Sunday, 24 May 2015

Icterine Warbler At West Runton And A Cracking Male Red-spotted Bluethroat At Blakeney Point!

Male Red-spotted Bluethroat
Blakeney Point
By the tamarisk bush next to the old laboratory, near the Plantation

I spent the morning editing pictures for a publication, which had to be finished – I worked from 7.30am until 12pm. It was bright and sunny all morning. Whilst editing pictures, an Icterine Warbler bleeped up on the pager, along with a Golden Oriole and then a Red-spotted Bluethroat. I had a very speedy lunch and very speedily made sandwiches and flask. Bundled hair into ponytail and I was off!

West Runton
It was teaming down with rain by the time I got here. Parked my car in a very sneaky spot and walked to the field adjacent to the caravan park. It took a long time to see the Icterine Warbler, but did eventually see it in some willows, moving around quickly. We were then told by Sue B. that it was 'just sitting there' round the other side of the hedge in the children's play area. Within minutes of re-locating to this area, we could see the bird with its back to us and obscured behind a branch. A few minutes later it started to move about and it was just getting good enough to take my first picture, when a lady (presumably staff from the caravan park) walked across towards us and said 'look I'm really sorry, but I need to ask you to move....' 'you can stand the other side of the hedge, but not here.... ' she then said something about 'adults with cameras'..... for goodness sake! As if we were there to photograph children!!! She waited to escort us out of the play area. But the funny thing was that there were no children at all, or adults (apart from us birders) in this area at all, but the other side of the hedge where she said we stand, there were several children playing!!! But this side was terrible light and not good viewing for the bird. I gave up and left without a single smudge on my camera! Still raining.
Meadow Pipit in the Tamarisk Bush.


Blakeney Point
I set off for Blakeney Point at 4.30pm! The rain had stopped and the sun was shining! I headed straight along the beach, as I did for the recent Moltoni's Subalpine Warbler! Each birder coming back was saying how well the Red-spotted Bluethroat was showing and what a cracking bird it was. Also saw Ajay, Paul and Sarah in their little vehicle, heading for Cley, who told me it was Andy Stoddart who had found the bluethroat. Also passed James MacCallum who said 'it's a cracking bird' and couldn't remember the last one he had seen that was showing that well. This gave me an extra spring in my step! I arrived at the Tamarisk 60 minutes later.

Cracking bird was an understatement – a vivid male with startling blue and red adorned across his chest – feeding on the short turf next to the large pink tamarisk bush and with white campion flowers all around the bush, you couldn't have had a better scene! A Meadow Pipit was also perched in the tamarisk bush. A Chiffchaff was flitting about, a Snipe and a Redshank perched on the chimney pot on the roof of the old laboratory and a Marsh Harrier was also seen. Eddie M. couldn't resist, when I told him how stunning this bluethroat was and an hour later he joined me. Eddie saw a Painted Lady butterfly when I went off to look in the Plantation later on.

Unusually there were no birds in the Plantation itself, not that I could find anyway. I returned to spend the rest of the evening watching and photographing this superb Spring Male Red-spotted Bluethroat until 8.45pm. Eddie and I started walking back, but left one person here, an artist, who had been painting the bird since before I arrived.

The walk back seemed much quicker than usual, probably because I had someone to talk to, thanks Eddie! We arrived back at Coastguards at 10.15pm. Got back to King's Lynn at 11pm. Work tomorrow!

See NT Ranger Paul's video of the Red-spotted Bluethroat on the Blakeney Point Blog HERE.

MORE BLUETHROAT PICTURES TO BE ADDED TOMORROW EVENING

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
TURTLE DOVE, Dotterels x 5 (viewed from Chalkpit Lane) at Choseley Drying Barns.
TURTLE DOVE, Little Gull at Salthouse.
Honey Buzzard reported west, Short-eared Owl, Little Gulls x 4, Red-crested Pochard at Titchwell RSPB.
ICTERINE WARBLER, Whinchat, Little Gulls x 2, Tree Pipit at West Runton.
RED-SPOTTED BLUETHROAT at Blakeney Point (A.S.)
GOLDEN ORIOLE at North Dunes, Winterton.
Curlew Sandpiper, Little Gulls x 4, Spoonbill, White Wagtail at Cley NWT.
TURTLE DOVE at Stiffkey Fen.

Suffolk Highlights:
LITTLE BITTERN still at Lakenheath Fen RSPB.


MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! MOLTONI'S SUBALPINE WARBLER still, Fair Isle, Shetland.

MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

HOLIDAY!

I am now on holiday for the next two weeks, but it hasn't started off very well at all. Not left the house today – very low mood, not done a thing. I have a million jobs to do, but couldn't face any of them. Write today off, start again tomorrow. Working Bank Holiday Monday, but rest of time off. Wish I could pack a suitcase and go on an amazing birding holiday, that would be so good right now.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Dotterels x 5 (viewed from Chalkpit Lane) at Choseley Drying Barns.
Osprey, Little Gulls x 8, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB.
Spoonbill, Little Gulls x 2, Short-eared Owl at Salthouse.
Little Gull, east of 'The Serpentine' on Pope's Pool, Cley NWT.
TURTLE DOVES x 2 at Beighton Church.
TURTLE DOVE at Stiffkey Fen.

Suffolk Highlights:
LITTLE BITTERN still at Lakenheath Fen RSPB.
BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER NW of Walberswick at Tinker's Marshes.


MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! MOLTONI'S SUBALPINE WARBLER still, Fair Isle, Shetland.

Bird Migration Changes On Fair Isle Revealed!

"A major survey into bird migration from Africa over the past 60 years has revealed substantial changes in behaviour."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-32802531#_=_

Friday, 22 May 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Osprey, Little Gulls x 5 at Titchwell RSPB.
BLACK STORK again 8.44am viewed from ridge between Ringstead and Sedgeford, then 9.06am over Hunstanton and then at 9.30am at Snettisham Coastal Park.
TURTLE DOVES x 8 at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Spoonbill at Rush Hill Scrape,  Hickling Broad NWT.
Little Gull flew west at Weybourne.
TURTLE DOVE x 6, Short-eared Owl at Horsey.
Spoonbills x 3, Little Gull at Breydon Water.
Pectoral Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Spoonbill on 'The Serpentine' off East Bank at Cley NWT.
Quail singing at Holme Dunes NWT.
Little Gulls x 2, Short-eared Owl at Salthouse.
Dotterels x 5 (viewed from Chalkpit Lane) at Choseley Drying Barns.
Short-eared Owl at Winterton.

Suffolk Highlights:
• LITTLE BITTERN still at Lakenheath Fen RSPB.
BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER NW of Walberswick at Tinker's Marshes.

Lincolnshire Highlights:
BLACK STORK circled over SE side of Boston at 10.50am.
BLACK STORK circled NW over Kirkby-on-Bain GPs at 11.20am.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! MOLTONI'S SUBALPINE WARBLER still, Fair Isle, Shetland.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

BLACK STORK at Ringstead & Old Hunstanton!

DIPPED!
I was snoozing on the sofa, completely exhausted. Pager bleeping and then text bleeping through on my phone, meant I had to get up. The pager read: "BLACK STORK flew SSW over Holme + circled Old Hunstanton Park/Ringstead at 5.52pm, then flew west. Again at 6.38pm, SW of  Old Hunstanton Park over Ringstead Downs, seen from hill between Ringstead and Sedgeford then lost to view". On the second pager message, I had to go!

Flew along the Ringstead Road and got excited when I could see birders standing on the side of the road with bins to the skies – Ashley Banwell, Trevor Girling and a couple of other local birders were searching in vain and then Billy Rand also turned up. I phoned a couple of birders to see if anyone knew if anyone else was watching the Black Stork close by, but no more news.

I spent the rest of the evening searching, headed towards Sedgeford and back round by Heacham Lavender, back to where I started and then through Ringstead to Old Hunstanton, through Holme, Thornham – going up the minor road just east of the Farm shop to gain height to scan the coast, then onto Choosley and then back through Ringstead. The Black Stork has probably cruised across The Wash by now! Saw lots of Hares, Red-legged and Grey Partridges, Oystercatcher, Kestrel, Pied Wagtail, Whitethroat singing, Chaffinches, Yellowhammers and a beautiful sunset. Drove home, knowing I shouldn't have left the house.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
TURTLE DOVE at North Dunes, Winterton.
Dotterels x 16 (viewed from Chalkpit Lane) at Choseley Drying Barns.
Black-throated Divers x 2 at Weybourne.
BLACK KITE flew south over Church Street, Wells.
MEGA! AUDOUIN'S GULL 2s possible, 9am-9.12am though distant, south of pier off Gorleston Cliffs then flew north, Norfolk.
Pectoral Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Spoonbill, Little Gull on 'The Serpentine'/Pope's Pool, east of the East Bank at Cley NWT.
BONAPARTE'S GULL 1s along South Wall, opposite windpump, Breydon Water.
Short-eared Owl, Little Gulls x 7, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB.
BLACK STORK flew SSW over Holme + circled Old Hunstanton Park/Ringstead at 5.52pm, then flew west. Again at 6.38pm, SW of  Old Hunstanton Park over Ringstead Downs, seen from hill between Ringstead and Sedgeford then lost to view.
BLACK STORK seen this afternoon at Scolt Head Island.
LITTLE BITTERN probable singing, 1/2 mile north of Beach Road along inner sea wall in reeds by large gorse patch at Snettisham Coastal Park.
TURTLE DOVES x 2 at Holme Dunes NWT.
Great White Egret flew over Kelling Heath.

Suffolk Highlights: LITTLE BITTERN still at Lakenheath Fen RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! AUDOUIN'S GULL 2s possible, south of pier off Gorleston Cliffs 9am-9.12am though distant, then flew north, Norfolk.
MEGA! MOLTONI'S SUBALPINE WARBLER still, Fair Isle, Shetland.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, at River Don, Seaton Park, Aberdeen, Scotland.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Red-necked Phalarope, Pectoral Sandpipers x 2, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Spoonbill, Little Stint, Short-eared Owl, Continental Black-tailed Godwit on 'The Serpentine'/Pope's Pool, east of the East Bank at Cley NWT.
Wood Sandpiper at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Common Cranes x 3, Curlew Sandpipers x 2 at Breydon Water.
Red-necked Phalarope, Short-eared Owl, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Gulls x 5, Red-crested Pochards x 7 at Titchwell RSPB.
Great White Egret, Garganey at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB.
BLACK KITE possible, south of Weybourne.
Dotterels x 15 (viewed from Chalkpit Lane) at Choseley Drying Barns.
TURTLE DOVE, White-fronted Geese x 2 at Holme Dunes NWT.
Short-eared Owl at North Dunes, Winterton.

Suffolk Highlights: LITTLE BITTERN at Lakenheath Fen RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! MOLTONI'S SUBALPINE WARBLER still, Fair Isle, Shetland.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, at River Don, Seaton Park, Aberdeen, Scotland.


All pictures now added & amended text to:
http://pennyshotbirdingandlife.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/norfolk-bird-fair-day-two.html

RBA Weekly Round-Up 13th to 19th May!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2015-20.aspx?s_id=537130001

Collins Bird Guide Updated, But Did Anyone Know?

COLLINS BIRD GUIDE
Second Edition
By Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney & Dan Zetterstrom

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/Collins_Bird_Guide_updated_but_did_anyone_know.aspx?s_id=537130001

I was told about this new second edition a few days ago, so purchased myself a copy to compare to my old second edition copy.

The 'new' second edition has new plates in, predominanently from page 303 to 317 and now shows for example: new text and illustrations for Subalpine Warbler and now split as Moltoni's Warbler, Eastern Subalpine Warbler and Western Subalpine Warbler. What I did notice was, when comparing each page last night, that the colour production is brighter (greater strength of colours) overall throughout the book. 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Redstart at North Dunes, Winterton.
Dotterels x 10 (viewed from Chalkpit Lane) at Choseley Drying Barns.
TURTLE DOVE, Short-eared Owl at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.
Spoonbills x 2, Little Stint, Short-eared Owl at Cley NWT.
Hen Harrier at Swanton Novers.
Great White Egret, Short-eared Owl, Spoonbill, Little Gulls x 5 at Titchwell RSPB.
Short-eared Owl, Spoonbill at Thornham Marshes.
Little Stints x 2, yesterday at Thornham Harbour.
Pectoral Sandpiper, Little Stints x 2, Little Gull on The Serpentine at Cley NWT.
Little Gull at Breydon Water.
Gargeney at Welney WWT.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! MOLTONI'S SUBALPINE WARBLER still, Fair Isle, Shetland.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, at River Don, Seaton Park, Aberdeen, Scotland.

Monday, 18 May 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Dotterels x 15 (viewed from Chalkpit Lane) at Choseley Drying Barns.
Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper on The Serpentine at Cley NWT.
Montagu's Harrier, Spoonbill, Little Gulls x 5, Short-eared Owl at Titchwell RSPB.
Curlew Sandpipers x 3 at Salthouse.
Montagu's Harrier at Thornham.
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! MOLTONI'S SUBALPINE WARBLER still, Fair Isle, Shetland.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, at River Don, Seaton Park, Aberdeen, Scotland.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

NORFOLK BIRD & WILDLIFE FAIR – DAY TWO!

Sunday 17th May – 9am-5pm
Mannington Hall
Bill Oddie making me laugh at the WildSounds Stand
Picture taken by Duncan Macdonald


The car park was already much fuller than yesterday when I first arrived this morning. Must be something to do with the fact that Celebrity BILL ODDIE was visiting today! Again the Bird & Wildlife Fair has been lucky with the weather and it was sunny for most of the day.

I decided to start the day's proceedings, by walking to the 'Kingfisher Hide', not that I saw any kingfishers, but did have a wonderful time by myself, to escape the crowds for a while. On route I saw an Orange Tip and Speckled Wood Butterfly and a Blackcap was singing. From the hide I had a fascinating time watching a Little Grebe catching sticklebacks (presume that's what they were) and feeding them to her cute, fluffy chick in the shimmery green water, adorned with lily pads – a very tranquil scene! Two Gadwall were also on the pond and a Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff were singing. Walked back to the entrance of the fair and met up with Pete Snook, who joined me for most of the day.
Little Grebe and Chick from 'Kingfisher' Hide.


As soon as we walked into the fair, several blog readers introduced themselves and said how much they enjoyed my blog – Pete was highly amused by this! It was great to meet you all today (and yesterday) – makes all my hard work worth while – all the sitting up until the early hours of the morning, typing and editing pictures, as I am currently!
Roger Tidman, Wildlife Photographer.

Legendary wildlife photographer and friend of my father,  Roger Tidman approached me and introduced himself – he very kindly asked after my father and wondered if it would be possible to visit him. I replied that it would be lovely, as he doesn't have hardly any visitors, well actually, aside from family and long time friends Eileen and Malcolm, no one has been to visit him at all, which is very sad. People are frightened to visit I think, as no, he is not the same as he was, but there is still a big part of him left and his sense of humour is still there. I was very touched by Roger's suggestion of visiting him, thank you. Another name from the past also stopped me to say hello – Richard Porrit, who was a committee member of the NOA and again very kindly asked after my father, thank you.

I didn't see many Norfolk birders today – would have been nice if more people had made an effort to support this spectacular event, to ensure it continues. After all, we weren't exactly swimming in 'rares' today! In fact the pager was worryingly quiet. Pete and I thought we had missed messages, but no, it was just a naff day for birds! Pete loved the venue and really enjoyed his day. There was a marked increase in families attending this year, which was good. In the optics marquee Pete thought he heard a Kingfisher and then seconds later I spotted it, sitting on a branch in the water at the far end and was then enjoyed by other visitors around for a short while, before it sped off. There was also a Grey Wagtail flitting about on the roof of Mannington Hall. Bumped into Vernon Eve here (from 'Infocus' at Titchwell). Bought Mother a 5" magnifier glass for a bargain show price of £10.00 (should have been double that). Canon were situated in the Wex marquee and I picked up the Canon 300 2.8 lens and body to assess the weight – far too heavy, so that saved me some pennies!!! (I wish!). Filled in the form to win a pair of bins, but not heard anything yet!
A lady I met today, who reads my blog – at the Canon stand.

Pete Snook and others in the Wex Photographic Marquee.

 Customers and Staff in the Wex Photographic Marquee.

 Customers at Swarovski in the Wex Photographic Marquee.

The Catering Marquee and Vendors.

Pete Snook chatting with other local birders.

Beer Tent!


The lovely staff at Vette's Veggie Van.


Lunch in the marquee – scrumptious vege curry with naan bread, mango chutney and a vege sausage roll, washed down with tea from Vettes Veggi Van – lovely! Pete had a burger in a bun from one of the other vendors. A very nice man approached me (can't remember his name) and very kindly had brought along an issue of "Birdwatching" magazine, dated March 1988 with one of my father's articles, titled 'Gateway to Spring' – thank you so much, brought a smile to my face when I read the article, especially the paragraph where father mentions 'roasting chestnuts' – I remember roasting chestnuts on the woodburner so well, especially when they exploded, scattering bits all across the floor! See below:

After lunch, I walked back to my car to get my other Canon 7D body with 17-85mm lens and as I started to walk back, Bill Oddie turned up in a taxi! He was immediately accosted by an EDP Reporter before he got in the entrance door. Now, if you want to get a seat to a celebrity lecture, you have to go to the lecture before, to get a decent seat or seat at all in some cases. So Pete and I went to the BTO's "Tracking Cuckoos to Africa and back" by Ieuan Evans at 1.45pm. I seriously wanted to go to this anyway, so it was ideal all round. This talk was both fascinating and entertaining, Ieuan was a very good speaker.
Bill Oddie being interviewed by the Eastern Daily Press.

Bill getting warmed up for his audience!

 Some of the audience for Bill Oddie's talk.


Bill Oddie Unplucked – 2.15pm
It was great to see Bill and he looked really well and relaxed and seemed to be in a jovial mood. Perhaps he enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere here – he also wasn't bombarded by too many people in one go (I found out what that's like, this weekend.... LOL!!). He made people laugh as soon as he walked in with quips about measuring people to squeeze them in the room. Bill captivated his audience with tales from past and present with lots of amusement and humour and also discussed serious issues that he is so passionate about. The highlight of Bill's talk was right at the beginning when he got deadly serious with a sombre face, bowed his head and said in a very slow and depressive tone: "...... I would like to begin by asking you to join me in a minute's silence... to what's the word... mourn the fact that a few day's ago, I woke up and so did you and found that David Cameron was still f*****g prime minister"!!! The whole room broke into hysterical and uncontrollable laughter and applause! He kept a dead pan face for a good few seconds before laughing and then apologised... "I'm sorry about the language, but it is necessary....." He went on to say why he had said this. I caught this all on video, so pleased I did – I keep watching this bit over and over again, its so funny!

It killed me to do it, but I managed to video the entire talk! Mind you the camera stopped videoing three times and I had to restart the camera, so a couple of gaps. The files are so big, I don't know how I am going to get them onto youtube, I will have to ask advice about this.

Moments before I escorted Bill Oddie to the WildSounds Stand.
Photo by Pete Snook.

Escorting Bill Oddie to the WildSounds Stand.
Photo by Pete Snook

After the talk, outside Bill said he needed to be at the WildSounds Book Stand, so I volunteered to escort him there on condition he posed for a picture 'that's what's known as blackmail you know', he replied. Anyway, after picture was taken, I led Bill to the Wildsounds stand. I asked him if he remembered my father, which he did and has very fond memories of his birding days at Holme, but amusingly remembered the issues between NNT (as it was then, now NWT) and the NOA and the permit system for both reserves. He asked me to remind him of my mother's name. It was really nice to chat with him as he walked to the main marquee. At the WildSounds stand, Bill signed copies of his latest book "Bill Oddie Unplucked" for his followers and fans. It was so nice to see him again. Such a pity he's not on TV – he should have his own show really – Bill Oddie Unplucked seems like a good title too! Bill if you are reading this, WE LOVE YOU! More pictures were taken by Duncan of Bill and I and also by Tina Lindsay.
Bill Oddie signing his new book on the WildSounds Stand.
 
Julian Bhalerao and Duncan MacDonald – WildSounds.

Bill Oddie and I at the WildSounds Stand.

Bill very kindly posed with people at the Say NO to Easthaugh Holiday Park stand where he spent a long time talking about this proposed park and seemed very concerned indeed. Julian B. and I took pictures of this, to send to the staff to help in their quest to stop this park being built in the River Wensum area.
Bill Oddie with Say NO To Easthaugh Holiday Park.

Bill Oddie with Duncan Macdonald, Tina Lindsay and ?

Bill Oddie with Tina Lyndsay.

 

Mannington Hall.
 
Moat around Mannington Hall.

 Carol's Cakes & Bakes.

Bengal Eagle Owl.

European Eagle Owl.

Organisers Rob & Jill Wilson with Eagle Owl from 'World Of Owls',
posing for the Eastern Daily Press photoshoot.


I wandered round the fair for one last time and then walked back to my car. Massive congratulations to Rob and Jill Wilson who have pulled off their second Bird and Wildlife Fair. I don't know how they did it – a mammoth job and to everyone else that was involved. Also thank you very much for asking me to judge the photographic competition, I felt very honoured indeed. A fabulous weekend all round and very much looking forward to next year's event. There were several wildlife organisations with stands including the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, British Trust for Ornithology, Butterfly Conservation, Hawk & Owl Trust..... the list goes on, but the biggest, the RSPB did not support this event, which I don't quite understand at all. Hopefully they will support our county next year – after all they have a good number of reserves here. Anyway, I will add Bill Oddie's Talk here when I am able to.

Videos to be added when I find out how to add three together and reduce the size to load onto youtube – any advice please?

Bill Oddie Visits Bird & Wildlife Fair At Mannington!

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/bill_oddie_pays_visit_to_bird_and_wildlife_fair_at_mannington_1_4076788

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spoonbill, Spotted Redshank at Breydon Water.
Dotterels x 20 (viewed from Chalkpit Lane) at Choseley Drying Barns.
Garganey x 2, Little Gulls x 5 at Titchwell RSPB.
Montagu's Harrier flew west over Barnham Broom.
TURTLE DOVES x 2 at New Buckenham Common.
Wood Sandpiper on The Serpentine at Cley NWT.
Grey-headed Wagtail at Kelling Quags.
Hooded Crow flew over Holme NOA.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! MOLTONI'S SUBALPINE WARBLER still, Fair Isle, Shetland.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK again at River Don, Seaton Park, Aberdeen, Scotland.


 NORFOLK BIRD & WILDLIFE FAIR – 16th & 17th May

Saturday, 16 May 2015

NORFOLK BIRD & WILDLIFE FAIR – DAY ONE!

Saturday 16th May – 9am-5pm
Mannington Hall


A fabulous day all round and I was really excited to see the photography competition entries on display and the winner's names revealed in the main marquee. I can't believe I picked the same photographer for three catagories!!! Congratulations to all the winners.

The sun shone all day, stunning scenery and bumped into lots of birders and blog readers – nice to meet you all. Also hello to the Broads Authority Staff who I was told read my blog daily, thank you so much! Nice to see Julian B. in his new post at the WildSounds Stand! Had a wonderful vegi lunch from Vette's Veggi Van, who were here last year.

Lots more here than advertised on the website and programme, including lots of exciting things for children to 'oh' and 'ah' at including owls on display and a massive Boa Constrictor, which several children were fascinated by! A rescued Raven and other wildlife. I liked the fact that the fair was aimed at all the family – after all wildlife should be for all generations.

Sighting of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker here this morning, so I heard! Also Spotted Flycatchers and Firecrests here, but I didn't get lucky with these.

Bill Oddie will draw the crowds tomorrow – get there early!

Julian Bhalerao at WildSounds.

 Mark Avery signing books at WildSounds.

Duncan MacDonald and Julian Bhalerao at WildSounds.

Rob Wilson, organiser of the Bird & Wildlife Fair, along with his wife Jill.

Mark Avery.

Paul Lee with Carl Chapman and Rose Votier.

The new North East Norfolk Bird Club!

A very nice selection of wood crafted pens – my only purchase today!

Richard Brooks and the 'two Julies'!

Me with Richard Brooks and the 'two Julies'!

Me in the sensory garden.

European Eagle Owl

Ural Owl

Southern White-faced Scops Owl

 Peruvian Striped Owl

Boa Constrictor!
Raven – rescued.

Mannington Hall



PHOTOGRAPHY
COMPETITION WINNERS
Judge: Penny Clarke

Adults
Adult's Winner of Bird Category & Overall Winner!
Rook and Jackdaw Roost

"As photographers we all strive to find that one shot that is unique, something different and this is both. The speed of the birds captured coming in to roost and as they descend to the tree, along with the simplicity of this mono shot, make this the overall winner as well."

Highly commended – Adult Bird Category:
Swift
"Good composition and detail captured in what is an extremely difficult bird to capture in flight."

Adult's Winner of Mammal Category
Grey Seal at Horsey
"A good composition and colour balance – the low angle brings you close to the action of the seals and the out of focus seal highlights the distance from the foreground."

Adult's Winner of 'Other' Category
Small Red-eye Damselfly
"Stunning macro shot, details and colours – something different and catches your eye!"


Under 16's
Children's Winner of Bird Category AND Overall Winner!
Short-eared Owl in flight
"Good composition. The light on the wings and head of the bird adds depth to the picture. A beautifully simple, but wonderful capture."

Children's Winner of 'Other' Category
Peacock Butterfly
"Good composition, sharpness and balance of colour overall is pleasing to the eye and the lichen covered pot makes an excellent background to set off the butterfly."

Highly Commended in Children's Bird Category:
Mallard
"Beautiful colours and light, good composition and depth of field obtained."


THE SHORT-LISTED ENTRIES