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Saturday 30 April 2011

Five Days off!!!

Five days off and the weather is looking good for the whole weekend!

Did not set the alarm this morning as very tired. Currently editing photos at 11am. Car packed up with camera and bins etc ready for any 'Rare' news! Off out this afternoon anyway, can't stay in all day even though I should be - lots of photos to sort.

Saturday late afternoon

Went to see if I could find the Wryneck but no luck. Ended up at Brancaster Staithe watching the sunset from the harbour. Bitterly cold winds.

Friday 29 April 2011

Royal Wedding Celebration at Work!


William & Catherine!!!

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge kiss on the balcony in Buckingham Palace after their wedding service

This picture linked from:

I was at work all day which is understandable really - patients still need care! I instigated and helped to organise a party - well more of a get together in the day room on the ward. I was given money to buy a few bits and pieces - I bought 40 blue, red and white balloons, 30 picture flags for every patient and some serviettes and someone else bought a massive flag which was the centre piece. Very luckily we have a very large TV screen! It was probably the best day at work since I have been there. Some of my rehabilitation team and I along with all the ward staff, worked very hard to get all the patients washed so that they could watch the Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton at 11am. We not only achieved this by all pulling together, we actually finished early, which also allowed most staff to watch most of the main ceremony. It was a wonderful get together in the day room and a much better atmosphere than if I had been at home on my own! The canteen provided special lunches today including 'Royal Pudding' which I just had to go and buy at lunchtime, after seeing the patient's enjoying them! A lovely day to remember.

Thanks to everyone who helped to make today special for the patients and staff.

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Citrine Wagtail photo added - more to come

Its taken me most of the evening just to go through and delete naff pictures off my camera. Just copied good ones onto Mac - sorted them into date files. Now I have to re-size etc for blog and now falling asleep. Just added one photo of the Citrine Wagtail - rest tomorrow.

Monday 25 April 2011

Kelling Water Meadows and Cley

Black headed Gull, Cley-next-Sea

I didn't set the alarm this morning, needed to catch up on sleep. Straight north wind blowing today, but plenty of sunshine. Planned to go to Kelling Water Meadows in hope that the Citrine Wagtail had relocated!!! A quiet day really, but nice spending some time with my sister Vivien before she jet sets off to Cornwall and the Scillies and she's not even a birder!

Kelling Water Meadows

Arrived here at 11.30am and met my first of several blog readers today - nice to meet you all and thank you for your support! Richard M. had also just arrived in the carpark and joined me in walking along the track to the water meadows, until he diverted off left to continue on to Salthouse. I was hoping he would find something good as we walked along! It was certainly a beautiful day and the water meadows looked beautiful. Sedge warblers, whitethroats and blackcaps were singing in the hedgerows along with a couple of long tailed tits. A couple of canada geese were on the marsh along with several rooks and six linnets sitting on fence wires. Loads of hirundines skimming over the pool including sand martins, house martins and swallows. A pair of mute swans, moorhen, black headed gulls and shoveler were on the pool. Found three lovely Yellow Wagtails briefly on the muddy edges at 12.40pm. Climbed up the shingle bank to do a seawatch and as I did so, I found a common lizard. Sat on the shingle bank between 12.50pm and 1.30pm which produced a continuous stream of Sandwich terns all going west - I counted 70 at least in the time I was there - 1 cormorant flew east. All the herring gulls were flying west and the black headed gulls east, I noted! It was pretty nippy sitting here in the north wind, but the sunshine compensated for the fresh winds!

Kelling Water Meadows from the main track. (iphone)

Kelling Water Meadows, the main track (iphone).


Had a phone call from my youngest sister Vivien to ask where I was - Vivien was sitting in a cafe at Burnham Market. She continued her coastliner bus journey to Cley and I met her in the visitor centre at 2pm where we had lunch. Bumped into Craig Jones, an awesome photographer, who I met at the Birdfair last year, see his website here. Also bumped into a very jet lagged John F. just back from his hols! I did explain to Vivien that she would be birding this afternoon and lent her my Nikon 'car bins'! I noticed in the sightings book in the visitor centre that gargeney had been seen from Daukes' Hide an hour ago, so this was our next stop!

The pair of Gargeney were snoozing on the bank next to the ditch at 3.15pm. They suddenly woke up and I managed to get quite a nice picture, although it would have been better had they been swimming directly in front of the hide! The male then sloped off and was hidden from my camera behind reeds and also was too far away for my 300mm lens. 2 Bearded Tits then suddenly appeared on the reeds dead opposite the hide! Amongst the usual avocets, redshanks, teal, mallard, shoveler, etc were a few very nice black-tailed godwits, 2 little ringed plovers and 2 Ruff. We also met in Dauks' Hide, the CITRINE WAGTAIL finder Alan Wooten - he looked very happy, but then so would all of us if we had just found a Citrine Wagtail!!! I congratulated him on his fantastic find. Vivien was getting cold (she had not dressed for a north wind!) and I knew she was getting a bit bored, so we left. Back at the car we bumped into John Miller who was then going to the hide to photograph the gargeney - see his stunning photos on birdforum. I should have stayed! We then went to Coastguards carpark to meet up with Pete S. and walk along the path towards North Hide. A redshank was the only bird on the Eye pool. A few meadows pipits and a single Wheatear on the fence wires in front of the pool. On the marsh, east of the pool were 29 Golden Plover which was a wonderful sight. Also here were a few oystercatchers and 5 pink footed geese amongst the greylags. Lots of sandwich terns going west overhead. I could see a massive frenzie of seabirds all diving for fish in the not too far distance. I walked up to the sea edge where they were and spent a long time photographing black headed gulls, herring gulls and sandwich terns. Pete said they were probably Sand Eels they were catching. It was beautiful here and lovely spending time with Vivien and my very good friend Pete. I was quite pleased with some of my sandwich tern shots! We did not walk as far as north hide. Walked back to the car and had tea (sandwiches!).

Pair of Gargeney, Daukes Hide, Cley NWT.

Beared Tit, Daukes Hide, Cley NWT.

Moorhen, Daukes Hide, Cley NWT.

Coot, Daukes Hide, Cley NWT.

Gadwall, Daukes Hide, Cley NWT.

Black-tailed Godwit, Daukes Hide, Cley NWT.

Sandwich Tern, Cley-next-Sea.

Sandwich Tern with Sand Eel, Cley-next-Sea.

Terns and Gulls feeding on Sand Eels, Cley-next-Sea.

Black headed Gull, Cley-next-Sea

Great Black Backed Gull, Cley-next-Sea.

Pete then went home and Vivien and I went for a quick look round Walsey Hills which only produced the usual chaffinches, Cettis' Warbler singing, chiffchaffs and whitethroats. I went back to Daukes' Hide whilst Vivien had a snooze in the car to see if the Gargeney were showing any better. They were not - in fact they were even further away up the dyke at 7.15pm! Usual crowd in the hide: Eddie M. and Andy J.! Got some nice pics of a Black tailed Godwit fairly close to the hide. The two little ringed plovers were still showing too in the evening sunshine. 200+ Sandwich Terns made their way west over Arnolds' Marsh just before I left the hide at 7.15pm.

Took Vivien back to the train station in King's Lynn and arrived home late - again!!!


My favourite bird!

A wonderful sunny Bee-eater photograph on Surfbirds gallery by Martin Scott.

Sunday 24 April 2011


Found by Alan Wooten

Lyle Hide, Welney WWT.

This shot won't win any prizes, but its better than last year's!

Only just home at 8.45pm. What a cracking day!!!

Welney WWT

Along the last section of road before the reserve visitor centre I saw a lovely Yellow Wagtail on the verge. Arrived at 7.50am, much later than I had anticipated! Beautiful sunny morning, but considerably colder than yesterday with a NE wind blowing! In fact it was freezing compared to yesterday. I have been smiling all day as I struck lucky several times. Anyway back to Welney - arrived at Lyle hide and watched pied wagtails on the hide roof, a wren, sedge warbler, reed warbler and also a common whitethroat collecting nesting material (see photo ). No one had seen the bluethroat yet.

Common Whitethroat, Welney WWT.

At 8.25am I saw the White-spotted Bluethroat emerge through the fence panel gaps to the right of Lyle Hide and then sit on the middle of the large hawthorn closest to the hide and sang its heart out - awesome! It then flew out and landed on the fence post, but sadly it was against the sun and was a complete silhouette on my camera. It then flew off down the path and landed in front of the tiny little hide half way down the path - I quickly realised this and got myself into the hide with camera to the ready. It appeared on some dead twigs and yes I did get a picture, but it won't win any prizes and a piece of vegetation is in front, going right across the white spot! BUT its better than last year's record shot! It then flew into the big willow tree and then flew off and wasn't seen any more as far as I know. It was nice to see Rob and Ann Gordon here also, they are a really nice couple and Rob used to be the leader (I think) of the local RSPB group in King's Lynn. I waited and waited to see if the bluethroat would return to get some awesome pictures, but my patient waiting was interrupted by news of a Citrine Wagtail at East Runton!!! I had intended on going to this end of the coast anyway later, honest!

Left Welney at 10.40am and arrived East Runton at about 12pm

East Runton

Between Cromer and East Runton in field with black highland cattle in, opposite Wyndham Holiday Park.

Jumped out of the car and saw the CITRINE WAGTAIL, an unbelievably stunning male at 12.10pm. This bird was just too awesome for words. Also in the field were yellow wagtails, pied wagtails, 2 Wheatears, greenfinches, starlings and linnets. Took tons of photos! The light was horrible though and it was freezing cold and misty. There were not that many birders there really, I think most of the local birders had been and gone. Connor and Billy turned up who luckily happened to be in the area on a 'family day out' - how lucky was that! It was nice to see Simon Chidwick there also (see his picture on Surfbirds) who's local patch this is and was gutted that he had not found it! A man who stays on one of the caravans opposite found it he told me. Update: finder of the bird was Alan Wooten. Met some birdforum members too and several other people I knew. Anyway, the bird disappeared at 1.30pm and was not seen for ages, along with all the yellow wagtails too. I kept phoning RBA with updates as I noticed, when I arrived no news had been put out for a while. People arrived, waited and left disappointed. I walked along the public footpath adjacent to the cattle field to the 'Common' to see if it was over there, but didn't find it. But what a fantastic little spot, I had long tailed tits, whitethroats and chiffchaffs and blackbirds. I ended up down a narrow little road with some wonderful houses and gardens including a seat positioned in a sawn off rowing boat (see pic)! - I was trying to be clever and find my way back to the main road a different way, but got a bit lost, so walked back the same way. Back at the main road, there were still no sign. A couple I know were just putting the scopes in the back of the car as was Pete Snook to leave when I was scanning the field again. I found a yellow wagtail, then a yard to the right there it was again at 3.17pm, much to the delight of lots of people now here and resulted in me being given three kisses from different people! Phoned RBA the same minute. The general public (mostly) were very interested in what us "Twitchers" were watching and I showed several people the pictures on my camera and also let two or three people look through my bins at the bird. At 4pm the Citrine Wagtail flew high east in the mist towards the sea, but reappeared on the grassy clifftop and back again to the cattle field. It then flew west and was not seen again until Carl Chapman picked it up again in the field opposite west of the holiday park right at the back near the cliff edge with yellow wags at 4.40pm. At 5.10pm it disappeared and was not seen any more to my knowledge. Bumped into John F. just back from his hols, but alas he was not in time to see the bird.

Just a few pictures!!!


Birders watching the Citrine Wagtail. Taken with iphone.

Found this when I went off the beaten track. Taken with iphone.

Pete Snook has kindly allowed me to post his video
of the Citrine Wagtail - Thanks Pete!

Beeston Bump

I didn't want to go home yet, so went for scan round Beeston Bump at 6pm. Cuckoo calling, loads of Common Whitethroats, goldfinches, hedgesparrows, blackbirds, two Wheatears and to my delight found a stunning Whinchat at 6.55pm sitting on a bush in the evening sunshine - only managed to get a distant record shot though, before it flew off and I could not refind it again. In the hollow dip with the sallow bush and elder bush etc in (local birders reading this will know where I mean) a rusty brown, thrush (ish) sized bird shot out of the brambly edge and into the bottom of the dip when I squeaked my audobon birdcall - goodness knows what that was?!!!!!! I then went round the bush twice more 'pishing' but what ever it is refused to show itself! A couple of common whitethroats were also around the cliff edge. Left Beeston Bump at 7.25pm. What a day!

View from Beeston Bump - taken with iphone.

Whinchat at Beeston Bump.

Wheatear at Beeston Bump.

Common Whitethroat, Beeston Bump.


CITRINE WAGTAIL at East Runton - stunning bird - still here now at 1.30pm

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday 23 April 2011

Titchwell RSPB, Choseley Barns & Burnham Norton

Arrived Titchwell RSPB at 8.10am. Sunny day, but much too hot for me. It must be a record today - the heat was intense, more like August than April!

In the carpark a pair of Bullfinches were preening in the top of a tree. Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps around the Meadow Trail but nothing else really of note. Along the main path 3 Greenfinches were in the sueda along with quite a few crisp looking Reed Buntings. At the end of the Saltwater Lagoon and Grasshopper Warbler was reeling along with a couple of Bearded Tits 'pinging' at 9.20am. On the marsh west of the main path just before the beach, 2 Yellow Wagtails and a Wheatear were flitting about in the sunshine. Bittern 'booming'. The heat was already unbearable. There was slight relief from the heat when standing on the seawatching platform. Seawatch 9.40am to 10.45am - 29 Sanderling on the shore west - could not see east as it was very hazy. Little Tern east at 10am. Sandwich Terns x 6 going east. A butterfly came in off the sea, but couldn't ID it! House Martin in off sea west at 10.25am. Gannets x 2 going east at 10.30am. On the sea: Cormorant x 2, Great Crested Grebes x 3, Eider x 16, 2 Red-necked Grebes very distantly at 10.37am. A Green hairstreak landed momentarily on a bright pink sandcastle bucket that was filled with water by the seat and then relocated to a man's shirt sleeve standing near me! He had to hold his arm still for several photos! I only had the 300mm lens attached and would like to have changed to the Macro Lens but that would have been a little bit cheeky I think! So made the best of it with the 300mm lens. Walked back to the carpark as quickly as I could, looking at few birds on route as I could not bear the heat! Back at the car (12pm) which I had deliberately parked in a shady spot, I had a wonderful long rest! Got my picnic rug out, had a wonderful salad lunch I had prepared yesterday and then had a lovely snooze in my shady spot. I must have looked a sight as I had covered my top half including my most of my head, with my Shemagh Desert Scarf - I had to do this as two collared doves were directly above me in the sycamore tree!!! My little corner held alot of insects including a bee fly, hoverflies of different types, a honey bee, several unusual flies which I wasn't able to ID, but best of all were some Large Red Damselflies which I managed to photograph with the Macro lens. It was so hot everywhere else that I stayed in my little spot for well over 2 hours! Strolled over the visitor centre and back to buy a Magnum ice-cream but changed my mind when I was told it was £1.70 and had a Chunky Choc ice instead for £1.20.

Female Reed Bunting, Titchwell RSPB.

Greylag Goose with young, Titchwell RSPB.

Green hairstreak, Titchwell RSPB.

Yacht, Titchwell RSPB.

Large Red Damselfly.

Hoverfly: Eristalis interruptus

Metallic Green Fly!!!

Red Campion.

Choseley Barns - news had come up earlier that 10 Dotterel had been found at Choseley. I didn't hurry as I knew they would be there all day. I managed to see them very distantly as they always seem to be with me. When you get to the drying barns from Titchwell, park up and walk along the western footpath opposite the barns and keep walking past the round bales and continue on until you can see them on your left in the bottom corner of a very large field. I had bought the camera with me - I don't know why really as they are hazy specks - I wasn't that desperate for hazy specks on my camera! A bright yellowhammer was on the wire by the barns when I got back to the car and also a marsh harrier flew off north behind the barns.

Went to the Monty's site - I spent a good hour here, but saw nothing apart from a chaffinch and a pied wagtail. On route to my next stop I got some lovely pictures of 2 grey legged partridge on a verge.

Pied Wagtail which was singing away whilst eating grubs.

Grey Partridge near Burnham Overy Staithe.

Burnham Norton carpark: 2 marsh harriers, mistle thrush on the marsh, starlings, pied wagtails, lots of swallows, chiffchaff singing in the big willow tree.

Back to Titchwell RSPB - From Parrinder Hide, 2 Little Ringed Plover and 1 Ringed Plover, 3 Spotted Redshanks, 1 Ruff, 1 Black tailed Godwit, Linnets, Wood Sandpiper at 8.05pm and half a dozen bright Yellow Wagtails along with several pied wagtails. A pair of Greylag Geese with their very fluffy, cute goslings ventured up the bank, right in front of me - it was lovely to watch these furry balls of delight as such close proximity. Much cooler now as I walked back to the car which was wonderful.

How cute is that!!!!!

Greylag Goose and Chicks.

Yellow Wagtails, Titchwell RSPB.

Ruff, Titchwell RSPB.