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Monday 31 January 2011

King's Lynn and District Camera Club

I joined the King's Lynn and District Camera Club this evening. who meet weekly. This evening's event was a Slide Presentation Evening. Slides from several members were shown, some of them dating back as many as 30/40 years ago. It was fascinating looking at some of these slides and everyone seemed very friendly with lots of banter going on! An interval of tea or coffee also included cake! - oh dear!

I also booked on to a photography course as well.
DIET — Week Four - Gained 2 lbs.
Total loss = 4.5lbs.

Note to self:
Having a birthday with an indian meal, cakes and a box of chocolates is not included in my diet!!! Try very hard this week Penelope!!!
Behind with adding pictures to my posts - again!!! Sorry! They will be added soon!

Desperately busy this coming week. No SOAP watching - in fact no TV at all this week!

Saturday 29 January 2011

Joining a local camera club next week!

Cley, Walsey Hills and Thornham

The Northern Harrier again at dusk, Thornham.

For someone reason, I just don't want to get out of bed at the moment. I am in a can't be bothered with anything mood. I feel like hibernating until spring.

Arrived at Cley Visitor Centre for my lunch! Jacket Potato with Cheese and a salad and a cup of tea, whilst dreamily gazing out of the windows over to Pats Pool. Had a look round Walsey Hills and saw nothing apart from a few long tailed tits. Parked the car at East Bank carpark and was about to set off to see the American Wigeon when I realised my ED50 Scope had broken - the footplate bit had somehow lost the inside thread section and I could not fix it on to the plate which attaches it to the tripod! So off I go to Cley Spy who are kindly sending it off to Nikon for a quote to replace the footplate - more expense!! Hopefully though it will be done under warranty as its still under 10 years old and apparently a known fault with some of the earlier ED50s. I also enquired about any new light weight scopes that would be suitable for me - I fell in love - with a Swarovski 65 HD with 25-50 zoom £1775.00!!!! It was amazingly light and felt like it should be mine!..... dreaming again.

Getting late in the day now - left here and cruised along the coast road. Thousands of pinkfeet flew over the A149 at Holkham as I drove along. Several grey partridges in the field by the track down to Gun Hill.

Arrived at Thornham Coal Barn and at last had some more, fairly good but distant views of the Northern Harrier. I watched the harrier until 4.30pm when it disappeared from view. Got some more naff shots. A barn owl also over the reed bed and redshanks were feeding in the creek.

Moody Skies.

Friday 28 January 2011

Mick Ramsay - R.I.P.

Mick Ramsay has sadly passed away on 24th January aged 89.

Mick was my school teacher at Holme-next-Sea Primary School. So many fond memories of my primary school. Mrs June Storey was the 'Little teacher' and Mr Ramsay was the 'Big teacher' as they were known by us little children! I could write a book on my primary school alone! Part of the school curriculum was "Nature Walks" which Mick would take us children on. I can remember like it was yesterday, walking along in single file beside the stone wall, past the church adjacent to the school to 'Marsh Lane' (where Holme Marsh Reserve is) and learning about nature with Mick. I also remember a boy (can't rember his name now) who didn't listen to Mick's warnings about not walking ahead because of Mr Sheldrake's donkeys who were not always the friendliest of animals!

I fondly remember Mick saying to me re: me and maths..... 'Penny there's no such word as can't'.

Mick was also chairman of the Norfolk Ornithologists' Association (N.O.A) for many years and also contributed regularly to the sea-watching counts at Hunstanton Cliffs.

See Mr Ramsay, Head Teacher at Holme Primary School (far left in picture) with me standing on the back row, centre - wearing a green poncho! and hair in bunches! Mrs Storey, far right.!/photo.php?fbid=1072371686355&set=t.1382479134

Titchwell RSPB

Sunset from the Parrinder Hide, Titchwell RSPB.

I was soooo lazy today. I put off going out because it was so cold and I am fed up with the freezing conditions - the novelty has worn off! From my kitchen I watched a goldcrest flitting about amongst the neighbours Leylandi trees. The Squirrel has discovered the ground bird table and can annoyingly get inside the cage easily!!! Wish I had bought the small holed cage now!

Coot in the afternoon sunshine at Titchwell.

I did not go out until the afternoon. When I did finally arrive at Titchwell all I did was sit in the new Parrinder Hide in the sunshine and take sunset pictures! Two ruff were amongst other waders in the right section of the hide, nothing else of particular note. Phoned the visitor centre about a loose dog that was sitting outside the hide door grumbling at people as they dared to pass him - why do people not read "No dogs allowed" along the path to the hide either on or off leads!!! The owners of the dog came out of the hide. I politely pointed out that no dogs were allowed in this area and they were fine about it, but continued walking along the main path with no lead on the dog.

I did something really weird earlier - when I arrived in the car park I walked to the visitor centre, had a look at the sightings book and stepped outside - went to grab bins to look at what was on the feeders and realised I had no bins - I had left them in the car!!!!!!! I have never done that before - must be old age setting in! Visited parents, went home.

Free Garden Bird Guide and Bird song CD

Thursday 27 January 2011

My Birthday Today!!!

Well another year has gone by!

An old friend of mine once said 'the older you get, the quicker time goes' - how true is that!

Just opened my presents and cards!

My mother found in a shop for my birthday:
The Audubon Society's Master Guide to Birding
3 Volume Set
1 Loons to Sandpipers
2 Gulls to Dippers
3 Old World Warblers to Sparrows By John Farrand

Had some very kind cards, tokens and cash presents from parents and sisters. Thank you all very much. Also thank you to friends for lovely cards sent and flowers and chocs (oh dear!).

I didn't set the alarm this morning which resulted in me getting up late, but wasn't too bothered when I peeked out of the window to a dull and uninspiring day.

The day started with three Crumpets with apricot jam!

The long term weather forecast was for sun all day, but sadly the sun did not come out at all and with east winds, it was a freezing cold day. I delayed going out until lunch time. I was determined to stick to my diet for at least part of the day so took flask and one sandwich with me.

Sculthorpe Moore Visitor Centre.


I decided to visit Sculthorpe Moore Nature Reserve. I had only visited this reserve once, when they first opened, several years ago. I had not been since they had built the Visitor Centre. As I pulled into the carpark it all looked very impressive. An array of plants were set out in front of the wooden building and walking inside it was beautifully laid out with display boards, live wildlife cameras on four different locations around the reserve including the tawny owl box and 2 bird tables! A hot drinks machine was in place, but no food apart from a few snack bars. Toilets including a disabled one. The staff were welcoming and very helpful. The fee was £3.00, but I decided to join the reserve for £20 p.a.

Camera shy Golden Pheasant.

I set off along the board walk which meanders through wet woodland. I watched a glorious Golden Pheasant who enjoyed posing, but only behind loads of branches and twigs! Continuing along the board walk I walked past the Frank Jarvis Hide (not too much here) and continued on to the elevated Whitley (Fen) Hide which was alive with birds. I sat here for ages watching the biggest number of birds at a bird table I have ever seen! There were two birds tables either side of a pool in front of the hide, backed by a large reed bed. The right hand bird table held the following: reed bunting, chaffinches (loads), male and female Brambling, greenfinches, goldfinches, hedge sparrows, robins, blackbirds, blue tits, great tits, coal tits, marsh tits, female Sisken, 2 Bullfinches feeding on the ground!!! and something I had never seen before - a party of at least 20 Long Tailed Tits descended on the bird table in a feeding frenzie - they were jostling for space and it was a joy to watch (see picture and video). I noted that someone had seen Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in the sightings book and also the information leaflet also lists both great and lesser S.W. Ate my sandwich and thankfully had bought my coffee with me. I was now seriously cold, not the weather for sitting in hides. Continued along the board walk to the Paul Johnson Scrape Hide where I saw nothing at all! All along the board walks were wooden seats dedicated to someone in memory. It is a very well laid out reserve with viewing points along the way. Various nest boxes were also dotted about. I am really looking forward to visiting this reserve in the spring and summer time!





A frenzie of Long tailed Tits.

See their website:

The reserve opens at:
8am to 4pm – Oct-March
8am-6pm Tues-Wed and 8am-Dusk Thurs-Sun – April-Sept
Closed every Monday throughout the year
. No dogs allowed!

Left the reserve a 4pm and drove to the coast road via Burnham Market and popped into my parents very briefly before going back to King's Lynn.

Spent a lovely evening having dinner with friends.
An amazing indian meal was cooked - my favourite food! Diet now completely gone to pot!

Wednesday 26 January 2011

The Kakapo Parrot captured on camera!

One of 124 left in the wild, captured on camera:
I am so excited!!!!!

I have booked two days off work, tomorrow and Friday to go birding etc - well tomorrow anyway, Friday intend to sort out some photographic jobs which are way overdue! Saturday birding and Sunday at work all day.

I have just noticed the Punks have included me in one of their whacky songs/poetry, whatever you want to call it! All I can say is - its a good job I have a sense of humour!!! It was bugging me for ages last night, trying to work out who the 'boyfriends tart problem' was. First thoughts were, I havn't got a boyfriend, what they hell are they going on about? Discussing this with someone else, I realised who they were referring to and where they had got it from! I wrote something on my blog last year in relation to this. Just goes to show, you need to be very very careful what you waffle on about, on a public blog!!! I presume my 'blocker' they refer to is the IVORY GULL! Its all highly amusing, but I do think whichever punk wrote it, needs to book an appointment asap with a psych.!!! (smiley face)

Its called:

An incinerator for Norfolk - the case for and against - Environment - Eastern Daily Press


Besides the obvious pollution and health risks, house prices will drop like a stone if this goes ahead! I better sell up now I think!

An incinerator for Norfolk - the case for and against - Environment - Eastern Daily Press

Big turnout for first incinerator display - Environment - Lynn News

Global Bee Emergency - Sign Now!!!

Bees are dying off worldwide and our entire food chain is in peril. Scientists blame toxic pesticides. I've just signed a petition urging the EU and US to ban these deadly chemicals. Check out the link below and sign up:

Head Gamekeeper charged at Holkham!!!

"The head gamekeeper at Holkham Estate, Norfolk, has been charged with a series of wildlife crime and firearms offences following a police investigation."

Also see the Eastern Daily Press:
Country estate head gamekeeper charged - News - Eastern Daily Press

Monday 24 January 2011


Highlighted by Jane Turner on facebook
DIET — Week Three - Lost 1.5 lbs.
Total loss = 6.5lbs.

Note to self:
Slight improvement from last week!
Sunday was completely wiped out. I was working on my Osteoporosis Presentation all day. My sister Vivien popped in to give me my birthday present and very sweetly bought me a bunch of flowers - loveleeeeeee! I then continued working on my presentation through Sunday night. Presentation was done today at 12pm and feel completely zombified. I having been praying for the end of the day.

Pictures to be added to Saturday tomorrow.

Heard some sad news today - will explain later in week.

I am now going to sleep.

Saturday 22 January 2011

Waxwings and Northern Harrier again at last!

I got up really early this morning, but didn't venture out straight away as it was still virtually dark at 8.30am and very dismal, rainy weather. Had to deliver a birthday card to someone in Snettisham so instead of going along the Dersingham Bypass, I followed the road through Snettisham until I got to Sedgeford and turned left up the Ringstead road after passing the King William pub. A few hundred yards along the road a young lad had a shotgun in his hand. I parked the car a bit further up the road and watched. A man then also appeared with a shotgun and both of them were shooting everything in sight including a hare, pheasant and other birds, but couldn't see what they were. I was worried that A. was the young lad old enough to be shooting and B. were they allowed to shoot next to a road? I phoned the local police station and sadly the answer was yes to both - as long as the lad was using a gun from a licensed gun holder and with his permission, he could and they were allowed to shoot next to the road, as long as their backs are to the road and they do not shoot over it. It was a distressing start to my day. I carried on. At Ringstead village, the high street was closed! So had to divert along back roads and came out at Thornham, turned right and parked at Titchwell RSPB.

Update - 26/01. Alan H. who reads my blog, kindly emailed me with a link to the following:

Muntjac Deer, feeding alongside main bank at Titchwell RSPB.

Titchwell RSPB

Siskins, housesparrows and a Muntjac deer adjacent to the main path in the felled trees area, just behind the feeders. At 9.30am the sun started to shine, magic! Tons of golden plover with usual waders. A couple of pairs of Golden Eye - spent a while watching these in the now full sunshine. A Great Crested Grebe in the pool on the left, going along main path. A Stonechat was pointed out to me distantly sitting on a bramble bush.

Chaffinch, main bank, Titchwell.

Blackbird, Titchwell.

Great Crested Grebe, Titchwell.

Golden Plover, Titchwell RSPB.

Golden Eye, Titchwell RSPB.

I decided to walk to Thornham Point for a change and got some cracking pictures of a Turnstone and a Sanderling who were amusingly fighting over a mussel that the turnstone had found - the Sanderling ran round the turnstone like a clockwork mouse in a bid to get at the prized mussel, but after several attempts gave up! 2 Eider on the sea and lots of Common Scoters. A nice flock of 15 Snowbuntings were feeding along the tide line, but much too skittish to photograph, not like the Salthouse ones! As I walked around the far corner of Thornham Point, I was thinking how nice it would be to see the Northern Harrier - I could see several birders at Thornham boat house and close by looking out for it. Looked at my ipone at RBA website to see the THE harrier was being watched in the field east of the main path at Titchwell, plus 'showing well' - typical, wrong end again!!! Walked all round the look out tower and bushes and found nothing. Lots of brent geese on the marshes though and a flock of teal in the channel. A helicopter came over and put every bird up!

Turnstone having just found a mussel, scurries over to a suitable spot to enjoy his feast.

Sanderling eyeing up the mussel!

Turnstone - still holding on to his mussel!



Turnstone, having finished his mussel.

Shells on Titchwell beach.

Razor Shells at Thornham Point.

Walked back along the main path and bumped into Connor and Billy. Walked into Parrinder Hide and sat in the far right hand section of hide to look for Water Pipit again. It was wonderfully sunny and warm here and I so wished I had some food with my flask of coffee, but sadly diets don't allow jam sandwiches mid morning any more! (sad face) I didn't see any water pipits, but it was a nice rest in the sunshine. Then guess what happened - left hide and with Connor, Billy and other birders watched the Northern Harrier distantly right over Thornham Point - bl**dy bird - I had only been there less than an hour ago! 1.30pm - we watched it hunting and it ended up, near the main road where the field is with the Whoopers in.

It was now 2.30pm - my tin of soup and 200g of potatoes which I was going to cook at mother's wasn't going to happen now, so had no choice but to have lunch at 'The Feeding Station' - jacket potato with salad and cheese. Left Titchwell and had a brief cruise around Thornham and Green Lane and around the back of the Lifeboat Inn in case the Northern Harrier appeared. Searched for the 5 Waxwings at Holme by Beach Road which were seen earlier today and by my mother both this morning and yesterday. After much searching I did find them, but it was very bad light, so sadly rubbish photos, but a wonderful end to the day - I was still watching them at 4.30pm as the sun was setting.

Record shot of one of the five waxwings at Holme.

Visited my parents. Looked at father's pictures he swore blind he had not taken with the new digital compact camera - he most definately had! Collected my birthday presents, which I am quite excited about as mother (who finds it impossible not to tell you what she has bought) has found some rare second hand bird books for me I think!

Wednesday 19 January 2011

Monday 17 January 2011

DIET — Week Two - Lost 1lbs.
Total loss = 5lbs.
Note to self:
Need to try harder this week!

Sunday 16 January 2011

Three Hours Birding at Holme!

Common Buzzard, Holme Marsh Reserve.

Holme Marsh Reserve — 8am-11am

Sunny morning, although still windy.

Holme Marsh Reserve - NWT Firs house on far right.

Had a very pleasant three hours birding from the first and second hide, sheltering from the wind and with a nice flask of tea - no food goodies though! Couldn't go too far as had a straight 8 hour shift from 1pm until 9pm.

Common Buzzard, Holme Marsh Reserve.

Awesome views of a Common Buzzard flying through, which scattered every bird in sight. Three Marsh Harriers, Sparrowhawk zoomed past, again putting up all the birds. Good number of Curlews and Coots on the marsh, Green Woodpecker close to the hide, but sadly behind grassy tufts (see photo), Tufted Ducks, Teal, Mallard, Gadwall and a Little Grebe on the pool. Several flocks of starlings going through. Skeins of pink footed geese and also Brents flying over. A lovely surprise of several Bullfinches, a single Greenfinch, long tailed tits and great tits, along the public footpath adjacent to where you park for the reserve.

Curlew, Holme Marsh Reserve.

Green Woodpecker, Holme Marsh Reserve.

Left here and went to look for the Bean Goose that was on the RBA website (via iphone), but when I got to the minor road and saw all the pink foots, I realised I simply had not got time to scan them all.

Pink footed Geese, Holme next Sea.

Highland Cattle, Marsh Lane, Holme next Sea.

Picked up a birthday card at Old Hunstanton shop for a dear family friend - Malcolm White (wife, Eileen) and hand delivered it to their house on route back to King's Lynn. Happy Birthday Malcolm! Malcolm and Eileen have known me since I was knee high to a grasshopper! They regularly came down the observatory at Holme on Saturdays in the 'ol days!' and Malcolm always had a selection of cameras slung round his neck. My father always looked forward to Malcolm visiting and they would be talking cameras and stuff for ages! Malcolm also revelled in winding me up AND still does!!!

Got back home just in time to prepare lunch, which I had to eat in 5 minutes before going to work!

Note to self: A. Must buy a lottery ticket or B. Find a rich man!

Reed Mace, Holme Marsh Reserve.

Saturday 15 January 2011

Snowbuntings at Salthouse

Could not leave early as had to go into town for something - excuses, excuses!!!

Spent the day with my youngest sister Vivien who I picked up from Hunstanton. Also bumped into father in the high street, gave him a lift home along with some shopping I had got for them and then Vivien and I continued along the coast for a cruise.

Thornham - dipped on the Northern Harrier again - but to be fair, I didn't really get there early enough anyway. Bumped into Irene Boston as I was leaving who had re-found the Iceland Gull, but it had now disappeared towards Holme. It was seriously windy today, so much so that it was difficult to walk at times! 3 Marsh Harriers distantly by Jameson's Wood, Holme.

Choseley Barns - nowt! Not a single bird was seen here!

Burnham Overy Staithe - sat here in the car and had our lunch - few turnstones, redshank, a grey plover and herring gulls.

A single Barnacle Goose amongst Pinkfeet west of Lady Anne's Drive, Holkham.

Barnacle Goose, amongst White fronted Geese and Pinkfoots, Holkham.

Cley - walked along the East Bank to dip on both the American Wigeon and the Shorelarks!

Salthouse Beach carpark - sat in the car yards from a huge flock of beautiful Snowbuntings, but the light was so naff, I didn't get a single sharp photograph. It also didn't help the fact that dog owners continuously turned up and flushed the flock several times.

Snowbuntings in evening light, Salthouse Beach Carpark.

Drove home via Holt, shared a bag of chips on the way back (yes I know I am dieting!) and dropped Vivien at the train station to go back to Ely.

Not one of the most exciting days I have had - but then it was probably more exciting than spending hours in a car and then standing at a rubbish tip all day, looking for a Slaty-backed Gull!!! Seriously though, feel sorry for all the people that went for it - around a thousand did so, so Andy W. told me.

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Diversity: Dance Fitness Fusion (2010): DVD:

Diversity: Dance Fitness Fusion (2010): DVD:


Bought this today from Tescos.
Keep Fit Video and learn Diversity's Dance Moves.

Diversity are best known for winning Britain's Got Talent,
famously beating Susan Boyle in the live final.


Saturday 8 January 2011

Outstanding organic farm wins Norfolk’s top conservation award - Farming news - Eastern Daily Press

Outstanding organic farm wins Norfolk’s top conservation award - Farming news - Eastern Daily Press

An exciting day at Titchwell!

Afternoon sun from the new Parrinder Hide, Titchwell RSPB.

As I woke up early to the alarm, I peeped out of the curtains to dark, cloudy skies and pouring rain, so I carried on sleeping!

I was on my way to Cley. I have not been to Cley for ages. But a text from M.G. saying he was having 'Cracking Views of the Marsh Hawk' enticed me to divert at the Knight's Hill Roundabout to Thornham. Of course when I reached Staithe Lane in Thornham the Northern Harrier was of course gone!!! I should have known better really than to chase after this bird again!

Relocated to Titchwell RSPB. Although the frost and snow has now gone, it was still bitterly cold with a strong biting wind. Bumped into loads of familiar faces today including Dave and Jackie Bridges, Mike and Jackie, Eddie Myers, Steve Beal, Robin Abel, Mark G. and friends, Ray Kimber and also several 'blog' readers.

Water Pipit, from the new Parrinder Hide, Titchwell RSPB.

As I walked along the main path I realised I had under dressed and wished I had put my new hat on, but only had my hoody to pull over my hair! Another birder very kindly showed me the female Scaup which was right at the back of the scrape with a couple of Goldeneye. The sun had now come out and everything looked beautiful. All the ice has now disappeared and waders and duck were once again feeding on the pools. Had a wonderful time sitting in the new Parrinder Hide in the right hand section watching and photographing a Water Pipit feeding right along the edge, close to the hide in brilliant sunshine. Linnets were also feeding along the muddy bank and pintail and teal were in small reedy area. A birder and two children came into the hide and the two children who looked around 4 or 5 years old where having a whale of a time spinning round on the new seats! I moved into the other section of the hide to watch loads of Twite and Skylarks feeding on the muddy islands along with teal, wigeon, lapwing, golden plover etc. Phone call from M.G. to say he had just had an Iceland Gull flying along the beach and it was heading east towards the reserve - naturally I didn't see this either! Left the hide and further along the main path I watched and photographed a Herring Gull catching and eating a crab. When I got out to the end of the path the wind cut through you even more on the beach and I admit I was too cold to stand here very long - couldn't be bothered to get the scope out of the rucksack and I was starving hungry. Walked back along the main path and had lunch (note no dessert!) in the 'Feeding Station' which was wonderfully warm - I could have fallen asleep in here!

Dunlin, from the new Parrinder Hide.

Herring Gull with mid afternoon snack!

Little Grebe just surfaced with weed!

Left Titchwell and went to the quay at Brancaster Staithe in hope of seeing the Iceland Gull that was seen earlier, but no luck. Watched loads of turnstones, oystercatchers, black headed gulls and Brents feeding. Herring gulls were picking up mussels and dropping them to crack the shells.

Black headed Gull, Brancaster Staithe.

Herring Gull and Turnstone, Brancaster Staithe.

At a site east of Brancaster I saw a Marsh Harrier sitting on a tree, several Woodcocks flying over, a heron, a good number of Gadwall and watched two Bitterns coming into roost in the semi dusk.

Bittern coming into roost.