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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Chilled Day & Titchwell RSPB!

A very hot day, too hot for me. Had a chilled recovery day from Blakeney Point. Took my mother to a GP appointment this afternoon (with much protesting), then collected prescriptions. Went to buy fish 'n' chips in Hunstanton, but changed my mind when I saw the queue half way down the street! Note to self, don't book holiday in half-term time again! Helped mother with a few chores back at home.

I had a beautiful evening at Titchwell RSPB. I spent my entire time around the Fen Trail and the East Trail. Watched a pair of Red-crested Pochards on the pool beyond Patsy's Reedbed, who were booted off by a Coot just as I started to take pictures! Saw three Marsh Harriers, at least two Chiffchaffs, a Barn Owl at close range, Mute Swan with cygnets, Great Crested Grebe, tons of Gulls fly catching as the sun was setting over the pool. Lots of Swifts twisting through the skies, a Cuckoo calling and a Cetti's Warbler. Coots, Moorhens, Pochards, Tufted Ducks, Lapwings, a pair of Bullfinches and Blackbirds perched on the highest trees singing, as dusk fell.

On route home, a Yellowhammer flew across the road at the trig point, south of Thornham. Grey Partridges and Red-legged Partridges were in the fields around me. I watched the rest of the sunset over Holme Church and coastline before heading home.

It was very exciting to hear that Black-winged Stilts had bred at Welney WWT today, but then extremely sad and disappointing to hear a short while later, that the young had been predated.



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Marsh Warbler singing on Monday at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Spoonbills x 10 at Brancaster
Curlew Sandpiper, Spoonbills x 2 at Breydon Water
Black Kite over Sculthorpe Airfield, west of Fakenham
Spoonbills x 11, Garganey x 2 at Potter Heigham Marshes
Black-winged Stilts x 4 male, fem. & 2+ young at Welney WWT
• later message reporting no sign of any BWS's & that young have been predated
Turtle Doves x 2, Spoonbill, Continental Black-tailed Godwit, Little Gull 1s at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbill at Cley NWT
Savi's Warbler singing by Weavers' Way, Hickling Broad NWT


RBA Weekly Round-up 24th to 30th May!

By Mark Golley

Tuesday, 30 May 2017


 Walking back from Blakeney Point

Only one person saw the Greenish Warbler this morning at 7.15am (going by the pager) and it was seen in an elder bush apparently. There isn't an elder (that I can recall) at 'The Hood', so others presumed it must have been at 'Long Hills'. Several people out there before me including Mark and Tracy Bradbury and a birder from Sheringham, Pete Dolton and a couple of birders from Bristol. When I called the BP rangers, they said that it was seen at 5am this morning by a single observer. Whoever it was, must have walked out in the dark. 5am? 7.15am?

The 'No news' message came too late for me, as I had just pulled up into Coastguards car park at Cley. With no other birds on offer, I decided to go anyway.
Pink Thrift along path at 'The Hood'

Lupins by The Lifeboat House
The Plantation

Bird of the day was a Spotted Flycatcher in The Plantation, which was elusive and refused to be photographed. There were several Painted Lady butterflies, a Marsh Harrier, Swifts, Swallows, Meadow Pipits, Linnets, Ringed Plovers, Avocets, Oystercatchers, Little Terns and Sandwich Terns. There was a massive storm brewing and I headed quickly towards the Lifeboat house to take shelter, but weirdly it didn't materialise! The black clouds dispersed and slowly the sun came out again! It took forever to get back to Coastguards!

Collapsed in my deckchair at the car park and had a coffee. The light was beautiful over the marshes – this was the best part of the day!



  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Purple Heron flew west, Black Terns x 2 flew west, Wood Sandpiper at Cley NWT
Greenish Warbler at The Hood at 7.15am only, Blakeney Point
Spoonbills x 18, Little Stint, Wood Sandpiper, Garganey x 3 at Potter Heigham Marshes
Savi's Warbler singing by Weavers' Way, Hickling Broad NWT
Purple Heron flew west over Weybourne
Purple Heron flew south over A149 at Stiffkey
Red-footed Falcon male flew SE over Sheringham
Garganey x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Little Gull 1s at Titchwell RSPB
Osprey flew over Tottenhill

Isle of Foula, Shetland
Again, at Glandwr, SE of Ynyslas, Ceredigion, South Wales

Monday, 29 May 2017

Bank Holiday Birding – Hunstanton to Salthouse!

After a night of rain and easterlies – today looked promising. When I phoned my mother for a catch-up this morning, she declared that 'it felt dead' and there was 'no bird movement' in her garden and there 'wouldn't be any birds today'. Well, apart from two birds, she was correct!

In the Millennium Garden I found a few Goldfinches, House Sparrows and one Mallard – nothing else of note, but a nice selection of flowers. If the sun had been out, this would have been a good spot for butterflies and insects. Walked across the road to look into the pitch 'n' putt area for birds, to find that most of the bushes have been removed for a new playground!

The Lighthouse garden and surroundings produced a Robin, Hedge Sparrow, House Sparrows, a Pied Wagtail and Fulmars soaring over the cliffs.

Holme NWT and Holme NOA
Parked up on the NOA car park and spent a while watching the big sycamore in the NWT car park, but only managed to find a female Blackcap and a couple of Chaffinches. I got some really weird looks and stares from non-birders – funny that, as I found them rather odd, where were their binoculars!?

As I crossed over to the dunes, a Marsh Harrier flew east overhead. I then walked through the pines to the observatory. A couple of Hedge Sparrows and a Robin were all I could find. The new wheelchair friendly raised boardwalk path (part of the coastal footpath) has now been finished and in my personal opinion looks a complete eyesore! Also, you now can't walk directly from the NOA to seawatch from the dunes, as the steps have been removed and it is roped off! So you either have to jump over/duck under the rope or walk all the way down the new boarded path (left) and walk back right to follow the usual path to the favoured spot on the dunes. There would be very few people, that would be physically capable of pushing a wheelchair from Thornham to Holme and vice versa! I really can't see this new raised boardwalk being used for the purpose it is intended! Was the removal of pine trees/branches and part of the dune/ bank and cost of the wood and labour worth it? more than probably not!

There are several very disappointing things going in Holme recently – an ancient pond being filled in and levelled out in a horse meadow, mature hedges being hacked down, dumping of rubbish in village car park, trees being cut down at the request of second home owners etc. Holme is a rural village and is also part of an SSSI site ('Site of Special Scientific Interest' for those of you that don't know) being Holme Dunes Nature Reserve, Norfolk Wildlife Trust and Holme Bird Observatory, Norfolk Ornithologists' Association – both reserves have been established for many decades. To those people that have moved into our village and don't like wild flowers, brambles, nettles, bushes and trees, then maybe you have moved to the wrong place! Please don't destroy our habitat and wildlife and make it neat and tidy – its not a town – this is the countryside and what little we have left is very precious! So much land has already been taken for huge houses, built for second homes. Its a pity some of that land wasn't used to build housing for local people – I know several people I went to school with in Holme, who would dearly love to buy a house in the village – but the astronomical prices are way off what we all earn! Someone told me today, that there is a new four bedroom property in the village that is up for sale for over a million pounds!!! I'll put an offer in for £125,000!😏

Where was I? Ah yes, so I arrived at the bird observatory to find Steve Newman and David Bratt on duty and sat and had a chat with them for a while. Weather dull, gloomy and cold. Yellow Flag Irises out in full bloom in the pond. Nice to see Peter and Sandra Tilley here too. Headed back to my car. Bumped into Mark and Tracy B. who said they had seen a Spotted Flycatcher in the sycamore where I had the Blackcap earlier. Went to visit mother briefly and then headed to Titchwell.

Titchwell RSPB
Walked slowly round the Fen and Meadow Trail in search of migrants. Cetti's Warbler, Blackcaps singing, Robins, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Jay, Chaffinches, Blue Tits and that was about it. Some birders who had just come from Thetford said it was warm and sunny there! It was so cold, I changed my clothes into warmer attire! Just as I was leaving, Geoff and Pat kindly rang me to say the Turtle Dove was feeding in the field next to the big wooden gate by the last car parking area, which I got some half decent pictures of, thanks!

Stopped in the layby for Burnham Overy Dunes and had my lunch. A Red Kite soared over my car! Got some pictures, but rubbish because of the light. The weather was so miserable and raining now too, that I couldn't be bothered to walk out there! A bit later on, there was pager news of an Icterine Warbler at Winterton (found by Barry Jarvis) and bird of the day was a Greenish Warbler found by Andy Stoddart at The Hood, Blakeney Point.

Garden Drove, Warham
Parked up at the concrete pad and walked Garden Drove, to the copse and back to the car – for the first time it was completely devoid of birds! I was feeling pretty fed-up now. I continued east, tempted by the Greenish Warbler, but not by the walk to Blakeney Point!

House on the Hill, Blakeney
I sat here in the car for a good while, waiting for something exciting to appear, but best I saw was a Robin, Whitethroat, Goldfinches and Hedge Sparrows. I've only ever found one good bird here and that was a Red-backed Shrike. Talking of shrikes, we haven't had any yet this Spring!

Walsey Hills NOA
Pretty dead in here too, apart from a Cetti's Warbler singing, Blackcap skulking around, Chiffchaff and a Cuckoo calling.

Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Whitethroat, family of Stonechats, Meadow Pipits, Sand Martins, 2 Avocets on the pool and a Redshank. House Sparrows in the bushes by my car in Beach Road. I left and parked up next to the duck pond for a coffee and watched something very amusing – a Mallard and a Rat where feeding on some seed together, only inches apart! Never seen that before! Lots of hirundines skimming over the marshes and flocks of Starlings perched on the wire fence. There was more bird action here, than anywhere else I had been today!



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Quail yesterday at Sheringham
Icterine Warbler at South Dunes, Winterton
Wood Sandpiper at Cley NWT
Savi's Warbler singing by Weavers' Way, Hickling Broad NWT
Cattle Egret, Spoonbills x 18, Little Stints x 3, Wood Sandpiper, Garganey x 4 at Potter Heigham Marshes
Greenish Warbler at The Hood, Blakeney Point
Honey Buzzard flew over Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Turtle Doves x 2 at Beighton
White-tailed Eagle in dead tree at Holt Country Park


At Glandwr, SE of Ynyslas, Ceredigion, South Wales

Sunday, 28 May 2017


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Osprey flew over, Spoonbill, Wood Sandpiper at Cley NWT
Honey Buzzard & Spoonbill flew over at West Runton
Red-footed Falcon male flew east over Salthouse
Spoonbill at Kelling Quags
Osprey, Turtle Dove at Winterton
Osprey flew past Overstrand
Savi's Warbler singing, Spoonbills x 18, Little Stints x 3, Wood Sandpipers x 4, Garganey at Potter Heigham Marshes
Great White Egret at Hickling Broad NWT
Spoonbill flew past Weybourne Camp
Honey Buzzard flew over Kelling Heath
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Honey Buzzard flew over Bodham


Unconfirmed report, Waterville, County Kerry, Ireland

Saturday, 27 May 2017

A 'Little' Surprise! Titchwell RSPB & Cley NWT!

High Tide at Titchwell RSPB

I was up before 5am this morning, which is very early for me! I wanted to avoid the heat of the day and the queues of bank holiday traffic. I had a wonderful surprise on route! By the Knights Hill Hotel roundabout in King's Lynn, I spotted a small dumpy bird sitting on the low fence that runs around the Farm Shop grounds. I slowed down and reversed back to check it out and to my delight discovered it was a gorgeous Little Owl, perched on the fence sunning himself at 6am! Naturally my camera was in the boot! I would have got a cracking picture if the camera had been sitting on the passenger seat. Totally unexpected and a brilliant start to the day. There were also Red-legged and Grey Partridges in the field.

Headed to Titchwell RSPB via Ringstead and arrived in the car park at 6.30am. Choice of parking spaces and warm but not too hot, fabulous! I really must get up earlier more often. Turtle Dove purring in the corner of the car park and Robins were very active. A Jay was balancing on the nut feeder! I had just started walking along the Fen Trail, when Trevor G. joined me and we teamed up to see what we could find. The Turtle Dove flew up from the concrete by the gate near the entrance to the East Trail and quickly disappeared – no hope of any pictures. Mute Swans and 6 cygnets on Patsy's Pool, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Marsh Harrier over the reed beds. Cuckoo, Blackcap and Cetti's Warbler singing and several Long-tailed Tits seen. I thought I heard the burbling call of a Bee-eater, but dismissed it. A Four-Spotted Chaser was also seen and a unusually dull Painted Lady appeared by the far pool. Back on the Fen Trail we found a Speckled Wood butterfly.

Walked along the main path for high tide, which was 8.10am. It was so beautiful here and the sea was almost lapping up to the dunes (what is left of them!). Two other birders were already here with their scopes. Birds seen on the sea: Common Scoters x 7, Gannets x 2, Ringed Plovers x 3, Sanderlings x 19, Turnstones x 6, Little Tern, Common Tern, Common Buzzard, Fulmar  west, Swallows x 2 flying low east over the sea. News came on the pager of a Bee-eater flying east over the East Bank at Cley NWT – somebody was lucky this morning, as was someone else a little later at Sheringham Bird Observatory. We returned along the main path and watched Red-crested Pochards x 3, Little Terns x 2, Little Ringed Plovers x 2, Med. Gulls x 2, a Reed Bunting singing in an elder and a Red Kite soaring west at 9.15am. Trevor headed back along the Meadow Trail and I continued along the main path. Moments later he shouted 'Spot Fly' and I re-traced my steps to join him and saw a lovely Spotted Flycatcher at 9.25am. We sat on the seat in the shade (now, very hot) by the door to the shop overlooking the feeders and watched several Greenfinches. I left Trevor here and headed back to my car. It was 10am when I left.

Went to visit my mother, but she wasn't there! I have a key, so let myself in – as I opened the door, the cat shot out. I presumed that mother must have gone on the bus to Hunstanton, so headed that way to see where she was. As expected, Hunstanton was packed out with tourists in shorts with buckets, spades, children and dogs. Did a couple of errands and then went back to Holme to find that mother had returned home. The skies darkened very quickly and there was a mini thunderstorm for around an hour and then the sun and blue skies re-appeared. I made a big salad for us both and then decided I needed a siesta! I must have gone to sleep properly as when I looked at my watch it was 1.15pm. We had our lunch and I then discovered a pager message that had come up a long time ago, whilst I had been snoozing: GREAT REED WARBLER in reeds, half way along the East Bank at Cley NWT! Tried to persuade mother to come out with me, but failed. I headed east to Cley.
The Serpentine, East Bank, Cley NWT

As I drove through Holkham, I could see that not only was Lady Ann's Drive packed out with cars, the field east of the drive was also packed out – I have never seen it like that before! I popped into CleySpy briefly and then headed to the East Bank car park at Cley. There had been no further messages or sightings of the Great Reed Warbler and with the blustery winds, the chances of seeing or hearing this were slim. Bumped into Jim Lawrence here. Very hot along the East Bank, but wonderful to sit in the hide opposite Arnold's Marsh in the shade. I stayed here for a long time, reluctant to return to the heat! Nice selection of birds here including Ringed Plovers, several Dunlin, a Greenshank, Redshanks, Bar-tailed Godwits, Knot x 4, Little Tern, Sandwich and Common Terns, Grey Plovers x 2, Lapwings, Greylags with young, Canada Geese, Little Egrets, Grey Heron, Swifts, Sand Martins, Swallows etc. Eddie turned up to join several of us in the hide and eventually I left the shade and headed back along the East Bank. There was a Sedge Warbler singing in the reed bed on route back, but nothing else of note. From the car park I saw a Whitethroat, just before I left.

Went to Glandford Ford to have a coffee and snack before I drove home, but this was a bad mistake. Several families were paddling in the Ford and making lots of noise, so there was no chance of seeing any birds whatsoever. Arrived home before the sun set!


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Grey-headed Wagtail (MAG) at Blakeney Bank
Bee-eater flew east over East Bank, Great Reed Warbler midway along East Bank + Otter, Little Stints x 3 at Cley NWT
Bee-eater flew east over Sheringham Bird Observatory
Golden Oriole at North Dunes, Winterton
Savi's Warbler singing by Weavers' Way, Hickling Broad NWT
Hooded Crow at West Runton
Little Gull, Spoonbills x 2, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbill flew west past Wells
Spoonbills x 12, Little Stint at Potter Heigham Marshes
Montagu's Harrier at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Spoonbill at Burnham Overy Marsh


Friday, 26 May 2017

HOT Friday Night!

My house feels like the central heating is on max, even with all the windows open!

Busy bee last night – cut all my front hedges with shears, which took over two hours, did the supermarket run etc. I have had to give up my Couch To 5k running temporarily, as my left ankle is very painful, feels like I have pulled ligaments and have been sitting with a pack of peas on it this evening and now bandaged up for support.

Overall it has not been the Spring that we hoped for so far. Not one single rare bird has turned up to get the heart racing and the wheels spinning! Hoping that will change when the storm arrives on Monday! There just seems to be a general lack of birds all round. I have heard a few dawn chorus's and it was so sad to hear – a very quiet chorus compared to when I was a youngster, when it used to be almost deafening!

Hope you all have a good weekend, don't forget the suncream, or stay in the shade. Saturday will be boiling, a little cooler on Sunday and storms hit on Monday! Winds remain south east on Saturday, changing to south west at 4pm – Sunday remains south west and then changes to west north west at around 4pm – Monday starts off with east winds, veers south east at 1pm, then south and south westerly.

I have another mini break and don't go back to work until next Thursday!


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Common Cranes x 12 yesterday at Horsey Mere
Glaucous Gull juv. on beach at Gorleston-on-Sea
Turtle Dove at Holme
Spoonbill at Titchwell RSPB
*Red-veined Darter Dragonflies x 2 on main double pool at Winterton
*Red-veined Darter Dragonflies x 3 at Kelling Water Meadows
Spoonbill at Warham Greens
Black-winged Stilt at Lakenheath Fen RSPB
Spoonbill at Breydon Water
Little Stint, Wood Sandpiper at Potter Heigham Marshes
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Little Stint, Spoonbill on Simmonds' Scrape, Cley NWT
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE just west of Ridlington


Flew east past Orcombe Point, Devon

Norfolk Set for Boiling Bank Holiday Weekend with Highs of 29C – Hotter than Ibiza, Tenerife and Morocco!

I don't do hot weather! The best place to be when the temperature rises is my mother's house, the coolest place in the hottest weather! Looks like I will be at Holme at the weekend!

Thursday, 25 May 2017


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Quail singing a Cockley Cley
Golden Orioles x 2 (both 1s male/female) flew west, Spoonbills x 4 flew west at Overstrand
Turtle Dove reported yesterday, briefly at Winterton
Ring Ouzel yesterday at Lopham Fen
Little Gull 1s at Salthouse
Little Gull 1s at Snettisham Coastal Park
Black-winged Stilt at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB
Purple Heron, Turtle Dove at Holme
Little Gull 1s at Titchwell RSPB
Savi's Warbler singing by Weavers' Way, Hickling Broad NWT
Garganey x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Great White Egret, Spoonbills x 2 at Welney WWT


Lake Lake Vyrnwy RSPB, Wales

Wednesday, 24 May 2017


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Great White Egrets x 3, Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint, Garganey, Spoonbills x 15, Common Cranes x 7 at Potter Heigham Marshes
Spoonbills x 3 at Breydon Water
Red-footed Falcon at Cut-off Channel, Stoke Ferry
Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB


On 1st May [identified from photograph]
Isle of Noss, Shetland

RBA Weekly Round-Up 17th to 23rd May!

By Mark Golley

Tuesday, 23 May 2017


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Long-tailed Duck, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB
Savi's Warbler by Weavers' Way, Spoonbill at Hickling Broad NWT
Temminck's Stint, Wood Sandpiper, Garganey, Spoonbills x 6 at Potter Heigham Marshes
Glossy Ibis at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB
Spoonbills x 2, Little Gull 1s, Long-tailed Duck on pool east of East Bank at Cley NWT
Red-footed Falcon reported yesterday at Hickling Broad NWT
Great White Egrets x 3, Garganey, Whooper Swans x 2, Wood Sandpiper at Upton Fen NWT
Short-eared Owl at Wiggenhall St Germans


Manchester Attack

Terrorists are not part of the human race, they are programmed and brainwashed to become the lowest form of life – they have no soul or religion. To the Manchester suicide bomber: you have given your life and killed innocent people for what? Nothing, nothing at all – so sad, so evil. My heart goes out to all those families and children who lost their lives – RIP and to those that have been injured – stay strong #manchesterattack

Dipz Dangal, who is a friend of mine on Facebook wrote the following this evening. I felt his words covered everything that any normal human being is thinking and feeling today. He kindly gave me permission to post this:

You’re NOT a monster; you’re NOT larger than life.

You’re NOT supernaturally evil; you’re NOT a political warrior NOR religious revolutionary.

You’re NOT going to be remembered.

Your name will NOT go down in history with any reverence, among ACTUAL human beings.

You’re cause will NOT be heeded to.

You have NO religion.

You have NO argument.

You ARE, on the other hand, deplorable.

You ARE small minded.

You ARE a criminal against humanity.

You ARE morally bankrupt.

You ARE a mentally disturbed, emotionally unstable, weak, waste of oxygen and space; as is anyone that even slightly shares these nonsensical ideologies with you.

No one actually cares that you are dead.

No one appreciates your ‘sacrifice’.

Your suicide only exemplifies your cowardice.

You wasted your time, your life and selfishly you took real human beings down with you.

You ARE pathetic.

Monday, 22 May 2017


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB
Quail singing on Saturday and Great White Egrets x 3 flew west at Sheringham
Osprey flew south over North Dunes, Winterton
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Red-footed Falcons (both males) x 2 flew east, Red-throated Pipit flew over, Bluethroat male at The Hood, Spoonbill flew east at Blakeney Point
Savi's Warbler singing at Heigham Corner at Hickling Broad NWT
Purple Heron flew in off sea at Cley
Black Kites x 2 flew over Cranwich Camp, Mundford
Turtle Dove in trees at Horstead


Sunday, 21 May 2017

Early Bird, Family Day & Titchwell RSPB!

A Cuckoo was calling continuously at 2.15am!!!! I listened in disbelief! Stuck my head out of the window and yes, there was a Cuckoo calling – I wasn't dreaming! Never heard one at this time of night! Odd!!!

Did a Couch To 5K run this morning and saw a Barn Owl carrying prey (looked like a rat), a Cuckoo calling and a few Whitethroats, not bad for 'Urban Birding'!!!

Spent the rest of the day with my mother and sisters at Holme. Did some clearing in the garden with my shears for mother – her garden is like a jungle! Then spent the evening at Titchwell RSPB. Heard the Turtle Dove in the car park. Saw and heard two Cetti's Warblers, Sedge Warblers singing, Blackcap, Blackbirds collecting food, Marsh Harrier, Robins, Herons, a Chinese Water Deer, a Muntjac and the highlight was a Bittern booming!

Back to work tomorrow.


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Iberian Chiffchaff still, singing at Walsey Hills NOA
Golden Oriole flew towards Incleborough Hill, Honey Buzzard circling over village at West Runton
Little Gull 1s, Little Stint, Velvet Scoters x 2, Spoonbill at Titchwell RSPB
*Otters x 3 in main drain, viewed from East Bank at Cley NWT
White-tailed Eagle, Savi's Warbler singing at Heigham Corner, Common Cranes x 5, Spoonbill on Rush Hill Scrape at Hickling Broad NWT
Spoonbills x 8 at Potter Heigham Marshes
Common Cranes x 2 flew north over Sparham Pols, Lyng
Spoonbills x 2, Garganey x 2, Short-eared Owl at Berney Marshes RSPB
*Dotterel x 3 at Choseley Drying Barns
*Please keep to footpaths and do not trespass into the field!
Common Cranes x 2 flew west over Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Common Cranes x 2 flew west, Short-eared Owl at Holme Dunes NWT
Short-eared Owl at Warham Greens
Little Gull flew west past Weybourne Camp
Blue-headed Wagtail (hybrid) x Yellow Wagtail male briefly at Sheringham
Spoonbill at Burnham Overy


Saturday, 20 May 2017

Thinking About You......

My dearest father – Peter Clarke
02-11-1926 – 23-02-2017

Still can't believe you've gone. 😒I think about you every day. Got myself into a real bad state the last couple of days, need to dig myself out and carry on with life I suppose. People around me think I'm a strong person – I so wish I was. People sum you up into a little box and think they know you, but they only see the surface. So much heartache in my life that few people know of and yes of course there are people far worse off, but each and every one of us has to cope with sadness, pain and struggles – all part of the roller coaster of life!


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Savi's Warbler singing at Heigham Corner at Hickling Broad NWT
Golden Oriole on golf course then flew east over Incleborough Hill, West Runton
Turtle Dove, Velvet Scoters x 3, Little Stint, Spoonbill at Titchwell RSPB
Caspian Tern, Spoonbills x 7, Wood Sandpipers x 2 at Potter Heigham Marshes
Great White Egrets x 2 flew west, Little Gull 1s at Cley NWT
*Dotterel x 3 at Choseley Drying Barns
*Please keep to footpaths and do not trespass into the field! 
Osprey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Iberian Chiffchaff still, singing at Walsey Hills NOA
Spoonbill at Welney WWT
Turtle Dove at Snettisham Coastal Park
Hobby at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Temminck's Stints x 2 on Simmonds' Scrape at Cley NWT
Garganey x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Honey Buzzard at Breydon Water
Great White Egrets x 2, Spoonbills x 2 flew west over Weybourne Camp


Rufous Treepie OR Just An Odd Magpie In Norfolk Garden?!

A lady called Sue has posted a very interesting picture of a bird on her bird table on the public group "NORFOLK COUNTRYSIDE PHOTOS" on Facebook and this has certainly created a lot of discussion amongst the birding fraternity! When you first look, you think Rose-coloured Starling, but this is far too big and the tail is far too long. Sue describes the bird as having a white beak and belly and breast is pink, when I asked her. Sue also described it as 'bigger than a Magpie'. Sue also said "Not a magpie, bigger dark head like a jackdaw, but also has colours of a Jay – been visiting last 3 days!!"

Presumably this is an escape from someones aviary, but is it?

I emailed some of the birding elite and received prompt replies, thank you all. Suggestions of "Rufous Treepie", "an aberrant Blue Magpie of some sort" are thoughts so far. I also started an ID thread on Birdforum and you will see the replies and discussion here:

It has also been suggested that it is a Eurasian Magpie that has been kept in captivity and been fed food to make the white feathers turn pink? Or the white feathers either dyed or discoloured? But, this still doesn't explain the white beak! Another suggestion was that this is a Eurasian Magpie with heavy feather loss, but again doesn't explain the white beak, unless of course it is also an albino.

I had spent quite a bit of time trying to help Sue ID this bird and was most annoyed when the 'Admin Team' on this Facebook group deleted my post below. I was really confused, as wanted to add something else and could not understand what had happened. It was deleted very quickly I found out!!! When I asked why it was removed, I was told that 'we do not allow links' and asked me to 'PM them in future'! I replied with "Oh.... I was merely have a conversation with Sue W. about her photo and by showing my blog, letting her know that I was someone genuine, not to 'sell' my blog as I don't need to with 4,000 views daily!" I received no reply to this and I then added "There are links on this post to Birdguides and Wikipedia, so presume they need to be deleted too?". I did not receive a reply to this either and now the Admin lady has disabled any further comments!!!!! Funny that, rules for some, not for others. So some people are allowed to post links and others are not! Anyway, I thought I had lost this post, but found it in another tab on my browserπŸ˜€ later on, so took a screenshot – here it is Sue if you are reading this:

I posted the 'link' to Birdforum for Sue and her other commenters to see, as Birdforum is a huge worldwide website and knew I would get a good response for them all to see – not now its deleted they won't! Luckily Sue must have seen my post before it got deleted, as she replied that her husband has a Nikon and a Lumix camera and they would try and get a better photo tomorrow if it showed up. Good luck Sue – hope you get another picture!

Several others posters on Sue's ID post were really interested in this fascinating bird and its a pity that no more comments can be made. Maybe it will be opened again tomorrow? If it isn't and you would like more assistance Sue, then please do not hesitate to email me any new pictures you may be lucky enough to obtain to: OR/AND alternatively to the Birdforum link above if you would like any more help to ID your bird. If it was something rare/wild (which I doubt to be honest, more likely to be an odd Magpie or escapee), you can make alot of money out of us birders! There is usually a bucket for birders to put money into when going to see a rarity and this is then usually given to either the reserve where the bird is or to a chosen charity. Also there are many people who simply do not want loads of people on their property, which is totally understandable!

I remember some of my posts being deleted on the Norfolk thread on Birdforum and this was the very reason I started this blog in 2010, so that I could write freely about "Hot Birding and life"!!! So to those complainers at the time, thank you so much!

Looking forward to seeing more of Sue's pictures – also have you heard the bird singing at all Sue?

Friday, 19 May 2017


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Sooty Shearwater flew past Sheringham
Iberian Chiffchaff still, singing at Walsey Hills NOA
*Dotterel x 7 at Choseley Drying Barns
*Please keep to footpaths and do not trespass into the field!
Caspian Tern, Wood Sandpipers x 2, Knot x 2, Spoonbills x 4, Bufflehead fem. esc. at Potter Heigham Marshes
Savi's Warbler singing at Heigham Corner at Hickling Broad NWT
Temminck's Stints x 2 on Simmonds' Scrape at Cley NWT
Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint at Breydon Water
Turtle Dove at Titchwell RSPB
Ring Ouzel, Short-eared Owl at North Dunes, Winterton
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Black Tern, Arctic Terns x 2 flew north past Hemsby
Spoonbills x 8, Short-eared Owl at Berney Marshes RSPB


Thursday, 18 May 2017

Kelling Water Meadows, Cley & 'The Hills!'

Black-winged Stilt – Pat's Pool, Cley NWT
Phone-scoped from Bishop's Hide on Pat's Pool this evening at 7.15pm. Fabulous wing stretch at end of video, just before take-off! After around 5 minutes, it decided to fly east and was re-located at 7.57pm on Swan Lake off the Iron Road at Salthouse, Norfolk.

Kelling Water Meadows
I had no intention of visiting Cley again today, but a Black-winged Stilt tempted me east! It was a beautiful day and very warm indeed – a complete contrast from yesterday. I arrived at Kelling Water Meadows in time to see this majestic bird, before it flew back west to Cley later on. Nice to bump into James H. and also Chris M. whilst here. There was a Little Egret here too, along with a Coot, Moorhen, Black-headed Gulls, Lapwing and several hirundines skimming over the pool – a wonderful scene in beautiful light. I regretted not bringing my scope, as I could have done a phone-scoped video – it was too far away for my 300mm lens, although I did get a few record shots. Blackcap, Chiffchaff and a couple of Goldfinches were seen along the track. The last time I saw a Black-winged Stilt in Norfolk was almost a year ago – from Daukes' Hide at Cley NWT on 8th May 2016.
Black-winged Stilt at Kelling Water Meadows

Muckleburgh Hill
Back at my car, I decided to go and look for my own birds and walked all around Muckleburgh Hill. It looked so exciting and all the trees looked so fresh and green. Bluebells adorned the slopes and I saw my first Painted Lady of the year, along with Red Admirals and Tortoiseshells. It really was beautiful here and I didn't see a single soul! I climbed to the very top of the hill and sat here for a good while, soaking up the stupendous views and waited for a couple of Bee-eaters to burble overhead, a soaring Black Stork, a Golden Oriole to bound over the tree tops and a Black-browed Albatross to cruise along the sea...... but, in reality I only saw Jackdaws, Crows, a Magpie and heard a Chiffchaff and Blackcap, all exciting stuff! I returned to my car to have a sandwich and cup of coffee.
Muckleburgh Hill

Kelling Tea Rooms
Nipped into the tea rooms at Kelling to use the 'ladies' and was tempted by their scrumptious ginger cake and yes I did succumb! It's first class ginger cake and cheaper than other places around here at £1.70 a slice. The pager bleeped up with news that the Black-winged Stilt was now on Pat's Pool at Cley NWT! Now was my chance to get some phone-scoped video.

Cley NWT
I parked up at the bottom of Old Woman's Lane and knocked my tripod over after getting it out of the boot – it all seemed ok and I made my way to Dauke's Hide. The Black-winged Stilt was very distant indeed and was far closer to Bishop's Hide than here. The heat haze made the video utterly rubbish. Lovely views of two Temminck's Stints on Simmonds' Scrape. I discovered the head of my tripod was loose and was not right at all. I needed to go and see Phil at CleySpy, before they closed!

Phil saved the day at CleySpy and mended my tripod in under 2 minutes! Thanks! He also re-lined my Kowa phone adapter, which has not been fitting very well – excellent service! Left here and headed back to Cley.

Walsey Hills NOA
Arrived at Walsey Hills NOA and bumped into Jake G. and Jonny R. – I let them know that the Black-winged Stilt was sitting on Pat's Pool and off they went to see it. I didn't see or hear the Iberian Chiffchaff and gave up after a short while. I did see a female Bullfinch and Chiffchaffs and Cetti's Warblers were singing.

Gramborough Hill
Parked up at Beach Road, Salthouse and walked to Gramborough Hill. The weather had changed very quickly and was now dull and cold with looming black clouds. I found a family of five Stonechats, a Whitethroat and 2 Meadow Pipits. A Little Egret flew across the marsh and that was about it. The rain started as soon as I returned to my car.
Stonechats at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse

Gramborough Hill

Cley NWT
With no further news on the pager about the Black-winged Stilt, I presumed that it must still be on the NWT pools, so I headed back to Cley and parked up at the visitor centre. Had a 10 minute power nap and then headed off to Bishop's Hide. I was surprised to find no one else in here. I set up my scope and got settled, before opening the hide flap and then lifted it very carefully. Wow! There was the Black-winged Stilt! Still too far away for my 300mm lens, but perfect distant and light for phone-scoping! I attached the phone to scope and fiddled about to get the stilt exactly where I wanted it and started to roll the video. It looked brilliant – no heat haze this time! It was about 7.15pm when I started the video. The stilt stood there, looking pretty chilled. A couple of noisy Greylags flew over which ruffled it a little – moments later, it opened its beak, had a quick preen, did a magnificent wing stretch, then immediately flew off east at 7.20pm!!! Phew! I had been very lucky indeed! 5 minutes later and I would have seen nothing! Walked back in the rain to my car.

East Bank
Parked up at the East Bank car park and walked a short distance along the East Bank to see if the Black-winted Stilt had landed on the marshes here, but no sign of it. I could see a couple of Common Sandpipers on The Serpentine, which was an added bonus.

Walsey Hills NOA
I really don't know why I went back into Walsey Hills, but I did. No sight or sound from the Iberian Chiffchaff. Back at my car, I photographed the tamest Magpie I have ever seen! It sat on the public foopath signpost and wasn't bothered by my presence at all! A Tufted Duck, Pochard, Little Grebe and Mallard were on Snipe's Marsh. Had a coffee and headed home.
Magpie on the Public Footpath sign at Walsey Hills NOA

The winds were forecast to be SE tomorrow, but I noticed the forecast has changed again to NW and rain ALL day! Not good at all for migration.


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Iberian Chiffchaff trapped and ringed at Walsey Hills NOA
Temminck's Stints x 2 on Simmonds' Scrape at Cley NWT
Black-winged Stilt on Simmonds' Scrape & Pat's Pool, Cley NWT
Black-winged Stilt (same bird) at Kelling Water Meadows & at Iron Road, Salthouse
Caspian Tern, Little Stints x 2, Spoonbills x 6 at Potter Heigham Marshes
Caspian Tern at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT
Golden Oriole west of Sea Palling Road, Hickling
Spoonbill, Turnstones x 3 at Welney WWT
Garganey, Velvet Scoters x 3 at Titchwell RSPB
Curlew Sandpiper at Breydon Water
Osprey flew south over Holme
Osprey flew east over Ringstead
Osprey flew east over Norwich
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
White Stork flew west over Antingham
Common Crane flew west over Horstead


1/2 mile NW of Visitor Centre at Bempton Cliffs RSPB

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Hawk and Owl Trust bids to raise £1.7m to quadruple the size of Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve near Fakenham

Running in the Rain!

I felt exhausted this morning and didn't get out of bed until after lunch, shameful! But I obviously needed the sleep – body preparing itself for hardcore birding at latter end of week! As forecast, its been raining ALL day.

I had to do my 2nd run of my fourth week for Couch to 5k and didn't feel like doing it, but didn't want to give up my training schedule – so, forced myself out of the door and ran in the pouring rain. New hair style now transformed into drown rat look. It was pretty stupid timing, as all the children were walking home from school and I could see their amused faces at seeing this 'old person' running – wait 'til they get to my age!

Typed up blog early and still feel sleepy. I'm now going to cook a proper meal – something I never have time to do when I'm birding. The weather looks far nicer tomorrow, but still not the right conditions for serious rares to drop in. Let's hope I'm wrong!


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Dotterel x 8 west of Choseley Drying Barns
Great White Egret at Hemsby
Temminck's Stint, Caspian Gull 1s on Simmonds' Scrape, Crake sp. flushed in front of Bishop's Hide at Cley NWT
Iberian Chiffchaff still singing at Walsey Hills NOA
Caspian Tern at Rush Hill Scrape, Savi's Warbler singing at Heigham Corner, Common Cranes x 2 at Hickling Broad NWT
Garganey, Wood Sandpipers x 2, Short-eared Owl, Spoonbills x 9, Little Stint, Bufflehead fem. esc. at Potter Heigham Marshes
Glossy Ibis at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath RSPB
Turtle Dove, Little Gull, Velvet Scoters x 3 at Titchwell RSPB


RBA Weekly Round-Up 10th to 16th May!

By Mark Golley
Thanks to the RBA Team for including my Iberian Chiffchaff and Dotterel in their round-up!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Birding at Cley!

Bedraggled in the rain at Walsey Hills NOA

After spending four hours in the hairdressers, I eventually got on the road to see the Iberian Chiffchaff. It was a very warm, humid day. I spent a long time at Walsey Hills NOA trying to see and hear the Iberian Chiffchaff. I heard one brief call along with a handful of people and that was it.

There were at least 10+ Yellow Wagtails with the cattle in the Eye Field at Beach Road, Cley – but no sign of the Grey-headed Wagtail that was seen this morning. A Wheatear landed on a post and a couple of Meadow Pipits were also feeding in the field.

I returned to Walsey Hills later on and stood with Marcus Nash, but there was no sight or sound from the Iberian Chiffchaff. Not long after Marcus left, I heard and saw the Iberian Chiffchaff singing in a willow tree. The light was dire and it started to rain quite heavily. I had to return to my car to get my waterproof bag, before the camera got completely trashed in the rain. Three other birders turned up and saw and photographed the chiffchaff and very kindly put the news out to RBA, being as I had no phone signal in here with Vodafone. Then local Kelling birder Ian arrived – we watched the Iberian Chiffchaff in several different places, including the large hawthorn at the end of the path. It was incredibly difficult to photograph in this poor light and spent most of its time behind branches!
Iberian Chiffchaff at Walsey Hills NOA


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Iberian Chiffchaff at Walsey Hills NOA
Turtle Dove on entrance track to reserves at Holme
Turtle Dove, Spoonbills x 2, Velvet Scoters x 3 at Titchwell RSPB
Dotterel x 8 west of Choseley Drying Barns
Blue-headed Wagtail briefly at Kelling Quags
Savi's Warbler singing at Heigham Corner, Common Cranes x 2 at Hickling Broad NWT
Garganey, Spoonbills x 7, Bufflehead fem. esc. at Potter Heigham Marshes
Grey-headed Wagtail in Eye Field, Temminck's Stint on Simmonds' Scrape, Cley NWT
White Stork yesterday at Harleston
Glossy Ibis, Osprey, Great White Egret at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath RSPB
Spoonbill at Burnham Norton
Spoonbill at Welney WWT
Turtle Dove at Thursford Green
White Stork esc. flew over Upton Marshes
White Stork esc. at Alburgh, NE of Harleston
Turtle Doves x 4 at Pentney Gravel Pits
Garganey at Cantley
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Turtle Doves x 3 at Seething
Honey Buzzard (probable) flew distantly past Weybourne

Flew north west past Bemptom Cliffs RSPB

New Hair Style!

By Beth at 'The Studio'
King's Lynn

Four hours later, new bob!
Growing my fringe out is going to take a while!

Shorter style – less washing time, quicker to get out birding!

Monday, 15 May 2017

Titchwell RSPB, Gypsy Lane, Choseley & Holme!

Dotterel at Choseley Barns, Titchwell
Phone-scoped with Swarovski ATS 65mm HD Telescope + 25-50x w eye-piece,
Apple iphone 6 & Kowa TSN-IP6 Photo Adapter.

I felt exhausted from working yesterday, so had a pretty lazy day's birding – I didn't get the feeling that something big was going to turn up in a very blustery south west wind anyway, unless of course you live in County Donegal!

I went to Moulam & Horn in Heacham to buy mother's sack of bird seed, which she normally has delivered but forgot to order it. I have not been to this shop before and was very impressed with the selection of wild bird food on offer. I was told that they can get any seed in for you, such as Red Millet seed, which Turtle Doves particularly love. I came away with mother's usual order and a sack of finch seed (cheaper) too.

I delivered the bird seed, along with a loaf of bread to mother. We sat chatting for a while and I attempted to persuade her to come birding with me, but she didn't sleep very well last night and didn't feel up to it, so I left her to rest.

Titchwell RSPB
I ambled around the Fen and Meadow Trail to search for something exciting. The best birds I found were a male Bullfinch behind some bushes near the Fen Hide and two Spotted Flycatchers in the alders (where they were on Saturday) by the Dragonfly Pond. I met and chatted to a lovely couple who, when talking about Holme said how much they missed seeing birds on the telegraph wires along the Firs Road – 'don't even get me started on that' I replied! Seeing Kestrels, Swallows, Martins, Cuckoos and many other birds perching on the wires, including a Bee-eater once, were all part of the scene at Holme – if I had my way, the telegraph poles and wires would be still be there! A Cetti's Warbler was bombing about from the willow tree to the reeds in the pond and A Little Grebe was also here. Sedge Warblers were singing everywhere and a Cuckoo was heard.

Other birds seen: Long-tailed Tits, Robins, Great Tits, Blackbirds, Greenfinches, Chaffinches, Whitethroats, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, Marsh Harriers. At the small pool east of Patsy's Pool, there were a huge number of hirundines skimming over the water – the most I've seen in one area this year so far. It was spitting with rain the entire time I was at Titchwell – a gloomy day with strong south west winds. Had lunch in the cafe and met a couple of blog readers, nice to meet you both.

Gypsy Lane
It was a nice walk along this hedge lined track, but very few birds seen. Saw another Bullfinch, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, Blue Tits and three Muntjac deer in the copse on the west side of the path.

Choseley Drying Barns
I checked the fields out along Chalkpit Lane for Dotterel, but didn't find any. Parked up in the usual spot at Choseley Drying Barns and with scope (always needed for Dotterel!) headed west along the hedge lined public footpath to view the Dotterel. I met a birder on route, who kindly gave me a rough idea where to look. The good thing about week days is that there are less crowds – there was no one else here! I found the Dotterel far quicker than I expected too and had wonderful views of them through my scope. They were much too far away for SLR photography unless, like Steve G. you have a wacking great lens! I set up the phone scope kit and managed to get a few videos (only one I really liked when I went through them all this evening) and a few pictures – none were sharp, but with very windy conditions, distance and phone-scoping, you are never going to obtain a mint picture! The Dotterel disappeared over a ridge, so it was a good time to depart. Saw a Yellowhammer in the field and there were lots of Swallows skimming overhead and Whitethroats singing in the hedges.
Dotterels x 8 at Choseley Barns, Titchwell
A very windy phone-scoped video!

Phone-scoped with Swarovski ATS 65mm HD Telescope + 25-50x w eye-piece,
Apple iphone 6 & Kowa TSN-IP6 Photo Adapter.

I bumped into Phil from Holme, who was on his way out to see the Dotterel. A little further along the path, not too far from my car I could see a man by the parking area who started shouting at me 'is that your car?' he bellowed. Not knowing which car he was referring to, I shouted back 'mine is the green one'. As I neared my car, the man got into a tractor that was pulling a massive trailer. From the cab of the tractor he shouted 'this is not a car park you know'. I was not parked in front of any field entrance, so I couldn't really see what the problem was. I was parked centrally in front of the entrance to the public footpath. He carried on ranting and raving, but because of the wind I couldn't hear what he was saying. No doubt he will block this last remaining area (see yesterday's post), so that no birders can park anywhere at all. This farmer really doesn't like us birding folk! He should be pleased that people are here to look at birds – we are not nasty people, quite the opposite. After all, he could have vandals up here, fly tippers, raves going on, dodgy people and all kinds!

Holme Marsh Reserve NWT
Spent a while here, in hope that there might be some wagtails amongst the cattle from the third hide, but none were seen. Not many birds seen here really: a Heron, Marsh Harrier, Robins, Cetti's Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Mallards, Lapwings and that was about it.
Taken on the panoramic setting – Apple iphone 6

Spent the rest of the evening with mother before returning home. I see the winds are turning SE on Thursday and Friday, so we might all be in luck with a good bird or too!


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Dotterel x 8 west of Choseley Drying Barns
Honey Buzzard flew south over Walsey Hills NOA
Spoonbill at Breydon Water
Spoonbill on Thornham Marsh, Velvet Scoters x 3 at Titchwell RSPB
Turtle Dove at Welney WWT
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Short-eared Owl at Holme Dunes NWT
Garganey x 2 at Kelling Water Meadows
Turtle Dove at Beetley


On feeder in garden for 2nd day on Tori Island, County Donegal, Ireland

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Sunday Working, Running, Chilling & Holiday!

After a longer than normal day at work, I ran the first of my 4th week of Couch to 5k early this evening. Just about killed me (such a drama queen), but I did it! I was supposed to do this run tomorrow, but did it a day early, so I can get out birding early in the morning.

I then thought about cutting the hedge, but opted out and fell asleep on the sofa! Now on holiday. New hair cut and Hot Birding here we go!


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services   
Hen Harrier at Stockton
Dotterel x 8 west of Choseley Drying Barns
Glossy Ibis, Curlew Sandpiper at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB
Osprey, Turtle Dove, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB
Temminck's Stint at Stiffkey Fen
Spoonbill at Stiffkey
Savi's Warbler at Heigham Corner, Hickling Broad NWT
Spoonbills x 6 at Potter Heigham Marshes
Temminck's Stint at Cley NWT
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE juv. flew east over Bintree Mill, then seen over Foulsham
Turtle Dove at North Gap, Eccles-on-Sea
Whinchat at Beeston Regis
Osprey at Colney Gravel Pits
Osprey SW of West Earlham Marshes
Spoonbill at Holkham Freshmarsh
BEE-EATERS x 2 over cricket pitch at Winterton

North Ronaldsay, Orkney

Saturday, 13 May 2017

South Winds Bring Migrants!

Titchwell RSPB

A rather frustrating day, but all ended well at the finish! Started off in Hunstanton to pick up some of mother's usual selection of bird seed, from a shop opposite the library – a notice on the door read "Closed until 27th May".

Arrived at Holme to find that Vivien had unexpectedly arrived to visit mother. All three of us (after much persuasion) went birding at Titchwell RSPB. I dipped on the Wood Warbler several times – not a happy bunny at all and got rather bored of people telling me it was 'showing well' and was 'flycatching' and more later on of it was 'showing for a good while' and 'it was showing well 5 minutes ago' – you get the picture!😞 I particularly love Wood Warblers and don't like dipping them!

We ambled around the Meadow Trail, where we bumped into warden Paul Eele and also young birders Jake and Drew! We had lovely views of a Spotted Flycatcher in the Alders (a favourite spot) by the pond – there were two, but we only saw one whilst here. It felt like Spring had properly arrived, there seemed to be a real buzz in the air of birds arriving. Cuckoo's were calling, Cetti's Warblers, Sedge Warblers singing and also heard a Turtle Dove purring. Hirundines were gracing the skies in the lovely warm weather – what a change from the bitter north winds we have had! Peacock and Red Admirals were also seen. Lovely views of cute juv. Long-tailed Tits with parents, just before the Fen Hide.

Walked to Patsy's Pool, which my mother enjoyed last time we came here and sat on the seat enjoying the views. Mother declared that if she had sandwiches and a flask, she could sit there all day – it was so nice to hear her enjoying herself. There were a good number of Gadwall here, along with Little Grebes, Pochard etc and a Marsh Harrier flew over the reedbeds. Cuckoos calling again and Swallows were skimming over the pool. It felt like summer, it was almost too hot!

Mother purchased a selection of bird seed from the shop and then we returned to the car park to look for the Wood Warbler again – it seemed that everyone had seen it but me! No sign or sound from the lemon yellow delight. News of a Grey-headed Wagtail at Holme Marsh Reserve NWT had me scurrying away. Vivien took mother home and I headed off to see the wagtail.
Blue-headed Wagtail at Holme Marsh NWT

Parked the car up on the road in the Holme village and walked to the reserve. Bumped into Geoff and Pat, who have seen the Grey-headed Wagtail '5 minutes ago', but distantly amongst the cows. I arrive at the third hide to find no one else in there, which was a surprise! I scan the marsh and cows and see absolutely nothing, not a wagtail of any description! I scanned back and forth in disbelief that not a single wagtail was showing. I walked back to the second hide to see if any are on the muddy edges, but nothing at all. Two birders from a group join me and then we all return to the last hide, which is now full to the max of birders. We spend ages looking and after a couple of very brief moments, we eventually get a glimpse of the Grey-headed Wagtail, but not long enough to get a photo and in any case it was far too distant for my lens. The bird then heads towards the second hide, which I return to and have brief views again, but it heads back to the third hide! I return again to the third and last hide where everyone has departed. The cows make their way towards me and then walk over to the right hand side. I feel excited about seeing this wagtail much closer, but I didn't see it at all. But, I did have good views of a single Blue-headed Wagtail, which I got several pictures of – none are sharp, as still too distant. Any offers to buy me a bigger lens, will be very much appreciated!πŸ˜‰ Bumped into Mark Bradbury and then Eddie M. as I walked back along the path (they saw the Grey-headed Wagtail briefly too, Eddie told me later in the evening).

I returned to Titchwell RSPB, to have a final search for the Wood Warbler. The light on the large sycamore tree in the car park has disappeared and my hopes of seeing this bird are fading fast. Suddenly at just after 8pm I hear a wonderful little trill – a moment later another trill and there it is!!! At last! High up in the sycamore flitting around the lime green leaves, is the stunning Wood Warbler – I smile and sigh with relief! Managed to get a few shots, but nothing spectacular. A male Blackcap appears in a hawthorn bush and a Turtle Dove starts purring close by – magic!

Inspired by seeing the Wood Warbler, I walk around the Meadow Trail, but don't see anything else of note. The Spotted Flycatchers had retired for the night and the air was getting chilly. I walked along the main path for a short while, watching lots of hirundines skimming overhead. A beautiful sunset ends the day.
Sunset at Titchwell RSPB

I head up to Choseley Barns to look for Dotterel, but found nothing but lots of hares. I see the local farmer has cordoned off the pull in area at the bottom of the hill, where people have always parked to view the Dotterel! The same farmer (presumably) who ripped out the lovely hedge, that the Corn Buntings used to perch in by the concrete pad – as many birders were, I was shocked to see this hedge ripped out at the time. Why would he dislike birders that much, I really don't understand it at all. It was now 9.15pm, time to go home!