THE NORFOLK BIRD & WILDLIFE FAIR – Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th May 2015! BILL ODDIE Presenting On Sunday!!!

UK MEGA AND NORFOLK BIRD NEWS POSTED DAILY, PHOTOS, BIRDING AND MORE!


Ring RARE BIRD ALERT with your sightings to: 01603 456789 or Hotline: 0207 0382820 or Text: 07624 800479

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Burnham Overy Dunes, Gun Hill and Cley NWT!

GREY-HEADED WAGTAIL
  This evening at Cley NWT
Phone-scoped video with iphone 5s & Swarosvski ATS 65mm HD & 25-50xW Zoom Eyepiece 

It rained solidly ALL morning, but the forecast was sunshine for the afternoon at some point! I carried out some laborious jobs at home until the weather improved. Suddenly the sun appeared and I was off!

Burnham Overy Dunes and Gun Hill
It was beautiful now and very mild indeed – the light after the rain was stunning. As I walked along the track from the main road, I saw a Whitethroat perched on a fence post by the stile briefly. Further along a Reed and Sedge Warbler were singing. Lots of Egyptian and Greylag Geese on the marsh, no sign of any wagtails amongst the distant cattle though, or anywhere else for that matter. Several Lapwings and Jackdaws around. At the bushes at the end of the sea wall I saw nothing at all, but a short distance east I saw 2 Wheatears, a Hedgesparrow and good numbers of brightly coloured Linnets. I continued walking east and had fabulous views of at least 20+ Wheatears and more Linnets.

I sat and had a coffee and a cheese roll by some particularly good scrub – but nothing popped out. The dark clouds rolled over my head and I felt spots of rain. Hurriedly packed the camera away, just in time. The heavens opened and the rain was torrential to say the least and it carried on for quite a while. I was dripping wet. The sun came out, a rainbow appeared and the rain stopped. I trudged back to the sea wall and headed west to Gun Hill. The Little Tern fence has been moved considerably closer inland – it cuts right through the good bushes/scrub on the seaward side of Gun Hill. Good for the Little Terns, but not for us birders searching for migrants. Also I won't be able to sit in my favourite place and look out to sea anymore – oh well. I only found a Chiffchaff here by the hill, but another Wheatear appeared on the south side of the hill on my way back, again with lots of Linnets. I heard a Bittern booming at 6.15pm! It was shortly after this that the pager bleeped up with "Grey-headed Wagtail at Cley NWT". I walked a little faster, but realised I wouldn't get to Cley in time. Took some funky pictures of the rain filled sky on the way back. When I got to my car I realised that actually I probably might have time to see the Grey-headed Wagtail if I was quick. I can do quick!

Cley NWT
Nipped along the coast road and parked along Beach Road. Joined Steve G. and later David N., Eddie M. and Pete S. to have stunning views of the Grey-headed Wagtail as it played hide and seek amongst the cattle, a stunning male. Maybe it was the light, but the head was so contrasting it almost look like a Black-headed! A Yellow Wagtail and 2 fem Blue-headed Wagtails joined the party. So glad I made the effort to get there. Far too distant for the SLR, but got a half decent video as you will see! I can't remember what time exactly, but later on the Wagtails flew over the cattle and headed over Beach Road at dusk. Ended the day listening to a Nightingale in the village and then left – arrived home at 9.45pm! Shattered and need to get up early, as tomorrow looks the only decent day this week! Well I hope its not the only day, you never know in May!

PICTURES TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Blue-headed Wagtail on playing field at Winterton.
Dotterel x 9 at Choseley Barns.
Pectoral Sandpiper at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
GREY-HEADED WAGTAIL Male, Blue-headed Wagtails x 2, Wood Sandpiper at Cley NWT.
Ring Ouzel at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Ring Ouzel at Waxham.
Garganey at Upton Marshes.
TURTLE DOVE at Hickling Broad NWT.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN GODWIT fem. again, 3.25 miles WNW of Glastonbury  +1.25 miles SSW of Meare at Meare Heath Nature Reserve at 11am, Somerset.
MEGA! PIED-BILLED GREBE from Lower Hide, at Leighton Moss RSPB, Lancashire & North Merseyside.
MEGA! GREAT BLUE HERON 1w still, Lower Moors, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK again at River Don, Seaton Park, Aberdeen, Scotland.

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

STOP PRESS! SWIFT Sp. with White Crescent at Holme, Norfolk!

http://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=3211676&postcount=24272

"..........was at Holme today when we spotted a Swift fly over with what looked like a Ring ouzel type White crescent on its chest. Its under tail looked a bit pale as well.

Very odd but it didnt look like an Alpine swift to me so just put it down as a aberrant swift, the bloke at the Holme shop also didnt think it was anything weird. ..."


Of course its weird – whatever it is, its not a 'normal' swift! It may only be an aberrant swift, but it gets the adrenalin going for me! Well done for capturing those shots Pete and for letting everyone know!

White-collared Swift maybe – that looks Ring Ouzel like!!!
http://www.arthurgrosset.com/sabirds/photos/strzon2343.jpg
First for Britain – that would pack out the carparks, the road and village on a Bank Holiday Monday!!!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

William and Kate's Princess!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32567875

NORFOLK BIRD & WILDLIFE FAIR!

http://pennyshotbirdingandlife.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/norfolk-bird-wildlife-fair.html

Holme Reserves!

Spent the morning helping my parents along with more shopping and ironing!!! A freezing cold and windy day – no sun in the afternoon at all.

Parked up on the NOA carpark. Walked to the NWT Forestry and saw 1 woodpigeon, 1 Whitethroat and 2 Linnets. Lots of scrub has been removed in the Forestry, some areas looked good, others not in my opinion. Very poor birding today. Walked back and then strolled to the furthest hide at the Wader Pools. 8 Barnacle Geese were mixed in with the Canada Geese which was a surprise, other than that very little of note. Crossed the Firs Road to the dunes to look at the sea and saw 1 Sanderling scrurrying along the shore. The entire beach was deserted on a bank holiday weekend – shows how cold it was!

Drove back along the Firs Road and listened to a Grasshopper Warbler reeling just after the 5-bar gate, also saw a Cuckoo briefly. Parked by Redwell Marsh NOA and sat in the hide for a while watching Swallows skimming over the pool, 1 Avocet, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, Shelduck and Black-headed Gulls.

Returned to my parent's house for a short while to see Vivien who had visited this afternoon. Drove back via Ringstead and photographed Grey and Red-legged Patridges and then realised I had the camera on the wrong settings! Not the most exciting of days at all!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
TURTLE DOVE at Wymondham.
Ring Ouzels x 2, Whimbrel x 14 at Waxham.
Manx Shearwater east past Sheringham.
Spotted Redshank, Whimbrel x 40 at Breydon Water.
Ring Ouzel at Old Hunstanton.
Dotterel x 9 at Choseley Barns.
Ring Ouzel, Whinchat, Redstart at Holme Dunes NWT.
Redstart at Holme NOA.
TURTLE DOVE at Kelling Heath.
White Wagtails x 8 from Daukes Hide, Cley NWT.
Ring Ouzels x 4 at North Dunes, Blue-headed Wagtail on playing field at Winterton.
Pectoral Sandpiper, Garganey x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
TURTLE DOVE at Great Cressingham.
Ring Ouzel at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Spoonbill at Titchwell RSPB.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! SCOPS OWL found dead yesteday on St Kilda, Western Isles, Scotland.
MEGA! SNOWY OWL esc. 2 miles SSW of Cromarty, Highland, Scotland.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN GODWIT fem. again, 3.25 miles WNW of Glastonbury  +1.25 miles SSW of Meare at Meare Heath Nature Reserve at 11am, Somerset.
MEGA! PIED-BILLED GREBE from Lower Hide, at Leighton Moss RSPB, Lancashire & North Merseyside.
MEGA! GREAT BLUE HERON 1w still, Lower Moors, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK again at River Don, Seaton Park, Aberdeen, Scotland.

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

Wildlife Decline May Lead To 'Empty Landscape'

"Populations of some of the world's largest wild animals are dwindling, raising the threat of an "empty landscape", say scientists."

"About 60% of giant herbivores - plant-eaters - including rhinos, elephants and gorillas, are at risk of extinction, according to research/"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32549898

Song Heralds Arrival Of New Bird Species!

Sichuan Bush Warbler
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32536484

Friday, 1 May 2015

NEW Talking Naturally Podcast Goes Live!

Episode 1: Talking Naturally – Norfolk Adventure Part 1 May 2015

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/content/talking_naturally.aspx?s_id=513551944

NINE DAY HOLIDAY!

So, my holiday begins and I can't wait! Think I might have struck lucky with the wind direction this week – maybe!

Bank Holiday Weekend Weather
http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2652856

Saturday
Easterly winds all day. Dry with sunny spells at first, although turning increasingly cloudy through the afternoon with outbreaks of rain arriving from the southwest through the evening and a southeasterly breeze picking up.

Sunday
South Easterly winds, turning South West later. Breezy with rain at first on Sunday, turning brighter with showers later.

Monday
South West then South Easterly winds. Sunny intervals with a risk of showers, perhaps heavy.

High Tides – Lynn Docks
  • Saturday: 6.25am and 18.34pm.
  • Sunday: 6.57am and 19.09pm.
  • Monday: 7.29am and 19.43pm.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Little Gull, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Breydon Water.
Dotterel x 8 at Choseley Barns.
Rough-legged Buzzard at North Dunes, Blue-headed Wagtail on playing field, Redstart in allotments, Winterton.
Ring Ouzels x 5 at Holt Lowes.
Garganeys x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Common Cranes x 2, Bittern at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Burgh Castle.
TURTLE DOVE, Ring Ouzel, Whinchat at Holme Dunes NWT.
Possible Montagu's or PALLID HARRIER Ringtail between Cley and Salthouse in ploughed field at 4.45pm, then flew inland.
Black-necked Grebe at Tottenhill Gravel Pits.
Ring Ouzel at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Spoonbill at Titchwell RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN GODWIT fem. again, 3.25 miles WNW of Glastonbury  +1.25 miles SSW of Meare at Meare Heath Nature Reserve at 11am, Somerset.
MEGA! PIED-BILLED GREBE from Lower Hide, at Leighton Moss RSPB, Lancashire & North Merseyside.
MEGA! GREAT BLUE HERON 1w still, Lower Moors, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK again at River Don, Seaton Park, Aberdeen, Scotland.
 
 NORFOLK BIRD & WILDLIFE FAIR – 16th & 17th May

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Wilde About Birds: Dear Party Leaders, It's Time To Fix Things

Wilde About Birds: Dear Party Leaders, It's Time To Fix Things:
With just days to go until the election, please take just a few minutes to watch and listen. Please fix things.

Incredible presentation from young Findlay Wilde – I am almost speechless!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Dotterel x 7 at Choseley Barns.
Ring Ouzel still on Sports Field at Thornham.
TURTLE DOVE at Kelling Heath
TURTLE DOVE, Whinchat at Holme Dunes NWT.
Dotterel at Blakeney Freshes.
Ring Ouzels x 5, Whinchats x 2, Tree Pipits x 2 at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Yellow-legged Gull at Wells Quay.
Blue-headed Wagtail on playing field, Common Cranes x 9 at North Dunes, Winterton.
Ring Ouzel, Whinchats x 3 on golf course practice, Old Hunstanton.
Hobby at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Common Cranes x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Spoonbill at Titchwell RSPB.
Ring Ouzels x 3, Whinchat at South Beach, Heacham.
BLACK-HEADED WAGTAIL Male, probable near cattle at Holme Marsh + Spoonbill on Broadwater then flew east.

Information from finder Ray Roche of the probable Black-headed Wagtail at Holme is HERE!

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN GODWIT fem. again, 3.25 miles WNW of Glastonbury  +1.25 miles SSW of Meare at Meare Heath Nature Reserve at 11am, Somerset.
MEGA! PIED-BILLED GREBE from Lower Hide, at Leighton Moss RSPB, Lancashire & North Merseyside.
MEGA! GREAT BLUE HERON 1w still, Lower Moors, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still at Brora, Highland, Scotland.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK again at River Don, Seaton Park, Aberdeen, Scotland.

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

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Difficult Week!

There seems to be a continuous run of problems and issues with my parents at the moment. Neither of them are particular well either. Father was very unwell yesterday with serious hallucinations – he was seeing 'three big owls' in the living room and he really believed it and was very, very distraught, frightened and angry – all rolled into one. Mother went through a tough time, as we all did yesterday. District nurse out and then the doctor himself later on. Prescribed and issued penicillin for a possible 'underlying infection'.

Mother was then hysterical again later, as one of her radiator's was leaking and her usual plumber said it was leaking at the side and has to be drained off and removed – also because of their old heating system, the radiator can not be replaced! Good job we are almost into May! Mother refuses to have a ramp for Father's wheelchair out of the back door or out the front as it will 'spoil her garden' – again, I despair! She is also refusing to go to any health appointments that have been booked for her over the next week or two! Count to 10! I seem to be doing that alot lately!

I had to go over to parents last night and also had to phone 111 as the situation got worse. Again, I was in the wrong with whatever I did. When I described Father's symptoms on the phone, the doctor said someone should come out and see him, but Mother went berserk when she found out it would be the night team and the visit would be around 2am, which I can understand to be honest. The doctor was worried that father might have the beginning of a bleed (stroke), as he had also had a headache for the last three days. I returned home mentally exhausted. Got into bed, but was woken by a phonecall from an oncall doctor who had been unable to get through to my parents on the phone (Mother probably pulled the phone lead out of the wall!).

Things seem to be a calmer in the Clarke household today and a Matron visited Father to check him out again – all seems okish at the moment! Mother said he was exhausted and tired today, which is hardly surprising after all the shouting and anger yesterday. Thank god the owls have gone!!!

Was exhausted all day at work. Did my supermarket run this evening, which was way overdue. A neighbour asked me some camera advice about a battery for an old Praktica BCA film camera – he hadn't used the camera for years and asked if I knew what battery the camera required – still trying to find this out via net, but think its a 6v battery? Flew home and then rushed out again to Weightwatchers – lost another 2.5lbs (5lbs in 2 weeks) which was the only good thing that happened today. Flew back home, finished putting shopping away, cooked a quick tea and promptly collapsed and fell asleep on sofa. Took Mother's shopping order over the phone. Tomorrow night I have to do another shopping run for parents – I HATE FOOD SHOPPING!

Two days to go and I have NINE DAYS OFF!!! Yippeeeeeeeeee!!!! Next week I will be organising on-line shopping for Mother whether she likes it or not. In fact I might also do on-line shopping for me too – I hate it and along with ironing, I can't think of anything more tedious.

Weather looks good for birding next week – although I have lots of other jobs I need to do as well. I still have not unpacked all my boxes of clothes from the smoke damage yet!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Crossbill at Alymerton.
TURTLE DOVE singing at bottom of Holmes Road, Ring Ouzels x 2 at South Dunes, Common Cranes x 2 at North Dunes, Winterton.
Ring Ouzel still on Sports Field at Thornham.
White Wagtail at Colney Gravel Pits.
Dotterel x 7 at Choseley Barns.
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Spoonbill, Spotted Redshank, White Wagtail at Titchwell RSPB.
Dotterel at Blakeney Freshes.
Short-eared Owl, Spoonbill, White Wagtails x 6 at Cley NWT.
Ring Ouzels x 2, Whinchat at Snettisham Coastal Park.
TURTLE DOVE x 2 at Blofield Heath.
Wood Sandpiper, Garganey x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Blue-headed Wagtail, Curlew Sandpiper from 1st hide at Holme Dunes NWT.
Crossbills x 2 at Holkham.
Ring Ouzels x 3, Whinchat at Burnham Overy Dunes.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! HUDSONIAN GODWIT fem. reported again, 3 miles WNW of Glastonbury  +1.25 miles SSW of Meare at Meare Heath Nature Reserve at 11am, Somerset. 
MEGA! PIED-BILLED GREBE from Lower Hide, at Leighton Moss RSPB, Lancashire & North Merseyside.
MEGA! GREAT BLUE HERON 1w still, Lower Moors, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still at Brora, Highland, Scotland.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK again at River Don, Seaton Park, Aberdeen, Scotland.

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

Last Chance to Enter the Norfolk Bird & Wildlife Fair "Wildlife Photography Competition"!!!

Closing Date 30th April – that's tomorrow!

Adults, Children Under 16's, Under 12's. Prizes and further information below:
http://www.norfolkbirdfair.com/home/photography-competition/

Also see my post about this fantastic event on 16th and 17th May!!!
http://pennyshotbirdingandlife.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/norfolk-bird-wildlife-fair.html

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

By Andy Stoddart
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2015-17.aspx?s_id=85928437

Thanks to the RBA team for including my Little Bunting picture in their review.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Ring Ouzels x 5 at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Garganey x 2, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB.
Blue-headed Wagtail on sports field, Ring Ouzel, Short-eared Owl at North Dunes, Winterton.
Great White Egret at Aylsham.
Curlew Sandpiper at Breydon Water.
Ring Ouzels x 2 near weather station, Kelling.
Dotterels x 5 at Choseley Barns.
Iceland Gull, Ring Ouzels x 2 at Weybourne.
Ring Ouzel, Tree Pipits x 2 at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Snow Bunting at Salthouse.
Great White Egret at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Spotted Redshanks x 4 at Burgh Castle.
Spoonbill at Cley NWT.
Blue-headed Wagtail, Redstart at Holme Dunes NWT.
Whinchat on East Bank at Holme.
Ring Ouzel at Garden Drove, Warham Greens.
Arctic Terns x 4 at Sheringham.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! PIED-BILLED GREBE from Lower Hide, at Leighton Moss RSPB, Lancashire & North Merseyside.
MEGA! GREAT BLUE HERON 1w still, Lower Moors, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still at Brora, Highland, Scotland.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK again at River Don, Seaton Park, Aberdeen, Scotland.

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

Monday, 27 April 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Redstart yesterday by Gresham Road at Aylmerton.
Curlew Sandpiper at Breydon Water.
Ring Ouzel at Weybourne Camp.
Dotterel x 5 at Choseley Drying Barns.
Blue-headed Wagtail at Kelling Water Meadows.
Spoonbill at Cley NWT.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Acle.
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Waxham.
Black-necked Grebe at Tottenhill Gravel Pits.
Ring Ouzel at Stubb Mill, Hickling Broad NWT.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! PIED-BILLED GREBE from Lower Hide, at Leighton Moss RSPB, Lancashire & North Merseyside.
MEGA! GREAT BLUE HERON 1w still, Bryher, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still at Brora, Highland, Scotland.

MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK again at River Don, Seaton Park, Aberdeen, Scotland.
 
 NORFOLK BIRD & WILDLIFE FAIR – 16th & 17th May

Reactions: Hunting season closed after shot bird falls into school yard - PN agrees, Yes campaigner attacks decision - timesofmalta.com

Reactions: Hunting season closed after shot bird falls into school yard - PN agrees, Yes campaigner attacks decision - timesofmalta.com

Sunday, 26 April 2015

A 'Little' More 'Bunting'!

I was at work all day and selfishly, I was pleased to see dull grey skies, whenever I looked out of the window. But at 3pm the sun appeared which was a lovely surprise! After leaving work I flew home, quick change, quick tea and then drove to Snettisham Coastal Park again, in an attempt to see the Little Bunting for a second time.

I got lucky with a car parking space by the road! It was 5.30pm when I arrived and it was a stunning evening. As soon as I started off on my walk, a pair of Bullfinches appeared briefly in an elder! Other birds seen were: a Barn Owl, Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Blackbirds, Reed Buntings, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler, heard a Cuckoo and several Cetti's Warblers. The  large flat area of turf didn't hold any birds at all though – I was expecting a Wheatear or two, but nothing. Passed Duncan M. who told me he had waited 2 hours for a 5 second viewing of the Little Bunting. I had just missed that viewing and the bird was not on show when I arrived, just south of the dam.

A birder standing next to me pointed out a Garden Warbler that was singing its heart out on a hawthorn right next to us – made a wonderful photo against the blue sky and evening light! I waited and waited for the Little Bunting. Time disappeared and sun setting. Bumped into Billy and Alison Rand and also Connor's Nan! I walked round the back of the bushes in hope of finding the bird elsewhere, but nothing. Returned to its favoured area and waited. A hedgesparrow fooled me for a moment, as did a Reed Bunting a bit later. Everyone had now given up and left, apart from another birder called Richard who had travelled from Hertfordshire via another engagement today. We watched three Bullfinches in a hawthorn in the last glimmers of sunshine and also excellent views of a Cuckoo flying across.

The light was disappearing and it was getting late. I gave up and left Richard standing further east along the path – I proceeded to walk back along the little path and suddenely I could see a bird feeding at the very end of the path, just before it turns – there it was! All that time I had waited and here was the Little Bunting at 7.55pm! I scampered back along the path and whispered loudly to Richard and he walked quickly to join me. He was over the moon as this was a new bird for him and he had been waiting here ages. I so wanted to photograph this bird and had I been on my own I would have crept along the path with my camera, but there was no way I was going to spoil someone's else's moment, watching their first Little Bunting! Anyway, a few moments later we decided to start walking a bit closer, BUT we didn't even get the chance – 2 Chaffinches flew in and flushed the Little Bunting across the path and into the bushes and the was the end of that!!! So pleased for Richard, but very disappointed after my long wait, to not get any photos at all. Oh well, I will just have to make do with yesterday's shot! Richard then left and I hung on a bit longer to 8.15pm, just in case – you never know, but the Little Bunting had obviously retired for the night. It was seriously cold now and I speed walked back to my car to warm up.

PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
LITTLE BUNTING at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Osprey flew west over Weybourne Camp.
Dotterel x 3 at Choseley.
Ring Ouzels x 2 on sports field at Thornham.
Blue-headed Wagtail on Eye Field, Spoonbill, Cley NWT.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Hen Harrier, White Storks x 2 esc, Spoonbill at Breydon Water.
Ring Ouzels x 3 at North Dunes, Ring Ouzel x 1 at South Dunes, Blue-headed Wagtail on Sports Field at Winterton.
Common Cranes x 2 flew over Colney Gravel Pits.
SAKER flew over Gorleston.
Blue-headed Wagtail at Horsey.
Snow Bunting at Salthouse.
Blue-headed Wagtails x 6, Wood Sandpiper at Kelling Water Meadows.
Ring Ouzels x 3, Common Cranes x 2 (flew over NW) at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Ring Ouzel at Waxham.
Black-necked Grebe at Tottenhill Gravel Pits.
Osprey over Cley NWT.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! SNOWY OWL at Blacksod, County Mayo, Ireland.
MEGA! PIED-BILLED GREBE from Lower Hide, at Leighton Moss RSPB, Lancashire & North Merseyside.
MEGA! GREAT BLUE HERON 1w still, Bryher, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still at Brora, Highland, Scotland.


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

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Dawn, The Little Bunting & Birding 'til Dusk!

LITTLE BUNTING
Snettisham Coastal Park

 
Snettisham Coastal Park
I was out of bed before dawn and arrived at Snettisham Coastal Park at 6.15am. 50+ Mallards greeted me as I parked up on the side of the road! They all waddled at speed towards me! As I was getting my gear together, a car pulled up into the caravan park and a lady got out carrying a large bucket of food – the mallards soon abandoned me, when they realised I was the wrong food source!

It was cold and dull first thing, the sun didn't appear until 7am. The coastal park was alive with birds first thing and the first bird I heard singing was a Lesser Whitethroat in a bramble. 2 Little Egrets flew over, Sedge Warblers singing, Cetti's Warbler's, Swallows west all day, Linnets, Chiffchaffs, several Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Reed Buntings, one Whimbrel flew over, a Yellow Wagtail flew over and a Ring Ouzel bombed over the large flat area into sea buckthorn.

Bumped into Jim Swalwell who had caught me up at 7am 'ish and knew exactly where to look for the Little Bunting. No sign of this bird for quite a while. At about 8am the LITTLE BUNTING appeared, creeping about on the sand, through the sea-buckthorn. Fabulous views of this cracking bird, but difficult to photograph as it didn't come out in the open at all. There were around 12 people here at this time. It was only there for a very short time and then flew up into the top of a large elder bush before disappearing.

I walked further east to search for birds. Heard my first Cuckoo this Spring, a Med. Gull flew over west, 2 Bullfinches flew over and a Grasshopper Warbler 'reeled', but I didn't see it. I returned to try and see the LITTLE BUNTING again, which I did briefly at 10.25am as it appeared from the thicker sea-buckthorn and then flew over the path into bushes, no one else saw it apart from me. It then appeared again at 10.45am and showed for the longest time this morning, giving people really good views, but again obscured by irritating bits of sea-buckthorn! I helped a few people to see the bird under the canopy of the buckthorn. Realising I wasn't going to get a better picture than I did earlier this morning, I left. It was really hot now and the rest of the day, up until late afternoon was beautiful. Back at the car I enjoyed a coffee and part of my lunch at 11.30am.

Hunstanton & Holme
At Hunstanton I did a small shop for parents and went to visit them for a short while. Mother had risked leaving Father this morning and cycled to the farm shop at Thornham. They were both enjoying crab with bread and butter for their lunch when I arrived. Orange Tip Butterfly and a Speckled Wood on flowers outside their front gate. Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Goldfinches in the pond area opposite the house.

Thornham Deli & Sports Field
One Ring Ouzel, 3 Linnets and 1 Pied Wagtail in the field.

Choseley Barns
Red-legged Partridges, Grey Partridges, Yellowhammers, Chaffinches and Pheasants in the drilled field south of the barns. Didn't see any Dotterel though. Annoyingly, the White-tailed Eagle which had been seen at Salthouse this morning decided to put in an appearance at Holme at 2.40pm, before heading west and not seen again. I don't know how it managed to fly from Holkham to Holme without being seen by any other birders on route!!!

Burnham Overy Dunes
I headed to Burnham Overy Dunes for the reported 'probable' Ashy-headed Wagtail that was seen mid-afternoon. As I parked up on the A149 the skies looked pretty evil – black rolling clouds and imminent rain! I started walking down the track – no birds whatsoever and after speaking to another birder who had seen nothing at all of note, I changed my mind when I got as far as the sea wall and retraced my steps to the car. It wasn't worth getting wet for I decided! No sign of any wagtails on the fields anywhere!

Burnham Norton
The skies still looked dodgy, but less so than earlier. I had a lovely time here, no cars in the carpark and no one else here! Cuckoo calling and seen flying high across the path as I walked out to the marshes. A Cetti's Warbler singing and lovely views of a Sedge Warbler singing away in a bramble bush alongside the path. A Grey Heron flew across and a Marsh Harrier was over the windmill. It was really cold now and started to spit with rain. 3 Mistle Thrushes out on the marsh, one of them gathering food. The highlight was 30+ Yellow Wagtails with the cattle!!! Part of the reason I came here – Burnham Norton is a good spot for Yellow Wagtails. All the usual birds on the marsh: Greylags, Egyptian Geese, Canada Geese, Shelducks, Lapwings, Shovelers, Coots, Moorhens, Gulls etc etc. Lots of Swallows and both Sand and House Martins overhead, just before I left at 6.30pm.

Barrow Common, Brancaster
As I drove up the hill to Barrow Common I witnessed a Sparrowhawk killing a Collared Dove in the middle of the road – a gruesome sight! I didn't see anything on the Common – too late in the day, gloomy and light rain. This must be a good habitat for birds with all the gorse, trees and grassy areas I would have thought. The views of the coast from here are spectacular. Barrow Common is reached from the road that runs south and uphill from 'The Jolly Sailers' pub.

Choseley Barns
Grey Partridges x 2, Yellowhammer and Pied Wagtail on the concrete pad by the barns. Further along, the large drilled field held a good number of birds feeding up before dusk, including both Grey and Red-legged Partridges, Pheasants and a large flock of finches: lots of Chaffinches and Yellowhammers in a feeding frenzy. I noticed that the Chaffinches were dust bathing as they fed. Lots of Hares around – they are always a delight to watch. It was seriously cold now and felt like winter again! Drove home with the heating on full!

PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
LITTLE BUNTING, Ring Ouzels x 3 at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Blue-headed Wagtail at Snettisham RSPB.
Redstart yesterday at Beeston Common, Sheringham.
BLACK KITE at Sheringham.
Ring Ouzel at Beeston Regis.
Dotterel x 3 at Choseley.
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Felbrigg Hall NT.
KENTISH PLOVER (on beach mid morning, then flew west), Blue-headed Wagtails x 2, Eye Field, Iceland Gull at Cley NWT.
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE Ad at Salthouse, Cley, Blakeney, Burnham Overy Staithe, Holkham and then Holme Dunes NWT where it flew west at 2.40pm with no further sightings.
BLACK KITE at West Somerton.
Black Tern, Arctic Terns x 4, Iceland Gull flew west, Ring Ouzels x 3 (one on golf course), Whinchats x 3, Spotted Redshank at Holme.
Common Cranes x 2 at Alymerton.
Ring Ouzels x 3 on sports field at Thornham.
Blue-headed Wagtails x 3 at Sidestrand.
Spoonbill at Breydon Water.
Ring Ouzel at Cockthorpe.
ASHY-HEADED WAGTAIL, Probable, in fields by track just before sea wall mid pm, Ring Ouzels x 3 at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Wood Sandpiper, Blue-headed Wagtail at Kelling Water Meadows.
Snow Bunting at Salthouse.
Ring Ouzels x 4 at Stubb Mill, Hickling Broad NWT.
Arctic Terns x 30 at Sparham Pools, Lyng.
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! HUDSONIAN GODWIT (3rd for UK! – last one was 1988) between Meare and Ashcott at Shapwick Heath NR, 300 yds west of Ashcott Corner carpark at Meare Heath, Somerset.
MEGA! PIED-BILLED GREBE from Lower Hide, at Leighton Moss RSPB, Lancashire & North Merseyside.
MEGA! GREAT BLUE HERON 1w still, Bryher, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still at Brora, Highland, Scotland.

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

Friday, 24 April 2015

Weekend Birding!

Thank god its Friday. Very stressful week with all kinds of things going on and wasn't able to go birding in the evenings because of this. So tired, limbs ache and fed-up. Good news is that I lost 2.5lbs at WW this week – a long way to goal though!

Looks like there will be far more birds to see tomorrow than last week. Looking forward to getting out there! Sadly working all day on Sunday, but only next week to go and then I have a whole week off on holiday – I need that so much!!!

Weather for the Weekend
http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2652856

SATURDAY
South Westerly winds – a fine morning for many parts with some sunny spells. Showers are possible during the afternoon, some of which could be heavy.

SUNDAY
Northerly winds – Wet on Sunday with rain clearing slowly. This clears to colder, brighter weather on Monday with a few showers.

High Tides
http://www.portauthoritykingslynn.fsnet.co.uk/page4.html
Saturday: 11.39am. Sunday 12.30am.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Short-eared Owl at Wells.
Ring Ouzel at Horsey Corner.
LITTLE BUNTING (elusive) at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Short-eared Owl at Loddon.
TURTLE DOVE singing, Ring Ouzels x 2, Tree Pipits x 2 at Waxham.
Iceland Gull at Sidestrand.
Little Gull at Colney Gravel Pits.
Pied Flycatcher reported, Redstart Male at Titchwell RSPB.
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Thornham.
White Stork at Rockland Broad.
Ring Ouzels x 7, White Wagtail (in paddocks), Common Cranes x 10 (flew over) at North Dunes, Winterton.
Ring Ouzel at Friary Hills NT, Blakeney.
Little Terns x 3 from boat at Blakeney Point.
HOOPOE, Blue-headed Wagtail at West Runton
TURTLE DOVE, Blue-headed Wagtail, Yellow Wagtails x 20, Tree Pipit, Whinchat at Cley NWT.
Ring Ouzels x 7, Tree Pipits x 3, Redstart, Whinchat at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Ring Ouzels x 2, Tree Pipit at Sheringham.
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Beeston Common, Sheringham.
Blue-headed Wagtail from 3rd hide at Holme (? NWT wader pools or village?).
Ring Ouzels x 4, Redstart at Holme Dunes NWT.
Ring Ouzel, Whimbrel x 75, Little Gull at Breydon Water.
Ring Ouzels x 7, Whinchat, Wood Duck esc at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Gargeney x 2, Whimbrels x 2 at Welney WWT.
Ring Ouzels x 9 at Burnham Thorpe.
Wood Sandpiper at Kelling Water Meadows.
Ring Ouzel, Redstart at Holkham.
Black Redstart near Ketts Park at Wymondham.
Dotterel x 3 at Choseley.
White Stork at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! GREAT BLUE HERON 1w on Bryher, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! PIED-BILLED GREBE just south of Berkeley power station, Gloucestershire.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still at Brora, Highland, Scotland.

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

Thursday, 23 April 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Arctic Terns x 8, Ring Ouzels x 4 at North Dunes, Winterton.
LITTLE BUNTING (for 6th day!), Redstart at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Black Tern at Happisburgh.
Ring Ouzels x 4 on sports field by Deli, + 2 on Cricket Pitch at Thornham.
Redstarts x 2 at Friary Hills NT, Blakeney.
Ring Ouzel at Burnham Norton.
Black-necked Grebe at Tottenhill Gravel Pits.
Ring Ouzels x 12 at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Breydon Water.
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Holme Dunes NWT.
Blue-headed Wagtail, Whinchat, Spoonbill, Spotted Redshank at Kelling Water Meadows.
Little Gulls x 2 at Sparham Pools, Lyng.
RAVEN flew west over Thetford Warren Lodge.
Ring Ouzels x 14 at Roydon Common.
Snow Bunting at Salthouse.
Shorelarks x 5 at Blakeney Point.
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE flew over SW of Repps.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! GREAT BLUE HERON 1w on Bryher, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still at Brora, Highland, Scotland.

MEGA! SNOWY OWL on Monday at Ballyvaughan, County Clare, Ireland.

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

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert' 
Ring Ouzels x 5 in village at Snettisham.
LITTLE BUNTING (not seen after 1pm), Osprey, Ring Ouzel at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Ring-necked Parakeet flew north over seafront at Gorleston.
Ring Ouzels x 2, Spotted Redshank at Weybourne.
Yellow-legged Gull at Wells Quay.
Hen Harrier, Spotted Redshanks x 6 at Breydon Water.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl, White Stork esc at Berney Marshes RSPB.
Ring Ouzels x 7 (4 flew on off sea) at North Dunes, Winterton.
Ring Ouzels x 7 on sports field by Deli at Thornham.
Ring Ouzel at Somerton Holmes.
Arctic Terns x 2 at Rockland Broad.
Scaup, Arctic Terns x 2 at Pentney Gravel Pits.
Whinchat at Cley NWT.
Dotterel at Choseley.
Ring Ouzels x 6 at Holme Dunes NWT.
Redstart at Friary Hills NT, Blakeney.
Ring Ouzels x 7 at Burnham Overy Dunes.
COMMON ROSEFINCH Male singing (4pm only) opposite church at Cromer.
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Hingham.
Spoonbill at Titchwell RSPB.
Spoonbill, Snow Bunting at Salthouse.
Gargeney x 2 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Great White Egrets x 2 at Welney WWT.
Blue-headed Wagtail, Spotted Redshank at Kelling Water Meadows.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! GREAT BLUE HERON 1w on Bryher, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still at Brora, Highland, Scotland.

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

RBA Weekly Round-Up 15th to 21st April!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2015-16.aspx?s_id=950535031

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Ring Ouzels x 7 on sports field by Deli at Thornham.
Spotted Redshanks x 4 at Breydon Water.
Redstart at Beeston Common, Sheringham.
Whinchat, Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Titchwell RSPB.
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE Adult at Horsey and Hickling Broad NWT.
Gargeney, Whimbrels x 6 at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
Yellow-legged Gull at Wells Quay.
Ring Ouzels x 8 at Holme Dunes NWT.
Great White Egrets x 2, Garageney x 3, Whimbrels x 2 at Welney WWT.
Ring Ouzels x 4 at Pigney Nature Reserve, North Walsham.
Whinchat at Lynn Point, King's Lynn.
Gargeney x 3 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Ring Ouzels x 3 at North Dunes, Winterton.
Black Redstart Male, Redstart at Walsey Hills NOA.
Ring Ouzel, Redstart at Hemsby.
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Hingham.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! GREAT BLUE HERON 1w on
St Mary's, Bryher & Tresco, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still at Brora, Highland, Scotland.

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

Monday, 20 April 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Ring Ouzel at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Hen Harrier flew over Sculthorpe.
Spotted Redshanks x 4 at Breydon Water.
Cuckoo at Langley Dyke, Loddon.
Ring Ouzels x 7 on sports field by Deli at Thornham.
Ring Ouzels x 9 at Roydon Common.
Arctic Terns x 9, Whimbrels x 3, Short-eared Owl at Horsey.
Ring Ouzels x 3 at North Dunes, Winterton.
Garganey at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
Arctic Tern at Colney Gravel Pits.
Little Gull at Filby Broad.
Ring Ouzels x 10, Whinchat at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Ring Ouzels x 13 yesterday in garden at Felmingham.
Arctic Terns x 3 at Rockland Broad.
Black Redstart at Walsey Hills NOA, Cley.
Common Cranes x 4 at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Hingham.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! GREAT BLUE HERON 1w on Big Pool, Bryher, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK at Brora, Highland, Scotland.


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

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Spectacular Spring Birding!

BLACK REDSTART
Cracking bird at Walsey Hills NOA this evening

Garden Drove, Warham
It was cold today, cloudy and no sun all morning. As I drove up the track along Garden Drove, it all looked pretty dead, no birds flushed from the hedges at all! Parked the car up on the concrete pad – well actually no, I didn't! There is a massive heap of sugar beet next to the machinery and there is only space for one car which was already taken, so I had to park on the verge. The pig units have been moved to the field opposite the beginning of the track down to the marshes. Alexander plants seem to be in abundance this year and they have almost taken over the track. Half way along, the track was completely blocked with a ivy covered fallen tree and I had to walk into the field and around to continue my walk. It was here that I heard a Blackcap and a Chiffchaff singing and also saw a Chaffinch, Great Tit and a Blackbird. Nothing else was seen at all, nor in the copse at the end. Back at the car I tried to warm up with a cup of coffee. Spectacular view of a Sparrowhawk that zoomed up from the track at a massive speed, headed for my car and then diverted at the last second, past my driver's window at eye level and continued down the track I had just walked.

House On The Hill, Blakeney
The sun had come out and it felt a little warmer. Long-tailed Tits were flitting about in the bushes, Chiffchaffs, Chaffinches, a Robin, Wood Pigeons and a few Swallows flew through. Felt my eyes closing and had a nap in the car, lovely!

Cley Visitor Centre NWT
The brief interlude of sunshine didn't last long and the gloom and cloud returned as I drove into Cley Village. Even though I had food with me, I really felt like sitting somewhere warm. The visitor centre was packed out. I wish I could say it was packed out with birders, but sadly as is increasingly so at a number of reserves, it was full of day trippers who seemed to stare at the strange person with binoculars! That's how it felt anyway. It was so packed, there was nowhere to sit, so I bravely sat outside on the new terrace to enjoy my lunch. I discovered that it wasn't really warm enough to do this, but stuck it out anyway. This paid off and I'm so glad I did. I sat on the picnic table at the far end, facing North Foreland Wood, when suddenly a COMMON CRANE cruised over the tops of the trees at 1.05pm heading North and then disappeared as if it had landed somewhere close by, either Snipe's Marsh or Arnold's Marsh maybe? Being as I was the only birder here, no one else saw this! I had almost finished my lunch, so hurriedly whizzed into the new fancy loos and then down to my car to search for the crane.

Walsey Hills NOA
Parked up in the carpark and bumped into John Furse. No sign of the Common Crane on either Snipe's or Arnold's Marsh. Isn't it amazing how a massive bird can just disappear! Talking of massive birds, I wonder where the White-tailed Eagle is today? Anyway, we walked along the bottom path to see if it had relocated to the fields the other side of Walsey Hills, but no luck there either. Chiffchaff and Blackcap in Walsey Hills, not much else of note. Walked up the steps to chat with Warden David Bratt who told us he had seen the Black Redstart at Walsey, that was seen on the East Bank this morning and also a Ring Ouzel earlier. David and John started talking football, so I promptly left!

The Hangs, Cley
Bumped into Irene and Tim Loseby here which was nice and had a brief catch up. Walked as far at the big slope and scanned for Ring Ouzels, but only Rooks, Jackdaws and Woodpigeons seen here. News of a Male Montagu's Harrier seen at Kelling and heading west bleeped up on the pager. It was so cold and dull I left and walked back to the car.

Glandford
After hearing that Eddie M. had seen some good birds here, I decided to relocate inland. Along the Glandford Road I heared the magical sound of a Nightingale singing! A Grey Wagtail flew over and a Whitethroat was in the hedgerow.

The sun had come out again, thank goodness – blue skies and white clouds! Further along at Glandford Ford I listened to a Sedge Warbler singing away next to the bridge. Bumped into a couple of birders I know and had a catch up with them. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming distantly. Saw a male and female Blackcap, a Wren and a Song Thrush was singing. In the horse paddock amonst the buttercups a Blackbird got me excited, but that's all it was..... no white breast band! Further back along the Glandford Road I met up with Eddie and we listened to the magical sound of a Grasshopper Warbler reeling, which also revealed itself and sat on top of a bramble for around a minute – not quite long enough however, to get phone-scoped by Eddie, much to his annoyance! A Willow Warbler also put in an appearance along with a Whitethroat and a Wren. It was now 4.30pm. Eddie had watched House Martins over Bayfield Lake earlier, so off I went in hope of seeing some myself.

Bayfield Lake and River Glaven
Parked the car up along the road and walked through the gap in the wall to view the River and Hall. The light was stunning now – I couldn't have arrived at a better time. Hirundines were everywhere – watched my first House Martins fly catching right above my head in the blue skies – so lovely to see, so good for the soul. Also Sand Martins and Swallows were skimming along the river. Then to top it all, a flash of turquoise and orange appeared in my bins and a stunning Kingfisher flashed along the river – I managed to keep with the kingfisher, as it sped along the river up to the lake at the far end – how fabulous!

Kelling Water Meadows
Eddie came with me to look at the Dotterel that has been here for a few days. The sunshine continued and the evening was without doubt, the best part of the day. Walking up the field to view the Dotterel at 5.45pm was a good move, as there was no one else here. Eddie (of course) picked up the Dotterel before me – very very distantly in the heat haze. It was so distant, that you couldn't even phone-scope! Beautiful to see, but out of focus! Several Skylarks around and a few Linnets.

Back along the track we saw a couple of Whitethroats and a good number of birds on the pool including Black-tailed Godwits, Teal, Mallard, Egyptian Geese with goslings, Black-headed Gulls, Redshank, Avocet and 2 Pied Wagtails. 2 Oystercatchers were at the fore edge of the pool and one was having a wash and brush up, which looked beautiful against the dark blue water. A Wheatear was by the pill box and then a Whinchat appeared on the fence posts which line the back of the pool! Our luck continued with 2 Yellow Wagtails dropping in briefly! Wow, what an evening! Eddie left to go to the NWT hides, Cley and I went to Salthouse.

Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
I parked up along Beach Road and scanned the marsh. I could see 3 Wheatears distantly, but changed my mind about walking to Gramborough Hill. It didn't look over exciting for some reason. My instinct told me to return to Walsey Hills.
Cracking Black Redstart at Walsey Hills NOA. 
Rubbish pictures taken after 7pm, only wish I was able to return on Monday to take better pictures. Work gets in the way!

Walsey Hills NOA
My instinct was indeed correct. It was 7pm and unusually for this time of the evening, there were several cars parked here. As I got out of the car a bird landed on the telegraph pole next to the Walsey Hills signeage board – a stunning Male Black Redstart!!! It put on a wonderful display of fly catching, landing on the telegraph wire and back to the post – wow! It was so exciting to see, that I had a job to hold the camera steady. A chaffinch also wanted the same post and kept swopping with the Black Redstart! A Marsh Harrier cruised overhead. Suddenly Julian B. and Duncan M. appeared having seen the bird and were trying to re-find it again. The Black Redstart then darted off to the East Bank carpark briefly, before returning to Walsey Hills – we only saw it briefly again on top of the hide roof, before it disappeared in the fading light. I walked around the reserve alone, but didn't see anything else, apart from a Chiffchaff and a couple of Red-legged Partridges.

Cley Coastguards
A Stonechat was sitting distantly on a bush west of Beach Road. A Marsh Harrier caused a stir and luckily I managed to see several Sandwich Terns flying west along the sea! What a fabulous day it had turned out to be – no rarities, but a fabulous selection of Spring migrants. I walked across the shingle and watched the waves crashing onto the shore as the light faded and took a couple of videos. I had a coffee and left at 8.20pm – it wasn't even dark then! Arrived home just after 9pm! Looking forward to the next few weeks of migration!

VIDEO & PICTURES TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Black Redstart at East Bank, Cley.
Ring Ouzel at Woods End Marsh, Surlingham.
Ring Ouzels x 4, Whinchat at Weybourne.
Black Redstart at Wymondham.
Ring Ouzels x 19, Redstart at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Montagu's Harrier Male, Dotterel, Whinchat, Ring Ouzel at Kelling Water Meadows.
Ring Ouzels x 9 at Holme Dunes NWT.
Pomerine Skuas x 2 at Great Yarmouth.
Ring Ouzel at Caister-on-Sea.
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Hingham.
Spoonbill at Titchwell RSPB.
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Northrepps.
Yellow-legged Gull at Wells Quay.
Ring Ouzels x 14, Whinchat at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Garganey at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
Ring Ouzel at Warham Camp.
Common Crane flew North over North Foreland Wood, Cley (P.A.C).
Redstart at Beeston Common, Sheringham.
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Moneyhill Lane, Hingham.
Dotterel near Beach Road, Snettisham.
Ring Ouzels x 5 east of North Creake.
Black Redstart, Ring Ouzel at Walsey Hills NOA.
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Ring Ouzel opp. East Beckham Hall, Sheringham.
Black-necked Grebe still at Tottenhill Gravel Pits.
Short-eared Owl at Horsey.
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! GREAT BLUE HERON 1w on Big Pool, Bryher, Isles of Scilly.

MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.
MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK at Brora, Highland, Scotland.

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

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Little Owl With Lucy & More Spring Migrants!

I have not seen my sister Lucy for a while and decided to take her on a whirlwind tour with big sister to include a bit of birding, visit to parents and fish 'n' chips etc. It was a beautiful sunny day, but cold with the North East Winds.

Picked Lucy up and stopped at the garage for Lucy's first chocolate stop! – none for me though! Went to Abbey Farm Hide at Flitcham in an attempt to see Kingfisher and Little Owl. It was lovely sitting here and Lucy really seemed to enjoy herself. No sign of the Kingfisher though. Blackcap singing, a Coal Tit, Chaffinches, Coot with cute chicks, Greylags, Lapwings, Chiffchaffs, but not much else really. Four birders walked into the hide and I don't think they quite believed me when I said I could see the Little Owl, camouflaged brilliantly at the bottom of the oak tree in its usual spot! I could only just see it with my bins and wasn't sure at first until it moved its head. I returned to the car and set up the scope so Lucy could see it properly and also got a lovely one minute phone-scoped video.

On the way to Choseley Barns we watched a Common Buzzard over our heads just before Docking village. At Choseley on the drilled fields we saw 2 Wheatears, Red-legged Partridges, Grey Partridges, 2 Yellowhammers and 3 Hares boxing in the sunshine. The pager bleeped up with 5 Ring Ouzels south of Choseley, but didn't know exact location and I didn't have time to search, as we had a fish 'n' chip delivery deadline with parents at 1pm! Bumped into a birder who said that someone else had watched the White-tailed Eagle at Holme for 15 minutes this morning (don't know what time that was exactly) – I wonder where it ended up? Pity it wasn't reported or seen again.

Off to 'Sunny Hunny' for a mini supermarket run for Mother and Lucy's second chocolate shopping bonanza! Walked to local bakers in high street for Mother's favourite bread. As we drove through the town to Fisher's fish 'n' chip shop we passed Sophie (warden at Holme Bird Observatory), I waved, but she didn't respond at all – how unusual I thought.... on closer inspection we both realised that it wasn't Sophie at all, but a uncanny double!!! Got fish 'n' chips for parents and Lucy and no, I didn't get any for me (honest) – arrived at Holme on cue at 1pm!

Mother was in an angry mood on our arrival, as she had received a letter from what she thought was the opticians saying she need to go the ophthalmology department at the QEH for further tests. 'They have lied to me' she shouted...... 'they told me my eyes were fine' (see my post here). I can understand why this had angered and worried her, but when I read the letter I understood why – it was not from the optician's, it was from her GP who had been advised by the opticians to refer her to the hospital for further tests because of her informing them of her double visions experiences she had been having – they were only doing their job! This all happened within a few minutes of Lucy and I walking in the door along with the optician's phoning Mother back to explain all this and Father asking us to shut the door because he was cold!!! Anyway, after the dust had settled so to speak, everyone enjoyed their fish 'n' chips, except me who had an egg and salad sandwich. Mother tried on her new glasses which I collected for her last night and said things didn't look much different! Count to 10 slowly!

Both parents needed an afternoon nap, so Lucy and I left and went to Holme Reserves. Well, to be exact Lucy only wanted to see the new cafe at The Firs, Holme Dunes NWT. She purchased some items in the shop and whilst here, we bumped into Richard Brooks who told us about his day, not seeing very much and sitting in a hide, freezing his......... well I can't say exactly what he said as it wouldn't be appropriate – you can finish the sentence off I'm sure!!! Richard very kindly gave me a Calendar for my Mother with his best regards to her and very nice it was too. If you would like to purchase one of these iconic calendars, please look at Richard's Website HERE to purchase one. Mother was very pleased with the calendar, so thank you very much. Also bumped into Sophie (Warden at HBO) and told her about her double – she said that she has been told this before!

Lucy didn't want to walk anywhere, so I left her in the car and wandered off towards the Observatory. On the slope of short turf next to the observatory itself, I watched a lovely Stonechat perched on yellow gorse. At the end of the path by the bushes I glimpsed my first Common Whitethroat for the year. Not too bad at all for my short visit. Also met a birder/photographer who reads my blog – nice to meet you and hope you got to see some Ring Ouzels today. Back at the car we headed back to our parents house where I left Lucy for a while.

At Holme Marsh Reserve NWT (hides in the village), I saw very little. I also only spent a very short time in each hide, as the North East wind was cutting through the hide flaps of all the hides and it was freezing, enough to freeze your.......... not that it applies to me of course! From the first hide I saw a pair of Gadwall. The third hide produced 2 Pied Wagtails amongst the cattle (but no Yellow Wags seen), 2 Marsh Harriers, a Cetti's Warbler singing, Lapwings, 2 Curlew and a pair of Mallard. The second hide produced nothing apart from a Pheasant. Back along the path, the bushes by the entrance kissing gate produced the most excitement with a male Blackcap, a Robin, 2 Goldfinches, 3 Chiffchaffs and a Marsh Harrier overhead.

Back at my parent's house, I had a quick coffee and Lucy and I then left and went home via Choseley Barns. Photographed the sunset and counted Hares in the fields – watched both Grey and Red-legged Partridges again before returning home to King's Lynn.

VIDEO AND PICTURES TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Wryneck near North Market Road, Firecrest on Low Road, Ring Ouzels x 5 at North Dunes, Winterton.
Ring Ouzels x 8 at Snettisham Coastal Park.
White Stork esc yesterday at Ellingham.
Ring Ouzels x 5 at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Ring Ouzels x 4 near Scout Hut, Heacham.
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE Adult drifted towards Thornham at 8.45am at Titchwell RSPB.
Spoonbill at Titchwell RSPB.
Ring Ouzels x 13, Whinchat at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Little Gull at Kelling Water Meadows.
Dotterel at Kelling.
Ring Ouzel at Aldborough.
Ring Ouzel at Bale.
Ring Ouzels x 32 at Roydon Common.
Ring Ouzels x 9, Short-eared Owl, Spoonbills x 2 flew east at Holme Dunes NWT.
Montagu's Harrier Male over field south of A149 at Holme.
Ring Ouzels x 5 south of Choseley.
Shorelarks x 7 at Blakeney Point.
Ring Ouzel at Wretten, Stoke Ferry.
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Moneyhill Lane, Hingham.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! GREAT BLUE HERON 1w on Big Pool, Bryher, Isles of Scilly.


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

Friday, 17 April 2015

Birdwatcher Captures Rare Footage Of Humpback Whale Off The North Norfolk Coast!

"A wildlife enthusiast captured what is believed to be the first spring sighting of a humpback whale off the coast of north Norfolk."

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/birdwatcher_captures_rare_footage_of_humpback_whale_off_the_north_norfolk_coast_1_4037240

NORFOLK BIRD & WILDLIFE FAIR!

Don't forget!
http://pennyshotbirdingandlife.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/norfolk-bird-wildlife-fair.html

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Ring Ouzels x 31 at Roydon Common.
Ring Ouzels x 10 at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Garganey, Grasshopper Warbler, Nightingale singing (in village) at Cley NWT.
Ring Ouzel at Sidestrand.
Ring Ouzels x 12, Redstart at Holme Dunes NWT.
Black-necked Grebe at Tottenhill Gravel Pits.
Common Cranes x 5, Bittern at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Whinchat at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.
Dotterel at Kelling.
Arctic Tern at Colney Gravel Pits.
Spoonbill, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB.
Ring Ouzels x 5 at North Dunes, Winterton.
Ring Ouzels x 4 at South Dunes, Winterton.
Gargeney x 3 at Welney WWT.

Ashy-headed Wagtail probable at Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! GREAT BLUE HERON 1w on Big Pool, Bryher, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO still 1 mile ENE of Penderyn, South of road at Cwm Cadlan LNR at 9.30am, but no sign by 10.07am, Wales.

MEGA! HARLEQUIN DUCK still, Brora, Highland, Scotland.

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

Hunter sentenced to three months in jail - 'did not know' that lapwing cannot be hunted in spring - timesofmalta.com

Hunter sentenced to three months in jail - 'did not know' that lapwing cannot be hunted in spring - timesofmalta.com

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Snettisham Coastal Park & Ring Ouzel Festival!

RING OUZEL
One of nine this evening at Snettisham Coastal Park

After being at work all day, I just had to get out birding to join in with the Ring Ouzel festivities! The pager read that there were 28 Ring Ouzels at Roydon Common today – what a fantastic number! I whizzed home and had lentil soup with two slices of toast (all weighed out properly – see yesterday's post). A beautiful day again and a wonderfully sunny evening. Cruised to Snettisham and parked up at Snettisham Coastal Park in search of Ring Ouzels at 6pm. A very kind birder I quizzed, told me exactly where to find them, he also said there was a Cuckoo around too.
Ring Ouzels at Snettisham Coastal Park

I was so pleased – it was so easy! Walked up to the big clearing and I could hear them first and then suddenly, one by one 9 Ring Ouzels appeared alongside the bottom of a row of bushes, hopping around and looking nervous as Ring Ouzels do. They were very wary of me, so I sat down by a bush, put my hood up and waited to see if they would come closer. They started to settle and moved a tiny bit nearer, when suddenly I could hear the familiar panting of a dog. It was extremely silly of me to sit down, as suddenly I was eye level with a black labrador – it seemed ok though and moved away from me fairly quickly, but as I turned I could see a not so friendly looking chocolate brown labrador heading straight for my head, so I got up sharpish, holding my camera up as high as I could. 'Sorry' said the owner. I pointed to the Ring Ouzels that I had been watching and trying to photograph. The owner and two loose dogs then proceeded to walk straight through the middle of the Ring Ouzels scattering them in all directions and away!!! I wasn't that angry, this is normal behaviour at Snettisham Coastal Park – there are far more dog walkers than birders. I so wish this coastal park could be a protected reserve – a 10ft fence all the way round and out of bound for dogs – wouldn't that be fabulous and being able to walk without having to dodge all the dog crap! Oh well, dream on Penelope! I met two birders who introduced themselves to me (sorry can't remember your names) who asked about the Ring Ouzels – I explained what had happened and I hope they got to see them, but I didn't see them anymore after the dogs disturbed them. I listened hard for the cuckoo, but no luck or with trying to hear any Grasshopper Warblers (this is a good spot for them).
Ring Ouzels at Snettisham Coastal Park

I carried on walking east through the paths and clearings. in hope of finding more Ring Ouzels, but was unsuccessful. I had a wonderful selection of birds though: my first Sedge Warbler this Spring, singing away in a reed bed, at least half a dozen Cetti's Warblers singing – it seemed as though they were everywhere! Also Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers singing, flock of Linnets and Goldfinches, 2 Swallows hurtled through west, 2 Grey Partridges and 5 Wheatears in the big clearing. Also Water Rail calling and a single Reed Bunting perched on a bush. There were a few Blackbirds around and Black-headed Gulls were heading west overhead in the blue skies. I left around 7.30pm.

Drove to Hunstanton and did the shopping for parents and delivered to Holme. Father was in a very good mood, smiled and seemed pleased to see me, which was a massive improvement on last week's behaviour!!! He even apologised which I wasn't expecting, as I didn't even think he would remember about his bad mood last week. Chatted to him all about the birds being seen in Norfolk and told him about the Great Blue Heron and the Great Spotted Cuckoo and he looked quite interested. With the forecast NE winds this weekend, my Mother predicted Bluethroats for Norfolk, so we shall see!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Ring Ouzels x 28 at Roydon Common.
Ring Ouzels x 18+, Redstart, Firecrest, Whimbrels x 2 at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Ring Ouzels x 3 at Trimingham.
White Wagtails x 9, Whimbrel at Cley.
Dotterel at Happisburgh.
Common Cranes x 13, Black Redstart, Pale-bellied Brent Goose at North Dunes, Winterton.
Ring Ouzel x 4 at Weybourne Camp.
Short-eared Owl at Stanhoe.
Redstart Male at Holme Dunes NWT.
Ring Ouzel x 8 at Holme.
Arctic Terns x 10 at Ormesby Broad.
Great White Egret at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB.
Ring Ouzels x 8 at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Blue-headed Wagtail, Whinchat, Snow Bunting at Kelling.
Spoonbill at Titchwell RSPB.
Shorelarks x 7, Black Redstart at Blakeney Point.
Wryneck at Aylmerton.
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Garganey x 2 at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
Garganey x 2 at Ormesby St Margaret.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! GREAT BLUE HERON 1w no sign of until 6.50pm on Big Pool, Bryher, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO SW of Llwyn-on Reservoir at small nature reserve, along road between Cwm Cadlan, plus Penderyn, Wales.

MEGA! SNOWY OWL at Cappanwalla Hill, Ballyvaughan, County Clare, Ireland.

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

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Beautiful Weather!

It was the hottest day so far this year.... at work! I always sit in my car at lunchtimes as the weather gets warmer, for peace, quiet and of course to birdwatch! I park my car next to a huge wood which joins with a river and fields adjacent to the A149. This wood holds a good number of species of birds including Chiffchaffs over the last few days. On Monday two Robins appeared by my car – perched on a small branch, watching me and waiting – I threw some crumbs from my sandwiches which they quickly dived for. Each day since they have appeared as soon as I get to the car! It's been really nice to share my lunch with them this week. Looking forward to seeing them tomorrow hopefully.

Last night I was having massive problems trying to upload my phone-scoped video (taken on iphone 5s) of my Green-winged Teal at Titchwell RSPB. I wonder if anyone can give me some advice please? I uploaded this to youtube on Monday evening at 8pm and left it running all night and the following day and it still hadn't loaded up when I got home last night!! Goes without saying it was a massive file: 237.3MB! Max upload to youtube is 2MB anyway, so hardly surprising it didn't upload. I have huge problems will loading files onto youtube in the past. I know you have to reduce the files, but don't know the best way or the best programme to use, that will keep the quality of the original file. The current video I have managed to get on youtube is by opening the original file in QuickTimePlayer and then choose 'File' 'Save for Web' which produces a folder full of different types of files for web use. In that folder was a file called 'IMG_7089 web - Computer.m4v' which I loaded onto youtube in 6 minutes last night!!!! A massive improvement in upload time, but the quality is not as good as the original file. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated please. I use a Macbook Pro in case you need to know this.

Just before all the smoke damage incident and Father's hospital admissions, I had just started back at Weightwatchers, but obviously I haven't been able to go with all the crap going on. I am currently and ashamedly heavier than I have ever been, but finally this evening was able to return to Weightwatchers to start the weight loss quest again! I was horrified when I stood on their scales, so its a good job I made the effort to go.

Shopping for parents tomorrow night – can't see me getting out birding until Friday evening at the earliest. Mind you, if a Great Blue Heron or any other mega turns up in Norfolk, the shopping will be have to be delayed!!!