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Saturday 31 August 2013

A Chilled Day!

Westerly winds today, which was absolutely rubbish for birds! It was almost birdless compared to the massive fall of birds last weekend! Well I say birdless, I was incredibly lazy today, got up late and dossed around the house. I was feeling in a can't be bothered, negative mood! Missed breakfast completely and went straight into cooking my lunch. Made a sandwich and a flask and went out birding in the middle of the afternoon. Disgraceful Penelope! I whizzed straight to Holme to scorch the Wryneck on the NWT Forestry. It took a while to find, but I found it in the end at 5.45pm. Only saw it briefly and got a record shot on the camera. I sat on the grassy path for nearly an hour waiting for it to return, hoping to get just one magic picture, but it didn't appear again. Saw one Wheatear on top of a privet bush and that was about it. Very windy and decidedly cold today.

Went to NOA Redwell Marsh Reserve and watched 5 Snipe feeding on the muddy edge. The pool from the hide is fairly low with lots of wet, muddy edges and looks very good for a Citrine Wagtail! A Green Sandpiper called and landed on the back edge of the pool. Not much else apart from a few teal, moorhens, coots and wood pigeons and a single black-headed gull.

Last stop of the day was Holme Marsh Reserve where all I saw were 2 Marsh Harriers and 2 Roe Deer in the dusky light. Visited my parents for the last part of the evening and gave mother the Swarovski brooch I got from the Bird Fair. Talking of Bird Fair, I really need to get those pictures and videos sorted and added to my posts! Tawny Owls were calling in parent's garden.

I really regret not booking tickets to go to the Sundown Festival, Norwich this weekend – some of my favourite bands are playing. For some reason unbeknown to me I didn't book the tickets. I know what I'm like, I would have been at the front and I questioned if I would have been able to cope with a load of teenagers under half my age, jumping up and down like crazy!!! I must remember, I'm not 18 any more! Don't get me wrong, I would have been jumping too, but I decided I couldn't handle it! Being jostled in a crowd doesn't freak me out, so I wouldn't have been bothered by that – when you have been jammed in at the front of Wembly Stadium watching Michael Jackson, all other concerts are pretty tame! My youngest sister Vivien went to the Party on the Hill in Ely this evening and seemed to have enjoyed watching 'Blue' and 'Matt Cardle' who she declared she was now in love with!


Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Osprey, Wryneck at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Long-tailed Skua, Velvet Scoters x 2 at Winterton
Caspian Gull, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpipers x 9, Spotted Redshank, Whinchat at Cley NWT
Spoonbills x 14, Bittern, Little Stints x 2, Curlew Sandpipers x 40, Redstart at Titchwell RSPB
Sooty Shearwaters x 2 at Sheringham
Wryneck at Holme NWT
Red-backed Shrike at South Dunes, Great Yarmouth
Osprey, Curlew Sandpipers x 2 at Breydon Water
ITALIAN SPARROW, possible, remains at Northrepps
Wryneck, Red-backed Shrike juv. at Beeston Bump, Sheringham
Curlew Sandpiper at Acle
Rose-coloured Starling juv., Whinchats x 12 at Horsey
Osprey at Methwold

Other News
BAROLO SHEARWATER, County Clare, Ireland


Friday 30 August 2013

The Weekend!!!

Thank goodness its Friday! It's been an extra tough week at work.

This evening I have been very extravagant and purchased my first Sat Nav!!! I spent forever in Halfords looking at all the different types, so many choices!!!

Can't decide where to go birding tomorrow, with these westerly winds. I have not seen my parents for three weeks, which is very unusual for me, so will definately be visiting them at some point over the weekend.

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL at Lynford Aboretum
Pied Flycatchers x 2, Hen Harrier at Winterton
Spoonbills x 14, Curlew Sandpipers x 46, Little Stints x 5, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Wryneck, Willow Emerald Damselflies x 6 at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Pied Flycatcher, Redstart at Salthouse
Curlew Sandpipers x 12, Little Stints x 5, Spotted Redshank, Little Gull at Cley NWT
Redstart, Whinchats x 5 at Horsey
Osprey at Welney WWT
Osprey at Denver Sluice
Red-backed Shrike at South Dunes, Great Yarmouth
Whinchats x 5 at Buckenham
Wood Sandpiper at Cantley
ITALIAN SPARROW, possible, remains at Northrepps
Wryneck, Redstarts x 4, Tree Pipit, Arctic Skuas x 6 at Holme NWT

Other News
SHORT-TOED LARK, Gibraltar Point NNR

Thursday 29 August 2013

Birds of Paradise!!!

   If anyone is feeling down in the dumps, watch this video,   
   it will cheer you up no end!!!                                               
   Linked to facebook from my neighbour Julie – thanks x.     

Rare Thresher Shark Leaping from Sea in Pembrokeshire!!!

"A thresher shark has been photographed leaping out of the water off the coast of Pembrokeshire."

What an amazing picture!!!

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
CORNCRAKE SE of Shangri-la Cottage at Waxham
Pied Flycatcher at Hemsby
Wryneck at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Rose-coloured Starling juv. at Horsey
Curlew Sandpipers x 59, Little Stints x 5, Spoonbills x 11, Whinchat at Titchwell RSPB
ITALIAN SPARROW possible, remains at Northrepps
Long-tailed Skuas x 2, Pomarine Skua, Balearic Shearwater, Black Terns x 5 at Sheringham
Pied Flycatcher x 2, Redstart at Waxham
Curlew Sandpipers x 14, Little Stint, Caspian Gull juv., Yellow-legged Gulls x 8,  at Cley NWT
Wryneck at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Spoonbills x 8 at Stiffkey Fen
Red-backed Shrike at South Dunes, Great Yarmouth
Crossbills x 30 at Lynford Aboretum
Honey Buzzard, Crossbills x 7 at Swaffham
Wryneck at Holme Dunes NWT
Spotted Redshanks x 14 at Breydon Water
Southern Emerald Damselflies x 4 at Winterton North Dunes
Osprey at Filby

Also just updated the Norfolk Bird News in full for the weekend on my previous posts.

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Bird Fair 2013 Video!

Derek Moore signs my book at the Wildsounds Stand on the
BIRD FAIR 2013 VIDEO – approx. 3 minutes 20 seconds in:

Also other videos from Bird Fair TV for 2013 are on Youtube HERE. I can't find a link on the Bird Fair website though, only found the 2012 videos.

Also see LGRE's Account of the Bird Fair and the rumours about him DJing the gig – sorry! (smile)

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
CITRINE WAGTAIL, ICTERINE WARBLER, Redstarts x 12, Pied Flycatcher, Whinchats x 3, Crossbill at Burnham Overy Dunes
CITRINE WAGTAIL at Kelling Water Meadows and then at Weybourne
Red-backed Shrike at Glandford
Long-tailed Skuas x 7 at Sheringham
Wryneck, Whinchats x 8 at Gramborough Hill
Caspian Gull, Med. Gull at Salthouse
Curlew Sandpipers x 3 at Cley NWT
ITALIAN SPARROW possible remains at Northrepps
Wryneck at Stiffkey
 Wryneck, Pied Flycatchers x 3, Redstarts x 9, Whinchats x 13, Long-tailed Skua, Arctic Skuas x 6, Little Gulls x 3 at Winterton
Wryneck at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Pied Flycatcher at Sidestrand
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL at Lynford Aboretum
Wryneck at Horsey
Curlew Sandpipers x 42, Little Stints x 4 at Titchwell RSPB
Rough-legged Buzzards x 3 at Holt
Red-backed Shrike at Great Yarmouth
Spotted Redshanks x 2, Little Stint, Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat at Breydon Water
Rose-coloured Starling juv. at Horsey
Pied Flycatcher, Redstart at Wells Woods
Pied Flycatcher, Redstart at Gorleston
Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Crossbill at Holme

RBA Weekly Round-Up 21st-27th August

Brilliantly written by Mark Golley as always. Also a few of my images in the Round-up this week, thanks RBA Team!

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Redstarts x 2, Pied Flycatchers x 2 at Great Yarmouth Cemetery
GREENISH WARBLER, ICTERINE WARBLER, Wryneck, Pied Flycatcher, Redstarts x 3 at Horsey
ITALIAN SPARROW possible, remains at Northrepps
Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat at Hemsby
Red-necked Grebe at Martham Broad
Wryneck at Strumpshaw Fen
Wryneck, Redstart x 6, Whinchat x 12, Pied Flycatcher at Winterton North Dunes
Long-tailed Skua, Pomarine Skua, Arctic Skuas x 4 at Winterton South DunesRed-backed Shrike, Wryneck at Beeston Bump, Sheringham
Whinchats x 5 at Sheringham
Long-tailed Skua at Sheringham
Wryneck at Weybourne
BARRED WARBLER, Wryneck, Little Gull at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Long-tailed Skua, Pomarine Skuas x 5, Arctic Skuas x 20, Curlew Sandpiper, Caspian Gull at Cley
Red-backed Shrike at Glandford (Cleyspy)Wryneck, Redstart at Blakeney Point
BOOTED WARBLER, Redstart in hawthorns, just west of carpark, Wryneck at Stiffkey
Red-backed Shrike, Wryneck, Pied Flycatcher x 20, Redstarts x 6, Crossbill at East Hills, Wells
ICTERINE WARBLER, Bluethroat, Wryneck, Redstarts x 15, Pied Flycatcher, Whinchats x 15 at Burnham Overy Staithe (no sign of yesterday's Booted Warbler)
Curlew Sandpipers x 38, Little Stints x 4, Spoonbills x 4 at Titchwell RSPB
Red-backed Shrike, Whinchat x 4, Pied Flycatcher x 3, Redstart x 4, Little Stint at Holme

Monday 26 August 2013

Bank Holiday Birding at Burnham Overy Dunes & Gun Hill Twice!

Burnham Overy Dunes

Another incredible day's birding with hundreds of migrants, my second Booted Warbler of the weekend and a stonking Icterine Warbler this evening!

The alarm went off at 5am – it killed me to get up, but there was no messing about this morning – this weekend is as serious as it gets! Arrived at the carpark on the main road to walk Burnham Overy Dunes at just before 7am. There were several cars here aleady. It was a beautiful, sunny morning and it felt so exciting to know that I had a whole day out in the field.

Set off along the track and as soon as I reached the oak tree on the left hand side in the ditch, I stumbled across 2 Spotted Flycatchers! One of them posed on a branch and I quickly got the camera onto the bird. But my camera for some reason was in automatic selection point mode when I looked through the view finder!!! I couldn't understand what was going on. I switched the camera off and on and it still remained the same. It was on single point focus when I last used it yesterday and I have not touched the menu at all. It was so frustrating and this resulted in me getting naff pictures of the Spotted Flycatcher. A young man whom I recognised, was walking down the track with his Canon gear, so I stopped Robin to ask his advice. I would just like to say how massively helpful he was, he was determined to fix the problem for me and even though I said don't worry, I am stopping you birding, he persevered until he has fixed it, so huge thanks to you Robin if you are reading this and nice to chat to you this morning. It was such a relief when my camera was back to how it was supposed to be!
 Spotted Flycatcher at Gun Hill.

 Spotted Flycatcher at Gun Hill.

Willow Warbler feeding at Gun Hill.

Willow Warbler at Gun Hill.

 Whinchat at Gun Hill.

At the end of the boardwalk I dropped down from the sea bank to walk through the sueda to search for yesterday's bluethroat, but found only Willow Warblers and Reed Buntings. I watched a Pied Flycatcher, Redstarts flitting about and Spotted Flycatchers amongst the bushes. I was just going to walk to Gun Hill when the pager bleeped up with 'BOOTED WARBLER at Burnham Overy Dunes at east end just west of Holkham Pines'. I took a slight detour and crossed the dunes and watched loads of Wheatears, Meadow Pipits and Linnets on the short turf near a water logged area – an amazing sight! On route I bumped into Anthony Griffiths who was the finder of the Booted Warbler and he told me he had first seen the bird on a bush at very close range initially and then on a fence wire! I carried on and reached the east end of the dunes to stand with other birders. It wasn't too long before I had several views (although brief) of the BOOTED WARBLER in a large sallow, south of the footpath at 9.45am. There was a good selection of birds here aswell including Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroats, Whinchat, Redstarts, Spotted Flycatchers, Pied Flycatchers and also 3 Marsh Harriers. Nice to see several familiar faces here including Steve W. and friend, Jim S. etc etc. I left the crowd (approx 30 people) and walked back along the fence line. There were two birders standing on a hill who I joined as they had seen an interesting cinnamon coloured warbler. Suddenly a Wryneck appeared on a bush, not too far away at 11.45am. Also saw more Garden Warblers, Whinchats, Redstarts and Lesser Whitethroats here. Dave Holman and Julian Bhalerao joined me and others to look at the Wryneck – its wasn't photographable though! I left here and walked back to the board walk and watched a stunning Lesser Whitethroat flitting about in the bushes where I had photographed the Greenish Warbler last night and also a lovely Redstart who posed for the camera. It was now 12.35pm.
 Redstart, Burnham Overy Dunes.

As I walked along the path through the sueda towards Gun Hill, I soon realised there were far more birds here, than on the east, dune side of the boardwalk. The place was alive, there were so many birds. In fact there were so many birds around Gun Hill, my arms ached from lifting up my bins every two seconds!! Seriously it was awesome! By 1.30pm there were at least 100+ Wheatears, 100+ Linnets and similar numbers of Meadow Pipits if not more, 20+ Redstarts, 15+ Spotted Flycatchers, 6+ Whitethroats, a couple of Lesser Whitethroats, 70+ Willow Warblers, a Yellow Wagtail on the short turf with at least 15+ Pied Wagtails, a Pied Flycatcher, a Whinchat, a Wren, 2 Kestrels. At one point I had 6 Willow Warblers balancing on a dock stem together – I just couldn't believe the sheer numbers I was seeing. The Willow Warblers were really bright yellowy ones – it was an absolute joy to witness this amazing spectacle! I searched hard to find something extra special and spent a good amount of time by the bushes on the seaward side of Gun Hill but only found more Willow Warblers here. I was chatting with Steve (Norfolk birder, know his surname) and also Irene Boston, whilst we watched Redstarts and 2 Spotted Flycatchers flitting about. It was now decision time, I had run out of food a while ago, was hungry and needed to think about where to spend the rest of the day. It was also incredibly hot and I could feel my nose burning even with suncream on! I decided to walk back to the car and have some late lunch. On route back at the beginning of the boardwalk, I bumped into Rob Lambert and girlfriend Lucy who had seen a Pom Skua at Gramborough, Salthouse this morning. Back at the car I collapsed, sat on my rug and had coffee, sandwiches, grapes etc. Up on the pager came news of an Icterine Warbler at Gun Hill – I knew this was going to happen, I was expecting it!!! Oh well, I expect it will be gone just as quickly or would it? The clock ticked by and there was no news or updates about the Icky.  I sat in the car and drifted away to the land of nod for about half an hour. As I woke up I could see birders walking back to their cars, so I shot out of the car and quizzed them about the Icterine Warbler – it was still there and showing well apparently – pity birders didn't ring that news out, but hey ho! Rob Lambert and Lucy also walked back and they had also seen it and it was a really nice yellow one apparently. It was too much now, I had to see this bird!

Got myself together and walked out there again! Several other birders also walking out there, told me they had walked Blakeney Point this morning and had seen the same selection of birds as I had seen at Gun Hill earlier. On route there was news that a second Icterine Warbler had been found in the bushes at the end of the boardwalk. When I reached the end of the boardwalk I branched right to stand with other birders on a hill looking down onto some bushes where the Icterine Warbler showed a few times, but only for a few moments before disappearing again. A birder there told me he had been watching the Icterine Warbler at Gun Hill when it flew off and headed for the bushes at the boardwalk, where we were standing now, so sounds like the same bird possibly. The bird was a spec in my camera so I moved over to a different closer position and stood quietly and waited. There was a Pied Flycatcher in the same bush and the Icterine did appear a couple of times and then flew really close to me, like really close and with my heart beating nine to the dozen I attempted to photograph it unsuccessfully as there was loads of vegetation obscuring it from what would have been a full frame picture! The bird then flew off around me and towards the apple tree/bushes. I followed the bird and cutting a very long story short ended up standing in the sueda below the sea bank and stalked the bird very carefully and it ended up flying to a bush right in front of me and I got some cracking photos of it in the sunshine. Also whilst I stood here a Stoat popped out of a hole and squealed! This would have made a wonderfully cute picture if there hadn't have been a whole clump of marram in front of the Stoat!
 ICTERINE WARBLER, Burnham Overy Dunes.

I then decided to try for the Booted Warbler again and walked to the dunes with another couple, Sheila and Frank (hope I have their names right!). It was getting late and this was probably crazy, but there we go! On the way I excitedly found a Wryneck, which quickly bombed over the hill – probably the same bird that was seen earlier (maybe) – I only obtained a record shot of this bird. Joined four other birders at the spot where the Booted Warbler was seen from but it had not been seen for ages. Frank and Shelia walked back and I was the last one here. I sat and had a coffee and a sandwich and then walked back – it was pretty dark now! The last half of the walk was in complete darkness and I at least was sensible enough to have a torch this evening. Got back to the car at 9.15pm! Home at 10pm! Crazy day, crazy weekend!!!

No. 23 in the Top 1000 Birding Blogs [] this evening. I think that's the highest its ever been, thank you all for your support and lovely comments I receive, both by email and when I'm out and about birding, it is much appreciated.

A few more pictures to be added

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Curlew Sandpipers x 5 at Breydon Water
Black Terns x 2, Arctic Skuas x 20, Pied Flycatchers x 7, Redstarts x 2 at Great Yarmouth
BARRED WARBLER, Wryneck, Black Redstart, Redstart, Pied Flycatcher at Kelling Water Meadows
Caspian Gull at Cley NWT
BLUE-WINGED TEAL, Garganey x 30, Common Cranes x 3, Osprey at Ouse Washes RSPB
Long-tailed Skua, Pomarine Skua, Little Gulls x 7 at Hopton on Sea
Wrynecks x 2 at Holkham
Spoonbills x 6, Pied Flycatcher x 5, Redstarts x 25, Crossbill at Holme
ITALIAN SPARROW possible, remains at North Repps
Wryneck, Whinchats x 10 at Horsey
Pied Flycatcher at Lowestoft
Black Tern, Curlew Sandpipers x 40, Little Stints x 3, Osprey, Spoonbills x 10, Spotted Redshanks x 17 at Titchwell RSPB
Pied Flycatchers x 2, Whinchat at Hemsby
Great White Egret at Fen Drayton Lakes RSPB
Wryneck, Whinchats x 4, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Wryneck, Pied Flycatchers x 6, Redstarts x 12 at Thornham Point
Red-backed Shrike at Glandford
Red-backed Shrike at Beeston Bump, Sheringham
Pied Flycatchers x 6, Redstart at Wells Woods
Osprey at Lakenheath Fen RSPB
Wrynecks x 2, Redstarts x 2, Whinchats x 4, Pied Flycatchers x 3 at Winterton
Wryneck, Pied Flycatcher, Redstarts x 2, Whinchats x 5 at Holme
•Southern Emerald Damselflies x 2
Pom. Skuas x 2, Arctic Skuas x 5, Great Skua at Hemsby
Wryneck at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Wryneck at Salthouse (in garden)
Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat, Redstart at Snettisham RSPB
Wryneck, Pied Flycatchers x 2, Redstarts x 2, Whinchats x 2 at Blakeney Point
GREENISH WARBLER at Burnham Overy Dunes
ITALIAN SPARROW, possible, remains at Northrepps
Montagu's Harrier, Redstarts x 2, Whinchats x 3 at Mundsley
Black Tern, Wrynecks x 2, Pied Flycatchers x 2 at Holme
Balearic Shearwater, Arctic Skuas x 10, Black Terns x 3 at Cley NWT
Crossbill, Wood Warbler, Pied Flycatcher at Hemsby
Redstart at Lowestoft
Pied Flycatcher, Redstart at Happisburgh

Sunday 25 August 2013

GREENISH WARBLER & Tons of Migrants in Norfolk!!!

Burnham Overy Dunes

Burnham Overy Dunes and Gun Hill
So frustrating to be at work until 4.30pm. I can't remember the last time I saw that many birds on the RBA Website for Norfolk! A stupendous day for birders in Norfolk, Wow!
I flew home after work, cooked quick tea, whilst have a shower at the same time! Flew out of the door and parked up at Burnham Overy Staithe. A beautiful sunny evening aswell! At the end of the boardwalk I saw a Pied Flycatcher and 2 Redstarts in a single hawthorn and got a cracking picture of the redstart. A few yards further along were some familiar faces and I didn't have to wait too long to get some cracking views of the GREENISH WARBLER! What a stunning little bird!!! Got some half decent pictures too! You know its good here when you see LGRE here and loads of other birders! Lee said he didn't recognise me, probably because my hair was in a ponytail from work and I didn't have any make-up on, in other words I probably looked pretty rough round the edges! Anyway, I just couldn't believe how many migrants were around, there were at least half a dozen redstarts just flitting around, some on the fence wires, some on the ground. Sadly I didn't get to see any of the other goodies here eg Bluethroat, Red-backed Shrike or Wrynecks. I looked for the Bluethroat with Lee Gregory and others, but no joy. They continued to search for the bluethroat and I went off alone to Gun Hill.
At least 30+ Wheatears at the Gun Hill end along with more Pied Flycatchers, Redstarts and lots of Willow Warblers and also two Whinchats. Several birds skulking about the bushes on the seaward side of Gun Hill, but too dusky now to see what they were! Walked back in the dark and got back to the car at 9pm! One of the best falls of migrants I can remember over the last couple of days and I have a whole day off tomorrow, can't wait!
Burnham Overy Dunes

 Redstart at Burnham Overy Dunes.

 Redstart at Burnham Overy Dunes.

 Pied Flycatcher at Burnham Overy Dunes.

Pied Flycatcher at Burnham Overy Dunes.

A few more pictures to be added

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Wood Warbler, Pied Flycatchers x 2, Redstart, Tree Pipit, Arctic Skua x 2 at Hemsby
GREENISH WARBLER, Pied Flycatcher, Osprey, Whinchat at Stiffkey Campsite Wood
Wrynecks x 2, Pied Flycatchers x 2, Whinchats x 10, Long-tailed Skuas, Balearic Shearwaters x 2 at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
ICTERINE WARBLER, Black Terns x 10, Great Skua, Arctic Skuas x 2, Balearic Shearwaters x 3, Curlew Sandpipers x 7, Caspian Gull at Cley NWT
Red-backed Shrike at Glandford
Wryneck at Walsey Hills NOA
Wrynecks x 2, Pied Flycatchers x 4, Redstart, Whinchats x 9, Tree Pipit at South Dunes, Winterton
ICTERINE WARBLERS x 2, COMMON ROSEFINCH, Wrynecks x 10, Whinchats x 10+, Redstarts x 45, Pied Flycatchers x 50, Tree Pipits x 2, Long-tailed Skuas x 2, Great Skuas x 4 at Blakeney Point
Dotterels x 4 in off sea at Salthouse
BARRED WARBLER, Pied Flycatchers x 15, Redstarts x 8, Whinchat, Balearic Shearwater, Black Terns x 4, Arctic Skuas x 17, Great Skua, Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Spoonbill at Holme
ICTERINE WARBLER, Wryneck, Pied Flycatchers x 3, Whinchats x 6, Redstarts x 2, Spoonbills x 12, Little Stints x 5, Curlew Sandpipers x 30, Spotted Redshanks x 15, Wood Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gulls x 2, Red-necked Grebe at Titchwell RSPB
GREENISH WARBLER, BLUETHROAT, Wrynecks x 2, Red-backed Shrike, Pied Flycatchers x 10, Redstarts x 15, Whinchats x 10, Tree Pipit at Burnham Overy Dunes
Whinchats x 3 at Thorpe Marshes, Haddiscoe
Whinchats x 8 at Cromer
Balearic Shearwaters x 4, Pied Flycatcher at Sheringham
Red-backed Shrike, Wryneck, Pied Flycatchers x 3, Redstarts x 2, Whinchats x 6 at Beeston Bump, Sheringham
Whinchats x 3, Redstart at Sidestrand
Whinchats x 3 at golf course, Brancaster
Wryneck, Pied Flycatchers x 2 at Wells Woods
Pied Flycatchers x 5, Redstart at Warham Greens
Wrynecks x 2, Redstarts x 2 at the Cemetery, Great Yarmouth
ICTERINE WARBLER, Wryneck, Pied Flycatchers x 2, Redstart, Whinchats x 8 at Thornham Point
WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER, Wryneck, Pied Flycatchers x 6, Redstarts x 2, Whinchat at Happisburgh
Osprey at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
ITALIAN SPARROW, possible, remains at Northrepps, also Osprey
Crossbills x 45, Osprey at Lynford Aboretum
Great White Egret at King's Lynn
Little Stints x 3, Curlew Sandpipers x 4 at Snettisham RSPB


Raining Birds!!!

Another Mega day of birds in Norfolk!!! Just finished work, off out birding!!!!!

Saturday 24 August 2013

A MEGA Hot Birding Day, and a Very 'Bootiful' Day!

Halfway House, Blakeney Point

What a fabulous day – it was so exciting to be out in the field when there was so much to see and potentially find!
Pouring with rain in King's Lynn and I got soaked just getting the gear into the car! I couldn't decide whether to go to Holme for a change or head to Cley. It's certainly a good job I didn't wait for any news to come out from Holme before I left, as there was no news from the reserves until 7.45pm! I decided to head to one of my favourite places to search for migrants, Blakeney Point! I had full intentions of walking Blakeney Point today anyway, I don't know why I was hovering about where I was going! That RBA pager was on fire today! As I drove along, news of a Wryneck came up at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse, so I made this my first stop.
Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
The carpark was packed out, but I managed to find a space. Walked up to Gramborough Hill to join other birders and watched the Wryneck skulking about, half way up a very small pine tree, fabulous to see, but certainly not showing well when I was there. I only managed a smudgy record shot on the camera. I noticed this evening, that Steve G. has got a fab picture when it was obviously showing very well! There were an unbelievable 6 Whinchats all sitting together on the fence wire!!! I can't remember ever seeing six together, what a fabulous sight! A single Stonechat joined them and almost seemed insignificant amongst them. There was a pussmoth and a popular hawkmoth caterpillar by the bushes on the hill and peering into the bush with another birder we watched a Pied Flycatcher also skulking about in the middle of the bush, only yards away! No pictures obtained though. I sat on the hill looking down on these bushes for ages hoping for a picture of that Pied Fly, but no luck with that.
Walsey Hills NOA
A Whimbrel called as it flew over the steps. A Blackcap was 'tacking' along the bottom path and there was a chiffchaff calling, few chaffinches and a female blackcap skulking in the bottom willow, but surprisingly nothing else more exciting in here. Walsey Hills is a good spot for Pied Flys, but not today! It is extremely overgrown around the reserve with the recent, heavy rain. Wont' be long before the bracken has crossed over along the bottom path again.
Cley Coastguards
Eddie, Pete and I were chatting and having lunch and drinks in the carpark. As I was packing up my Blakeney Point rucksack and preparing for the hike out along the shingle, news came on the pager of Balearic Shearwaters, that had flown west from Salthouse – as we turned to look, Eddie very sharply spotted a single Balearic Shearwater going west at 2.10pm, about half distance which was fabulous to see!
Blakeney Point
I left to walk Blakeney Point at about 2.20pm. As I started my walk, news came on the pager of a Booted Warbler at Long Hills – excellent!! I saw very little at all before Halfway House and became quite fed-up to be honest. I passed a birder who cheered me up when he told me there was now an Icterine Warbler in the seuda at Halfway House, a Wryneck at The Hood and the Booted Warbler was still there at Long Hills! I now had a spring in my step! I could see birders by Halfway House but they disappeared before I got there so had to search for the Icterine alone. Julian Bhalerao and Phil Heath then joined me which definately helped to locate the Icterine. Phil walked in the sueda and I saw the ICTERINE WARBLER bomb out further along into the sueda. Julian and I got some fabulous pictures of this bird, which was very accommodating! Just a pity the light wasn't better though, but you can't have everything I suppose! Wheatear here also.


Halfway House, Blakeney Point
Pied Flycatcher at The Hood, but we couldn't find any wrynecks. At Long Hills along with Steve G., Julian B., Phil H., Duncan Mc., Eddie M. and others we had reasonable views of the BOOTED WARBLER at 4.45pm. I did manage to get some good record shots of this bird in the end. I also get totally wet and my trainers were squelching with water and trousers soaked. At one point the Booted Warbler was sitting on the shingle momentarily, but teased us terribly and I don't think anyone got a picture of it on the shingle. There was also a Whinchat and a Spotted Flycatcher here.
The Hood, Blakeney Point
Steve G. had walked on ahead to The Plantation. Julian, Phil and others headed back and Eddie and I carried on to The Plantation. On route we saw a Garden Warbler, 2 more Wheatears and another Pied Flycatcher. At The Plantation we found Steve G. airing his feet! (wet socks) and we saw 4 Pied Flycatchers flitting about in here and there was also a Garden Warbler. Eddie and I had a brief look in The Lupins but only found a large flock of linnets, a whitethroat and 2 woodpigeons. Two more Wheatears were seen. We left at 7pm and on the way back, we saw a Spotted Flycatcher sitting on the shingle, another Wheatear, a Willow Warbler and 6 Grey Partridge. At The Hood, Eddie and I searched in vain for the two Wrynecks. Eddie walked back along the beach, but I decided to keep to the shingle and sueda until after Halfway House. I passed Kevin Shepherd on route who was sat having a rest and told me he reckoned 'they probably had at least 5 Wrynecks today' on BP.
Its so lonely and soul destroying walking the last half of this walk back, in semi darkness and now rain again! I kept plodding along, with the waves crashing at my feet, until I had no choice but to climb higher up the shingle bank as the waves threatened to soak me. It is such a massive relief when suddenly out of the gloom you spot the boats and the tractor on the shingle and the triangular image of the shelter at Coastguards! Got back to my car at 9pm. Arrived home at 10pm and put the soggy trainers and clothes straight in the washing machine!
What a cracking day! I just wish I could do it all again tomorrow, but very sadly I am at work until 4.30pm. Roll on Bank Holiday Monday!
 Reed Bunting, Blakeney Point.

 Wheatear at Blakeney Point.

Tree Pipit at Blakeney Point.

Spotted Flycatcher on the way back from Blakeney Point.
A few more pictures to be added

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
BOOTED WARBLER at Long Hills, ICTERINE WARBLER at Halfway House, Wrynecks x 2 at The Hood, SHORT-TOED LARK (possible) 300 yards east of Halfway House at BLAKENEY POINT
Balearic Shearwaters x 16, Arctic Skuas x 16, Long-tailed Skua, Whinchat, Curlew Sandpiper x 20, Spoonbills x 2, Pied Flycatchers x 4, Dotterel at Cley NWT
Great White Egret at Cley (yesterday)
Wryneck, Pied Flycatchers x 2, Whinchats x 6, Twite x 2 at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Pomarine Skuas x 15, Black Terns x 9, Balearic Shearwater, Sooty Shearwaters x 5, Little Gull at Salthouse
ITALIAN SPARROW, possible still at Northrepps
Long-tailed Skua, Great Skua, Black Terns x 6, Little Gulls x 8, Arctic Terns x 18, Puffin, Wryneck, Pied Flycatchers x 2 at Sheringham
Red-necked Grebe, Red-necked Phalarope, Purple Sandpiper at Weybourne
Long-tailed Skua at Cromer
Pied Flycatchers x 4, Whinchat, Tree Pipit at Waxham
Black Terns x 7, Little Gulls x 2, Arctic Terns x 5, Arctic Skua x 13 at Horsey
Stone Curlew, Pied Flycatchers x 4, Whinchats x 3 at Winterton
Wood Warbler, Pied Flycatchers x 2, Whinchats x 2 at Hemsby
Black Terns x 6, Whinchat at Caister-on-Sea
Pomarine Skuas x 2, Arctic Skua at Gorleston
Mediterranean Gulls x 531 yesterday in roost at Breydon Water
Whimbrel at Cringleford
Wryneck, Pied Flycatchers x 3, Whinchat at Wells Woods
Pied Flycatchers x 3 at Scolt Head Island
Whinchat at Flitcham
Little Stint, Curlew Sandpipers x 6, Knot x 35000 at Snettisham RSPB
Spoonbills x 4, Little Stints x 3, Curlew Sandpipers x 11, Roseate Tern at Titchwell RSPB
Pied Flycatchers x 2, Redstart at Gypsy Lane, Titchwell
Pied Flycatchers x 5,  Redstarts x 3, Whinchats x 2, Black Terns x 3 at Holme Reserves

Friday 23 August 2013

Hot Birding This Weekend!

With Citrine Wagtails, Greenish Warblers, Icterine Warbler and Booted Warbler appearing around the rest of the country today, its looking good for Norfolk this weekend!

Saturday starts off with NW winds and rain and then changes to NE with rain/cloud around midday for the whole afternoon!!! Bit of a seawatch on the cards maybe first thing?

Sunday is NE and sunshine all day. Sadly though, I'm at work all day until 4.30pm.

Monday is also NE and sunshine all day and I am not at work!

Hope everyone has a fab birding weekend!

HIGH TIDES For King's Lynn Docks
Saturday: 9.09am - 8.2 metre tide
9.48am - 7.9 metre tide
10.27am - 7.4 metre tide

HIGH TIDES For Wells Bar
Saturday: 9.06am (low tide: 3.14 and 15.44)
9.45am (low tide: 3.50 and 16.19)
10.24am (low tide: 4.24 and 16.50)

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Balearic Shearwater at Sheringham
Whinchat at Winterton
ITALIAN SPARROW, Possible at Northrepps
Wood Sandpiper, Spoonbill, Curlew Sandpipers x 14 at Cley NWT
Spoonbills x 13, Little Stints x 3 at Titchwell RSPB
Wood Sandpiper at Kelling Water Meadows
Pied Flycatcher at Wells Woods
Pied Flycatchers x 2 at Gorleston
Pied Flycatcher at Blakeney Point
White Stork at Breydon Water
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, Wood Sandpiper at Cantley Beet Factory
Spoonbills x 8, Spotted Redshank at Stiffkey Fen
Pied Flycatcher at Holme Dunes NWT Forestry
ICTERINE WARBLER at Hemsby (north of Beach Road along Kings Loke)
Whinchats x 2 at Horsey

Thursday 22 August 2013


MEGA! ITALIAN SPARROW, possible, Norfolk!!!

ITALIAN SPARROW Male (or hybrid sparrow)
1/2 mile east of Northrepps at Hungry Hill + carrying food to nest in roof (noted for 7th day). Park carefully in Northrepps village then walk east up Hungry Hill for 1/2 mile + view roof from cottage driveway north of road.  Do NOT park at Hungry Hill.

Pictures and further location details from Carl Chapman HERE: 

Another picture here:

Discussion HERE

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL Juv. , Crossbills x 60 at Lynford Aboretum
Curlew Sandpiper at Welney WWT
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE at Cantley Beet Factory
Spoonbills x 12, Little Stints x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbills x 7 at Stiffkey Fen
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILLS x 6 at Weybourne Station then flew probably flew west (J.M)
Spotted Redshank, Caspian Gull, Wood Sandpiper at Cley NWT
Whinchat, Arctic Skua at Winterton
Southern Emerald Damsefly at Winterton
Wood Sandpiper at Holme NWT
ITALIAN SPARROW, possible (or hybrid sparrow) male, 1/2 mile east of Northrepps at Hungry Hill + carrying food to nest in roof (noted for 7th day)

Weather looks hot for the weekend with easterly winds – time for a Blakeney Point walk over the Bank Holiday Weekend I think!


Wednesday 21 August 2013

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Osprey at Terrington Marsh
White Stork (esc), Spotted Redshank, Little Gull at Breydon Water
Pied Flycatcher at Sidestrand
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL, Crossbill x 10 at Lynford Aboretum
Woodlark x 2, Spoonbills x 11, Little Stints x 3, Spotted Redshanks x 12, Crossbills x 3 at Titchwell RSPB
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE at Cantley Beet Factory
Whinchat at Salthouse
Pied Flycatcher at Holt Country Park
Spotted Redshanks x 2, Little Gulls x 2 at Cley NWT
• Southern Emerald Damselflies x 6 at Winterton

RBA Weekly Round-Up 14th-20th August

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Norfolk Bird News etc!

Main Highlights – RBA
Spoonbills x 6, Spotted Redshanks x 12, Red-crested Pochards x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Black Tern, Southern Emerald Damselflies x 3 at Winterton
Wood Sandpipers x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Kelling Water Meadows
Great White Egret at Hickling Broad NWT
Red-necked Phalarope at Cantley Beet Factory
Caspian Gull, Wood Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Garganey at Cley NWT
Wood Sandpipers x 4 flew in off sea at Cromer
Spoonbills x 7 at Morston

Other News
WHITE STORKS x 2 over the Acle Straight, Great Yarmouth today at 10.45am – seen by birder Jon Steward (my neighbour Julie's brother) who told me about his sighting via FB tonight.

I'm still exhausted from travelling back and forth to Bird Fair at the weekend and have no energy to sort through and add pictures and videos yet, but I will make a promise, that they will be added by the end of this week latest, honest!

Monday 19 August 2013

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Pied Flycatchers x 4 at Winterton
Red-necked Phalarope, Wood Sandpiper at Cantley Beet Factory
Black Tern at Great Yarmouth
Little Gull, Clouded Yellow Butterfly at Breydon Water
Wood Sandpiper at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
Spoonbills x 12 at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbills x 7 at Stiffkey Fen
Wood Sandpipers x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Kelling Water Meadows
Black Tern, Little Gulls x 4, Arctic Skuas x 2, Pied Flycatcher at Hemsby
Caspian Gull at Cley NWT

Other News
MEGA! BRIDLED TERN remains on Inner Farne, Farne Islands

Sunday 18 August 2013


 Tim Appleton and me!

Arrived at the Bird Fair fairly early this morning. Beautiful weather today and much warmer than yesterday! Today I wore my re-designed 25th Anniversary Tea-shirt, which resulted in several complimentary comments about my sewing skills – thanks!

 Bird Fair 2013
My Tea-shirt

David Lindo, 'The Urban Birder' and me!

Another picture of Simon King and me again!
TV's Nick Baker - the ladies Bird Fair Pin-Up, sorry Simon!

I would just like to say a huge thanks to all my blog readers whom I met over the weekend – it was great to meet you all! Also thanks to Neil Glenn who managed to obtain a lovely present for me – Neil is author of the Best Birdwatching Sites Guide to Norfolk, now in its third edition – see HERE
 Johnny Kingdom entertains the crowds in the Events Marquee!

Watched Johnny Kingdom in the Events Marquee at 11.00 who is just a great entertainer and so passionate about what he does, he talks more than more me though and had to plead for extra time, which he did get. He is so enthusiastic and wants to tell you and show you so much and the time just runs away! I was sitting in the front row for this and remained in my seat for the next event which was "Celebrity Wild Brain of Britain" which was hosted by Nigel Redman and the contestants were: Dominic Couzens, Stephen Moss, Nick Baker and Bo Beolens. This was, as always, hugely entertaining and Dominic Couzens very smoothly beat Stephen Moss into first place with 11 points.

Nigel Redman chairs the event.
 You can never have too many pictures of Nick Baker!!!
I'm sure the ladies would agree!

Stephen Moss and Nick Baker

and another!

Stephen Moss in the 'Black Chair'
Bo Boelens ( in the 'Black Chair' enjoying the banter!

Dominic Couzens, cool as ever!
The only contestant who never looks worried!

Nigel Redman presents Dominic Couzens with the award – he's won again!

Had a wonderfully relaxing lunch at the food marquee and it was the best day so far – glorious sunshine and warm without being too hot. Live music again today.

I managed to get photos of Tim Appleton and Martin Davies today and a third day picture of Simon King and me! Sadly I didn't see LGRE to photograph this year – only saw him briefly on day one, when he was in deep conversation with someone and I didn't want to interrupt him for a picture. Also didn't see Birdforum's Steve Kirk or Andy Bright which was disappointing. Saw Rob Lambert and his girlfriend Lucy over the weekend and also saw Keith Betton today and Dean Eades. Saw several Norfolk birders walking round who were amused by my non-birding attire! Met up with Andy Wilkinson, Mandy and children, Chris and Belinda Lansdell and Justin and Sonia Lansdell for a drink and catch up, mid afternoon which was lovely. Managed to buy an incredibly cute, fluffy, furry Kiwi which sang/called when you pressed his tummy – this was part of the props on the New Zealand stand and thank you to Matt Jones who sold it to me.


 Daniel L√≥pez-Velasco, a tour leader with BIRD QUEST
Very photographic indeed!

Gunnar Engblom (centre) – Kolibri Expeditions.
Note: Gunnar sang 'Bird Party'!

Mark Avery.

Brian Egan, Rare Bird Alert.


Carl Browne and I on the Guyana Stand!
Opposite the RBA stand, taken by Brian Egan.

Carl Browne and team on the Guyana Stand – really lovely people!

Me – taken by Peter on the WildSounds stand and the following picture.

 Tim Appleton.

 Irene and Tim Loseby on The Fair Isle Stand.

Simon King signing cards for fans!

The Queue!

 David Lindo, 'The Urban Birder' and me!

 Jonathan and Angie Scott chatting with an exhibitor.

Keith Betton at The African Bird Club Stand.

 Bryan Bland on the Sunbird Tours stand.

New Zealand stand and where Matt Jones kindly sold me the cuddly Kiwi!

Don't know this ladies name, but she smiled beautifully for the camera on The Azores Stand.

Another young man working on the Azores Stand.

Don't know who this is, but he crept into my camera!

General picture in one of the marquees.

The raffle was drawn for the Wild Wings Antarctica trip, but sadly it wasn't me that won! When bird fair finished at 5pm, I sat in the food marquee area and had a cup of coffee and a gingerbread man before I went home. There is no point in leaving the bird fair when it finishes as you spend ages queuing to get out. On route to my car I took close up pictures of all the birds painted on the massive bird fair mural (see pictures at end of post) and had a nice chat with Martin Davis and also mentioned about the possibility of doing a birder's disco, which Martin explained they wouldn't be able to do, because of noise issues with the villagers close by. Maybe as Ceri Levy mentioned at the party on Saturday night, that we should have a concert for nature – Wembley Stadium, here we come!!!

I didn't take that many pictures to be honest this year, (honest!) and only took a few stand pictures. But took lots of video of the Saturday night party which I will add this week.

Well the Bird Fair has been and gone again for another year and for me it always feels quite sad at the end. We all have to wait another year to celebrate, meet up with friends and share our love of birds. I would just like to say a massive congratulations and thanks to Tim Appleton, Martin Davis and all the bird fair staff and volunteers and everyone who gives their time to creating this wonderful event for all us birders to enjoy and Congratulations on your 25th Anniversary!

 Martin Davis at the end of the day, looking happy!

 Looking forward to Bird Fair 2014!


 Oh dear! On this video when Derek Moore signs his book for me: 

Visitors having lunch, whilst listening to Ronnie Haar and Louise Sofield -- The Fairbirds. The Fairbirds are an English folk-pop duo formed in March 2013. See more information here: 

World music choir Global Harmony in their practice session, before performing later in the Events Marquee. See more information here: