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Friday, 3 July 2015

Friday Update!

So glad this week is over, the heat has been unbearable – mind you, I only have one day of rest as back at work on Sunday. Sold my Kowa Photo Adapter and Olloclip 3-in-1 Macro Kit for iphone 5s on Thursday evening to a local Norfolk birder, so that was good. Looks like the heatwave is going to continue this weekend, although Sunday looks a little cooler. Some clearance people have been into my neighbour's fire damaged house and placed a skip in the front garden, which has been filled with damaged stuff and loft insulation – the loft insulation is in pieces all around the street and in people's gardens – surely not something that should be left in a skip in a residential street!!! No other mishaps, gossip or other to report this week!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Great White Egret yesterday at Cley NWT.
Garganey, Spoonbills x 8, Yellow-legged Gull, Red-veined Darter Dragonfly at Cley NWT.
Spoonbills x 8, Little Gulls x 3, Spotted Redshanks x 5 at Titchwell RSPB.
Lesser Emperor Dragonfly Male at Filby Broad.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Roseate Terns adults x 2, Spoonbills x 11 at Arnold's Marsh, Garganey x 2 on Pat's Pool and Red-veined Darter Dragonfly along East Bank at Cley NWT.
Spotted Redshanks x 7, Little Gulls x 2 at Breydon Water.
Red-veined Darter Dragonflies x 30 at Felbrigg Hall Lake NT.
Crossbill flew over Honing Lock.
Lesser Emperor Dragonfly Male at Ormesby Broad Little Broad.
Garganey, Spotted Redshanks x 8, Avocets x 365 and Red-veined Darter Dragonflies x 10 on East Trail pool at Titchwell RSPB.
CASPIAN TERN flew east over Norfolk Showground at 12.30pm.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Hot, Hot, Hot!!!

Hottest day in the UK for nine years!!!

It was so hot at work yesterday, today was a joke! Our team is normally very happy, but the intensity of the heat got to us all today. Its pretty disgusting when your entire uniform is wet with the heat!

Second cold shower of the day as soon as I got home from work – that felt so good.

Had some very important emails to sort and also had to finalise Mother's on-line shop and then drove to Hunstanton to buy fish 'n' chips and chips for Mother. My father looked boiling, he face was red and his forehead and hands felt hot, his hands are always freezing normally – yet when I asked him several times, he insisted that he wasn't hot and that he had felt cold several times today. He sat there in a jumper!!! When I saw the jumper, it made me feel ill!

On the way home I decided to go to Sainsburys – its so hot, I'm not going to get much sleep tonight. There was hardly a soul in there and it was freezing cold, it was heaven!!! Coolest place to be until I stepped back out into the carpark. Don't think many of us will get much sleep tonight. My house is baking!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER,Spotted Redshanks x 6 at Breydon Water.
Wood Sandpiper, Quail at Welney WWT.
Spoonbills x 12, Spotted Redshanks x 6 at Titchwell RSPB.
Roseate Terns adults x 2 at 7.39pm on Arnold's Marsh, Cley NWT.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 24th to 30th June!

By Jon Dunn
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2015-26.aspx?s_id=485543516

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER at Breydon Water.
Wood Sandpiper, Quails x 2 at Welney WWT.
Stone Curlew at North Scrape, Cley NWT.
Curlew Sandpiper at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
TURTLE DOVE, Spoonbills x 8, Red-crested Pochards x 5, Little Gulls x 3, Garganey x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 6, Red-veined Darter Dragonflies x 10 at Titchwell RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
 
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Bid To Boost Fair Isle Population Launched!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-33304707

Monday, 29 June 2015

Tunisia Massacre!

I can't stop thinking about all those innocent people, relaxed on the beach in Tunisia to then find themselves in a life and death situation. I still can't believe that happened. It's so awful that a young man was brain washed into becoming a mass murderer and massacred so many people and then died himself. What is the point! There are no words.

I had something really scary happen over the weekend via the internet and had to contact someone 'official' about a 'situation'. That's all I am going to say for now. Another friend had a similar incident I found out today.

What a sick and evil world we live in. My sincere condolenences to all those families affected.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER, Spotted Redshank, Little Gulls x 2, Whimbrel at Breydon Water.
Spoonbills x 13, Little Gulls x 6 at Cley NWT.
Wood Sandpiper at Welney WWT.
Velvet Scoter at Weybourne.
Lesser Emperor Dragonfly and Red-veined Darter Dragonfly at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Arctic Terns x 2 at Morston Quay.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! BOOTED EAGLE Dark Morph, unconfirmed report at Barnes Wetland Centre WWT, London.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Lizard Orchid & More Spending!

I was very kindly given directions to the much talked about Lizard Orchid in Norfolk. The last one to be found in Norfolk was in 1956 – 60 years ago!!! So I decided to go and see my first Lizard Orchid!

On arrival, it was still pouring with rain, so I snoozed in the car. I have been taking Clarityn tablets for my hayfever over the last couple of days, which are not suppose to make you drowsy, but I have felt extremely tired both yesterday and today. I could hardly keep my eyes open whilst I was driving this morning. I noticed that later in the afternoon/evening I felt more awake. I really shouldn't take this one a day tablet first thing in the morning. In fact I'm not taking any more full stop, well not unless I have to anyway. I fell very deeply asleep in the car and when I came to, I had that feeling you have when you wonder where the hell you are!!! I waited 1.5 hours for the rain to stop! Walked to see the Lizard Orchid, which was much taller than I had expected, very beautiful and fragile looking. Took lots of pictures with the macro lens and iphone, then left.

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/rare_orchid_spotted_in_norfolk_for_first_time_in_60_years_1_4122725

I have been looking for the Swarovoski 20x W Eyepiece for a while, as an addition to my scope – finding one of these is like finding hen's teeth! Andrew at Cleyspy told me yesterday that one had been traded in, but I took a day to decide to see if I could actually afford to spend any more money this weekend! I decided I could, just! So next stop was Cleyspy to purchase my new eyepiece and very pleased I am too!

Went to Holt Country Park and spent a good while here, attempting to photograph bees. No sign of any broad-bordered bee hawk moths though. Returned to Cley and spent another evening in Daukes' Hide. 7 Spoonbills, 1 Garganey and a Little Ringed Plover were the highlights with a good number of Ruff in different states of plumage. Also 3 cute fluffy balls of Avocet chicks all running round together! The light was beautiful this evening and it was difficult to leave. Took several phone-scoped videos.

Back at the car park I was just pulling out to leave, when I stopped and reversed back. In front of me I could see several House Martins coming down to gather the wet mud from the muddy pool in the potato field. I took a few photos, but realised I needed to be the opposite side with the light, so carefully walked across the corner of the field. My boots sunk in quickly and ended up with very heavy feet! My efforts did not pay off. I sat down on a dry section of mud and behind plants so I was as camouflaged as possible, obviously not enough though, as the House Martins did not return! Got up and trudged over the squelchy mud and spent ages trying to remove mud from my boots before driving home. Drove back partly via the coast road. Saw a Barn Owl just outside Burnham Market and stopped to watch the last rays of sun disappear over the trees silhouetted on the horizon.

PICTURES AND VIDEOS TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER, Spoonbill, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Breydon Water.
Garganey, Spoonbills x 7, Little Gulls x 6 at Cley NWT.
Spoonbills x 2, Little Gulls x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 4 at Titchwell RSPB.
Osprey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
BEE-EATERS x 5 flew west over Potter Heigham.
TURTLE DOVES x 2 at Beighton Church.
Velvet Scoter at Weybourne.

Lincolnshire Highlights
SQUACCO HERON at Kirkby on Bain.

LITTLE BITTERN at Kirkby on Bain.

Suffolk Highlights
CATTLE EGRET at Trimley Marshes.
BALTIC GULL 1s on Friday, but no sign since at Great Livermere.


MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.

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

Kowa TSN-IP5 Photo Adapter for iphone 5/5s and Olloclip 3-in-1 Macro Kit FOR SALE!

My Kowa TSN-IP5 Photo Adapter for iphone 5/5s is now FOR SALE if anyone is interested. Excellent condition – all in the box, as I bought it and purchased from Cleyspy
£35.00 inc. free p&p to be signed for (UK)
or deliver locally if its someone I know!
Please email me at [pennyclarke@dsl.pipex.com]
Be quick if you want this at a bargain price!!!
Currently £61.95 on Amazon!
Please see the Kowa Website for compatibility with several other telescopes HERE
I use this adapter with my Swarosvski ATS 65mm HD Telescope with 25-50x W Zoom eyepiece and it fits perfectly. Its an excellent and simple piece of kit and only selling because I have just bought the Apple iphone 6, which requires a different adapter.

Turns an iPhone 5/s into a super telephoto lens
and take fabulous videos!


Also selling the
Olloclip 3-in-1 Macro system for £25.00 
which is 7x, 14x & 21x.
(cost around £58.00 originally from Apple Store).
This is a brilliant piece of kit which simples slides over the corner of the phone to allow macro pictures to be taken.
This will fit the iphone 5/5s only.


UPDATE 2nd July.
BOTH THESE ITEMS NOW SOLD

Saturday, 27 June 2015

New Tripod from Cleyspy!

Too hot for me today. Jobs to do in the morning, didn't get out until later on. Went to Cleyspy to pick up and pay for my TSN-IP6 Kowa Photo Adapter for my new iphone 6. Whilst I was there I was very tempted by a new tripod, as mine is so difficult to use now – the release clips for the legs are very difficult to open because of sand, salt and general abuse! Upgraded my sea corroded Manfrotto Tripod to the new Manfrotto MT190x3 Tripod which has fantastic quick release levers to extend the legs quickly, such a joy to use. The only problem being that this tripod when fully extended is much taller than my previous one, so as Andrew suggested, I will have to mark the legs with pink nail varnish or something similar (LOL) so when in a hurry, I can get the correct height quickly for me.

Spent the rest of the day at Cley. Popped into Walsey Hills NOA, where I managed to find a Blackbird and a Painted Lady butterfly on the top ridge, no more birds at all! I sat on the side of the hill soaking up the spectacular scenery over Arnold's Marsh, Pope's Marsh and beyond and waited for MY Bee-eater to cruise through – ha ha!

Coastguards only produced arty farty objects on the beach, including a very funky looking hide! A large form of this would be pretty awesome in place of North Hide that was! I didn't know until today that North Hide (apparently) was not screwed/nailed down to a base as the other hides are, so it now makes sense why it was swept away in the floods, when the other hides survived! So could we have a new hide, screwed down to a concrete base, so it has a good chance of staying there please? The current viewing screen does not work for different heights and certainly doesn't work in bad weather!

Dauke's Hide, sitting with Eddie produced 4 Spoonbills, loads of Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, Shelducks, Redshanks, Lapwings, Pied Wagtails, Little Egrets etc. I missed the Gargeney that Eddie saw just before I arrived in the hide. Tested out the iphone 6 phone scoping kit  – very nice indeed! Much nicer to phonescope with a larger screen. I was so tired on the way home, I had to stop the car for a snooze!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spoonbills x 5, Little Gulls x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 4 at Titchwell RSPB.
Garganey, Little Gull, Spoonbills x 11, Spotted Redshank, Curlew Sandpiper at Cley NWT.
TURTLE DOVE at Belton Common.
TURTLE DOVE at Holme NWT.
Red-veined Darter Dragonflies x 2 at North Dunes, Winterton.
Great White Egret at Horsey Mere.

Lincolnshire Highlights
SQUACCO HERON at Kirkby on Bain.


Suffolk Highlights
BEE-EATER flew over Alderton.
BEE-EATERS x 5 flew SW over Aldeburgh.


MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.

Festival Too Line-Up, Free Festival, King's Lynn!

Saturday 27th June
F I R E W O R K S
Simply Buble
——————————————————————————————————
Friday 3rd July
THE BLOW MONKEYS
——————————————————————————————————
Saturday 4th July
HEAVEN 17
——————————————————————————————————
Sunday 5th July
TOM HINGLEY
(the voice of the Inspiral Carpets)
——————————————————————————————————
Friday 10th July
REPUBLICA
——————————————————————————————————
Saturday 11th July
THE FRATELLIS

For the full line up each evening,
please see the website:

http://www.festivaltoo.co.uk/

Friday, 26 June 2015

Urban Birding – Look Up!

TAWNY OWL
In a sycamore tree between the Wimpy and Boots in King's Lynn!

Urban Birding, Look Up!

On my arrival home from a very hot day at work, I got a text from Norfolk birder Jim S. (not currently in Norfolk) to tell me his daughter had seen a 'big owl' sitting in the middle of a tree between the Wimpy and Boots the chemist! Lots of people had been watching it all day. This worried me slightly – what if no birders had actually seen this and well.... it could have been a Scops Owl couldn't it!!! So I had to go! As I approached the tree I got really excited, what if....... I peered up into the branches of a very tall sycamore tree to find a Tawny Owl looking very relaxed in the upper most branches of the tree. It was wonderful to see, but I was slightly disappointed! How awesome it would have been to ring RBA with news of a Scops Owl in the middle of King's Lynn town centre – that would have been mega!!! Mind you, after my 1st April joke, would anyone have believed me I wonder! Maybe, maybe not!

I had some interesting conversations with passerbys. including two teenage girls all dressed up for a night out on the town. They seemed slightly interested in why I was pointing a camera up into the branches of an empty tree, so I told them all about the Tawny owl and they genuinely looked excited when I pointed out the bird to them. I explained that birding was not boring and wasn't all about fuddy duddy men in glasses and hats etc. I tried to sell it them by saying there were some very dishy young men that go birding! Also said that there still isn't that many females that go birding and we needed more! I finished off by saying that the Tawny Owl would be more active later and that he would look even better after a few drinks, especially when he started to cruise down the High Street looking for a takeaway!!! They laughed their heads off and carried on to their venue, wherever that was! I wonder if they returned later? Maybe not!

A young lad who worked in the amusement arcade said 'the owl is there regularly', but he '....doesn't usually see it in the daytime, it usually turns up in the evening.' This seems quite an unusual place for a Tawny Owl to be, but the tree is more than big enough for him to be out of harms way from people. There was a decapitated jay beneath him in the middle of the metal circular seat, which surrounds the tree! I also spoke to a man whom I recognised from working at the QEH – I had no idea he was a birder and he had no idea that I was 'Penny' from 'pennyshotbirding....' he then went on to say that he knew '...hundreds of people' that read my blog – made me smile!

King's Lynn is obviously a popular hotspot for owls. My last siting of an owl, was of the magnificent escaped Eagle Owl perched in a tree in William Street, King's Lynn. We'll have the Scops next please!
I was going straight home, but decided to make a night of it and drove to Millfleet, which is opposite Boal Quay car park. I have seen Kingfisher here in the past, but not visited for a while. As soon as I reached the wooden railing that overlooks the water, I had spectacular views of a female Kingfisher balancing on a willow branch and then diving into the water to catch a fish and zooming off – a stunning flash of turquoise! I couldn't believe my luck! But, naturally when I got the camera out of the bag, it never returned so close again. I also watched 2 Goldfinches, a juv Blackbird, a Moorhen and some Mallards. The Kingfisher was shooting up and down the stream and returned to the massive willow which overhangs the water to fish again. I didn't once manage to photograph it in full view though. My only picture is a dreadful achievement, but all I could manage, before the rain exploded out of the skies at 9pm and had to sprint to the car, before I got drenched.
KINGFISHER
Millfleet, King's Lynn

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Osprey, Garganey, Little Gulls x 3, Spoonbills x 9, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Spotted Redshank, Otter at Cley NWT.
Spoonbills x 6, Little Gull, Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Titchwell RSPB.

 Suffolk Highlights
LITTLE BITTERN at Lakenheath Fen RSPB.
BEE-EATERS x 5 flew over Bredfield Road, towards Melton – Woodbridge.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Apple iphone 6 Update!

There are always teething troubles when you change phones, its expected really! Something really odd happened today. Some of my Apps lost their picture on the icon and just showed white. When you clicked on them, they opened correctly, but I couldn't work out why the picture was missing. I decided not to phone Vodafone who are absolutely hopeless – I queued for ages last night to speak to them and then a pre-recorded voice informed me that they were now closed at 8pm and cut me off! I wasn't a happy bunny! So, this evening I went straight to the top and phoned an Apple Technician – who after spending 45 minutes on the phone with me, couldn't get to the bottom of it and put me through to his Manager, an 'iOS Senior Adviser'. The senior adviser knew what he was doing and was brilliant. He found that I had to 'Reset Home Screen Layout' and they all re-loaded correctly, but out of the order I had put them, so will have to shuffle them around again. He also helped me copy music from Mac to phone correctly, which I have never been very good with – I'm not a lover of iTunes, it never seems straight forward to me. For some reason I had him in stitches and he I! I had said that if I had phoned Vodafone again I would have had road rage. He was American and was based in Kentucky. He was hilarious and sounded very nice indeed! (politest way of putting it)! Anyway, he informed me that my itunes was not the latest version, but then discovered that my Macbook Pro was, as he put it 'old'. 'Old' I said, that's not old, my Mac G4 is old! Bet you never even heard of that!?' To which he roared with laughter! I only wish I could get a new Mac every year, that would be awesome!

So tired this evening and so many little jobs to do before the weekend and work is getting right in the way! Oh, it was so nice to Cilla with her very cute little baby Theo, who popped in to see us all this week at work. I held Theo for a little while, he was so heavy! I tried to show him some birds out of the window, but only managed a fat Woodpigeon, which didn't spark much interest I'm afraid, who can blame him! I was most amused that Cilla reads my blog when she's up in the middle of the night, she must be bored! HELLO CILLA!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Velvet Scoter at Weybourne.
Spoonbills x 6, Gargeney x 2, Little Gulls x 4, Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Titchwell RSPB.
Garganey, Little Gulls x 3 at Cley NWT.
Red-veined Darter Dragonflies x 2 at North Dunes, Winterton.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Apple iphone 6!!!

Well, its taken quite a while to set up my new phone this evening, but I'm almost there. The icloud back-up worked well, but it informed me that a few things need to be synced from itunes, I can't immediately see what, so will have a proper look tomorrow evening. All the important things have backed up though, email, texts, notes, pictures, contacts so I am not too worried about the rest. Not had time to play with the phone yet, but was very pleased to see that I can now use all my bird my bird apps with no issues! I'm really looking forward to using this for phonescoping. Collecting my Kowa photo adapter for iphone 6 from Cleyspy at the weekend.

http://www.apple.com/uk/iphone-6/

My Kowa TSN-IP5 Photo Adapter for iphone 5/5s is now FOR SALE if anyone is interested. Excellent condition – all in the box, as I bought it and purchased from Cleyspy – for £50.00 inc. free p&p to be signed for (UK) or deliver locally if its someone I know! Please email me [pennyclarke@dsl.pipex.com]

Currently £61.95 on Amazon!

Please see the Kowa Website for compatibility with several other telescopes HERE

I use this adapter with my Swarosvski ATS 65mm HD Telescope with 25-50x W Zoom eyepiece and it fits perfectly. Its an excellent and simple piece of kit and the reason I'm sellling  is because of obviously upgrading to the iphone 6 which is a different adaptor.

RBA Weekly Round-up 17th to 23rd June!

By Jon Dunn
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2015-25.aspx?s_id=276438016

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Spoonbills x 6, Little Gulls x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 4, Red-crested Pochard x 5 at Titchwell RSPB.
TURTLE DOVES x 2 at Choseley Drying Barns.
BEE-EATER flew east at 7.51am over Cley NWT
BEE-EATER flew south at 9.20am over allotments at Sea Palling.
BEE-EATERS x 4 reported, flew west at 9.45am over Cromer.
BEE-EATERS x 4 reported, flew west at 10.30am over Weybourne.
Spoonbills x 9, Little Gulls x 2, Spotted Redshank from Daukes' Hide, Cley NWT.
Honey Buzzard flew south west, Velvet Scoter at Weybourne.
Crossbill at Kelling Heath.

Suffolk Highlights:
WHISKERED TERN at Minsmere RSPB.

Red-necked Phalarope at Mickle Mere SWT.

MEGA NEWS!
 
MEGA! SHORT-TOED EAGLE possible, flew over M27, Southampton, Hampshire.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

MEGA, MONSTER NEWS!

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=306791

Please Sign to Stop Planning Permission On Ingoldisthorpe Pond!

We don't need to build houses in this area, its not necessary at all and will spoil a beautiful piece of natural habitat which has been there since year dot. This historic field and pond needs to be preserved and is rich with wildlife including newts (protected). Its a beautiful place and is enjoyed by many local people.

Please sign below to help preserve this historical place, thank you.

https://www.change.org/p/borough-planning-stop-planning-permission-on-ingoldisthorpe-pond?recruiter=326019488&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_page&utm_term=des-lg-no_src-no_msg

http://www.edp24.co.uk/property/should_houses_be_built_on_the_pond_field_at_ingoldisthorpe_1_4120755

Shopping & Birding After Work!

I had a busy evening when I finished work. Whizzed down town to a couple of shops and then purchased a Go Travel waterproof pouch, which is just big enough to put my mobile and pager in. Can't risk the new mobile getting wet or the pager again!!! The pager cost me £10 to get repaired and I will have to live with the missing pixels, as it will cost far more to replace the entire unit.

I just made it into the vodafone shop before they closed, to collect my new Apple iphone 6 which arrived for me to collect today! Whizzed home, quick tea and out of the door.

I really fancied listening to the Marsh Warbler again, so off I went to Narborough. It was a beautiful evening and it was good to be out. Another couple were walking along the path a few yards behind me and all three of us stood at the Marsh Warbler spot to wait. But, disappointingly there was no glorious tunes from Mr Marsh Warbler, not a sound or sight of this wonderful bird. There was a large gap in the reeds, as though something large or someone had crashed through the reeds – I was puzzled by this and couldn't work out what or why this had occurred. Had whatever had done this, disturbed and moved on the Marsh Warbler I wonder?! Who knows! Anyone it was nice to chat to Dawn and Malcolm, a really lovely couple who I have seen before, but not really met properly – they were staying in Norfolk for a birding holiday and this was their second visit today to try and see the Marsh Warbler – such a pity for them, that this bird had disappeared. But we had a wonderful surprise when a Kingfisher flashed past us along the river and also saw male and female Blackcap in the elder bushes. Something large plopped in the water just below us, but we didn't see what it was, guessing water vole. I keep thinking about the huge gap in the reeds and how it got there....hmmmm. There is an amazing array of foxgloves through the trees on the left handside of the path, as you walk along the river path. On route home, I stopped to buy chocolate – I needed a fix!

At home I ordered Mother's weekly on-line shopping. No time to start unpacking the new phone, will sort that out tomorrow night. I have been looking on the net for a really nice wallet type case, but can't find one I like yet. I don't really want to use this phone until I have a case, far too risky!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
MARSH WARBLER still at Nar Valley Way, Narborough, but not seen or heard after mid-morning.
Arctic Skua at Salthouse.
Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Titchwell RSPB.
Arctic Skua at Gorleston-on-Sea.
Puffin flew past Sheringham.
Spoonbills x 3, Little Gulls x 5, Spotted Redshank from Daukes' Hide, Cley NWT.

Suffolk Highlights:
Red-necked Phalarope at Mickle Mere SWT.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Monday, 22 June 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
MARSH WARBLER still at Nar Valley Way, Narborough.
Velvet Scoters x 2 at Cley.
Spoonbills x 10 at Stiffkey Fen.
Spoonbills x 11, Little Gulls x 5, Spotted Redshank at Cley NWT.

Suffolk Highlights:
HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL possible flew south past Shingle Sreet.

MEGA NEWS! 

MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Father's Day & The Summer Solstice!

I sacrificed birding to make scones, fruit salad and posh sandwiches for my Father this morning. I picked Lucy up mid-morning and did a mini shop for Mother in the Hardwick Sainsburys and then whizzed over to Hunstanton to buy fish 'n' chips, which was my parent's request. Lucy had bought tiramasu which went very nicely with my fruit salad! Vivien was working today, so unable to come over. It rained during the morning and the skies were gloomy again.

Lucy had made the biggest effort for Father's Day and bought a 'Best Father in the world' cup, and cute teddy holding a star saying the same thing 'Best Father in the world' and Thornton's chocolates. Vivien and I managed a box of chocolates each. So sad that Father couldn't see any of his presents or cards, but I spent ages describing the cards to him and made him feel the textures and diamante bits on one of the cards to help him. Mind you, he didn't need to see the chocolates and managed to work his way through most of the Thorntons Truffles!

I used Lucy for a trial run and tried to get her outside in Father's wheelchair. Lucy is quite a bit lighter than Father, so if I couldn't physically get her out over the threshold and down and up the steps, there is no way I could risk any attempt to get Father out. I managed to get Lucy+wheelchair over the threshold, but just couldn't do the next step, so had to abandon any idea of taking Father out in the sunshine. My parents have been offered a ramp to be built by Social Services, so that Father can be taken outside in the wheelchair, but he is totally against it and said 'It's not happening'. Everytime you mention it, he gets angry and upset. He won't give a valid reason why and this is stressing Mother out as she has sign on the dotted line soon and then there is no going back.

I bought a Non Slip Outdoor Step from Amazon this week for Mother's back door. She has had an old pallet there, which was covered in roofing felt and has lasted a long time, but collapsed a couple of weeks ago and needed replacing. This new step is plastic, but solid and is very good I thought, but its not as high as the pallet. Mother was not over happy about it, being as it wasn't that high, but best/cheapest I could find and it looked good to me, when I watched Mother walk out of the door and back again. The sun came out in the afternoon, which brightened things up and to our delight Lucy and I watched a Bullfinch feeding in the garden, only yards from the back door! Mother went to do some gardening, whilst Lucy and I kept an eye on Father. Later on, screaming and hysteria from the garden, got me running to find Mother shouting angrily at a Woodpigeon that was inside her greenhouse, having stripped her nasturtium flowers!! She was not happy. The bird managed to escape, luckily!

I was so pleased that Father seemed to enjoy my scones with a cheese and butter filling and also had some of the fruit salad for his tea, so it was worth doing. I asked Lucy if she wanted to go for a little walk, so I could get some birding in – but she didn't want to! Took Lucy home and arrived back at my house at 8pm. I decided to get the hedge done and spent two hours hours cutting the front and side (very long) hedges with hand shears and cleared it all up, finishing at 10.15pm! The longest day of the year and it still wasn't properly dark when I finished!

I now have birding withdrawal symptoms. Can't believe I have had an entire weekend and not been birding! I will have to get out in the evenings this week to make up for it!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
MARSH WARBLER still at Nar Valley Way, Narborough.
White-rumped Sandpiper, Spoonbills x 11, Little Gulls x 5, Spotted Redshank from Daukes' Hide at Cley NWT.
Spoonbill at Salthouse.
Little Gull at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
Velvet Scoter at Weybourne.
Little Gulls x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.

Lincolnshire Highlights:
Red-necked Phalarope at Frampton Marsh RSPB.


Suffolk Highlights:
BEE-EATER at Dunwich Heath.

White-rumped Sandpiper, possible at Minsmere RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! EYEBROWED THRUSH yesterday, Isle of Whalsay [identified from photograph], no sign today, Shetland.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.


No sign of the Cretzschmar's Bunting on Bardsey Island today – which therefore matched the first ever British record to the exact date (10th to 20th June), becoming the joint longest staying bird of the six British records.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Apple iphone 6 Ordered!

You would not believe the service from Vodafone. If I had the choice I would leave them, but I have no choice but to stay with them. My current iphone 5s has so many things wrong with it, I have to change it and my contract doesn't end until May 2016. So I would have to pay several hundred pounds to get out altogether or pay the early upgrade.

I decided to just check again today about the price I was given last night (see yesterday's post). It ALWAYS pays to ring several times with vodafone and its a good job I did. The second person I spoke to last night that said I would get 26% off with NHS, was incorrect I found out after speaking to 'Sidrah' in the Manchester team this afternoon. I blew up big time I can tell you! Sidrah apologised – that's all she could do, not her fault that someone else has been trained badly and hasn't got a clue what they are doing. Anyway, long story short, the new monthly price is now £43.20 including the 20% off for NHS employees. My current phone is only 16GB and has no memory whatsoever and I was going to upgrade to the 64GB phone, but decided if I have to stick with vodafone for another 2 years, I might aswell go all the way and order their biggest 128GB phone! I did have to pay £109 for the handset though. Early upgrade fee is £172.90. The good news is that I will get the £172.90 back as I can sell my iphone 5s to their Buy Back Service and get £170 for the phone and also £5.00 for my old iphone 3G which I still have. You have to take the phones to a vodafone shop so they can see the condition of the phones before they commit.

So I took my phones to the vodafone shop in town this afternoon and those prices were agreed. But when I walked two doors down to the webuy.com shop I was offered a minimum of £170 for the iphone 5s and £22.00 for the iphone 3G, so I know where I will be going at the end of next week!

So my new phone is the Apple iphone 6 128GB with 6GB of data, Space Grey with 100 Media/picture messages per month thrown in free (had to fight for that!), unlimited calls and texts and being delivered next week. I need to pick up my Kowa Photo Adapter for the iphone 6 from Cleyspy now (hopefully trading in my current 5s one) and looking forward to seeing the quality of my phonescoped videos with this new phone.

The pager eventually arrived at 1pm to sign for and its working again, but a line of pixels is missing across the pager, which is not ideal, so will have a chat with RBA team about changing the pager completely I think.

I started to cut the hedge today, but then it rained and didn't go back out to finish it. Did a massive pile of ironing #boring #tedious. Its been grey and gloomy skies all day here in Norfolk, but the sun did appear for a short while this evening. As I type at 22.25 there is a cracking thunderstorm going on and torrential rain! Didn't manage to do any birding today.

Family commitments tomorrow on Father's Day, mean I won't have a full day's birding, but I will be out in the morning for a short while hopefully.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
MARSH WARBLER, Osprey still at Nar Valley Way, Narborough.
White-rumped Sandpiper, Spoonbills x 10, Little Gulls x 5 from Daukes' Hide at Cley NWT.
Arctic Skua, Garganey flew west past Cley.
Black Guillemot possible flew west past Sheringham.
Spoonbills x 4 at Stiffkey Fen.
Spoonbills x 5 at Titchwell RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! CRETZSCHMAR'S BUNTING, still at south end of Bardsey Island, Gwynedd.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Friday Update!

Busy week at work, busy week at home! Editing photos, shopping, ordering parent's shopping etc. My walk in rain to Blakeney Point on Sunday has cost me dearly – the pager has died, I tried everything to get it going again, drying next to radiator, on the radiator and immersing in rice. It did come on again, but just kept bleeping up with 'battery low', which wasn't the case, as I put a new one in. Posted off to RBA yesterday, arrived with them today and will have to wait in tomorrow for the postman to deliver my new pager, which is going to cost me time and money. The post doesn't often arrive until after lunch! The whole day is messed up, as after that I have to go to the vodafone shop.

I had a massive rant with vodafone this evening for around an hour about my crappy iphone 5s. My phone has being replaced three times and still isn't working properly. Vodafone will 'repair it', but didn't seem to understand that they won't be able to repair the phone with its known speaker problem that thousands upon thousands of people know about, but neither Apple or Vodafone will admit to this. I explained that I don't want this phone anymore, but they have me by the short and curlies.... my 2 year contract doesn't end until May 2016 and I would have to pay a massive fee of several hundred pounds if I cancel the contract. I was then told that I can upgrade my phone to the iphone 6 for £173.60 (with a 40% discount)....errhhh, no! I won't be paying that! Then I got told I could ring the Buy Back Service on 54321 to get a price for my current phone, which they ended up phoning for me and I was offered £170.00 which then gets added to my account towards cost (more or less the same) of the upgrade fee! What a palava!!! The monthly fee would then be £54.00 which is far more than I currently pay and ok I get that its a higher spec phone, but still! I had mentioned that I have currently have an NHS discount, but I was still told it would be £54.00. But, when I looked on the vodafone website, the cost is £54.00 without the NHS discount!

So I phoned again and spoke to a different person who said that I would get a 26% discount, making the monthly fee £31.50. Decisions, decisions!

The weather doesn't exactly look exciting for birds this weekend, but you never know, James McCallum might just dig out a Cretzschmar's Bunting on Blakeney Point! How cool would that be!

Weather for the Weekend

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
MARSH WARBLER, Osprey still at Nar Valley Way, Narborough.
White-rumped Sandpiper, Spoonbills x 10, Little Gulls x 2 from Daukes' Hide at Cley NWT.
Spoonbill at Salthouse.
White-rumped Sandpiper, possible reported yesterday at Hickling Broad NWT

Lincolnshire Highlights:
BEE-EATER flew west over Dowsby Fen.


Suffolk Highlights:
BEE-EATERS x 10, flew north over South Levels, Minsmere RSPB.


MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! CRETZSCHMAR'S BUNTING, still at south end of Bardsey Island, Gwynedd.
 
MEGA! CEDAR WAXWING South of Lower Moors at St Mary's, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark, Sussex.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
MARSH WARBLER still at Nar Valley Way, Narborough.
White-rumped Sandpiper, Spoonbills x 8, Little Gulls x 4 from Daukes' Hide at Cley NWT.
Garganey, Spoonbill, Little Gulls x 6 at Titchwell RSPB.
Spoonbills x 2, Curlew Sandpiper at Stiffkey Fen.
Spoonbills x 2 at Salthouse.
Arctic Skua at Winterton.
Quail at Wymondham.
Crossbills x 30 at Kelling Heath.

MEGA NEWS! 

MEGA! CRETZSCHMAR'S BUNTING, still at south end of Bardsey Island, Gwynedd.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Oystercatcher's Nest Closes Cley Marshes Path, Days After It Was Unveiled By David Attenborough

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/protected_bird_nest_closes_cley_marshes_path_days_after_it_was_unveiled_by_david_attenborough_1_4117323

Otters Drowned In Illegal Broads Nets!

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/disturbing_pictures_emerge_of_otters_drowned_in_illegal_broads_nets_1_4116979

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
White-rumped Sandpiper, Spoonbills x 8, Little Gulls x 2 from Daukes' Hide at Cley NWT.
MARSH WARBLER still at Nar Valley Way, Narborough.
Curlew Sandpiper, Little Gull at Breydon Water.
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW flew south over harbour car park at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Crossbills x 2 at Holt Hall Woods.
BEE-EATER heard only at 5pm, UEA, Norwich.
Spoonbill, Little Gulls x 4, Red-crested Pochards x 6 at Titchwell RSPB.
BEE-EATER flew south over Swafield at 6.56pm, 1 mile north of North Walsham.

Suffolk Highlights:
LITTLE BITTERN Male at Lakenheath Fen RSPB.

BLACK KITE probable, 1 mile east of Kentford.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! ELEONORA'S FALCON, flew over Lower Moors, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly.
MEGA! CRETZSCHMAR'S BUNTING, still at south end of Bardsey Island, Gwynedd.

MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 10th to 16th June!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2015-24.aspx?s_id=158769004
Thanks to the RBA Team for including my Marsh Warbler in their review.
Note: picture of the Laughing Gull sitting on fence at Salthouse Duck Pond before the initial sighting at Coastguards, Cley! 

Also thanks also to BIRDGUIDES for including my Marsh Warbler in their review: http://www.birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=5068

Cretzschmar's Bunting!

The Bardsey Cretzschmar's Bunting made me think about the one I saw in Lesvos many years ago and dug back into the archives to find it!

Cretzschmar's Bunting I took in Lesvos, in May 2008 when on an amazing birding trip with Pete S., Graham and Glynn.
Cretzschmar's Bunting
May 2008, Lesvos, Greece

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
MARSH WARBLER still at Nar Valley Way, Narborough.
BLYTH'S REED WARBLER probable showing briefly for 2nd day at Gapton Marshes, Great Yarmouth.
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE, unconfirmed report, flew west at 11am over Cromer towards Sheringham.
White-rumped Sandpiper, Spoonbills x 6 from Daukes' Hide, Little Stint on North Scrape, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Gull on Arnold's Marsh, Cley NWT.
Spoonbill at Stiffkey Greens.
Spoonbills x 2 at Holme NWT.
LAUGHING GULL 2s on Sunday at 3pm on Salthouse Duckpond.

Lincolnshire Highlights:
BEE-EATERS  x 10 flew north west over Tetney Marsh.


Suffolk Highlights:
RED-FOOTED FALCON 1s, 5.40am at Landguard Nature Reserve.

MEGA NEWS!

MEGA! SWAINSON'S THRUSH, Houbie, Fetlar, Shetland.
MEGA! CRETZSCHMAR'S BUNTING, still at south end of Bardsey Island, Gwynedd. MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Marsh Warbler At Dawn!

MARSH WARBLER
Nar Valley Way, Narborough

I really fancied seeing the Marsh Warbler early morning, so I set the alarm and was on site by 5am!!! Ok, well it wasn't quite dawn, but near enough, early for me anyway!

I felt pleased that I had made the effort. However, I expected full and beautiful sunshine, being as I had got up so early, but disappointingly the skies were grey the entire time I was there. The Marsh Warbler sang continuously but was difficult to photograph - there seemed to be reeds in the way all the time! The Marsh Warbler chased a Great Tit out of a bush and across the river and momentarily perched in an elder only yards from me, before returning to the back of the reeds to sing again. I had the whole place to myself until Steve G. turned up at around 7am. I left at 7.20am in order to get to work. Fabulous morning!


MARSH WARBLER
Singing at 5am this morning
If anyone can advise on how to improve the audio on an iphone, please let me know!

Monday, 15 June 2015

Marsh Warbler at Narborough Way, Norfolk!

I was so shattered when I got home from work, but was determined to make the effort to see the Marsh Warbler at Narborough. I made a quick tea, but then made the huge mistake of having a little rest on the sofa! Next thing I knew it was 8pm. But, I still went out! Local birders will be quite astounded to hear that I have never been to Narborough Way, which I feel very ashamed about to be honest. I had to phone Sue B. to ask for exact directions when I got to the Ship Inn, so embarrasing! Thanks for your help Sue!

As I walked along the river path, I was cross with myself for not visiting this delightful spot before. It was so beautiful, even late in the evening. I eventually came to the correct spot and immediately heard a goldfinch singing in the reeds!!! So that was it and the Marsh Warbler continued to sing on and off until 9pm, but sadly I didn't see it at all, which is totally my own fault for arriving at Mr MW's bedtime! Whilst peering through the reeds with my bins, I spotted a beautiful Banded Demoiselle on a reed stem, which was a nice surprise. Heard a Cuckoo calling and a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew overhead. A Blackbird singing ended my mini birding trip along with a midge festival! 

Ashley Banwell has a lovely video of the Marsh Warbler singing with its wonderful choir of birds.

The Blakeney Point Paddyfield Warbler is in the Eastern Daily Press, which incidentially hasn't been seen today, neither has the Blyth's Reed Warbler. So now we will have to wait for James, Kevin or Andy et al to find something else for us – please give us a few day's break to recover first though please! My shoes are still wet from yesterday and the pager is only partly working, it says the battery is low, which it isn't as I put a brand new one in and still says 'low battery' – I will give it the chance to dry out for another day, after that I will have to have little chat with the RBA staff for assistance.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
MARSH WARBLER at Nar Valley Way, Narborough.
BEE-EATER flew south at 11.30am, Crossbills x 10 at North Dunes, Winterton.
Spoonbills x 5 at 'The Serpentine', Little Gulls x 2 flew over East Bank at Cley NWT.
Crossbills x 4 flew north over Fakenham.
GOLDEN ORIOLE singing between Hardingham and Reymerston.
Garganey at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.

Suffolk Highlights:
BEE-EATER flew north along coast at 7.30am, Kessingland.

BEE-EATERS x 2 at Red Lodge Farm at King's Fleet.
BEE-EATER 11.30am-12.38pm at Minsmere RSPB.
 
MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! CRETZSCHMAR'S BUNTING, still at south end of Bardsey Island, Gwynedd.
 
MEGA! SLATE-COLOURED JUNCO Male, still yesterday at 6.10pm, no sign today, 1.5 miles SW of St Buryan + south of B3315 at north end of the Logan Rock Inn Carpark.
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Laughing All The Way To The Point!!!

BLYTH'S REED WARBLER
Long Hills, Blakeney Point
Taken in pouring rain and dire conditions!

I got up early and packed my car with birding gear, flask, sandwiches etc for later. Went to work for 8.30am and luckily we finished earlier than expected (Sunday is to assess new patients only, different from full time hours in week) and we were out of the door just after 2.30pm. It had been gloomy and raining again this morning, but now the skies were brightening! The weather looked exciting – as I drove to Cley, I was thinking about all those rares popping out of the sueda bushes in the sunshine!

Arrived at Coastguards, Cley at around 3.30pm. A good number of birders arriving back from Blakeney Point were chatting and recovering in the car park. Changed some of my work clothes, but left black trousers on, couldn't be bothered to change them. Made a coffee and had a quick sandwich for my lunch/tea. The sun was now out, how wonderful. Chatted briefly with Ian and co about their views of the Blyth's and Paddyfield Warblers. Started to pack up my rucksuck when suddenly someone shouted LAUGHING GULL! I swung round to see birders pointing to a gull heading west over the shingle, I shot across the carpark and joined a small crowd to watch a stunning adult Laughing Gull heading west over the waves at 4.13pm!!! Couldn't believe my luck! I then ran back to car to get camera, but on my return it had got as far as the tractors and boats and was sadly too far for photography. It didn't hang about. I didn't know who had found it at this point, but it was me that rang it out 2 minutes later to RBA – I knew every second counted as people were walking to and back from BP. After phoning RBA I tried to phone LGRE who had started walking the Point about 20 minutes ago, Mark G. who was also somewhere on BP, Eddie M. and Pete S. neither of which were on course to see this fabulous gull. Lee had only gone and seen it sitting on the beach briefly, just east of Halfway House and had got a fabulous picture in flight, which I saw on the back of his camera later on, lucky man! Mark G. also saw the Laughing Gull as it flew over his head, as did several others. But sadly there were also others walking back that either didn't look at their pager or simply didn't jam in on this awesome gull.

LAUGHING GULL
Found by Adrian Kettle
Flew west past Coastguards at 4.13pm
West past Halfway House at 4.16pm,
West past Long Hills, Blakeney Point at 4.20pm.

After all this excitement, I was ready and raring to go! Met a birder called Steve from Notts who reads my blog daily and we chatted briefly, nice to meet you. Sorry that I went off in a bit of a hurry Steve, I was on a high from the Laughing Gull and wanted to get going in case the gull had decided to hang about somewhere along Blakeney Point. The weather changed rapidly – dark clouds filled the skies and not long after I started walking, the rain started to fall!!! The weatherforcast was wrong (again), it was supposed to be dry this evening. I was out for the long haul, there was no going back, no giving up, no being girly and was going all the way to The Plantation. I was laughing all the way – couldn't quite take in, that I had just jammed in on seeing a Laughing Gull!

I made a huge mistake not changing my work trousers, they quickly became soaked and the material became heavy. I hadn't dressed sensibly at all and with a cotton hoody top underneath my paramo coat I felt really cold. The sea looked ferocious and huge waves rolled in with the very strong NW winds. I worked my way through the sueda to look for birds and flushed several Meadow Pipits, Linnets and Reed Buntings. At Halfway House I joined LGRE, Mark G., Eddie M., Rob L., Lucy M., Pete D., David B. and others to enjoy several flight views of the Blyth's Reed Warbler and then finally the bird perched briefly on a branch of sueda, which I just had time to photograph! Lee showed me his Laughing Gull picture which looked awesome as it flew over the breakers. The rain got worse, but I was determined to carry on.
BLYTH'S REED WARBLER
Long Hills, Blakeney Point
Taken in pouring rain and dire conditions!

David Bratt joined me and we headed to Long Hills in the pouring rain to look for the Paddyfield Warbler. We passed two birders who kindly told us of the exact location as they had left. We reached the fenced off blue string and walked all round towards the back and David luckily flushed the Paddyfield Warbler. It wasn't going to be sitting perched up in these conditions though. I carried on alone to The Plantation. My shoes were squelching with water, my legs were freezing cold with the drenched, heavy trousers and my coat didn't feel waterpoof anymore. The pager got so wet (inside my waterpoof pocket, yeah right! £300 coat not waterpoof!), it stopped working and I had to move my phone to the inside of my coat. I was worried about my camera, which I had wrapped up in my scarf to soak up dampness from photographing the Blyth's, then inside a bag and inside two waterpoof bags inside my rucksack, but my rucksack was dripping.

It didn't take too long to reach The Plantation from Long Hills. I sheltered by the Tamarisk with 2 Meadow Pipits who seemed alarmed at the state of this dripping mess of a human being before them. As I stood here to take shelter from the wind by the old laboratory I suddenly became aware that the rain had stopped! I got very excited by a bird that erupted from the large sycamore in the plantation, but it turned out to be another wet and bedraggled Meadow Pipit. I sighed with disappointment. Walked round twice, but no other birds appeared. Started to head back. I was determined to try and find something, so walked back through the sueda bushes. This paid off as I found a Chiffchaff and a Male and later on a Female Wheatear. Also saw a Ringed Plover with Oystercatchers. I had my best views yet of the Paddyfield Warbler all by myself, skulking about in the sueda bushes, right by the shingle on the seaward side on the way back at 8.10pm – but it never sat still long enough for photos and in any case, I didn't dare get the camera out of the bag with the state of the rucksack.
Walking back from Blakeney Point

At Halfway House I looked for the Blyth's Reed Warbler again, but no luck on the return. But I had a fantastic view of a Male Peregrine zooming close past me at eye level, over the shingle at 8.45pm. The Peregrine was quickly chased by an protective Oystercatcher, who pursued it like the devil possessed until it was out of territory! Enough was enough, I crossed over the shingle to walk back along the beach. I spent a few minutes taking pictures of the stunning and dramatic sunset and a short video of the dramatic waves. I mis-judged a wave and the trousers and shoes got re-soaked again! I speed walked back as fast as I could, but then started to flag. I felt seriously cold now and I imagined being tucked up in bed with hot water bottles, what I would give for that right now! Several Sandwich and Little Terns were seen, but nothing else of note. Eventually I plodded warily over the shingle to my car at 9.50pm. Changed my top, but kept wet trousers and shoes on, too much hassle to change those aswell. It seemed to take forever to get home, arrived back at my house at 11am.
Walking back from Blakeney Point, drenched from the rain, but stunning skies.

Wet gear takes so long to sort!!! It will be days before I am able to wear those walking shoes! Its not often you get to see a Laughing Gull, Blyth's Reed Warbler, Paddyfield Warbler, Wheatears and a Peregrine all after work in one evening, just a pity the weather was so atrocious! The walk to BP was almost as bad as the Alder Flycatcher Twitch – I'm sure several of you remember that very clearly! The camera seems to be ok, but the pager is laying next to the radiator, with battery out – I will just have to hope it dries out and works again, hopefully by tomorrow!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
MEGA! PADDYFIELD WARBLER for 4th day at Long Hills, Blakeney Point.
BLYTH'S REED WARBLER at Halfway House, Blakeney Point.
MARSH WARBLER, Osprey at Nar Valley Way, Narborough.
WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, Little Stint on North Scrape, Cley NWT.
Short-eared Owl at Cley.
Spoonbills x 2 at Salthouse.
Red-necked Phalarope, Quails x 3 at Welney WWT.
Spoonbill at Stiffkey Fen.
LAUGHING GULL Adult flew west past Coastguards at 4.13pm, Halfway House at 4.16pm, Long Hills, Blakeney Point at 4.20pm.
Arctic Tern at Wells.
BEE-EATER on power lines from 11am-11.30am, Southrepps, then flew south.
Black Redstart at Chedgrave.

Lincolnshire Highlights:
GOLDEN ORIOLE at Gibraltar Point NNR.


Suffolk Highlights:
Marsh Warbler at Landguard Nature Reserve.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! CRETZSCHMAR'S BUNTING, again at south end of Bardsey Island, Gwynedd. 
MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL, again at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.
MEGA! SLATE-COLOURED JUNCO possible, Male singing yesterday 1.5 miles SW of St Buryan + south of B3315 at north end of the Logan Rock Inn Carpark.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Half Way to Halfway House!

Thirteen is NOT my lucky number! Today was my wedding anniversary – so that was a bad start to the day. Secondly I broke my best bird cup this morning and thirdly I made a big fat mistake later in the day! Add to that, the fact that its been bloody raining ALL day!!! I'm not a happy bunny at all!

I was going to start off with the Marsh Warbler at Narborough, but had to do a mini shop for Mother and decided it was best to get the shop out of the way with, in case something mega turned up. I would love to have got up and gone out at dawn, but I just didn't have the energy. So the day started with Sainsbury's in Hunstanton – delivered shopping and sat with parent's for a while and tried to cheer Father up, who understandably looked tired, fed-up and sad. He did listen and look quite interested when I told him all about my Unsprung night, the Paddyfield Warbler and all the megas in the UK this week. I suddenly found the morning disappearing fast. It had been raining continuously and looked set for the day.

I fully expected something else big to turn up on Blakeney Point today, so that's where I headed next. As I turned into Beach Road to go to Coastguards, Julian B. was waving in his car, just behind me! On reaching Coastguards the rain was still falling steadily. Julian persuaded me to walk to North Scrape with him to look at the White-rumped Sandpiper, which I did. The bird was distant with Dunlin and Ringed Plovers. David Norgate and his brother then joined us. A male Red-backed Shrike bleeped up on the pager at Blakeney Freshmarsh. I left and walked back through the yellow-horned poppies and other plants and flushed Meadow Pipits and Reed Buntings.

Re-located to Blakeney Freshmarsh and parked the car by the entrance to Friary Hills NT. I walked along the lower path (as Eddie M. had done a little while before me). Several wet and bedraggled Meadow Pipits, Skylarks, a Wren and Greenfinches, but no sign of any RBS. I could see Eddie standing with another birder distantly and suddenly noticed him waving at me and pointing to a Spoonbill that was flying east over the path. I joined Eddie and he hadn't found the shrike either. Julian B. also joined us a bit later, having walked along the sea wall. I walked back to my car alone and had a Bearded Tit bound across my path into the reed bed. Sedge Warblers were singing and also saw a couple of Little Egrets east of the path.

I walked all round Friary Hills, just in case the shrike had re-located, but no sign. The foxgloves here all looked beautiful and everything looked very fresh and green with the rain. Apart from a Whitethroat, I didn't see anything else of particular note. Eddie told me that the rain was supposed to stop around 6pm for the rest of the evening.

Back at Coastguards I had a coffee and packed up my rucksack. Still raining! I started walking to Blakeney Point at 4.40pm. I headed through the sueda bushes to search for birds and in any case it was high tide, so no point in hoping for flat beach to walk on! I flushed several Reed Buntings and good numbers of Meadow Pipits. Eddie texted to say that the rain was now going to carry on until 10pm! A pager message bleeped up with news of a Female Red-backed Shrike at Walsey Hills! Bother sprung to mind! The skies looked bleak and the rain had beaten me! I felt very despondent and fed-up. I had no enthusiasm for continuing this dire walk at all. Very unusual for me to turn back so early, I had only reached half way to Halfway House! But this is where I turned and trudged back glumly along the shingle to Coastguards.
RED-BACKED SHRIKE
Walsey Hills NOA.

At Coastguards I bumped into Eddie who had just been to Walsey and there was no sign of the Red-backed Shrike – he was now heading to North Scrape to see the White-rumped Sandpiper. I was soaked, cold and very down in the dumps now. I went straight to Walsey Hills car park. Changed some of my wet clothes to try and warm up, poured a coffee and sat watching the rain pelting down. I wasn't going home yet, as James McC.'s car was still at Coastguards! He was bound to find something else if I left! A few minutes later Walsey Hills Volunteer Warden David Bratt appeared and cheered me up with news of the Red-backed Shrike, which was sitting on the elders and brambles over the other side of Snipe's Marsh. I was so cold, I didn't really want to get out of the car, but had to obviously! I managed to get some video of this lovely Red-backed Shrike who was very busy feeding, but for a while got fed-up and huddled under the canopy of a bramble and looked like I felt! Julian B., Richard M., Trevor D., Eddie M. and a few others turned up to enjoy the shrike. I walked along the bottom path at Walsey and also went to the top of the steps, but only found a Chiffchaff. Everyone left and I was just about to pull out of the car park, when the pager bleeped up with BLYTHE'S REED WARBLER at Halfway House, Blakeney Point at 8.07pm – FOR GOODNESS SAKE!

I found myself driving to Coastguards. Got out of the car and scanned over to Halfway House and had extremely silly thoughts about walking there and then my sensible head kicked in thank goodness! I'm guessing that James had found/ID'd this bird and he would now be heading back, so no point in me even thinking about walking out there this late to find an elusive bird in scrub! Now, if I had persevered and carried on to Halfway House earlier, I might have been watching a Blythe's Reed Warbler, but I didn't so live with it Penny. Drove home in heavy rain. Took ages to sort all my wet gear out – work tomorrow.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
MEGA! PADDYFIELD WARBLER for 3rd day at Long Hills, Blakeney Point.
MARSH WARBLER probable (elusive), at Halfway House, Blakeney Point.
BLYTH'S REED WARBLER at 8.07pm at Halfway House, Blakeney Point.
 MARSH WARBLER still at Nar Valley Way, Narborough.
WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER on North Scrape, Spoonbills x 2 flew east over East Bank at Cley NWT.
Spoonbill, Little Gulls x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 2, Red-crested Pochards x 7 at Titchwell RSPB.
Little Gull, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Breydon Water.
Little Gull at Salthouse.
Little Stints x 2 at Rush Hill Scrape, Hickling Broad NWT.
GOLDEN ORIOLE reported at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Golden Pheasant at Wolferton Triangle.
Red-necked Phalarope, Great White Egret at Welney WWT.
Spoonbills x 2 opposite Blakeney Hotel.
RED-BACKED SHRIKE Male, at north end along drainage channel at 11.30am at Blakeney Freshmarsh.
RED-BACKED SHRIKE Female, Snipes Marsh, Walsey Hills NOA.

Lincolnshire Highlights:
Red-necked Phalarope still at Frampton Marsh RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! EASTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR Male, 2 miles NW of Lyndhurst at Acres Down below raptor watch point along west side, New Forest, Hampshire.

MEGA! HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL, again at Pagham Harbour LNR at Church Norton, viewed from reserve entrance carpark.
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS still, at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire.

MEGA! CEDAR WAXWING (3-4th June only), Kilrush near Vandeleur Walled Garden, County Clare, Ireland.