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Thursday, 29 April 2021

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   

Ring Ouzels x 3, Iceland Gull at Weybourne Camp
Garganey x 5, Wood Sandpiper, Bar-tailed Godwit at Hockwold Washes
Wood Sandpiper at Dickleburgh Moor NR
Ring Ouzel at Roydon Common NWT
Iceland Gull, Spoonbills x 4, Continental Black-tailed Godwit at Kelling Quags
Hooded Crow flew over West Runton
Ring Ouzel at Thornage
Dusky Warbler still at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford
Temminck's Stint, Spoonbills x 5 at Cley NWT
Ring Ouzel SW of Aylmerton
Osprey flew over Thickthorn, Norwich
Ring Ouzel at Sedgeford
Garganey at Welney WWT
Ring Ouzels x 4 at West Caister, Caister-on-Sea
Black Redstart at Sheringham
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Beeston Regis, Sheringham
Ring Ouzels x 3 between Horsey & Winterton
Spoonbills x 2 at South Beach, Heacham
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Sculthorpe Moor NR
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Holme Dunes NWT
Jack Snipe x 2, Spoonbill at North Point Pools, Wells
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Ring Ouzel at Grimston Warren
Spotted Redshank on Brendan's Marsh, Hickling Broad NWT
Arctic Tern at Blickling Hall Lake
Purple Heron reported over Bawsey Country Park
Arctic Tern at Rockland Broad
Ring Ouzel between West Barsham & Houghton St Giles
 
MEGA NEWS
None

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

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   

Ring Ouzels x 3 at Burnham Overy Dunes
Common Crane flew over Burnham Overy Staithe
Jack Snipe at Titchwell RSPB
Ring Ouzel on the Green at Cley
Black Tern, Spoonbills x 3 at Cley NWT
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Beeston Regis, Sheringham
Ring Ouzel at South Dunes, Winterton
Spoonbills x 3 flew over Holme NOA
Ring Ouzels x 10, Spoonbills x 5 at Holme NWT
Garganey x 2, Curlew Sandpiper, Arctic Terns x 35 at Breydon Water
Dusky Warbler still at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford
Garganey x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Common Cranes x 10, Spotted Redshank at Welney WWT
Black Terns x 5, Wood Sandpiper at Dickleburgh Moor NR
Ring Ouzel at Waxham
Wood Sandpipers x 2, Spoonbill at North Point Pools, Wells
Hen Harrier flew over Upton Marshes
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Holkham Pines
Little Gull at Filby Broad
Black Terns x 9 at Hickling Broad NWT
Black Tern at Barton Broad
Arctic Tern at Thorpe Marshes, Thorpe St Andrew
Black Terns x 6 at Whitlingham Country Park
Ring Ouzel at Roydon Common NWT
Spoonbill flew over Stiffkey
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Weybourne Camp
Spoonbills x 2 at South Beach, Heacham
Snow Bunting (briefly), Spoonbills x 2 at Kelling Water Meadows
Ring Ouzel at Hardley Staithe, Loddon
 
MEGA NEWS
None

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Burnham Overy Dunes, Gun Hill, Holkham & Beyond!

Sedge Warbler singing at Burnham Overy Dunes

 

It felt exciting to be walking along the track to Burnham Overy Dunes, I can't remember the last time I came here! In the field just west of the first stile, there were 2 Song Thrushes and several Blackbirds. A Willow Warbler was singing and Sedge Warblers seemed to be popping up everywhere! Several Whitethroats were in the brambles along with Chiffchaffs, Linnets, Long-tailed Tits, Robin and Hedge Sparrows. Over the marsh there were 3 Marsh Harriers, a Common Buzzard, Red Kite and my first Swift of the Spring flew across reedbeds, along with hundreds of other Swallows, Sand Martins and House Martins, some of which landed to rest on the marsh, which was fascinating to watch! In the large field east of the track, there were 5 Ring Ouzels feeding around a large bramble (Ashley S. had seen 6 earlier) and some Starlings in the far corner. Other birds seen: Heron, Blackcaps, Cetti's Warbler, Pochard, Redshanks, Reed Buntings, Brent Geese, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits. I also spotted a tiny fluffy Lapwing chick with parents out in the middle of the marsh.

Ring Ouzels – two of five seen on the east side of the track
out to Burnham Overy Dunes


Red Kite at Burnham Overy Dunes
 

Wheatear along with Meadows Pipits at Gun Hill
 
Self Explanatory!
 
Holkham Pines
 
 

Salts Hole, Holkham

 

At the end of the boardwalk, I found a Chiffchaff and 2 Goldfinches in the apple tree, but no other birds seen in the scrub. A Red Kite was flying just above my head, but the light was very poor, so rubbish pictures. Shortly after this, the sun came out for a while. I walked west to Gun Hill. On route I found a Sandwasp, a male Stonechat and 2 Wheatears. I sat at the most western end of Gun Hill, just outside the roped off area to have a coffee and something to eat. I spent a while here, watching Meadow Pipits, Linnets and 2 Wheatears. The Red Kite (or a different one) was upsetting the waders in the harbour. Saw a few Sanderling here too and a Little Egret. Walked back east to the boardwalk and apple tree and then continued east through the dunes.

I found a Wheatear and a Small Copper butterfly. Spent a while searching for migrants in the dunes, before I reached Holkham Pines, but it seemed everything had now gone quiet. Walking along the track through the pines I found a Speckled Wood butterfly. Cetti's Warblers were singing and several Blackcaps seen and heard, but nothing else of note. A couple earlier, had told me they had seen a Common Crane on the pools, seen from the wooden ramp up to Washington Hide (closed), but it wasn't on view when I looked. On the lawn of Meals House there was a Blackbird and a Robin feeding. It was lovely walking along the track through the pines and hardly passed anyone at all. After finding out the Lynx bus service leaves the bus stop at Holkham at 41 minutes past the hour, I had to speed walk along Lady Anne's Drive to catch the 15.41 bus to Burnham Overy (back to my car). I made it with 5 minutes to spare! Unbeknown to me at this point, I found out later that Common Crane was on view just east of here! The bus was punctual, but the driver was grumpy and  said "you want me to drop on the dangerous corner by the junction?" "anywhere close will be fine" I said. It was worth £2 to save me walking all the way back to my car! Collapsed in the car and had lunch. It was spitting with rain and felt much colder now.

I then decided to visit another favourite place and went to Garden Drove at Warham Greens. Parked up on the concrete pad and walked along the track to the copse and back again. Sadly this only produced a single Chiffchaff. Also saw a Red Kite and a Kestrel. The pigs and units are now on the eastern side/field of the track – I've only ever seen them on the west side/field.

Checked out the paddocks at Morston Quay, no sign of the Ring Ouzel, but several Blackbirds, 2 Song Thrushes and Jackdaws. Also stopped at The House On The Hill at Blakeney, but no birds seen here at all.

Parked a few yards along Beach Road at Cley to look at lots of cows and sadly no Blue-headed or Yellow Wagtails (seen earlier by other lucky birders). Walked along the track past the cows and up as far as the spot where the Grasshopper Warbler was, opposite the visitor centre, but no luck with that. Saw House Sparrows, 2 Greenfinches and several Goldfinches. Returned to my car.

Parked up at Salthouse and walked along the Iron Road to view the pool just west of the track and saw a Little Ringed Plover, Shelducks, Redshanks, Avocets, a Heron, Oystercatchers and a pair of Shovelers. It was now 7pm. A campervan was parked next to my car and was frying up sausages and bacon on a gas stove in the back of the van. 

Parked up at Walsey Hills NOA to have a coffee. On Snipe's Marsh, there were a pair of Tufted Ducks, Pochard, Mallards, Coots and Greylag Geese. It started to rain and I headed home at around 7.30pm. An exciting day initially, but deteriorated as the day progressed!

RBA Weekly Round-Up 20th to 26th April!

By Jon Dunn

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   

Dusky Warbler still at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford
Whimbrel x 9 at Roydon Common NWT
Black Redstart at Church Farm, Burgh Castle
Turtle Dove, Ring Ouzels x 5 at Waxham
Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel x 3, Spotted Redshank at Welney WWT
Ring Ouzels x 2 flew in off sea at Happisburgh
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Beeston Regis, Sheringham
Black Redstart at Hunstanton
Blue-headed Wagtail male & fem., Great White Egrets x 2, Spoonbills x 2 at Cley NWT
Hen Harrier at Horsey
Jack Snipe x 2 at North Point Pools, Wells
Bar-tailed Godwit on main lake at Bawsey
Ring Ouzels x 6, Velvet Scoter (offshore) at Burnham Overy Dunes
Curlew Sandpipers x 3 at Breydon Water
Black Redstart at Brancaster Staithe
Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Russian White-fronted Goose on Brendan's Marsh, Hickling Broad NWT
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Holkham Park
Common Crane at Holkham Freshmarsh
Ring Ouzels x 2 flew over Holme NOA
Black Tern, Curlew Sandpiper at Holme
Purple Heron flew NE, Garganey x 2 at Hockwold Washes
Black Redstart, Ring Ouzels x 2, Iceland Gull at Winterton
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Sculthorpe Moor NR
Spoonbill, Great White Egret at Burnham Norton
Serin briefly, west of Cromer
Ring Ouzel at West Caister, Caister-on-Sea
Jack Snipe at Titchwell RSPB
Dotterel x 2 NE of Choseley Drying Barns
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Weybourne Camp
Iceland Gull at Weybourne
Blue-headed Wagtail (probable) at Cantley Beet Factory
Whimbrel at Limpenhoe Marsh
Jack Snipe at Earlham Marsh, west of Norwich
 
MEGA NEWS
None

Monday, 26 April 2021

"Sunny Hunny" With Vivien!

Vivien exploring at Hunstanton Cliffs

 

I had a lovely day with Vivien in Hunstanton. Sadly, Lucy is not allowed in our cars yet, which is beyond frustrating, so we had to keep quiet about our meet up, as understandably this would have made her very disappointed that she couldn't join us. We met and parked up by the lighthouse and sat in deckchairs on the clifftop and had a coffee. We walked through the cliff top gardens and then broke my diet and got a portion of chips from Fisher's!!! My goodness they tasted good! I had bought a vege sausage roll with me and Vivien bought sausage and chips – neither of us felt like having fish. We sat in the shelters with seats on the front – it was so lovely here. Some Sage was out in bloom, bees were humming and a House Sparrow, female Blackbird and a Starling enjoyed some of our lunch. We lazily sat here for ages chatting and watching the world go by. Vivien amusingly remarked that 'old' people sat here and did this and then pointed out that we were old people now! OK, yes we are!

Oh dear....... we then bought a 99 ice-cream with flake and walked miles along the Promenade, past the fairground and to Heacham and back! Lots of huge signs all the way along, stating that no dogs are allowed on Hunstanton beach between the 10th April until 31st October – there were obviously lots of dog owners that needed to visit Specsavers!!! Dogs running everywhere on the beach, off leads, disturbing Oystercatchers on the shore etc. Vivien got worried, as she could see I was thinking about saying something to some of the dog owners, but I decided against as I would have got tons of abuse, wasn't worth the hassle!

The Helter Skelter at The Fairground, Hunstanton
 

We reminisced about our time here as children and I how much it had changed. I remember our mother taking all three of us on a boat at the huge boating lake, that used to be there! The roller skating rink has been replaced by the big 'Slippery Dip' and there are no more donkey rides for children! It was also very sad to see that the playground equipment has all been removed from the area next to the little cafe on the cliff top gardens (opposite the fish pond) and has been replaced by a seating and planted area. I bet it was to do with health and safety as all the play equipment was on concrete!

Took some fabulous arty farty photos of the Helter Skelter. Our grandmother 'Hess' (father's mother) used to take us to the fair ground and it cost 8p to go on the Helter Skelter! She also knew the man that ran the Helter Skelter and we had lots of extra fee rides. I have very clear memories of walking to the top and sliding down on a rope type mat – happy days!

Fulmars on the cliffs at Hunstanton
 

Herring Gull flying over the cliffs at Hunstanton
 
 
Fulmar flying over the cliffs at Hunstanton
 

Vivien on the beach at Hunstanton Cliffs

 

We walked past the Sailing Club and on to Hunstanton Cliffs. Spent a while taking some flight shots of the Fulmars gliding round the cliffs and then walked back along the cliff top to our cars and had a coffee in our deckchairs, before we both returned home. I have been so good with my diet the entire time until today, so hopefully it might not be too bad on my Wednesday weigh in!

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   

Jack Snipe at Titchwell RSPB
Dusky Warbler still at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford
Ruddy Shelduck reported at East Wretham Heath
Ring Ouzels x 3 between Horsey & Winterton
Ring Ouzels x 6, Black Redstart at Winterton
Osprey flew over, Ring Ouzels x 3 at Beeston Regis, Sheringham
Garganey, Bar-tailed Godwits x 2, Blue-headed Wagtail at Potter Heigham Marshes
Curlew Sandpipers x 3 at Breydon Water
Ring Ouzels x 8, Spoonbill at Burnham Overy Dunes
Ring Ouzel at Lady Anne's Drive, Holkham
Ring Ouzels x 20 at Waxham
Osprey flew over Walsey Hills NOA
Spotted Redshank at Cley NWT
Common Cranes x 9, Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Spoonbill at North Point Pools, Wells
Little Bunting (possible) at Surlingham Church Marsh RSPB
Black Redstart at Waxham
Ring Ouzels x 4 at Weybourne Camp
Ring Ouzel at Hardley Staithe, Loddon
Ring Ouzel, Spotted Redshank at Limpenhoe
 
MEGA NEWS
ROCK THRUSH
St Mary's, Isles of Scilly

Sunday, 25 April 2021

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   

Ring Ouzels x 2 in field near entrance to Snettisham RSPB
Black Brant at Snettisham RSPB
Garganey at Ken Hill Marsh, Snettisham
Ring Ouzel, Little Gulls x 16 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Ring Ouzel at Fenway, Heacham
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Winterton Dunes
Black Redstart (probable) briefly, in garden at Winterton
Ring Ouzels x 5 at Weybourne Camp
Dusky Warbler at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford
Jack Snipe, Spoonbill at North Point Pools, Wells
Ring Ouzel at Wells Woods
Ring Ouzel at campsite, Waxham
Temminck's Stint, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Great White Egret at Cley NWT
Curlew Sandpipers x 2 at Breydon Water
Ring Ouzel, Jack Snipe, Spoonbill at Titchwell RSPB
Ring Ouzel north of Snetterton
Ring Ouzels x 5, Spoonbill at Holme
Little Gull at Billingford Lakes, Foxley
Garganey x 2 at Hockwold Washes
Cattle Egret SSW of Hockwold cum Wilton
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Holkham Park
Common Cranes x 2 at Welney WWT
Short-eared Owl at Blakeney Point
Spoonbill east of Stiffkey
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Beeston Regis, Sheringham
Great White Egret at Sculthorpe Moor NR
Black Redstart briefly at Salthouse
Spoonbills x 3, Russian White-fronted Goose at Hickling Broad NWT
Common Crane flew over Horsford
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Hardley Staithe, Loddon
Arctic Terns x 2 at Rollesby Broad
 
MEGA NEWS
BELTED KINGFISHER
Castletown Bearhaven, County Cork, Ireland

Cley NWT and Salthouse!

Walsey Hills NOA

 

Today didn't go too well really and dipped on a couple of birds! It was also FREEZING! Even with all my thermals on. Lots of birders were complaining how much colder it was today. Anyway, it won't take long to write today's post!

Arrived at CleySpy to drop off (as arranged) the person's lens cap that I found at North Point Pools, recently and then went to Walsey Hills NOA. At last, I got to meet Warden Emma Buck! It was lovely meeting her and we chatted for a while about past and present etc and I congratulated her on the new pond, which is looking fabulous. Emma rang a Goldfinch and Greenfinch whilst I was there. No stonking male Ring Ouzels today (see yesterday's picture). Walked around Walsey Hills and didn't see anything of note really, apart from a Chiffchaff calling. Swallows were skimming over Arnold's Marsh. Bumped into Chris S., Ian and Richard along the bottom path, who very kindly told me about a very showy Grasshopper Warbler close by.

Walsey Hills NOA

Walsey Hills NOA – looking towards Salthouse

 

Parked up at the back of the Cley NWT Visitor Centre car park and sat in my deckchair and had some late lunch. Walked to see the Grasshopper Warbler along the NWT footpath (next to the A149) and neither sight or sound of it!!! But, to my surprise I had a Wheatear flying north across the path over the reedbed and then another seconds afterwards! Bumped into Lin P. here also, which was nice. Gave up with the Grasshopper Warbler and returned to my car. I was just going to head to Gramborough Hill, when a message appeared on the pager about a Black Redstart in Cross Street, Salthouse! Fabulous, so off I went.

In Cross Street, I saw a birder standing with scope overlooking a yard area, opposite the village hall and guessed this must be where the Black Redstart was, but decided to turn the car around first and ended spending about 5 minutes checking the top horse paddocks for Ring Ouzels – none found and then drove back down Cross Street and parked in a sensible place. I joined the man with the scope, who had kindly waited for the next birder to arrive, to point out where he had seen the Black Redstart – he showed me a lovely picture he had taken on his camera of the bird, sitting on a low wall. I fully expected to see the Black Redstart, but alas I didn't! Neither did anyone else that joined me. I searched around other gardens, walls and buildings, around the churchyard etc, as did a few others. Nothing. It was incredibly cold, so was probably sheltering in the warmest garden on offer. Robin, Blackbird, Greenfinches and Goldfinches seen here.

I left and then joined Eddie and Ian to look for birds at the scrape/pool off the Iron Road at Salthouse, where Eddie pointed out a White Wagtail, which was nice (he had three altogether after I left). Also some Ruff there too. I left and went to Beach Road, Salthouse. Sat and had a coffee and something to eat and was going to walk to Gramborough Hill, but it was so cold I couldn't be bothered.

Returned to the Cley NWT Visitor Centre car park and tried again for the Grasshopper Warbler. Initially there was only silence, then Eddie joined me and the Grasshopper Warbler starting reeling– it was very close to the path, but it didn't show! Why should I expect it be singing conveniently at the top of a stem or bramble for me to see and photograph in this bitterly cold weather! Sensibly, it was low somewhere in a small bramble!

I stopped at Morston Quay briefly, no sign of the Ring Ouzel that I saw on Friday, but the Whimbrel was still there. No other birds were feeding on the field at all, all sensibly retired for the night! Time to go home!

Saturday, 24 April 2021

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   

Ring Ouzel trapped & ringed, Common Crane flew south of Walsey Hills NOA
Dusky Warbler at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford
Black Kite flew north, Black Brant Snettisham RSPB
Black Kite SSE of Heacham
Spoonbill at South Beach, Heacham
Ring Ouzel in tree near Thornham Harbour
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Hunstanton
Wryneck, Ring Ouzels x 3, Black Redstart at Weybourne Camp
Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Little Gulls x 14, Spotted Redshank at Breydon Water
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Holme Dunes NWT
Ring Ouzel near Lavender Marsh, Holme
Wryneck south of Brancaster
Garganey x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Ring Ouzels x 2 at West Beckham
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Winterton
Spoonbills x 3 at West Runton
Spoonbills x 2 at Warham Greens
Ring Ouzel at Happisburgh
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Beeston Regis, Sheringham
Pied Flycatcher male at Upper Sheringham
Ring Ouzel at Caister St Edmunds
Ring Ouzels x 2 at High Kelling
Little Gulls x 38 at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT
Osprey flew over Norwich
Osprey flew over Reedham
Grey Phalarope at Cantley Marshes RSPB
Ring Ouzel at Hardley Staithe, Loddon
Jack Snipe at Titchwell RSPB
Ring Ouzel at Grime's Graves, Santon Downham
White Stork flew over Horstead
Garganey x 2 at Hockwold Washes
Temminck's Stint east of East Bank, Cley NWT
Temminck's Stint on pool at Salthouse
White Stork flew between How Hill & Ludham
Ring Ouzels x 18 in dunes at Waxham
Garganey x 2 at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Common Crane at Holkham Freshmarsh
Great White Egrets x 2 at Berney Marshes RSPB
Spoonbills x 2 at North Point Pools, Wells
Ring Ouzel at Morston
Hoopoe in garden briefly at Great Ryburgh 
 
MEGA NEWS
None

Hardwick Cemetery: Fieldfare, Black Bunny & Lynn Point!

After only a few hours sleep the night before and twelve hours birding yesterday, I wasn't ready for an early start or any start at all to be honest! When I finally did wake up, I spent a long time writing up yesterday's blog and editing and adding pictures.
 
With a big fall of Ring Ouzels reported in the dunes at Waxham late afternoon and an earlier male Pied Flycatcher at Upper Sheringham, I decided there must be something locally, so went to Hardwick Cemetery in search for migrants. I heard a 'chacking' type call and got excited – OK, so it wasn't a Ring Ouzel, but a Fieldfare! This was not expected! It was sitting at the top of a very tall tree with mistle toe, in the north cemetery. I tried for ages to get a good picture of this bird, but failed miserably. Other birds seen were several Blackbirds collecting food, male Blackcap, Robin, Wren and a few Wood Pigeons.

Fieldfare in the North side of Hardwick Cemetery, King's Lynn
 
 The Fieldfare was at the very top of this tree!

North side of Hardwick Cemetery, King's Lynn
 

In the south Cemetery (opposite side of the road) I found a Song Thrush sitting in a tree, more Blackbirds and Goldfinches. There were several cute bunnies running around and just as I was leaving a black one appeared! Of course the black bunny would not pose by daffodils or on some nice green grass, but at the base of a hedge, but at least I got a picture.

South side of Hardwick Cemetery

Cute Bunny in the south side of Hardwick Cemetery
 
Daffodils in the south side of Hardwick Cemetery
 
Lynn Point, King's Lynn

 

The Fisherfleet and the docks produced lots of Herring Gulls, Redshanks and Mallards. Lynn Point itself, produced nothing of note at all, but did cover my entire car in lovely white dust from the track! I was hoping the paddocks at the far end might produce some Ring Ouzels, but no luck with that. There's always tomorrow!

Friday, 23 April 2021

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   

Hawfinch flew over Horning
Ring Ouzel at Muckleburgh Hill, Weybourne
Osprey flew over Cromer, Sheringham, Salthouse, Blakeney, Cley
Osprey at Blakeney Point, Scolt Head Island NNR, Holme Dunes NWT
Spoonbill at Cley NWT
Ring Ouzel at Morston
Ring Ouzel west of Aylmerton
Osprey, Little Gulls x 3, Spotted Redshank, Arctic Terns x 12, Ring Ouzel at Breydon Water
Grey Phalarope at Cantley Marshes RSPB
Common Crane at Holkham Freshmarsh
Dusky Warbler at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford
Spoonbill at Potter Heigham Marshes
Ring Ouzel at Kelling Water Meadows
Garganey x 2 at Hockwold Washes
Hen Harrier at Walsey Hills NOA
Ring Ouzel at Waxham
Garganey x 4 at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Slavonian Grebes x 2 at Ormesby Broad
Long-tailed Duck, Little Gull at Ormesby Little Broad
Bar-tailed Godwits x 12 at Pensthorpe Waterfowl Park
Jack Snipe, Whimbrel at North Point Pools, Wells
White Stork at Welney WWT
Great White Egret, Garganey x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Ring Ouzel at Hardley Staithe, Loddon
Ring Ouzel at Buxton Heath
Wood Sandpipers x 2 on new scrape, Garganey x 2 at Hickling Broad NWT
Little Gull at Denver Sluice
Little Stints x 2 at Snettisham RSPB
Ring Ouzel at Limpenhoe
 
MEGA NEWS
GREATER SAND PLOVER
On Wednesday at Rossbrin, Schull, County Cork, Ireland
BELTED KINGFISHER
Castletown Bearhaven, County Cork, Ireland

Spring Birding: 12 Hours, from Holme to Holkham!

Holme Beach
 
 
After a poor night's sleep, I arrived at Holme at just before 8.30am. Parked by the 5-bar gate along the Firs Road and then walked along the back of the bungalows towards the village car park. It was a stunningly beautiful day, but the east wind kept everything fresh! 2 Little Egrets were on the Saltings, along with some Shelduck and 2 Avocets. At least a couple of Whitethroats were seen and heard singing in the scrub alongside the coastal footpath and also a Chiffchaff. Last night's Grasshopper Warbler was also reeling again, just before the little foot bridge into the car park. Some House Sparrows were in the brambles by the cafe in the car park. Lots of dog walkers out and and about and people playing golf.
 
Village car park, Holme
 
Seat area by the village car park, Holme
 
 
 
Walked along Beach Road towards the Hun Bridge. Along here I saw a Song Thrush in a small horse paddock, 2 Green Finches at the top of a tree, Goldfinches and a Cetti's Warbler burst into song just west of the bridge. Walked east of the bridge along the narrow footpath that follows the River Hun and horse paddocks. Heard my first Willow Warbler along here! 2 Swallows flew over and there were several Blackbirds in the paddocks. A Mistle Thrush was sitting on the grass, like it was frozen in time – it was very peculiar! It was looking upwards to the sky and stayed like this for a good few minutes before it moved, even slightly! There was also a Hare crouched down low behind the Mistle Thrush, also frozen in time and trying very hard to look like a lump of mud! Had my first Speckled Wood butterfly by the wooden footbridge and my first Reed Warbler singing and also Sedge Warbler, another Cetti's Warbler and a couple of Wrens were seen. Everything looked so pretty along here and the light was beautiful. At the end of the path by the seat, I passed the NWT pay hut and returned to my car. Had a coffee and a snack.
Path along The River Hun
 
Mistle Thrush in the horse paddocks alongside the River Hun

A Hare keeping low, in the horse paddocks alongside the River Hun



It was now 10.10am, so officially allowed to go into the NWT Forestry, so off I went along the boardwalk which had several dollops of dog crap along, lovely, not! In the forestry, I saw and heard a Cuckoo flying across, a male Stonechat and a Chiffchaff – that was it. Over the marsh I watched 2 Common Buzzards, several Brent Geese around, a Reed Bunting and a Meadow Pipit. Returned to my car and drove along the Firs Road to the NOA car park.

Got my deckchair out and had breakfast. Dave Nurney turned up and we had a nice catch up. We heard a Lesser Whitethroat singing, but sadly not seen. It was quite interesting watching a colossal Motorhome attempt to turn into the narrow entrance to the NOA car park – it did succeed and took up a very large space, along with two other 'normal' sized motorhomes – how times have changed! Presumably tomorrow (see here), that won't be happening, hopefully!

News came on the WhatsApp group that Warden Neil L., had seen an Osprey going west over Scolt Head Island, so hopefully it would be heading this way! I stood by The Firs with Warden Gary H. and we waited in hope. We were both stood by the bench seat that overlooks the Broadwater, just in front of the Firs House and were expecting it to fly overhead. Gary very sharply spotted the Osprey flying behind us, over the back of the pines! At this second I hadn't seen it myself, but it then appeared in the gap between pines, which I saw at 12.15pm! I ran up the Firs Road towards the NOA car park (as Gary did) and then ran across to the dunes to try and get a picture. No hope with that! I could see the Osprey in the very far distance towards Holme golf course with an entourage of gulls mobbing it!
 
Holme Beach
 
Sedge Warbler singing below Thornham Bank
Worse picture I've ever taken of one, but liked the scene!
 
The Broadwater at Holme Reserves

 
Ambled along the back of the pines and to the boardwalk overlooking the Broadwater to 'Post 10' (oldies will know where I mean!) and along Thornham Bank. A Sedge Warbler was singing its heart out in a elder bush, just below the bank. The view here of the Broadwater and the Firs house is an iconic scene, but it doesn't quite look the same now, since the Firs House has been renovated. I could see lots of cows on the marshes towards Thornham, which may have held some Yellow Wagtails, but I didn't have my scope with me, so no point in walking that far. I returned along the boardwalk and in the scrub at 'Post 10', I saw a male and female Blackcap and a Whitethroat. Several Linnets were flying around and I had 2 Swallows fly through east, along with my first 2 House Martins of the Spring, following closely behind them! A male Stonechat was sitting on a bush, a Common Buzzard was over the marsh and a Little Egret was on the Broadwater, along with Tufted Ducks, Pochard, Mallard, Little Grebe and Black-headed Gulls. Also heard some Med Gulls throughout the afternoon.
Common Lizard at Holme Bird Observatory
 
Lime Tree at Holme Bird Observatory
 
Shield Bug on the Lime Tree at Holme Bird Observatory

Green Hairstreak on the Lime Tree at Holme Bird Observatory
 
Broadwater – view from main bank at Holme Bird Observatory
 
 

At Holme Bird Observatory, I sat chatting with Warden Sophie for a while in the sunshine and remarked how much my father would have loved to have been sitting here now in his favourite sun trap! The image of his denim shorts and hat, adorned with his blue 'Warden' badge came to my mind! I was SO excited when Sophie and I spotted a fabulous Common Lizard running across the concrete and than settled on the sandstone wall by the obs. door (where they always used to be) – luckily there was enough time to take some pictures! A couple turned up (I hadn't seen them before), who said they had seen a Lesser Grey Shrike!!! at Burnham Overy Dunes on Wednesday (this week), west of the boardwalk, towards Holkham pines. I wonder if anyone else has seen or heard about this? Interesting indeed! I spent a long time trying to photograph a stunning Green Hairstreak butterfly (three in all) in the wind and also a green shield bug on the beautiful lime tree by the main pond. Returned to my car and headed east along the A149.
High Tide at Wells Quayside

 
At 4.50pm I arrived at North Point, Pools at Wells! Several people here looking at the Jack Snipe, which luckily I managed to see bobbing in the sedge, before it then disappeared out of view, much to the disappointment of newly arrived birders who 'needed' it for their year list! A Whimbrel flew overhead calling, which was nice and the usual waders looked glorious in the light, including vivid orange Black-tailed Godwits, Egyptian Goose, Avocets, Shelducks, Black-headed Gulls, Redshanks, Teal, Mallards etc. 2 Swallows flew over and Meadow Pipits were on the marsh along with several Hares.
Ring Ouzel at Morston Quay
Very distant!

 
Morston Quay! There have been so many awesome pictures of the male Ring Ouzel here, I just had to see this bird! Parked by the church and walked across the road to the horse paddock – no Ring Ouzel! Only a few Blackbirds and Wood Pigeons. Phoned Eddie to ask advice and he recommended I go to the Morston Quay car park and look in the large field just east of there, so I did. In the middle of the very large field was the stonking male Ring Ouzel, prancing around like he owned the place! Far too distance for any cracking photos though. Met a lady who reads my blog, who was just leaving in her car and was very pleased that I pointed out the Ring Ouzel to her. There was also a Wheatear, Mistle Thrush, Starlings and Blackbirds in the field.
Whimbrel in field just east of Morston Quay
As the Ring Ouzel, very distant


'House on the Hill' at Blakeney – stopped here for a while to see what was in the scrub. I love this little spot and once found (many years ago) a male Red-backed Shrike here. Birds seen: male and female Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Robin, Great Tit, Chaffinches and Jackdaws. A big flock of Brent Geese were on the fields behind the A149. I decided to return to the Ring Ouzel in case it was any closer. The Ring Ouzel had disappeared, but had been replaced with a Whimbrel feeding in the field!

Stiffkey Campsite car park: Marsh Harrier, Little Egret, Brent Geese and Pied Wagtail. I then stopped by a gateway overlooking Holkham Freshmarsh, where earlier I had seen lots of cattle, in hope of seeing some Yellow Wagtails, but probably too late in the day now anyway. Saw 3 Grey Partridges, a Kestrel and a Sedge Warbler was singing in a small reedbed. It was now about 8.15pm, so time to return home!