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Friday 31 December 2010

NEW YEAR'S EVE !!!!!! Wahooooooooooh!!!!!!

Been at work ALL day!!!

Listening to Rihanna! 'LOUD'

Been blogging now for One Year exactly!!!

Don't know what I am doing this evening yet!

9.40pm - Ok - I know what I am doing now - NOTHING!!!!

Think I will go through and add all my pictures and videos to all my recent posts!!!

Now listening to the Black Eyed Peas - THE BEGINNING'

10pm - Fireworks going off already!!!

11.59pm - TONS of Fireworks going off!!!!

More Sad News!!!

Just heard from my parents this evening that Jack Reynolds who was Warden and ringer at Titchwell for the NOA (pre the RSPB taking over ) for many years has sadly passed away on Christmas Day aged 92. I can remember well, going to the 'ringing hut' at Titchwell which was based at the end of the concrete pad - the same concrete area is just past the main entrance to Titchwell RSPB on left side going towards Brancaster. The last time I saw Jack and his wife Amy was a few years ago walking along the main Titchwell RSPB path and he hadn't really changed much over the years! Jack's wife Amy was my cookery teacher at the Smithdon High School, Hunstanton and still lives in Hunstanton.

Rest in Peace Jack.

Thursday 30 December 2010

Lee Evans is emigrating!!!!!!!

Oh my goodness, I was just looking at the year lists on 'Surfbirds' and noticed Lee has said on his 2010 British List that he is moving to Spain!!!!!!!


....."Moving to Nerja in southern Spain in 2011"........

Thats quite sad - will miss seeing him at twitches!!!!!!!

Mind you - I don't blame him - the weather in this country is pretty rubbish!

Robin Abel is the 2010 Surfbirds Top County Lister!!!

Robin Abel has the biggest County List for Norfolk on Surfbirds for 2010 reaching a target of 278!

Unless something bizzare turns up tomorrow like a Snowy Owl or something, I don't think the list will change by end of tomorrow!

So Congratulations to Robin!!!

Its really hard work doing a serious year list - I would love to do it again, but petrol is too expensive now and I have not got the time. Now if I won the lottery I would absolutely LOVE to do a British List - I would fly round everywhere - what fun it would be to charter planes and boats etc to see any bird you desired at a the drop of a hat!!! Ok I wouldn't want to be a hard core twitcher permanently, but to do that for a year would be massive fun!

Wednesday 29 December 2010

Northern Harrier seen again, but not by me!

I note the Northern Harrier was seen AGAIN today in the afternoon at Brancaster Staithe again, over the club house! I give up with that bird! Maybe, just maybe it will surprise me on January 1st!!!

Also 40+ Waxwings at west end of bypass at Swaffham this morning - I would have passed these today on route to visiting a patient!!!
Heard some very sad, misfortunate news today at work.

Why oh why do the most awful things happen to the nicest, sweetest people - can't say more for confidentiality reasons.

Polar Bear: Spy on the Ice

You have to watch this now!!!!!!!

On BBC1 8pm until 9pm.

One of the most fascinating natural history documentaries I have EVER seen!!!

"Shot mainly using spy cameras, this film gets closer than ever before to the world's greatest land predator.

Icebergcam, Blizzardcam and Snowballcam are a new generation of covert devices on a mission to explore the Arctic islands of Svalbard in Norway. Backed up by Snowcam and Driftcam, these state-of-the-art camouflaged cameras reveal the extraordinary curiosity and intelligence of the polar bear."

Tuesday 28 December 2010

Sad News!

Leicestershire birder John Thatcher, alias 'Pop' on Birdforum who was a prominent, popular and witty birdforum member has very sadly passed away. I was shocked when I noticed the thread on BF.

Condolences to his family.

Bank Holiday Tuesday!

Chaffinch, Titchwell RSPB.

Got up early this morning and arrived at Green Lane, Thornham by 8.30am and stood and waited and waited and waited for the Northern Harrier to show, BUT it didn't! It was a very dull and gloomy day and it was very depressing waiting on my own in the cold with so little to see. But I did count 49 Curlews in the field behind me adjoining Green Lane along with a few lapwing. I could hear and also saw a few Fieldfares in the hedge next to me. Also saw 3 Marsh Harriers over the reed beds towards Titchwell and 2 Little Egrets.

Relocated myself to Staithe Lane and could see that the group of birders standing on the seawall were having the same bad luck as me. Gave up and went to Titchwell RSPB. Tons of finches feeding amongst the leaf mould along the opening to the picnic area including greenfinchs, goldfinches, and chaffinches. Was lucky to see the Woodcock again in the same place as last time, just to the right of the feeders the other side of the centre and also 1 Water Rail scurried away quickly out of the ditch off the main path. 3 Siskins feeding on Alder catkins round the Fen Trail.

Woodcock, Titchwell RSPB.

Chaffinch, Titchwell RSPB.

I am so fed with the fat squirrel and fat wood pigeons in my garden I decided to buy a 'Ground Bird Table' and 'Floor Cage' to go over it from the RSPB shop - the only problem is that there are four stakes with the cage to secure it to the ground, but I want it in my patio area - so I will see if the squirrel bothers to lift the whole cage up before I move it to soft ground which will be further away and not so visible.

Looked at the RBA website on iphone and the Northern Harrier had been seen at Brancaster Staithe from the harbour - had I got time to see it before returning to King's Lynn to get to work for a late shift starting at 2pm? hmmmmm...... yep - flew up the road to join other birders at 12.30pm to be told it was not in view now and had flown further east!!!!!! Bl**dy Bird - I am obviously not going to improve on my one and only naff photo of it!!! Left 12.35pm and it was now drizzling with rain all the way back to Lynn.

Last night the weather forecast for North West Norfolk was 'Heavy Snow', 'Light Snow' or 'Rain' on 3 different weather websites!!!!!!

Monday 27 December 2010

Bank Holiday Monday

Was at work all day from 7.30am! So no birding today. Got home at 4pm and fell asleep in the chair. This weather just makes me want so sleep and hibernate until spring!

More news on the Northern Harrier, seen between Thornham and Brancaster on several occasions today.

Obviously there are more birders out and about today as the RBA website has quite a good list for Norfolk today including 10 Long tailed Ducks and 60 Snowbuntings at Holme, 2 Red headed Smews at Wells, 3 Waxwings and The Northern Harrier at Titchwell, 2 Short eared owls and the Northern Harrier at Brancaster, Rough legged Buzzard at Scolt Head Island viewed from Brancaster, Snow Buntings at Holkham, Hooded Crow, 12 Twite, Hen Harrier at Brancaster Staithe, 20 Waxwings and the Northern Harrier at Thornham, Ross's Goose at Cley, Lesser White Fronted Goose remains at Cantley.

Roll on January 1st when I will be doing a bird race! But I won't be year listing in 2011, as I have not got the time really - it took over my life in 2009 even though I enjoyed it VERY much!!!

I have just been listening to Rihanna's new album 'LOUD' - some seriously good tunes and is hot as the Black Eyed Peas's new Album 'THE BEGINNING'

Sunday 26 December 2010


Got up late and had brunch!

Knocked the block of ice out of the bird pool and put some more goodies out for the birds. I delayed going out birding because it was FREEZING!!! The frost outside still remained exactly the same by lunch time. It was a beautiful sunny morning and I now regret not going out in the morning as by the time I got on the road, the sun had gone in.

I wanted to go to Holme reserves, but I just knew I would get annoyed - Holme is terrible on Boxing Day for tons of dog walkers and I was right as my sister Vivien told me later - she had to put up with several dogs bounding up to her - none were on leads and owners not bothered about their dogs menacing other people!!!

So it was to Titchwell RSPB I visited again and I am so glad I did. Scattered some birds seed, raisons and bread in the carpark for the robins. Lots of birders and photographers here and guess what, I didn't see a single dog - magic!!! I didn't get very far along the main path at all, as I discovered a wonderful scene before me. Where the path that leads from the back of the visitor centre joins the main path - just below this, where there is a stream running, was a flurry of birds. All the ice on the main pools is still frozen solid apart from a few patches, so this trickling water was extremely popular for drinking and preening. 2 male Siskins came down to drink, also great tits and blue tits where having a wash and brush up, as were greenfinches, goldfinches, female Siskin, pied wagtail, long tailed tits, blackbirds, robins and a Treecreeper also put in an appearance! Also a Water Rail was feeding off to the right. I almost seized up, kneeling in the frosty leaves, attempting to blend in with the surroundings as I clicked away with the camera! The light was awful for photography though, which didn't result in many sharp pictures - so wish I had got here earlier when the sun was out. Further along the main path was a second Water Rail and 2 Woodcocks feeding at the back of the main feeding station, but very difficult to photograph as they were always behind vegetation. I walked round to the Fen Hide and the ponds were frozen solid as were all the reed beds - it was crystal white everywhere. From the hide I photographed a cock pheasant against the snow, but nothing else was seen here.

Long tailed Tit coming down to drink.

Goldfinch coming down for a drink.

Blackbird looking chilly.

Blue Tit bathing.

Treecreeper also made an appearance.

Goldfinch coming down for a drink.

Great Tit having a wash 'n' brush-up.

Woodcock feeding near the bird feeders.

Icy scenery around the Fen Trail.

The above four images taken with iphone.

Cock Pheasant from the Fen Hide.

Walked back to the car and sprinkled the last of the bird seed, bread and raisons down for the robins. Visited my parents and Vivien for an hour and then drove home.

Fell asleep most of the evening.
John Furse has penned some very witty verse on

Saturday 25 December 2010


Skeins of Pinkfooted Geese at Sunset at Titchwell RSPB.

I awoke to a beautiful frosty, sunny day.

Loaded the car up with presents and food and general christmasy stuff required for the day and picked my sister up in King's Lynn and drove to my parents house to spend Christmas Day. My little sister was already there, having travelled up yesterday.

Far too much food!

Christmas Cake made by my Father!

Around 2.45pm I went to Titchwell RSPB.

Passed Santa along the main footpath! (seriously, see picture below)

4 Siskins in the Alder tree at the beginning of the main path by the centre. Pintail sitting on the ice - all the water completely frozen over. 3 Marsh Harriers by the dead trees. Took a video of the new Parrinder Hide and took some sunset pictures. It started to rain/sleet so put the camera away. On the way back 14 Whooper Swans flew low over my head - very annoyingly I did not have time to get the camera out of rucksack!!!

Sunset from the new Parrinder Hide at Titchwell.


Sun setting at Titchwell RSPB.

Christmas Pudding with Nestles Cream, Mothers's Trifle, cheese straws etc etc etc whilst spending the evening watching the box.

Drove back to King's Lynn and now watching 'Corrie' on ITV2, as I wasn't allowed to watch it earlier - compromise, Vivien wanted to Watch 'Strictly'.

Friday 24 December 2010

Christmas Eve

Well I should be excited I suppose - but its difficult when you spend it on your own (boo hoo!).

I was hoping we would be allowed to escape from work earlier than 3pm - I am sure we left just after lunch last year - I had planned to watch a western on TV this afternoon, but after leaving at 3pm I went to fill up with petrol and into town to do some last minute food shopping etc.

Watched all the soaps and now doing housework!!!

New birding blogs site.


Merry Christmas!!!

Hope you all have a lovely christmas break.

Apologies for not sending cards to anyone this year.

Thank you all very much for your cards.

Hot Birding in 2011!

Tuesday 21 December 2010


PLEASE feed the birds with any scraps you have, bread (preferably brown), apples (blackbirds love them), raisons/sultanas etc OR go to Wilkinsons and buy some bird seed, sunflower seeds, nuts, fat balls or trays of suet etc. Also just as important, give them some water. Use a old tin plate so you can knock the block of ice out each morning and refill, using either fresh water or mix some from the kettle, so the water is a bit warmer.

Monday 20 December 2010


As I stepped outside this morning to walk to work, I felt I had just walked through the wardrobe!!!! It was so incredibly sparkly white, I could see no colour in the trees, bushes, grass or anywhere - it was surreal - I have never seen it like this before.

Mid morning when I went out to the car park to get in the car to go out in the community to visit my first patient, all the trees sparkled silver in the sunshine - it was as though glitter had fallen from the skies. It was stunningly beautiful.

The weather locally was a mix of serious fog, sun and the frost stayed ALL day!!!! Nothing melted at all - really weird!

Saturday 18 December 2010

Hot Birding in my Garden!

Never seen so many birds in my garden this morning - numbers increased after I removed the block of ice from the drinking bath and replaced with fresh, warmish water and added Tescos 'value' sultanas to the bird table along with peanut butter on bread, cut up into tiny pieces, an apple for the blackbirds and top up of bird seed. Two coal tits eating from the ground along with great tits, blue tits, blackbirds, hedge sparrows, collared doves and a robin. Think I will pop to Titchwell in the afternoon tomorrow after work to buy one of those ground feeding cages to stop my local squirrel and the fat wood pigeons taking over!

Black Eyed Peas - The Beginning

This is one of the best albums I have heard in a long time - been dancing round the kitchen for ages - mostly to keep warm AND I have the heating on!!!!!!!

Funny really as when you search for reviews for this album, most of them are saying this in the worst album they have produced!!!! Oh well, each to their own, I like it - ITS BRILLIANT!

Lesley's 60th Birthday Party!


Picked up my car this evening after having more work done on it and re MOT'd.

My work colleague Lesley decided to book a Caleigh Band for her grand celebration. It was held in Wolverton Social Club. Most of my team went and joined in merrily!!! Lesley's grand daughter had made some stunning cakes, decorated beautifully with glitter, stars, hearts, flowers etc and also made the Birthday Cake. There was a fantastic selection of food! I joined in with one dance, but spent most of my time taking videos with the iphone and taking pictures for Lesley with her camera. Gave Sarah a lift home, it was wickedly cold when we left. Some of the other girls went up town, clubbing, but I didn't feel like going, so went home. Had a nice lie in this morning. Freezing cold and severe frost outside, I decided not to go birding. Went up town mid afternoon to do my only small amount of christmas shopping. Found an absolutely top quality faux fur hat with ear flaps in 'Hoopers', the army shop by the bus station in King's Lynn - it far better quality than any other in the fashion shops. As I walked back to the quayside where I had left my car parked - icicles were hanging underneath the back of most of the cars!

Four Videos of Lesley's Party

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Fair Isle: South Lighthouse & Sheep Snuggling Birds

Fair Isle: South Lighthouse & Sheep Snuggling Birds: " South Lighthouse - Skaden, Fair Isle in Snow. While taking a beautiful but brisk sunrise walk I took these photos. About&nbs..."

Hot Bird Treats!!!!

'Cooking for Birds'

'Fun recipes to entice birds to your garden'

By Mark Golley

ISBN 1 84537 258 1 - published in 2006 by New Holland - now out of print, but I picked up a copy the other day in charity shop for £1.99 - tons of home made treats for birds!!! Much better than bought stuff - if you have the time obviously!

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus - Must See!

My friend Richard, sent me this link!

I don't belieeeevvvveeee it!!!!!!!!!!!

My car failed the MOT - it should have sailed through after all the money and stuff done to it fairly recently, BUT no it didn't!!! I can't even say how much its going to cost, because sensibly I should scrap it - but the problem is how can I, after spending so much money on it recently!!! Catch 22 situation. Sad, glum face!

Went on a course not far from Newmarket today with two other work colleagues - extremely interesting and a scrumptious lunch!!! The drive there in the fog was horrendous though - thank god for the iphone - we were sitting in a stationary queue of traffic on the A142 into Newmarket, which mean't if we stayed there - we would have been seriously late for the course which started at 9am - looked on the 'live' map on phone and turned the car round - whizzed along a back road and ended up arriving at 8.50am!!! We felt quite smug and relieved when we walked into the conference room early!!! Tons of traffic on the return journey this evening.

There are so many birthday lunches, christmas lunches and party lunches this week, I am going to pop if I eat much more!!!

You can tell its that time of year when there's not much about, when the Norfolk thread posts on consist of geese, geese, geese, geese and more geese!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Northern Harrier still at Thornham today!!! Hoping to catch up with this again at the weekend and try improve on my naff photos of it, if we are not all snowed in again!!!

See HEAVY SNOW weather forecast for north-west Norfolk tomorrow!!!!!!!

Sunday 12 December 2010


Matt Cardle from Colchester won X Factor.

I'm glad 'One Direction' didn't win - they lovely lads, but they hadn't got the X-Factor as I far as I was concerned. I wanted Rebecca to win out of the two, but there wasn't alot in in it - Matt and Rebecca are both awesome singers and beautiful people, BUT I still say Cher Lloyd should have won -had a lovely PM from Jan on Birdforum, basically agreeing me on this - thanks Jan!. 'TAKE THAT' performed just before the final results - never tire of listening to Robbie!!!

Goooooooo Cher!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday 11 December 2010


Part One - this is going to be the best ever!!!!!!

"Each finalist is singing one song of their choice and then a duet with one of these pop megastars - Robbie Williams, Christina Aguilera, Rihanna and"

I wanted 'Cher' and 'Rebecca' in the final - sadly 'Cher' is out!!!!! She was awesome with '' from the 'Black-eyed Peas'. I wanted her to win - she's got more personality than all the rest put together.

Its got to be 'Rebecca' now - I hope 'One Direction' don't win - I can't see whats so special about them!

Part Two - Sunday 7.30pm

Titchwell RSPB - Northern Harrier!

Sunset, Titchwell RSPB.

Spent the morning in King's Lynn whilst waiting for my car to be MOT'd - walked along the quayside and saw a diver species, but didn't have my bins with me. 4 turnstones flew past!

Bad news - after all the work I had done on the car, it FAILED!!!! On emissions, 'Suspension component mounting corroded', 'sub frame seriously weakened' - BLOODY CARS!!!!

Went home, sulked and fell asleep in the chair.

Sunset, Titchwell RSPB.

Titchwell RSPB.
Arrived late afternoon for a walk. Someone had seen the Northern Harrier at Titchwell this afternoon - it carried on west towards Thornham - I didn't see it, too late. The water was completely frozen over at Titchwell and because of this, there were very few birds - several pintail, teal, wigeon and shelduck. Pied Wagtails were flitting about on the ice just below the path. Put the wide angle lens on the camera and took some sunset pictures. Left Titchwell and picked up fish 'n' chips from Hunstanton and ate them back at home whilst watching 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

Sunset, Titchwell RSPB.

Christmas Lights in Hunstanton.

Wednesday 8 December 2010

RSPB - "Birds at risk as freezing weather bites"

Just emailed this to the Lynn News Newsdesk to highlight this article and asked them to publish an article highlighting this including asking dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead etc etc.

Will let you know if they publish anything!

Siberian Weather!!!

Still bitterly cold here in north west Norfolk and MORE snow this afternoon!!!

I am now driving out in the 'community' for two months, which is not an ideal time of year to be driving out and about every day!

Tuesday 7 December 2010

So cold when I finished work that I had to.scrape ice off the inside of my car windows!!!

Monday 6 December 2010

Most dramatic "Corrie" ever!!!!!!!

Coronation Street was AWESOME tonight!


Sunday 5 December 2010

Update and Party Night!

Last week was so hectic at work I didn't even have the energy or time to turn the computer on, never mind post on my blog!

Saturday, sadly no birding as had loads of stuff to sort. Saturday night was my second and last christmas party of the year - at Knights' Hill Hotel AND I was drinking - I don't normally drink but NEEDED to after the last few weeks. I had an interesting selection of brandy and coke, large glass of white wine, vodka and lemonade, shot of something lethal someone bought me, another brandy and coke and after that decided after some very fast spins round the dance floor, that I had better switch to water!!!

Sunday - a long lazy lay in and more chores.

X-Factor final next week - First choice: Rebecca. Second choice: Cher.
Fantastic watching the Black eyed Peas on the show tonight - I have been a fan for a long time.

Not doing christmas this year - not sending any cards - fed up with spending hours writing out 50/60 cards - waste of time, money and trees.

Monday 29 November 2010

Snowed in and Waxwings at Old Hunstanton!!!

Very heavy snow today in King's Lynn, so much so that I have had to leave my car at work and walked home this evening!!!

My mother had 16 Waxwings flying towards her as she cycled round the 'corner of Norfolk' - along the main road going into Old Hunstanton this morning.

Sunday 28 November 2010

Northern Harrier, Thornham


Birders waiting at Thornham Boat house in arctic conditions
for the Northern Harrier to show.

Andy W. stands out from the crowd in his bright orange coat!!!

Well I certainly got up earlier than yesterday!!

Arrived Thornham Coal Barn at 8am and it was seriously arctic conditions. I felt like the Michelin man, I had so many layers on! Everything was sparkling white with frost and snow, but the morning was dull with no sun at all. Around 20 people waited for the Northern Harrier to show. I could see Andy W. and Justin L. standing with other people near the carpark at the far end, so I phoned Andy to say he was standing in the wrong place 'you mean we standing on high ground so we can see everything' he said - 'yep, its best seen from here' I said. Anyway time went on and standing here for even an hour and a quarter was torture. At one point I saw what was probably the harrier for a split second over the field by the houses to the left of The Lifeboat Inn, another quarter of an hour later at 9.15am it showed itself again and was indeed the NORTHERN HARRIER. Shortly after this Andy and Justin had relocated themselves to the Coal Barn! I got some records shots of The Northern Harrier as it glided over the reed bed. It then disappeared from view, so I decided to walk down the road and follow the path through the reed bed to the large copse. On the way I had awesome views of a pair of Bullfinches (not quite long enough for the camera though) and several blackbirds eating sloeberries. I crossed the bridge and walked right and along Green Lane and then left along the track and back along the path around the copse and back to the bridge again. It was now snowing heavily and had to put the camera in the rucksack liner bag. The snow blizzard was so heavy I could hardly see to walk! I didn't see the harrier again. Walked back to the car and the few people that were standing by the barn had not seen the harrier since I had last seen it. I drove to the far field, reached by the 'The Lifeboat' lane and watched the field for a while, but no luck.

Little Egret in Thornham Harbour.

Titchwell RSPB - I only stopped here for one thing - FOOD!!! Sat in the Feeding Station and had Jacket Potato, Vege Lasagne and wait for it.... Sticky Toffee Pudding and Custard - all good for the waist line, BUT it did warm me up, in fact it was incredibly difficult to leave - it was lovely and warm in there and it was very enjoyable watching the video screen listening to Golden Orioles calling at Lakenheath etc etc. Loads of birds at the feeders including chaffinches, robins, hedge sparrows, robins, greenfinches, pheasant, blue and great tits and of course woodpigeons trying to balance themselves on the feeders! I eventually dragged myself out of there and walked back to the car. I was just trying to decided whether to go back to attempt to get better pictures of the Harrier or go to Wells to try and see the Northern Bullfinches, but when I checked the RBA website on my phone, there was a Hume's Yellow-browed Warbler at Burnham Norton.

Burnham Norton - no sign of the bird at all on arrival sadly. People searched everywhere to find this bird, but it didn't show again. Bumped into R.M here who initially didn't realise it was me under all my layers! and also John F. who pointed out 5 Whooper Swans going over our heads, south.

Five Whooper Swans - Burnham Norton.

Choseley Barns - loads of corn buntings, yellow hammers, greenfinches, robins, hedgesparrows, fieldfares and 2 Mistle Thrushes all from the car window! Tons of pinkfeet flying over aswell.

Snow scenes at Choseley Barns.

Thornham - parked the car in Green Lane and walked to the bridge and along the path again for a short distance where I had brief views of the Northern Harrier again as it flew across the reed bed and round the corner of the copse out of view. Had spectacular views of a Barn Owl by the bridge when I walked back which was flying low across the reeds and then landed on a post in front of me briefly!

X-Factor - thank goodness Vagner had gone!!! But I did feel sorry for Katie. Very frustrating though as I will miss the semi-final next week as I'm at another christmas party!

Update - see John's Furse's very amusing picture of me as the Michelin man on the Norfolk thread!!! (see top sentence of this post)