Ring RARE BIRD ALERT with your sightings to: 01603 456789 or Hotline: 0207 0382820 or Text: 07520 634324
All Bird News & Megas via The Rare Bird Alert Website – Subscribe To RBA For Detailed News & Much More!

OVER ELEVEN MILLION VIEWS! If you would like to advertise here, please contact me at []

Sunday 31 May 2020

Squacco Heron at Bayfield Hall!

I spent a lot of time today at Bayfield Hall Lake and Natural Surroundings, enjoying views of the fabulously flamboyant Squacco Heron! What a bird! The weather was beautiful, even though it was too hot for me. I somehow managed to photograph a Banded Demoiselle on my iPhone 11 Pro Max, which I was quite pleased with! Also saw a Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard and a Red Kite here. The lake was simply beautiful, with thousands upon thousands of damselflies – what a sight! I had my lunch by my car in complete shade in the car park at Natural Surroundings (open for plants sales) and then headed to Salthouse.

Sat in my deckchair on top of Gramborough Hill, whilst chatting to John F. There was a lovely sea breeze up here, which was a welcome relief. Sand Martins flying around my head and 2 Little Terns seen offshore. Other birds seen: Stonechat, Meadow Pipits, Whitethroats, Goldfinches, 2 Cuckoos, 1 Little Egret, Ringed Plovers and Avocets.

Had my egg and potato salad tea in the Walsey Hills car park and then returned to Bayfield Hall Lake for more view of the Squacco Heron. I wasn't able to get a decent shot of the Squacco Heron, as it was too far away for my 300mm lens, but got some nice videos of it preening later on. Left very late and arrived home at just after 10pm!


No new coronavirus deaths reported at Norfolk’s three main hospitals

Almost two thirds of care homes have had no staff tested, data suggests

Child among five rescued after search for group lost on Norfolk marshes

Lifeguards return as hundreds of visitors flock to beach

Decomposed body of young whale found on Southwold beach

Litter and toilet roll left at Yorkshire beauty spots

Queen seen in public for first time since lockdown, riding pony

SpaceX Nasa Mission: Astronauts on historic mission enter space station

George Floyd death: Thousands join UK protests

Lockdown easing in England 'modest' - Jenrick


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Hoopoe flew over golf course at Sheringham
Quail singing at Bawburgh
Hoopoe flew over West Runton
Red-footed Falcon fem, White Stork (blue ringed), Spoonbill at Hickling Broad NWT
Squacco Heron ad. at Bayfield Hall
Bonaparte's Gull 1s, possible, flew over, Garganey, Great White Egret at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Turtle Dove at Salthouse Heath
Turtle Doves x 7, Spoonbills x 4 at South Beach, Heacham
Honey Buzzard flew over Norwich
White Stork flew over Arminghall, Framingham Earl
Corncrake singing at Thorpe Marshes NWT

Greatham Creek, Cleveland

Saturday 30 May 2020


One new coronavirus death reported in Norfolk’s hospitals

Lockdown easing announced for 2.2m vulnerable ‘shielders’

Which public toilets are open in north Norfolk?

Sixty firefighters from three counties rally to fight blaze at Corkers Crisps in the Fens

Campers who pitched up on bird sanctuary island given talking to by police

SpaceX launch: Nasa astronauts begin historic mission on private spaceship

Durdle Door: Three seriously hurt 'jumping off cliff into sea'

'Dangerous moment' as UK lockdown eases


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Red-footed Falcon fem, Purple Heron, White Stork (blue ringed) at Hickling Broad NWT
White Stork (blue ringed) flew over Filby
Squacco Heron ad. at Bayfield Hall
Spoonbill at Holme
Great White Egrets x 3 at Breydon Water
Corncrake singing at Thorpe Marshes NWT

Possible, flew over Tacumshane, County Wexford, Ireland
Possible, reported yesterday, no sign today at Saltholme RSPB, Cleveland

Friday 29 May 2020


Three further coronavirus deaths in Norfolk hospitals

Millions of pounds to control outbreaks in Norfolk care homes

Relaxing lockdown 'risky' and a 'political decision'

SpaceX launch: Nasa astronauts set for second try





  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Red-footed Falcon fem, Great White Egret, Spoonbills x 2 at Hickling Broad NWT
Garganey, Great White Egret at Welney WWT
White Stork (blue ringed) west of Ludham
Turtle Dove at Holme NOA
Garganey x 2 at Cley NWT

Yesterday, but no sign today, in garden at Aithsetter, Cunningsburgh, Shetland

Thursday 28 May 2020


No new coronavirus deaths reported in Norfolk’s hospitals

Did coronavirus reach west Norfolk before lockdown?

Groups of six people can meet outside as lockdown is eased

Lockdown easing to allow groups of six to meet

Dental practices to reopen from 8 June

UK's tenth - and possibly final - clap for carers

What are social distancing and self-isolation rules?


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Franklin's Gull, Red-footed Falcon west of Horsey Mere, White Stork flew over, Common Cranes x 15, Spoonbill, Great White Egret at Hickling Broad NWT
Little Gulls x 2 at Burnham Overy Marshes
Turtle Doves x 2 at Alderford Common
Spoonbills x 2 at North Point Pools, Wells
Temminck's Stint (probable) at Breydon Water
Night Heron flew over Great Ryburgh
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Turtle Dove at New Buckenham Common

Trapped and ringed at Nanjizal Valley, Cornwall

Wednesday 27 May 2020


10 new coronavirus deaths at Norfolk’s hospitals

Coronavirus test and trace rollout: How it will work in Norfolk

People must be ready to adhere to test and trace to stop coronavirus spread, says public health director

Lockdown could be eased with ‘social bubbles’ – but what are they?

Test and trace system will start on Thursday

How will contact tracing work in England?


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Squacco Heron at Hickling Broad NWT
Blyth's Reed Warbler singing at Walsey Hills NOA
  Note: reserve REMAINS CLOSED, only access along bottom public footpath + limited parking
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Turtle Doves x 3 at Harper's Green Farm, Brisley
Garganey, Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Corncrake singing at Thorpe Marshes NWT
Spoonbill at Cley NWT
Turtle Dove at Sidestrand
Spoonbill at Blakeney Point


Spring Watch!

I thought this evening's Springwatch was the BEST and most interesting one to date! They obviously had change and adapt their normal presentation of the show and its actually far better in my opinion! Such a pity that Michaela Strachan couldn't be there though (she's on lockdown in South Africa). It was far more interesting than normal and not a deer mentioned thank goodness! It would be good to bring in some more guest presenters from their homes and gardens, eg Bill Oddie, Simon King, David Lindo and Martin Hughes-Games to take the ratings through the roof! 

"The team are live from locations close to home – Chris Packham in the New Forest, Iolo Williams in the heart of west Wales, and Gillian Burke is at the Beaver Project in Cornwall." Also Steve Backshall is a guest presenter this evening.

Watch Episode One here:

RBA Weekly Round-Up 19th to 25th May!
By Jon Dunn

Tuesday 26 May 2020


Three more coronavirus deaths at Norfolk’s hospitals

Another 11 Norfolk care home residents die from coronavirus

Fury over noisy lockdown party at holiday let

Stranded island visitors ignored warning and waded across

Fines on families travelling for childcare to be reviewed, says Matt Hancock

What you can and can’t do as lockdown rules are eased

Local lockdowns will be used to suppress 'flare-ups', says Hancock

Coronavirus: UK authorises anti-viral drug remdesivir

Life and Death on Coronavirus Ward


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Squacco Heron, Red-footed Falcon (present 2+ days), hybrid Hooded Crow x Carrion Crow, Garganey, Wood Sandpiper at Hickling Broad NWT
Red-footed Falcon 1s male flew over High Street, Cley
Spoonbill on Broadwater at Holme
Common Cranes x 2, Garganey x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Little Gulls x 2 at Blakeney Harbour
Short-eared Owl at Breydon Water
Turtle Dove at New Buckenham Common

On Sunday, briefly at Potteric Carr, Yorkshire

Monday 25 May 2020


Today, I stayed at home. I knew the coast would be crazy, with full sunshine and blue skies. My morning was partly taken up with assisting with something....... basically, some people decided to camp overnight at Walsey Hills, directly in front of the building! Breaking the law twice, once for trespassing on a closed nature reserve, which has a padlocked gate and a closed notice and for camping overnight, when no one is allowed to stay overnight anywhere right now. The area was checked out and no rubbish was left, unless of course they did a good job of hurling it into the scrub, maybe Emma (new Warden) will discover that over the next few days, hopefully not though. I obviously can't go into any more detail for legal reasons.

Extremely sad to hear that Wardens had to deal with "at least 12 BBQ's in the dunes, people constantly in the nesting cordons at Holkham, 30 people in the Wells seal enclosure..."Also that beach visitors took no notice of beach closed signs at Holme and parked on the double yellow lines (again) on the very narrow Beach Road and received £70 fines from wardens, but as I commented on Twitter, not high enough, make it £500 and they might think next time and the reports of today go on........ a group of people had a full size barbecue, positioned inches from the gorse by the seat at the top of Gramborough Hill at Salthouse this evening!!! They were asked to at least move to the shingle by a local person, which I believe they did, hopefully the police caught up with them. People also camped at Weybourne last night a local person told me. Also heard that there was a fight going on re a parking place at South Beach, Heacham!! Some people simply don't care, about nature, about others, about anything, except themselves.

I note we have a run of east winds from Wednesday this week and all the way through until the 5th June – I booked the wrong week off work (again)! I had the biggest amount of Starlings with youngsters I have ever seen in my small patio this afternoon – noisy, dominating the bird baths and kicking all the Blackbirds off the bird table! I was very interested to watch three Blackbirds join me to feed, when I changed the bird baths with fresh water – they wouldn't normally do that, but they obviously realised, that it was the only way they were going to be able to feed in peace for a short while. Worryingly I also watched a male Blackbird collect seed up in his beak and fly off – he did this several times, presumably because the ground is so dry and hard, that he couldn't get any worms for youngsters in the nest. Because of this I poured in a few watering cans of water into a patch of earth behind the patio – hopefully some worms will rise up for him. Back to work in the morning.

Two more coronavirus deaths at Norfolk’s hospitals

Nineteen people, including children, rescued after getting stranded off Norfolk coast

Car park barriers thrown down side of cliff

Fire crew tackles blaze at beach dunes

‘Stay away’ warning as part of cliffs collapse

Coronavirus: Weston General Hospital halts admissions

WHO halts trials of hydroxychloroquine over safety fears

Dominic Cummings: Full statement on lockdown row

Shops expected to reopen from June 15, says prime minister


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Golden Oriole singing near East Wretham Heath NWT
Black Redstart singing in Norwich
Osprey, Common Cranes x 3 at 5am only at Cley NWT
Osprey at garden pond in Wiveton
Turtle Doves x 5, Spoonbill at Snettisham Coastal Park
Honey Buzzard flew over Downham Market
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE flew over Mulbarton & Keswick
Turtle Dove at Narborough Railway Cutting NWT
Spoonbill at Potter Heigham Marshes
Corncrake singing at Thorpe Marshes NWT
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB

Flew over Scapa Flow, Orkney
First Record For Britain and Western Palearctic if accepted!


The FIRST record for Britain and Western Palearctic, if accepted!!!

Flew over Scapa Flow, Orkney this morning!

Sunday 24 May 2020

Burnham Overy Dunes & Holkham!

The skies were grey, it was extremely windy and almost chilly, so I knew that there would be far less people on the coast today. I arrived at Burnham Overy Staithe at just before 10am and parked up in my usual spot on the main road, just east of the village and there were only three cars parked up when I arrived. Scanning out across the marsh and dunes, I could hardly see a soul! Excellent! It was cold enough for me to need my coat on. I brought my Leki walking stick with me, just in case I was forced to keep any dogs at 2 metre distancing!

I really enjoyed the cool walk out to the dunes and with hardly anyone there, it was a joy! On the way out I saw: Lesser Whitethroat, Hedge Sparrow, Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting, Little Egrets, Lapwings, Egyptian Geese, Canada Geese, Pochard, Redshanks, Little Grebes, Avocets with young, Shelducks, Jackdaw, Oystercatcher, Black-headed Gulls, Skylarks, Linnets, Meadow Pipits, Red-legged Partridge and 3 Spoonbills flew over. Nothing was seen apart from Linnets, in the scrub at the end of the boardwalk. I then walked east towards Holkham pines. Only a few yards east, along the fence wire and bramble bushes, were a pair of Stonechats with their two cute offspring, which was lovely to see. I continued east through the dunes. The sun started to come out and it became very warm, far too warm for my coat! Just before the west end of the pines I saw a single Wheatear on the fence wire, a Kestrel hovering, Goldfinches and Swifts and Swallows were gracing the air. Time for lunch! I positioned myself hidden away from the main path and sat looking into a large hollow surrounded by sycamore trees and brambles and enjoyed my egg sandwiches, chocolate and flask of tea. I heard a Blackcap and a Chiffchaff whilst sitting here and several Cormorants flew over. I hadn't passed anyone on my way to the pines – it was devoid of people of dogs! A rare treat! That was only because of the poor start to the morning, I expected people to start pouring out, now the sun was blazing.

I ambled leisurely along the path east through the pines – it was so beautiful here, I can't remember the last time I walked along this path. I saw a Treecreeper briefly. One couple passed me going west, but no one else seen. In the area of trees (where there was once a Red-flanked Bluetail, for those of you that were there) just before the "crosstracks", there were a number of birds flitting around, so I went to investigate and found Long-tailed Tits, Chaffinches, a Blackbird, Robin, Cetti's Warbler singing, Reed Warbler singing and a Blackcap singing, no rarities found. I also saw a Sandwasp near here and several Wall, Red Admiral and Peacock butterflies. I walked a short distance east of crosstracks and then retraced my footsteps. Normally I would walk to Lady Anne's Drive and get a bus back to my car, but its not a time for being on public transport and it was too hot to walk any further. As I neared the boardwalk, I could see the huge increase in people and not a single dog that I saw was on a lead. Some dogs were under control and some were clearly not. Just before the boardwalk I found a Lizard basking on the sand, but it whipped away like grease lightning into the shade of a privet bush, so no chance of a picture! I watched the Stonechats again before heading back along the boardwalk.

A couple walked past me with their dogs way ahead and I highlighted politely that they needed to be kept under closer control, being as it was an SSSI site and birds were breeding and nesting right now – the reply I received as they walked past me was "we come here a lot" and normally I would have answered back, but couldn't be bothered. So, they come here a lot, what difference does it make if you come here a lot or not?! You STILL need to keep your dog under control. Coming here 'a lot' does not entitle you to let your dogs run riot!!!

Next incident: this one really got me riled!!! So, after you leave the scrub behind you, along the boardwalk there is a very sharp right corner, then it continues and then there is a sharp left corner. At this corner a well dressed lady with white poodle, had decided she would take a short cut across the creeks and mud and marsh to get to the dunes!!! I just stood there flabbergasted! I watched her jump over one creek, which she only just made and I really don't think she would have got across the entire marsh, without twisting an ankle or worse, maybe I should have kept quiet. She immediately flushed two Redshanks who start making a hell of racket, as she had obviously disturbed their nest or young were close by. She was quite a distance from me, so I had to really shout for her to hear me – she did hear me and looked up and I shouted "you are disturbing breeding birds, you've flushed those Redshanks, you are not supposed to walk across the marsh, you need to keep to the footpath – this is a SSSI site, if the wardens caught you, you would be in serious trouble" She was actually very polite and replied "thank you for letting me know" and then said "there isn't any signs saying you can't cross here" – I give up! I seriously believe the majority of people are pretty thick. Why would anyone attempt to cross a treacherous marsh with many deep creeks, when there is a lovely sea wall footpath to walk along? Also anyone with an ounce of common sense and half a brain, can visibly see there are lots of birds on the marsh that you would disturb, even if you didn't know anything about birds! Its called thinking – you've already seen the signs saying about breeding birds on the marsh etc and when you get to the marsh, oh lets walk through the birds on the marsh and let my dog run where it wants to as well!!!

I continued my walk feeling annoyed. A couple walking past me on their way out to the beach, had a huge amount of picnic bags and one of their bags looked like it contained a bag of charcoal, so I alerted the Holkham Wardens and also told them about the lady walking across the marsh disturbing the Redshanks. Paul E. checked the couple out later, but saw no evidence of a barbecue with them.

Lots of people walking out now, all with dogs off leads – exasperating! I arrived back at my car where every space was now taken up with other cars. It was boiling hot now. I did not have a nice welcome back at my house. My neighbours, who are lovely people by the way, had decided at around 8.45pm to light stuff in their steel incinerator bin – pouring black smoke billowed in my direction and filled my patio and bird feeders etc and the smell leaked into my kitchen/diner where I sit and watch TV as well. I didn't want to say anything, but I had no choice in the end, when I smelt a different, almost plastic type odour. I went round to their front door and had to knock loudly several times before they answered. They were very polite and said they would put in out, which they duly did. But, I couldn't go into the kitchen again – smoke lingers for hours, I shut the door and went to bed early, which makes a change for me! I'm really hoping this doesn't become a regular thing. Lighting bonfires and incinerators really doesn't work in small town gardens – not good for the environment and not good for neighbours! First half of the day was wonderful, the second half wasn't so!


One new coronavirus-related death recorded in Norfolk hospital

A&E doctor says confusion over Cummings’ Durham journey could ‘cost lives’

PM provokes fury over defence of Dominic Cummings

Starmer: PM treating public ‘with contempt’

Nine-year-old girl cleans up rubbish on Norfolk beaches


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Common Cranes x 3, Spoonbills x 2 at Cley NWT
Grey-headed Wagtail male, north of Felmingham
Garganey at Snettisham Coastal Park
Turtle Doves x 2 at Ken Hill Marsh, Snettisham
Spoonbill on Broadwater, Holme
Spoonbills x 3 flew over Burnham Overy Dunes


Saturday 23 May 2020


DO NOT USE BARBECUES OR LIGHT FIRES along the NORFOLK coast! The ground is tinder dry! There have been several fires over the last few days because of discarded portable barbecues – one spark is all it takes to destroy habitat, nests, birds and life! Fire today at Holkham!

You don't NEED a barbecue to enjoy your day out! Whats wrong with sandwiches and a good old fashioned picnic?! Nothing! The next barbecue left, could destroy an entire nature reserve, an entire SSSI site, an entire irreplaceable habitat and LIFE! Do you want to be responsible for that? No, I'm sure most of you don't, but if you are not bothered, then don't bother visiting OUR COUNTY!  #STAYATHOME

Also, just because you see a waste bin at a coastal site, either empty or full, doesn't mean you need to leave your rubbish there! You brought your food items, nappies and dogs with you, so take the food rubbish, dirty nappies and dog poo bags back home – they are YOURS! Be responsible and dispose of in your wheelie bin – its not difficult!

While I'm on a rant....... I was shocked to learn that irresponsible day trippers walked out to Scolt Head Island and then phoned for assistance when they were cut off by the tide. If you insist on coming to our coastline, at least have the decency to read the BLOODY TIDE TABLES and use some basic common sense!

PLEASE DON'T WALK OUT TO SCOLT HEAD ISLAND and then ring for the RNLI when you realise you are cut off by the incoming tide, or any other area of the coast. READ TIME TABLES for TIDE TIMES. You are risking the RNLI staff's lives, you could have COVID-19! Here are the links: King's Lynn Port Authority has a PDF you can view or download into 'Pages' on your iPhone (April to August on there currently). Or you can view the Wells Tide Times or Cromer Tide Times. No excuses, you planned to come here, so plan your walk safely! Also don't walk across marshes and creeks to get to the sea, you may get stuck – we do have quick sand here and the mud can be treacherous – stick to the main beaches. Be aware of the tide coming in around you – you may be walking along the edge of the sea, whilst a channel further inland is filling up around you – this happens to people and can be very scary!


Dogs don't know that birds nest in the grass that they are running through, on the sand or on the shingle and nor do many humans come to think of it. Some people innocently think that all birds nest in trees, some do, but many nest on the ground in all types of habitats. This is why you see fenced off areas on beaches, which have been put in place by nature reserve wardens to protect
Little Terns and Ringed Plovers who both lay their eggs on the bare sand, without this fencing, the eggs would be trampled on by humans and dogs.

Neither do dogs know what 2 metre distance means!
Nobody else wants your dog touching them, when you could be a Covid-19 carrier or recovering from the virus!
#thinkaboutothers #thinkaboutnature

No new coronavirus deaths reported at Norfolk’s hospitals

A47 closed as firefighters deal with major blaze

‘Customers from as far as Leicestershire’: How things are looking on the Norfolk coast

Wareham Forest fire flare-ups continue to spread after six days

People urged to stay away from UK beaches over sunny bank holiday weekend amid social distancing fears


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Common Cranes x 2 over Bintree
Curlew Sandpiper at Cley NWT
Great White Egret at Hickling Broad NWT


Thursday 21 May 2020

Hot Birding At Dawn!

So, I made a big mistake last night. I was hot (it was the hottest day of the year yesterday) and when news came out at 3.55pm on the pager, that a Woodchat Shrike had been found at Kelling AND I didn't see this message until around 5pm, I simply didn't have the energy to drive all the way to Kelling Water Meadows for such a short time. After all, I had seen one before, it wasn't as if I needed it for Norfolk. Later that evening, I did a search on my blog to find that yes, I have seen one before, but in Suffolk!!! I couldn't find any info on me seeing one in Norfolk!!! I REALLY must do a list with dates of birds I have seen! So, as it stands I have missed out on seeing a possible first for Norfolk. I feel sure I have seen one in Norfolk though. Pre my blog I wrote everything on the Norfolk thread on Birdforum – I will have to do some research!

Because of this, I made sure I arrived on site extremely early this morning in hope that it may be there, but I didn't expect it to be. I arrived and parked up in the usual spot to walk to Kelling Water Meadows at 5.30am and I was the first one there! I knew it was going to be another hot day, as I didn't need my coat, even at this time! I made my way along the track and not far along I heard a Quail calling – once only though, in the first field on the left hand side. There were 2 beautiful Black Swans on the pool, which was a nice surprise (presumably the ones that have been around Norfolk for the last few weeks – they were at Holme for a while) along with 4 Mute Swans, 2 Canada Geese, Mallards and Shovelers. Several Cuckoos were calling, Blackcaps, Whitethroats and Sedge Warblers were singing. Other birds seen: Goldfinches, Reed Bunting, Stonechats x 4, Rooks, Avocets x 4, Herons x 2, Barnacle Geese x 2 flew in off the sea (at 7.30am). After much searching, it was obvious the Woodchat Shrike has left. At 6.15am two more local birders turned up and then four more after 7am – we covered a big area between us, but it had gone. Walked back to my car and sat on the shady seat under the trees and had a cup of tea and buttered scone. It was 9am and boiling hot already.

I headed west and couldn't even find the energy to walk to Gramborough Hill as there are barriers up preventing cars parking along Beach Road, which means the walk is longer, which is fine, but the heat was intense. I paused briefly by Walsey Hills and then went to the meadow near the sewage works, where a Swallowtail Butterfly was seen recently, just to have a look, you never know! Nothing much seen here. Left and went to Garden Drove at Warham.

I walked along the track with my deckchair and UV Sunblocker brolly! I sat in my chair for well over an hour in the midst of the copse at the end, gazing up into the large oak tree, in hope that something exciting would land in here off the sea, but no luck with that either! It was wonderfully cool here, thank goodness. All I saw were Chaffinches, 1 Blackcap and 1 Chiffchaff in the Oak tree. Got bored and trudged back along the boiling track to my car on the concrete pad. Headed west.

I spent a short time at North Point Pools at Wells, but didn't scan the pools thoroughly, as I couldn't stand the heat anymore. I saw that last night's Montagu's Harrier had resurfaced again at Kelling Water Meadows, oh well! I rarely go home early when I'm out birding, but I did today! Left at 3pm and headed home. I was overjoyed to see the best car washing team are back by the B1454 turn off – the car has finally been washed and looks like new! Also purchased some eggs from the Egg Shed at East Rudham and filled up with petrol in my local garage. My house was like a furnace when I got home!


Five more coronavirus deaths across Norfolk hospitals as death toll passes 350

Norfolk doctor warns: You’re risking second coronavirus peak

Human waste left on beach after visitors flock to coastal village

Coronavirus second spike fears spark plea over Bank Holiday weekend trips to coast

New £4m coronavirus isolation unit at NNUH to open next month

Family stuck on island sees 16 first responders called to help

Unattended barbecue starts fire at beauty spot

Coronavirus: Resort locals 'shocked and angry' at beach crowds

Coronavirus: Virus test with 20-minute results being trialled


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Corncrake at Thorpe Marshes NWT
Montagu's Harrier, Quail singing at Kelling Water Meadows
Golden Oriole flew over West Runton
Raven south of A149, opposite North Point Pools, Wells
Spoonbill at North Point Pools, Wells
Ring Ouzel west of the dunes, Spoonbills x 2 on Broadwater at Holme
Common Crane at Potter Heigham Marshes
Stone Curlew at Northrepps
Turtle Dove at New Buckenham Common
Spoonbill at Cley NWT


Wednesday 20 May 2020


The hottest day of the year and far too hot for me. Chilled at home and kept my birds happy – re-filled the bird baths twice, much to the delight of the Starlings. At one point a male Blackbird and a Starling both had a full on wash together in the same bath! So many birds coming and going! Got my turquoise garden parasol out of the spare room and put this up outside – my little patio looked very Mediterranean today and bees were buzzing around my Sage flowers on "World Bee Day".

I heard from a friend this evening, that a photographer was seen (from a far distance away) with long lens, standing in the MIDDLE of the pool just west of Gramborough Hill, the pool which is FENCED OFF to protect breeding birds and was probably attempting to photograph Ringed Plover chicks, disgusting behaviour!!!

I've heard a lot of very sad things today. A long hedge has been obliterated between Walsey Hills NOA and The Hangs at Cley and is being replaced by a fence, reported by M.A.G on Twitter!!! Why was this done in breeding season and undoubtedly nests/eggs would have been minced up?! Truly wicked!

There was a gorse fire caused by a barbecue between Morston and Stiffkey last night and another at Winterton! ALL barbecues and fires are now banned on all Norfolk beaches because of these incidents apparently.

A Holme resident reported that people had parked on double yellow lines between the Hun Bridge where the road is twisty and very narrow up to the toilet block at Holme, blocked people’s driveways and this I could hardly believe..... knocking on residents doors to ask if they could park in their drives!!! You couldn't make that up! Unbelievable! I heard later on from a different source that the entire village was packed out with cars and that emergency services would not have been able to access all areas of the village because of this irresponsible and selfish parking! Apparently there were approximately 1,500 people between Hunstanton and Holme beaches – this would have undoubtedly caused disturbance to nesting birds. How sad that so many don’t care about the loss of nature or come here and simply don’t care about our county as long as they have fun! Dogs running riot and disturbing nests in grass and on beaches (gov website states all dogs must be on leads/close control during Covid-19 and should be anyway in breeding season) people leaving rubbish strewn along the coast and the usual hanging up of plastic bags of dog poo!!!

One new coronavirus related death in Norfolk

Tale of two coasts on hottest day of the year in Norfolk as daytrippers pick and choose
Apparently it wasn't too bad today on the beaches in Norfolk – EDP didn't do a very good job on reporting that, which I have commented on!

Some public toilets on Norfolk coast to reopen - but stay away message remains

Stop the Wildlife Trade: Wuhan officially bans eating wild animals

Seaside village singled out for wind farm cable landfall

England beaches gridlock caused by cars 'from all over country'


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Corncrake at Thorpe Marshes NWT
Harrier sp. ringtail flew over Weybourne
Garganey, Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Cattle Egret at Burnham Overy Staithe
Spoonbill at Blakeney Harbour
Common Cranes x 2 flew over Thetford
Montagu's Harrier flew over Gramborough Hill
Spoonbill on Broadwater at Holme
Woodchat Shrike, Montagu's Harrier at Kelling Water Meadows
Spoonbills x 4 at South Beach, Heacham
Purple Heron at Berney Marshes RSPB


Tuesday 19 May 2020


The Walks" in King's Lynn with Lucy!

With west winds and hot weather, I decided not to go birding and I detest hot weather! This afternoon I met up with Lucy at long last! Because Lucy doesn't drive, the only way we could meet up was to go to the nearest half decent place to sit and chat, which is The Walks in King's Lynn. I parked up where Lucy lives – we met in the car park and walked (2 metres apart) to The Walks and sat on separate picnic blankets by the river. There wasn't too many people about, but still enough to keep me wary. Some people obviously don't know what 2 metres means. We sat in a lovely shady spot under some mature trees and there was less then 2 metres in front of us to the edge of the river bank, but one man and his dog was determined to follow the river bank without going around the back of us – apart from that one small incident, it was a nice hour spent chatting. Heard a Green Woodpecker and saw several Mallards, but no other birds seen. We ambled across to the bandstand area, where there are several flower beds, including some wonderful Alliums – here we were surprised to see a Brown Argus butterfly feeding on a plant, that I didn't know the name of. Walked back with Lucy to where she lives and then I got in my car and headed for a dreaded supermarket shop. Next time we are taking deckchairs, the ground is too hard for old bones!

Two more coronavirus deaths in Norfolk hospitals

Hottest day of the year expected as thunderstorms loom

Number of Norfolk care home coronavirus deaths tops 100

Fears for bats and wildlife after NDR Western Link moves step nearer

Prince Charles urges workers to ‘Pick for Britain’ on fruit and veg farms

Captain Tom Moore awarded knighthood for NHS fundraising

Climate change: Scientists fear car surge will see CO2 rebound


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Common Cranes x 2 flew over Cringleford
Common Crane flew over Bowthorpe
Common Crane flew over Sparham
Garganey, Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Turtle Doves x 6, Spoonbills x 2 at South Beach, Heacham
Stone Curlew at Weybourne Camp
Corncrake at Thorpe Marshes NWT
Spoonbill, Wood Sandpipers x 2 at North Point Pools, Wells


RBA Weekly Round-Up 12th to 18th May!

By Jon Dunn

Monday 18 May 2020

A Wonderful Day Spent With My Sister Vivien!

I got up extremely early and headed to Choseley Drying Barns – parked up by the bottom corner and scanned the usual Dotterel field. I found Red-legged Partridges, an Oystercatcher and Hares, but after several scans of lumps of mud etc, I couldn't find any Dotterel. Had another look for Dotterel at the top of Chalkpit Lane and scanned the only possible field (crops in others) and again found nothing. Beautiful early morning light views of 2 Buzzards at fairly close range and one Marsh Harrier – also several Swifts in the cloudless blue skies.

Vivien and I had arranged to meet up at 9.30am in the car park at Thornham Harbour and I still had time to kill, so decided to walk Gypsy Lane (Titchwell). This plan was quickly squashed, when I could see the tiny car park was already full with three cars, which is unusual for this time of the day. Headed to Holme, parked up and went for a walk along Marsh Lane, a public footpath which passes the kissing gate to the NWT village hides (gate locked and reserve closed obviously right now because of Covid-19). Never in a million years did I think, that I wouldn't ever be able to freely walk to these hides, where I visited regularly in memory of my dear mother, who loved this place so much. But there we go, it is what is – we are living in a very weird time right now. It was nice to bump into Sophie (HBO warden) here for a quick chat, as she was on her way to work. Along Marsh Lane I heard and saw Cuckoos, a Sedge Warbler, Blackcap, Blackbird, Shelducks x 2, Lapwings and a Little Egret flew from a ditch.

I arrived at the car park in Thornham Harbour just before 9.30am and Vivien arrived shortly after. It was so lovely to see her, but frustrating we couldn't hug. To change something you have done your entire life is just so odd. Vivien had not had any breakfast and munched her way through two of her lunch sandwiches before we even set off, which made me chuckle! It was a beautiful day, but I decided I needed my coat as the wind was a little chilly – I regretted this later on! We had arranged to meet here and today for two reasons, one being we wanted to meet up at our childhood beach and delayed meeting up until today, as we didn't want to add to the tons of people, that we knew would be around at the weekend. It was a good move, as there was only one car in the car park besides ours. Our walk took us along the Thornham Bank, along past Post Ten (very few people will know where/what post ten is, apart from M & E. W.!) and the stupendous view over the Broadwater, The NWT Firs House and Holme Bird Observatory. From here we continued along the coastal footpath through the pines, my father's Yew tree near the sea-watching hide, past the NWT entrance and then sat for lunch on the edge of the dunes looking out to sea.

As we commenced our walk, we had beautiful views below the sea wall of a large flooded area on the marsh with cows amongst the buttercups – everything looked so green and fresh. It was a beautiful scene. We heard a single Natterjack toad here! I fully expected to see Yellow Wagtails here, it looked perfect for them, but after much scanning, found none. There were some Lapwings, Mallards and Redshanks here. As we turned the corner north, we soaked up the familiar views of the Broadwater and childhood memories came flooding back..... 'Dragon Hill' I said – this was a small hilly area of dunes (still there) that we named Dragon Hill, where we used to play as children. In normal circumstances we would have sat on the bench seat that overlooks the Broadwater, but obviously we would not have been 6ft apart. A Red Kite appeared close when I hadn't got the camera to hand – I grappled with my bag to get the camera out, but was too late – the Red Kite had flown away over the marsh. We also saw 2 Marsh Harriers, a Little Egret was on the Broadwater along with a Greylag Goose, Moorhen with young, Gadwalls x 2 and Shelducks x 2.

We continued along the boardwalk, up to 'Post Ten' where I found a wonderful Green Hairstreak Butterfly, which I managed to get some photos of with the SLR. At Post Ten (which was No. 10 of my late father's Nature Trail, which doesn't exist any more now), we paused by the curved seat and was saddened to see rubbish left from someone, who had obviously managed to bring out something to eat, but couldn't manage to take it home – the empty wrappers were obviously far too heavy to carry back! We continued along the boardwalk and noticed the NOA have replaced the old shelter by the small entrance gate with a new one. We ambled through the pines and I discovered that Vivien didn't remember that father had planted the now large Yew tree on the left hand side of the path. A handful of people passed us here, including a lady with a dog off lead, but well behaved carrying a p*o bag – who then deposited it into the dog bin by the closed NWT entrance. I can't imagine having to empty dog bins when they are full – I just couldn't do it!

We sat on the edge of the dunes to have our lunch in the exact spot where I sat with my mother, just less than a year before she died. It was this spot that I took the selfie of us both wearing sunglasses. I thought about this time spent with my mother and started talking to Vivien about it and became very emotional – we all miss her so much. Time does not heal at all whereas our mother is concerned – she wasn't a fading into the background sort of person when she was alive and still isn't, even now and never will be. It will be two years on 7th August, since she died. We had a lovely relaxing time sitting here, looking out to sea and enjoying our lunch. We didn't see too much, being as the tide was out, but a Meadow Pipit was sitting on posts close by, Brent Geese flew along the sea and saw Black-headed Gulls and a Cormorant. A few Swallows were overhead too. There was a couple on the beach with two huge and scary looking dogs, who were not on leads and were heading roughly in our direction – we were pleased to see them put their leads on, as their neared the NWT path onto the dunes. I had to stuff my coat in my rucksack, as it was now boiling hot as we ambled back to Thornham Harbour car park.

I wanted to show Vivien North Point Pools at Wells. Vivien is not a birder, but has a love and general interest of nature, so I knew she would like this lovely little spot. On the way we stopped at Burnham Deepdale and I bought us both a Magnum ice-cream from the garage shop. We drove to Burnham Overy Staithe and sat in our deckchairs on the quay to enjoy our ice-creams. It was glorious sitting here and Little Terns fished right in front of us! There were quite a few people parked up here and people were in small boats messing about and it was fairly busy. Goodness knows what it had been like at the weekend!

At North Point Pools we parked up and took our deckchairs to sit and watch the bird life on the pools. It wasn't as jam-packed with birds on the east side as it normally is, I don't know why. But, there were still 2 Wood Sandpipers to see, Redshanks, Lapwings, Avocets with chicks, Mallards, Shelducks, Egyptian Geese, Coots, Oystercatchers, Black-headed Gulls, Little Egret, Heron (flying distantly), Pied Wagtails and a Cuckoo was calling. We sat by our cars in the deckchairs and had a snack to eat and hot drinks and then cruised back along the A149 coast road, rather than inland via A148. We waved goodbye to each other, after pausing in Hunstanton briefly and both headed home.

When I arrived home, I discovered that I had burnt more than I thought. Normally I wouldn't burn. I already had factor 50 on my face (I always do), but my hair parting was bright red and felt very tender and sore to touch and my hands were red and felt sore. This was because of the antibiotics I'm on for my tick bite "Doxycyline" which warns in the small print, about not being in too much sunlight as at risk of sunburn. It was quite worrying to be honest. I dug out the first aid kit from the boot of the car and applied some burn (tea tree solution) gel to my hair parting and my hands as I got into bed. Luckily I was ok in the morning!


Two new coronavirus related deaths confirmed in Norfolk hospitals

See inside Norfolk’s new centre for people recovering from coronavirus

‘It was an invasion’ - Seaside holiday park hits out at ‘selfish’ day-trippers

Coronavirus symptoms: UK adds loss of smell and taste to list


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Quail singing at Earlham Marsh
Golden Oriole 1s male, early morning only at Hickling Broad
Little Gull near Wissington Beet Factory, Downham Market
Turtle Dove east of Wells
Montagu's Harrier flew over, Garganey at Cley
Swallowtail Butterfly at Cley
Garganey, Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Whinchat at Hopton-on-Sea
Spoonbills x 2, Wood Sandpipers x 2 at North Point Pools, Wells

St Mary's, Isles of Scilly

Sunday 17 May 2020


No new coronavirus deaths announced at Norfolk hospitals

East Anglian beaches busier as people make the most of sunny weather

Cambridge company AstraZeneca to make 30 million doses of coronavirus vaccine - if it works

‘We’ve seen clear water in the Broads’: coronavirus boosts nature

Coronavirus: UK daily death figure dips to lowest since day after lockdown


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Black Kite flew over saltmarsh at Salthouse
Temminck's Stint, Wood Sandpipers x 2 at North Point Pools, Wells
Garganey, Turnstone at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Little Gull 1s on pool at Burnham Overy Dunes
Dotterel x 2 early morning only at Choseley
Purple Heron at Potter Heigham Marshes
Turtle Doves x 4, Little Gull near Wissington Beet Factory, Downham Market
Montagu's Harrier flew over North Walsham
Spoonbill at Breydon Water
Montagu's Harrier flew over Panxworth, west of South Walsham
Garganey, Spoonbill at Cley NWT
Purple Heron (unconfirmed report) flew over South Beach at Heacham


First Wild White Stork Chick 'in centuries' Hatches In UK!

Saturday 16 May 2020


Mallards in my garden for the first time!

Today I social distanced at home! I couldn't be doing with all the traffic and people that I knew would be around. Lots of birds in the garden, including baby House Sparrows being fed by parents, Song Thrush, Blackbirds + young ones, Robins, also my juv. Robin is still around, Collared Doves, Chaffinches, Blue Tits, Coal Tits and tons of Starlings hoovering up as much bird food as possible and the rats have increased AGAIN! I have a new garden tick...... I had just woken from a little snooze, when I spotted a pair of Mallard's asleep by one of my ponds!!! Duck sh*t everywhere! I had to go out to change the bird ponds and top up the feeders, so being as my patio area is small, they flew off. Although the thought of Mallards nesting and producing cute fluffy ducklings zooming around in circles in my little bird ponds sounds lovely, I don't really want tons of duck poo in my small patio – so I'm hoping they don't return tomorrow!

I have a problem with my iPhone, as in I can't email any photos to myself, which is what I normally do, then add them to the blog on my iMac, have no idea why. I can 'AirDrop', which is how I sent this photo to iMac. I need to ring Apple support anyway, as still have not been able to get lots of my 'Example' videos off the phone onto iMac, since I went to the concert on 4th March, so better add that to my jobs to do list for next week.

Five more coronavirus deaths reported at Norfolk hospitals

Lockdown watch: how is it going in Cromer, Sheringham and Wells?

How do I make one? When should I wear one? All you need to know about face masks


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Golden Oriole flew south over Felmingham
Temminck's Stints x 3, Wood Sandpiper, Spoonbill at North Point Pools, Wells
Lesser White-fronted Goose esc., Garganey x 2, Spoonbills x 2 at Potter Heigham Marshes
Honey Buzzard fem. at Sidestrand, then flew over Northrepps
Hooded Crow flew over West Runton
Russian White-fronted Goose flew over Weybourne Camp, Cromer & Sidestrand
Red-necked Phalarope at Cley NWT
Ring Ouzel at Hemsby
Great White Egret flew over, Spoonbill at Burnham Overy Harbour
Cattle Egret from A149 at Holkham
Red-footed Falcon ad. male flew in off sea, Little Gull at Hemsby
Garganey x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Dotterel x 3 at Choseley

On trawler, 9th May SE of Bembridge, Isle of Wight

Friday 15 May 2020

Hot Birding at Wells, Choseley & Thornham!

Spotted Flycatcher
An annoying little branch over the eye, giving the impression of green eye shadow!

My highlight of the day was finding a lovely Spotted Flycatcher in woodland (but sorry, can't say where) – in the same area I saw a Red Kite directly over my head, whilst I watched the Spot Fly. Also saw Blackcaps, Goldfinches, Greenfinch, Blackbirds, Wood Pigeons, Red Admiral, Peacock and Orange Tip butterflies.
Red Kite

After having lunch and a quick snooze, I headed east to North Point Pools at Wells again. Bumped into some familiar faces here including Mike S., Ashley S., and met Sean (not sure of spelling) who I had given directions to for here last year he told me – nice to meet you), Gem and another Wells local birder. Saw the same selection of birds as last night, but didn't see any Yellow Wagtails or Common Sandpipers. New birds seen that I didn't see last night were Short-eared Owl and Temminck's Stint. Also 2 Wood Sandpipers were seen too. Beautiful weather, beautiful light.

Headed west and ended up at Choseley Drying Barns in hope of seeing a Turtle Dove. A photographer was photographing birds from his car on the road. Birds seen here: Stock Doves x 3, Red-legged Partridges x 4, Magpies x 2, Pheasant, Robin, Goldfinch, Marsh Harrier and the second best bird of the day was a Little Owl, perched almost motionless on a piece of farm equipment! I have never seen one here before, what a treat! Also saw a beautiful male Yellowhammer sitting in a tree as I drove down the hill to the main road.

Parked up at Thornham Harbour car park to have my tea and a coffee. A couple (wearing city designer clothes and shiny shoes) turned up in a car – the man got out and walked across to the already full bin and stuffed in a large bag of rubbish, which looked like a takeaway they had consumed. Funny that, I had rubbish in my car too – it went back with me to King's Lynn and I put it in my wheelie bin! Had lovely views of a particularly striking male Marsh Harrier over the reed beds in beautiful orange light at dusk. An Oystercatcher was perched on the one of the boats and Pied Wagtails were coming into roost. Cruised home to King's Lynn via Hunstanton. I was horrified to see the huge Bennett's Home estate in its early stages of being built, along Old Town Way – with tons of machinery and diggers parked up – what an awful view for all the houses along that road, when they have been used to views of beautiful fields and trees and now looking at a building site!

Arrived home to find that one of my work colleagues (who knows how much I love Bee-eaters) had linked something on Facebook for me..... a man had photographed two Bee-eaters for three hours at Horsey yesterday morning from 6.30am to 9.30am and nobody else knew! David Brooker took some stonking pictures and put them on the FB Norfolk Countryside Photos Group. The last Bee-eater I saw was at Cley on 21st May 2012. The next one is overdue!!!


Two more coronavirus patient deaths reported in Norfolk’s hospitals

Parts of Holkham Estate set to reopen soon

Coronavirus infection 'R' rate in UK creeps up

Coronavirus: 'No lifeguards on beaches', coastguard warns

Covid-19: Inside the UK's top-secret military lab


  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
BEE-EATERS x 2 flew west (early morning) over Weybourne Camp
BEE-EATERS x 2 flew west (early morning) over Kelling
Turtle Doves x 2 flew over Kelling Heath
BEE-EATERS x 2 flew west over East Bank (8.25am) and then West Bank (8.28am), Red-necked Phalarope east of East Bank, Garganey at North Marsh at Cley NWT
Black Kite flew north over Saddlebow
Common Crane flew over Cockley Cley
Garganey x 3 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Turtle Dove, Spoonbill at Snettisham Coastal Park
Temminck's Stints x 2, Wood Sandpipers x 2, Spoonbill, Short-eared Owl at North Point Pools, Wells
White Stork flew over Claxton Marsh
Turtle Dove at North Pickenham, Swaffham

Singing in garden on Fetlar, Shetland 
Presumed esc. flew into window on Tuesday, then flew off at Bognor Regis, Sussex