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Monday 31 December 2012

As the year comes to a close....

Sun setting over The Wash at Hunstanton Cliffs.

Sexy Bird!


44 Million Birds lost since 1966!!!

Hot Gossip!!!!

Only joking!!!!!

Just a poor attempt to get my fatbirder ratings up to 40 in the last few hours of 2012!!!!! Just to amuse oneself this evening!

Update: 11.59pm - 1.229 blog views today and now up to No. 41 – just one more to get to in 60 minutes – will I get there?!!! No!!!!!! Goodnight.

New Year's Day County Bird Race!

For your bird sightings tomorrow please see:

Weather Forecast for New Year's Day for north west Norfolk:
"A dry and bright start to the year with sunny spells, although isolated showers may arrive later in the west of the region. Feeling noticeably colder with a westerly breeze."  

HIGH TIDE: 8.36am

New Year's Eve Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Richardson's Canada Goose, Arnolds Marsh, Cley
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 2 at Holkham
Great White Egret at Haddiscoe Island
Black Brant at Holkham
Waxwings x 21 at Burnham Deepdale
Waxwings x 13 at Burnham Norton
Little Auk, Black Guillemot, Great Skua at Cley
Black Brant at Burnham Norton


Wishing you all a fabulous New Year's Eve!

Enjoy the last few hours of 2012 with your loved ones, friends and family and for those alone – there is some excellent TV on tonight including "House Party NYE" which starts at 11.50pm and finishes at 6pm!!!

I have been at work all day today and just home from work. I will be partying alone and no I don't feel lonely or sad at all. I am preparing and planning for my exciting bird race tomorrow when others will have hangovers!!! Last year (see HERE) I saw 93 different species of birds – hope to beat this!

I would like to wish all my Blog Readers,
Friends, Colleagues, Family and All

Peace, Tranquility and Happiness to Everyone

Roll on 2013!!!

Sunday 30 December 2012

150 Beavers Living in Scotland!

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
American Wigeon at Marlingford
Caspian Gull, Yellow-legged Gull at Edgefield
Rough-legged Buzzard, Great White Egret at Waveney Forest
Richardson's Canada Goose, Sacred Ibis, Arnold's Marsh, Cley
Bewick's Swans x 17 south of Repps
Waxwings x 3 at Buckingham Marshes
Bittern near Burgh St Peter
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB
Velvet Scoter x 9 at Waxham
BRUNNICH'S GUILLEMOT (possible), flew west past beach carpark and landed on sea at Cley, although no further sign by 1.37pm
Taiga Bean Geese x 62 at Cantley Marshes RSPB
Great White Egret at Hickling
Great White Egret, Rough-legged Buzzard at Chedgrave Marshes
Black Brant at Holkham
Common Cranes x 4 at Horsey
Waxwings x 5 at Thetford
Red-crested Pochard at Titchwell RSPB

Saturday 29 December 2012

Bird News etc!

Main Highlights for Norfolk – RBA
Richardson's Canda Goose at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Great White Egret at Chedgrave
Waxwings x 8 at Norwich
Rough-legged Buzzard at Waveney Forest
Waxwing, Red Kite, Yellow-legged Gull, Water Pipit, Red-crested Pochard at Titchwell RSPB
Bittern at Lynford Aboretum
Black Brant at Holkham

Another Saturday where I couldn't go birding! Didn't really feel well enough from the last two days and in any case had insurance stuff to sort, jobs to do and boring stuff that its not worth writing about!

As the year draws to a close I have been thinking about which was the most spectacular bird that I saw in 2012. Mega bird of the year for me was without a doubt the Cream-coloured Courser. But one of the most magical moments of the year was watching gannets fishing close inshore as I sat on the shingle between Cley and Halfway House. Oh and of course the Bee-eater at Cley – how could I forget about my favourite bird! I am sure I will think of more later on........

Looking forward to New Year's Day when I WILL be out birding – doing my solo bird race again!

Thursday 27 December 2012

Bird News etc!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Black Brant, Red Kite at Cley
Snow Buntings x 20 at Salthouse
Black Brant at Holkham
Waxwings x 38 at Thetford
Snow Buntings x 7 at Breydon Water
Richardson's Canada Goose at Kelling Quags
Waxwings x 7 at Blundall
Waxwings x 4 at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Snow Buntings x 40 at Caister-on-Sea
Waxwings x 6 at Acle
Ruddy Shelduck, Great White Egret at Haddiscoe Island
Waxwings x 7, Taiga Bean Geese x 60, Short-eared Owl x 3, Hen Harrier at Buckingham Marshes
Short-eared Owl x 4 at Halvergate Marshes
Short-eared Owl at King's Lynn
Smew at Hardley Flood
Waxwing at Northrepps
Waxwings x 5 at Burnham Overy Staithe
Velvet Scoter x 9 at Waxham

I wasn't very well today at all, so unable to go to work – horrible bug and felt extremely tired.

Wednesday 26 December 2012

Penny's Hot Birding and Life!: My Binoculars for Sale!

Penny's Hot Birding and Life!: My Binoculars for Sale!: LEICA TRINOVID 8 x 32 BN Binoculars F O R  S A L E Purchased new in September 2007. Case, instruction booklet and original box. Jus...

Boxing Day Birding News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
American Wigeon at Bawburgh
Richardson's Canada Goose at Kelling Quags
Snow Buntings x 7 at Breydon Water
Waxwings x 4 at Strumpshaw Fen
Northern Bullfinch x 3 at Stiffkey
Waxwings x 36 at Thetford
Hen Harrier at Kelling
Black Brant at Salthouse
Snow Buntings x 21 at Eccles-on-Sea

Boxing Day Birding!

I woke up far too early this morning – I'm sure it was around 4am and I found it difficult to get back to sleep. I still felt tired when I got up, but was determined not to waste the day. The sun was shining and I needed to escape. I went to Ringstead to buy a sack of sticks for mother's fire and delivered them along with an Eastern Daily Press. I arrived at Titchwell RSPB and was horrified to find all carparks full. But the carparks were not full with birders, they were full with the coloured wellington brigade with armfuls of dogs, some on leads, some off leads – they took over the reserve and were filtering along the main bank to the beach. I presume they were taking advantageous of the fact that there was no one in the information hut in the carpark to entice them to put some money in the ticket machine. I hope that Titchwell doesn't end up like Holme, I really do. Throughout my time here I could see people carrying their little doggy bags and I know for a fact that they didn't all end up in the dog bin, as I spotted two of them slung on top of the grassy bank that runs alongside the main path. There are now a staggering10.5 million dogs in the UK – what I don't understand is why people have to have so many?! I watched a couple today with 5 in tow and another family with 6!!!!

Anyway back to birding! A water rail was in the dyke by the willow tree at the start of the main path. Lots of birds on the feeders including greenfinches, chaffinches, great, blue and long-tailed tits etc. A robin jumped in front of my camera and posed beautifully. On the freshmarsh there were hundreds of golden plovers, at least 85+ lapwings, shovelers, teal, oystercatchers, 1 avocet, shelduck, brent geese, 2 mute swans etc. When I reached the beach I walked east towards Brancaster to photograph the seals. On route there were loads of turnstones and oystercatchers feeding amongst the massive razor wreck. There were six seals in the creek and they were having a fabulous time playing together and on several occasions they flipped out of the water! Sadly though, dog owners were selfish and seemed to enjoy watching their dogs harrass the seals, which annoyed me intensely and I shouted across to ask them to keep their dogs under control and on a lead. Whilst I sat on the sand watching the seals there were several groups of people walking here from Brancaster, all with dogs – now this was just in the 45 minutes that I sat here, which means these seals are being stressed by dogs all day every day!!! I left feeling really sad.

I trudged back along the beach and it had now started to rain. Loads of gulls and waders on the shoreline. Walked back along the main path and sat in Fen Hide for a while. It was now dusk and I counted four marsh harriers and a little egret coming in to roost, but unusually I didn't see any hen harriers. Lots of blackbirds were making a fuss as I walked back through the copse to my car – possibly an owl around!

Watched the film "Miss Potter" starring RenĂ©e Zellweger and Ewan McGregor – a wonderful film.

Back to work tomorrow.

Tuesday 25 December 2012

Christmas at Holme

I got up early and cooked roast potatoes and honey roasted parsnips to help my mother out with christmas lunch. The sun made a half hearted attempt to break through the clouds this morning, but disappeared in the afternoon to be replaced by grey skies and rain. I then picked Lucy and Vivien up and we spent a lovely day with my parents. I nearly always go for a walk on Christmas Day, but I felt ridiculously tired and I fell asleep in the afternoon. In fact for the first time that I can remember, we all snoozed in different rooms at the same time, for about an hour – the whole house was unusually silent! Must be old age, I reckon! None of us are getting any younger. Father found it difficult to cope with four women all day though, bless him. I didn't think that father would make christmas to be honest, after having his stroke in April, but he has and I am so glad he is still here with us.

Christmas Bird News!

Waxwings x 21 at Bowthorpe
Richardson's Canada Goose at Kelling Quags
Long-tailed Duck at Titchwell RSPB
Waxwings x 36 at Thetford
Waxwings x 2 and Crossbills x 3 at East Carleton

Merry Christmas!!!

To You All!!!
Wishing you all happiness and joy in 2013

Monday 24 December 2012

Christmas Eve!

I have been a busy bee at work all day and this evening I have spent cooking two loaves of bread and a lentil roast for Christmas Day.

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings x 40 at Bowthorpe
American Wigeon at Norwich
Waxwings x 25 at Thorpe St Andrew
Hen Harriers x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Waxwing at Holme NOA

Sunday 23 December 2012

Bird News etc!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Richardson's Canada Goose at Kelling Quags
Dark-bellied Brent Goose x 900, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Black Brant, Sacred Ibis at Cley
Hen Harrier at Salthouse
Waxwing at Holt
Waxwings x 11 at Newton Flotman
Waxwings x 40 at Norwich
Waxwings x 60 at Bowthorpe
Snow Buntings x 50 at Caister-on-Sea
Great White Egret at Haddiscoe
Water Pipit x 2 at Cantley Beet Factory
Rough-legged Buzzard at Waveney Forest
Snow Buntings x 12 at Gorleston
Glaucous Gull at King's Lynn Docks
Dartford Warbler, Velvet Scoter x 6 at Waxham
American Wigeon at Bawburgh
Red-necked Grebe at Titchwell
Hen Harriers x 2 at Stiffkey
Waxwings x 4 at Thetford
Med. Gulls x 3 at Titchwell RSPB
Snow Bunting at Holme
Short-eared Owls x 2 at Buckingham Marshes

Other bird newsSmew (female) at Nar Valley Fisheries

Worked a double shift today – shattered.

There must have been (as my mother put it) 'a movement of long-tailed tits today' as mother had lots going through her garden and also my sister Lucy in King's Lynn had a big party of them just outside her window today. A much warmer day than of late and there was very little rain which made a nice change.

Saturday 22 December 2012

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Ross's Goose along with 800 Pink-footed Geese at Cley
Waxwings x 7 at Acle
Waxwings x 33 at Bowthorpe
Richardson's Canada Goose at Kelling Quags
Shag at Walpole Highway

Rain, rain go away!

It has been raining solidly ALL day, as it did yesterday and the day before that! There is a pond opposite my parent's house which is at the highest level on record and is close to flooding the entire road, which is VERY worrying indeed! The owners of the pond are not there (weekend cottage) so my parents can't even inform them of the dangerously high level the water has reached!

Work has again been incredibly busy, stressful and manic. I hadn't got the energy to carry out food shopping last night, so had no choice but to go today, as working all day tomorrow and on Christmas Eve. Got up late, joined the crowds to buy food etc and then flew over to CleySpy to collect my completely refurbished Leica bins that I am selling. They look so good now, that I am not sure if I do want to sell them anymore – BUT I need the money and I don't really need two pairs of binoculars – or do I?!!!!

Delivered Christmas cards and then went home and watched Strictly Come Dancing Final – Lewis and Flavia won – fab–u–lus!!!!!

Friday 21 December 2012

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings x 4 in Thetford
Red-necked Grebe, Long-tailed Ducks x 3, Mediterranean Gull, Yellow-legged Gull at Titchwell RSPB
Richardson's Canada Goose at Kelling Water Meadows
Snow Buntings x 5 at Gorleston
Ross's Goose, Pink-footed Geese x 250, Barnacle Geese x 6
Waxwings x 6 at Norwich
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl x 2 at Chedgrave
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 6, Snow Bunting x 40 at
Burnham Overy Staithe
Hawfinch x 2 at Lynford Aboretum
Waxwings x 7 at Acle
Snow Buntings x 60 at Holme
Velvet Scoter x 7 at Waxham
Common Crane x 8 at Horsey

My Binoculars for Sale!

LEICA TRINOVID 8 x 32 BN Binoculars
F O R  S A L E
Purchased new in September 2007.
Case, instruction booklet and original box.
Just arrived back from Leica with new eye pieces,
cleaned and restored to original condition.
Please email me at
if interested

I collected the Leica Bins from CleySpy this afternoon (Saturday). They have completely new lenses, focus wheel, have been re-rubbered, new eye cups, basically they are 'as new'. The neck strap has not been replaced and is worn to be fair.
My asking price will be £700.
They look so good, part of me doesn't want to sell them!!!

Thursday 20 December 2012

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Water Pipits x 6 at Cantley
Water Pipit x 1 at Titchwell RSPB
Bitterns x 2 at Cley
Smew at Welney WWT
Purple Sandpiper at Cley

Wednesday 19 December 2012

RBA Weekly Round-Up 12th-18th December

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Bittern at Chedgrave
Water Pipit at Buckingham Marshes
Taiga Bean Geese x 30 at Cantley
Waxwings x 4 at Colkirk
Waxwings x 7 at Sculthorpe
Waxwings x 12 at Long Stratton
Waxwings x 14 at Norwich
Twite x 14 at Titchwell RSPB
Snow Bunting x 60 and Short-eared Owl at Holme
Twite and Hen Harrier at Breydon Water
Velvet Scoter at Sheringham

Tuesday 18 December 2012

One Week to Christmas!

Where has the year disappeared to?!!! Christmas – I have been asked several times recently 'are you ready for christmas?' – yes I am 'ready for christmas'. None of my family are buying presents. In any case there is only mother, father, Lucy, Vivien and I left and we are all grown up enough to not be bothered about the materialistic side of Christmas. I will do my food shopping as normal. I am working all day on Christmas Eve and will then spend the evening alone. Christmas Day will be spent with my family. Christmas evening will be spent alone and Boxing Day I will be out birding. New Year's Eve I am working all day and will spend the evening alone and New Year's Day I will be doing a bird race, as I have done the last few years!

Had to take my car into the garage this morning as I could hear an odd rattling sound. Collected it this evening and the rattle was a stone in the brake system! Car was washed and waxed and looks brand new again. I love my Skoda!

Manic at work today – our lovely student has finished her rotation with us, our TL is off now on Maternity leave and two people off sick today, mean't we were flying round trying to rehab 29 patient's between a handful of people! There is no 'bank' cover for the rehabilition teams in the hospital, but there is for nurses!

Had a lovely christmas card from my friend Lorraine in Colchester (where I used to live) – HELLO Lorraine!


Lost 1.5 lbs today.    Total loss so far 9.5lbs.

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings at Long Stratton, Harleston, Swaffham and Holme NOA
Hen Harrier, Scaup, Long-tailed Ducks x 2,  at Titchwell RSPB
Bewick's Swans x 4 at Geldeston
Little Gull and Bitterns x 3 at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 65, Barnacle Geese x 73, Short-eared Owl x 3, Taiga Bean Geese x 43 at Buckingham Marshes
Pale-bellied Brent Geese x 2, Purple Sandpiper at Sea Palling
Common Cranes x 6 at Martham
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl x 3, Bittern at Chedgrave
Bittern and Slavonian Grebe at Holme

Monday 17 December 2012

Bird News etc!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings at Long Stratton, Cley and Titchwell, Great Yarmouth, Norwich, Holme
Bewicks Swan, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 25, Long-tailed Duck x 8, Red-necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe at Titchwell RSPB
Tundra Bean Geese x 4, Barnacle Geese x 2 at Abbey Farm, Flitcham
Hawfinch at Lynford Aboretum
Bittern at Home
Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl, Taiga Bean Geese x 59, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 60 at Buckingham Marshes
Bittern x 3, Water Pipit, Otter at Strumpshaw Fen
Short-eared Owl at Babingley
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl, Ruddy Shelduck at Chedgrave

Sunday 16 December 2012

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings at Heacham, Acle, Long Stratton
American Wigeon at Bawburgh
Short-eared Owl x 7 at Haddiscoe
Black-throated Diver at Winterton
Hen Harrier, Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl at Waveney Forestry
Common Crane x 7 at Welney WWT
Taiga Bean Geese x 36 at Buckingham Marshes
Shorelark, Red-necked Grebe at Blakeney Point

Stressful Day!

It was horrible being at work all day, knowing that my neighbour was in my garden cutting bits off this precarious tree!!! I can't really say too much on here at the moment, but all I will say is that he removed all of the tree, which was good in some ways and not in others – can't go into this at the moment.

I now have a smashed in greenhouse, 3 fence panels out into next door's, RSPB feeder poles bent into the ground and my central fence (other side) wobbly since he cut down the rest of the tree.

Also after another update from my insurance company I have discovered there is no point in having insurance at all!!!

Saturday 15 December 2012

Crappy Day!

I woke up too early after my late night and couldn't get back to sleep. When I eventually got up, I discovered to my horror that my whole back garden was filled with a gigantic leylandi tree that had fallen from a neighbour's garden through my fence, greenhouse and is dangerously close to my house and also of going through the next fence into my other neighbour's garden. Now I presume this happened yesterday in the strong winds, but of course I wouldn't have known about, as I arrive home from work in the dark. You would have thought the neighbour would at least had the decency to come round or pop a note in my door or something! I phoned my insurers 'Direct Line' who asked me to get the man's name and his insurers name etc, so I went round to his house but frustratingly no one was in. I put a note through his door to ask him to ring me to discuss this. It's now 5.15pm and I have not heard a thing from him, so going round there again is a minute. The neighbour came round to my house mid evening and said he would remove some branches tomorrow to relieve some of the weight to stop the tree falling further and then get in a tree surgeon to remove the rest.
I was going to Titchwell birding for the afternoon which of course I wasn't then able to. Massively pi**ed off. When I went round to the neighbour's house earlier I decided to visit another neighbour who's trees also overhang my garden to discuss with them about cutting these down to a safe height. The couple were really nice and I also discovered that they are property developers and that they would be interested in my property if I wanted to sell it. I DO want to sell my house, in fact its my mission to get out of this place by end of 2013 and rent somewhere instead. Anyone out there with an annexe/large apartment to rent in beautiful grounds in north west Norfolk please?
Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings at Titchwell, Holme, Heacham, Stiffkey, Norwich
Taiga Bean Geese x 40, Common Crane x 3 at Buckingham Marshes
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe
Water Pipit at Strumpshaw
Common Crane x 7 at Welney WWT
Ring-necked Duck and Common Scoter at Whitlingham Country Park
Slavonian Grebe at Thorpe Broad, Norwich
Hawfinch x 4 at Lynford Arboretum
Hen Harrier, Slavonian Grebe, Long-tailed Duck x 4 at Titchwell RSPB
Bewick's Swans x 2 at Geldeston
Hen Harrier x 7 at Wareham Greens
Black-throated Diver at Holme
American Wigeon at Bawburgh

Friday 14 December 2012

Another Christmas Party!

Don't book a christmas party at Leziate Sailing Club – the food was atrocious and the DJ was rubbish. The only good thing about the evening was spending time with my work colleagues and seeing everyone dressed up in all their finery. Gemma got gold star for the most enthusiastic party animal with Ragen coming a close second!!! You don't expect the finest cuisine at these mass christmas parties, BUT this was really bad – the roast potatoes were almost black and the potato was watery when you cut into them, the vege spinach tart I had was burnt and watery, it was completely and utterly tasteless. As I and others said, we couldn't believe they actually served this food up. The meat was the same and several of us asked for our meals to be replaced – which they did but with the same quality of food again!!! I will be writing to complain. I have never, ever moaned about a christmas party before in my life, but this food was completely unacceptable. There were several other companies there this evening and I quizzed other people in passing and they all felt the same. The vodka I was drinking at least had some flavour!!!

Thanks to Sarah's sister Claire for driving us there and to Ragen for safely taking us home.

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings at Titchwell RSPB, Welney WWT, Thorpe St Andrew
Hen Harrier, Yellow-legged Gull, Jack Snipe, Bewick's Swan at Titchwell RSPB

Thursday 13 December 2012

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
BLACK-BELLIED DIPPER (probable) at Nar Millhouse at Narborough!
Is this the Thetford one, or another?!!! 
Snow Bunting x 19 at Burnham Overy Staithe
Long-tailed Duck x 2 at Titchwell
Scaup at Wroxham Broad
Sacred Ibis, Scaup, Slavonian Grebe, Water Pipit at Cley
Ring-necked Duck at Whitlingham Country Park
Common Cranes x 54 at Horsey!!!
Hen Harrier at Choseley
Waxwings at Norwich, Surlingham, Longwater, Cley, Strumpshaw Fen

On the Narvos Website email link I received the following:
John Filowiat     4:08pm Dec 13
Dipper this morning at Narboro' mill

Wednesday 12 December 2012

RBA Weekly Round-Up 5th to 11th December

A Sparkly Day!

Freezing fog and icy conditions created a magical scene today. It was so frosty it looked like it had snowed and it remained like this throughout the day! Frosty leaves and branches sparkled and glistened like jewels in this winter wonderland. I nipped out at lunchtime to take a few photos on the iphone. Sarah, Jules and I put the christmas tree up at work, so everything is looking quite festive now. Spent the evening in the hairdressers. Our second christmas party is this week which I am really looking forward to. Oh and my mother said she nearly cycled over a waxwing yesterday, which was drinking from a puddle on the road between Holme and Thornham!

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings at Hemsby, Welney WWT, Longwater, Titchwell, Breydon Water, Weybourne, Thorpe St Andrew, Wimbotsham
American Wigeon at Bawburgh
Bewick's Swans x 14, Hen Harrier at Titchwell
Bewick's Swans x 5 at Breydon Water
Scaup and Whooper Swans x 7 at Cley
Bewick's Swans x 8, Short-eared Owls x 2 at Rockland Broad
Common Crane x 4, Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl and Marsh Harriers x 40 at Hickling Broad
Velvet Scoter at Sea Palling
Water Pipit at Strumpshaw Fen
Taiga Beans Geese x 65 and Short-eared Owl at Buckingham Marshes

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings at Wiveton, Norwich, Longwater, Swannington, Haddiscoe, Welney WWT, Holme
Taiga Bean Geese x 32 at Buckingham Marshes
Water Pipit at Strumpshaw
Common Crane x 4 at Horsey
Richardson's Canada Goose at Blakeney and Cley
Little Auk at Cley


 Lost 2.5 lbs today.    Total loss so far 8lbs.

West Norfolk farmer pipped at post for national conservation prize - Farming News - EDP

West Norfolk farmer pipped at post for national conservation prize - Farming News - Eastern Daily Press

Monday 10 December 2012

Rare Clouded Leopard filmed in the Wild!

Hot Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE at Terrington St John's and then flew west!
FRANKLIN'S GULL (yesterday morning) at Lessingham, but no sign today
Hen Harriers x 3 and Waxwings x 15 at Titchwell RSPB
Waxwings x 12 at Wymondham
Ring-necked Duck at Whitlingham
Waxwings x 12 at Norwich

Also over the border a HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL still at  Aldeburgh, Suffolk

Sunday 9 December 2012

Sir Patrick Moore, astronomer and broadcaster, dies aged 89

James Arthur Wins X Factor Final!

Awesome – the right man won! 

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings at Sheringham, Longwater, Surlingham, Holme, Titchwell, Hillington, Sheringham, Grimston Heath
American Wigeon at Bawburgh
Ring-necked Duck at Whitlingham
Bewick's Swans at Ingoldisthorpe
Bewick's Swans at Old Catton
Velvet Scoter at Hemsby
Little Auk at Winterton
Firecrest at Surlingham
Little Gull, Twite x 3 at Holme
Hen Harriers x 2 at Roydon
Little Gulls x 5, Velvet Scoter x 2 at Titchwell RSPB

Eddie M. saw and photographed an Otter and two cubs by Walsey Hills – see HERE!!! 

Also over the border a HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL still at  Aldeburgh, Suffolk

Worked a double shift today after very little sleep, as next door's dog was barking and howling from 6.30pm Saturday evening until 2.45am this morning!

Saturday 8 December 2012

Lunch at the Art Cafe!

Got up late this morning and then helped my parents with shopping. It was a beautiful sunny day and it's a pity I wasted it getting up late, but I was very tired and needed lots of sleep.

Cruised along the coast road to Cley. Popped into CleySpy who informed me that my Leica Trinovid 8x32 BN binoculars are currently being re-furbished to as new condition and will be with me shortly. Also Leica will not be charging me. That's pretty good considering some of the problems I have heard about people fighting to get their bins repaired under guarantee. I will probably be selling these binoculars when I get them back if anyone is interested.

I then met up with Pete S. for lunch in the Art Cafe, which is a few yards from CleySpy. We were lucky to get the last table. I had bubble and squeak burger with nut pate, red cabbage and walnuts, cous cous, salad etc and a brown roll. Pete was impressed with the food. I am always impressed with the high quality of food served here, it really is excellent.

Coastguards, Cley – a female stonechat was seen on the wire fence in the Eye Field and also a small flock of goldfinches. From North Hide there were a pair of colour-ringed Stonechats just in front of the hide. Little else of note really.

Walked along the East Bank alone in failing light. Big flock of starlings swirling round and a couple of marsh harriers.

Saw a woodcock on route to Holt. Went to Bakers and Larners and bought a few interesting vegetarian items and then drove home listening to Rita Ora's album.

Thank goodness James Arthur and Jahmene Douglas are going through to the final! The X-Factor winner will be announced tomorrow night.

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings at Longwater, Fakenham, Cley, Glandford, Hemsby, Holme
Sooty Shearwater, Purple Sandpiper, Snow Bunting x 70 at Cley
Glaucous Gull at Sheringham
Bewick's Swans x 30 flew over Swaffham
Bearded Tit on cliff path at Weybourne
Lapland Bunting at Weybourne
Velvet Scoter x 10 at Waxham
Taiga Been Geese x 31 at Buckingham Marshes
Hen Harriers x 8 at Warham Greens
Hen Harriers x 3 at Roydon
Snow Buntings x 25 at Salthouse
Hen Harriers x 3, Little Gulls x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Scaup at Wroxham Broad

Also over the border a HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL at Aldeburgh, Suffolk – see stunning pictures HERE

My mother saw 100+ Lapwing in the fields between Old Hunstanton and Holme this morning.

Friday 7 December 2012

Update and News!

I can't believe its December – where has the year disappeared to!!! I don't really like this time of year, especially January as I will be another year older. A very good old friend and past neighbour of mine said to me once 'the older you get, the quicker time goes' – how true is that!

The diet is going well since my lapse last Saturday, so should achieve some kind of loss on Tuesday evening!

It was snowing this morning when I woke up but quickly turned into lashing rain and wind for most of the day and it's horribly cold. Apparently we are going to have the hardest winter for over 100 years!!! That will be great with all the fuel bills going up and up and up!!!

Have not got a date for my operation yet – good!

Apologies for any unanswered emails lately – work and life has been exhausting recently!

I cooked a scrumptious Lentil Roast this evening which was so nice I might have to cook one for Christmas Day for mother and I.
Here is the recipe:

from the "The Complete Farmhouse Kitchen Cook Book" (from the Yorkshire TV Series)

225g Lentils
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Red Onions
1 large Cooking Apple
2 Large Tomatoes
50g Wholewheat Bread Crumbs
1 Egg
Salt and Pepper
1 teaspoon of Mixed Herbs or Sage

  1. Soak lentils overnight.
  2. Cook lentils in same water until soft and beat smooth.
  3. Heat oil in pan and fry onions until soft.
  4. Finely slice apple and skin and chop tomatoes and add to onion and fry until soft.
  5. Add to lentils with bread crumbs, beaten egg, herbs and seasoning.
  6. Press into greased loaf tin and cover.
  7. Bake at 190˚C for 50 minutes.
20 Pro Points – Weightwatchers

Welney WWT opening at 7am tomorrow!

WWT Welney Wetland Centre open from
7.00am this Saturday 8th & Monday 10th December.

"Witness swan-filled skies as over 2,300 swans roosting next to the centre get ready to fly out to the fields just after dawn.

With good weather predicted for the weekend WWT Welney will be opening early to allow people to enjoy this spectacle from the high vantage point and comfort of the Wigeon cafe.

Normal admission applies, refreshments will be available for people to purchase throughout the morning and the main observatory will be open early too so that the morning feed can be watched as well (this is not normally available to the public)."

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings x 34 at Longwater and 3 at Surlingham
Snow Buntings x 14 at Cley

That is it for birds reported today!

RBA Weekly Round-Up 28th Nov. to 4th Dec.

Thursday 6 December 2012

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
BLACK-BELLIED DIPPER remains at Thetford!
Ross's Goose at Berney Marshes
Waxwings at Surlingham, Terrington Marsh, Norwich, Snettisham, Overstrand, Swaffham, 
Common Crane x 6 at Waxham
Velvet Scoter at Cley
Bewick's Swans x 11 flew over the QEH at King's Lynn (wasn't me who saw them!)
Snow Bunting x 12, Velvet Scoter x 11 at Titchwell RSPB
Bewick's Swans x 60 flew over Norwich
Taiga Bean Geese x 65, Water Pipit at Buckingham Marshes
Bewick's Swans x 120 flew over Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Ross's Goose at Haddiscoe
Snow Bunting at Holme

Main Highlights in Norfolk on Wednesday – RBA 
Waxwings at Norwich, Thorpe St. Andrew, Taverham, Longwater, Titchwell RSPB, Overstrand
Taiga Bean Geese x 50 at Buckingham Marshes
Rough-legged Buzzard at Langham
Richardson's Canada Goose at Cley
Pom. Skua, Black-throated Diver at Cley
Barnacle Goose x 2, Pink-footed Geese x 2000 at Holkham
Swallow at East Runton (must be the latest record surely?)
Great Northern Diver x 3 at Caister-on-Sea

Tuesday 4 December 2012

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings at Holme, Titchwell, Little Plumstead, Thornage, Norwich, Rockland Broad and Taverham
Long-tailed Ducks x 2 at Holme
Taiga Bean Goose x 53 at Buckenham Marshes
Hen Harrier x 2 at Titchwell
Pom. Skua at Hopton-on-Sea
Richardson's Canada Goose at Cley


 Gained 1.5 lbs today.    Total loss so far 5.5lbs.

My drinking/dancing extravenganza on Saturday evening completely blew the diet. Isn't it amazing how just one night can ruin six days of hard work! Half a glass of brandy, several vodka smirnoff ice's and WKD's later, followed by a nut cutlet and 3 pototo waffles under the grill at 3am has blown my whole week! All I can say is that its a good job I don't socialise or drink at all normally! Back to the drawing board. Keep Calm and Carry On! Just to summarize my night out: pulled ligaments in ankle, pulled muscle in my shoulder, cost me my shift on Sunday afternoon and ruined the diet! A costly night out indeed! Lessons to be learn't Penelope!

Monday 3 December 2012

Bird News

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings at Smallburgh, Norwich, Snettisham, Holme, Kelling, Taverham, Cromer, Longwater and Stalham
Lapland Bunting x 7 at Holkham
Hawfinch and Crossbill at Lynford Aboretum
Long-tailed Duck, Velvet Scoter x 3, Snowbunting x 12 at Holme
Long-tailed Duck at Titchwell
Hen Harriers at Roydon
Richardson's Canada Goose at Cley
Jack Snipe x 2 at Salthouse
Short-eared Owl at Titchwell

Aches and Pains!

I am paying dearly for my crazy night out. Can't look over my left shoulder, can't lift my left arm and I am hobbling on my left foot. Apart from that, everything else is fine!!! I got ticked off from some of my work colleagues for walking home alone at 3am and I still can't believe I did that, but I did and I am still here!

Popped into HMV when I left off work to buy Tulisa's new album out today 'The female boss' and Rita Ora's album 'Ora'. Watched the Royal Variety Performance's 100th Anniversary which was brilliantly presented by David Walliams. Hot news – Kate and William are expecting!

Sunday 2 December 2012

Late Start to the Day!

I woke up ridiculously late and sat with my injured ankle on a bag of peas to reduce the swelling and pain. I was so lazy and was still in my dressing gown by mid afternoon! I then made another stupid decision as I decided I wanted some air. I drove to Titchwell RSPB. It was painful to change gear with my sore shoulder and it was painful to walk. I hobbled along the main path at Titchwell for a short distance. No sympathy from anyone please, all my own doing!

Birds seen at Titchwell were: a treecreeper on the willow tree at the start of the main path, a water rail by Island Hide, loads of golden plover, teal, shoveler, pintail, 2 avocets, little egrets, 1 snipe etc. 4 marsh harriers were gliding over the reed beds in the setting sun, west of the main path. By the Fen Hide I watched another 5 marsh harriers and 1 ring-tailed Hen Harrier and also another water rail. Popped into my parents briefly on the way home.

Watched X-Factor – I can't believe that Chris Maloney is still in and also in the bl**dy finale next week! Yes he can sing, but he hasn't got the passion, soul or 'oomph' of James or Jahmene. James Arthur to win PLEASE!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings at Titchwell, Holme, Walpole Highway, Sheringham, Fakenham, Thetford, Acle, Taverham, Castle Acre, Ranworth, Letheringsett
Shorelark at Morston
SURF SCOTER at Weybourne
Snow Buntings x 8 at Horsey
Richardson's Canada Goose, Walsey Hills, Salthouse
Hen Harrier at Cley
Short-eared Owl, Snow Buntings x 9 at Winterton
Velvet Scoter at Overstrand
Taiga Bean Goose x 35 at Buckingham
Velvet Scoter x 3, Purple Sandpiper at Sea Palling
Snow Bunting x 41 at Caister-on-Sea
Short-eared Owls x 4 at Haddiscoe
Hen Harrier x 3 and a Swallow! at Roydon

Saturday 1 December 2012

Christmas Party!

A young lady at work organised a huge party for all of Rehabilitation Services which consists of all Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Therapy Assistants and office staff. The Christmas party was held as a private function at the Linnet Lounge, which is at the football club in King's Lynn. I love to dance with a passion and I had planned for a long night ahead! I don't drink as a rule, but make the exception at some Christmas Parties! It was great seeing everyone dressed up in their finest attire and having a good time. Black-eyed Peas 'Don't Stop the Party' got me spinning on the dance floor. Lots of vodka was consumed and more! There were around 75 of us, not too bad a turn out really. There was a raffle at 9pm and I actually won a prize! I had a taxi booked at 11.45pm and then went on to Kudos, a club in town with Sarah, Claire, Jules, Suzi, Cilla, Amy, Phil, Becs and others. I had obviously consumed too much vodka, as I fell over when I was dancing. The energetic way that I dance, combined with alcohol doesn't really mix! I can't remember how I fell exactly, or getting up again, but I found out later that I had injured my ankle! Apart from Amy, most of the youngsters had left by 1.30am(ish). I continued dancing until 2.45am – not too bad for an oldie! No stamina these youngsters!!! I had booked a taxi earlier to pick me up at 3am, but when I went outside at 2.45am to ring the taxi firm to say I was ready, they said they hadn't been able to hear where I wanted picking up from! No problem I decided, as there were about five taxis waiting to take my money. As I walked along to select a taxi, I did something absolutely crazy – I decided not to part with any money and proceeded to walk two miles home! I only had a short jacket on and it was freezing cold and very frosty. I would never, ever take the risk of walking home alone at 3am, but I did today. I power walked/ran home and I couldn't believe how quickly I got back. As I put the key in the front door, I was still asking myself why I had made that crazy decision! My ankle was killing me from when I fell earlier and then I slipped on the stairs later on and as I tried to stop myself falling, I pulled a muscle in my shoulder!!! Lessons to be learn't here – don't drink and party 'til dawn!!! But it was worth it as I have not partied for a long, long time and I had had a wicked night out.

Bird News

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA

Waxwings x 2 at Blakeney
Slavonian Grebe x 6, Shag, Water Pipit, Short-eared Owl, Waxwing at Titchwell
Waxwings x 12 at Holkham
Waxwing at Salthouse
Waxwings x 6 at Stiffkey
Waxwings x 4 at Hethersett
Waxwings x 8 at Haddiscoe
Waxwings x 2 at Cley
Little Auk, 2 Velvet Scoters, Waxwings x 2 at Holme

I got up very late today and had to do lots of jobs and also preparing for our first Christmas Work's Party! So no birding today.

Friday 30 November 2012

Bird News

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings at Hunstanton, Old Hunstanton, Long Stratton, Surlingham, Great Walsingham, Salthouse, Holt, Titchwell, Stibbard, Ludham, Holme, Honing
Velvet Scoter x 6 at Kelling
Great Northern Diver, Hen Harrier at Titchwell
Bramblings x 40 at Choseley Drying Barns
Short-eared Owl at Breydon Water
Med. Gull x 40 at Great Yarmouth
Short-eared Owl, Slavonian Grebe, Water Pipit
Little Auk, Water Pipit at Titchwell
Velvet Scoter at Sheringham

Thursday 29 November 2012

RBA Weekly Round-Up 21st to 27th November

Bird News

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings x 2 at Langham
Great White Egret, Little Auk x 2, Pom. Skua, Snow Buntings x 12, Waxwings x 4 at Cley
Little Auk at Kelling
Great Northern Diver at Salthouse
Velvet Scoter at Hemsby
Waxwings x 40 at Titchwell RSPB
Hen Harriers x 7 at Wareham Greens
Waxwings x 20 at Holme
Common Crane x 6, Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl at Hemsby

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Bird News

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Lapland Buntings x 3, Waxwings x 3 at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Long-tailed Duck x 4, Manx Shearwater, Black-throated Diver x 3 at Holme
Great White Egret, Water Pipit, Bittern, Waxwing at Titchwell RSPB
Waxwings x 8 in Norwich
Waxwings x 4 at Haddiscoe
Waxwings x 2 at Fakenham
Black Redstart at Martham
Long-tailed Duck, Black Guillemot, Pom. Skua, Great Northern Diver x 2 at Cley

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Leach's Petrol, Manx Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Great Skuas x 20, 2 Arctic Skuas, Little Auk, Glaucous Gull, Great Northern Diver, Red-necked Grebe x 2, Velvet Scoter x 7, Sandwich Tern, Purple Sandpiper, Little Gulls x 20 at SheringhamSacred Ibis, Black-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, Great Skua x 20, Red-necked Grebe, Long-tailed Duck, Shag at Cley
Little Auks x 2 at Cromer (one eaten by GBB Gull)
Smew at Hardley Flood
Waxwing at Little Barningham
Yellow-legged Gull at Titchwell
Snow Bunting x 40 at Caister-on-Sea
Waxwing x 3 at Wiveton


Lost 2.5 lbs today.    Total loss so far 7lbs.

I didn't expect to lose more than 2lbs this week, so an extra half pound was good. You tend to lose several pounds the first week and then an average of 2lbs every week after that, hopefully anyway!

Monday 26 November 2012

40 Waxwings in Holme!

My mother watched 40+ Waxwings for a short while in the garden opposite her house this morning at Holme.

I have just won a bet with Hilary at work, who thought she was safe with her bet of £5.00 that I wouldn't lose half a stone before the 1st December - I have won the bet early!!! Two weeks tomorrow on W.W. I have not gone over my 'pro-points' once and sticking to the diet, which is easy to maintain, when you know you're paying out each week!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Great White Egret, 32 Waxwings, Long-tailed Ducks x 7, 2 Water Pipits, Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB
Hen Harriers x 3, Red Kites x 2 at Thornham
Shorelark at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Waxwing at Wiveton and Titchwell
Waxwings x 8 at Snettisham Coastal Park
Hen Harrier, 2 Waxwings at Attleborough
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford
Firecrests x 5 at West Acre
House Martin at Winterton
Waxwings x 4 at Holme NO
Lapland Bunting, Great Skua, Little Gull at Titchwell
Shorelark x 3, Snow Bunting x 32, Twite x 23, Red-necked Grebe x 2, Long Tailed Duck at Holkham
Waxwings x 5 at Attleborough

Sunday 25 November 2012

Bird News!

I was only able to get out birding for a ridiculously short amount of time this morning – half an hour!!! Mind you, half an hour was better than nothing, or was it?

More chores this morning and then delivered shopping to parents. Went to Holme Marsh Reserve for 30 minutes and had a wonderful surprise of a Lesser Redpoll sitting in the willows. A cormorant flew in and sat on the far fence and a sparrowhawk was seen. The sun was now out and everything looked beautiful, then I had to leave which was very difficult indeed! I had to be at work at 2pm. I'm now back to doing Sunday shifts, which I really need to do throughout the winter months.

Got home and watched X-Factor results (yes, I know I'm sad). I still can't believe Chris is still in the running! The highlight (besides James Arthur) was Rihanna who performed 'Diamonds' from her new album – she owned the stage and it was one of the most spectacular performances I have seen for a long time, with rain pouring down on the star towards the end of the song SEE HERE. There are few women that would have had the guts to do that, for fear of ruining their make-up and hair!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Black-throated Diver, Velvet Scoter, Short-eared Owl at Winterton
3 Long-tailed Ducks, Water Pipit, Hen Harrier, Red-crested Pochard at Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egret at Horsey Mere
Swallow at Beachamwell
10 Waxwings at Cromer
Great Skua at Hemsby
35 Snow Buntings at Caister-on-Sea

Also news from E.T.M.: a White-cheeked Pintail at Warham Greens at dusk this evening (an escape, one would presume of course!)


Saturday 24 November 2012

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Black-bellied Dipper back at Thetford
Snow Bunting x 47, Red-crested Pochard, Red-necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, 9 Long-tailed Duck at Titchwell
Shorelark, 30 Snow Bunting, Short-eared Owl at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Sacred Ibis at Salthouse
3 Waxwings at Heacham
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 30, Barnacle Goose at Holkham
Water Pipit, Yellow-legged Gull at Titchwell
Waxwing at Cockley Cley
Water Pipit x 2, Jack Snipe at Cley
Goosander at Wells
Waxwing at Hunstanton
Hen Harrier at Thornham
Waxwing at Roydon
Waxwing at Thetford
Leach's Petrol and Pomarine Skua at Horsey

Hot Shop!

Sadly no birding today as too many other things and errands to do, including shopping for christmas party outfits etc! Raining all day here, rubbish weather.

I ended up spending the evening in the new enormous £40 million pound Sainsbury's Superstore which has just opened this week, on Hardwick industrial Estate. The store is 72,000 sq ft. I have never seen a store that vast, it took ages to walk round. The store had everything you could possibly think of and is now far superior to either of the large Tescos Stores in town. It has a phone shop, sells computers, pharmacy, dentist, nail bar, opticians, huge cafe (upstairs), vast clothes and homeware section, stationary, craft stuff and the list goes on!

I got a shock a few day's ago when I returned home to find a message on my landline phone from the 'Admissions' Department at the QEH asking me to ring them. I rang the next day to find they had been offering me a cancelled operation slot for that day!!! Whilst I was talking to them I requested that it is not carried out until January, as I don't want to think about this before Christmas!

Friday 23 November 2012

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Long-tailed Duck, Shag, 3 Scaup at Gorleston
Slavonian Grebe at Cromer 
Whooper Swan at Sheringham
Short-eared Owl at Kelling
Shorelark and 2 Short-eared Owls at Gramborough, Salthouse
8 Lapland Buntings, 2 Twite, Hen Harrier at Thornham
Waxwing x 12 at Holme NOA

Thursday 22 November 2012

Great Tit Virus Spread by Insects!

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
2 Great White Egrets at Horsey
Water Pipit x 3, 10 Snow Buntings at Cley NWT
Waxwing, Hen Harrier, Great Northern Diver, Slavonian Grebe x 2, Red-necked Grebe, Long-tailed Duck x 4, Scaup, Little Gull x 6, Snow Buntings x 25 at Titchwell RSPB
Sacred Ibis at Salthouse
Slavonian Grebe and Waxwing at Holme

Wednesday 21 November 2012

RBA Weekly Round-Up 14th to 20th November

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Slavonian Grebe and Hen Harrier at Blakeney Point
300 Brambling at Choseley, Titchwell
Water Pipit, Long-tailed Duck x 6 at Titchwell RSPB
Waxwing at Thetford
Waxwing x 14 at Norwich
Shorelark at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Snow Buntings x35 at Caister-on-Sea

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Long-tailed Duck x 6, 30 Snowbuntings, Hawfinch, Little Auk at Titchwell RSPB
Hen Harrier at Thornham
Waxwings x 27 and a Snow Bunting at Hunstanton Cliffs
Black-throated Diver at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Hen Harrier at Weybourne
Rough-legged Buzzard at Holkham


Lost 4.5 lbs today at the end of my first week.

Monday 19 November 2012


I bought  example    the evolution of man  today, another brilliant album from London Rapper Elliot Gleave.

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Ross's Goose at Haddiscoe
Great White Egret, 6 Common Cranes, Hen Harrier at Horsey
Water Pipit, Long-tailed Ducks x 4, Hen Harriers x 2 at Titchwell
Sacred Ibis at Cley
Waxwings and Snow Buntings at various locations

Andy Brown reported 60 Shags roosting at Hunstanton Cliffs again this evening

Sunday 18 November 2012

Waxwing kicks off the day!!!

I was up early this morning – it was very frosty and it took ages to defrost the car. I could see that it was going to be a beautiful day with glimmers of sunshine starting to appear from the horizon. I was torn between going to Thetford, in hope that the Black-bellied Dipper would reappear or to head East to take another look at the Surf Scoter in better light. As it happens neither birds appeared today and neither did the Rose-coloured Starling at Northrepps! I made the decision to head East which was the right choice.

As I started to drive along the A148 from the Knight's Hill roundabout, the light was incredibly beautiful – shimmers of yellow sunlight appeared through the mist and silhouetted hedges and trees created a stunning scene. I pulled off the road along a single track, dead end road (the first one off the A148) to stop to take a picture. I crossed the road to take a few pictures and then returned to the car. I then turned behind where I had parked to watch several goldfinches in a tree and also some greenfinches. I then spotted a much larger bird sitting on a oak tree - a Waxwing silhouetted against a perfect blue sky – Wow! I was so excited to find my first WAXWING of the autumn (7.45am)!!! What an excellent start to the day! I couldn't really get close enough to photograph this bird well, but got a half decent shot. The bird flew across to the hawthorn berries to feed – quite unusual to watch a single bird, I couldn't find any more though. I also found two bramblings and a mistle thrush sitting in a tree.

I continued along the A148, through Holt and on to Weybourne. I parked up by the cemetery and walked along the track by the windmill down to the coastguard cottages and then walked east. It really was a spectacular day, the light was just beautiful. The sea looked amazing and I just knew I was going to have a good day, even if I didn't see many birds. I soon clocked several birds on the sea – a little gull flew east, at least 2 red-throated divers, including one sitting on the sea almost next to the shingle! A nice surprise of a Slavonian Grebe, guillemot x 2, a raft of 35 common scoter which I carefully looked through – they were all the same! Several skylarks overhead and also meadow pipits. 5 Snow Buntings appeared on the shingle beach just below me! Further along I had a male and a female colour-ringed Stonechat. Also 5 more little gulls (going west this time). I heard from other birders that the Richard's Pipit was pretty elusive due to the fact that it was being flushed continuously from walkers, birders, joggers etc, so I didn't bother going any further along the coast path. There were huge numbers of walkers and dogs around – the sun had bought everyone out in force today.

Chatting on the phone to Eddie we decided to meet up for lunch at Cley NWT Visitor Centre, but on arrival the whole carpark was full, so I managed to persuade Eddie to go to the Art Cafe at Glandford next to CleySpy. I had the same scrumptious soup and roll I had last time (I have counted it into my WW Points!). Eddie said the food was 'reasonable' – his favoured description of most food!

I wanted to go to Northrepps, just in case the Rose-coloured Starling was still about and Eddie decided to join me, so off we went. Parked up by the church and walked round the village. We did find a fairly big group of starlings sitting on telegraph wires, but no pale ones were seen.

Ended the day at Cromer Pier to count SHAGS and found 15. Several turnstones running around on the pier amongst loads of people! The shags were very difficult to count, as you couldn't walk right to the end of the pier, but we counted at least 15. Took some naff photos. It was tantalising smelling fish 'n' chips! Walked back up some steps to get back to the car, flushing blackbirds and a robin on route. Dropped Eddie off at Cley V.C. to retrieve his bike!

Back at home I watched X-Factor results – I wished I hadn't, couldn't believe that James and Ella were in the bottom two – something seriously wrong there.

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford – no sign
Surf Scoter at Weybourne – no sign
Rose-coloured Starling at Northrepps – no sign
Great Northern Diver at Hockwold Washes
Long-tailed Duck x 4, Velvet Scoter, Water Pipit at Titchwell
Richard's Pipit, Slavonian Grebe at Weybourne
Taiga Bean Goose x 19, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 37 at Cantley
Jack Snipe at Kelling
Hen Harrier at Strumpshaw
Firecrest in Norwich
Crossbills x 4 at Hunstanton
Great White Egret, 26 Common Cranes, Hen Harrier at Hickling
Snow Buntings and Waxwings at various locations

60 Shags roosted at Hunstanton Cliffs tonight, Andy Brown reported


MEGA - Asian Desert Warbler!!!

At Samphire Hoe Country Park, Kent

Saturday 17 November 2012

Hot Birding in Sheringham!

Got up late and still in pain from my throat/ear examination (see previous post) and to be honest I didn't even feel like leaving the house. I had to go to Cley anyway as my Swarovski 8.5 x 42 bins were now ready for me to collect from Cleyspy. Swarovski had put new casing on the bins, new strap and well, they looked like a brand new pair of bins!!! You would never have thought they were 8 years old! I am so pleased with these binoculars. I left my Leica's BN 8x32's with Cleyspy to send off to Leica and hopefully they will sort out/put right the lens's that don't have any coating on them – we'll see! Andrew who works in Cleyspy told me that they have had more 'hits' on their website via my blog than from google!!!!! How cool is that!!! On that note, I would just like to say a big thank you to all my readers – it means alot, that people seem to enjoy my ramblings!

News of a Surfscoter at Sheringham that Dave Appleton found, bleeped up on the pager, so off I went. I made the mistake of parking at Sheringham initially and started to walk west along the cliff top, when Phil advised me to walk back and park at Weybourne. I carried on for a while, but a second person said it was another 45 minutes walk, so I gave in and walked back. I wouldn't have minded the walk at all, but I had just grabbed scope, tripod and camera and hadn't realised how far it was. These items are heavy to carry over that distance. So walked back and re-parked the car at Weybourne and carried camera/rucksack and monopod. I parked at the cemetery by the windmill and walked along the track to the coastguard cottages and then walked east until I reached the National Trust sign for Sheringham Park. The Surf Scoter was approximately another few hundreds from here. I passed a male colour-ringed Stonechat on route – it had a red ring on left leg and a yellow and green one on the right leg. Joined a couple of other birders, one of whom kindly let me see the SURF SCOTER through his scope, just before if flew away further away and east. The bird was unsettled a few times by a helicopter searching for a missing person, low over the cliffs. I was lucky to see it when I did. A few birders walked a little further east to try to re-locate it. Another birder and myself picked up the bird again distantly. I then walked east to join Jacquie and Dave Bridges, Jim and another man who were also watching the bird with common scoter. Just before I reached them all I very luckily saw the Richard's Pipit bound from the path over the cliff top edge and out of sight at about 3.30pm.

By the time I got back to my car, it was dark – I really wish that evenings were light until 9pm 365 days! Getting dark at 4pm is really rubbish! Obviously I didn't get to see the Rose-coloured Starling.

I have just given my Sunday job away to another Therapy Assistant tomorrow. I feel emotionally drained from my hospital appointment and felt like I needed the whole weekend. So tomorrow I am free!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
SURF SCOTER (juv.) found by Dave Appleton at Sheringham
Black Guillemot, Red-necked Grebe, Velvet Scoter at Sheringham
Richard's Pipit at Sheringham (and possibly a second at Weybourne)
Rose-coloured Starling at Northrepps
BLACK-BELLIED DIPPER – no sign, shame about that!
Black-throated Diver and Slavonian Grebe at Salthouse
Sacred Ibis at Salthouse
Water Pipit, 74 Little Gulls at Cley
Short-eared Owl at Gramborough, Salthouse
Firecrest at Blofield
Shoreklark, 3 Velvet Scoters at Holme

SURF SCOTER at Sheringham!

SURF SCOTER at Sheringham found by Dave Appleton - congratulations!!!

Friday 16 November 2012

Bird News etc!

After work this evening I flew over to Watton to Advanced Camera Services to pick up my repaired Canon 7D. The reason the camera was not working properly was due to the fact the rain deluge had corroded the battery compartment and this had to be replaced. The camera was also serviced. I am going to keep this camera for a spare and to use with the macro and other lenses.

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
BLACK-BELLIED DIPPER at Thetford still
Little Auk, Water Pipit at Cley
Snow Buntings x 100 at Holme
Black-throated Diver at Salthouse
Waxwings at Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Woodbastwick

Thursday 15 November 2012

RBA Weekly Round-Up 7th to 13th November

Diagnosed at last!

Trying to make light of this, although it's not funny in the slightest, I was slightest amused about the title of my condition!!!

I have had a painful left ear and throat for many months now. It's been so long, I can remember when it first started. I have had anti-biotics from the GP for suspected ear infection several times. I have seen consultants at the hospital and had an ultrasound scan, MRI Scan and X-ray. The X-ray was the last procedure I had and I received a letter saying that I would be sent an appointment in due course to discuss the results of the x-ray. Alot of weeks went by and I didn't receive the letter. The pain has increased over the last few weeks and was starting to worry me.  I phoned and nagged the ENT Clinic (Ear, Nose & Throat) and eventually got an appointment for this morning at 9am.

I sat in the waiting area at the clinic and was called in to see a different consultant. Well he wasn't a consultant, he introduced himself as a 'Speciality Doctor' working for the Consultant. This doctor was Portuguese and was well, simply brilliant. Within 2 minutes of me sitting in the chair and him carrying out an assessment (which was painful) he had diagnosed me! Now why didn't other consultants pick up on this, after all these months!!! To be fair I suppose, the condition I have, is very difficult to diagnose. The doctor told me that although he was working under a consultant here at the QEH, he was actually a Head and Neck Consultant in Portugal. I have a rare condition called 'Eagle Syndrome' (The condition was first described by Watt Weems Eagle in 1937). It is is so complicated to explain. I haven't really got my head round this yet myself. Currently googling information. But basically it is an elongated styloid process which is behind my left tonsil. "A group of symptoms caused by calcification of the stylohyoid ligament and an abnormally long styloid process. The styloid process is a bone at the base of the skull which is attached to muscles and ligaments connected to the throat and tongue. If this bone is too long then actions such as swallowing and turning the head can cause pain and discomfort" The doctor sent me for a pre-assessment with a nurse as I will have to have an operation, involving removing my left tonsil and the styloid and 10 days off work to recover. I was told it could be done in day surgery, but after finding out I have no one to take me to hospital and back and stay with me for 24 hours at least, they decided to change me to an in-patient. I was also prescribed Amitriptyline, which I collected from the pharmacy, but am not going to take until I found out more, as this is a serious drug. Not looking forward to this operation at all!

This is all scary stuff, especially as I expected my 9am appointment to be over within minutes after telling me that they hadn't found anything on the scans etc. I didn't get back to the ward to carry on with work until 11am! I felt very emotionally drained with this unexpected rollercoaster of information, procedures and operation information etc.
I wish I hadn't watched this: made me feel physically sick!

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
BLACK-BELLIED DIPPER still at Thetford – picture HERE
Little Auk at Cley, Salthouse and Kelling
Snow Buntings x 50 and Hen Harrier at Titchwell
Short-eared Owls x 4 at Haddiscoe
Water Pipit at Strumpshaw Fen
Shorelark and a 100 Snow Buntings at Holme
Waxwings in Norwich and Cley

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Red-breasted Flycatcher, Siberian Chiffchaff at Cley
Velvet Scoter, Scaup x 3 at Scolt Head Island
Velvet Scoter x 5, Snow Buntings x 4 at Hunstanton
Snow Buntings x 200 at Holme!!!
Ross's Goose, Barnacle Goose x 5, Short-eared Owl x 2
Snow Buntings x 8 at Snettisham
Rough-legged Buzzard at Holkham
Jack Snipe and Firecrest at Strumpshaw
Waxwings at various locations throughout Norfolk
Black-throated Diver and Hen Harrier at Blakeney
Shag x 55 roosted at Hunstanton Cliffs

Bird boxes installed around Norwich - Environment - Eastern Daily Press

Bird boxes installed around Norwich - Environment - Eastern Daily Press

"In Pursuit of the Ridiculous"

Rob Lambert explains "Twitching" to Matthew Oates, Naturalist and Ecologist with the National Trust – BBC Radio 4 – second part of a new five part series.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Waxwings at various locations along the coast
Sacred Ibis at Cley
Ross's Goose, 6 Barnacle Geese, 2 White-fronted Geese, 4 Short-eared Owls, Hen Harrier at Haddiscoe
Red Kite at Burnham Overy Staithe
Snowbuntings x 110, Whooper Swans x 2, Short-eared Owl at Holme
Velvet Scoter x 4, Long-tailed Duck, Red-necked Grebe, Crossbilss x 6, Snow Buntings x 5 at Hunstanton
Rough-legged Buzzard at Holkham
Short-eared Owl at Holkham
Short-eared Owl x 4 at Chedgrave
Jack Snipe, Yellow-legged Gull, Med. Gull x 2 at Titchwell


The beginning of a new me. I decided enough was enough, tired of being overweight. Every time I look in the mirror I see someone else, not the Penny that was. I have tried to do Weight Watchers at home with the old 'points system' and failed. I decided I need to be more regimented and take it seriously. Paying out money every week and being weighed, makes you serious about dieting! So this evening I joined Weight Watchers. It now works on the 'Pro Points System' which is similar to the old system really. I have been allocated 26 Pro Points per day and everyone gets 49 on top of that per week. Just to give you an idea fish and chips is 30 Pro Points – so being clever with the points, you could still have fish and chips each week! No more cheese scones from Cley VC! I will report each week how much I have lost. By Spring next year a new Penny will emerge, hopefully!

Monday 12 November 2012

Richard Hammond's Miracles Of Nature

Fascinating three part documentary series

Bird News etc!

I am doing the early shifts this week, so got home at a decent time and was intending to sort emails and add some pictures to blog, but I made the fatal mistake of having a quick nap. I woke up at 9.30pm!!!

Main Highlights in Norfolk
Waxwings at various locations
Snowbuntings x 36, 6 Twite, Water Pipit at Cley
Bewick's Swans x 3 at Thornham
Water Pipit x 2 at Strumpshaw Fen
Shorelark at Holme
Water Pipit, Jack Snipe, Slavonian Grebe at Titchwell
Great White Egret, Ross's Goose at Breydon Water

Sunday 11 November 2012

Happy Birthday Vivien!!!

It was my baby sister's Birthday today. We had a lovely lunch at The Three Swallows at Cley. It was a good job we got there early as people were almost queueing for tables by 1pm. Cruised along the coast to Titchwell and walked to the beach and back via the East Trail. Vivien isn't a birder and I didn't want to spoil her day, so didn't really bird very much. Tons of waders on the beach including huge numbers of sanderling and turnstones feeding along the tide line, along with oystercatchers and a few knot and other waders. Big flock of golden plover on the fresh marsh with usual waders and huge flocks of starlings swirling in the setting sun. A couple of jays were seen on the East Trail with loads of coots on Patsy's Pool.

Went to visit our parents for the evening, where I found mother attempting to saw branches from a tree in the dark – told her her off, but there's no stopping her doing crazy things. She shouldn't be cutting trees down at her age anyway, never mind in the dark. She got a massive ticking off! Not that it made the slightest bit of difference! Mother was fascinated by an article in The Times today about blogging and how to create a successful blog – don't think I do too badly! It was interesting reading about bloggers who make an absolute fortune with advertising etc which made me think about looking into this more seriously. The trouble is I didn't want to spoil my blog with adverts, but it is very tempting financially. Anyone else made any money out of Adsense or similiar?

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
THREE OTTERS at Cley this morning!
Waxwings all along the coast today.
Ross's Goose at Haddiscoe
Black Brant, Great Northern Diver, Great Skua, 7 Lapland Buntings at Burnham Overy Staithe
Ring Ouzel, Velvet Scoter, Short-eared Owl, Caspian Gull at Cley
Long-tailed Duck x 4, Velvet Scoter, Scaup, Water Pipit at Titchwell
Snowbuntings x 30 at Caister
Jack Snipe, Water Pipit at Strumpshaw Fen
Short-eared Owl, Snowbunting, Velvet Scoter at Trimmingham
Crossbills x 11 at Stiffkey
Eurasian White-fronted Goose x 5, Water Pipit at Holkham
Woodlark, Snowbuntings x 70 at Holme

Some cracking pictures of the Shags at Hunstanton Cliffs this evening – see HERE

Saturday 10 November 2012

Hunstanton Cliffs

Raining nearly all day.

I started to count Shags at around 4pm (Hunstanton), but the 20+ that had gone to roost were disturbed by late walkers underneath the cliffs and then intermingled with others arriving! So my totals went completely to pot!!!! I would guess at least 30+ probably more like 50 to be honest, but who knows!!! Also I couldn't stay as long as I wanted, as there were several angry looking dogs about.

Main Highlights in Norfolk - RBA
Waxwings at various locations throughout the county
Snowbuntings at Holme and Cley
Hen Harriers at Thorpe Marshes
Jack Snipe at Strumpshaw
Water Pipits at Cley and Titchwell
Tundra Bean Goose at Choseley
SWIFT sp. at Hemsby
No sign of the Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford or the Red-backed Shrike at Weybourne

Friday 9 November 2012

The Amur Falcon Massacre!!!


Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk - RBA
Red-backed Shrike at Weybourne
Water Pipit x 3, Jack Snipe, Bittern and 2 Otters at Strumpshaw Fen
Great Northern Diver x 2 at Cley
Hawfinch x 2 at Lynford Arboretum
Crossbills x 8 at Hunstanton
Jack Snipe, Slavonian Grebe, Red-necked Grebe,
Long-tailed Duck x 2, Velvet Scoter at Titchwell
Hen Harrier at Brancaster
Waxwings all along the coast

I received an email on Monday from the RSPB/Paramo informing me that if I purchased the Halacon Coat from Paramo I would receive a free Torres Gilet FREE (RRP £80) – now understandably I was pretty gutted, having already bought this coat and had just missed out on this fabulous freebie, so I emailed Paramo and I explained that I was upset that I had missed out on their fantastic offer, only days after I had purchased my jacket and they very, very kindly posted me a free Gilet anyway!!!! I received this today, so very pleased indeed!!!

I am also very pleased, because ITS FRIDAY!!! Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday 8 November 2012

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Richard's Pipit at Holkham
Water Pipit and Jack Snipe at Strumpshaw Fen
Great White Egret at Horsey
Slavonian Grebe and Velvet Scoter at Titchwell
Barnacle Goose at Choseley
Black-throated Diver at Salthouse
Snowbuntings, Hen Harriers and Waxwings at various locations

Wednesday 7 November 2012

RBA Weekly Round-Up 31st Oct to 6th Nov

Bird News!

Main Highlights in Norfolk – RBA
Ross's Goose at Horsey
Great White Egret at Waxham
Velvet Scoter at Hunstanton
Lapland Buntings x 2 at Holkham
Common Crane x 10 at Horsey
Caspian Gulls x 3, Yellow-leg Gulls x 4 at Aldeby
Barnacle Geese x 2 at Choseley
Hen Harrier x 3 at Stiffkey
Lots of Waxwings at various locations along the coast
Snowbuntings and Crossbills at Holme and Hunstanton

Huge numbers of waxwings through Norfolk today with  a flock of 30 being seen at Snettisham alone!!! On the subject of Waxwings, this youtube film of a Waxwing feeding on an apple from young Henry Hyndman's  hands on Fair Isle is just so lovely!