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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!


  1. Happy Birthday. Looks like some great gifts!

  2. Happy Birthday Penny, hope you have a lovely day

  3. Happy birthday, Penny. Have a good day.

  4. Happy Birthday. Enjoy the day off and the birding.

  5. Thank you ALL very much for my birthday wishes! Will post later about what birds I've seen and where I have been.

    Best Wishes Penny