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Sunday, 31 March 2019

Last Day of My Holiday!

Busy doing jobs all morning in preparation for returning to work tomorrow. I was more emotional than I expected to be on the first Mother's Day without my mother – a huge sadness enveloped me. It was another beautiful day, but the cruel east wind cut through you like a knife. I eventually left the house after lunch and went to the family home again at Holme. After discussion with Vivien last night, I turned the stopcock back on, which means we now have water again! I had turned the water off over the winter to stop the risk of burst pipes, but hopefully it should be ok now. I spent a long time cleaning all the little bird drinking ponds out and watering all mother's big pots of wallflowers and other plants. I felt that was the least I could do on Mother's day. I'm sure she approved of all my little jobs to look after her garden – until it sells, I felt duty bound to keep it in order. It was lovely in the garden, but the longer I spent there, the more emotional I became.

Went to Titchwell RSPB and had my lunch sitting in my deckchair again, but this was a big mistake! I soon moved back into the car – far too bitterly cold to be sitting in a chair outside! Walked round the Fen Trail and to Patsy's Pool and then back along the main path as far as Island Hide, well just beyond. It was so cold along here, that I turned back. The light was beautiful and there were tons of birds on the freshmarsh. I'll be honest, I wasn't really focussed on birds today – it was just a case of getting through the day. I didn't see anything of particular note really – heard a Cetti's Warbler, Chiffchaffs singing, usual selection on the freshmarsh, loads of gulls, Avocets, Teal, Wigeon, Shelducks, Black-tailed Godwits etc.

As I returned to the car park at 6.05pm, I witnessed a small car driving at a massive speed with a loud exhaust, hurtling over one of the speed bumps and then parking in the car park. Three 'lads' then got out of the car – you could tell they hadn't been here before, as they seemed to be discussing if they should put money in the parking machine or not – they decided not to and then walked along the path past the picnic area, looking around them as they walked – they were not birdwatching! I won't say any more on here for a number of reasons! Good night.

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 8 east of Holkam Gap
Garganey x 2, Water Pipit at Potter Heigham Marshes
Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Rough-legged Buzzard at Weeting Heath NWT
Glaucous Gull off East Bank, Russian White-fronted Geese x 11 at Cley NWT
Black Guillemot, Great Northern Diver off beach car park at Cley
Cattle Egret, Tundra Bean Geese x 10, Scaup at Welney WWT
Sooty Shearwater, Blue Fulmar flew past Mundesley
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE reported in tree at 5.10pm at Walsingham
CAMBERWELL BEAUTY Butterfly at Sandringham Estate

MEGA NEWS
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER
possible, on Friday at Gruinard Bay, Highland

Mother's Day

 Mother’s Day

Always in my thoughts,
always in my heart, forever
until we meet again
x x x

πŸ’”

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Local Birding & Lunch With Lucy!

I havn't spent any time with Lucy for ages and although I have invited her out several times in my holiday, she declined until today! We had a lovely day out, which involved not doing very much at all to be honest. Its a very long story, but Lucy doesn't/can't walk very far, so you have to organise a fun day out without any long walks!

Flew to the chemist to pick up a prescription, then to Argos to buy a very smart, but cheap new fold-up picnic table for my car – I don't know why I havn't purchased one before, so useful and much easier than trying to balance your coffee on the edge of the boot of the car, when you're sitting in your deckchair! Picked Lucy up at 9.30am as arranged and then headed to Holme Reserves.

Another stunning day! We parked up on the NOA car park and briefly stopped at NWT, to see some of the moths that Gary H. was studying with others, from their catch in the moth trap last night. Gary had also seen a Black Redstart by the Natterjack pond earlier this morning! We then paid our respects to where our parent's are at rest and then made our way to the observatory. We had timed it just right, as Sophie had just caught a colour-ringed Stonechat in one of the mist nets – Lucy enjoyed watching Sophie taking the usual measurements and weight etc, before the Stonechat was swiftly released. We sat outside the observatory on the seat where our father also used to sit and enjoyed the glorious sunshine. It was almost too hot to sit here – it has always been a suntrap in front of the observatory. Father loved the heat so much, far more than me – he would sit here and bake – he was at his happiest wearing his denim shorts in a heatwave!

We headed around the back of the observatory, along the path through the pine trees, past father's planted yew tree, which is huge now and onto the beach opposite the NWT access path. Lucy loved being on the beach and the tide was coming in, although it wasn't particularly high today. Surprisingly there were not too many people on the beach, which was nice. We walked back via the Firs house and to the NOA car park. As we left, we kept a sharp eye out for the Black Redstart, but no luck with that. Several Meadow Pipits were on the seaward side of the road. Lucy and I saw several Brimstones on our travels today and also a couple of Peacock Butterflies.

We then went to The Lifeboat Inn at Thornham and sat in their wonderful garden with smart picnic tables, adjacent to their large conservatory. We ordered the same amazing Superfood Salad that I had on the 13th February (link to see picture) along with chips and a dessert, washed down with a ginger beer – scrumptious! Lucy really enjoyed her lunch and where we sat was beautiful. With the red tiled roof and white buildings around the Inn, it felt almost Mediterranean and I imagined a bee-eater flying overhead in the cloudless blue skies! What a thought!

We then went to the family home at Holme to check everything was ok. Lucy had not been here for many, many weeks, but she seemed to cope with being there ok. We only looked in the house quickly and spent more time looking at all the new flowers springing up in the garden. The big potted wallflowers and some yellow daisy things, were all tinder bone dry and I gave them a good water from the water butt by the greenhouse, but this water is not exactly in a very good state. I think I will have to turn the water back on again now. I had turned it all off at the stopcock in case there were any frosts over winter and didn't want the pipes to burst in the house, but it would be nice to keep the bird drinking ponds topped up and plants watered until the house is sold. Today would have been our parent's wedding anniversary πŸ’•πŸ˜’

We visited Titchwell RSPB, but Lucy didn't want to walk anywhere – oh dear! The first thing I did was buy a new bird bath – mine at home is leaking. I have a wonderful heavy concrete one, but also have one of those plastic Gardman ones like this, but the plastic has split in the base of the saucer. So I purchased a bigger and much sturdier version from the RSPB shop, which looks like it will last far longer – they come in green or bronze, I bought the green one. Anyway, we parked up properly in the car park and then sat in the coach parking area with our deckchairs and table and sat drinking coffee whilst birding! Lucy doesn't have any binoculars, she borrows my spare Optricon Traveller ED's when she is out with me (they are excellent bins and extremely lightweight). This was the best part of the day in my opinion. We watched Common Buzzards sailing overhead, Chaffinches, Hedge Sparrows, Great Tits, Goldfinches, Chiffchaffs, Robins, Med Gulls and then heard the first Blackcap of the Spring singing!

Eventually, I persuaded Lucy to go on a 'short' walk around the Fen Trail. We bumped into Tony who had seen 6 Swallows! I havn't seen any Swallows yet this Spring. Lucy was very disappointed to find there were no toads or frogs to see in the Fen Trail pool – there were loads when I last visited. When we came out onto the main path, we made it as far as the first seat, but Lucy refused to walk any further, said she was tired, hungry and wanted to go home, so that was it! We returned to the car park. Blackcap singing again as we left.

Parked up at Choseley Barns to have our tea, which was a veggie sausage and fried egg roll each with more coffee. We watched several vivid male and female Yellowhammers, along with Goldfinches, Hedge Sparrows and a Blue Tit coming down to drink and bathe at the only puddle by the verge. We drove home via Docking, Bircham, Flitcham and Hillington and was very pleased to see that there were no queues of traffic at all or at the Knight's Hill Roundabout! Dropped Lucy home and managed to get back to my house in just enough daylight to put the new bird bath up ready for the morning!

Turned all my lights out for EARTH HOUR at 8.30pm. Don't forget the clocks go forward tonight. Lighter evenings commence tomorrow – YES! Its 10.50pm right now, which means you need to change your clocks to 11.50am! Good Night!

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  
Hawfinches x 15 at Lynford Aboretum
Garganey x 2, Common Tern at Whitlingham Country Park
Short-eared Owl at West Runton
Garganey x 2, Reed Warbler, Great White Egret, Common Cranes x 2, Russian White-fronted Goose at Potter Heigham Marshes
Short-eared Owl, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Burgh Castle
Common Tern at Rush Hill Scrape, Great White Egret at Hickling Broad NWT
Rough-legged Buzzard at Weeting Heath NWT
Bittern booming, Russian White-fronted Geese x 10, Spoonbills x 2 at Cley NWT
Little Gulls x 3, Scaup x 2 at Barton Broad
Black Redstart, Hen Harrier at Holme Dunes NWT
Shorelarks x 11 east of Holkam Gap
Spoonbills x 2 at Holkham
Short-eared Owl at Haddiscoe Marshes
Black Redstart in Low Road at Winterton

MEGA NEWS
None

Friday, 29 March 2019

Wells Woods, Stiffkey, Friary Hills & Cley NWT!

Ok, so I didn't quite make dawn, but I did arrive at Wells Woods beach car park by 7.30am!!! I begrudgingly put £3.50 in the meter for 2 hours (its costs £6.50 for more than 2 hours!) and ambled along the path to the woods. As forecast, it was a beautiful morning and there was only a handful of cars here before I arrived.

I didn't see much at all initially – there were plenty of Chiffchaffs singing though, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Long-tailed Tits, Robins, Hedge Sparrows, Jay and Wood Pigeons, but nothing else of note. A Mallard was swimming in the Drinking Pool (in the woods off the main path). With only 15 minutes left on my car parking ticket, I managed to see all the best birds! I was sitting close by a small yew tree in the far SE corner of The Dell (a short distance off the main path) and I managed to see a striking male Brambling, an equally smart male Bullfinch, a Lesser Redpoll and a Goldcrest in the yew tree (which should have been a Firecrest!). I also saw my first Comma Butterfly this year and there were several Brimstones around. I was a little over my two hour parking ticket when I got back to my car, but got away with it! The car park was filling up quickly as I left.

I headed for Stiffkey and parked up at the campsite car park. Here I bumped into Richard (the hat) and Pete from Norwich – they had been looking in vain for the Ruddy Shelduck, that was seen earlier this morning. Had my lunch and then walked through the cliff top wood – it was beautiful up here and there were clumps of daffodils still on show and a clump of yellow gorse set the scene – its wonderful being able to see the coastline from up here. The only birds seen were: Great Tits, Blue Tits, a Wren and a Mistle Thrush which was feeding in the field, south of the wood. Walked back along the bottom path, where I saw a single Peacock Butterfly. Little Egrets, Brent Geese, Redshanks, Mallards and Black-headed Gulls were on the marsh.

I arrived at Friary Hills at Blakeney, although I wished I hadn't bothered after an incident with two rude nasty women (one woman to be precise)! As many of you will know, Friary Hills (National Trust) is out of bounds to all dogs. There are clear signs stating this at both ends of Friary Hills – a 5 year old could read the signs! One doesn't need a degree, one just needs to read the signs and take NOTICE of them! Anyway, as soon as I parked up by the gate – along came a couple with 2 big muzzled dogs (having just walked through the area and now coming out of the exit gate) – they were very polite when I spoke to them, but it was obvious they had seen the signs. Then, along comes two 'posh' ladies with two small dogs and off leads, in the same spot (well I wouldn't exactly call them ladies at all, far from it!). I said my usual spiel, but always polite, which goes something like this "I don't mean to sound rude, but are you aware that no dogs are allowed in here?" "yes" one of the ladies replied and then in a sarcastic tone said "we live here, so its ok" as she continued to walk past me. I replied "No, its not ok, it belongs to the National Trust" and before I could finish, she shouted back very loud and very aggressively "Why don't you fuck off and get a life"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! To which I replied "I have a life thank you very much". I was so taken back by what she had said, that my reply was the only thing that came to my mind at that second. On hindsight, I which I had turned back, caught up with her and said "WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY TO ME?!!! Probably a good job I didn't though to be honest!

I calmy continued my walk and climbed up the steps to the top of the hills and sat on the bench, enjoying probably one of the best views in Norfolk. You can see all of Blakeney Freshes, Blakeney Point and Cley NWT from up here and on a glorious day like today, its absolutely stunning. A short while later, I met a lovely couple, Steve and Wendy (who read my blog) who introduced themselves and we chatted for ages! They live close by and said they see tons of people walking through there with dogs and it makes them angry and frustrated too. Friary Hills is one of the few public spaces in Norfolk (that I can think of) which is dog free – well its not is it?! Some dog owners just simply will not abide and respect that!!! Why not? You have the entire Norfolk coastline and tons of other areas to walk and exercise your dog – why can't there be one small dog free place?! Whilst we sat here, several more people walked through with their dogs! It was really lovely chatting to Steve and Wendy, but I had to leave as had some errands to do.

Before I left Blakeney, I found and went into the National Trust Office, to report the incident of the lady verbally abusing me and all the other dogs I had witnessed in there and I was told it is a problem that is getting far worse! NT staff have also received the same verbal abuse from dog owners they told me – this is awful! I did suggest to the NT staff, that if they had the funds, they could position staff at both gates, to physically stop people with dogs walking through, but I'm sure they don't have the manpower/funds to do that – even if it was at the busiest times – at weekends and bank holidays, but what an awful job that would be! Its all very sad indeed. When I first moved back to Norfolk, Friary Hills seemed to have very few incidents of people walking through with dogs, but it has got a million times worse over the last few years, with the massive influx of visitors to Norfolk.

Went to Holt to deliver a DVD to someone and then went into Morston Sports outdoor wear shop, to buy a very nice velcro, fold up seat mat. Drove to Salthouse and sat in my deckchair just east of the duckpond, overlooking the willow scrub by the end of Beach Road. Had my egg sandwiches and coffee here, lovely! I then parked up at the bottom of Old Woman's Lane at Cley and walked out to the NWT hides to end the evening. Andy J. and Eddie were here too. Usual birds on the pools, but of note were 11 White-fronted Geese flying east and west, a Peregrine, Marsh Harriers and of particular note a Bittern was booming, which Eddie said had not occurred for many years!

Arrived back in King's Lynn late evening. Made sandwiches and sorted stuff out for tomorrow, then fell asleep until 10.45pm! I could have crawled into bed at that second when I saw the time, but had to write the blog! Good night!

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 flew over Sidestrand
Garganey x 2, Great White Egret at Surlingham Marsh
Great White Egret at Claxton Marshes
Ruddy Shelduck on saltmarsh from car park at Stiffkey
Great White Egrets x 3, Spoonbills x 4 at Burnham Norton
Spoonbill at Burnham Overy Dunes
Garganey x 2 at Whitlingham Country Park
Rough-legged Buzzard at Weeting Heath NWT
Black Redstart in The Plantation, Short-eared Owl at Blakeney Point
Crossbill by Manor Hotel at Blakeney
Shorelarks x 2 east of Holkam Gap
Cattle Egret, Great White Egret, Spoonbill, Scaup, Tundra Bean Goose at Welney WWT
Bittern booming, Little Ringed Plover at Cley NWT
Hooded Crow, Great White Egret at Horsey
Great White Egret at Hickling Broad NWT
Black Redstart near Mill Farm at Winterton
Long-tailed Duck at Titchwell RSPB
Sedge Warbler singing at Cantley Marshes RSPB
Mealy Redpoll at Beeston Common, Sheringham
Hooded Crows x 2 at Mundesley

MEGA NEWS
None

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Will You Switch Off For Your World This Earth Hour?

Saturday 30 March at 8.30pm

Getting My Life In Order!

Well, attempting to anyway! I have been very, very busy over the last few days. I decided to use the grey days and lack of sun to get some essential jobs done, including selecting and finalising photos for a publication, sending off a submission form to the Norfolk Records Committee for last year and all number of other things. We sold the Ebridge Mill picture, the two watercolours of the lady and child earlier this week and the Barometer sold today, hopefully they have all gone to a good home or maybe they will go to an antique shop for double/triple the price?! Who knows! We've had three more viewings on our family home this week – only a matter of time now!

I'm going to try very hard to keep on top of photos this year! I've just added a load to 19th March. I took some of the Common Buzzard the other day at Stiffkey, but none were sharp and didn't feel like putting naff photos on the blog! I still need to do the iphone photos – job for another day. It looks like Friday and Saturday are going to be gloriously sunny with south west winds, so I will be out dawn until dusk! Clocks go forward on Saturday night and don't forget to turn your lights off at 8.30pm for one hour – see next post. The temperature drops on Sunday and north east winds hit us – not good for the general public, but may be good for us birders!

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 at Rockland Broad
Short-eared Owl at Snettisham RSPB
Shorelarks x 5 east of Holkam Gap
Hen Harrier at Holkham
Velvet Scoters x 7 off beach car park at Cley
Red-necked Grebe on sea at Burnham Overy Dunes
Hobby at Choseley Drying Barns
Garganey x 2 at Whitlingham Country Park
Rough-legged Buzzard at Weeting Heath NWT
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE flushed at 2.55pm, then flew east over Kelling Heath
Cattle Egret, Great White Egret, Spoonbill, Scaup at Welney WWT
Short-eared Owl at Holme Dunes NWT
Spoonbill at Blakeney Freshmarsh
Short-eared Owls x 2 at Claxton Marshes
Russian White-fronted Geese x 29 flew past Mundesley
Garganey at Colney Gravel Pits
Garganey x 2, Great White Egret, Common Cranes x 9 at Potter Heigham Marshes

MEGA NEWS
None

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

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  
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Ravens x 2 flew over, Hawfinches x 2 at Lynford Aboretum
Black Redstart at Blofield
Black Redstart in garden at Briston
Great White Egrets x 4, Cattle Egret, Common Cranes x 2 at Potter Heigham Marshes
Shorelarks x 5 east of Holkham Gap
Woodlark flew over Morston
Garganey at Bintree Mill
Serin flew over, Russian White-fronted Geese x 5, Spoonbill at Cley NWT
Velvet Scoters x 7 on sea off beach car park at Cley
Slavonian Grebes x 5, Great Northern Diver, Long-tailed Duck, Red-necked Grebe, Velvet Scoters x 3, Little Ringed Plover at Titchwell RSPB
Purple Sandpipers x 2 at Sheringham
Tundra Bean Goose, Cattle Egret, Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Rough-legged Buzzard at Weeting Heath NWT
Spoonbill at Blakeney Harbour
Great White Egret, Short-eared Owl at Claxton Marshes
Hen Harrier flew over Langham

MEGA NEWS
None

RBA Weekly Round-Up 20th to 26th March!

By Stuart Piner
https://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyRoundup2019_13.aspx?s_id=408183385

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Bees: Many British Pollinating Insects In Decline, Study Shows

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-47698294#

My "Something Special" Has Arrived on Fair Isle!

Remember my blog post on the 13th March titled "Something Special"?

After hearing the shocking news of the Parnaby's losing their home and all their belongings in the fire on Fair Isle, I felt compelled to do something! Yes, I contributed to the crowdfund along with tons of other people, but wanted to do something special to cheer up their young daughters Grace and Freya. I couldn't imagine what they were all going through, but I kept thinking about what their little girls were coping with, the loss of their home, their toys and everything that was familiar to them – it brought tears to my eyes.
So, I decided to pack up a box of toys and games etc for them! Firstly I dug into my TY Beanie collection (confession time!) which I collected many moons ago and have always kept in mint condition and untouched, so brand new. Then I excitedly went to the shops and tried to imagine what I would like in that parcel if was a little girl and got rather carried away! It was huge fun!

Besides the Beanie toys, I bought a Princess & Unicorn Jigsaw Puzzle, Artists Sketch Pad, a bird colouring book (very pleased to find that), Animal Dot to Dot Book, Sticker Book, Pepper Pig colouring book, Peter Rabbit stickers book, 10 Nature Books each with a different theme, Badminton Racket set, two bouncy balls, chocolates, a Rabbit (used to belong to me), bag of coloured pens, pencils, rubber, pencil sharpener, coloured pencils, crayons and a card.

I could have just bundled them all in a box, but decided it would be great fun to wrap them individually, with hints on each label, as to was inside!
Knowing that the box was going on a long hardcore journey, I wrapped it extremely well! I posted the box on Thursday 14th March and was told it would take up to four days to deliver – WRONG, it took eleven days, because of boats and planes not operating, due to poor weather and it eventually arrived yesterday! It was very interesting watching its journey on 'Parcel Force Tracker' – it arrived in Lerwick on 20th and was stuck there for 5 days because of the weather – at least it got there!
I had a lovely thank you email from Susannah Parnaby, who said ".....it felt a bit like Christmas in the house when they were opening the parcels...." Mission accomplished!πŸ˜ƒπŸ‘

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  
Lesser Whitethroat (probably of an eastern form) still in garden by A149 at Salthouse
Rough-legged Buzzard at Weeting Heath NWT
Hen Harrier at Roydon Common NNR
Cattle Egret near Reedcutter Pub at Cantley
Black Redstart at Winterton
Great White Egret at Burnham Norton
Water Pipit, Great Northern Divers x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Velvet Scoters x 3 on sea at Cley
Russian White-fronted Geese x 11 at Cley NWT
Garganey x 2, Great White Egret, Russian White-fronted Geese x 16, Common Cranes x 3 at Potter Heigham Marshes
Garganey at Bintree Mill
Tundra Bean Goose, Cattle Egrets x 2, Great White Egrets x 2, Spoonbill at Welney WWT
Purple Sandpipers x 2 at Sheringham
Hawfinches x 4 at Lynford Aboretum
Common Cranes x 2 at Stubb Mill, Hickling Broad NWT
Great White Egret, Short-eared Owl at Buckenham Marshes RSPB

MEGA NEWS
None

Monday, 25 March 2019

Warham Greens & Stiffkey Fen!

It was another beautiful day, but with north west winds it was chillier than it has been! I parked up on the concrete pad at Garden Drove, Warham and ambled along the hedge-lined track in anticipation of something exciting. The main excitement was tons of squealing pigs racing around in the fields! One Robin along the track! No birds in the copse at the north end. Lots of Brent Geese on the marshes, Little Egrets and Curlews were seen. However, I did have spectacular views of a Red Kite and also a Common Buzzard over my head, as I walked back to my car.

Parked along the road at Stiffkey to walk to Stiffkey Fen. Chiffchaffs were singing in the wood just before you cross the road and I saw another Red Kite on the horizon. I was overjoyed to find that the nasty high stepped stile had gone! It has been replaced with a wonderful swing gate, much easier for us older birds! I really enjoyed the walk along to the fen, it was very peaceful and it was joyous to see all the catkins out and freshly emerged hawthorn leaves and willow. I was surprised I didn't hear any Chiffchaffs along here, only saw a couple of Great Tits, a Blue Tit and a few Goldfinches. The fen itself was jam-packed full of birds including loads of Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, Redshanks, Teal, Mallard, Wigeon, Shelducks, Little Grebe, Little Egret, Black-headed Gulls, Heron and Lapwings. I had stupidly left my scope in the car, so there could have been far more birds than I have listed! I walked east of the fen for a short distance, but it was so cold and with lack of birds (none) in the gorse bushes, that I turned back. Hundreds of Brent Geese continually flew overhead as I walked along the path by the river.

Parked the car by Stiffkey Church and had a cup of tea and a hot cross bun! I spent a good while looking for birds in the churchyard, but only found 2 Pheasants amongst the daffodils, 1 Blackbird and 1 Robin. Anyone that hasn't been in this churchyard, it is definitely worth a visit – very scenic with beautiful mature trees and a cherry tree just coming into blossom, holly tree etc and the views over the stone wall to an incredible estate/garden are jaw dropping! It would help if you were taller than 5ft 4" though, as I could only just see over the wall! I just googled and found the history of the old hall next to the church here – an informative and fascinating account with loads of pictures from blogger Lynne!

At Stiffkey Campsite a Common Buzzard hovered briefly (rarely see this) near the far end of the cliff top wood and then plummeted to the ground and was then out of view – when it appeared again, a Black-headed Gull was mobbing it. I didn't see what it had caught or if indeed anything, but I then had fabulous views of this buzzard, as it sailed over my head in the beautiful evening light. I was going to walk through the wood, but decided it would be a waste of time, with the cutting north west wind and being late in the day, so decided to have a nap instead!!! Curlews and Little Egrets on the marshes along with Brent Geese. Had an egg sandwich and a cup of tea and then cruised home.

I have a physiotherapy appointment first thing tomorrow morning about my wrist and ankle. My Great Grandfather's oil painting of Ebridge Mill and two Watercolours that my father found in a bookshop, go under the hammer tomorrow at Keys Auctioneers – auction commences at 10.30am! I didn't want to sell the Ebridge Mill painting, but as Vivien said, everything we own will end up in a tip, as none of us have children to pass anything on to!

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, Jack Snipe, Spoonbills x 3, Slavonian Grebe at Titchwell RSPB
Lesser Whitethroat (probably of an eastern form) still in garden by A149 at Salthouse
Cattle Egret along A47 Acle Straight, Great Yarmouth
Rough-legged Buzzard at Weeting Heath NWT
Spoonbill at Berney Marshes RSPB
Great White Egrets x 3 at Hickling Broad NWT
Tundra Bean Geese x 11, Spoonbill at Welney WWT
Black Redstart, Spoonbill flew past Winterton
Hen Harrier at Roydon Common NNR
Spoonbill, Firecrest at Waxham
Purple Sandpipers x 2 at Sheringham
Spoonbills x 3 at Holme Dunes NWT
Lapland Bunting at Blakeney Freshmarsh
Hawfinches x 15 at Lynford Aboretum
Velvet Scoter, Great Northern Diver on sea at Cley

MEGA NEWS
None

Why Are Nets Appearing Over Trees And Hedges?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-47627749

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Holme Dunes NWT and Holme NOA!

A beautiful sunny day – tons of traffic along the A149 grid locked both ways – its March and not even a bank holiday weekend or half-term?!!! I'm really fed up with the massive increase of traffic to our coast, its getting ridiculous now! There are some very selfish drivers who think they are in the bl**dy city as I found out today, when driving along the Firs Road to Holme Reserves!

The light from the Wader Pool Hides (as they were known) at Holme Dunes NWT was beautiful this afternoon and I had the hides all to myself, magic! I also had my first Sand Martins x 4 and House Martins x 2 from Christie's Hide, which was very uplifting. Nothing much else of note though, but plenty of Black-headed Gulls, Wigeon, Shelducks, Teal, Shovelers, Snipe x 4 in flight and Marsh Harrier. Toads were on the grassy paths and a few Bees were seen.

Sat outside the observatory and reminisced. 2 Pied Wagtails and a flock of Linnets were feeding on the grassy slope east of the observatory and a male Stonechat perched on the fence wire. 1 Goldcrest in the buckthorn and a Little Grebe was at the edge of the Broad Water. Walked round the back of the pines and onto the beach. I was very impressed with a couple who were bagging up loads of rubbish on the beach, something my dear mother did regularly over many, many years.

Went to check the house at Holme – every time I visit, it makes me so sad, I wish it would hurry up and sell, I can't bare each time I go, seeing more bulbs and flowers coming up – all memories of my dear mother. Need it sold so I can start my life again, somewhere new.

Lucy played another concert today in St Nicholas's Church in King's Lynn with the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra. I didn't go as can't afford to go to them all!

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 flew over North Dunes, Russian White-fronted Geese x 26 flew out to sea at Winterton
Velvet Scoters x 3 off Gun Hill, Hen Harrier at Burnham Overy Dunes
Shorelarks x 5, Long-tailed Ducks x 3, Short-eared Owl east of Holkham Gap
Velvet Scoter, Long-tailed Duck off beach car park at Cley
Spoonbills x 3, Russian White-fronted Geese x 11 at Cley NWT
Iceland Gull at Happisburgh
Slavonian Grebes x 5, Red-necked Grebe, Great Northern Divers x 3, Black-throated Diver, Long-tailed Ducks x 2, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Long-tailed Duck, Scaup x 2 at Barton Broad
Black Redstart north of church, Short-eared Owl at Happisburgh
Lesser Whitethroat (probably of an eastern form) still in garden, Spoonbill, Black Redstart in garden by A149 at Salthouse
Great White Egret, Water Pipits x 2 at Burnham Norton
Rough-legged Buzzard at Weeting Heath NWT
Great White Egret at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Tundra Bean Geese x 10, Great White Egret, Cattle Egrets x 2, Spoonbill, Scaup at Welney WWT
Red-necked Grebe, Great Northern Diver, Woodlark, Long-tailed Ducks x 4 at Holme
Great White Egrets x 2, Spoonbill at Hickling Broad NWT
Russian White-fronted Geese x 25, Great White Egret, Short-eared Owl at Potter Heigham Marshes
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Mealy Redpoll at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve

MEGA NEWS
None

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Cley NWT & Salthouse!

Cheese scone in the Visitor Centre, 4 Wheatears on the Eye Field, 3 Hedge Sparrows at Gramborough Hill, no Firecrests at Walsey Hills NOA despite hours of searching – I do believe I was the only person not to see them😒, but 1 or 2 Chiffchaffs seen and heard, also Cetti's Warbler, Goldcrest, Robins, Long-tailed Tits, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Chaffinches, Goldfinches and then Pear and Ginger Cake from Cley Deli to cheer myself up. No Eagle above my head or anywhere remotely close. However, it was nice to bump into several local birders today. Can you tell I don't feel like writing this evening?!!!!

I forgot that I was boiling eggs for sandwiches this evening..... will 60 minutes be long enough?πŸ˜‚

A little bird tells me that I have some big blog fans at Saltholme Nature Reserve – HELLO Saltholme birders!

Goodnight!

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  
Rough-legged Buzzard at Weeting Heath NWT
Great Northern Divers x 12, Black-throated Diver, Slavonian Grebes x 2, Red-necked Grebe, Long-tailed Ducks x 3, Water Pipits x 4 at Titchwell RSPB
Common Cranes x 2, Great White Egret near Horsey Mill
Velvet Scoter off Coastguards at Cley
Shorelarks x 11 east of Holkham Gap
Black Redstart, Snow Buntings x 3 at Winterton
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Mealy Redpolls x 2 at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Short-eared Owl at Snettisham RSPB
Velvet Scoters x 12 off Gun Hill, Burnham Overy Dunes
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Firecrest at Wells Woods
Firecrests x 2 at Walsey Hills NOA
Tundra Bean Geese x 7, Scaup, Great White Egret, Cattle Egret, Spoonbill at Welney WWT
Great White Egret at Rockland Broad
Black Redstart at Haven Holiday Camp, Great Yarmouth
Red-necked Grebe, Great Northern Divers x 3 at Holme
Great White Egret, Russian White-fronted Geese x 40, Common Cranes x 4 at Potter Heigham Marshes
Short-eared Owl at Claxton Marshes
Great White Egret at Runham
Great Northern Diver flew over Thetford
Twite x 9 at Blakeney Freshmarsh

WHITE-TAILED EAGLE first seen again at Horsey Mill 8.56am, towards Winterton at 9.17am, Breydon Water 9.40am, Waveney Forest at 9.42am, Belton 10.22am, Breydon Water 10.44am, Brograve Levels 11.30am, Waxham 11.45am, Calthorpe Broad 11.55am. Was also seen at Carlton Marshes NR 10.13am and Somerleyton Hill 10.16am in Suffolk, before returning to its favoured county!πŸ˜‰ Last seen at Calthorpe Broad.

MEGA NEWS
FORSTER'S TERN
Kinvarra, County Galway, Ireland

FOR SALE: RNLI Negretti & Zambra – London, Fisherman's Aneroid Barometer!

This belonged to my father and was in the hallway at Holme for over 50 years

Early 20th century aneroid barometer, Negretti & Zambra – London “Fisherman’s Aneroid Barometer, issued by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, No 2052”, the green painted drum shaped case with cast bezel and bevelled glass enclosing a 12cm enamelled dial with scale of 26 to 31 and with blued steel indicator hand and gilt marker hand, total height 17 ½ cm

Going under the hammer on Thursday 28th March!

FOR SALE: Watercolour Paintings!


19th Century English School, two watercolours, NaΓ―ve studies of young girl holding a hoop and a seated young lady holding a rose, 21 x 15cm, both unframed (2)

My late father found these paintings in the back of a book he purchased in a bookshop in Great Yarmouth when he was a young man! He believed they were painted by Naturalist Arthur Patterson, but auctioneer said he didn't think they were.

Going under the hammer on Tuesday 26th March!

FOR SALE: Oil Painting of Ebridge Mill, Norfolk Painted by My Great Grandfather Henry Waterson!

Ebridge Mill, Norfolk  By Henry Waterson


Going under the hammer on Tuesday 26th March!

Best Travel Insurance for Delayed Departures & Adverse Weather for UK!

After posting a question on the Friends of Fair Isle Facebook group about travel insurance, Ann Croucher recommended LV Insurance (Liverpool Victoria).

I have been trying to find travel insurance for Fair Isle and I was finding it extremely difficult to find someone who covered for delay, due to adverse weather conditions. I even spent nearly 60 minutes on the phone to the British Insurance Brokers Association, who after putting me through to 'Manor Insurance Brokers' was told that no one would insure for delays due to adverse weather in the UK.

I have only ever visited Fair Isle in the Spring, so this wasn't really an issue then, but I know that things can go wrong in the Autumn with fog stopping the Airtask planes from departing and Northlink Ferry leaving late because of rough seas etc. So, it was more important to find the correct travel insurance this time. Huge thanks to Ann, as LV Insurance do cover for adverse weather delays and connections! You have to choose their "Premier" Insurance though, but even so it was still only £20.64!!! Here is their website: https://www.lv.com/insurance

Friday, 22 March 2019

Burnham Overy Dunes and Gun Hill!

Not early enough though! Early bird catches the worm and all that jazz..... Ashley Saunders did just that and jammed in on the White-tailed Eagle at 11.08am this morning at Burnham Overy Dunes!

Walking to BOD wasn't a good idea really, not with my dodgy left foot, which is still very tender to touch, I don't understand why it hasn't healed – I requested another appointment with the fracture clinic today – no appointment available until the week I return to work though. Wrist still not healed totally either!!!

It was worth the walk out though, as I had a nice little selection of birds, nothing the size of a barn door though! Lots of Greylag Geese and Egyptian Geese on the way out along with Shelducks, Wigeon, Lapwings, Starlings, Heron and small flocks of Linnets overhead. East of the end of the boardwalk, I found 4 Wheatears in the dunes! Also had a Red Kite overhead (camera was in bag).

West of the boardwalk and at Gun Hill, I found 2 more Wheatears, a pair of Stonechats, 4 Spoonbills flew west, big flock of Linnets and in the bushes immediately seaward side of Gun Hill, I flushed 2 Robins, male Stonechat and more Linnets. Bumped into a birder here (I didn't know him) who said he had a Whinchat in the dunes on Tuesday – this seems very early indeed! I don't know what the earliest Spring record is for a Whinchat in Norfolk?

Ambled back to the car after sunset and arrived back in King's Lynn around 7.30pm. It was gloomy all day here and the sun only came out intermittently later on. Tomorrow looks like a nice sunny day and Sunday looks even nicer! Traffic queues back home on Sunday night could be on the cards!

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  
Twite x 7, Hen Harrier at Thornham Harbour
Water Pipits x 2, Slavonian Grebes x 4, Red-necked Grebe, Great Northern Divers x 2, Black-throated Diver, Velvet Scoter at Titchwell RSPB
Common Crane, Great White Egret at Potter Heigham Marshes
Mealy Redpoll at Beeston Common, Sheringham
Great White Egret, Cattle Egrets x 2, Spoonbill, Tundra Bean Geese x 8, Scaup at Welney WWT
Wheatears x 2 at Salthouse
Red-necked Grebe at Holme
Rough-legged Buzzard at Weeting Heath NWT
Common Cranes x 2 at Hickling Broad NWT
Black Redstart at Winterton
Ring-billed Gull x Lesser Black-backed Gull hybrid at Blakeney Harbour
Black Redstart at Haven Holiday Camp, Great Yarmouth
Spoonbill, Russian White-fronted Geese x 12 at Cley NWT
Great White Egret at Berney Marshes RSPB
Scaup x 2, Long-tailed Duck, Water Pipit at Barton Broad
Great White Egret at Rockland Broad
Turtle Dove still in garden, then taken by Sparrowhawk at Langham Road, Blakeney
Spoonbills x 4 at Burnham Overy Dunes

WHITE-TAILED EAGLE seen again at Burnham Overy Dunes at 11.08am and then tracked along the coast east at Holkham 11.59am, Morston 12.15pm, Cley NWT 12.25pm-12.38pm, Kelling Heath 12.49pm, Cromer 1pm, Mundesley 1.18pm, Bacton 1.24pm and last sighted at Happisburgh 1.40pm. Will more birders be lucky tomorrow?

MEGA NEWS
None

Thursday, 21 March 2019

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  
BAIKAL TEAL yesterday (no sign today), Tundra Bean Geese x 11, Scaup, Common Cranes x 2, Great White Egret, Cattle Egret, Spoonbill at Welney WWT
Swallow, Wheatears x 2, Water Pipits x 4, Slavonian Grebes x 2, Great Northern Divers x 3 at Titchwell RSPB
Wheatears x 2 on golf course at Sheringham
Wheatears x 6, Spoonbills x 3, Russian White-fronted Geese x 11 at Cley NWT
Wheatears x 3 at Kelling Quags
Rough-legged Buzzard at Weeting Heath NWT
Wheatear at Burnham Overy Staithe
Great White Egret, Spoonbills x 2 at Holkham Freshmarsh
Firecrest at Wells Woods
Curlew Sandpiper at Breydon Water
LITTLE BUNTING still at Weybourne Camp
Long-tailed Duck, Scaup x 2 at Barton Broad
Hen Harrier at Thornham Harbour
Hen Harrier, White Wagtail at Holme
Cattle Egret SW of Castle Acre
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Mealy Redpolls x 2 at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve

MEGA NEWS
BAIKAL TEAL
Welney WWT (yesterday) Norfolk

Busy Booking, Busy Bee! No Eagle for Me!

Wednesday 20th March
I had to stick to my plans today, I have so many things to do, but this resulted in the frustration of missing out on a White-tailed Eagle cruising around Norfolk today! The eagle was last seen near Wighton late evening, so hopefully it will be seen again tomorrow when I'm out!

Had to get new car insurance as my current one runs out at the end of the month and I won't be staying with who I am currently with – took ages to sort, but got there in the end and gone with the AA this time. Also had to try and find suitable insurance for my Fair Isle trip, not managed to sort that one yet, but in the process of. I was booked to stay at the observatory this October, as I'm sure many of you know and I thought all was lost, until I was lucky enough to get booked into the South Lighthouse for the same dates – very, very lucky indeed. In fact, weirdly this is where I stayed on my last trip in Spring 2010, as the 'new observatory' was not quite completed in time and I was given a choice of cancelling or staying in the South Lighthouse. Sadly, I never did get to stay in the new observatory.

So, I will be only one of a handful of birders on Fair Isle for the end of October, which mean I may be lucky enough to see a serious mega or maybe nothing at all – gamble! As LGRE teased earlier in the year, there will probably be a Siberian Rubythroat in Norfolk whilst I'm out of county, would be just my luck! I had already booked the Northlink Ferry before the terrible fire occurred and today I booked Airtask flights from Lerwick to Fair Isle – I was told in December that you pay for the flights on the day you depart, but its all changed now and you have to pay the whole £90.66 return at the time of booking. Only a few boxes ticked of many, but I will get there in the end!

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

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  
Wheatear, Water Pipit, Hen Harrier, Little Gull at Titchwell RSPB
Shorelarks x 21 east of Holkham Gap
Short-eared Owl at Breydon Water
Great White Egrets x 2 at Berney Marshes RSPB
Hen Harrier at Grimston Warren
BAIKAL TEAL unconfirmed report, Cattle Egrets x 2, Great White Egret, Tundra Bean Geese x 7, Scaup at Welney WWT
Hen Harrier at Ringstead
Rough-legged Buzzard at Weeting Heath NWT
Hen Harrier at Thornham
Wheatears x 4 at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Hen Harrier at Weybourne Camp
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Mealy Redpolls x 3, Hen Harrier at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
LITTLE BUNTING still at Weybourne Camp
Black Redstart at Hemsby
Hen Harrier at Choseley Drying Barns 

WHITE-TAILED EAGLE tracked along the coast from east to west starting at Sidestrand 10.20am and then observed at: Weybourne 11am, Glandford 11.18am, Morston 11.29am, Holkham 11.57am, Burnham Overy Dunes 12.02pm, Titchwell RSPB 12.30pm, Thornham 12.36pm, Ringstead 12.41pm, Old Hunstanton 12.55pm, Heacham 12.55pm, Horsey 8.30am (late report) and finally in the dark at Wighton 6.38pm! Will it still be around tomorrow?!

MEGA NEWS
None

RBA Weekly Round-Up 13th to 19th March!

By Stuart Piner
https://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2019_12.aspx?s_id=243307228

PLEASE SIGN! Make 'Netting' Hedgerows To Prevent Birds From Nesting A Criminal Offence.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/244233

I only heard about this recently, I am flabbergasted that this even goes on!!! Please sign, share, retweet, facebook, email etc. Thank you very much.

"Developers, and other interested parties are circumventing laws protecting birds by 'netting' hedgerows to prevent birds from nesting. This facilitates the uprooting of hedgerows which aid biodiversity and provide the only remaining nesting sites for birds, whose numbers are in sharp decline. 'Netting' hedgerows threatens declining species of birds, presents a danger by entrapment to wildlife, and produces large amounts of plastic waste."

RSPB To Release Birds Into The UK Charts!

'Let Nature Sing’ is set for release on 26 April, with the hope of breaking into the UK singles chart.'

https://completemusicupdate.com/article/rspb-to-release-birds-into-the-uk-charts/

"Titled ‘Let Nature Sing’, the two and a half minute track will feature 25 of the UK’s most endangered birds, including the blackbird, robin and nightingale. The RSPB says that the UK’s bird population has shrunk by 44 million since 1966, due to destruction of habitats, pollution and climate change. The number of cuckoos has dropped by around 50% since 1970, while the number of turtle doves is down 98%."

WE NEED TO GET THIS TO
NUMBER ONE!!! 

Spread The Message!

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Holme Marsh Reserve NWT & Titchwell RSPB!

 Water Rail in the usual ditch at Titchwell RSPB

Holme Marsh Reserve NWT
A beautiful sunny morning with no wind! The track where you park your car for this reserve was flooded badly and stunk of sewage overflow from the adjacent caravan site! Great! On route to the hide, I was delighted to see a Small Tortoiseshell at rest on the chalky path, shortly after this a Wren appeared in a bramble bush.

Hide One produced my first singing Chiffchaff of the Spring, which was a joy to hear. 5 Common Buzzards were spiralling in the thermals and 2 Marsh Harriers were seen. A Cetti's Warbler burst into song and 2 Med Gulls were calling and harassing a Common Buzzard above the hide. Other birds seen here: Lapwings, Little Grebe, Reed Buntings (pair), Teal x 6, Canada Geese, Wood Pigeons, Blackbird, Shelducks x 4, Chaffinch, Robin, Moorhen, Coot, a Long-tailed Tit, Wigeon x 2, Carrion Crows x 2 east.

I was very disappointed to find nearly all of my late mother's cushions scattered around the dirty floors of the hides, including the latest and newest ones I placed in the hides. What is wrong with people? They were put in the hides to bring comfort to people, especially for those that are of a shorter stature, as the bench seats are too low for short people. When the cushions became a bit dirty, my mother would take them home and hand wash them and return them to the hides – I don't know why she bothered, as no one appreciated it and obviously still don't! If you find the cushions on the floors, when you walk in the hides, please pick them up and either place them on the white chairs or the bench seat – its not much to ask is it?! Somebody's dog could have been sitting on that cushion and then you are sitting on it – what a thought, yuck!!!

Went to the family home and cleaned some of the bird baths out and swept the leaves up around the porch area. The wallflowers are starting to bloom, one of mother's favourites – a wonderful fragrant and familiar scent of our childhood days. I generally visit the property once a week and its amazing what flowers appear each time I visit! There were also some magenta pink and yellow primroses out and the ice plant (sedum) is starting to come up. It was sad to to see a mini bulldozer ripping up an entire blackthorn hedge (in bloom) that runs the width of the horse meadow (adjacent to the garden) – it was being tossed into a massive heap – I could not see why!? Its a good job my mother is not around to see that, she would have been very sad and disappointed.
 Bloody-nosed Beetle on the Fen Trail at Titchwell RSPB

Frogs and Toads in the pool along the Meadow Trail at Titchwell RSPB


Titchwell RSPB
The sun had disappeared and the weather was gloomy and dull for the rest of the day, which did not inspire me to carry on to be honest. Had lunch in the 'Feeding Station'. Chatted to Sue B. in the shop about life, birds and all that jazz! Ambled around the Fen Trail and onwards to Patsy's Pool. I saw and heard several Chiffchaffs which was wonderful – the beginning of Spring! Not much else of note to be honest, oh apart from a Water Rail in the usual ditch at the start of the main path. Ran out of time to walk to Island Hide and beyond, as had to be back at the family home to potentially sell an armchair to someone.
Water Rail in the usual ditch at Titchwell RSPB

Sold chair for £65 – result! Just one armchair left now and boot sale stuff in the hall. There is also a Hayter electric lawnmower, in good working condition if anyone wants to be buy one?! Returned home to King's Lynn and fell asleep.

'Massive Wildlife Crime Scene': Endangered Hen Harriers Being Wiped Out By Illegal Shooting, Says Study

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/hen-harrier-grouse-moors-raptor-persecution-illegal-killing-shooting-gamekeepers-landowners-wildlife-a8830211.html?fbclid=IwAR0EjIoNIxt4X8OQkHD04d1itVoGuQQ0H98KOG2V5m3hjFq7OBbJwXpr-GM

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  
Quail singing at Felmingham
Cattle Egret, Tundra Bean Geese x 10 at Welney WWT
Long-tailed Duck, Scaup x 2 at Barton Broad
Water Pipits x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Mealy Redpolls x 2 at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Jack Snipe at Nunnery Lakes Nature Reserve, Thetford
Shorelarks x 8 east of Holkham Gap
Firecrest near Joe Jordon Hide, Holkham
Hen Harrier at Roydon Common NWT
Stone Curlew at Weeting Heath NWT
Russian White-fronted Goose at Cley NWT
Velvet Scoter on sea at Cley
Firecrest at Friary Hills, Blakeney
Ring-billed Gull x Lesser Black-backed Gull hybrid at Blakeney Harbour
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL in garden at Cockley Cley
Hawfinches x 11 at Lynford Aboretum
White Wagtails x 6 flew over Hunstanton Cliffs

MEGA NEWS
None
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, Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB
Hawfinches x 2 at Lynford Aboretum
Wheatear, Russian White-fronted Geese x 5, Spoonbills x 3, Water Pipit at Cley NWT
Velvet Scoter on sea at Cley
Cattle Egrets x 2, Great White Egret, Tundra Bean Geese x 2 at Welney WWT
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Mealy Redpoll at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Great Northern Divers x 2 at Mundesley
Hen Harrier, Twite x 7 at Thornham Harbour
Mealy Redpolls x 6 at Cockley Cley
Ring-billed Gull x Lesser Black-backed Gull hybrid at Blakeney Harbour
Shorelarks x 9 east of Holkham Gap

MEGA NEWS
None

Monday, 18 March 2019

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, Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB
Hawfinches x 2 at Lynford Aboretum
Wheatear, Russian White-fronted Geese x 5, Spoonbills x 3, Water Pipit at Cley NWT
Velvet Scoter on sea at Cley
Cattle Egrets x 2, Great White Egret, Tundra Bean Geese x 2 at Welney WWT
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Mealy Redpoll at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Great Northern Divers x 2 at Mundesley
Hen Harrier, Twite x 7 at Thornham Harbour
Mealy Redpolls x 6 at Cockley Cley
Ring-billed Gull x Lesser Black-backed Gull hybrid at Blakeney Harbour
Shorelarks x 9 east of Holkham Gap

MEGA NEWS
None

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Zucchini Cake & Spring Migrants At Cley NWT!

Watching a Little Ringed Plover from Daukes' Hide, Cley NWT


I had a lovely birding trip out to Cley today! Lunch at the Cley Visitor Centre NWT, which included a jacket potato lunch, followed by a treat of Zucchini Cake with pot of tea! Met two lovely lady birders from Colchester, who introduced themselves to me as readers of my blog – we chatted about all kinds of things, including the state of the NHS (one of them worked in a hospital), the best places in Norfolk for cream teas and cakes in general!

Still very windy today, but not quite as bad as the atrocious weather yesterday. Met up with Pete S. at Coastguards and had very distant views of the male Wheatear in the Eye Field, my first of the Spring, which was nice, but it was a dot in the scope, so no hope whatsoever of any pictures. Bumped into Richard (usually with Ian B. and Chris S.). Also saw 11 Eurasian White-fronted Geese, 3 Barnacle Geese (of unknown origin), lots of Brent Geese, 2 Goosanders flying west over the sea, Marsh Harrier, Pied Wagtail by the Eye pool, Lapwings and Skylarks singing. Pete left to go elsewhere and I headed to Salthouse.

Parked up at Beach Road and had an exhilarating walk to Gramborough Hill. A couple of Redshanks erupted from the pool just before the hill, but nothing else of note. It was very windy on the top of the hill! Ambled back to the car. I'm becoming increasingly clumsy lately – as I got back in the car, the wind pushed the car door onto my forehead (opposite side of where I fell a few weeks back!). It was an 'ouch' moment, but nothing serious. I still have my hand support/splint on and my left lateral side of my foot is still very tender, even though I can walk ok – if I was to twist that foot even slightly it would sprain again. I'm hoping my physio appointment on 25th will be the beginning of strengthening my foot and wrist.

Parked at the bottom of Old Woman's Lane in Cley and walked out to Daukes' Hide NWT and had the hide to myself! After a tip off from Steve G. who I passed leaving, on my way out to the hides, I eventually found the Little Ringed Plover at the back of Simmond's Scrape and a Spoonbill flew across west. The light was beautiful as it always is here on a sunny afternoon. A nice selection of birds here including: Teal, Shovelers, Shelducks, Tufted Ducks, Mallards, Redshanks, Avocets, Coot, Black-headed Gulls, Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Great Black-backed Gulls, Marsh Harrier, Lapwings & Oystercatchers.

Returned to Coastguards again in hope of seeing the Wheatear a little closer, no luck with that at all. Watched the sun setting and then cruised 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  
Swallow over Lynford Gravel Pits, Hawfinches x 7 at Lynford Aboretum
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Mealy Redpolls x 2 at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Velvet Scoter on sea, Slavonian Grebe at North Scrape, Russian White-fronted Geese x 11, Spoonbill, Wheatear, Little Ringed Plover, Snow Buntings x 10 at Cley NWT
Iceland Gull at Walcott
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Mealy Redpolls x 15 in garden at Cockley Cley
Jack Snipe at Nunnery Lakes Nature Reserve, Thetford
Cattle Egrets x 2, Great White Egret, Tundra Bean Goose at Welney WWT
Mealy Redpolls x 2 at Beeston Common, Slavonian Grebe at Sheringham
Hen Harrier, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
TURTLE DOVE in garden at Blakeney
Purple Sandpiper at Hunstanton
Wheatear in field near Blakeney Harbour
Jack Snipe x 2 at Roydon Common NWT
Short-eared Owl at St Olaves
Short-eared Owl at Haddiscoe Island

MEGA NEWS
None

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Firefighters Battle Large Gorse Fire At Kelling Heath!

https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/fire-crews-called-to-gorse-fire-at-kelling-heath-1-5941405

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  
Russian White-fronted Geese x 6, Water Pipit, Short-eared Owl, Spoonbill, Snow Buntings x 16, Velvet Scoter on sea at Cley NWT
Common Cranes x 2 at Potter Heigham Marshes
Great White Egrets x 2 at Heigham Holmes
Cattle Egret, Tundra Bean Geese x 12, Scaup at Welney WWT
White Wagtail at Winterton Dunes
White Wagtail at Kelling Quags
Green-winged Teal at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT
Shorelarks x 7 east of Holkham Gap
Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Purple Sandpiper at Sheringham
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Mealy Redpolls x 2 at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl at Upton Marshes NWT
Ring-billed Gull x Lesser Black-backed Gull at Blakeney Harbour
Rough-legged Buzzard at Weeting Heath NWT
Rough-legged Buzzard (possible) over Great Cressingham
Lesser Whitethroat (probably of an eastern form) on bird table in garden at Salthouse

MEGA NEWS
None

‘We have 12 years before it is irreversible’ - Students Hold Second Climate Change Protest In Norwich

https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/norfolk-students-second-climate-change-norwich-protest-1-5940753

Excitement As Norwich Cathedral Peregrine Falcon Lays Her First Egg Of The Year

https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/norwich-cathedral-peregrine-falcon-first-egg-of-2019-1-5939468

Tesco Criticised For Anti-Swallow Netting in Norwich!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-47584983

I've just DM'd them a message and demanded a reply to my email. What is the world coming to?!!! It would have been just as cheap to erect boards underneath to catch droppings, which would then have kept the birds and trolley complainers happy! May I suggest that no one visits this store until the netting is removed!!!

Here is my reply:
 Good to see that the RSPB is getting involved:

"Further to discussions with today, we will be meeting with their Harford Bridge store team to work towards finding a solution to look after the returning swallows. We will update once we have further news."  https://twitter.com/Natures_Voice/status/1106598352253276160 

RESULT!!!
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-47591127
https://twitter.com/Natures_Voice/status/1106598352253276160

Friday, 15 March 2019

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 at Wymondham Abbey
Cattle Egrets x 2, Tundra Bean Geese x 4 at Welney WWT
Wheatear male in Eye Field, Water Pipits x 2, White Wagtails x 2, Spoonbill, Russian White-fronted Geese x 6 at Cley NWT
Slavonian Grebe flew past Weybourne Camp
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers x 2 at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Iceland Gull at Walcott
White Wagtails x 2 at Winterton
White Wagtail at Kelling Water Meadows
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Mealy Redpolls x 12 in garden at Cockley Cley
Hooded Crow at Catton, Norwich
Water Pipit, Red-necked Grebe at Titchwell RSPB
Mealy Redpolls x 2 at Beeston Common, Sheringham
Hawfinches x 5 at Lynford Aboretum

MEGA NEWS
None

Fair Isle Fire Family 'humbled' By Kindness

 "The family who ran the Fair Isle Bird Observatory have said they are "humbled" by messages of support from around the world."

Thursday, 14 March 2019

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 garden at Langham, Blakeney
Purple Sandpiper at Hunstanton
White Wagtail at Weybourne Camp
White Wagtail flew over Holme NOA
Velvet Scoter at Coastguards, Russian White-fronted Geese x 6 at Cley NWT
Scaup at Welney WWT
Water Pipit, Hen Harrier, Twite x 12, Spotted Redshank at Thornham
Water Pipit, Red-crested Pochard at Titchwell RSPB
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Shorelarks x 11 east of Holkham Gap
Spoonbills x 5, Russian White-fronted Geese x 17, Great White Egrets x 2 at Holkham Freshmarsh
Black Redstarts x 2 at Winterton
Little Gull at Breydon Water

MEGA NEWS
None

Remains of Smouldering FIBO Yesterday!!!

Brings tears to your eyes seeing this😒

https://www.shetnews.co.uk/2019/03/13/may-hints-at-support-for-rebuilding-fair-isle-bird-observatory/

Crowd Fund – Last Day!

The fund for the Parnaby family will be ending today (Thursday), as they have collected far more than they expected, which is brilliant!

It has now reached a huge £24,650!!!! donated lovingly by 821 people!

The lastest update on the site reads the following:

"This fundraiser for the Parnaby Family has raised far more than we had ever imagined it would. We have therefore decided to end this GoFundMe campaign tomorrow (Thursday 14th March).

Thank you so very much to everyone who has donated – the generosity of the public has been phenomenal and the family are very grateful for your support.
"

So if you would still like to donate before it finishes tomorrow, here is the link once more:
https://www.gofundme.com/helping-the-parnaby-family-after-bird-obs-fire

The crowd fund has closed this evening – an incredible £26,460 was raised by 863 people! Thank you to everyone!

I have just noticed on Twitter, that it was mentioned on PMQ!!!
https://twitter.com/amcarmichaelMP/status/1105821053807443978

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Something Special!

I have been very busy doing a BIG surprise over the last few nights! All will be revealed within the next week! That's all I am saying for the moment!

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
COUES'S ARCTIC REDPOLL, Mealy Redpoll at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Velvet Scoter on sea at Cley
LITTLE BUNTING still at Weybourne Camp
Cattle Egrets x 2, Tundra Bean Geese x 2 at Welney WWT
Great Skua, Purple Sandpiper at Hopton-on-Sea
Iceland Gull flew past Horsey
Great White Egret at Blakeney Freshmarsh
Mealy Redpolls x 6 in garden at Cockley Cley
Hawfinches x 5 at Lynford Aboretum
Red-necked Grebe, Great Northern Diver flew past Hemsby
Twite x 13 at Thornham Harbour
Caspian Gull, Great White Egret at Potter Heigham Marshes

MEGA NEWS
None

RBA Weekly Round-Up 6th to 12th March!

By Stuart Piner
https://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2019_11.aspx?s_id=78430525

https://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/Quick_rebuild_planned_for_Fair_Isle_Bird_Obs_following_devastating_fire.aspx

https://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/Crowdfunder_raises_over_15k_in_just_17_hours_to_help_bird_obs_fire_family.aspx