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Wednesday, 30 June 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   

Cattle Egret, Spoonbills x 6 at Cley NWT
Black-winged Stilts x 2 at Brendan's Marsh at Hickling Broad NWT
Spoonbills x 2 at Holme Dunes NWT
Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB
 
SUFFOLK NEWS:
ROLLER still, on wires 1/2 SE of Icklingham
 
MEGA NEWS
BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS
Bempton Cliffs RSPB, Yorkshire
LEAST TERN
Portrane, County Dublin, Ireland

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Rare Black Fox Spotted At Sheringham!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT" 
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Red-necked Phalarope, Cattle Egret, Great White Egret, Little Gulls x 11, Spoonbills x 2 at Cley NWT
Black-winged Stilts x 2 at Brendan's Marsh at Hickling Broad NWT
Spoonbills x 7 at Snettisham Coastal Park
Spoonbill at Welney WWT
Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Titchwell RSPB
Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Cantley Marshes RSPB
Little Gull flew past Kelling
 
SUFFOLK NEWS:
ROLLER still, on wires 1/2 SE of Icklingham
 
MEGA NEWS
BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS
Bempton Cliffs RSPB, Yorkshire
LEAST TERN
Portrane, County Dublin, Ireland

RBA Weekly Round-Up 22nd to 28th June!

By Jon Dunn

Monday, 28 June 2021

Lunch With Vivien!

Vivien and I met up for lunch today at Baytree of Hilgay's "Barn Restaurant". Lucy was obviously invited too, but sadly is not in a good place right now and didn't wish to join us as the 'weather was awful' amongst other reasons. To be fair, the weather was awful today, raining and no sun at all. Pity I couldn't persuade Lucy to join us though, as she would have loved the food. We pre-booked our table outside for 12.30pm and it was far better than I thought it would be. I have only been here once before, many years ago and I wasn't that impressed. Today however, was 10 out 10 for everything, very prompt service, very polite staff and the food was scrumptious with very generous portions. I had the 'Breaded Brie Wedges with Cranberry Sauce' with a mixed salad and a bowl of chips and Vivien had 'The Barn Ploughman's' with a pot of tea. Later we had pear and ginger crumble with ice-cream and coffees. We chatted for nearly three and a half hours!!! We will be back!

Today I had my first hugs with Vivien and the first hug with another human being since before March 2020!!!

Returned to King's Lynn and did a big supermarket shop and was generally lazy for the rest of the evening. A lovely relaxing day!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT" 
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Red-necked Phalarope, Cattle Egret, Spoonbills x 2, Little Gulls x 3, Short-eared Owl at Cley NWT
Puffin on sea off beach car park at Cley
Red-necked Phalarope at Salthouse
Black-winged Stilts x 2 at Potter Heigham Marshes 
Curlew Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank at Brendan's Marsh at Hickling Broad NWT   
Spotted Redshanks x 4 at Titchwell RSPB
Caspian Gull at Cromer
 
SUFFOLK NEWS:
ROLLER still, on wires 1/2 SE of Icklingham
 
MEGA NEWS
BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS
Thornwick Bay, Yorkshire
LEAST TERN
Portrane, County Dublin, Ireland

Sunday, 27 June 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   

Little Gulls x 2 at Weybourne
Curlew Sandpiper in area with no general access at Wymondham
Spoonbill at Breydon Water
Black-winged Stilts x 2, Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Garganey, Spoonbills x 5 at Brendan's Marsh at Hickling Broad NWT  
Quail singing, Turtle Dove between Methwold Hythe & Feltwell
Garganey, Continental Black-tailed Godwits at Hockwold Washes
Wood Sandpiper between Beighton & Acle
Spoonbill at Welney WWT
Turtle Doves x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Turtle Dove at Redwell Marsh NOA, Holme
Little Gulls x 10, Spoonbills x 3 at Cley NWT
Spoonbills x 2 at Ken Hill Marsh, Snettisham Coastal Park 
Turtle Dove at Snettisham RSPB
White Stork flew over Thurne
 
SUFFOLK NEWS:
ROLLER still, on wires 1/2 SE of Icklingham
 
MEGA NEWS
PACIFIC SWIFT
Fall Bay, Glamorgan, South Wales
FORSTER'S TERN
Inishroo, County Galway, Ireland
LEAST TERN
Portrane, County Dublin, Ireland

Saturday, 26 June 2021

ROLLER Number 4 – Icklingham, Suffolk!

ROLLER
South of Icklingham, Suffolk

 

I felt very lucky today, very lucky indeed. Leaving the Roller until the third day was a bit risky, but it was still there this morning, so luck was on my side! As reported by others who had been already been, the road just south of Icklingham was a race track, a narrow and winding road. Luckily I got the last space available in the large lay-by, just south of where the Roller was. It was around 6.30am when I arrived. With scope, tripod and camera in hand, I walked along the road (very carefully) and joined a few others standing on a wide grassy verge. It was raining steadily and the skies were grey. The Roller was perched on a fence wire a very long way away across the field. I took some video, but very poor quality because of the rain and distance. The Roller was looking wet and bedraggled and didn't look impressed with the weather! Every now and again the Roller would fly up onto the telegraph wires, but rarely came close enough for my 300mm lens. It was so fabulous to see this vibrant and flamboyant bird, sorry to say, but it did overshadow the Bee-eaters – well not by much, being as there was nine in one bush! There were birders and photographers standing further along the road on a high embankment, closer to where the Roller was, but I was advised that the walk along the road was extremely dangerous, so I stayed put. I met and chatted with some lovely people whilst here. Also saw a Hobby fly over, a Cuckoo was calling and a Green Woodpecker bounded across the sheep field. I stayed here until just before 12pm. I couldn't stay any longer, as was beyond desperate for the loo and breakfast!

My first very distant view of the Roller in the rain

 
Poor video, as it was dull and raining steadily

 

Returned to my car and had a cup of tea and a marmalade sandwich. I then left and headed to Lackford Lakes Nature Reserve, which was only a few miles south of here. First stop, toilet! The weather had changed dramatically and it was now boiling hot, so much so that I had to get my sunhat on. I was very impressed with the first class reception from a young lady who greeted visitors at the front of the reception centre (inside closed) – she was extremely smiley to everyone she greeted and was very helpful indeed. She kindly told me there was a Glossy Ibis here. I meandered along the paths around this fabulous reserve, which is only the second time I have ever been here. I saw the Glossy Ibis feeding on the left hand edge of a little island, but as I lifted my camera up to take a picture, it had sneaked off further left and out of site behind a reedbed in the foreground! It was now so hot, that I couldn't face having to put on a facemask to go in any hides, so gave them a miss. Saw several Dragonflies and damselflies, but didn't spend anywhere near the amount of time here that I would have liked to because of the intense heat, so returned to the visitor centre. I found the shadiest picnic table and sat here for a long time.

ROLLER in better light this evening

 

I returned to the lay-by just south of Icklingham. I sat in my deckchair next to my car, in the bushes next to a fence overlooking a sheep field and had a long snooze. I was waiting for the heat haze to go and the evening light for photography. I left the scope and tripod in the car this time and headed along the road, this time I took a risk and walked to one of the furthest viewing points along the road and climbed up the embankment to join two other birders. To my left was the furthest viewing point where there was some humongous 600/800mm lenses! Cleverly I had brought my new campchair (in bag) with me and the two birders here remarked 'that's the way to do it' – it was indeed. What a fabulous Saturday night out! Chilling in a comfy chair watching a glorious turquoise Roller in the evening sunshine. The Roller looked a million times better in the sunshine and looked much happier than this morning. It was catching bees and insects fairly regularly and had incredible eyesight we noticed – at one point it flew up and over our heads and the road behind to catch one bee!!! It then returned with the bee and perched on the telegraph wire to consume it. A Roller, never fails to disappoint, this must be the most vibrant and flamboyant of all the birds we see here in the UK! I took 627 pictures of the Roller! The last time I was saw one was in Norfolk in 2013. I left at about 7.15pm. I felt so tired driving home, but arrived back safely.

ROLLER

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   

COLLARED PRATIONCOLE ad., Black-winged Stilts x 2, Hobby x 2, Curlew Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Spoonbills x 3, Common Cranes x 3 at Brendan's Marsh at Hickling Broad NWT 
Common Crane at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Little Gull at Cley NWT
Turtle Doves x 2, Spoonbills x 3 at Ken Hill Marsh, Snettisham Coastal Park
Spotted Redshanks x 7 at Titchwell RSPB
Wood Sandpiper between Beighton & Acle
Spoonbill at Welney WWT
Spoonbills x 3 at Breydon Water
Spoonbills x 2 at Holme Dunes NWT
Quail at Thorpe Market
Little Gull at Weybourne
 
SUFFOLK NEWS:
ROLLER still, on wires 1/2 SE of Icklingham
 
MEGA NEWS
LEAST TERN
Portrane, County Dublin, Ireland

Friday, 25 June 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   

COLLARED PRATIONCOLE ad., Black-winged Stilts x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 2, Wood Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Garganey, Spoonbills x 7, Common Cranes x 2 at Brendan's Marsh at Hickling Broad NWT 
Little Gull at Cley NWT
Spoonbill at Welney WWT
Spoonbill on marsh at Burnham Deepdale
Rose-coloured Starling in garden at Runhall, NW of Wymondham
Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Breydon Water
Rose-coloured Starling at Hall Moor Road, Hingham
Osprey flew over Holme Dunes NWT
Wood Sandpiper between Beighton & Acle
Spoonbills x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Quail singing between Methwold Hythe & Caldwell
 
SUFFOLK NEWS:
ROLLER still, on wires 1/2 SE of Icklingham
 
MEGA NEWS
LEAST TERN
Portrane, County Dublin, Ireland

Thursday, 24 June 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   

COLLARED PRATIONCOLE ad., Black-winged Stilts x 2, Spotted Redshank, Wood Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper at Brendan's Marsh, Wood Sandpiper, Spoonbills x 6, Great White Egrets x 2 at Hickling Broad NWT 
BEE-EATER flew west over Visitor Centre, Osprey flew west, Roseate Tern, Little Gulls x 9, Spoonbills x 3, Short-eared Owl at Cley NWT
BEE-EATER flew west over Walsey Hills NOA
Osprey flew over Blakeney Harbour
Spoonbill at Welney WWT
Spoonbills x 7 at Ken Hill Marsh, Snettisham Coastal Park
BEE-EATERS x 9 reported at New Road, Bradwell at 8.55am, then flew SE towards Browston + Hopton-on-Sea
Siberian Chiffchaff singing recently at East Hills, Wells
Spoonbills x 2 at North Point Pools, Wells
Spotted Redshanks x 4, Spoonbills x 2, Great White Egrets x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Spotted Redshank at Breydon Water
 
SUFFOLK NEWS:
ROLLER still, on wires 1/2 SE of Icklingham, 1 mile NNW of Lackford
 
MEGA NEWS
LEAST TERN
Portrane, County Dublin, Ireland
FORSTER'S TERN
Newtownlynch, County Galway, Ireland

Wednesday, 23 June 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   

BEE-EATERS x 9 flew west at 7.45am over Weybourne Camp
BEE-EATERS x c8. flew high west at 8.00am over West Bank at Cley
Osprey flew out to sea, Spoonbills x 8 flew over Cley NWT
Black-winged Stilts x 2, Spotted Redshank, Spoonbills x 7 at Brendan's Marsh, Hickling Broad NWT
BEE-EATER flew west (heard only) over Sidestrand
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE flew west over Titchwell RSPB
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE flew west over Holme NOA
Spoonbill flew over Holme Dunes NWT
Osprey flew east over Hunstanton
Osprey flew over Kelling Heath
Spoonbill at Burnham Overy Marsh
Spoonbill at Brancaster Staithe
Turtle Doves x 2 , Little Gulls x 3, Spoonbills x 2 at Ken Hill Marsh, Snettisham Coastal Park
Spoonbills x 5 at Burnham Deepdale
Spoonbills x 4, Great White Egret at Burnham Norton
Spoonbill at Potter Heigham Marshes
 
SUFFOLK NEWS:
ROLLER on wires 1/2 SE of Icklingham, 1 mile NNW of Lackford
 
MEGA NEWS
Fair Isle, Shetland
LEAST TERN
Portrane, County Dublin, Ireland

BEE-EATER Update! Plus ROLLER News!

The 9 Bee-eaters were not seen at Great Yarmouth from late afternoon yesterday, which was very frustrating for those who were not able to get there because of work or other reasons. BUT, this morning they had obviously headed north, as they were seen flying over Weybourne Camp at 7.45am and then west over the East Bank at Cley at 8am!!! I was hoping they might have been seen again along the coast whilst I was at work, but no more news of them..... unless of course they were suppressed!!! Let's hope not! Where are they now I wonder?!!! I find it so exciting when rare bird news is put out promptly – its just simply fascinating to hear where birds are seen and tracked, even if you can't get there! Keeping the news 'rolling' please!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-57581570

If you see any rare birds ring Ring Rare Bird Alert on their Newsdesk: 01603 456789 - 7:30am-11:00pm 7-days a week OR Birdnews Hotline: 0207 038 2820 - 24 hours a day OR by text to Birdnews Text: 07520 634324 - 24 hours a day.

Today, Peter and Diane Lack found a stonking ROLLER NNW of Lackford in Suffolk, which shifted lots of Norfolk birders south over the border throughout the day and evening! There is no way I could have possibly have gone after work after the hard core birding of the last two days! #exhausted. There are some incredible pictures and footage on social media this evening, here are a few links:

https://twitter.com/bigpatfinch/status/1407803081765625856

https://twitter.com/Fenlandbirding/status/1407776480042553347 

https://twitter.com/paolobolton/status/1407724889415602184

https://twitter.com/Jon_Heath_/status/1407739919884296197

https://twitter.com/davidgcarter7/status/1407730901690327052 

Plus more retweets from others on my Twitter account: https://twitter.com/Pennyshotbirdin

I have seen only three over the years – my first one in Suffolk on 13th June 2011 and my second and third in Norfolk. See all accounts below!

https://pennyshotbirdingandlife.blogspot.com/2013/06/mega-double-twitch-pacific-swift-and.html

https://pennyshotbirdingandlife.blogspot.com/2013/06/mega-roller-day-two.html

https://pennyshotbirdingandlife.blogspot.com/2013/08/red-hot-birding-with-my-second-norfolk.html 

MY 'probable' one: https://pennyshotbirdingandlife.blogspot.com/2011/06/incredible-day-and-incredibly.html

https://pennyshotbirdingandlife.blogspot.com/2011/06/roller-all-my-dreams-come-true.html

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Hundreds Flock To See Exotic Birds In Great Yarmouth!

https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/bee-eater-birds-at-gapton-hall-yarmouth-8076980 

This morning I was asked by Liz Coates at the EDP if I could supply a high res picture of my Bee-eater for their article, but I was out birding at Cley when I spoke to her on the phone and didn't want to come home early, so she just kindly linked my tweet and picture, thanks! Fabulous pictures also included by Rob Holmes, Stuart White, Stu Buck, Tim Smith (what a flight shot!) and pictures of the crowd by land owner Leon Docwra, who very kindly posted the news on social media and allowed everyone to come and see this amazing flock of Bee-eaters!

https://www.greatyarmouthmercury.co.uk/news/bee-eater-birds-at-gapton-hall-yarmouth-8076980

I was also contacted by  Elliot Worthing from http://www.thats.tv/east-anglia/ to ask if they could use my Bee-eater picture for their programme at 6pm this evening – I didn't see it as I was still out birding and in any case, don't think I can get Channel 7?!

East To West Birding On A Glorious Summer Day!

After almost no sleep, I left early morning and returned to the Blakeney/Langham area and had a little cruise round, just in case the male Red-flanked Bluetail decided to relocate, move.... or the finder decided to allow a few people to visit her fabulous bird!!! No hope with any of this, so went to Gramborough Hill at Salthouse!

It was a glorious day, but I was very tired from yesterday's big trip! Dunlin and Ringed Plovers + chick on the pool next to Gramborough Hill. Only birds in the scrub at the hill were Linnets, Goldfinches, Blackbird and several Red Admiral butterflies. John F. joined me and a bit later Mike E. I was seriously impressed with Rob Holmes's insanely light camera set up that he showed me yesterday at the Bee-eaters. I was talking about this with John and Mike this morning – more on this another day.

Went to the Cley Visitor Centre NWT and purchased a hot Cheese Scone to take out, YES!!! Sat in my deckchair by the car and enjoyed my scone with a cup of coffee overlooking the marshes. Parked up at Walsey Hills and ambled around the reserve. Warden Emma wasn't there, so presumably on her day off or on holiday. Took some arty farty poppy pictures with the iphone and amazingly managed to photograph a Sand Wasp sitting on a white stone with my phone too! Sat on the seat overlooking the new pond, which is maturing nicely. Goldfinches, Chaffinches and a Robin were on the feeders. The bottom public footpath is quite overgrown and needs trimming again (council's job).

Had a wonderful snooze in my car at Coastguards, had some lunch – I felt exhausted! A family were having a full barbecue in the sea watching shelter, or as Eddie calls it 'The Beach Hotel'. Didn't really see any birds of note whilst here.

Popped into CleySpy to ask Andrew to fine tune my phone scoping kit, which he did. Long and short of it is, that if I remove the protective case, the entire thing works tons better and I can now take pictures as well as video! Huge thanks to Andrew and the CleySpy team. Enquired about the forthcoming Swarovski NL's 8x32's.......!

The highlight of the day was spending lots of time at Natural Surroundings and Bayfield Lake! Such a beautiful spot and the little footpath that runs alongside the lake was looking so pretty and I was the only one here! Spent a long time photographing Banded Demoiselles, both male and female, perched on iris's and reed stems. Several Red Admiral butterflies seen and also a Speckled Wood butterfly. Lots of damselflies skimming over the water and a Mute Swan was at the far end of the lake. Walked along the entrance road to photograph the magnificent Gunnera plants, which my late mother particularly loved. So peaceful here and so beautiful.

Headed east and parked up at Stiffkey Campsite car park. Walked all the way through the clifftop wood and back in hope of finding something mega, but only found a pair of Blackcaps and some Wood Pigeons! Left here and parked up on the concrete pad at Garden Drove, Warham. No one else here. Walked along the very overgrown track to the copse at the bottom. Horses have been along here and didn't bag up their sh*t!!! LOL! So I had to be very careful where I placed my feet! Very short bird list: 1 Blackbird, Chaffinches, Robin and 2 Chiffchaffs!

Ended the day at North Point Pools, Wells. On getting out of the car, I realised I was too tired to even get the scope and tripod out of the boot! So scanned the pools with binoculars only. Three Marsh Harriers seen and one flying over put up all the Avocets and other waders up into a frenzie. Swifts and Swallows skimming over the pools. Had a coffee and left. Saw a Barn Owl flying through a gap in the hedge just before I left Wells.

LOTS OF PICTURES TO BE ADDED

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   

BEE-EATERS x 9 on west side of Gapton Hall Road near MacDonald's, plus NE side of allotments and on south side of Breydon Water, but no further sign late afternoon or evening at Great Yarmouth
BEE-EATER flew over, Black-winged Stilts x 2, Garganey, Spoonbill at Brendan's Marsh, Hickling Broad NWT
Spoonbills x 3, Little Gulls x 6 at Cley NWT
Spoonbill flew towards Potter Heigham Marshes
BEE-EATERS x 2 this afternoon in garden then flew off at Filby
Corncrake male, singing south of Drayton
 
MEGA NEWS
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD
Annagh Marsh, The Mullet, County Mayo, Ireland
LEAST TERN
Portrane, County Dublin, Ireland

RBA Weekly Round-Up 15th to 20th June!

By Jon Dunn
 
Thank you to the RBA team, for including my Marsh Warbler and Bee-eater photos to their weekly Round-Up!

Monday, 21 June 2021

A Record NINE BEE-EATERS at Great Yarmouth!!!


BEE-EATER – ONE OF NINE!

Great Yarmouth



I woke up to news of NINE Bee-eaters at Great Yarmouth!!! Not moved that fast for a long time! I can't remember what time I arrived in the car park at Gapton Retail Park by TK Maxx, but it must have been around 12.35pm. I didn't bring the scope with me, grabbed camera and bins and luckily saw which way birders where heading. So, where I was parked with TK Maxx behind me, I walked up the embankment and walked along a private muddy track, which the owner of this site (Leon Docwra) VERY kindly allowed birders to walk along to view the Bee-eaters, thank you so much. After turning left and then left again, I could see birders viewing the Bee-eaters on the wires in the near distance. As I raised my binoculars, all 9 Bee-eaters flew up from the wires, over the track and away behind some tall trees. I continued along the track to join other birders. A bit later on a message came up from Stuart W., that the Bee-eaters were in a field south of Poundland! This was just a bit further from where I had just walked from! Hurried back to the car park and just behind Poundland, was an embankment were birders were viewing the Bee-eaters through only a small gap in the hedge. Walked around and alongside the main road with Dick F. and a few others and managed to photograph the Bee-eaters sitting on a large bush (see pic below), but the light was rubbish for photography and too distant for my camera, but WOW! Couldn't believe I was watching 9 Bee-eaters, one of the best day's I've had for a very long time! The Bee-eaters flew off and I guessed they had returned to the allotments again. Found a loo, then returned to my car to have a quick half cup of coffee, got the scope/tripod and a sandwich and walked back to the allotments along the private road.

Bee-eaters in the field near Poundland, Great Yarmouth

 

A few more people here now and so lovely to bump into so many birders, including Peter Allard, Mark and Tracy M., John G., David B., David H. and his wife, LGRE in his shorts, Dick F., Pete C., Justin & Chris L. and lots more. The Bee-eaters were back and putting on a spectacular show! I have only seen Bee-eaters eating bees in the UK, but these were catching all kinds of insects! I watched a large dragonfly being eaten, a Red Admiral Butterfly and of course several bees! Pellets were also coughed up. It was so magical watching these stunning birds! Not close enough for my 300mm lens though, but managed to get some phone-scoped video. The light was rubbish and the skies were grey, but brightened by these rainbow coloured birds! At 3.45pm, all 9 Bee-eaters flew off high SW and we watched them until they were dots in the distance and then disappeared.

Birders watching the Bee-eaters on the wires
 

Bee-eaters on the wires near the allotments

 

I started to walk back to my car, when news came out that the Bee-eaters were back in the field south of Poundland and next to MacDonald's! Returned to this spot and initially I stood on the main road with others. I decided to leave the crowd and walk around the corner and up onto the high embankment. This was a very good move! Managed to get the shot (top of this post) fairly close and then walked further along to find the only gap in the hedge and to my astonishment, ALL nine Bee-eaters with perched in a small hawthorn in the middle of the field!!! I couldn't believe it! It was the best view I had all day and there was no one else here but me! I tried to phone Justin L. who was standing with others on the main road, but after two attempts, no reply. Mike E. then realised I was missing (I think) and joined me. Unfortunately I needed to be a bit taller really and the best shots were taken by those who were! Rob Holmes then joined us and he was standing directly behind me – he got some fabulous flight shots, but I wasn't tall enough! Rob and Jill G. then joined us and another couple. Eventually the Bee-eaters decided to fly off.

NINE BEE-EATERS!
Perched on a hawthorn in the field near MacDonald's at Great Yarmouth!

 

We then heard news of a MALE Red-flanked Bluetail of which I have never seen one of anywhere, ever!!! OMG! It was at an undisclosed location in a horse field 'near Blakeney'. I decided, as did several others that by the time we got to Blakeney, someone might have located this 'crippling' (as LGRE described it on Twitter) bird. Returned to my car and set the sat nav for Blakeney. Off I went! The Male Red-flanked Bluetail had been found and photographed by a lady called Jess Tutt and is on Birdguides. I could not believe how incredibly stunning this bird was!!!

I arrived in Blakeney and after phoning Eddie, I ended up in Saxlingham Road in Blakeney with John F., Ian, Pete C. and a few others. After discussion, we decided the horse field by Glandford Ford might be a good place to check, so we all headed there. James Mc. also joined us and Luke N. I searched along a road that runs alongside the horse meadow and we scanned the horse meadow several times. With no further news and fading light, everyone left. The message on the pager said 'near Blakeney', so it could have been anywhere. I would have paid someone to see this bird, I really would. The landowner could make some serious money for themselves or a charity – they may change their minds tomorrow, fingers crossed!

Blakeney this evening

I parked up by the Blakeney Quay and had a coffee, before driving home. Filled up with petrol and arrived home at 10.15pm! What an incredible day!

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   

BEE-EATERS x 9 on wires at Gapton Hall allotments near High Mill Link Road and later in field south of Poundland and on bush south of MacDonald's at Great Yarmouth
Spoonbills x 6 at Ken Hill Marsh, Snettisham Coastal Park
Garganey x 3 at Brendan's Marsh, Hickling Broad NWT
RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL ADULT MALE at undisclosed location at 5pm in horse paddock near Blakeney
Rose-coloured Starling at Tuckswood, SSW of Norwich
 
MEGA NEWS
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD
Annagh Marsh, The Mullet, County Mayo, Ireland
LEAST TERN
Portrane, County Dublin, Ireland

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT" 
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SUNDAY 20th June
Little Gull, Spoonbills x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Ken Hill Marsh, Snettisham Coastal Park
Turtle Dove at Snettisham RSPB 
Marsh Warbler at Kelling Quags
Little Gulls x 3 off beach car park at Cley
Little Gull at Weybourne
Spotted Redshank, Little Gull, Spoonbills x 4 at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbills x 3 at Holme Dunes NWT
Hen Harrier male at Holme
Roseate Terns x 2 offshore at Sheringham
Corncrake singing in area in with no general access at North Elmham
 
MEGA NEWS
LEAST TERN
Portrane, County Dublin, Ireland