seemed to be in abundance – a Brambling was calling and big flocks of Redwings and Starlings headed west throughout the morning. I spent a good while in the copse at the north end, but no joy. Nobody I spoke to had seen yesterday's Great Grey Shrike. Another birder had seen two Woodcock here. Back at the concrete pad I watched Pied Wagtails around puddles on the pig field and several Goldfinches were seen.

Stiffkey Campsite Wood
I really enjoyed the walk through Stiffkey Campsite Wood, it was a bit windy but managed to see a few birds. In the trees just south of the wood in the campsite, there were a few Goldcrests, a Robin and several Blackbirds. I flushed a Woodcock out of the eastern most end of the wood and there were several Goldcrests feeding high up in the trees – a Great Spotted Woodpecker was half way along the top path. Sadly, nothing more colourful was found. I returned to the car and headed east and stopped to look in the scrub at The House on The Hill at Blakeney, but nothing was seen here at all.

Coastguards, Cley
I stopped here to have lunch in the carpark. The sea had tailed off now really and there wasn't much excitement. Chatted with Andy J. for a while, not seen him for a long time.

Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
There was a lot of water on route to Gramborough Hill from yesterday's storms. I sat on a large stone under the sycamores with my hood up and remained as still as I could and sat there patiently for a long time. I hoped that something exciting would drop in front of me. It was fascinating sitting here, as birds did drop in and had no idea I was here! A Goldcrest fed yards away throughout my time here, a female Blackbird dropped in and drank from a small pool, a Wren, Robin and Chaffinch were also really close. Then a rain cloud exploded and I huddled in my little spot with hands in pockets and pulled my hood right down. I didn't get very wet sitting here at all and was sheltered by the trees to some extent. It was quite exciting, what would the rain drop in? Nothing, nothing at all. The rain continued and my stone seat was now seriously uncomfortable, so had to get up and I meandered back to my car. This resulted in a drenching, I should have stayed where I was! At 4.12pm the pager bleeped up with a message that the King Eider which was found earlier at Sea Palling, then seen at Mundesley had been seen at Salthouse going west at 2.44pm! That mean't that it had sailed past me, whilst I had been sitting at Gramborough Hill! Chatted with John F., Pete and Bethany Balmer in Beach Road, before returning to Coastguards, Cley. Bumped into Steve G. and compared notes, neither of us had seen anything spectacular today. Nothing much doing on the sea, so left.

Friary Hills, Blakeney
It was freezing cold now, but wanted one last search before heading home. I was watching five Grey Partridges in the field close to the entrance gate – they all stood still and appeared to be watching me, it wasn't me they needed to be watching, as suddenly out of nowhere a black and white cat sprung into action like superman and flew at top speed, towards the unsuspecting partridges!!! It was a nano second away from pouncing on one of them. I made a hell of a racket and waved my arms around just in the nick of time. Thankfully all partridges got away and the cat looked most put out! Good!

I was very disappointed to see that someone had attempted to rip the 'No dogs Allowed' notice up by the gate. Why can't people respect and follow notices?! It is the ONLY public space along the coast, which does not allow dogs, why can't we keep that – not much to ask is it! The lady that owned that piece of land, left it to the NT in her will, only on the understanding that it remain dog free. Anyway, no other birds seen, so headed home to King's Lynn.

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 Egrets x 2 flew over Hellesdon
Shorelarks x 6 on beach near golf course at Holme Dunes NWT
Glaucous Gull, Little Auks x 2, Pomarine Skua, Little Gulls x 2, Red-necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, Great Northern Diver, Long-tailed Ducks x 2, Short-eared Owl flew in off sea, Snow Buntings x 28, Mealy Redpoll at Holme
Little Auks x 2 off pier at Gorleston-on-Sea
HUMPBACK WHALE probable, offshore briefly at 3pm at Cley
WHITE-BILLED DIVER flew past at 7.30am, Sabine's Gull, Little Gulls x 3, Leach's Petrel, Glaucous Gull, Little Auks x 12, Pomarine Skuas x 3, Grey Phalarope, Velvet Scoters x 2, Short-eared Owls x 6 off beach car park at Cley
EASTERN STONECHAT 1w. male sp. (probably Stejneger's) at Meadow Lane, Kelling
Little Auk, Pomarine Skuas x 3, Long-tailed Ducks x 3 at North Beach, Red-necked Grebe, Scaup x 6, Little Gull at South Beach, Heacham
Little Auk flew past Mundesley
Long-eared Owl in field, then flew off, Short-eared Owl at Thornham
Little Auks x 2, Pomarine Skuas x 4, Red-necked Grebe, Great Northern Divers x 4, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Little Gulls x 15, Arctic Tern, Mealy Redpolls x 2 near east promenade at Sheringham
Yellow-browed Warblers x 3 at Wells Woods
Barred Warbler at east end, Glaucous Gulls x 2 flew past, Little Gull, Little Auk on sea, Snow Buntings x 6 at Burnham Overy Dunes
Little Auk flew past, Short-eared Owl in Cemetery at Great Yarmouth
Rough-legged Buzzard report at Potter Heigham
Waxwings x 17 flew over, Yellow-browed Warbler, Siberian Chiffchaff (probable), Long-tailed Duck on pond at Holkham Pines
Pomarine Skua, Velvet Scoters x 3 at Holkham
Leach's Petrel, Little Auks x 2, Little Gulls x 5, Velvet Scoters x 3, Snow Buntings x 12 at Winterton
Rough-legged Buzzard, Pomarine Skua, Little Auk, Slavonian Grebe, Velvet Scoters x 4, Little Gull, Snow Bunting at Titchwell RSPB
Pomarine Skua, Velvet Scoters x 2, Little Gulls x 3 at Scratby
KING EIDER on sea (11.14am), Leach's Petrel at Sea Palling
Yellow-browed Warbler on golf course, Brancaster
Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Long-eared Owl at Garden Drove, Hen Harrier at Warham Greens
KING EIDER flew past (1.52pm) Mundesley
Long-eared Owl on High Street, taken into care & then released at Cromer
Little Auk, Arctic Tern, Little Gulls x 15, Long-eared Owl flew in off sea at Cromer
Sabine's Gull, Little Gull, Arctic Tern, Short-eared Owl flew past Weybourne Camp
Snow Buntings x 12, Short-eared Owl at Eccles-on-Sea
Little Auks x 3, Short-eared Owls x 2, Velvet Scoters x 2 at Waxham
KING EIDER flew west (2.44pm), Little Auk, Slavonian Grebe, Arctic Tern, Snow Bunting at Salthouse
KING EIDER flew past (1.10pm), Waxwing, Snow Buntings x 2 at Happisburgh
Richard's Pipit, Little Auks x 2, Pomarine Skuas x 2, Short-eared Owl, Little Gulls x 3 at Trimingham
Leach's Petrel flew past Walcott

MEGA NEWS
SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT
Fair Isle, Shetland
GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH
Rendall, Orkney
GREY CATBIRD 
Land's End, Cornwall

Saturday, 27 October 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  
BLACK-THROATED THRUSH at Gun Hill, 8.15am-8.25pm only, Pomarine Skuas x 26, Long-eared Owls x 2, Short-eared Owls x 3 at Burnham Overy Dunes
Pomarine Skuas x 18, Short-eared Owls x 3 at Titchwell RSPB
Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Snow Buntings x 2, Long-tailed Ducks x 2, Long-tailed Skua juv., Little Auks x 3, Pomarine Skuas x 10 (one on beach), Leach's Petrel, Grey Phalarope, Slavonian Grebe, Black-throated Diver at Coastguards, Hen Harrier male at Cley
Grey Phalarope, Little Auk, Pomarine Skuas x 8 (one on shingle), Great Northern Diver at Salthouse
EASTERN STONECHAT 1w. male sp. (probably Stejneger's) at Meadow Lane, Kelling
Pomarine Skuas x 45, Little Auks x 7, Leach's Petrel, Black Guillemot, Little Gulls x 68, Arctic Tern, Red-necked Grebes x 2, Slavonian Grebe, Scaup x 3, Great Northern Diver, Black-throated Diver, Long-tailed Duck, Short-eared Owls x 10 at Sheringham
Pomarine Skuas x 63, Slavonian Grebe, Little Auks x 3, Short-eared Owls x 4, Great Northern Diver, Velvet Scoters x 7 at Holme
Yellow-browed Warbler near abbey at Wymondham
Great Grey Shrike west of campsite, Pomarine Skua over saltmarsh, Short-eared Owl at Stiffkey
Red-necked Grebe, Short-eared Owl, Snow Bunting at Gorleston-on-Sea
Pomarine Skuas x 3, Little Auks x 2, Scaup x 4, Velvet Scoters x 4, Little Gull, Siberian Chiffchaff (South Dunes) at Winterton
Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Caspian Gull at Nunnery Lakes, Thetford
Little Auks x 3, Grey Phalaropes x 5, Scaup x 5, Short-eared Owl at Bacton
Great Grey Shrike east of Garden Drove, Warham Greens
Pomarine Skuas x 7, Arctic Skuas x 4, Great Skuas x 2, Great Northern Diver, Little Auk, Manx Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, large Shearwater sp., Long-eared Owl, Snow Bunting at Waxham
Slavonian Grebe on sea off campsite, Long-tailed Skua, Pomarine Skuas x 3 at Weybourne
Yellow-browed Warbler at Holkham Pines
Little Auks x 4, Pomarine Skuas 7, Velvet Scoters x 3, Great Northern Diver, Little Gulls x 2 at Sidestrand
Black Brant (or hybrid) flew past, Snow Bunting, Velvet Scoter, Short-eared Owl at Eccles-on-Sea
Long-eared Owl on cliff at Trimingham
Little Auks x 7, Pomarine Skuas x 9, Velvet Scoters x 3, Little Gulls x 2, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owls x 2 at Mundesley

MEGA NEWS
GREY CATBIRD 
Land's End, Cornwall

A Fascinating Sighting!

Today did not go to plan, but I did get out later in pouring rain, hail and a short thunderstorm! At Titchwell RSPB I sat in my car, watching a delightful Grey Wagtail feeding in the corner of the middle car park – foraging amongst fallen leaves. The storm did not deter this little bird and it was not bothered by my prescence at all. A Chaffinch joined it for a few moments and also a Blackbird. A Water Rail ran across the car park too! This little spot looked exciting and I imagined a Siberian Rubythroat appearing in this deluge of rain – not today, but maybe tomorrow?

Sea Watching at Holme!

Spectacular Skies this evening – Holme Beach


Friday 26th October

I was at work this morning then popped home to get changed and headed to Holme to my parent's house. Anglia Water came out between 1pm and 3pm and solved the stopcock/water situation in a matter of seconds! I sighed when I realised how simple it was. Basically, because it had not been turned for a long time, residue can build up around the washer and all that was needed, was to turn the handle in the hole a little way on again (anti-clockwise) and then off again (clockwise). This instantly stopped the meter movement inside the hole and the water stopped completely from all the taps! So all sorted now!

I was very alarmed when I first unlocked the door, as items had been moved around – unbeknown to me, my sister Vivien had been to the house yesterday, but I didn't know that until I found her note! She had dismantled some furniture etc that needs to be disposed of and had taken what she could to the dump. On discovering this, I then spent a while getting an old sprung bed base down the stairs, which was incredibly heavy and awkward. I had no intentions of doing this today and regretted it when it got stuck half way down the twisty stairs – basically I needed a second person to help me at this point and there wasn't anyone, so plan B was to open the stairs window (half way down) and let it fall to the concrete below! I then collected loads of other scrap metal stuff items from the garden and sheds and texted the local scrap metal man to collect it tomorrow. This will save overfilling the skip that we have ordered for November.

Headed to Holme Reserves to deliver my mother's Swarovski Binoculars to their new owner – so nice they have gone to someone local. Halfway along the Firs Road I saw Alison and gave her a lift to the The Firs House, which saved her legs a bit – it was nice to have a catch up with her – she does make me laugh! Gary said I must go and look at the sea as there had been a massive Pomarine Skua passage all along the coast today and I should be in with a good chance of seeing some. After having coffee and cake in the Firs, I put some more layers on with hat and gloves and headed across the dunes to sea watch.

It was bitterly cold and windy and I couldn't have picked a more exposed spot! The sea was fierce, but the light was stunning, with rays of sun streaking through dark rain clouds and it was clear if not wobbly sea-watching conditions! An auk sp. bombed through and I saw several distant blobs, but then had long views of seven Pomarine Skuas flying low over the breakers at approximately half distance – picked them up a good way east, as they headed west in beautiful light! I was so pleased I had seen these. It was so cold I didn't stay any longer, plus I had loads of stuff to do this evening. As I crossed back over the dunes to the car park, I flushed a Woodcock from the sea-buckthorn which then flew towards the NWT Wader pools. I headed back to house in Holme.

I spent all evening going through a mass load of letters and stuff and sorting into a keep and shredding pile. It took me until 10pm!!! With no water in the house, I couldn't even go to the loo! I wearily left for home in King's Lynn and got home late. Made some cheese on toast and chilled in front of TV for a while before writing the blog! Strong north easterly winds with rain forecast for Sunday and Monday – last chance for a gigantic mega maybe?! Good night! Bird items will be going up for sale on the blog over the weekend! Keep an eye out, first come first served!

Friday, 26 October 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  
Pomarine Skuas x 131, Roseate Tern (possible), Slavonian Grebe at Titchwell RSPB
Waxwings x 4 flew over Overstrand
Jack Snipe flew off sea at Cromer
EASTERN STONECHAT 1w. male sp. (probably Stejneger's) at Meadow Lane, Kelling
Hawfinch flew over cemetery at Great Yarmouth
Spoonbill at Morston
Pomarine Skuas x 42, Velvet Scoters x 2, Red-necked Grebe, Great Northern Diver, Grey Phalarope, Little Gulls x 5, Arctic Tern at Sheringham
Crossbills x 10 flew over Beeston Common, Sheringham
Yellow-browed Warbler at Titchwell RSPB
Short-eared Owl, Shorelarks x 2, Waxwing flew over near golf course at Holme
Pomarine Skuas x 173, Slavonian Grebe, Arctic Tern, Shorelark at Holme
Pomarine Skuas x 7, Little Gulls x 2, Velvet Scoters x 6 on sea at Winterton
Pomarine Skuas x 5 flew past Eccles-on-Sea
Velvet Scoters x 4 flew past Blakeney Point
Red-necked Grebe flew past Sidestrand
Pomarine Skuas x 9 flew past Hunstanton
Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Pomarine Skuas x 5, Scaup x 2 flew past Hopton-on-Sea
Pomarine Skuas x 22 flew past South Beach, Heacham
Hen Harriers x 2 at Stiffkey Campsite
Pomarine Skuas x 26, Red-necked Grebe, Little Gulls x 23 flew past beach car park at Cley

MEGA NEWS
GREY CATBIRD 
Land's End, Cornwall
AMERICAN ROBIN
Millcombe Valley, Lundy, Devon

Salthouse!

THURSDAY 25th OCTOBER

Headed east to Holt and Glandford to buy a baby present for Lily at work, who is going on maternity leave tomorrow and a birthday present for my sister Vivien.

Managed to see the Eastern Stonechat at Salthouse late this afternoon for the first time. I must be the last person to see this bird! Fabulous birder's views, but rubbish for pictures with my little 300mm lens. I returned to the car and returned to take a little phone-scoped video and even that isn't jaw dropping! Cracking little bird though! Another faeces sample was taken to determine if this is  Stejneger's Stonechat.

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 25th OCTOBER
EASTERN STONECHAT 1w. male sp. (probably Stejneger's), Lapland Bunting, Short-eared Owl at Meadow Lane, Kelling
Garganey at Breydon Water
Great Northern Divers x 2 flew past Coastguards, Cley
Water Pipits x 2, Short-eared Owl, Caspian Gull at Cley NWT
Waxwing flew over Titchwell RSPB
Waxwings x 2 by A149 Coast Road at Salthouse
Yellow-browed Warbler at Wells Woods
Ring Ouzels x 3 flew over Hulver Hill, west of Dereham
Waxwings x 5 in car park, Crossbills x 7 in pines, Pomarine Skua, Great Northern Diver, Velvet Scoter, Slavonian Grebes x 3 at NOA Holme
Waxwings x 2 flew over, Waxwing in garden at Hunstanton
Hen Harrier adult male flew over Snettisham RSPB
Hawfinches x 2 at Lynford Aboretum
Black-browed Albatross (possible) on Tuesday, flew east past Salthouse
Yellow-browed Warbler at Weybourne Camp
Rough-legged Buzzard flew over Wells
Short-eared Owl, Snow Bunting, Great Northern Divers x 2 at Waxham
Great White Egrets x 2, Black Redstart at Holkham Freshmarsh
Short-eared Owls x 3 at Burnham Norton
Hen Harrier male at Stiffkey Campsite
Lapland Bunting flew over Sheringham

MEGA NEWS
GREY CATBIRD 
Land's End, Cornwall
TAIGA FLYCATCHER
Galley Head, County Cork, Ireland

Thursday, 25 October 2018

DIY Job!

After work this morning (on my phase-return) I returned home and fell asleep on the sofa. Late afternoon I drove to Holme in an attempt to turn off the water supply. We are worried about burst pipes as we have found out that after a certain number of months, you are not insured for quite a number of things including accidental water damage, which is quite shocking really.

I spent a while cleaning all the bird ponds out and topping up the feeders – why I'm doing this I don't really know, after all what is the point?! I simply can not neglect all the things that mother used to do. The first issue was finding the stopcock, which I remembered was somewhere in the front garden. Finding it would be a problem, as mother had planted things and built up the soil over the years and I can't remember the last time I saw it! After destroying plants and loads of digging I lost heart and sat on the front step in despair. I didn't even want to come back to the house anymore, everything feels very sad here now. I phoned my dear old family friend Malcolm W. for advice, in fact I had to ring him several times!

I eventually found the stopcock and how to turn the water off. I ran all the taps off in the house and found that this didn't take long at all. BUT, the last tap, the outside tap would not stop running. I called Malcolm for advice again and he said to turn the outside tap off and then turn the cold kitchen tap on, which I did and water came out of that tap and again didn't stop. Malcolm thought there simply must be a fault with a valve or washer or something within the stopcock and this would be Anglian Water's responsibility. I rang AW and it was indeed – their next appointment slot is a two hour slot on Friday afternoon – good job I'm not at work at that time!
My DIY Tap Frost Cover!


Next job was to lag the outside tap. I watched a brilliant Youtube video last night, which mean't it only cost me £1.20 to make this piece of kit and that was for the gripper (like a giant peg). I didn't cut the slit in the side of the plant pot (as the video) as didn't have a hose pipe attached and instead of a plant pot I used a larger plastic tub that had contained fat balls. Found a bungee in my shed and bubble wrap in the house. I already had duck tape and bought the gripper tool from a DIY shop in Hunstanton! Father would have been very impressed I think. I left Holme far later than intended at 8.10pm and had a very late tea when I returned home.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Lost without you

 I miss you so much, every minute, every hour, every day 😢 xxx

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 in car park, Ring Ouzel, Red-necked Grebe, Spotted Redshank, Purple Sandpiper at Titchwell RSPB
EASTERN STONECHAT 1w. male sp. (probably Stejneger's) at Meadow Lane, Kelling
Garganey at Breydon Water
Waxwing flew over Asda car park at Great Yarmouth
Siberian Chiffchaff in South Valley, Velvet Scoters x 4, Shorelark at North Beach, Winterton
Black Redstart at Holkham Freshmarsh
Crossbills x 12 flew over Weybourne Camp
Velvet Scoters x 3, Great Northern Diver, Common Cranes x 6 at Waxham
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at Wells Woods
Velvet Scoters x 2 at Coastguards, Cley
Great White Egrets x 2, Short-eared Owl at Horsey
Surf Scoter (possible) with Velvet Scoters x 2 flew past Sheringham
Ring Ouzel at Felbrigg Hall NT
Short-eared Owl at Burnham Norton

MEGA NEWS
GREY CATBIRD 
Land's End, Cornwall
GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH
St Agnes, Isles of Scilly
CALANDRA LARK 
Possible, Tresco, Isles of Scilly

RBA Weekly Round-Up 17th to 23rd October!

By Jon Dunn
https://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2018-43.aspx?s_id=1068265702

Tuesday, 23 October 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 Northern Divers x 2 flew past Trimingham
Great Northern Divers x 2 flew past Sheringham
Shorelark at North Dunes, Winterton
Red-necked Grebe, Long-tailed Duck, Velvet Scoter at Titchwell RSPB
EASTERN STONECHAT 1w. male sp. (probably Stejneger's) at Meadow Lane, Kelling
Atlantic Canada Goose (nominate form canadensis) with Pink-footed Geese in field by railway south of A149 east of Weybourne
Black Redstart at Holkham Freshmarsh
Yellow-browed Warbler, Great White Egret at Holkham Pines
Lapland Bunting, Snow Bunting at Holkham Gap
Great White Egret at Welney WWT
NUTCRACKER probable, flew SW over poplars by ambulance station at 3.45pm, NW of A148 Holt Road at Middlebrook Way, 1/2 mile WSW of Cromer
Hen Harrier at Warham Greens
Grey Phalarope flew past Weybourne Camp
Yellow-browed Warbler at Wells Woods

MEGA NEWS
GREY CATBIRD 
Land's End, Cornwall
GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH
St Agnes, Isles of Scilly
AMERICAN ROBIN
Probable, unconfirmed report at Hardwick Hall Country Park, County Durham
WILSON'S SNIPE
Possible, at St Mary's, Isles of Scilly
NUTCRACKER
Probable, Cromer, Norfolk

Monday, 22 October 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  
Siberian Chiffchaff, Yellow-browed Warbler at South Dunes, Shorelark at North Beach, Winterton
Great White Egret on lake at Holkham Park
Yellow-browed Warbler at Holkham Pines
Black Redstart at Holkham Freshmarsh
EASTERN STONECHAT 1w. male sp. (probably Stejneger's) at Meadow Lane, Kelling
EASTERN STONECHAT 1w. male sp. (probably Stejneger's) on fence at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Red-necked Grebe flew past Weybourne Camp
Atlantic Canada Goose (nominate form canadensis) with Pink-footed Geese in field south of A149 east of Weybourne
Hen Harriers x 2 flew past Stiffkey Campsite
Short-eared Owls x 3 at Burnham Norton
Yellow-browed Warbler at Wells Woods
Grey Phalarope on sea at Cley
Sooty Shearwater flew past Sheringham
Water Pipit at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Great White Egret at Earsham Gravel Pits

MEGA NEWS
GREY CATBIRD 
Land's End, Cornwall
GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH
St Agnes, Isles of Scilly

Sunday, 21 October 2018

MEGA! BROWN SHRIKE – FIRST FOR NORFOLK!

BROWN SHRIKE TWITCH!
The crowd from the 'other side' at Weybourne
Sadly no pictures of the shrike!


Yesterday afternoon I went back to the family house at Holme to finish off some jobs and later returned to King's Lynn and fell into bed exhausted. I had no intention of setting the alarm in the morning. I had two appointments today – the first one at 1.30pm with a furniture restorer from Dersingham to discuss restoring a wonderful and very old black, glass-fronted bookcase, which was given to my parents as a wedding present from two elderly ladies who lived in Green Farm House at Cley. This bookcase (one of several) held my father's most important bird books, but is rather battered and bruised – he had screw hooks in the sides, from which hung his binoculars, bags etc! The second appointment was at 2.30pm to meet up with a prospective buyer for my mother's binoculars. The plan after that was to return to King's Lynn to go to the supermarket, as I have no food in the house – well there are a few tins in the cupboard, but the fridge is empty. Besides that, my house looks like its been bombed and needs a mass tidy.

When I woke up this morning, most of the morning had gone! Just before I got up, I thought about rare birds, holidays and how I seem to have a habit over the last few years of having no birds of note all week and then a mega turns up the day before I return to work. I dozily got out of bed and a few moments later the mega alert goes off: MEGA, Norfolk BROWN SHRIKE NW of Weybourne at Weybourne Camp by scrape at 10.47, (not Red-backed Shrike). Here we go! Typical – couldn't break my appointments, so would have to wait and hope I would be lucky later.

I had a few slices of bread left, so had marmalade on toast and tea, got ready and left the house to go to Holme. Had appointment with furniture restorer at parent's house, who gave me a quote which I agreed to, as I love that bookcase and the books will go back in it eventually, when I move. Met up with a local birder and prospective buyer along the Firs Road at Holme, to look at my mother's Swarovski Binoculars and I'm very happy to say that they are now sold!

Left Holme around 3pm I think it was. Loads of 'Sunday drivers' along the coast road and having a lovely time they were, stopping, slowing down and enjoying the views and yes of course they have every right to do this, but for goodness sake.......!!!!! Eventually I reached Weybourne and parked up in a sneaky place for free. Walked as fast as I could on shingle – felt like I was doing Blakeney Point again! Arrived on site for the Brown Shrike and could see two lines of birders – one on the seaward side and one on the inland side. I initially stood with the seaward side crowd, but worryingly no one was watching the bird, so with advice from a local birder we relocated to the inland crowd! Several well known Norfolk birders were standing this side, so I knew I would be potentially be in with a good chance. I was told that the Brown Shrike was very elusive and had not been seen for a while. I scanned and waited and hoped.
Finally at around 4.30pm, the Brown Shrike showed. Justin L. described where it was, but I just couldn't see it, as it was low down in a bush – the failings of being born short! Justin lowered his scope for me to look through, but I still wasn't tall enough to see through the scope and then someone jogged his scope out of view anyway. Paul J. had the shrike in his scope, which was positioned lower and I asked if I could look, which he said 'yes' to and I was lucky enough to see my first Brown Shrike! Thanks Paul! It was sitting low in a sallow bush and was distant and I didn't see it for long – in fact that was the only view I had of it, but I considered myself very lucky as anyone else arriving after 4.30pm dipped. Moss Taylor had kindly arranged for birders to go into this area with permission from the owner and was collecting £1 from each birder for charity, which was a little embarrassing as I only had just over 60p on me – so I owe him some pennies when I next see him and thanks to him and the owner for allowing people to get a little closer. Understandably, towards the end of the day, we were all asked to leave this area and go out through the gate to stand on the seaward side.

After moving back to the seaward side, a birder asked if anyone had lost a purse – it was mine, but not a purse, a tiny Christian Dior make-up bag I use to keep a couple of phone chargers in and USB lead, massive thanks to him! When I checked, I had left my scope bag zip undone – silly mistake! I stayed until dark with three other birders, but we didn't see it again. Returned to the car park and then headed home via Holt. I was so hungry as had not eaten since the marmalade on toast and discovered a chip shop in the high street and bought a veggie burger and chips – lovely! Got home by 8pm and fell asleep. Work in the morning!

See Steve Gantlett's photos HERE and HERE

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  
Todd's Canada Goose (form interior) first thing this morning, Caspian Gull on Pat's Pool, Cley NWT
Atlantic Canada Goose (not Todd's) reindentified from photographs, roosted at North Scrape this evening at Cley NWT
EASTERN STONECHAT 1w. male sp. (probably Stejneger's) at Meadow Lane, Kelling
Yellow-browed Warbler, Firecrest, Rough-legged Buzzard at Wells Woods
BROWN SHRIKE 1w by scrape at Weybourne Camp – FIRST FOR NORFOLK!
Todd's Canada Goose (form interior) 1/2 mile east of windmill, Short-eared Owl flew in off sea at Weybourne
Short-eared Owl at Burnham Overy Dunes
Barred Warbler still in Lifeboat House Garden, Spoonbills x 3, Hen Harrier at Blakeney Point
Rough-legged Buzzard flew over Thornham Marsh
Cattle Egret at Martham Pit
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Siberian Chiffchaff, Redstart, Black Redstart at South Dunes, Winterton
Shorelark, Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl at Holme Dunes NWT
Yellow-browed Warbler at Holme NOA
Rough-legged Buzzard at Titchwell RSPB
Short-eared Owl flew over Gramborough Hill, Lapland Bunting flew over Salthouse
Great White Egret, Black Redstart at Holkham Freshmarsh
Yellow-browed Warbler at Holkham Pines
Short-eared Owl, Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Hen Harrier at Warham Greens
Great White Egret flew over Ingoldisthorpe
Short-eared Owls x 3 at Burnham Norton
Short-eared Owl at Stubb Mill, Hickling

MEGA NEWS
BROWN SHRIKE
Weybourne, Norfolk
GREY CATBIRD
Land's End, Cornwall
BALTIMORE ORIOLE
North Bay, Barra, Western Isles
GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH
St Agnes, Isles of Scilly
SCARLET TANAGER
Cape Clear, County Cork, Ireland

Swarovski Binoculars NOW SOLD!

Sold today to a local birder, with thanks. I had a small queue of people over the last few days after I dropped the price to £1,399, including someone from the US. To be honest, I'm glad the first person to email me was local – result!

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  
Saturday 20th October
Yellow-browed Warblers x 3 at Holkham Pines
EASTERN STONECHAT 1w. male sp. (probably Stejneger's) at Meadow Lane, Kelling
Great White Egret, Short-eared Owls x 3 at Burnham Norton
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2,  Black Redstart at South Dunes, Yellow-browed Warbler at North Dunes, Yellow-browed Warbler in garden at Winterton
Todd's Canada Goose (probable) (form interior) on Pat's Pool, Lapland Bunting, Hen Harrier at Cley NWT
Yellow-browed Warbler in bushes by Docking House at Docking
Siberian Chiffchaff at East Hills, Wells
Yellow-browed Warbler at Wells Woods
Shorelarks x 4, Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 by pay hut, Water Pipits x 2, Great White Egret flew over at Holme
Hen Harrier, Rough-legged Buzzard at Titchwell RSPB
Barred Warbler in Lifeboat House Garden at Blakeney Point
Yellow-browed Warblers x 3, Richard's Pipit flew over at Brancaster
Twite x 4 at Thornham Harbour
Short-eared Owl flew over near The Green at Thornham
Great White Egret near Nelson Head Track, Horsey
Long-tailed Duck flew past, Red-necked Grebe on sea at Kelling Water Meadows
Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Rough-legged Buzzard at Brancaster
Yellow-browed Warbler at Hunstanton Cliffs
Hen Harrier at Waxham
Hen Harrier at Stiffkey
Yellow-browed Warbler at Muckleburgh Hill
Great Northern Diver on sea at Beeston Bump, Sheringham
GREAT GREY SHRIKE at Ringstead

MEGA NEWS
GREY CATBIRD
Land's End, Cornwall
BALTIMORE ORIOLE
North Bay, Barra, Western Isles
GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH
St Agnes, Isles of Scilly
SCARLET TANAGER
Cape Clear, County Cork, Ireland

Friday, 19 October 2018

Back Home!

Vivien and I have worked so hard to clear and sort our parent's house – its been extremely difficult for so many reasons. We have had a lot of battles and arguments too, but that is hardly surprising under the circumstances – hopefully we will forgive each other! Neither of us wanted to take apart our family home – our memories of our entire life. We have had to make so many decisions and then change them again and everything has been extremely stressful. An auctioneer came out on Monday, which to be honest was a bit of a waste of time – items that father had previously thought were 'valuable' were not! We both went to Heacham Tip twice each this morning (we have been several times already!) with more rubbish and worked hard all day to get as much finished as possible. The gas was disconnected on Wednesday, LPG cylinders taken away today. The only items now left in the house are boot sale items, a ton of books that none of us want (not bird books), three pieces of furniture going to auction and the biggest problem is a piano – anyone wanting a piano for £100 ono, please email me! You will need four strong people to get the piano out of the house though! We also need to order a massive skip to clear the two big sheds and stuff in garden – looking forward to that weekend, not!

Late this evening, we left our family home and we are both now back in our 'normal' houses, Vivien in Ely and me in King's Lynn. I will miss the Tawny Owl calling in the cherry tree next to the house, the silence, the darkness and peace and I will miss the feeling of still being close to my dearest mother. Back in King's Lynn, there is no Tawny Owl, the street lights will disturb my sleep and I am too far away from where my parents lay to rest, much too far away. I really hope the cat settles back in its old home and doesn't return to find us! One of the saddest things is leaving all mother's regular birds – they have been fed daily for years and years. I will still have to go back this weekend as couldn't fit everything in my car and finish a few bits and pieces off, but it is the end of an era. Back to work this Monday on phase return for the following three weeks and back to full time hours on the 12th November.