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Monday, 30 September 2019

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Pomarine Skua, Sooty Shearwater flew past Cley
Curlew Sandpiper at Cley NWT
Yellow-browed Warbler, Great White Egret, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB
Curlew Sandpipers x 4 at Breydon Water
Cattle Egrets x 9 at Burnham Overy Staithe
Yellow-browed Warbler at Wells Woods
Vagrant Emperor Dragonfly at Trimingham
Cattle Egret, Great White Egrets x 2 at Welney WWT
Yellow-browed Warbler north of Waxham Sands Holiday Park
Yellow-browed Warbler at Garden Drove, Warham Greens
Yellow-browed Warbler south of school at Kelling
Yellow-browed Warbler at Walsey Hills NOA
Yellow-browed Warbler, Great White Egret at Holme NOA
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, one at Stiffkey Fen and one at Campsite Wood, Stiffkey
Osprey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Black Guillemot, Caspian Gull, Little Gulls x 2 at Sheringham

MEGA NEWS
None

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Drama, Shopping, Pub & Seawatch at Cley!

Ok, so it wasn't a big drama, but still....... this morning, I put my new iPhone down on the kitchen worktop, face down (screen side down), which I didn't think would be a problem as the green case sits higher than the front of the phone – a few minutes later I picked the phone up and thought I was seeing things – I peered in disbelief at a crack running top to bottom with the smallest chip ever at the bottom of the crack on the screen protector!!! I just looked at it in disbelief! At least the phone itself was ok, but how could the most expensive screen protector I have ever bought, fail so quickly?! I hadn't even dropped it! I inspected the kitchen worktop, where it had been and there was nothing there to indicate why it had cracked. I have no idea how that happened?! This meant I had no choice but to return to the Apple store. I phoned the Cambridge store and obviously they said I could take it back to any store. Being as I had to go to Norwich today, it made sense to go to Apple in the Chapelfield arcade. This also meant I had to make the tedious and stressful journey into Norwich and into the Chapelfield nightmare multi-story car park, which I hate!

My schedule would now be running late, oh dear! Off I went along the A47 in pouring rain and had to queue for ages to get into the car park and had to be quick to get a space – I was! Made my way up the escalators to the third floor, where the whole arcade was packed with shoppers. In the Apple Store, they were brilliant and very kindly gave me another screen protector free of charge, which they needn't have done. The screen looked like it had been dropped, so I'm surprised they did that. I also purchased a 'pull-up' leather pouch case in a little mobile phone unit in the middle of the arcade for added protection when I'm at work and out and about. Got out of the car park before the £1.50 hourly fee was up and headed to the RBA headquarters!

Thank goodness for Sat Nav's! Arrived at RBA and dropped off the broken belt clip bit of my pager to D.F., which I was asked to return by 'Peter', after he very kindly posted me out a new one recently. It was lovely to meet and chat with the lady of the house, whilst 'D' re-programmed my pager for me, to get rid of some funny jargon/not filed stuff – all done, thank you very much! I then headed to Wex!

Wex Photographic Store is situated on an industrial estate on the outskirts of Norwich. I came here to purchase a new and lighter Lowepro bag, which I have been meaning to do for ages, as mine is big and bulky and too large for carry on luggage on a plane. Excellent service from a young man in here, who recommended the "Lowepro Pro Runner BP 350 AW II" and this came with a FREE Joby GorillaPod Kit 3K, which is priced at £62.95!!! Bargain! This is a new version of what I have already, but less depth, giving the visual impression of a much smaller bag. I won't be able to cram as much food in as I normally do on long hikes, but that won't be a bad thing! They said that I could trade in my old Lowepro bag and after assessment I would get between £40-£50, I might well consider that at a later date. I also bought a new SansDisk card, as mine came up with a funny message a few weeks ago! I have purchased all my camera gear from this excellent shop and was dying to have a proper look round this huge store, but didn't have the time now – with the money I have spent this week, it was probable a good idea I hadn't got the time to look around! I did however, have a quick look at and felt the weight of the Olympus set up I am considering at a later date and it was love at first sight!!!

Last stop of the day was at CleySpy, which I made by a nano of second, just before they closed at 4pm! Sorry! Purchased the Paramo Halcon Coat in GREEN and the Swarovski VPA Universal Smartphone Adapter, ring and also a AR-B Adapter Ring for my binoculars. I was now burnt out! I hadn't had anything to eat since my 40g bowl of porridge this morning.

End of holiday food treat! Sat in the Three Swallows Pub that overlooks the green in Cley and had one of their lovely Veggie Sunday Roasts! It was lovely sitting in here with the rain lashing down outside. Left here and headed north!

I stood with Eddie M., Ashley B. and two other birders at Coastguards and had a cracking little sea watch, mixed in with lots of banter! I was surprised there was no one else here! I do wish people wouldn't wee in the shelter – the smell of urine was almost overwhelming! Apart from that it was great! It was too cold to be getting the notebook out, but the main highlight was a fairly close in Pomarine Skua! Also several Bonxies, Arctic Skuas, Manx Shearwaters, Guillemots, Gannets, Ringed Plovers, Turnstones and at the very end at dusk and beyond, when only Eddie and I were left, we saw two Arctic Terns close in – seen separately, the second one was flying with a Common Tern. The weather was foul as we walked round the corner of the shelter to our cars. I sat in the car and had a coffee and left here at 7pm. That's my week's holiday gone!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Great White Egret at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford
Great White Egret, Little Stints x 3, Spoonbills x 14, Spotted Redshanks x 4 at Titchwell RSPB
Osprey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Yellow-browed Warbler at Weybourne Camp
Spoonbills x 4 at Thornham Harbour
Spotted Redshank at Snettisham RSPB
Great White Egret by Low Road, Winterton
Pomarine Skua, Arctic Terns x 2, Black-throated Diver at Coastguards, Cley
Spotted Redshank at Cley NWT
Great White Egret at Hickling Broad NWT
Balearic Shearwater, Pomarine Skuas x 2, Puffins x 2, Little Gull, Arctic Tern at Sheringham

MEGA NEWS
DAURIAN SHRIKE 
(not Turkestan Shrike, re-identified from photos)
Levenwick, Shetland
BLUE ROCK THRUSH
St Mary's, Isles of Scilly
BAROLO SHEARWATER
Pendeen Watch, Cornwall

Saturday, 28 September 2019

THE BEST WELLINGTONS EVER + OUTDOOR GEAR FOR WOMEN!

I purchased my first pair of Muck Boots (Men's Arctic Sport Tall Boots) for my Shetland trip with Oriole Birding in 2017 (last time I went on holiday) and they were extremely comfortable indeed, but because they were tall, they were a job to get on and off and aggravated my achilles tendon.

Since then, the Muck Boot Company have produced a boot with a Vibram sole – which I must admit I am always drawn by and never buy a pair of walking shoes without a Vibram sole. It was tempting enough to splash out! I took the risk of choosing a short version to make it quick to get the boots on and off and purchased the men's Arctic Ice AG Short Boots and I made an excellent choice indeed. I can get them on and off very quickly, no tugging around the ankle and they are super comfortable with two pairs of thin and appropriate boot socks. I am guessing it will be freezing and gales when I get to Fair Isle, so wanted to be well equipped. Much easier dealing with wet wellingtons than wet boots!

Some of you will of course wonder why I choose men's boots each time. Quite simply, most women's outdoor gear is rubbish and men's clothes and footwear is a far better fit. The women's Muck Boots are more fitted and tighter in order to look more feminine – why would you want tight boots to look good?!!! Maybe when you were 18, but not at my age!!! These boots look far better on than they do in the picture and I can highly recommend them. Choose a half size up for perfect comfort.

When you look at waterproof jackets for women in the general outdoor wear shops, they have less pockets than the men's coats! Why? Do women have less things to put in pockets? No, in fact if anything they need more pockets! Lots of girly coloured coats, hardly any in appropriate subtle colours for naturalists/birders. This then only leaves Country Innovations and Paramo if you are looking at the top ranges for birders attire and they are ALL in green. To be honest, I'm fed up with green and am love with black right now. Neither of these companies sell black coats with lots of pockets – surely there's an opening for somebody to make more trendy birder's coats, especially for the youngsters (like myself๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜…)!!! Birds really don't mind if you are wearing black – green for everyone is so boring! Which means, because I couldn't find my ideal black cloak with tons of pockets in Cambridge yesterday, that I will have no choice, but to follow the crowd and buy a GREEN Paramo coat this weekend – at least it has lots of pockets!

Setting Up the New iPhone and Issues!

One of the many reasons why I don't actually like changing my phone is the fact that there are always issues and things to resolve, which entails tedious phone calls to Apple, TalkTalk and today my building society as well! It has taken far too much valuable time to sort, but all now solved apart from my banking App. which NO ONE can open on the new iPhone – after two lengthy phone calls to my building society, they have only just become aware of the problem themselves and even whilst I was on the phone, they had more and more calls coming in from people not being able to open the App – Ok, I lie, you can open it, but just when you get to the last sign in bit, it fails and tells you to restart the App or look at their internet status. I tried everything before I made the phone calls – removing the App and reinstalling and loads of other tedious stuff. Anyway, the lady I was speaking to said the App would be updated eventually, but could take a good while to sort, as Apple is way ahead of everyone else and nobody gets any warnings, if things are not going to work such as Apps. The other issue I had was pairing up the phone with the car, which worked eventually and just general housekeeping on the phone.

Lots of cool features on the phone, including face recognition to open the phone up and the best new feature is being able to select all emails on mass to delete – a huge bonus in itself! I have yet to look at other features, will try the cameras out tomorrow. I don't feel like I've had a week off at all and I'm desperate to get out in the air and see some birds – mind you, I think there are just as many birds in my little garden right now. Family of House Sparrows and notably Long-tailed Tits (last few days only), Robins, Blackbirds, Hedge Sparrows and Collared Doves in my garden daily, feasting on my bird food selection of bird seed, fat balls and squares, nuts, mealworms, mixed fruit, sunflower hearts etc. I'm still picking tomatoes and runner beans! Shetland is the place to be right now, I hope it doesn't burn out before I get there in mid October!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Cattle Egrets x 6, Great White Egret at Burnham Overy Staithe
Spoonbills x 2 on saltmarsh at Wells
Great White Egret at Potter Heigham Marshes
Cattle Egret at Welney WWT
Cattle Egret at Hockwold Washes RSPB
Osprey, Garganey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Thornham
Sooty Shearwater flew past Coastguards at Cley
Sooty Shearwater flew past beach at Kelling
Lapland Bunting, Snow Bunting, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Great White Egret, Black-throated Diver at Titchwell RSPB
Black Tern off Hunstanton
Cattle Egret, Caspian Gull at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford
Great White Egret at Holme

MEGA NEWS
PALLAS'S GRASSHOPPER WARBLER
Fair Isle, Shetland
ISABELLINE SHRIKE sp.
(probably Turkestan Shrike)
Levenwick, Shetland
BLUE ROCK THRUSH
St Mary's, Isles of Scilly

Friday, 27 September 2019

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max!!!

I have been incredibly busy this week..... spending money! Researching, ordering things on-line etc etc. Today I had a little trip to the Apple Store in Cambridge and purchased the new Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max 256GB in 'Space Grey'. The extremely popular midnight green ones are not available right now and to be honest I had a job to get even get mine – long story! I bought the 'midnight green' leather case, so it doesn't really matter what colour phone you buy! I got 'John' (who was a perfect Apple representative) and their head sales person I think he said, to put on a Belkin Invis Glass Ultra Screen Protector too. I purchased the phone on-line yesterday and picked it up today. John transferred all my stuff over via icloud and it worked better than it normally does. The last time I transferred data over from my iPhone 5 to the 6, I lost all my voice recordings which I was very upset about at the time, as I had a fabulous recording of a Nightingale singing in a bush along the Firs Road at Holme – so I made sure I copied them all off onto my iMac yesterday, but they did copy over today.

Its a HUGE phone and I'm terrified of dropping it, I will have to be extra careful. I had over 5,000 pictures on my iPhone 6 and spent ages copying the whole lot off safely onto my iMac, I kept just over 1,000 on the iPhone 6 to copy over via icloud in the store today. Its something I've been meaning to do for ages anyway. I also did a back up of my iMac yesterday – which scarily I had not done for a very long time! I have three external hard drives: one for back-up's and two identical (very old) Western Digital book types for photos – all purchased at the same time. One of the photos ones would not open yesterday, I discovered – a very good job I have two! Quite worrying, so will need to buy a new external hard drive. John in the Apple store said the best ones were 'SSD' (Solid State Drive) and he recommended a Samsung Portable SSD TS 1TB USB 3.1 External SSD, which is selling on Amazon for £154.90.

I can't wait to try phone-scoping out! Picking up my Swarovski VPA Universal Smartphone Adapter from CleySpy at the weekend! I was very, very tempted by the iPad Pro, as this is half the weight of my MacBook Pro laptop and you can use your 'smart' keyboard with it, but there is one big drawback..... currently you can't use the Adobe Creative Suite (which I pay for monthly) on any of the iPads, but apparently you will be able to by the end of the year. So yes, it would be great to take a light iPad to Fair Isle with me, but not much good if I don't have Photoshop! I was also tipped off by John in the Apple Store that a entire new range of iPads are due out in the next few months, so by that time, the Adobe Creative Suite will be working too – it will be a very popular option for travelling. My laptop weighs 1.37kg and that is without my camera gear and binoculars. I can't take more than 15kg on the plane from Shetland to Fair Isle – you're allowed your binoculars and camera on the plane, but all other luggage can not exceed 15kg – that will be a challenge!

Off to Wex tomorrow, to buy a new and lighter Lowepro camera bag and to discuss my new future camera set-up, which David Tipling has!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Osprey, Garganey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Lapland Buntings x 2 flew over Sheringham
Yellow-browed Warbler at Friary Hills NT, Blakeney
Spoonbills x 29 at Stiffkey Fen
Black Tern flew east past beach at Cley NWT
Yellow-browed Warbler by sluice/A149 at Cley
Turtle Dove, Little Stints x 3, Curlew Sandpiper, Great Northern Diver, Great White Egret at Titchwell RSPB
Black-throated Diver, Great White Egret at Holme Dunes
Caspian Gull at Burrell Way, Thetford

MEGA NEWS
BLUE ROCK THRUSH
St Mary's, Isles of Scilly

Thursday, 26 September 2019

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Lapland Bunting at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Yellow-browed Warbler, Little Stints x 2, Great White Egret, Spoonbills x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Yellow-browed Warbler at Walsey Hills NOA
Lapland Bunting, Curlew Sandpiper at Cley NWT
Cattle Egret at Welney WWT
Balearic Shearwater flew past Sheringham
Lapland Buntings x 5 east of East Hills, Wells
Garganey, Jack Snipe at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Purple Heron juv. at Limpenhoe Marshes

MEGA NEWS
BLUE ROCK THRUSH
St Mary's, Isles of Scilly
BAROLO SHEARWATER
Probable, from Scillonian II, Isles of Scilly

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Little Stints x 2, Great White Egret, Spoonbills x 18 at Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egret at Nunnery Lakes, Thetford
Whinchats x 3 at North Point Pools, Wells
Cattle Egrets x 7, Great White Egret at Burnham Overy Staithe
Great Northern Diver flew past Weybourne
Yellow-browed Warbler by A149, Curlew Sandpiper at Cley
Lapland Bunting at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Great White Egret at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Curlew Sandpiper at Hickling Broad NWT

MEGA NEWS
BLUE ROCK THRUSH
St Mary's, Isles of Scilly

RBA Weekly Round-Up 18th to 24th September!

By Jon Dunn
https://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2019_39.aspx?s_id=392954274

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Yellow-browed Warbler, Great White Egret, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB
Cattle Egret, Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Lapland Bunting at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Jack Snipe, Garganey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Curlew Sandpipers x 2 at Cley NWT
Yellow-browed Warbler at Walsey Hills NOA
Yellow-browed Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Spoonbills x 2, Great White Egret at Holme NWT
Great White Egrets x 2 flew over Brancaster

MEGA NEWS
BLUE ROCK THRUSH
St Mary's, Isles of Scilly

Monday, 23 September 2019

Beautiful Day, But No Need For The Notebook!

Started the day at North Point, Wells. Large numbers of geese, including Pink-footed, Canada, Barnacle and Greylags, lots of gulls, a few Little Egrets and Mallards. After much searching of the hedgerows and the copse west of here (where the coastal path runs through) I didn't find any birds of note at all.

Garden Drove, Warham produced no birds of note. Bumped into Mike S. here and whilst chatting, another birder we spoke to said he had seen a Pied Flycatcher and several Goldcrests in the Campsite Wood at Stiffkey.

Stiffkey Campsite Wood was a little windy! I spent a good while in here, searching for a single Pied Flycatcher, no luck with that or any Goldcrests, but did have a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit and a Wood Pigeon.

After a visit to CleySpy to look at lighter binoculars...... I then went to Walsey Hills NOA to look for the reported Yellow-browed Warbler, no luck with that either!

Gramborough Hill, Salthouse produced 'not alot' from John F., as he reported to me shortly after I parked up, so I didn't bother going out there! I didn't take a single picture or make a note of a single bird, but the weather was beautiful!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Yellow-browed Warbler in garden at Thornham
Spoonbills x 5 at Thornham Marshes
Cattle Egrets x 8, Great White Egret at Burnham Overy Staithe
Yellow-browed Warbler along Beach Road, South Beach at Heacham
Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank at Cley NWT
Yellow-browed Warbler at Wells Woods
Lapland Bunting at Gramborough Hill, Black Redstart at Salthouse Store, Great White Egret by duck pond at Salthouse
Yellow-browed Warbler in car park at Holme NWT
Pied Flycatchers x 3 at Holme Dunes
Yellow-browed Warbler, Spoonbill, Great White Egret, Whinchat, Purple Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egrets x 4, Jack Snipe, Garganey, Osprey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Pied Flycatcher, Whinchats x 4, Common Cranes x 19 at Waxham
Osprey flew over Costessey
Yellow-browed Warbler at Weybourne
Great White Egret south of Horsey Mill
Lapland Buntings x 2 flew over Horsey
Yellow-browed Warbler at Walsey Hills NOA
Yellow-browed Warbler at Winterton
Cattle Egret, Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Snow Bunting in dunes, Whinchat at Brancaster
Great White Egrets x 6 flew over Tiffey Valley, Wymondham
Caspian Gull at Burrell Way, Thetford

MEGA NEWS
BLUE ROCK THRUSH
St Mary's, Isles of Scilly
FORSTER'S TERN
Soldier's Point, Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Weekend Update!

I am holiday now for a week, but so far it doesn't feel like one, as so many essential jobs to do. With only a matter of weeks left before I depart for Fair Isle, there are loads of things I need to sort. With my share of the house sale, I paid my mortgage off last week and now have no debts at all – it hasn't quite sunk in yet, but then neither has the fact that our family home is sold – lots of things to deal with in my mind. Lucy said today, that she can't believe we can't ever visit our garden again – now only a memory.

I should have been out birding today, but there were things I had to do. I took several cuttings from plants on my last day at the family home and temporarily stuck them in a big pot of water until I got round to potting them all up, which I did today in the pouring rain. My mother's lawnmower has been living in my kitchen since last Sunday – I managed to squeeze it into my far shed this afternoon. I'm still enjoying the eating apples from mother's tree and have alot of cooking apples to get through!

I will be visiting the Apple Store in either Norwich or Cambridge this week – upgrading my old iphone 6 – I don't like changing phones, I always seem to lose something! I've also been thinking about changing my camera gear, but realise I havn't really got time to sort this before I go away, so will just have to hope the old Canon 7D doesn't die on me whilst on Fair Isle! I have been conversing with David Tipling about his Olympus (mirrorless) set-up and I think this will be the way forward – its sounds incredibly exciting! Suffolk birder and photographer John Richardson also uses the same gear and his pictures are incredible!

Out birding tomorrow!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Isabelline Wheatear, possible, reported yesterday at Burnham Overy Dunes
Whinchats x 2, Lapland Bunting at Burnham Overy Dunes
Great White Egret, Cattle Egrets x 6 at Burnham Overy Staithe
Great White Egrets x 2 at Burnham Norton
Common Cranes x 29 at Waxham
Wryneck, Whinchat at Snettisham Coastal Park
Spoonbill, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Snettisham RSPB
Osprey flew over Billingford Lakes, Swanton Morley
Great White Egrets x 4 at Holkham Freshmarsh
Pied Flycatcher, Great White Egrets x 4, Spoonbills x 10 at Titchwell RSPB
Cattle Egret at Welney WWT
Little Stint at Breydon Water
Great White Egrets x 4 flew over Overstrand
Great White Egrets x 2 flew past Weybourne
Yellow-browed Warbler trapped and ringed, Pied Flycatchers x 4+ at Holme NOA
Pied Flycatcher, Great White Egret at Holme NWT
Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Cley NWT
ALBATROSS sp. probably Black-browed Albatross, flew south at 3.10pm past Winterton
Great White Egrets x 2 flew past, Snow Bunting at North Dunes, Winterton
Pied Flycatchers x 2 at Garden Drove, Warham Greens
Great White Egret, Whinchats x 3 at Kelling Quags
Pied Flycatcher at Caister-on-Sea
Lapland Bunting at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Cattle Egrets x 2 at Brancaster
Long-eared Owl, Great White Egrets x 11 flew past at Sheringham

MEGA NEWS
BLUE ROCK THRUSH
St Mary's, Isles of Scilly
ALBATROSS sp.
Flew past Borders, Scotland
ALBATROSS sp.
Probably Black-browed, flew south past Winterton, Norfolk
EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER 
Farlington Marshes HWT, Hampshire

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
SATURDAY 22nd SEPTEMBER
Great White Egrets x 4 flew over abbey at Wymondham
Ruddy Shelduck at Colkirk
Great White Egret, Curlew Sandpipers x 4, Spotted Redshanks x 4, Little Stint at Cley NWT
Rough-legged Buzzard at Maiden Lane, Kelling
Redwing at Bradwell, Great Yarmouth
Pied Flycatcher at Great Yarmouth Cemetary
Great White Egret flew over Letheringsett
Great White Egret, Spoonbills x 16, Spotted Redshanks x 4, Wood Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB
Common Cranes x 37, Great White Egret, Cattle Egret at Welney WWT
Cattle Egrets x 7, Great White Egrets x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe
Spoonbills x 20 at Burnham Norton
Pomarine Skuas x 2 at Sheringham

MEGA NEWS
SHORT-TOED TREECREEPER
Langdon Cliffs NT, Kent

Saturday, 21 September 2019

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
FRIDAY 20th SEPTEMBER
Whinchat, Spoonbills x 13, Little Stint, Great White Egret, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB
Cattle Egrets x 8, Great White Egrets x 3 at Burnham Overy Staithe
Great White Egret on Broadwater at Holme
Snow Buntings x 2, Common Cranes x 4, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Cley NWT
Common Cranes x 4 at Salthouse
Willow Emerald Damselfly by west bank at Cley
Common Cranes x 40 at Welney WWT
Redwing at Thetford
Lesser Whitethroat (probably of an eastern form) trapped and ringed at Burnham Deepdale
Lapland Bunting at Weybourne
Hen Harrier at Weybourne Camp
Caspian Gull at Cromer
Snow Bunting, Whinchat at West Runton
Purple Sandpiper at Sheringham

MEGA NEWS
EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER 
Farlington Marshes HWT, Hampshire

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Ornithological & Natural History Sale Tomorrow!

Tomorrow at 10.30am

Keys Fine Art Auctioneers at Aylsham in Norfolk

https://www.keysauctions.co.uk/sale/1809

Paintings, watercolours, oils, prints and taxidermy of ornithological and natural history interest.   Some artists featured in the sale include John Cyril Harrsion, Archibald Thorburn, Frank Southgate, Robert Gilmour, Sir Peter Scott, Eric Ennion, Richard Robjent, Philip Rickman, Roland Green, Carl Donner, David Feather, R.A. Richardson. The taxidermy section of the sale boasts household names such as T.E. Gunn, F.E. Gunn, W Lowne, and some superb fish by J Cooper & Son. 

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Hooded Merganser yesterday, flew west past Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egret, Little Stint, Spoonbills x 9, Osprey at Titchwell RSPB
Common Cranes x 43, Whooper Swans x 3, Short-eared Owl at Welney WWT
Cattle Egrets x 8, Great White Egrets x 3 at Burnham Overy Staithe
Spoonbill, Spotted Redshanks x 4 at Snettisham RSPB
Hawfinch at Barnhamcross Common LNR, Thetford
Caspian Gull at Burrell Way, Thetford
Great White Egret on Broadwater at Holme
Osprey x 2 at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank at Cley NWT

MEGA NEWS
EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER 
Farlington Marshes HWT, Hampshire

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Cattle Egrets x 8 at Burnham Norton
Yellow-browed Warbler, Great White Egret, Spoonbills x 16, Little Stints x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbills x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Snettisham RSPB
Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Lapland Bunting at Cley NWT
Great White Egret at North Point Pools, Wells
Common Cranes x 30 at Welney WWT

MEGA NEWS
FORSTER'S TERN
Soldiers Point, ENE of Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland
EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER
Farlington Marshes HWT, Hampshire
FEA'S, DERSERTAS PETREL, 
The Mullet, County Mayo, Ireland

RBA Weekly Round-Up 11th to 17th September!

By Jon Dunn
https://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2019_38.aspx?s_id=352301197

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

One Year Ago – Reunited Again

 Our parents on their Ruby Wedding Anniversary


One year ago today, Lucy, Vivien and I placed our dear mother's ashes with father's at Holme. Time disappears so quickly, it seems like yesterday. You are both in our thoughts daily, we were so lucky to have such wonderful parents. A lifetime of happy memories will always fill our souls with joy and peace. Our love for you never fades, always with you now and forever xxx.

๐Ÿ’” ๐Ÿ’” ๐Ÿ’”

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Great White Egret, Wood Sandpiper at North Point Pools, Wells
Quail, Little Auk reported past Sheringham
Jack Snipe, Osprey, Great White Egret at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Common Cranes x 33 at Welney WWT
Leach's Petrel, Sabine's Gull, Long-tailed Skua, Sooty Shearwaters x 2, Puffins x 2, Great Northern Diver, Arctic Tern at Cley
Turtle Dove, Great White Egret, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egrets x 2, Great Northern Diver at Holme
Great White Egret at Burnham Overy Staithe
Cattle Egrets x 6 at Burnham Norton

MEGA NEWS
LITTLE CRAKE
Blacktoft Sands RSPB, Yorkshire
EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER
Farlington Marshes HWT, Hampshire
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR fem. 
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside

Monday, 16 September 2019

OUR FAMILY HOME HAS SOLD TODAY!


4 Aslack Way, Holme-next-Sea, Norfolk
No idea of the date this was taken, but it was at least 40 years ago


After a nail biting morning, our family home at Holme completed and sold at 12pm. I have feelings of immense sadness, but also of relief that its all over in many ways. My sisters and I all said that we wouldn't be able to drive or walk along Aslack Way again, it would break our hearts us to see what we obviously know, will be dramatic changes to the house and garden. Although we were very unhappy with the sale process, I do wish the new owners and their children much happiness in their new home and although I fully expect the house to be transformed, I hope the wildlife enriched garden is not stripped out completely, but its gone and out of our control now.

Another chapter in our lives closes. It has been an extremely emotional time over the last couple of years, with the loss of both our dear parents and now our family home. Our parents purchased the property for £3,000 in 1968 with a private mortgage from a very close friend. Its hard to take in how much house prices have increased since then!

Our roots, our entire lives and everything we did was connected with this house. It was the heart of everything, three hearts have now died. We now have to rebuild our lives and continue with life's journey whatever that may throw at us.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Great White Egret, Spotted Redshanks x 2 on Broadwater at Holme
Spoonbills x 4 at Snettisham RSPB
Turtle Dove, Little Stints x 2, Curlew Sandpipers x 4, Spotted Redshank, Great White Egret, Spoonbills x 18 at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbill at Brancaster Staithe
Cattle Egrets x 8 at Burnham Overy Marshes
Ring Ouzel at Sidestrand
Wood Warbler at Waxham
Cattle Egrets x 7, Spoonbills x 2 at Burnham Norton
Caspian Gull at Cromer
Great White Egret flew over South Beach at Heacham

MEGA NEWS
WESTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR fem. 
Possible, on Western Cliff Edge at Great Ormes Head, Conway
EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER
Farlington Marshes HWT, Hampshire
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR fem. 
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside

Sunday, 15 September 2019

A Beautiful Day of Memories & Sunshine!

I was up very early this morning and arrived at our family home alone at around 7.30am. It was the perfect day to spend my last hours here, before the house becomes someone else’s home tomorrow. I can’t believe I am saying that, I never thought this house would be sold and in fact our father instructed us not to sell it – he had a small framed notice up on the wall in the living room, that instructed us to never to sell our family home and that if we did “our spirits will be watching you”!!! I don’t know what he mean’t by that exactly?! When we were sorting out the house, I removed a large RAR painting from the wall and behind this picture I discovered another hand written notice, saying the same thing about not selling the house etc and my father had glued this to the wall!!! He also told us not to sell his possessions or books – well we have kept that side of the bargain (mostly), but how can you keep a family home that you can’t afford to run between the three of you and none of us can afford to buy each other out! There is no other choice! Plus, we don’t have the money to update the house, it doesn’t even have any central heating! So, another big chapter in our lives closes on Monday.

I used the borrowed iPad (that I used yesterday) to take more videos of the house and garden this morning – very pleased with the results and now I’m hooked on an iPad! It takes such awesome wide angled images and video – no normal camera would have produced the results that I obtained with the iPad. I was secretly hoping that the cat (Missy) my late mother had adopted, might have returned to the garden for one last visit before I left, but no sign of it all – probably for the best, I would have only got upset. Nice selection of birds in the garden, including Robins, a Song Thrush in the front garden, Jackdaws, Great Tit, Blue Tit. Hedge Sparrow, Wren and Blackbird. I sat on the front door step to ponder, whilst drinking a cup of tea from my flask.

I had a very relaxed time here and climbed up on the step ladder to pick cooking and dessert apples to take back for my sisters and I. Took some more cuttings from plants, including the purple and golden buddleia plants and found some more terracotta pots. Cleaned and topped up the bird baths and swept round the front of the house and paths. Had a general tidy up outside and checked both sheds again. I was very pleased to find a new owner for the wheelbarrow. The Honey Bees are still active from their entrance point above the kitchen door – I wonder what will happen to them?!

Went to Titchwell RSPB for a long and leisurely lunch and then returned to the house again. Read the water and electric metres. Picked some flowers, put them in a vase and placed them on the dining room windowsill. Put the stepladder and a chair in my car. Did my last tour of the house and said my goodbyes to my mother, in the room that she died in – I became very upset. Locked up the house and did my last amble round the garden. Looked out across the horse meadow, where we hear Cuckoos in Spring and gazed up at the big weeping willow that held a male Golden Oriole when I was a youngster – I won’t ever forget that!

Sat on the front door step with a cup of tea for the last time. The best of the day had gone, the skies were now dull and it was spitting with rain – time to go. Took my last look back and drove along Aslack Way. I stopped to knock on the Rumbelows door to say goodbye, but no one was in. Clifford and Pauline Rumbelow have lived here even longer than our family and are really lovely people – I went to school with their son Paul at Holme Primary School. Drove to Hunstanton to put Vivien's and my door keys into the letterbox at Sowerby’s, ready for the buyers tomorrow. Cruised back to King’s Lynn and spent a long time emptying my car!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Great White Egret, Spoonbills x 13, Little Stints x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egret, Garganey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Spoonbills x 37 at Stiffkey Fen
Lapland Bunting by golf course fence at Caister-on-Sea
Cattle Egrets x 8, Spoonbills x 27 at Burnham Norton
Great White Egrets x 2, Spotted Redshank at Holme Dunes
Whinchat at Breydon Water
Spoonbill at North Point Pools, Wells

MEGA NEWS
EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER
Farlington Marshes HWT, Hampshire
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR fem. 
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside

Saturday, 14 September 2019

THE LAST DAY WITH MY SISTERS AT OUR FAMILY HOME!!!

Penny, Lucy & Vivien at Heacham Lavender Tea Rooms


HOUSE SALE UPDATE

On Friday 13th September we exchanged contracts for our family home and we complete the sale on Monday 16th September. It has been extremely difficult over the last few weeks and that's putting it mildly! Vivien and I (being the executors of our mother's will), had never sold a house before and we had no idea how stressful that process was going to be. I innocently didn’t realise the ruthless things that can occur when selling your home. After agreeing a price with our buyers, the contracts were drawn up by our solicitors, signed up and signatures witnessed etc, which involved a lot of driving on Vivien’s and my part to speed up the process – we presumed at this stage that we were close to exchanging contracts. The buyers then decided they wanted the property for far less than was originally agreed on and we ended up with a battle on our hands. I won't go into the reasons they wanted a massive amount off, but we were fuming to say the least. Putting it bluntly, they had had the survey done and they fully knew all the work that needed to be carried out to the property, but at the last minute decided that they would push us to our limits.

Eventually through mental exhaustion and exasperated with it all, we ended up with a considerably lower figure than the first contract, but far more than they wanted taken off. We were told they would walk away if we didn't accept their new offer – would they have done? Probably not, but we couldn't take the risk and they more than probably knew that. Another contract was drawn up and the saga continued. Vivien and I had had enough – we all had. The last few years of both our parent's deaths and now the selling of our family home, have drained us completely and to be honest, I don't know how we have got through it all. We've shouted, argued, cried, despaired and gone through every emotion there is! But the three of have survived, well just!


THE LAST DAY WITH MY SISTERS AT OUR FAMILY HOME!!!

Anyway, we arranged to meet up at our family home for the last time today. I picked Lucy up and we met Vivien at the cafe in the Norfolk Lavender shop at Heacham, where we sat and enjoyed a cheese scone and a coffee at one of the picnic tables by the river.

We then went to our mother’s favourite place to go birding in her latter years, which is Holme Marsh Bird Reserve NWT. Parked up our cars and walked to the first and second hide. It was a beautifully warm and sunny day, but not too hot. We saw Marsh Harriers, Common Buzzards, Gadwall, Mallard and best of all a Snipe was feeding right under the hide window of the second hide! We ambled back watching butterflies and insects in the glorious sunshine.

We then picked up fish ’n’ chips up from Eric’s at Thornham and went to our house at Holme. We sat on the lawn with our picnic tables and chairs for our lunch and reminisced about our happy childhood days spent in this glorious garden. So many children’s birthday parties, Christmas’s, Silver, Ruby and Golden Wedding Anniversaries, my Wedding pictures taken under the rose arch, Vivien’s birth here, mother’s death here. Our parents had owned this house since 1968. It was an extremely emotional day for all us and tears were shed several times.
Taken from the bedroom window of our house in April 2004
©Peter Clarke
 The beautiful pond that belongs to the property opposite our house, in its natural state before it was transformed by new owners into a neat and tidy garden pond, more visually suited to a town garden!


When we first arrived at the property this morning we were very angry and saddened to see a building site before us. The house opposite had started work with their house extension and demolition of the beautiful pond area next to our house. I had hoped this work would commence after we completed the sale on Monday, but sadly this was not to be. The biggest shock was the fact that the bulldozers had removed and flattened the private road between them and us and all the buddleia and mullein plants had been removed. I had intended on taking some cuttings of these before we left our property. I was in floods of tears to see this huge area of bare earth, devoid of a single plant that was there last weekend. I couldn’t understand why this had been done to the road!

Penny, Vivien and Lucy
Sitting on the front door step at 4 Aslack Way, Holme-next-Sea
Circa 1973

Penny, Vivien and Lucy
Squeezed onto the front door step at 4 Aslack Way, Holme-next-Sea
14th September 2019

We took a self-timer picture with my SLR on a tripod, of the three of us sitting on the front door step, to replicate a picture my father had taken of us approximately 46 years ago. This was hilarious as our three bottoms only just squeezed onto that step now!!! To be fair, Vivien hasn't expanded much since she was a toddler, but Lucy and I certainly have! We had to do several takes to get a reasonable picture – after pressing the shutter button, I had to run to sit with Vivien so she could put her arm round me (as in my father’s picture) and we all had to pose quickly – I had 10 seconds to get into position! We also asked a kind neighbour 'Diana’ to take a few pictures with my iPhone too. I copied and changed the picture below to black and white in photoshop – see above.
We then went to the Firs house at Holme NWT, where we had a pot of tea for three and chatted to Alison H. for a while. We then went to Holme Bird Observatory to sit and ponder, pay our respects to our parents and enjoyed the glorious evening sunshine.

We returned to the family home for the last time together. I took a couple of videos of the house and garden with an iPad that I borrowed and we cleared the last few items from the house and left. I'm going back tomorrow for a short while, to read the metres and have a final check and will then post our keys into the letterbox at Sowerby’s in Hunstanton, ready for completion at 12pm on Monday.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Spoonbills x 30 at Stiffkey Fen
Cattle Egrets x 8 at Burnham Norton
Cattle Egrets x 2 at Burnham Overy Dunes
Lapland Bunting by golf course fence at Caister-on-Sea
Cattle Egret, Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Great White Egret, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egret, Spoonbill at Holme
Pied Flycatcher at Sidestrand
Whinchat at Breydon Water
Lapland Bunting in dunes at Waxham

MEGA NEWS
EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER
Farlington Marshes HWT, Hampshire
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR fem. 
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside

Friday, 13 September 2019

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Lapland Bunting by golf course fence at Caister-on-Sea
Cattle Egrets x 8 at Burnham Norton
Sabine's Gull juv. flew past Kelling
Garganey at Kelling Water Meadows
Osprey x 2 at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Sooty Shearwater flew past Sheringham
Great White Egret on saltmarsh at Thornham
Curlew Sandpipers x 2 at Welney WWT
Osprey at Hickling Broad NWT
Great White Egret, Red-necked Grebe, Little Stint at Titchwell RSPB
Osprey flew over The Nunnery at Thetford
Balearic Shearwater, Pomarine Skua, Great White Egret at Holme
Spoonbills x 33 at Stiffkey Fen
Sooty Shearwater flew past Mundesley

MEGA NEWS
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR fem. 
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside

Thursday, 12 September 2019

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Whinchat at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Spoonbills x 2 at Breydon Water
Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Cley NWT
Honey Buzzard at Welney WWT
Garganey at Kelling Water Meadows
Osprey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Lapland Bunting near old railway line, Caister-on-Sea
Spoonbills x 4 at North Point Pools, Wells
Turtle Dove, Whinchats x 2, Lapland Bunting at Horsey
Turtle Dove, Spoonbill, Great White Egret, Purple Sandpiper at Titchwell RSPB
Whinchats x 2 at Blakeney Freshes
Spoonbills x 35, Spotted Redshank at Stiffkey Fen
Hen Harriers x 2, Spoonbills x 9 near campsite car park at Stiffkey
Cattle Egrets x 8 at Burnham Norton

MEGA NEWS
EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR fem. 
West of Fluke Hall Car Park, NW of Pilling, Lancashire & North Merseyside