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Saturday 31 July 2010

'Blokes and Birds' signatures please at Bird Fair?

Steve Kirk helped me enormously last year at the Rutland Bird Fair to collect signatures for my 'Blokes and Birds' book by Stephen Moss, but still need the following signatures:

Carl Buttle Tim Cleeves Simon Cox Chris Harbard Andy Jarrett

Justin Lansdell (can't believe I havn't got yours yet!!!) Ian Lewington

Tony Marr Neil McKillop Derek Moore Neil Morris Dave Nurney

Martin Palmer Tony Smith Ray Turley Brian Unwin Ian Wallace

Chris Watson Robbie Williams

If anyone knows which stands the above people are on at the Birdfair I would be very grateful please!?

Cley - Vivien & Lucy & another dipped Hooded Crow!

Common Lizard at Walsey Hills NOA.

Vivien got the train from Ely to King's Lynn and I picked up Vivien and Lucy (sisters) at 10.45am and took them to Cley for the day. On route the pager came up with a Hooded Crow near Salthouse!!!

My sisters and I so very rarely all go out together and were hoping for a sunny day, but for most of the day its been spitting with rain and dull skies!!! There were glimmers of sunshine throughout, but the sun did finally came out fully in the evening.

Started off at Cley beach carpark for a cup of tea and then onto the Cley NWT Visitor Centre for a lovely lunch outside - just got the last table! bumped into several other birders here: Stuart White... also Andy Johnson and Eddie Myers also 'doing lunch'! I was most disappointed to find that Cley NWT does not yet have the Ronaldos new 'Stem Ginger' ice-cream! I wanted to walk to North Scrape to see the 17 Spoonbills reported earlier, but Lucy didn't want to walk 'that far'!

Went chasing after the Hooded Crow around Kelling and Salthouse, but couldn't find it anywhere or any other birders around, but did find a piggery with carrion crows and rooks. Also there were tons of chaffinches feeding around puddles along a narrow road. If I had been on my own I would have spent longer looking, but my sisters are not really birders, so had to cut my search short! Steve Gantlett however didn't dip on the Hooded Crow!!!! See:

Went to Muckleborough Hill because Lucy and Vivien had never been here and I knew they would love the view from the top. Few Gatekeepers and a Wall up here when the sun came out briefly.

Parked up at Walsey Hills. There is now another set of steps in place west of the obs. hut, going down into the middle path and also some seats and table next to the viewing point. No sign of any Adders but stunning views of two Common Lizards basking in the sunshine on a railway sleeper! - got some records shots. Lots of birds by/on the feeders including a party of juv. long tailed tits, coat tit, great tit, blue tit, male and female greenfinches, goldfinches, chaffinches, hedge sparrows, wren and in unison together we all said 'great spotted woodpecker' as it bounded past along the bottom path. Lucy also said she saw a female bullfinch.

Common Lizard at Walsey Hills NOA.

Went to 'Church Lane' in Cley to look for the silver washed fritillary that was seen yesterday, but no luck, plus it was raining at this point anyway!

Went on to Glandford Ford. A Fox ran across the road on route! Watched a 4x4 crossing the Ford, which scattered the ducks quickly! No sun out at all.

Next stop Friary Hills - at last the sun came fully out. Lucy and Vivien had never been here and really enjoyed it. No birds of note though.

Stopped briefly at Burnham Overy Staithe harbour for the view.

Wells for fish 'n' chips - changed our minds when we saw the ridiculously long queues tailing back along the street!!!! In fact the longest queue I have ever seen!

We made do with my emergency cashew-nut butter rolls and coffee cake when we got to parents at Holme.

Got Vivien on the 9.12pm train back to Ely and dropped Lucy at home in King's Lynn.

Work all day tomorrow.

Wednesday 28 July 2010

Fatbirder Malware virus - read link below urgently!

Read this URGENTLY:


Just removed my fatbirder widget from this blog - there is a Malware virus on the fatbirder website that is SERIOUSLY affecting people's computers, seems to be mainly PC's. I note it hasn't affected a Mac yet, but with my new Macbook I am not taking any chances!!!!!

New posting on the above link:

'Fatbirder was attacked by a third party that used its adserver to sneak in some malware... but this has been removed and Google will shortly be asked to review the site and remove their dire warnings... this also effected Birding Top 500... the problem will not re-occur as the backdoor has been plugged with new software... despite what they say Google didn't bother to tell the webmaster about it! Rest assured normal service will shortly be resumed! Fatbirder wishes to thank all those people who let him know about the problem and gave their support against this abuse of the WWW - love the Fatbirders son ;-)

PS This particular malware is widespread and is delivered by the same software that many sites use to carry their Google Ads!'
The White Spotted Bluethroat remains at Welney still today.

King Eider

A first summer drake King Eider was found at Sheringham by Phil Vines, and watched throughout the day between Sheringham and West Runton, but not relocated today.

Saturday 24 July 2010

Didn't really achieve anything much today. Got up very late and had to go into town to pay a bill - bought some half price shoes from Clarks for work and a couple of 'Maxi' dresses (as they are called) from New Look - they are beautiful dresses and I can't remember the last time I bought anything nice, but I don't actually know why I bought them as don't really go out! Dropped a thank you card into the Vets. Did some shopping for my parents in Sainsburys and delivered it late afternoon.

Went to Titchwell RSPB and walked as far as Island Hide - masses of waders, avocets etc in the evening sunshine. Main/public footpath to beach closed as from tomorrow afternoon - see RSPB website or Norfolk thread on I love cruising along the coast road, ended up at Cley and sat and ate my philadelphia and stem ginger sandwiches and fruit salad and then walked to Daukes' hide - a spoonbill flew over, tons of avocets, waders etc and a few marsh harriers. A water vole swam across the pool and the black swan was directly in front of the hide - which of course it would be... being as I left the 300mm lens in the car!!!

Work all day tomorrow.

Thursday 22 July 2010

The Wanted

'Siva' - The Wanted - Festival too - Canon 7D/300mm f4 lens

Watched this new boy band 'The Wanted' at the finale at Festival too in King's Lynn, they were brilliant - just noticed this link on facebook - their first single.

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Silver Y invasion!!!

Whilst talking to my mother on the phone this evening, she was telling me there were hundreds of Silver Y's in the garden this evening - I looked in my garden and they were loads here too!

Unbearably hot at work - please can we have some cooler weather!

Monday 19 July 2010

My house is unbearable without Sapphire.... so deathly quiet..... no one to lavish attention upon now. It would be soooo tempting to get another cat but can't go through the pain of losing any more.

Big changes are about to occur in my life if I am very lucky - can't say anymore yet!

Saturday 17 July 2010

Relaxed Day

Went to Holme Bird Observatory to collect my parents from the 'Moth Day' and helped father do some errands in Hunstanton.

Went to Beeston Bog with Pete and Graham to photograph orchids and butterflies, insects etc.

Had a lovely evening eating vege burger and chips outside the Dun Cow at Salthouse.

Friday 16 July 2010

Had a really, lovely card from my vet Fiona O'leary when I got home tonight which got me upset again!

Looking forward to birding tomorrow.

RBA have an article on the River Warbler which also has another viewing tomorrow from 5am-8am:

Some fabulous pictures from A.L. in Brazil on the punkbirder website:

Thursday 15 July 2010

Birds filtering in!

News via RBA for Wednesday 14th July.

Buff breasted Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Spoonbill, Wood Sandpiper, 2 Black Terns and a Yellow legged Gull at Titchwell RSPB along with a 'possible' White Stork going west.

Wryneck at Roydon Common.

Kentish Plover at Cley NWT along with Spoonbills, Green Sandpiper and a Little Stint.

Welney WWT - Pectoral Sandpiper.

Went to Pets at Home after work and exchanged 3 bags of cat litter and food for a terracotta hanging bird bath, new seed feeder and large bag of bird seed! My kitchen is looking very clinical and bare after removing litter tray, bowls, Sapphire's toys, scratch poles and her choice of beds!!! She was thoroughly loved and spoilt!

I have just been filling in a fascinating/life changing job application, which I will reveal IF I get an interview - which is why I am up so ridiculously late!!!! Must get some sleep now, which I need desperately.

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Sapphire back home with Tiger

After about one hour's sleep last night, I was like a zombie at work today. My work colleagues know me well enough not to ask too much how I was, because if anyone had been nice to me I would have been crying again, although Gemma towards end of the day said 'sorry to hear about your cat' and put her arm round me, which didn't help!

Just about managed to drive to East Rudham after work to collect Sapphire - she is now home.

My house is deathly quiet!

I am looking forward to Saturday and will hope for a good bird to take my mind off everything or/and Vivien suggested we have a 'sister day' (with Lucy aswell) which actually would be really nice, as we have not done that for a very long time.

I will try and make the next post a bit more cheery!!!!!!!

Monday 12 July 2010

Sapphire united with Tiger Xx

I was allowed to take half day's holiday - thank you Anne-Marie if you read this - I know I have been with Sapphire all weekend, but being with her this afternoon, mean't everything to me.

Taking Sapphire to vets this evening at 6.15pm.

One of my lovely neighbours Anne looked in on Sapphire whilst I was at work this morning.

Got home at 12.45pm. Sapphire had eaten nothing all morning again and now looked weak - I knew I needed to help her. Laid down in the garden nursing Sapphire for a couple of hours until it started spitting with rain. Took Sapphire indoors on her big cushion and took her upstairs and spent the rest of the time with her on my duvet and trying to rest myself, to prepare for later (didn't work). Another lovely lady in my street called Julie very, very kindly said she would take me to the vets as there is no way I could have done it by myself.

6.15pm came round much too quickly. I am such an emotional person, I really, really wish I wasn't. Sobbed the whole time. Of course as cats do, I am sure they sense it, Sapphire looked quite alert going to the vets! Millhouse Vets is a top vets and won Vet of the year award 2010. Inside 'the room' I could see it was the right time and the lovely lady vet 'Fiona' in a round about way agreed. Sapphire attempted to get back into the cat carrier just before the vet came back into the room, which added to my distress! A veterinary nurse came in to assist and I realised it was 'Megan' who had assisted 'Tiger' to be put to sleep, so that actually was really nice, but made me cry even more. Sapphire went to sleep (much quicker than my equally beloved, tabby persian 'Tiger' 3 years ago) and also very peacefully at 6.45pm.

Julie then drove me to 'Peaceful Pets' at East Rudham which is a Pet Crematorium. Sapphire will be cremated tomorrow and I will collect her (ashes put inside a carved, wooden, curled up, asleep cat) in the evening (if I can). I did exactly the same with 'Tiger'. Don't have much choice really as the only choices are A. leave cat at vets (can't do that) B. bury her in the garden (can't do that either, because I don't like living here and psychologically I then wouldn't be able to ever move) - so that only leaves the choice I have made. I did wonder about doing this with Tiger at the time, but it was definately the right choice, because it means I can take them wherever I go and I don't mean that in a morbid way.

Enormous thanks to Anne and Julie for all your support and especially to Julie this evening - words cannot describe how grateful I am.

I will miss you Dearest Sapphire terribly.

May you now be at peace sweetheart xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday 11 July 2010

Rubbish day

Cancelled my hospital shift as Sapphire is deteriating - she never ate anything else yesterday. Today she has eaten nothing, although has been drinking water. My neighbour Anne gave me a small amount of ham as Sapphire normally loves it - I was really pleased when she seemed really interested at the smell of the ham and she amazingly gobbled 2 small pieces, but then stopped eating any more - 20 minutes later she was sick. She has spent all day in the garden. I took some lovely sunny pictures of her and attempted to set the camera on self-timer to take us both, although not very successfully! Have been crying loads and then came to the descision to take her to the vets and then changed my mind again as I didn't like the sound of the duty vet I spoke to and also when my neighbour Anne came round she gently persuaded me to go tomorrow instead as she thought Sapphire looked okish. Have booked appointment tomorrow with the nice lady vet Fiona O'leary who has been seeing Sapphire. Although as I type, Sapphire seems to be more fragile than earlier. Sod work, I should take her first thing in the morning, but I can't - makes me so angry. I will ask my team leader for half a day holiday and if not at least a couple of hours, surely they will allow me that!!!!

Lemar rocks the stage!!!!

Lemar - I was standing at a perfect distance with my 300mm lens!

Festival Too was awesome!!!!!! I watched from 8pm: Take That 2, The Wanted who were absolutely brilliant and really got the crowd going - two of the band were extremely good looking and got the young (and old) girls screaming!!!

Lemar was absolutely brilliant and I took hundreds of pictures!!!!!!! There were thousands of people jammed in the Market Place the atmosphere was electric and everyone was in party spirits. Half a dozen giant footballs (lightweight!) were being tossed around the crowds - it was a spectacular night. Definately the best finale, but then it was supposed to be, as it was the 30th Anniversary! Festival Too organisers really did an excellent job. Mark Stamford (ex Lynn News - I worked there for seven years) was DJ in between acts and the Fairground rides around the outskirts of the market place, added to the party scene.

The town was grid locked afterwards and it took me a good half an hour to get home!

Saturday 10 July 2010

Win a Wildlife Walk and Lunch with Simon King at the Bird Fair!

Just noticed this on:

Emailed my answer!!!!!!!!


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Lazy Saturday!

Went to bed at a silly time and slept right through the 'River Warbler' access time this morning. It is disgustingly hot today, so much so that I am not going out. Sapphire had eaten a tiny amount of food this morning and has been laying outside on the patio all morning, although I am sure she will be in soon as the heat intensifies. I woke up at 6.40am and went straight out to Tescos garage to buy several copies of the The Mirror (never buy this paper normally!) to get 'Prince's New Album '2010'. After having just over 3 hours sleep, I went back to bed and got up at 10am and have lazily been reading The Mirror and the EDP sitting at the kitchen table whilst Sapphire basks outside in the sunshine - could be my last full day with her.......

There is a double page feature in the EDP (Eastern Daily Press) on RSPB Lakenheath today and also a small piece on a new hide at Buckenham Marshes quote 'Nature lovers can get close up views of wetland birds at a new hide which will be officially opened at RSPB Buckenham Marshes nature reserve, near Brundall, on Monday. The RSPB built it with funds from Broadland District Council and the Geoffrey Watling Charity.'
Being as I am still up and can't sleep, might go and see the River Warbler at 5am to get some photos. Might aswell, it will be the coolest part of the day. The heat later on is going to be stifling so will stay indoors and nurse poor Sapphire.

Lemar is headline act in King's Lynn tonight FREE!!!

Tuesday market place, King's Lynn. If you go, get there very early as there will be several thousand people, it will probably be the biggest ever turnout. Several other bands on before Lemar - Take That 2 etc.

Prince's New Album FREE in The Mirror!!!

Sound recording of the River Warbler

This was put on the 'Norfolk thread' on last night from RBA of 'a sound recording of the Norfolk RIVER WARBLER by Dave Farrow....'

Friday 9 July 2010

Not looking good for Sapphire

Very sadly, Sapphire has not eaten a thing today. Gave her second tablet tonight, 'Fortekor'. She sat outside on her rug on the patio all evening and now she is sleeping on her favourite big cushion in the kitchen. She has been drinking water though, but as the vet said a cat in her state won't survive more than 3 days without food. Will have to see how she is tomorrow.

Thursday 8 July 2010

Vets again.....

Went with Sapphire to vets after work for an antibiotic injection and have been given some tablets for Sapphire to take daily which should help her regain her appetite and also some sachets of special low protein food especially for cats with kidney problems. The vet asked me to come back in one week for a check up. If she continues not to eat I will have to put her to sleep. Another bill of £28.00.

Picked up fish-n-chips on the way back from vets as Sapphire normally loves cod - but sadly she wouldn't touch it! But she did however like and eat some of the cat food vet had provided. I have sat with her on my lap all evening whilst watching a dramatic Eastenders - has Lucas killed Dee!!!!!!!

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Absolutely CRAP day!

Got a written warning at work (never had a verbal or written warning in my life until I started this job!) for having too much time off 'sick'!!!!!!! If you have more than 4 'episodes' off, you get interviewed and if it continues it gets really serious, which obviously it has!

Sapphire (cat) is seriously ill with chronic kidney failure. She's being losing more and more weight over the last few months and although she appears well in herself, she is hardly eating, which is most unlike her, so I had to take her to the vets this evening. Had full blood tests done and with consultation fee, cost me £146! Duty vet phoned me back with results this evening - choices were all crap, but going to try 'kidney tablets' to try and get her appetite back for one week. Have to take her back tomorrow to get tablets and anti-biotic injection and if her appetite does not improve by end of one week..... well I will have to have her put to sleep which is desperately sad as she is the last of MY family left (lost my beloved Tiger 3 years ago). Sapphire is 14 which is a good age for a persian, but it doesn't matter what age she is - I adore her so much and to come home to an empty house will be seriously depressing. I will never have cats again, I get too attached and it is soul destroying when they pass away. In fact with none of my little family left I will be free to do something mad, like sell up and go and live on an island somewhere or something equally crazy!!!!! Or how about world twitching!!!!!! or maybe doing a dead serious british list and become the first female birder to get the highest british list for the year... hmmmmmmm!!!!!!!

Monday 5 July 2010

It wasn't until I went to work today that I realised how mad I was, to work for 10 hours in the hospital and then drive 130 miles round trip to see a bird skulking around in reeds in bad light!!!!!!! They didn't really understand at work!!!!!

Sunday 4 July 2010

MEGA - RIVER WARBLER!!!!!!!!!! Bagged!!!!!

I am on such a high after seeing the RIVER WARBLER this evening at 9.30pm!!!!!!!!! (Norfolk first for me)

My first shift at the hospital was 8am until 1pm. Its always scary when I get home and notice loads of missed calls and texts!!! Looked at pager......:eek!: Packed birding stuff in boot of car went back to work for second shift, 3pm until 8pm.

8.10pm - whizzed over to Thorpe near Haddiscoe to arrive just in time.... Thank you VERY much to Will (RBA) who let me have brilliant views through his scope - the best view I got actually!!! The song of this bird was spectacular to say the least!!!!!!!!! Extremely well organised aswell. From Norwich A47, take the A146 to Lowestoft and then turn off left on the B1136 to Haddiscoe and then basically follow the 'River Warbler' signs!!!


Lee Evans was there (of course!) along with Dave Holman, Dave Appleton, Dick Filby and of course Will, Ian (can't remember his surname now...), Connor, Mark R. and loads of others, not sure how many, but 200+ maybe. What a fantastic bird to see!!!!!!! Also thanks to Mark R. and Andy W. for concise instructions to site.

Also notice the finder's wife who has just joined BIRDFORUM has added some information to the River Warbler thread (rare birds) and that there will be access again tomorrow from 7pm.

Brian Small has some shots of the bird on:

Lee Evans reports that there was around 300 people there last night in all - see Lee's account on:

Exciting Moth News!!!!!!!!

A Micro Moth that has not been seen in North West Norfolk for over 100 years was trapped by Peter Tilley at Holme on the 23rd June.

Telechrysis Tripuncta

Google 'Telechrysis Tripuncta peter tilley' and the pictures will come up on the Norfolk Moths website.

Saturday 3 July 2010

Fulmar Survey

Justin Lansdell and Andy Wilkinson carried out a Fulmar survey last night at Hunstanton Cliffs and counted an astonishing 148 nesting pairs!!!!!

Titchwell RSPB, Holme and Cley

Titchwell RSPB - Apparently a single birder saw the Buff breasted Sandpiper at 5.15am and it's not been seen since. I arrived at 6.40am. Massive flock of Knot on the scrapes, little ringed plover, greenshank, several ruff, spotted redshanks, several linnets. No sign of the Camberwell Beauty! Now sitting having a cup of tea in the shade by centre.

Just come up on the pager: green sandpiper and a spoonbill on front of island mere hide - 10.35am.

Sat in the picnic area along with a few others in hope that the Camberwell Beauty appeared, but alas it didn't! Took some pictures of a Speckled Wood and an interesting fly.

Holme Marsh Reserve - only went as far as first hide, couldn't see anything, overgrown. Best thing was a Broad-bodied chaser sitting on a plant in the watery ditch to left of path just before the second kissing-gate. Whilst here the pager bleeped up with news of a Red-footed Falcon seen at 11.20-11.24 between North Creake and Burnham Thorpe.

Holme Reserves - had a NEW Ronaldo ice-cream recommended to me by Pat at NWT Holme 'Stem Ginger'..... this is now my favourite ice-cream, even more than the Gooseberry one!!!!! Incredibly hot today, too hot to do anything really. Dark green fritilaries had been seen in the dunes this afternoon along with a grasshopper warbler (heard). Walked up to Holme Bird Observatory to catch up with Sophie and Jed who I have not seen for AGES and they weren't there!!!! It was being manned by Rob and Anne Gordon who I sat and had a chat with (Rob was leader of the local West Norfolk RSPB group). Walked back to the Firs and bought 3 ice-creams for parents and me - another (yes another!) Stem ginger one! and wrapped in newspaper, flew along the road to my parents who were very pleased with the ice-creams!

Left Holme and cruised along the A149 in the Red footed Falcon direction! Passed a Jazz/Festival on the field by the cafe at Thornham! Bought a cheese scone at Deepdale Cafe and carried on, going through Burnham Market and then turned off to North Creake and then on to Burnham Thorpe. I decided to go on a little tour and drove down all sorts of narrow back roads I have never driven along before and ended up in Wighton - just after the Carpenters Arms (pub) there is a bridge going over an incredible clear stream/river which was quite fast flowing and to my delight saw 2 Banded Demoiselles!!! Not able to photograph them though. No sign of any RFF but a nice little jaunt along Norfolk's back roads. Ended up at Stiffkey and then on to Cley where I drove straight to the Beach Carpark and had a wonderful doze on the shingle on my blanket with pillow!!! After a cup of tea and cheese scone I parked at Old Woman's Lane and walked to Daukes Hide - on the way I got a cracking picture of a juv. Sedge Warbler sitting momentarily on the boardwalk! Reed buntings serenading me and bearded tits flitted about amongst the reeds. Tons of waders on the pools including a Wood Sandpiper at the very back of Pat's Pool, Ruff, avocets, redshanks, spotted redshanks, shelducks, etc etc. Bumped into Pete Snook who had been watching a Spoonbill from North Hide. Beautiful sunset and a much nicer temperature now!

Buff breasted Sandpiper! Friday 2nd July

Buff breasted Sandpiper this evening at Titchwell on the fresh marsh. Don't know who found it, but Andy Wilkinson sent me a text to say he saw it along with Justin Lansdell around 8.20pmish on Friday evening.