Ring RARE BIRD ALERT with your sightings to: 01603 456789 or Hotline: 0207 0382820 or Text: 07520 634324
All Bird News & Megas via The Rare Bird Alert Website – Subscribe To RBA For Detailed News & Much More!

OVER ELEVEN MILLION VIEWS! If you would like to advertise here, please contact me at []

Sunday 27 March 2011

Titchwell RSPB

Just woke up at 10.45am - or old time 9.45pm!!! Feeling lots better today. High doses of Ibuprofen are making me tired though I think. Thank you to all who have kindly sent me messages. On a positive note at least it proved I haven't got any heart problems!!!

Had to cancel my bank shift yesterday for today obviously, which was really annoying because it was on my own ward which is obviously my favourite ward to work on. Will probably go into work tomorrow and ask to do 'light duties' rather than have any 'sick time' off.

The only reason I went to bed yesterday afternoon rather than snoozing on the sofa was because I can't bare being in the house on my own AND being lazy. I have loads of jobs to do around the house, but I knew I had to rest. Spending ANOTHER day in this house being lazy will be too much, so I may go somewhere local for a bit of fresh air to break up my day.

Note: Spoke to Andy W. on the phone this morning who told me that whilst Justin L. and he plus others were in Ireland on a twitch yesterday! Dave Holman found a White-billed Diver!!!!

Escaped from the house and as I drove along the road I felt tired and shakey and probably should not have gone out.

Went to Choseley Drying Barns where I watched Yellowhammers and Chaffinches feeding from my car. Was trying to photograph these when a couple turned up in a car, got out and came and stood in front of my car with their camera and wondered why every bird flew off!!!

Yellowhammer, Choseley Drying Barns.

Titchwell RSPB - sitting at the tables by the Feeding Station were Eddie Myers, John Furse and shortly after Julian Bhalerao and Duncan MacDonald. John ticked me off for being outside. Walked to the Fen Hide and chatted to Robin Abel on route. Watched distant views of the Jack Snipe from the hide, but no sign of the Gargeney. Red crested Pochard distantly. Saw my first sand martins from here.

Common Snipe - Fen Hide, Titchwell RSPB.

Jack Snipe - Fen Hide, Titchwell RSPB - can you see it?!!!

Pied Wagtail near Island Hide, Titchwell RSPB.

Red crested Pochard from Parrinder Hide, Titchwell RSPB.

Teal near Island Hide, Titchwell RSPB.

Aerial Photographs of Titchwell RSPB by Mike Page in Parrinder Hide.

Walked to Parrinder Hide where I watched a sparrowhawk zoom through. Several more Sandmartins. A pair of red crested pochard close to the path to hide. Pied wagtail. Back at Fen Hide saw 3 Sparrowhawks, several marsh harriers and 2 Muntjack deer walked along just below the hide window!!!

Saturday 26 March 2011

My Stint in A&E!!!

Well today was most definately different. I was really looking forward to finding some spring migrants, but sadly my day did not go to plan! I had packed sandwiches up last night and had full intentions of walking Blakeney Point today - good job I didn't get that far!

Last evening whilst sitting editing photos I had a horrible pain in my neck/throat area and every time I exhaled air the pain became unbearable, so much so I couldn't breathe properly. These pains extended to my chest and then things just got worse. Got into bed and realised I couldn't lay down, this made the pains even worse. Phoned NHS Direct who wanted to send a paramedic out to me asap, but I managed to persuade them that I would get a neighbour to take me - they emphasised that I needed to 'go now, like yesterday'. Being incredibly stubborn I had no intentions of waking any of my neighbours and chucked a hospital bag together in a few minutes and drove myself to the hospital. On walking into A&E I was in agony and got fast tracked straight away. Was given some medication which eventually helped with the pain, but seriously affected me - BP dropped very low, cold, clammy and felt faint and sick - this passed, but felt like a zombie for ages. I was given so much stuff I can't remember half of what I had now, cannula was placed in arm, injection in stomach (lovely), asprin, blood thinner med., blood test etc etc. I eventually saw a doctor after approx 2 hours. I was on a trolley that felt like a brick wall for 6 hours!!! Was also entertained/kept awake by a dementia patient shouting his head off the whole time! At 6am I got moved to the Medical Assessment Unit. Crashed onto my bed to snooze and few minutes later all the curtains were opened and full lights on - its morning - time for everyone to wake up!!! Saw a lady doctor who sent me for a chest x-ray and then the Consultant who at first was mystified by the fact that my chest x-ray was clear and my second blood test also showed no heart problems. After doing a full assessment of my movements and when my throat/chest were painful the consultant concluded that I had "Viral Costochondritis" which is basically a very painful chest infection. Initially I was told I would be staying in, but the consultant said I could go home today. They needed my bed for another patient - so had to sit in chair by nurse's desk whilst waiting the usual long wait for discharge letter and medication. Left the ward, walking my slowest ever walk to my car and drove myself home.

Have been sitting relaxing totally - most unlike me! Ate my 'Blakeney Point' sandwiches and snoozed on and off whilst watching the Squirrel attack the fat ball feeder! Pain alot better, but feel exhausted.

Went to bed mid afternoon and woke up at 8.30pm. Had another sandwich, shower and went back to bed.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Beach huts at Old Hunstanton destroyed in blaze - Crime - Eastern Daily Press

Beach huts at Old Hunstanton destroyed in blaze early this morning!

This is where I walked on the 12th March and watched four stonechats and is a favoured area of arriving wheatears.

News from the Norfolk Ornithologists' Association!!!

Had a bit of a shock when I opened my NOA News Bulletin this evening which informed me that Jed Andrews, Warden of Holme Bird Observatory 'will be leaving the Norfolk Ornithologists' Association this summer!!!!!!!

Sophie Barker will be appointed as Warden and the NOA will be seeking a new Assistant Warden.

Saturday 19 March 2011

Cley, Kelling, Sun and Supermoon!


Today was definately the most beautiful day of the year so far. Frosty start with blue skies and sunshine the whole day ending with the Supermoon which only occurs every 18 years!!!

Jobs in the morning.

Arrived at Walsey Hills NOA to join Pete S. and also bumped into John F. John was in full verse, as usual! Spent ages here photographing Lizards basking in the glorious sunshine, a very bright greenfinch sitting on a telegraph wire and Sand Wasps scurrying about. Cettis Warbler singing and usual hedge sparrows, long tailed tits.

Greenfinch, Walsey Hills NOA.

Common Lizard.


Common Lizard eying me up!

Common Lizards, Walsey Hills NOA.

Sleepy Dragon, Walsey Hills NOA.

Common Lizard, basking in the sunshine, Walsey Hills NOA.

Went to Kelling Water Meadows with John and Pete to find a Rustic Bunting. Beautiful light here, but no rustic bunting! On the pool there were several Mute Swans, Teal, Gadwall, Mallard, Shelduck. Egyptian Geese on the marsh and a coloured ringed Stonechat (red and a white ring) sitting on a large bramble near the sea wall. Pete and John left when we reached the sea wall as they wanted to watch Rugby! I stayed and took more pictures and meandered back to the car slowly. Saw a barn owl on the way back. Beautiful sunset this evening.

Celandine, Kelling Water Meadows.

Stonechat - Colour ringed, Kelling Quags NOA.

Mute Swans, Kelling Water Meadows.

Light Aircraft over Kelling.

Waves at Kelling.

Sunset, Kelling Water Meadows.

Followed the coast road back and stopped at Holkham in a farm gateway to take pictures of the incredibly orange and beautiful 'Supermoon'. I noticed there were other photographers doing exactly the same thing. Visited parents and went home.


Taken at 1/800 Shutter Priority, F4, ISO 3200, Tripod.

Taken at 1/800 Shutter Priority, F4, ISO 3200, Handheld.

Taken at 1/8000 Shutter Priority, F4, ISO 3200, Tripod.

Friday 18 March 2011

Nature Notes - Peter Clarke - Lifestyle - Lynn News

At last!!!!! I have asked a couple of times if my father's "Nature Notes" can be linked on the Lynn News Website and Editor Jon Buss and Sarah Lucas, Digital Co-ordinator/Leisure writer, very kindly have made this possible - thank you very much!

Although they have only added one of his three regular pictures to the web. There is also a photograph of an Adder and a Dune Tiger Beetle in the newspaper today. Just emailed Sarah to ask if the other two pictures can also be added to the article.

Nature Notes - Lifestyle - Lynn News

Nature Notes - Peter Clarke

Published in the Lynn News on Friday 18 March 2011.

I was told my paternal grandfather (who I never knew), used to practice taxidermy in order to augment his smallholding income. Thankfully, I never followed that lead.

However, my father had a small collection of wild birds’ eggs with which I became entranced. There was nothing for it but to follow that lead, but I was admonished never to take more than one egg from any nest.

Naturally I told my small friends about nests that I found. Sadly, the result was inevitable and the poor birds lost all their eggs. It was the beginning of the end of social intercourse and henceforth I kept my own counsel.

Further events added to my being a lone wolf. My father took me to my first football match. I found the noise, crowds and cold extremely unpleasant. I never went to another match! All school sport became abhorrent for me and this of course further established me as the “odd one out”.

A few years later I realised that being solo was essential when watching wildlife. I found that when visiting a nest concealed in vegetation no sign of my tracks could be left, otherwise predators would quickly plunder the nest. Every leaf and branch had to be left undisturbed. Fairly easy for one person to do, but very difficult if more.

My skills at nest finding were eventually put to scientific use when I joined the British Trust for Ornithology’s ringing scheme on the recommendation of the late Richard Richardson.

Between 1950 and 1958 I ringed nesting birds which included 191 nightingales, 88 young red-backed shrikes and 100 yellow wagtails. These numbers were never surpassed before or since. Subsequent reports of these ringed birds included a nightingale from South Portugal and a yellow wagtail found in France.

However, with burgeoning interest in natural history I found a few like-minded friends.

Two was usually the best number, occasionally three or four, but anything above that was a crowd and best avoided.

My first-hand experience of twitchers took place when I was warden at Holme Bird Observatory. With the arrival of a hoopoe one day twitchers came continuously to harass the bird from one of the dunes to the other. Such groups became the bane of reserve wardens. There was no respect for any opening hours or restricted areas. Their quarry was the rare bird and once seen, they were off to twitch any bird. Areas where these large groups stood became flattened. But thankfully the twitchers have responded well to restrictions and bad behaviour is now minimal.

I can appreciate the social intercourse that goes with this type of bird watching, but even now some reserves will rarely release news of any rare bird that might turn up, especially if nearby protected breeding birds are likely to be disturbed.

In March adders are likely to be seen emerging from their hibernation on local heaths and commons.

Go alone if you wish to see or photograph them at close range, but take care. Adders have a good sense of smell so approach their likely basking sunny spots by proceeding slowly into the prevailing wind. They are also acutely aware of any small vibrations underfoot, so tread softly!

Dragonflies are one of the sharpest-eyed (compound eyes) insects I have ever met and again best stalked slowly by one person. It will be late April or early May before the first ones are on the wing.

One summer’s day I went to one of the local sandy beaches in an attempt to find and photograph a dune tiger beetle. I was accompanied by my eldest sharp-eyed daughter. After much fruitless wandering around we suddenly saw one running across the shingly shore.

It is well known that this beetle is always reluctant to fly, but runs at great speed across the ground. it is one of the fastest runners in the insect world.

On this occasion four eyes were better than two and we slowly converged up to the resting beetle. Another problem ensued. It was rather a dull day and I was concerned that a flash shot would be difficult, so my hat was promptly taken by my assistant to cast a deeper shadow over the insect.


I remember that day very well and removing father's hat to assist with lighting!!!

Thursday 17 March 2011

Tory rebels launch new bid to sink King’s Lynn incinerator - Environment - Eastern Daily Press

Tory rebels launch new bid to sink King’s Lynn incinerator - Environment - Eastern Daily Press

Incineration Meeting and Demonstration, Town Hall, King's Lynn 6.30pm this evening

Just come back from incinerator demonstration and 'Special Council Meeting - Proposed Recommendation to Borough Council from the Leader, Councillor N Daubney.' ' In a recent poll nine out of every ten who voted, opposed the construction of a municipal mass burn incinerator at Saddlebow, King's Lynn.'

From the EDP link (see below) 'Introducing the four motions to the council, its leader Nick Daubney said he did not become a councillor to shove down people’s throats something they did not want and did not need. The four motions were all carried unanimously - apart from one abstention from the second.'

The two hour meeting in the town hall was packed out and the rest of us had to stand outside. The second video shows the demonstrators outside and also the group of people round the back of the town hall listening to outside speakers relaying the meeting from inside the town hall. Pity other people didn't make the effort to join us. If even half of the 65,516 people that voted against it had turned up, it would had been so much more powerful than the 500+ that turned up. A TV crew were there and EDP and Lynn News Photographers and of course the police. Well done to the people that did turn up!!!


EDP report on this evening's meeting/demonstration and picture gallery. Also audio clips of the speakers:
"We’ll fight to stop it, votes West Norfolk council"

Lynn News report on this evening's meeting/demonstration and picture gallery:
Huge turnout for council incinerator meeting"

Good coverage on Look East tonight:

Discussion on:!/pages/Say-NO-to-waste-incinerators-and-toxic-air-in-Kings-Lynn-and-West-Norfolk/177156085662811 also see for links/info for how you can help. There are links to emails for the Secretary of State, The Prime Minister etc. I have just emailed them both.

If they do plan to go ahead with it - we should all on mass stop paying our council tax - they won't send us ALL to prison!!! There is no way in a million years I am paying council tax if this goes ahead!

Keep watching and follow/demonstrate/vote/write:!/pages/Say-NO-to-waste-incinerators-and-toxic-air-in-Kings-Lynn-and-West-Norfolk/177156085662811


The following is from


Tuesday 22 March, 10.00am, County Hall, Martinue Lane, Norwich, NR1 2DH
Please come and support our representations to Norfolk County Council's Scrutiny panel who will examine the cabinet decision to ignore our vote. The Farmers Campaign are organising a coach to this event. Please visit their website for details:

to email all of them in one go, click here

I have just sent the following email to all of these 'Committee Members'


Dear Sirs/Madams

I was born in Norfolk and am proud of my county. I am extremely angry and saddened at the proposed incinerator in King's Lynn. I have never demonstrated or protested in my life until now and there are thousands of others that feel the same, which is why the vote against this incinerator was so high! Please listen to the people that live here, the people that work here, the people that make this county what it is. Listen to what we want, not what you want.

Please read my latest entry, pictures and videos etc on the proposed incinerator at King's Lynn.

It was not wanted in Great Yarmouth.

It was not wanted in Norwich.

It is NOT wanted in King's Lynn either!


Just in case you have not looked into this properly, this incinerator costs a FORTUNE to run and who will foot the bill for the massive maintenance and checks etc?
See my post on my blog of 11 February where an American gentleman commented and said the following:
"Let me fill you in on our experience with a waste incinerator.......... The cost of natural gas made it too expensive to operate. Also, it was such a complex piece of equipment, the county lacked the expertise to run and maintain it properly. They finally just shut it down and the site is now used only as a transfer facility for hauling trash away. It was a huge waste of money and a lesson learned the hard way."


A councillor of King's Lynn District Council said this evening at the Town Hall in King's Lynn - we don't recycle enough and he is now involved with talks with waste and recycling contractors to improve the amount of things we can recycle - better late than never I suppose! We could actually recycle everything - have you looked into this yourselves? The cost of total recycling will be far less long term than a costly incinerator which will cost US, YOU and the NHS when treating people's illness's a fortune.


Dioxins ARE harmful to our health, which this incinerator WILL produce. Never mind the '300 jobs' its going to create - the incinerator will kill off far more people than you will be employing - you may laugh at this statement, but long term it will. People will be dying slowly of Cancer - think about that. This will be the biggest financial/health mistake ever made in this county and YOU as a council will be held responsible. Besides the obvious cancerous fumes pouring into the atmosphere from the incinerator, what about the added exhaust fumes from all the lorries transporting waste to the site - have you thought about that? Lots of local doctors are strongly against this going ahead and were happy to have their names in print in the Lynn News as I am sure you are aware.


As a naturalist I am also extremely concerned about the implications for wildlife in Norfolk - for those of you there are unaware, Norfolk is the most important/popular county for birds/visiting birders etc. People come to stay here from all over the country and also other countries for our rich wildlife - how will this be affected? Tourism also will be massively affected - what family in their right mind will want to holiday in West Norfolk with an incinerator billowing our poisonous fumes!!!!!!!!! House prices will drop. This area will become a very unpopular, unhealthy area to live. The list goes on and on...........


People here are angry - why should you decided our fate? I don't expect any of you live here do you, so its easy for you to agree for it to go ahead here.

People are so angry that there is also a planned MASS of people not paying their council tax this year if it goes ahead - we can't all go to prison!




Penny Clarke

Wednesday 16 March 2011


IMPORTANT: Please come to King's Lynn Town Hall this Thursday, 17 March at 6.30pm.

A special Borough Council meeting has been arranged to discuss the results of the incinerator referendum.

This meeting is open to the public and is being held in The Assembly Room, Town Hall, Saturday Market Place, King's Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 5DQ.

Whether you want to attend the meeting or just turn-up outside, please come as we want as many people as possible to show OUR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS WILL NOT BE IGNORED.

See my previous post:

Warning - Bogus Tax Emails!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I never fall for bogus emails but I nearly fell for this!!!!!!!!!!

OK so maybe I was being blonde - but when you are very tired it is easy to think for just a minute that someone is actually being honest!!!

Got home from work extremely tired after early shift. Looked at emails and got very excited when HM Revenue & Customs told me that I was going to receive a tax refund of £468.50. In the email was a link to click which bank you were with and a section to fill in your banking details etc to receive payment directly. I genuinely believed this for a moment and then my sensible head took over - surely tax office would write to you/send a cheque (trying to remember the last time this happened genuinely). Also the wording in the email is not well written/bad grammar etc and 'Best Regards' at the end somehow didn't add up!!!!!!! So I spent 17 minutes in a queue phoning HM Revenue and Customs who told me that this email was indeed a Bogus email!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOW at this point I really want to type lots of swear words.......but all I will say is there are some horrible, nasty, sad people out there. Also in the email was a proper HM and Customs Logo aswell - it WILL catch some people out sadly!


This is a copy of the email that was sent:

"Tax Refund Notification
From: HM Revenue & Customs
Subject: Tax Refund Notification
Date: 16 March 2011 00:27:32 GMT

After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity, we have determined that you
are eligible to receive a tax refund of 468.50 GBP. Please submit the tax refund
request and click here by having your tax refund send to your bank account in due time

Please Click Here to have your tax refund to your bank account, your tax refund will be sent
to your bank account in due time take your time to go through the bank we have on our list
Note : A refund can be delayed a variety of reasons, for example submitting invalid
records or applying after deadline.

Best Regards

HM Revenue & Customs"

Japan tsunami: Thousands of seabirds killed near Hawaii

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Black Rabbit at work!

How cute is that!!!!!
No carrot today bunny - but stick around tomorrow!

One of the girls at work this morning noticed there was a large black rabbit happily nibbling away at the grass just below our window! This of course created lots of ooohhh's and arhhh's from the rest of the team! Spent my lunchtime stalking the rabbit for a picture on my iphone and as you can see I got quite close! I think I can safely say this rabbit was not wild! I'm bringing a carrot to work tomorrow to see HOW tame it is!

Our team were in the Lynn News today!

First recorded Swallow back today at Barton Broad, Norfolk.

Sunday 13 March 2011

Japan earthquake: Footage of moment tsunami hit

Just watched this on the 10 o'clock news.

This is just beyond anything you could possibly imagine.

Heartbreaking behind belief.
Just heard my first Chiffchaff early morning on my way to work!

It was a wonderful start to a long day at work.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday 12 March 2011

Holme Birding

One of four Stonechats at Holme.

A beautiful, sunny walk around Holme this afternoon.

I was not able to go out in the morning, because I was too shocked and upset by the catastrophic events of the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami.

Walked from the main beach gap at Holme up to the beach huts at Old Hunstanton in search of my first Wheatear but alas no luck. But did have wonderful views of four Stonechats. Also one Green Woodpecker calling and lots of Skylarks serenading me - it was like a summer's day!

Skylark, Holme.

Walked round the NWT Forestry and found nothing but Sheep!

Holme Bird Observatory produced a massive flock of Fieldfares that erupted from the pine trees and a Tawny Owl was calling. Lots of Tufted Ducks on the Broadwater along with 4 Avocets and a Grey Heron. Pinkfeet, Greylags and Canada Geese on the marsh and also a Marsh Harrier. No sign of the Ross's Goose. A large flock of goldfinches flew in off the sea.

Crocuses, Holme-next-Sea.

Sheep grazing at Holme NWT Forestry.

I noticed on the RBA website that there had been two Wheatears at Cley and also one at Titchwell today. Also a Grey Grey Shrike south of East Barsham and a Chiffchaff at Friary Hills.