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Saturday, 21 September 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  
FRIDAY 20th SEPTEMBER
Whinchat, Spoonbills x 13, Little Stint, Great White Egret, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB
Cattle Egrets x 8, Great White Egrets x 3 at Burnham Overy Staithe
Great White Egret on Broadwater at Holme
Snow Buntings x 2, Common Cranes x 4, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Cley NWT
Common Cranes x 4 at Salthouse
Willow Emerald Damselfly by west bank at Cley
Common Cranes x 40 at Welney WWT
Redwing at Thetford
Lesser Whitethroat (probably of an eastern form) trapped and ringed at Burnham Deepdale
Lapland Bunting at Weybourne
Hen Harrier at Weybourne Camp
Caspian Gull at Cromer
Snow Bunting, Whinchat at West Runton
Purple Sandpiper at Sheringham

MEGA NEWS
EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER 
Farlington Marshes HWT, Hampshire

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Ornithological & Natural History Sale Tomorrow!

Tomorrow at 10.30am

Keys Fine Art Auctioneers at Aylsham in Norfolk

https://www.keysauctions.co.uk/sale/1809

Paintings, watercolours, oils, prints and taxidermy of ornithological and natural history interest.   Some artists featured in the sale include John Cyril Harrsion, Archibald Thorburn, Frank Southgate, Robert Gilmour, Sir Peter Scott, Eric Ennion, Richard Robjent, Philip Rickman, Roland Green, Carl Donner, David Feather, R.A. Richardson. The taxidermy section of the sale boasts household names such as T.E. Gunn, F.E. Gunn, W Lowne, and some superb fish by J Cooper & Son. 

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 Merganser yesterday, flew west past Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egret, Little Stint, Spoonbills x 9, Osprey at Titchwell RSPB
Common Cranes x 43, Whooper Swans x 3, Short-eared Owl at Welney WWT
Cattle Egrets x 8, Great White Egrets x 3 at Burnham Overy Staithe
Spoonbill, Spotted Redshanks x 4 at Snettisham RSPB
Hawfinch at Barnhamcross Common LNR, Thetford
Caspian Gull at Burrell Way, Thetford
Great White Egret on Broadwater at Holme
Osprey x 2 at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank at Cley NWT

MEGA NEWS
EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER 
Farlington Marshes HWT, Hampshire

Wednesday, 18 September 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  
Cattle Egrets x 8 at Burnham Norton
Yellow-browed Warbler, Great White Egret, Spoonbills x 16, Little Stints x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbills x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Snettisham RSPB
Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Lapland Bunting at Cley NWT
Great White Egret at North Point Pools, Wells
Common Cranes x 30 at Welney WWT

MEGA NEWS
FORSTER'S TERN
Soldiers Point, ENE of Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland
EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER
Farlington Marshes HWT, Hampshire
FEA'S, DERSERTAS PETREL, 
The Mullet, County Mayo, Ireland

RBA Weekly Round-Up 11th to 17th September!

By Jon Dunn
https://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2019_38.aspx?s_id=352301197

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

One Year Ago – Reunited Again

 Our parents on their Ruby Wedding Anniversary


One year ago today, Lucy, Vivien and I placed our dear mother's ashes with father's at Holme. Time disappears so quickly, it seems like yesterday. You are both in our thoughts daily, we were so lucky to have such wonderful parents. A lifetime of happy memories will always fill our souls with joy and peace. Our love for you never fades, always with you now and forever 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  
Great White Egret, Wood Sandpiper at North Point Pools, Wells
Quail, Little Auk reported past Sheringham
Jack Snipe, Osprey, Great White Egret at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Common Cranes x 33 at Welney WWT
Leach's Petrel, Sabine's Gull, Long-tailed Skua, Sooty Shearwaters x 2, Puffins x 2, Great Northern Diver, Arctic Tern at Cley
Turtle Dove, Great White Egret, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egrets x 2, Great Northern Diver at Holme
Great White Egret at Burnham Overy Staithe
Cattle Egrets x 6 at Burnham Norton

MEGA NEWS
LITTLE CRAKE
Blacktoft Sands RSPB, Yorkshire
EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER
Farlington Marshes HWT, Hampshire
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR fem. 
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside

Monday, 16 September 2019

OUR FAMILY HOME HAS SOLD TODAY!


4 Aslack Way, Holme-next-Sea, Norfolk
No idea of the date this was taken, but it was at least 40 years ago


After a nail biting morning, our family home at Holme completed and sold at 12pm. I have feelings of immense sadness, but also of relief that its all over in many ways. My sisters and I all said that we wouldn't be able to drive or walk along Aslack Way again, it would break our hearts us to see what we obviously know, will be dramatic changes to the house and garden. Although we were very unhappy with the sale process, I do wish the new owners and their children much happiness in their new home and although I fully expect the house to be transformed, I hope the wildlife enriched garden is not stripped out completely, but its gone and out of our control now.

Another chapter in our lives closes. It has been an extremely emotional time over the last couple of years, with the loss of both our dear parents and now our family home. Our parents purchased the property for £3,000 in 1968 with a private mortgage from a very close friend. Its hard to take in how much house prices have increased since then!

Our roots, our entire lives and everything we did was connected with this house. It was the heart of everything, three hearts have now died. We now have to rebuild our lives and continue with life's journey whatever that may throw at us.

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, Spotted Redshanks x 2 on Broadwater at Holme
Spoonbills x 4 at Snettisham RSPB
Turtle Dove, Little Stints x 2, Curlew Sandpipers x 4, Spotted Redshank, Great White Egret, Spoonbills x 18 at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbill at Brancaster Staithe
Cattle Egrets x 8 at Burnham Overy Marshes
Ring Ouzel at Sidestrand
Wood Warbler at Waxham
Cattle Egrets x 7, Spoonbills x 2 at Burnham Norton
Caspian Gull at Cromer
Great White Egret flew over South Beach at Heacham

MEGA NEWS
WESTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR fem. 
Possible, on Western Cliff Edge at Great Ormes Head, Conway
EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER
Farlington Marshes HWT, Hampshire
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR fem. 
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside

Sunday, 15 September 2019

A Beautiful Day of Memories & Sunshine!

I was up very early this morning and arrived at our family home alone at around 7.30am. It was the perfect day to spend my last hours here, before the house becomes someone else’s home tomorrow. I can’t believe I am saying that, I never thought this house would be sold and in fact our father instructed us not to sell it – he had a small framed notice up on the wall in the living room, that instructed us to never to sell our family home and that if we did “our spirits will be watching you”!!! I don’t know what he mean’t by that exactly?! When we were sorting out the house, I removed a large RAR painting from the wall and behind this picture I discovered another hand written notice, saying the same thing about not selling the house etc and my father had glued this to the wall!!! He also told us not to sell his possessions or books – well we have kept that side of the bargain (mostly), but how can you keep a family home that you can’t afford to run between the three of you and none of us can afford to buy each other out! There is no other choice! Plus, we don’t have the money to update the house, it doesn’t even have any central heating! So, another big chapter in our lives closes on Monday.

I used the borrowed iPad (that I used yesterday) to take more videos of the house and garden this morning – very pleased with the results and now I’m hooked on an iPad! It takes such awesome wide angled images and video – no normal camera would have produced the results that I obtained with the iPad. I was secretly hoping that the cat (Missy) my late mother had adopted, might have returned to the garden for one last visit before I left, but no sign of it all – probably for the best, I would have only got upset. Nice selection of birds in the garden, including Robins, a Song Thrush in the front garden, Jackdaws, Great Tit, Blue Tit. Hedge Sparrow, Wren and Blackbird. I sat on the front door step to ponder, whilst drinking a cup of tea from my flask.

I had a very relaxed time here and climbed up on the step ladder to pick cooking and dessert apples to take back for my sisters and I. Took some more cuttings from plants, including the purple and golden buddleia plants and found some more terracotta pots. Cleaned and topped up the bird baths and swept round the front of the house and paths. Had a general tidy up outside and checked both sheds again. I was very pleased to find a new owner for the wheelbarrow. The Honey Bees are still active from their entrance point above the kitchen door – I wonder what will happen to them?!

Went to Titchwell RSPB for a long and leisurely lunch and then returned to the house again. Read the water and electric metres. Picked some flowers, put them in a vase and placed them on the dining room windowsill. Put the stepladder and a chair in my car. Did my last tour of the house and said my goodbyes to my mother, in the room that she died in – I became very upset. Locked up the house and did my last amble round the garden. Looked out across the horse meadow, where we hear Cuckoos in Spring and gazed up at the big weeping willow that held a male Golden Oriole when I was a youngster – I won’t ever forget that!

Sat on the front door step with a cup of tea for the last time. The best of the day had gone, the skies were now dull and it was spitting with rain – time to go. Took my last look back and drove along Aslack Way. I stopped to knock on the Rumbelows door to say goodbye, but no one was in. Clifford and Pauline Rumbelow have lived here even longer than our family and are really lovely people – I went to school with their son Paul at Holme Primary School. Drove to Hunstanton to put Vivien's and my door keys into the letterbox at Sowerby’s, ready for the buyers tomorrow. Cruised back to King’s Lynn and spent a long time emptying my car!

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, Spoonbills x 13, Little Stints x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egret, Garganey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Spoonbills x 37 at Stiffkey Fen
Lapland Bunting by golf course fence at Caister-on-Sea
Cattle Egrets x 8, Spoonbills x 27 at Burnham Norton
Great White Egrets x 2, Spotted Redshank at Holme Dunes
Whinchat at Breydon Water
Spoonbill at North Point Pools, Wells

MEGA NEWS
EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER
Farlington Marshes HWT, Hampshire
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR fem. 
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside

Saturday, 14 September 2019

THE LAST DAY WITH MY SISTERS AT OUR FAMILY HOME!!!

Penny, Lucy & Vivien at Heacham Lavender Tea Rooms


HOUSE SALE UPDATE

On Friday 13th September we exchanged contracts for our family home and we complete the sale on Monday 16th September. It has been extremely difficult over the last few weeks and that's putting it mildly! Vivien and I (being the executors of our mother's will), had never sold a house before and we had no idea how stressful that process was going to be. I innocently didn’t realise the ruthless things that can occur when selling your home. After agreeing a price with our buyers, the contracts were drawn up by our solicitors, signed up and signatures witnessed etc, which involved a lot of driving on Vivien’s and my part to speed up the process – we presumed at this stage that we were close to exchanging contracts. The buyers then decided they wanted the property for far less than was originally agreed on and we ended up with a battle on our hands. I won't go into the reasons they wanted a massive amount off, but we were fuming to say the least. Putting it bluntly, they had had the survey done and they fully knew all the work that needed to be carried out to the property, but at the last minute decided that they would push us to our limits.

Eventually through mental exhaustion and exasperated with it all, we ended up with a considerably lower figure than the first contract, but far more than they wanted taken off. We were told they would walk away if we didn't accept their new offer – would they have done? Probably not, but we couldn't take the risk and they more than probably knew that. Another contract was drawn up and the saga continued. Vivien and I had had enough – we all had. The last few years of both our parent's deaths and now the selling of our family home, have drained us completely and to be honest, I don't know how we have got through it all. We've shouted, argued, cried, despaired and gone through every emotion there is! But the three of have survived, well just!


THE LAST DAY WITH MY SISTERS AT OUR FAMILY HOME!!!

Anyway, we arranged to meet up at our family home for the last time today. I picked Lucy up and we met Vivien at the cafe in the Norfolk Lavender shop at Heacham, where we sat and enjoyed a cheese scone and a coffee at one of the picnic tables by the river.

We then went to our mother’s favourite place to go birding in her latter years, which is Holme Marsh Bird Reserve NWT. Parked up our cars and walked to the first and second hide. It was a beautifully warm and sunny day, but not too hot. We saw Marsh Harriers, Common Buzzards, Gadwall, Mallard and best of all a Snipe was feeding right under the hide window of the second hide! We ambled back watching butterflies and insects in the glorious sunshine.

We then picked up fish ’n’ chips up from Eric’s at Thornham and went to our house at Holme. We sat on the lawn with our picnic tables and chairs for our lunch and reminisced about our happy childhood days spent in this glorious garden. So many children’s birthday parties, Christmas’s, Silver, Ruby and Golden Wedding Anniversaries, my Wedding pictures taken under the rose arch, Vivien’s birth here, mother’s death here. Our parents had owned this house since 1968. It was an extremely emotional day for all us and tears were shed several times.
Taken from the bedroom window of our house in April 2004
©Peter Clarke
 The beautiful pond that belongs to the property opposite our house, in its natural state before it was transformed by new owners into a neat and tidy garden pond, more visually suited to a town garden!


When we first arrived at the property this morning we were very angry and saddened to see a building site before us. The house opposite had started work with their house extension and demolition of the beautiful pond area next to our house. I had hoped this work would commence after we completed the sale on Monday, but sadly this was not to be. The biggest shock was the fact that the bulldozers had removed and flattened the private road between them and us and all the buddleia and mullein plants had been removed. I had intended on taking some cuttings of these before we left our property. I was in floods of tears to see this huge area of bare earth, devoid of a single plant that was there last weekend. I couldn’t understand why this had been done to the road!

Penny, Vivien and Lucy
Sitting on the front door step at 4 Aslack Way, Holme-next-Sea
Circa 1973

Penny, Vivien and Lucy
Squeezed onto the front door step at 4 Aslack Way, Holme-next-Sea
14th September 2019

We took a self-timer picture with my SLR on a tripod, of the three of us sitting on the front door step, to replicate a picture my father had taken of us approximately 46 years ago. This was hilarious as our three bottoms only just squeezed onto that step now!!! To be fair, Vivien hasn't expanded much since she was a toddler, but Lucy and I certainly have! We had to do several takes to get a reasonable picture – after pressing the shutter button, I had to run to sit with Vivien so she could put her arm round me (as in my father’s picture) and we all had to pose quickly – I had 10 seconds to get into position! We also asked a kind neighbour 'Diana’ to take a few pictures with my iPhone too. I copied and changed the picture below to black and white in photoshop – see above.
We then went to the Firs house at Holme NWT, where we had a pot of tea for three and chatted to Alison H. for a while. We then went to Holme Bird Observatory to sit and ponder, pay our respects to our parents and enjoyed the glorious evening sunshine.

We returned to the family home for the last time together. I took a couple of videos of the house and garden with an iPad that I borrowed and we cleared the last few items from the house and left. I'm going back tomorrow for a short while, to read the metres and have a final check and will then post our keys into the letterbox at Sowerby’s in Hunstanton, ready for completion at 12pm on Monday.

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  
Spoonbills x 30 at Stiffkey Fen
Cattle Egrets x 8 at Burnham Norton
Cattle Egrets x 2 at Burnham Overy Dunes
Lapland Bunting by golf course fence at Caister-on-Sea
Cattle Egret, Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Great White Egret, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egret, Spoonbill at Holme
Pied Flycatcher at Sidestrand
Whinchat at Breydon Water
Lapland Bunting in dunes at Waxham

MEGA NEWS
EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER
Farlington Marshes HWT, Hampshire
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR fem. 
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside

Friday, 13 September 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  
Lapland Bunting by golf course fence at Caister-on-Sea
Cattle Egrets x 8 at Burnham Norton
Sabine's Gull juv. flew past Kelling
Garganey at Kelling Water Meadows
Osprey x 2 at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Sooty Shearwater flew past Sheringham
Great White Egret on saltmarsh at Thornham
Curlew Sandpipers x 2 at Welney WWT
Osprey at Hickling Broad NWT
Great White Egret, Red-necked Grebe, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB
Osprey flew over The Nunnery at Thetford
Balearic Shearwater, Pomarine Skua, Great White Egret at Holme
Spoonbills x 33 at Stiffkey Fen
Sooty Shearwater flew past Mundesley

MEGA NEWS
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR fem. 
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside

Thursday, 12 September 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  
Whinchat at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Spoonbills x 2 at Breydon Water
Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Cley NWT
Honey Buzzard at Welney WWT
Garganey at Kelling Water Meadows
Osprey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Lapland Bunting near old railway line, Caister-on-Sea
Spoonbills x 4 at North Point Pools, Wells
Turtle Dove, Whinchats x 2, Lapland Bunting at Horsey
Turtle Dove, Spoonbill, Great White Egret, Purple Sandpiper at Titchwell RSPB
Whinchats x 2 at Blakeney Freshes
Spoonbills x 35, Spotted Redshank at Stiffkey Fen
Hen Harriers x 2, Spoonbills x 9 near campsite car park at Stiffkey
Cattle Egrets x 8 at Burnham Norton

MEGA NEWS
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR fem. 
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside

Wednesday, 11 September 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  
Spoonbills x 4 at Blakeney Harbour
Common Cranes x 5 at Welney WWT
Great White Egrets x 2, Spoonbill, Curlew Sandpiper, Purple Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB
Wood Sandpiper, Spoonbill at North Point Pools, Wells
Great White Egret at Holme
Citrine Wagtail by Arnold's Marsh briefly, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Cley NWT
Osprey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Spoonbills x 31 at Stiffkey Fen
Osprey at Rockland Broad
Garganey at Kelling Water Meadows

MEGA NEWS
COMMON NIGHTHAWK
South of Portnacroish, NNE of Oban, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR fem.
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside

RBA Weekly Round-Up 4th to 10th September!

By Jon Dunn
https://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyRoundup2019_37.aspx?s_id=63198340

Tuesday, 10 September 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  
Osprey at Rockland Broad
Pied Flycatcher at North Dunes, Winterton
Ring Ouzel at Sidestrand
Blyth's Reed Warbler (for 2nd day) at The Plantation, Whinchat at Blakeney Point
Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Cley NWT
Clifden Nonpareil Moth at Cley
Ruddy Shelduck at Breydon Water
Pied Flycatcher at old Coastwatch, Happisburgh
Great White Egret, Spoonbill at Holkham Freshmarsh
Great White Egret at Holme
Hoopoe in garden at Halvergate
Pied Flycatcher at Garden Drove, Warham Greens
Osprey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Common Cranes x 5, Curlew Sandpipers x 2 at Welney WWT
Great White Egret, Spoonbill, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB
Pied Flycatcher at Wells Woods

MEGA NEWS
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR or Pied Wheatear ad. fem
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside
FORSTER'S TERN
Soldier's Point, ENE of Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland

Monday, 9 September 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  
Curlew Sandpipers x 4 at Breydon Water
Cattle Egrets x 8, Great White Egrets x 2 at Burnham Overy Marshes
Common Cranes x 28, Osprey at Welney WWT
Turtle Dove, Osprey, Great White Egret, Purple Sandpiper at Titchwell RSPB
Whinchat x 3 at Blakeney Freshes
Citrine Wagtail (probable), flew west over north end of Beach Road at dusk, Pied Flycatcher at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Garganey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB

MEGA NEWS
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR or Pied Wheatear ad. fem
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Burnham Overy Dunes!

I felt exhausted this morning, which is hardly surprising after being at work for five days, then spending the day with Lucy and arriving home late. It was a beautiful day with no wind at all compared to yesterday, but with a small window of easterly breeze late afternoon! I was so tired and didn't get out of the house until mid afternoon.

My 'Gardener's Delight' tomatoes have at last decided to turn red – so nice to pop outside to pick home grown tomatoes. I have had a couple of handful of runner beans so far, but they have not done as well as I expected – maybe because they have been pot grown. Anyway, I headed east to search for Autumn migrants at Burnham Overy Dunes. I couldn't remember the last time I walked out here to be honest. My visit was way overdue!

Saw a Bearded Tit briefly in the reeds lining the pool east of the sea wall and a Great White Egret on Holkham Freshmarsh. Several Linnets around and a Common Buzzard sat on a post in the middle of the marsh. I bumped into a couple with binoculars who said they had seen a Whinchat, a Spotted Flycatcher and several Goldcrests 'near the bushes'. My spirits lifted on hearing this news. I continued to the main scrub at the end of the boardwalk, but was surprised to find no birds here at all, not even in the apple tree!

Just east from here was like a different world! In the brambles just south of the fence line, it was alive with birds! I found a lovely Pied Flycatcher, 2 Whinchats, a Stonechat, a stonking Lesser Whitethroat, a Common Whitethroat, a Hedge Sparrow, Reed Buntings, House Sparrows, Goldfinches and lots of Linnets! I didn't see a Spotted Flycatcher or any Goldcrests though. A Swift flew overhead and there were huge numbers of Swallows and House Martins skimming over the dunes, as the path descends towards Holkham Pines. A Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and a single Wheatear were also seen and a Wren exploded out of a bush as I walked towards the pines. Several Cormorants flew south east to roost. Huge skeins of Pink-footed Geese flew east towards Holkham – a sure sign of Autumn! A huge Linnet flock erupted from the dunes and I also saw a few Meadow Pipits. My time had run out – the sun was setting. I turned, retraced my steps and saw the Pied Flycatcher again and then continued back along the sea wall to my car.

14 Little Egrets flew east in the pink skies, along with 4 Curlews and flock of Starlings. A Barn Owl sat on a post east of the track, just before the stile. It was very chilly now as dusk fell. As I drove along the Burnham Thorpe road, I stopped to watch another Barn Owl on the edge of the road, who had caught a vole – I waited to watch it fly off with its supper. A lovely afternoon and worth the walk out! South east winds and rain tomorrow whilst I'm at work all day, bother!

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  
Cattle Egret at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Cley NWT
Balearic Shearwater flew past beach car park at Cley
Icterine or Melodious Warbler briefly at Wells Woods
Pied Flycatchers x 2 at East Hills, Wells
Curlew Sandpiper at North Point Pools, Wells
Turtle Dove, Great White Egret, Spoonbills x 12, Curlew Sandpipers x 3 at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbills x 34 at Stiffkey Fen
Curlew Sandpiper, Common Crane at Welney WWT
Scaup flew past Sheringham
Little Stint on beach briefly at Mundesley
Ring Ouzel at Sidestrand
Pied Flycatcher trapped and ringed, Great White Egrets x 2 at Holme NOA
Pied Flycatcher east of boardwalk at Burnham Overy Dunes
Cattle Egrets x 8 at Burnham Norton
Great White Egret a Holkham Freshmarsh

MEGA NEWS
COLLARED FLYCATCHER
Isle of May, Fife, Scotland
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR
or Pied Wheatear ad. fem
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside

Saturday, 7 September 2019

A Blustery Day Out With Lucy At Cley, Salthouse, Glandford & Wells!

Penny and Lucy at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse


Picked Lucy up mid morning and we drove straight to the Cley Visitor Centre NWT for lunch! It was a blustery day with north west winds and considerably cooler, but I loved it. I hated the hot weather we had to endure over the Summer. I'm much happier now the temperatures have dropped. I had arranged to take Lucy out today a while back and I soon realised with the strong north west winds forecast, that I was going to potentially miss out on the first decent Autumn sea watch!

We had a lovely lunch, cake and drinks and luckily managed to get the last seat by the window overlooking the marshes. Bumped into Andrew Bloomfield and others here and also met a lovely lady who reads my blog every morning, so her husband told me. From here we could see the rolling surf crashing onto the beach – lots of sunshine, dramatic skies and strong winds gave us a exhilarating day. Lucy spent some pennies in the shop and then we left.

We had a bracing walk to Gramborough Hill at Salthouse and also bumped into James Mc. and Kane F., who were looking for early Autumn migrants. There was a Wheatear on one of the fence posts and there was a Lesser Whitethroat (we didn't see) in the main scrub. Nothing else of note, but later elsewhere we did see a Wasp Spider, which Lucy was very excited about.

Cley Deli to purchase Pear and Ginger Cake (diet going really well). Its a good job Lucy and I don't live together – we are as bad as each other where naughty food is concerned! Well, actually Lucy is far worse than me – ok, only slightly!

Stopped at Glandford Ford for a short while, where we had beautiful views of a Grey Wagtail from the bridge and then went on to 'Natural Surroundings'. Lucy prefers to sit and eat cake than walk too far, so sat in the cafe for more cake and a coffee, whilst watching the birds on the feeders. Note we had not eaten the Pear and Ginger cake yet – saved for later/tomorrow! Good numbers of birds coming to the feeders, including Blue Tits, Great Tits, Coal Tits, Goldfinches, Hedge Sparrows, Chaffinches and Wood Pigeons. Lucy fell in love with the Harvest Mice that were in the outside building at Natural Surroundings and was so fascinated by them, she didn't want to leave! They were extra cute and I could have stayed to watch them longer too, but it was a couple of minutes to closing time. I wanted Lucy to walk to the lake with me, but she refused, said her feet ached and wasn't going to walk anymore today.

Parked up at Coastguards, Cley at around 5pm and left Lucy resting in the car for a short while, while I had a quick scan with the scope, but nothing of note whilst I stood here sadly. I had missed all the main action earlier on, with the main highlight being a close in Leach's Petrel! Mark G and Josh (from Brighton) stood here too and Eddie M. turned up just as we were leaving.

Headed to Wells to deliver important documents and then to buy fish 'n' chips along the quayside. 'French's' had a long queue, so went to 'Plattens' – to be honest, the fish 'n' chips are just as good from this shop, but French's won an award, which is why it always has long queues!

Sat and had our fish 'n' chips in the car park at North Point Pools, Wells. From the car we saw 2 Spoonbills flying over and there were 8 Barnacle Geese on the distant stubble fields. Lots of gulls flying in to roost, Greylags, Egyptian Geese, Black-tailed Godwits etc. Local birder Gem told me that he had seen a Curlew Sandpiper and a Garganey here to, but I wasn't able to walk along the track to have a look, as Lucy had had enough and wanted to go home.

Cruised back to King's Lynn and dropped Lucy home with her Pear & Ginger Cake to enjoy later. Fed the Hedgehog/s, changed the bird baths and fell asleep, whilst watching Britain's Got Talent. My Pear and Ginger Cake will go birding with me tomorrow!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Balearic Shearwaters x 2, Sooty Shearwaters x 2, Long-tailed Skuas x 2, Pomarine Skua, Black Tern at Sheringham
Leach's Petrel, Pomarine Skua, Sooty Shearwater, Long-tailed Skuas x 3, Black Terns x 4 flew past beach car park at Cley
Great White Egret, Spoonbill, Purple Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpipers x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Osprey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Spoonbills x 12 at Holme Dunes NWT
Pomarine Skuas x 2 flew past Holme NOA
Spoonbills x 32 at Stiffkey Fen
Cattle Egret at Welney WWT
Black Tern at West Runton
Curlew Sandpiper, Spoonbills x 2, Barnacle Geese x 8 at North Point Pools, Wells
Osprey, Great White Egret at Rockland Broad
Long-tailed Skua at Hemsby
Black Tern at Mundesley

MEGA NEWS
BROWN BOOBY 
At Kynance Cove, The Lizard, Cornwall
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR
or Pied Wheatear ad. fem
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside
FEA'S, DESERTAS or ZINO'S PETREL
Flew past Hunmanby Gap, North Yorkshire

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  
FRIDAY 6th SEPTEMBER
Caspian Gull at Cromer
Black-throated Diver flew past beach car park at Cley
Cattle Egret, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Cley NWT
Cattle Egrets x 2 at Welney WWT
Spoonbills x 3, Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Snettisham RSPB
Osprey, Great White Egret at Holme
Great White Egret at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB
Caspian Gull at Sheringham

MEGA NEWS
BROWN BOOBY 
At Kynance Cove, The Lizard, Cornwall
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR
or Pied Wheatear ad. fem
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside
SWINHOE'S PETREL
Flew west past Gunsite, Leasowe, Cheshire and Wirral

Thursday, 5 September 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  
Black Guillemot, Red-necked Grebes x 2, Sooty Shearwaters x 3, Slavonian Grebe, Purple Sandpiper from beach car park at Cley
Cattle Egret, Spotted Redshank, Spoonbill, Hen Harrier  at Cley NWT
Black-necked Grebe flew past Weybourne
Turtle Doves x 2, Curlew Sandpipers x 6, Spoonbill, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egrets x 2 at Hickling Broad NWT
Great White Egret on grazing marsh at Holme
Spoonbills x 3 at Thornham Harbour
Sooty Shearwater at Mundesley
Curlew Sandpiper at Welney WWT
Ospreys x 2 at Ranworth Broad
Balearic Shearwater, Sooty Shearwaters x 2, Black Tern at Hemsby
Spoonbills x 52 at Stiffkey Fen

MEGA NEWS
BROWN BOOBY 
At Kynance Cove, The Lizard, Cornwall
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR
or Pied Wheatear ad. fem
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside
FORSTER'S TERN
Dundalk Docks, County Louth, Ireland

Wednesday, 4 September 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  
Garganey x 4 flew past beach car park at Cley
Great White Egret, Cattle Egret at Cley NWT
Curlew Sandpiper at Breydon Water
Spoonbills x 45 at Stiffkey Fen
Osprey, Great White Egret at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Great White Egret at Holme Dunes
Curlew Sandpipers x 3, Common Cranes x 28 at Welney WWT
Turtle Doves x 2, Curlew Sandpipers x 4, Spotted Redshank, Spoonbills x 3 at Titchwell RSPB
Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Spoonbill, Spotted Redshanks x 7 at Snettisham RSPB

MEGA NEWS
BROWN BOOBY 
At Kynance Cove, The Lizard, Cornwall
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR
or Pied Wheatear ad. fem
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside

RBA Weekly Round-Up 28th August to 3rd September!

By Jon Dunn
https://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2019_36.aspx?s_id=972064844

Tuesday, 3 September 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  
Spoonbills x 2 at Snettisham RSPB
Black-throated Diver flew east past Cley
Cattle Egret at Cley NWT
Cattle Egrets x 7 at Burnham Deepdale
Spoonbill at Burnham Norton
Wood Sandpiper, Whinchats x 2 at North Point Pools, Wells
Spoonbills x 11 at Holme Dunes NWT
Curlew Sandpipers x 4, Spoonbill at Titchwell RSPB
Osprey at Rockland Broad
Great White Egret at Holkham Freshmarsh
Common Cranes x 28 at Welney WWT

MEGA NEWS
BROWN BOOBY 
At Kynance Cove, The Lizard, Cornwall
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR
or Pied Wheatear ad. fem
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside

Monday, 2 September 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  
Cattle Egrets x 3 on marsh at Brancaster
Common Cranes x 28 at Welney WWT
Osprey at Rockland Broad & Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Spoonbills x 2 at Snettisham RSPB
Common Cranes x 21 at Waxham
Spoonbills x 53 at Stiffkey Fen
Cattle Egrets x 8, Spoonbills x 12, Bittern at Burnham Norton
Caspian Gulls x 2 on beach at Weybourne
Caspian Gulls x 2 on beach at Cromer
Turtle Dove, Great White Egret, Curlew Sandpiper, Spoonbill, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbills x 3 on marsh at Morston
Curlew Sandpiper at Breydon Water
Great White Egret at North Point Pools, Wells
Great White Egrets x 2, Slavonian Grebe, Curlew Sandpiper at Cley
Spoonbill at Cley NWT

MEGA NEWS
BROWN BOOBY 
At Kynance Cove, The Lizard, Cornwall
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR
or Pied Wheatear ad. fem
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Titchwell RSPB, Wells, Garden Drove, Burnham Overy Staithe, Thornham and Holme!

I don't generally go to Titchwell RSPB until the afternoon, when the light is far better for the freshmarsh, but I wanted to see the big high tide this morning – I was a little late, but it was still quite high when I got there. It was a beautiful sunny day with a fresh breeze, none of the horrible sticky unbearable heat, that we have all been suffering. A straight west wind was never going to produce a haul of early Autumn migrants though, but it was good to be out.

23 Common Scoter flying east, a Great Crested Grebe on the sea, Oystercatchers and a Sandwich Tern were the only birds of note from the beach. Bumped into Ian, Paul and Chris, who kindly told me about a Wasp Spider along the main path, which I found after my second attempt of searching – a first me at Titchwell! On the freshmarsh were all the usual birds, plus: Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, 26 Dunlin, 2 Herons, Little Egrets, a Cetti's Warbler heard and 1 Swift. I had intended on returning here later on when the light was better, but that didn't happen.

Headed east and spent what must have been several hours at North Point Pools, Wells. I have not been here for ages and it was good to be back. Without even leaving my car I saw a Great White Egret at the back of the eastern most pool. Birders are still not parking sensibly – on the right where I was, people had parked next to each other, but on the left side there were only 4 cars, one behind the other and it was full – could have got possibly 8 cars here if they had parked side by side – oh well.

The pool west of the path had considerably diminished since my last visit, but the dry mud still produced bird of the day – a strikingly orange Northern Wheatear which I found! Looks a good spot for a Pratincole sp.! Other birds seen here were: big numbers of Greylag Geese, Canada Geese, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpipers x 2, Snipe x 2, Little Egrets, Dunlins x 5, Whimbrel flew over, a few Ruff, Black-tailed Godwits, Teal, Mallard, Lapwings, Black-headed Gulls, Common Gulls, Herring Gulls, a huge Starling flock, Sparrowhawk, Swallows x 2, a Kingfisher (heard only), Linnet flock, Common Buzzards x 5. In all the time I was here, there was not a single Spoonbill, when they have been reported most days here.

A young Yellowhammer, Chaffinches, House Sparrows, a Robin and a Blackbird were feeding along the track, leading up to the concrete pad at Garden Drove, Warham Greens. I walked along Garden Drove to the copse at the end and back, but didn't see a single bird here! The evening light was beautiful and all the pigs in the field where skipping and playing around – they looked so carefree and happy – this will be short-lived!

Headed west and bought fish 'n' chips from the quayside at Wells. The high tide was filling the channels quickly and it was obvious that it would be tickling the quayside at 9pm! Parked up at Burnham Overy Staithe quay and enjoyed my fish 'n' chips, whilst watching the very high tide getting ever closer to my parked car. The sunset was stunning as it shimmered over the water and boats rocking gently in the water. If it wasn't for two noisy drones being flown over my head, it would have been very tranquil and peaceful here!

Spent the end of the day at Thornham Harbour and took arty farty pictures of the tide sweeping over the road and boat house. I wish I had known about the reported Pied Flycatcher at Chalk Pit Lane, Holme a little earlier – I knew when it came up on the pager, I wasn't going to make it in time with the rapidly failing light. I don't like the evenings drawing in at all. Arrived at the family home at Holme for a quick check and filled all the empty bird baths up and then headed back 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  
Cattle Egret at Cley NWT
Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Wood Sandpiper at Breydon Water
Black-throated Diver flew past, Spoonbills x 4 at Holme Dunes NWT
Pied Flycatcher along Chalk Pit Lane at Holme
Common Cranes x 24, Curlew Sandpipers x 3 at Welney WWT
Spoonbills x 61 at Stiffkey Fen
Cattle Egrets x 3, Spoonbills x 38 at Burnham Norton
Osprey over dunes at Thornham
Whinchats x 2 at Thornham Harbour
Pied Flycatcher at Winterton
Great White Egret at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Caspian Gull at Cromer
Great White Egret, Wood Sandpiper at North Point Pools, Wells
Sooty Shearwater flew past Hopton-on-Sea
Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Great White Egret, Spotted Redshank, Wood Sandpiper, Spoonbill at Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egret at Holkham Freshmarsh
Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshanks x 11 at Snettisham RSPB

MEGA NEWS
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR
or Pied Wheatear ad. fem
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside