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Thursday 30 June 2011


Well I am chuffed!!! Thanks to all who take the time to read my scribblings!!!

Roll on the weekend!!!

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Cracking Thunderstorm!

All afternoon at work we could hear thunder, lightening and rain!!!

Working on photos right now!

Monday 27 June 2011

A New ME!!!! Plus Snippets!!!!!

For the one hundredth time I am dieting again. Enough is enough, I want to wear summer dresses and heels again (not for birding obviously!) - well I might! Have not had any chocolate, cakes, junk food since last week and I AM sticking to it this time.

Got the Hyundai serviced today and they found nothing else wrong - good news!

• Hottest day for five years!!!! "Temperatures rose up to 36c in parts of East Anglia today"

Now have 97 blog followers!!!! Thanks everyone! Only another 56 to go to match LGRE!!!!!!

I am now getting so many emails etc through my blog, I need a PA!!! I will respond to all of them soon - promise!

Re: 'Continental' Black tailed Godwits - whenever I see this message on RBA its usually from M.G. - quite simply because he is one of the few elite Norfolk birders that knows how to ID these correctly. I myself have no idea at all whatsover and nor do many others. Maybe one day I will though!

Sunday 26 June 2011

"Hot" Birding all round!!!!!

Starling, Cley next Sea.

Arrived at Cley at 5.45am to a beautiful morning, but sadly no sign or sound of THE Golden Oriole that some people have been incredibly lucky enough to see recently. Drove around Wiveton to look for suitable oriole spots, but didn't really know where I was going. It was the first time I have looked properly around this very pretty village.

Around the back roads of Cley (of which there are many!) I had a good selection of birds including two Treecreepers, a party of juv. long tailed tits basking in the early morning sunshine (see pic), fem. blackcap, several chiffchaffs, chaffinches, common whitethroats, a sparrowhawk, kestrel, green woodpecker and two kingfishers! Nine cormorants flew over going north east. At Glandford Ford I had a Banded Demoiselle and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Chiffchaff, Cley-next-Sea.

juv. Long Tailed Tit, Cley-next-Sea.

Kingfisher, Cley-next-Sea.
Rubbish picture, but couldn't get any closer as on private land!

Daukes Hide, Cley NWT - 9.40am and now very hot already! 2 Spoonbills flying around and landed on North Scrape. 5 Little Gulls, 1 Med. Gull, 1 Sandwich Tern and usual avocets, little egret, redshanks, shelducks etc on Simmond's Scrape along with two Marsh Harriers. 1 Green Sandpiper on Whitwell Scrape.

Little Egret, Daukes Hide, Cley NWT.

Cley Visitor Centre for jacket potato lunch at 11.45am. Yes it was an early lunch but it felt like 1.30pm to me! It was lovely sitting in here with the air conditioning!

Holt Country Park - RBA reported a Silver washed Fritilliary here, so phoned Pete S. and we both met up at Holt Country park to attempt to see this. It was insanely hot now. My hemp Tilly hat has seen better days, so really don't have a nice hat at present, so slung my Shemagh scarf over my head to keep the sun off. Walked to the large lily clad pond, but no sign of the fritilliary here. Broad-bodied chaser here and also a comma. Heard a crossbill flying over. Walked to Holt Lowes where we also saw Eddie M. We spent some time here photographing Keeled Skimmers settling on reed stems and other plants in this very rich habitat. We saw approximately 5 males and 3 females. We also sat for ages and chatted - Eddie was making us laugh with some of his tales! Left here and walked back to pond area where we bumped into John F. in full jungle attire! All four of us walked through the woodland rides to search for the fritilliary. Huge thanks to a very nice man and his lady friend/wife who walked back with us to where he had last seen the Silver washed Fritillliary and there it was! (see pic) But sadly one of its wings was torn away, poor thing! Pete cleverly managed to get a short video! We also saw several White Admirals, but none of them settled - most were seen high up in the trees. Eddie, Pete and I sat in the carpark and had refreshments in the shade which included strawberries and mango etc. Eddie left and Pete and I went back to 'The Lowes' where I got better pictures of Keeled Skimmers. John F. was here also and was cracking his usual jokes! Left here, Pete went home, which is what I should have done really, but I hadn't seen the sea today yet. I can't go to Cley without having my sea fix!!!!!!

Silver Washed Fritilliary.

Pete Snook - who's Great Snipe Video shot him to fame!
Probably the only video of displaying Great Snipe in Britain apparently!

Eddie Myers, Holt Lowes.

Female Keeled Skimmer, Holt Lowes.
Had to spend ages in photoshop removing John F's hand out of the shot on right hand side!

Keeled Skimmers, Holt Lowes.

Shenanigans on the beach!!!

Cruised back to Cley and had a quick look/listen for the golden oriole again to no avail! On arrival at Coastguards the plan was to chill and snooze on the shingle for a while. The carpark was still bursting with cars mid evening! There was even a few cars in the overspill field carpark! There were two Swallows sitting on the fence wire right next to my car and allowed me to photograph them yards away. I couldn't believe how close they were and not bothered in the slightest by my presence. Another man with a camera noticed that I had photographed them and and asked 'have you got some good shots?'..... he then said he was trying to photograph the swallows at the nest in the shelter, 'but I have to stay very still, as they are not coming to the nest very often' he said!!!! 'They won't' I replied '......with you standing that close' He said nothing, so I said the same again and still no reply!!!!! Unbelievable!!!!! Anyway, I took my blanket, pillow, water and bins and walked across to sit/sleep on the shingle. The stuff going on was very different to normal. The 'norm' if you can call it that, is a mixture of birders, older people with the odd dog or two, a few families and fishermen. But tonight there was the additional cast of an almost topless women (male blog readers - if you were getting sleepy eyed with my ramblings, that got your attention!), an irritating metal dectector and lads playing volley ball with stones!!!! A very beautiful, classy looking lady and her husband/partner were sunbathing on the shingle (close to the carpark) and the lady lounged in a posing posture (politest way of putting it!) with at least a 40D chest and only wearing a flimsy skirt and white bra!!!!! Perhaps thats why the carpark remained full!!!!!! Anyway, I settled down to close my eyes and listen to the surf crashing on the shore - makes it sound like the caribbean doesn't it! As I snoozed, thinking how wonderfully relaxing this was, I could hear loud crunching shingle. I attempted to dismiss this annoying noise, but after a few more 'crunches' I opened my eyes to find a metal dectector 'detecting' all around where people were sitting and every time he found a piece of metal - he proceeded to dig into the shingle with his spade. Now I am going to be blunt here - I wanted to get that spade and......... How bl**dy annoying and how rude to be digging holes all around people chilling on a Sunday afternoon, go and find a field or something! I sat bolt upright and tried to do my cross look and his just looked back at me! I couldn't be bothered to say anything as didn't want to spoil my evening by having a conflab with this irritating man. Glad he didn't dig up any bombs! He eventually worked his way towards the boats and I couldn't hear him any more. Ahhh..... peace again. Some 'lads' arrived to play a game. The game involved half of them standing by the water's edge and the other half standing in front of me (why they didn't line up left or right of me or preferably another bl**dy beach I don't know) - they then proceeded to throw 'skimmers' as they called them and small bolders across and back to each other. Didn't really know the aim of the game. Every so often I could one of them saying 'be careful you don't hit that lady'. Hmmm....... 'don't even think about it' I thought! Enough was enough and I sat up. Shortly after this one of the large stones landed a few inches from me. The sheepish, silly, slightly worried expressions from the lads, didn't need me to 'tell them off' - in fact my silence unnerved them more I think!! I gathered my things up and went back to the car.

Swallows, Coastguards, Cley-next-Sea.

North Scrape Hide - it was such a glorious evening, I simply didn't want to go home. In fact for me this was the most beautiful part of the day. The 'spectacle' (note pun later!) I was about to witness was just stunning. As I walked across the shingle on to the grassy path to north hide I realised there were thousands of juv. starlings flocking in and feeding on the marsh. There was masses of them sitting on the fence wires as I walked along and as I walked, one by one they flew off and moved a bit further along. Every so often along the path a single starling would be sitting motionless with its head turned left as if resting and would stay like this until I almost stood on it! The sight of all these starlings in this beautiful light was spectacular and they looked gold and bronze in my camera! Passed Eddie M. along the path. From the hide there were loads of birds on the scrape in beautiful light. Met a nice couple in the hide who lived at Sea Palling and kept bees. Several black-tailed godwits including one with 2 yellow rings which I texted to M.G. who then asked me 'what other rings did it have and were they short or tall'? I replied 'I can't see that with my scope!!!!!' All the usual waders here, lots of avocets, canada geese with now large youngsters, redshanks, shelducks, black headed gulls, 2 little ringed plovers, cormorants, several teal also etc etc. The 5 Little Gulls I first counted ended up being 10 by the time I left the hide at 9.30pm!!!

Cley NWT Hides.

Cley NWT Visitor Centre and Cleyspy.

Starling takes off in attempt to catch a Red Admiral Butterfly!

Note: Starling in hot pursuit of a Red Admiral Butterfly!
Don't know what happened after that!

Starling resting along the path to North Hide.

Thousands of juv. Starlings
Eye Field and path to North Hide Cley NWT.

North Scrape from North Hide, Cley NWT.

Walked back to the carpark, now much cooler. Beautiful red sky. Had a coffee and left.

On the way home, something really hilarious happened, well its wasn't at the time, but it sounded funny when I told people at work today - had a few of them rolling with laughter at my luck! I was driving along the main road just after Letheringsett doing about 60mph and some irritating midges were in my car. I wound the window down in hope some would escape. Note I was wearing my favourite, funky, designer, turquoise glasses. Anyway one particular midge bit me near my eyes/face and I promptly swished it out of the way and at the same time my glasses also went out of the car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG - I could not believe this had happened!!! Brain into gear.... right, turn car round.... turned off at a side road, spun car round - OMG - 2 cars have already passed me - my glasses!!!!! Put hazards on. Drive slowly. Wouldn't it be ironic if I ran over them I thought. Concentration was intense as I attempted to look for my glasses. I could see lights of cars in the distance behind me, every second was vital! Found them - in the dead centre of the road, got out of car, flew back in, excelerated fast and got away before cars behind got close. Parked the car up, down a side road to inspect them. I couldn't believe it, the frames were abolsutely fine and yes I have graze at the edge of one lens and a small scrape on the other which I will need to get sorted, but how lucky was that!!!!!!

Arrived home too late to write blog, which I always do normally on the day, even though it takes me for ever sometimes to add pictures!!!

Here is Pete Snook's Video of the

Saturday 25 June 2011

Heavy Rain all Morning!!!

Lapwing, Redwell Marsh NOA.

Wasn't well yesterday, but feel a bit better today, especially as no alarm went off!

Needed some fresh air but didn't get out until late afternoon. Arrived Redwell Marsh Hide at Holme. Apart from black-headed gulls this was nothing else really of note. Carried on to NWT Firs house and bought a Stem ginger ice-cream. A Honey Buzzard was seen, I noted on the sightings list, by the man working there (don't know his name). Bumped into M.G. and Steve B. a long way from home! Walked up to the observatory - very quiet, but did see a sparrowhawk zoom through chasing something, but couldn't see what it was!

Titchwell RSPB - no sign of Temminck's Stint. Two other birders also very disappointed when they couldn't relocate the stint. 2 Spotted Redshanks, tons of black-tailed godwits, avocets, 2 little gulls, redshanks, shelducks with young, juv. pied wagtails, 2 little ringed plovers, flocks of starlings landing to bathe momentarily before continuing their journey, 1 common tern, 4 green sandpipers, little egrets, 3 cormorants, 3 marsh harriers, 1 dunlin and lapwings.

Photographed a privet hawk moth which father caught in his moth trap this morning.

On arrival back home I could clearly hear the "Festival Too" fireworks going off from my house!

Juv. Black headed Gull, Redwell Marsh NOA.

Black headed Gull and juv., Redwell Marsh NOA.

Avocet, Redwell Marsh NOA.

Lapwing, Redwell Marsh NOA.

Little Ringed Plover, Titchwell RSPB.

Pied Wagtail, Titchwell RSPB.

juv. Shelduck, Titchwell RSPB.

Privet Hawkmoth, Holme-next-Sea.