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Sunday, 26 February 2017

Day 4 – Memories

Taking my Father out in my Hyundai CoupΓ©
26th July 2008

Memories have been racing through my mind of sunny days spent with father – the above picture was taken by my mother outside their house at Holme. I was taking Father to photograph Green Tiger Beetles at Dersingham Bog. I remember the day clearly – we found one half way up a slope, but Father had a job to photograph it because it was too sunny/hazy. I took his hat and used it as a shadow to darken the picture and he told me I was a good camera assistant. I had no SLR and didn't take up photography myself until 2010.
Father at home in August 2014

Today has been pretty gloomy. I could have slept all day, but went over to Mother's fairly early this morning – cooked my breakfast and then just sat around. Mother had received a lovely card from Sophie and on behalf of the NOA and another from Pauline and Clifford Rumbelow, who live a few doors away. Local lady Marilyn F. popped in with a card and spent an hour with us, which was very nice of her – thank you.

Mother and I cooked a late lunch and then both fell asleep – when I woke up it was dark! We both talked through the decisions we need to make over the next few days, but didn't come up with any answers. I left to go home mid evening. I had a wonderful surprise of a 'Jacquie Lawson' E-card from our dearest friends Malcolm and Eileen White from Heacham – such a beautiful video and touching words with happy memories – thank you both so much xxx.

Tomorrow is going to be stressful. My sisters and I will be with Mother all day. We get the results of the post-mortem (if it is carried out tomorrow as they stated). The Funeral Directors are coming to chat with us in the morning. I had no idea how awful everything is when someone so close dies and the decisions you have to make. I have to iron Father's final set of clothes early tomorrow to give to the funeral directors.

Thank you all for the continued messages of support by email and social media – it is much appreciated. Good night.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Glaucous Gull in pig field SE of Thornham Road, just SW of Thornham
Great Northern Diver, Long-tailed Duck at Thornham Harbour
Shorelarks x 35 still east of Holkham Gap at Holkham Bay
Great White Egrets x 2, Spoonbills x 4, Russian White-fronted Geese x 602 at Holkham Freshmarsh 
Velvet Scoters x 40, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Iceland Gull in pig fields south of Mautby Lodge
Waxwings x 4 at Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich
Glaucous Gull at mouth of River Yare, Snow Buntings x 9 at South Denes, Great Yarmouth
Great Grey Shrike at entrance mouth of Grime's Graves
Waxwings x 4 on Burgh Road, Bradwell
Scaup x 3 north of bridge at Saddlebow
Snow Buntings x 27 on beach at Holme
Shorelarks x 6, Lapland Bunting, Jack Snipe, Short-eared Owls x 6 at Blakeney Point
Snow Bunting at end of Meadow Lane, Kelling
Water Pipit at Cantley Marshes RSPB
Hooded Crow at Alymerton

MEGA NEWS 
LESSER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
Wallasea Island RSPB, SE of Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex
BLUE ROCK THRUSH Male 
In garden at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
PINE BUNTING Male

Beyond end of Kerver Lane, N of Dunnington, ENE of York, Yorkshire

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Day 3 – Planning

A very weird day, having not been to sleep last night. I spent the morning printing out important documents and advice about the legal side of someone dying. Listening to music for inspiration for the funeral with help from J.F., thank you. Printed off lots of messages of condolences to show Mother. I look a serious state today and didn't even brush my hair until this evening, look like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards!

Picked Lucy up after lunch and headed to Holme. We stopped at the Ringstead shop and choose a beautiful card with three sparkly owls sitting on a branch, representing her three daughters! Vivien, Lucy and I each wrote in this card and gave to Mother later on – I was crying as I gave it to her – I just can't stop crying – its driving me crazy.

My Mother received a lovely hand delivered card from Jackie Arnold, her son and daughter Tim Arnold and Miranda Jeavons from Holme – known them since year dot! My sisters and I went to Holme Primary School with Miranda and Tim – thank you so much. Vivien had not slept a wink since she had been staying with Mother and left in the afternoon to return to Ely for a couple of nights so she can catch up on sleep.

Lucy and Mother were discussing music for the funeral and made a list, but not decided yet. Everything seems surreal – I felt like I was in a bubble all day and in a bad dream. We had a lovely phone call from Audrey and Maurice Ecceshall  (long time NOA members) – thank you both xx.

The cat had her third and final de-flea, which was more successful than last time – if this doesn't work, she'll be off to the vets. The odd thing is, that we have not seen any fleas, I don't think she has – think she has something else going on, but not sure what.

I lost some of my fencing in my back garden on Storm Doris and RIP day – don't know when that will be sorted. The neighbours will have to wait – I did go round and explain it wouldn't get done for a while, I think they understood. Far more important things to sort than broken fence panels.

I have had a huge amount of messages across social media and by email, but this one really made me smile from the man himself, Lee Evans – note my comment at the bottom! Also see the latest comment on my post on Thursday – where Father told someone off for driving too fast along the Firs Road to see a Red-backed Shrike at the observatory! Also note my reply! Its these little tales that are bringing a little joy to my soul.
Lucy and I left around 8pm to go back to King's Lynn. I didn't want to leave Mother alone, but she seemed to be ok. I will be back in the morning. Spent the evening washing Father's clothes from the care home that we needed to keep etc, his rug and other stuff. Good Night.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Mealy Redpoll from rear of Tower Hide, Bittern from Scrape Hides at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Great White Egrets x 2, Spoonbill, Russian White-fronted Geese x 200 at Holkham Freshmarsh
Shorelarks x 40 still east of Holkham Gap at Holkham Bay
Great White Egret from Barnham Road Bridge at Kimberley
Glaucous Gull at mouth of River Yare, Great Yarmouth
Waxwings x 2 in Union Street, Norwich
Iceland Gull in pig fields south of Mautby Lodge
Glaucous Gull west of Coastguards, Pale-bellied Brent Goose along Beach Road, Cley NWT
FERRUGINOUS DUCK (or hybrid) on Colney Gravel Pits
Glaucous Gull on beach at Hemsby
Snow Buntings x 37, Long-tailed Ducks x 4 near Gore Point, Holme
Long-tailed Ducks x 3, Velvet Scoters x 3 at Sheringham
Hen Harriers x 6, Spoonbills x 3, Lapland Buntings x 3 at Warham Greens
Rough-legged Buzzard at St Olaves
Waxwings x 4 on Burgh Road, Bradwell

MEGA NEWS
BLUE ROCK THRUSH Male

In garden at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
PINE BUNTING Male

Beyond end of Kerver Lane, N of Dunnington, ENE of York, Yorkshire
KILLDEER

Mainland at Sandwick, Shetland
NORTHERN HARRIER
 

North Ronaldsay, Orkney

Falling Apart.......

Mentally I'm a mess today, didn't even go to bed last night – suppose I better get out of the clothes I was in yesterday, shower, put a new set on, pull myself together and get out of this house! Just received my first condolence card from Suzy Butler, who is the Community Stroke Team Leader and Occupational Therapist whom I work with – what a beautiful and thoughtfully written card from someone who has gone through the same – bless you and thank you dearest Suzy xxx A second card arrived in the post from Steve Newman (NOA Chairman) and his wife Ann – thank you so much.

Thank you all so much for the continued love and support in all messages sent to me and my family and I apologise for not being able to reply to everyone individually at the moment.πŸ’—

I Am Always With You

Posted on Facebook to me by my dear work colleague and friend Bev
Thank you so much – such beautiful and comforting words xxx

Friday, 24 February 2017

Day 2 – A Very Difficult Day!

A huge thank you for so many beautiful messages that have been sent to my family and I, both directly on my blog post yesterday, via email, text, Twitter, Facebook and Birdforum – all of these messages have been hugely supportive and so beautifully written and several have reduced me to tears. I apologise for not replying to all of you individually at the moment, but each and every message is very much appreciated and treasured. Thank you all so much – Best Wishes Penny x

Today has been incredibly difficult indeed, in fact more so than yesterday. None of us slept a wink last night. Poor Lucy said she stayed awake all night and listened to classical music – she said she was worried that she would never sleep again because of the shock. But, Lucy is far stronger mentally than all of us and managed to go to her orchestra rehearsal this evening, I really don't know how she did that! Father would have been so proud of her. We were all wrecked with exhaustion and found it very difficult to carry out any tasks or make decisions.

We had to receive and deal with some very difficult phone calls this morning from the Coroner's Officer – it was explained to us that there was only one GP available at the Heacham practice today and that they did not know my Father and were not prepared to sign the death certificate. The only GP that had seen my Father recently was not in until Wednesday next week! Long and short of it, I then phoned the care home manager Nigel to ask for advice etc. Nigel said that he had spoken to Father's official GP at the surgery yesterday who also would not sign the death certificate, as he had not seen him recently either and Nigel didn't think that the lady GP who returns next Wednesday would sign it either, which means Father would then have to have a post-mortum OR our other choice was to have a post-mortum now (or as soon as able to) which would clarify the death and then produce a death certificate. So as a family we decided to go ahead with the Post-mortum now as it looks like that is going to have to happen late next week anyway, so why delay it!!! We were then told by the Coroner's Officer that this would now happen this Monday at the QEH – not what we wanted for our Father, but because of the 'law' we don't have much bloody choice. I've been swearing alot today!

We phoned John Lincoln Funeral Directors at Hunstanton and they are coming out to arrange things with us on Monday, even though we have no idea what we are doing yet. The Coroner will ring us when the post-mortum is completed on Monday and then phone John Lincoln to take Father away to be cared for etc. Father's requests for his funeral, which he typed up and gave to Vivien in 2007 will mean he will not be having a 'traditional' funeral – more on that another day!

Vivien and I wanted to clear Father's clothes and belongings from the care home – I don't know why we wanted to do this today, but we did. It ripped me apart to return to his bedroom where I saw him deceased yesterday, but we got through it and were a good team. I couldn't have done it without Vivien – she is far calmer than me and makes me see sense! We had to sort everything here, as Mother stated very clearly she didn't want any of his clothes returned and it would have really upset her. We obviously took things like all Father's 90th Birthday cards, his green bear I gave him, his green hand warmer that I made, his rug he has on his lap and a few other items of clothing for sentimental reasons and choose a set of clothes to dress him in (sure you know what I mean by this). The rest we left in the room for the home to take to a charity shop or do what ever they liked with. As we left the room, we turned to take one last look at his room, where he had been since May last year and with a million thoughts and emotions running through our minds, we made our way downstairs.

We said goodbye to some of the staff and things became extremely emotional with hugs etc. I will hugely miss seeing some of the residents here too, especially a lady called M. who is hilarious, feisty and a real character – I love her and always chat to her, even though most of the time she hasn't got a clue what she or I are talking about! A member of staff then appeared, walked towards towards me and hugged me so tightly and I just broke down completely – this lady is particularly special as she made Father smile so much and I thank her and all of the staff that made him smile and cared for him. Nigel, the manager was very supportive and helped us with our bags etc out into the car. We left and returned to Holme. I left all Father's belongings in my car, as if we had brought these into the house, it would have traumatised Mother – all too soon.

We had a late dinner, which consisted of the remains of my Slimming World meal I had made Wednesday evening, potatoes, sprouts and gravy which was very nice indeed. Mother didn't want to leave the house, but Vivien wanted some air and so did I, so we walked around the village and to Holme Marsh NWT reserve (the three hides in the village). The track along Marsh Lane was like a river, but we managed to work our way around it. It was a really sunny day, which lifted our spirits a little. I was very impressed by the reed clearance from the first hide – you can see the pool now!!! We saw a Common Buzzard perched on a large hawthorn, a Marsh Harrier flew over and a Redwing flew over the pool. Coots were around the cut reeds, but not too much else. We had intended walking around the village, back up Peddars Way and along the main road back to the house, but bumped into Sophie by the church! We chatted for a while and she then kindly invited us back to her new abode for coffee which was very kind of her. Sophie really helped us with thoughts and decisions for the funeral and we all had a really nice girly chat, which gave Vivien and I some normality from the rest of the crappy day we had gone through. Huge thanks to Sophie (and her mum who popped in a bit later) for her thoughts and ideas and for inviting us in to her fabulous 'pad'! We walked back in the dark – Mother had been asleep since we had left. We sat and discussed things in the evening, cried, dozed and ate junk food. I got really upset when I heard my Mother say 'I can't believe we are not going to be able to talk to him anymore' – it was desperately sad to hear her say this.

I fell asleep on Father's old bed (still in the living room) and then woke up irritable and more tired than before I went to sleep. I returned home to King's Lynn. Vivien is still staying with Mother. There isn't really enough space for us all to stay there. Phoned Lucy later who had returned from her rehearsal and seemed to be ok, bless her.

There are tons of things to sort, but tomorrow we're having a day off and in any case all the people we need to contact are only available Monday to Friday in office hours. I don't think Mother will, but Vivien, Lucy and I will probably go and spend some time by the sea tomorrow. I really hope that day 3 won't be worse than today – such a difficult time for us all.

NORFOLK BIRDING & MEGAS!

Father like daughter, I'm a stubborn old sod and WILL try very hard to carry on as normal. 'The show must go on' – which means, I will try my best to continue to write up the daily bird news as normal, but please bear with me if I don't manage to write every day!

Glaucous Gull, Snow Buntings x 6, Bewick's Swans x 66 flew east over Winterton
Snow Buntings x 10 flew west over Thornham Point
Velvet Scoters x 109, Long-tailed Ducks x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Bewick's Swans x 6, Short-eared Owl at Breydon Water
Hen Harrier at Stiffkey Greens
Glaucous Gull, Long-tailed Ducks x 3 at Sheringham
Snow Buntings x 50 at Holme
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owls x 3 at Haddiscoe Island
Scaup x 3 at Saddlebow
Glaucous Gull near Wissington, SE of Downham Market
Short-eared Owl at Ten Mile Bank
Hawfinches x 19 at Lynford Aboretum
PALLID HARRIER juv. probable, 500yds west of B1105, 1/2 mile south of Real Ale Shop, 2.75mls SW of Wells + ESE of New Holkham
Shorelarks x 29 still east of Holkham Gap at Holkham Bay
Scaup x 15 at Hickling Broad NWT
Smew juv. at Cley NWT

MEGA NEWS
BLUE ROCK THRUSH Male
 

In garden at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
PINE BUNTING Male
 

Beyond end of Kerver Lane, N of Dunnington, ENE of York, Yorkshire
DUSKY THRUSH Fem.
 

Unconfirmed report near Highams Park, Folly Lane, London

Thursday, 23 February 2017

My Dear Father Has Sadly Passed Away

πŸ’”

It is with huge sadness that I write to inform you all, that my dearest and beloved Father passed away peacefully, early this morning. The sadness is so immense it is too much to put into words.

I went to tap the sleep button on my alarm/phone this morning at 7.10am when it was ringing, but it wasn't the alarm – it was the manager Nigel Playford at Summerville House Care Home, ringing to inform me that my father had just passed away. I sobbed uncontrollably. He was fine at 5am when he was checked I was told, but when they checked him at 7am, he had died. This was a massive shock as this was unexpected. Ok, so we knew he probably wouldn't go on too much longer, but after his recent miraculous recovery, we didn't think it would happen quite yet.

After breaking the news to Vivien I left the house to go the care home in Heacham. I couldn't get hold of my Mother or Lucy at this point. No day is a good day, but for this to happen with 80mph+ winds, this was crap. I was sobbing all the way to Heacham – on hindsight it was pretty stupid of me to drive, but I made it. A wonderful paramedic who had attended earlier, was waiting in the car park for me to arrive and came with me into the home and stayed with me – so kind. Stating the obvious, I was in a mess when I saw my Father – yes I have seen people deceased in the hospital before, but its a whole different ball game when its your family. He looked like he had passed away peacefully to me and I just hope that he did. Although it was traumatic, I'm glad I saw him before he was taken away – I was on my own for a few minutes and just held him. A policeman arrived, which they have to do in these circumstances, when someone dies unexpectedly. The policeman was called 'Richie' and he was one of the nicest people I have ever met – he was so kind. Because I had tried to ring my Mother several times as had Vivien, I suddenly had a phone call from her whilst I was with Father, so had to tell her over the phone – I then immediately left to be with her. My Mother, decided she couldn't bare seeing him like this and I'm glad she didn't. The policeman explained that he would now ring the Coroner to inform them as the GP would not sign the death certificate because he had not seen Father in the last 14 days (this is normal practice I found out), so the coroner has to sign this etc.

Richie, the policeman went beyond the call of duty and came out to visit my Mother and I a short while later and spent ages with us, explaining everything that would happen next – this gave us huge support and I can't thank him enough. If the coroner feels that father died through natural causes he will sign the death certificate, but if not, there will have to be a post-mortem. The coroner will ring us today or tomorrow Richie told us (they have not yet), so maybe tomorrow. When all above is carried out we can choose a funeral directors (which will be John Lincoln in Hunstanton) to arrange everything. He told us that my Father has been taken to the mortuary in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, until he is moved to our chosen funeral directors.

Vivien and Ray arrived shortly after this with Lucy. Ray (Vivien's partner) very kindly drove separately in front of Vivien to make sure she was ok, because of the gale force winds – it had been a horrendous journey for them and they had passed a good number of fallen trees on route from Ely and one branch hit the roof of Vivien's car, when she picked Lucy up on route – this crap day could have been so much worse!!! Also Vivien had been booked into the garage this morning to check her brakes out!!! I have never been impressed with any of Vivien's past boyfriends, but she has a good one at long last and Ray was hugely supportive to us all today, he gets a 10 out 10 from me and I don't dish those out lightly!

We have obviously been very upset all day. I know I shouldn't be thinking this, but I can't and won't get it out of my head – I last saw my Father with Mother on Thursday evening last week on the 16th February – I told him I would see him at the weekend and I didn't go. Neither did I go at the beginning of this week. However, Vivien had visited him on Saturday and she said that he was very sleepy, but did seem to rouse a little when she told him about the all the money I helped to raise for the NOA window fund. I phoned last night to see how he was and I was told that he had been shouting that he wanted to go home this week, but was quieter yesterday.  I had planned to go and see him this evening, straight after work and help him with his tea – I have been really upset about this all day. Mother and I both concluded that the reason he was asking to go home (he has not said this for a good while now) was because he wanted to die at home.

Through all this immense sorrow, my Father has had an amazing, fascinating life and achieved so much. I am so pleased that he reached his 90th birthday on the 2nd November and that I am thankful for. He has had no life at all really since he had his first stroke – everything stopped for him and then developing macular degeneration, resulting in blindness and becoming immobile – it couldn't get much worse. He was just waiting to depart and now he has and will now at last be at peace. I just hope he is amongst lots of beautiful birds up there in the clouds. My memories of him over my 52 years are golden, so many magical and special times of the dearest Father in the world. A Father who dedicated his life to natural history and really should have had an MBE for dedicating seven days a week for 33 years at Holme Bird Observatory and so many other things that few know about. A Father I adored, who was so kind, so sweet, so funny, so witty, so crafty, so clever and so stubborn!

I can't write any more as the tears are rolling, so will sign off now. I pen the last words of this post in green, my Father's favourite colour. All the heligoland traps at the observatory were painted in green, the framework and door of the observatory were painted green, the signs around the reserve were in green – he loved green! Good night.

Rest in Peace My Dearest Father

My love for you will be entwined with your soul forever xxx


Your life has now faded into the clouds

But my joyful memories of you will always be in the blue skies at Holme

Peter Robert Clarke
2nd November 1926 – 23rd February 2017
 

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Velvet Scoters x 103, Snow Buntings x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Shorelarks x 24 east of Holkham Gap, Great White Egrets x 2, Spoonbills x 4, Russian White-fronted Geese x 100 at Holkham Freshmarsh
Little Auks x 5, Arctic Skuas x 2 at Sheringham
Long-tailed Ducks x 2, Scaup at Winterton
Waxwing at north end of coach park at Hunstanton
Hen Harriers x 2 at Roydon Common NWT

MEGA NEWS
BLUE ROCK THRUSH Male

In garden at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
PINE BUNTING Male

Beyond end of Kerver Lane, N of Dunnington, ENE of York, Yorkshire
KILLDEER
 

Mainland at Sandwick, Shetland 
NORTHERN HARRIER
North Ronaldsay, Orkney

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Bewick's Swans x 45 flew NE over Cringleford
Snow Buntings x 10 at North Beach, Winterton
Waxwing at north end of coach park at Hunstanton
Snow Buntings x 50 at Gore Point, Holme
Shorelarks x 25 east of Holkham Gap at Holkham Bay
Iceland Gull in pig fields south of Mautby Lodge

MEGA NEWS
PINE BUNTING Male

Beyond end of Kerver Lane, N of Dunnington, ENE of York, Yorkshire

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

By Andy Stoddart
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyRoundup2017-08.aspx?s_id=688914309

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Twite x 39, Snow Buntings x 50 at Thornham Harbour
Glaucous Gull on Simmonds' Scrape, Smew redhead 200yds west of the north end of the East Bank at Cley NWT
Twite x 39, Snow Buntings x 60, Velvet Scoters x 31 at Holme
Long-tailed Ducks x 85, Velvet Scoters x 120, Lapland Bunting, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Bewick's Swans x 40 flew NE over Norwich
Siberian Chiffchaff in pines above Walsey Hills NOA
Russian White-fronted Geese x 67 at Breydon Water
Waxwing in coach park, then flew to garden at Hunstanton
Russian White-fronted Geese x 3 at Horsey
Russian White-fronted Geese x 73, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Hen Harrier at Blakeney Freshmarsh
Great White Egret at Burgh Castle
Tundra Bean Goose in stubble field between Burnham Deepdale & Stanhoe
Shorelarks x 25 east of Holkham Gap at Holkham Bay
Rough-legged Buzzard, Hen Harrier at Haddiscoe Island
Glaucous Gull, Hen Harriers x 2 at Warham Greens
Glaucous Gull, Snow Buntings x 16 at North Beach, Winterton
Scaup x 3 north of bridge at Saddlebow

MEGA NEWS
BLUE ROCK THRUSH Male 

In garden at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
PINE BUNTING Male
 

Beyond end of Kerver Lane, N of Dunnington, ENE of York, Yorkshire
KILLDEER
Mainland at Sandwick, Shetland

Monday, 20 February 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Great White Egret at Earlham Marsh
Glaucous Gull flew west over Nunnery Lakes, Glaucous Gull at Burrell Way, Thetford
Velvet Scoters x 145, Great Northern Diver, Long-tailed Ducks x 2, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB
Glaucous Gull flew over west bank and on Cricket Marsh east of Beach Road at Cley NWT
Bewick's Swans x 48 flew NE over Broadland Business Park,
Thorpe St Andrews
Bewick's Swans x 100 flew east over North Dunes, Winterton
Snow Buntings x 50 at Gore Point, Long-tailed Duck, Slavonian Grebe, Velvet Scoter at Holme
Shorelarks x 29 east of Holkham Gap at Holkham Bay
Great White Egrets x 3, Spoonbills x 4 at Holkham Freshmarsh
Tundra Bean Geese x 17, Pink-footed Geese x 1,155 in sugar beet field north of Docking
Hawfinches x 20 at Lynford Aboretum
Short-eared Owl at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Hen Harriers x 5 at Warham Greens
Hen Harriers x 2, Short-eared Owl at Burgh Castle
Mealy Redpolls x 2 at Brake Hill Farm, Swaffham
Purple Sandpiper on rocks under cliff at Hunstanton

MEGA NEWS
BLUE ROCK THRUSH Male
 

In garden at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
PINE BUNTING Male

Beyond end of Kerver Lane, N of Dunnington, ENE of York, Yorkshire
PINE BUNTING Male
 

Saxon Shore Way, E of Milton Creek, NE of Sittingbourne, Kent
GREAT SNIPE
 

possible, reported at Ashdown Forest, Sussex
NORTHERN HARRIER
 

North Ronaldsay, Orkney

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Birding at Holme NWT & Titchwell RSPB!

Holme NWT
A Common Buzzard was spiralling in the blue skies over Ringstead Downs NWT on the way to Holme this morning. It was a beautiful sunny day and it felt very Spring like. I know its only February, but if felt so warm in the sun, that I half expected to see a Swallow skimming over – a little too early yet I think, not too far away though! The highlight of my day was my Mother coming out birding with me for a short while! I can't remember the last time my Mother went to the reserves and beach, its been far too long. Just before I walked into Mother's house, the magical sound of a Bumble Bee filled my ears - buzzing around the newly emerged honey suckle blossom, by the porch.

We made our way along the very bumpy Firs Road and stopped to park at the 5-bar gate. I could hear a Cetti's Warbler briefly in the reeds near the pay hut. We bumped into Wells birder Dave Foster, who kindly told us that the raft of Long-tailed Duck were towards the Firs house end, so we got back in the car and continued along the road to park at the NOA car park. We then walked north across to the dunes and viewed the sea from here. I set up the scope at a suitable height for Mother – she is shorter than me! She finds it very difficult to look through a telescope, as her eyes are not as they were and she is due to have a cataract removed soon, but she did eventually see everything I pointed out to her. We found a massive flock of Wigeon on the sea and then not too long after that, we saw a long stream of Long-tailed Ducks just under the west end of the wind turbines – but it wasn't until the whole raft got up and flew east for a short distance, that we realised how many were there! I found it very difficult to count them all, but there were at least 150. I also found two Red-necked Grebes sitting on the sea and a Cormorant flew past. A small flock of Sanderlings also flew west. It was beautiful here and felt like a Summer's day! I would have stayed watching the sea longer, but Mother found it difficult to stand for too long, so we continued east along the path towards the Firs entrance.

My Mother had not seen the pines west of the Firs, since before the storm surge in 2013 and she could see how different it looked now, but agreed with me that the habitat with lots of log piles looked good for migrants – I think it looks better than it did before to be honest. Mother didn't have the energy to walk as far as HBO, so we headed down to the NWT Firs house for lunch in the cafe. Mother was very impressed with the cafe, which is new to her since she last visited. Jeanette was working here, who normally works at Cley NWT Visitor Centre and introduced us to her son, also working in the cafe – she beamed when Mother said she didn't look old enough to have a son that age! Mother was thinking about sitting outside for lunch, but then realised it wasn't quite warm enough for that yet, so we sat inside and enjoyed our exceptionally nice jacket potatoes and cheese with salad. It was very relaxed sitting here and far more peaceful than Cley VC, which is packed out to the max most lunch times. Gary Hibbard (Warden) came and joined us to eat his lunch and had a good catch up with my Mother, who he had not seen for a long time.

Gary and Robert were inspecting Mother's Carl Zeiss 7x42 bins, which she has had for many years – yes they are a good set of optics, but her new Swarovski 8x42 bins (newer version of mine) are far superior, but she doesn't want to use them yet as they 'are a bit too heavy' – I did try to advise her on the far lighter 8x32's at the time, but she insisted she wanted the wider field of view! The weight of the bins is not going to change! We enjoyed watching the NWT videos on the screen whilst eating our lunch and also watched some Goldfinches in the alder tree through the window. Neither of us succumbed to any cakes! Mother had really enjoyed herself, but didn't have the energy to walk anywhere else, so I took her back home. Hopefully next time we will go to the observatory – I think the reason she didn't go there, was because it would bring back too many memories of Father and the fact that he is now in a care home would have made her sad – I can fully understand this. On the way home home we had lovely views of a Song Thrush feeding on the grass at the end of Peddars Way by the crossroads in Holme.

Titchwell RSPB
I really don't know what to think about the all the trees that have been removed along the path by the picnic area, it looks pretty bare! Personally I think it will encourage children to run around too much, which will impact on birds seen in this area, but I may be wrong. It was a nice enclosed spot before and many good birds have been seen here including Wood Warbler, Pallas's Warbler etc. Time will tell! I found a lovely fungi on a mossy log along here, which Mother instantly identified for me when I showed her the picture later, but I have now forgotten! I saw a Brambling by the feeders next to the cafe, along with the usual Great Tits, Blue Tits, Robins etc. I walked around the Fen Trail and then on to the East Trail. Took a photograph of an obliging Robin and then sat by the screen that overlooks Patsy's Pool. Birds seen here were: Tufted Ducks, Mallard, Gadwall, Pochard, Teal, Snipe, Coot, Little Grebe, Shelducks and a Cormorant sitting on one of the dead trees.

I continued back around the Fen Trail and headed north along the main path towards Island Hide. Had a nice catch up with Mike Sidwell and David Norgate, before joining Eddie, Joan & husband a little further along the path. Tons of beautiful Golden Plover were on the freshmarsh, big numbers of Avocets, gulls, Teal, Starlings etc. Highlights here, were a Peregrine that bombed through and our count of 10 Hen Harriers in the roost. It was bitterly cold now and the gloves had to go on!

We walked back to the car park and Eddie decided he was going to Eric's fish 'n' chips next to the farm shop at Thornham, so as I was also buying Mother and I a children's portion too (cheaper!), I invited Eddie to join us back at Holme. The three of us enjoyed what is definitely now the best fish 'n' chips in Norfolk by miles and chatted for a while about birds, life and all that jazz. Eddie then left to return home east and I stayed with Mother to watch one of our favourite programmes at the moment: 'Call The Midwife', which was a very dramatic and sad episode. Left Mother's at 9pm and made my way home. Not too bad a day's birding for February!

I see the Holme Bird Observatory Windows Appeal has now risen to £1,145.00!!! Fabulous!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Great White Egret at Pentney Gravel Pits
Great White Egret, Great Northern Diver, Smew redhead at
Nar Valley Fisheries
Russian White-fronted Geese x 466 in field by minor road to Burnham Thorpe, North Creake
Glaucous Gull, Caspian Gull at Burrell Way, Thetford
Shorelarks x 30 east of Holkham Gap at Holkham Bay
Great White Egret at Kimberley Hall Lake, Wymondham
Great White Egret at Berney Marshes RSPB
Great White Egret flew over Holkham park lake, Great White Egrets x 2 at Holkham Freshmarsh
Tundra Bean Geese x 75, White-fronted Geese x 2 SE of Belton
Hybrid Hooded Crow x Carrion, Iceland Gull in pig fields south of
Mautby Lodge
Tundra Bean Geese x 95 at Breydon Water
Velvet Scoters x 9, on sea Scaup x 11 south of Crossbank at
Snettisham Coastal Park
Long-tailed Ducks x 300, Great Northern Divers x 4, Black-throated Diver, Red-necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe off Gore Point, Snow Buntings x 65 at Holme
Common Cranes x 11 at Upton Fen
Velvet Scoters x 125, Long-tailed Ducks x 40 at Titchwell RSPB
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island
Great White Egret at Earlham Marsh
Short-eared Owls x 6, Hen Harriers x 2 at Burgh Castle
Great Grey Shrike at Brake Hill Farm, 1 mile south of Swaffham
Tundra Bean Geese x 3 in field south of Walsey Hills NOA
Hen Harriers x 2 at Roydon Common NWT
Smew redhead at Cley NWT
Snow Buntings x 9 in outer harbour at Gorleston-on-Sea
Hawfinches x 3, Crossbills x 4 at Lynford Aboretum

MEGA NEWS
BLUE ROCK THRUSH Male
 

In garden at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
PINE BUNTING Male

Beyond end of Kerver Lane, N of Dunnington, ENE of York, Yorkshire
PINE BUNTING Male

Saxon Shore Way, E of Milton Creek, NE of Sittingbourne, Kent 
AMERICAN COOT
Balranald RSPB at North Uist, Western Isles
NORTHERN HARRIER
North Ronaldsay, Orkney

Saturday, 18 February 2017

£1000 Target Reached In Under 48 Hours!

 πŸ˜‚ WOW! πŸ‘
A WHOPPING £1000 raised in under 48 hours!

When I posted my thanks yesterday for all the amazing and generous donations to the Holme Bird Observatory Window Appeal, the total hit £670 in under 24 hours! If that wasn't enough, today at 9.55pm that total has climbed to a humongous total £1000!!! With Gift Aid, it has totalled to £1,227.50 – all in under 48 hours! This has seriously lifted my spirits and feel pretty chuffed to say the least, that my blog readers, supporters, friends and others, have so kindly and generously donated and also written so many lovely comments on the NOA 'My Donate' website – HERE.

I had a lovely thank you email from the NOA Chairman yesterday to thank me for promoting this and I'm pretty sure both him, Warden Sophie Barker and the rest of the NOA Team will be over the moon with this very fast donation result!

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!

http://pennyshotbirdingandlife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/holme-bird-observatory-appeal.html

Revamping The Blog & More!

I woke up exhausted from work and pottered around today. I was fascinated by the huge response of donations to the NOA Window Fund and became a little obsessed with checking the My Donate website every so often and retweeting my original post to reach as many people as possible! I still can't believe that the total has been achieved already! Incredible and thank you all again.

I suddenly felt the urge to have a revamp and Spring clean of the blog, which I have been meaning to do for a while – this took far longer than expected. It won't look much different to most of you, but basically I have shuffled things around in the right hand column into a more logical order and added some new features, updated old ones and removed links that don't work anymore. It took forever to add my youtube link! Does anyone know how to make an email address link to directly opening a new email in someone's mail account please?

I forgot to say earlier in the week – on Thursday I picked my Mother up from a hospital appointment after I finished work and we visited Father on the way back to Holme. He was wearing his new jumper that Mother had bought him for Christmas, which was nice for her to see. He had been shouting just before we arrived, that he 'wanted to go home' – oh dear, I didn't expect him to still be saying this, which was sad. When he realised we were both there, he burst into tears for a short while, but I worked hard on continuously chatting about all kinds of things to keep his attention and to cheer him up – this seemed to work eventually! He had had his tea already, but when I asked if he was still hungry, he replied 'yes', so I requested a banana which I mashed up with a small piece of Nigel Playford's (Manager) coffee birthday cake – this went down very well – this is Father's favourite cake and we were kindly offered a piece too, it was exceptional yummy! My favourite cake too!

I have very fond memories of my Father's evening visit to our Great Aunty Ile, who lived in Hanover Gardens, Hunstanton – she made him a scrumptious coffee cake every week and he would craftily take it directly to the observatory! He would keep it in his bag on the vespa scooter in the shed overnight, until he left in the morning! If he had brought it into the family home, it would have disappeared in seconds! Being as I spent far more time at the observatory than my siblings, I enjoyed a good few pieces of that treasured coffee cake!

Birding tomorrow, dawn 'til dusk!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Glaucous Gull, Caspian Gull at Burrell Way, Thetford
Iceland Gull flew east past Sidestrand
Waxwing flew NW over Tharston, near Long Stratton
Great Skua on sea, Velvet Scoters x 80, Long-tailed Ducks x 3, Great Northern Diver at Thornham Point
Russian White-fronted Geese x 84 viewed from Bridgefoot Lane, south of Cley
Shorelarks x 25, Twite x 2 east of Holkham Gap at Holkham Bay
Great White Egrets x 2, Spoonbills x 3, Russian White-fronted Geese x 665, Hen Harrier at Holkham Freshmarsh
Hooded Crow, Iceland Gull in pig fields south of Mautby Lodge
Russian White-fronted Geese x 10 at Welney WWT
Glaucous Gull, Tundra Bean Geese x 102, Taiga Bean Goose, Russian White-fronted Geese x 2 at Breydon Water
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in wood behind Kimberley Hall Farm, Great White Egret at Kimberley Hall Lake near Wymondham
Glaucous Gull, Snow Buntings x 40 at North Beach, Winterton
Long-tailed Ducks x 310, Great Skua, Velvet Scoter, Great Northern Diver, Black-throated Diver, Smew x 3, Snow Buntings x 50 at Gore Point, Holme
Great Grey Shrike at Sparham Pools, Lyng
Great White Egret, Glaucous Gull, Rough-legged Buzzard at Burgh Castle
Common Cranes x 8 at Candledyke Marsh, Common Cranes x 21 at Stubb Mill Roost, Hickling Broad NWT
Common Cranes x 2 at Acle
Great Grey Shrike, Smew redhead, Great Northern Diver at Nar Valley Fisheries, Narborough
Hen Harriers x 5 at Warham Greens
Glaucous Gull at Stiffkey
Lapland Bunting flew west over Sheringham
Rough-legged Buzzard reported at Berney Marshes RSPB
Waxwings x 2 at Tesco car park, Hunstanton

MEGA NEWS
BLUE ROCK THRUSH Male

In garden at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
PINE BUNTING Male 
Beyond end of Kerver Lane, N of Dunnington, ENE of York, Yorkshire
PINE BUNTING Male 
Saxon Shore Way, E of Milton Creek, NE of Sittingbourne, Kent
KILLDEER 
Mainland at Sandwick, Shetland

Meet The Nurdle - The Latest Threat To Wildlife Off Norfolk’s Beaches

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/meet_the_nurdle_the_latest_threat_to_wildlife_off_norfolk_s_beaches_1_4895187

Campaign Highlights Impact Of Litter On Norfolk’s Wildlife

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/campaign_highlights_impact_of_litter_on_norfolk_s_wildlife_1_4895530

Norfolk Wildlife Trust Urge Help For Hickling Broad To Expand

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/norfolk_wildlife_trust_urge_help_for_hickling_broad_to_expand_1_4894591

MASSIVE THANKS TO MY READERS!

I am overwhelmed at the money donated today for the Holme Bird Observatory, thank you so much to all my readers and for the very kind comments on the donate pages and huge individual donations so kindly and generously given today. Since I plugged this last night and started the ball rolling with my £10 donation, the figure donated so far is a whopping £670.00 in the first 24 hours!!! Looks like we might reach the £1000 needed by the weekend!!!

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!

http://pennyshotbirdingandlife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/holme-bird-observatory-appeal.html

Friday, 17 February 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Glaucous Gull on Simmond's Scrape, Cley NWT
Tundra Bean Geese x 4, Pink-footed Geese x 750, Russian White-fronted Geese x 9 by road to Holt, SE of Cley
Bitterns x 3, Great Northern Diver, Black-throated Divers x 2, Red-necked Grebes x 2, Slavonian Grebes x 6, Velvet Scoters x 115 at Titchwell RSPB
Great Northern Divers x 4, Black-throated Diver, Slavonian Grebes x 5, Long-tailed Ducks x 275, Velvet Scoters x 3, Snow Buntings x 65 at Holme Dunes NWT
Bewick's Swans x 20 flew east over Seething
Glaucous Gull, Caspian Gull at Burrell Way, Thetford
Shorelarks x 28 east, of Holkham Gap at Holkham Bay
Glaucous Gull, Snow Buntings x 28 at North Beach, Winterton
Glaucous Gull on beach at Beeston Bump, Sheringham
Tundra Bean Geese x 95, Taiga Bean Goose, Russian White-fronted Geese x 2 at Breydon Water
Scaup x 22 from outflow at South Beach, Heacham
Rough-legged Buzzard, Hen Harriers x 2, Short-eared Owls x 2 at Haddiscoe Island
Smew redhead, Great Northern Diver –view from footpath by River Nar from Wormegay High Bridge, Nar Valley Fisheries
Scaup x 3 at Saddlebow, King's Lynn
Hen Harrier at Snettisham Coastal Park
Hen Harrier flew over Mundford
Great White Egret flew south of A47, west of Great Yarmouth
Great White Egret at Burgh Castle
Hen Harriers x 2, Short-eared Owls x 2 at Roydon Common NWT
Rough-legged Buzzard flew to roost at Waveney Forest

MEGA NEWS 
PINE BUNTING Male
Beyond end of Kerver Lane, N of Dunnington, ENE of York, Yorkshire
BLUE ROCK THRUSH Male
In garden at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
FORSTER'S TERN
E of Newtownlynch Quay, Galway Bay, County Galway, Ireland

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Holme Bird Observatory Appeal!

HOLME BIRD OBSERVATORY
WINDOW APPEAL

After years of regularly repairing sections of the windows at the Observatory, the NOA is seeking to permanently replace the windows and door to our headquarters with an aluminium clad timber product from Timber Windows Norfolk. The new windows will provide a very high quality and long term solution to our maintenance problems, but this is an expensive job.

NOA already has the majority of the funds required for this work, with help from the Goldcrest Charitable Trust and proceeds from our 2016 in-house fund raising, but we still need to raise at least £1,000 in order to afford this work without raiding core funds, and the repairs are becoming urgent. So we are appealing to the membership and web visitors for their help in reaching our £1,000 target. Any contribution to the window fund will make a big difference so please support this project if you can.

You can donate to the Window Appeal in two principal ways: cheques can be made payable to NOA and sent to us at Holme Bird Observatory Window Appeal, NOA, Broadwater Road, Holme-next-the-Sea, Hunstanton PE36 6LQ, or you can donate online at:
http://www.noa.org.uk/

NOTE FROM PENNY
I've started the ball rolling – 198 people donating £5.00 each and we've reached the target of £1000! We can achieve this by the end of the weekend! On average I have 4,000 views a day of my blog, so I'm hoping 198 of you might dig deep – it would be incredible to hit this target by end of Sunday evening.
Thank you all very much indeedπŸ˜€

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Shorelarks x 32 east, of Holkham Gap, Snow Buntings x 6 at Holkham Bay
Great White Egret, Russian White-fronted Geese x 600 at Holkham Freshmarsh
Snow Buntings x 10 at Gorleston-on-Sea
Great Grey Shrike at Sparham Pools, Russian White-fronted Geese x 2 at Lyng
Waxwings x 7 on Reepham Road, Norwich
Tundra Bean Geese x 105, Taiga Bean Goose (possible), Russian White-fronted Geese x 2 at Breydon Water
Smew redhead on saline pools at Cley NWT
Bewick's Swans x 1,965, Whooper Swans x 6, 296 at Welney WWT
Long-tailed Ducks x 60, Velvet Scoters x 75, Black-throated Diver, Great Northern Divers x 2, Slavonian Grebes x 2, Bittern at Titchwell RSPB
Water Pipit at Cantley Marshes RSPB
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burgh Castle
Glaucous Gull at Burrell Way, Thetford
Tundra Bean Goose at Nunnery Lakes NR
Glaucous Gull, Snow Buntings x 21 at North Beach, Winterton
Scaup x 3 at Saddlebow, King's Lynn
Great White Egret at Colney Gravel Pits
Waxwings x 3 at Sheringham
Hawfinches x 40 at Lynford Aboretum
Smew redhead, Great White Egret, Great Northern Diver on 3rd lake viewable from Wormegay Road at Nar Valley Fisheries
Glaucous Gull, Hen Harriers x 3 at Warham Greens
Glaucous Gull, Hen Harrier on saltmarsh at Stiffkey
Velvet Scoters x 23 on sea at Brancaster

MEGA NEWS
BLUE ROCK THRUSH Male

In garden at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
KILLDEER
Mainland at Sandwick, Shetland

Great White Shark or Killer Whale?!!!

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/what_is_killing_the_seals_carcass_split_in_half_found_on_waxham_beach_1_4892586

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Long-tailed Ducks x 114, Velvet Scoters x 72, Water Pipit, Red-necked Grebe, Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB
Black-necked Grebe, Water Pipit at St Andrews Broad, Thorpe Marshes
Slavonian Grebes x 2, Red-necked Grebe, Great Northern Divers x 3 at Thornham Point
Snow Buntings x 35 east of Gore Point, Long-tailed Ducks x 100, Slavonian Grebe, Great Northern Divers x 3, Black-throated Divers x 3, Scaup x 4 on sea, Russian White-fronted Geese x 2 at Holme
Shorelarks x 24 east of Holkham Gap at Holkham Bay
Glaucous Gull, Snow Buntings x 26 at North Beach, Winterton
Black-throated Diver, Long-tailed Ducks x 3, Great Northern Divers x 2, Slavonian Grebes x 3, Velvet Scoters x 2 at Brancaster
Slavonian Grebe in channel at Brancaster Staithe
Russian White-fronted Geese x 166, Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Blakeney Freshmarsh
Scaup x 3 at Saddlebow, King's Lynn
Tundra Bean Geese x 117 at Breydon Water
Glaucous Gull by tank at Muckleburgh Hill, near Weybourne
Mealy Redpoll on edge of old deer park at Felbrigg Hall NT
Hooded Crow, Iceland Gull in pig fields south of Mautby Lodge
Russian White-fronted Geese x 3 flew over Wiveton
Water Pipit at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Tundra Bean Geese x 4, Pink-footed Geese x 650 south of Cley NWT
Hawfinches x 35 at Lynford Aboretum
Glaucous Gull at Burrell Way, Caspian Gull at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford
Rough-legged Buzzard at Haddiscoe Island

MEGA NEWS
BLUE ROCK THRUSH Male
 

In garden at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire

RBA Weekly Round-Up 8th to 14th February!

By Andy Stoddart
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyRoundup2017-07.aspx?s_id=524024607

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's! πŸ’

I could hardly open the door for cards stacked up on the doormat,
when I returned home from work this evening!!!
Red roses, chocolates and diamonds – what a day!!! πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰

After my lovely dream and snooze, I cooked my tea, did Mother's on-line shopping, washed up and ironed – such a romantic evening!!!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Shorelarks x 25 near boardwalk by brick wall, Long-tailed Ducks x 47, Black-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, Red-necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, Water Pipits x 2, Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB
Lesser Whitethroat (possibly of eastern form) still in sea buckthorn north of Beach Road, Snow Buntings x 80 just east of Gore Point, Long-tailed Ducks x 150, Red-necked Grebes x 2, Slavonian Grebe, Great Northern Divers x 3 at Holme
Glaucous Gull, Caspian Gull at Burrell Way, Thetford
Glaucous Gull on Cricket Marsh, east of Beach Road at Cley NWT
Waxwings x 7 on Reepham Road, Norwich
Iceland Gull in pig fields south of Mautby Lodge
Shorelarks x 25 east of Holkham Gap at Holkham Bay
Great White Egret, Russian White-fronted Geese x 2 at
Holkham Freshmarsh
Waxwings x 6 at Tesco fuel station, Hunstanton
Tundra Bean Geese x 6 by River Wensum NNE of Ringland
Great White Egret at Earlham Marsh
Common Cranes x 8 at Welney WWT
Waxwings x 4 in garden by Cliff Hotel, Gorleston-on-Sea
Hawfinches x 50 at Lynford Aboretum
Scaup x 3 at Saddlebow, King's Lynn
Snow Buntings x 28 at North Beach, Winterton
Short-eared Owls x 3 at Haddiscoe Island
Caspian Gull in field near Buxton

MEGA NEWS
BLUE ROCK THRUSH Male

In garden at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
SIBERIAN ACCENTOR 
Still, near Invergordon in area with no general access, Highland 
AMERICAN COOT 
On Sunday still at North Uist, Balranald RSPB, Western Isles
KILLDEER 
Still, at Sandwick, Mainland, Shetland

Goshawk Incinerated on the Queen's Estate!

Riddle of rare bird of prey incinerated on the Queen's estate: Police probe launched after young Goshawk dies in mysterious circumstances

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4216074/Bird-prey-incinerated-Queen-s-estate.html

UPDATE: 15th February:
http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/no_wrongdoing_over_death_of_rare_goshawk_on_queen_s_norfolk_estate_1_4891685

I do question why the bird was incinerated – why bother to dispose of the Goshawk if it had died naturally?!!! If no foul play was involved, why not send the entire bird and tag?!!! Surely they could afford the postage?!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4216074/Bird-prey-incinerated-Queen-s-estate.html

Monday, 13 February 2017

Stolen!

I had to take my car to the garage this morning, as the oil light warning came on. When I collected my Skoda at the end of the day after work, it was highlighted to me that my wheel nut caps were missing!!! The Skoda rep came out with me to look at the car and every single one on all four wheels has been stolen!!! I simply had no idea – if a few were missing I'm sure I would have noticed this, but being as every single one has been taken, it hadn't stood out to me at all. Fuming is an understatement! Ok, they are purely there for cosmetic reasons and don't affect the running of the car, but its the cheek of someone daring to take all of these right under my nose! I'm sure this must have been done under the cover of darkness, so I'm guessing someone has removed these as I have slept. Even more annoying is that my car is parked directly under my bedroom window – I can't believe I didn't hear any disturbance! No point in replacing them either, only to be stolen again.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Long-tailed Ducks x 9, Velvet Scoters x 2, Great Northern Diver, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Glaucous Gull at Burrell Way, Waxwing at Napier Place, Thetford
Black Redstart at East Quay at Wells
Great Grey Shrike at Brake Hill Farm, Swaffham
Shorelarks x 30 east of Holkham Gap at Holkham Bay
Glaucous Gulls x 4, Little Gull, Snow Buntings x 13 at North Beach, Winterton
Glaucous Gull in pig fields NE of Thornham Road at Ringstead
Snow Buntings x 10 at Thornham Point 
Glaucous Gulls x 2 flew east past Cley
Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Tundra Bean Geese x 6 by River Wensum NNE of Ringland
Great Grey Shrike, Smew redhead at Nar Valley Fisheries
Russian White-fronted Geese x 7 at Barningham Hall Lake, Matlaske
Black Redstart at Cavell Court, Cringleford, Waxwings x 7 on Reepham Road, Norwich
Hawfinches x 30 at Lynford Aboretum
Hooded Crow, Iceland Gull, Caspian Gull in pig fields south of
Mautby Lodge
Black-necked Grebe at St Andrews Broad, Thorpe Marshes

MEGA NEWS
BLUE ROCK THRUSH Male

In garden at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
PINE BUNTING Male
Near Intake Lane, Dunnington, 4.5 miles ENE of York, Yorkshire

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Weekend Update!

The weather has been pretty awful, with gloomy grey skies, bitter cold and not a hint of sunshine all weekend. I dipped on the Waxwings in Oasis Way, Hunstanton yesterday and that was my birding for the weekend! Spent Saturday evening with my Mother, who was in a very low mood – suffering with sinusitis and not slept for several days.

I was working all today until 5pm and then after a quick change at home, went to visit my Father. Arrived at the care home at 6pm and he had already been taken to bed. I went up to his room and he was fully awake. He was so pleased to see me and became very emotional – he was really sobbing for a while. It was heartbreaking. He said that he couldn't stand it much longer and that he had nothing else to live for and just wanted to get out of here. He was fed up with sitting in the chair and fed up of being in bed and in a very sad voice said that no one cared about him anymore.

I managed to calm him down and chatted about anything I could think of to interest him. It was much nicer being with him here, there was no interruptions, no noise, no nothing, just the two of us. I talked about Mother's and Lucy's birthdays – their presents and how old they were. Father was quite astounded when I said Lucy was now 49 and remarked that this made her nearly as old as me!!! I rambled on.......Lucy playing her violin in rehearsals, the bird news in Norfolk, the Siberian Accentor that has turned up in Scotland and maybe Norfolk still had a chance of one landing here, my job, the weather etc. I reminded him how much warmer it was here and how cold it was in Mother's house at Holme, just in case he thought it would be better to return home, which isn't possible anyway. His feet were cold, even with thick socks on, but no hot water bottles are allowed, so I put a blanket over his feet, underneath the duvet. He was settled when I left.

I had to go to my Mother's again this evening, as I had stupidly left my reading glasses there last night and struggled at work today with an old pair of glasses! The winds are switching south mid-week, so it hould be a little warmer for us all soon!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Black Redstart at East Quay at Wells
Glaucous Gull at Burrell Way, Waxwing at Napier Place, Thetford
Great Northern Diver, Velvet Scoters x 3, Purple Sandpiper off jet ski ramp at Hunstanton
Snow Buntings x 10, Twite x 50 at Thornham Point
Glaucous Gull on beach at Thornham
Glaucous Gull at Overstrand
Iceland Gull in pig fields south of Mautby Lodge
Glaucous Gull, Caspian Gull, Snow Buntings x 36 at North Beach, Winterton
Waxwings x 6 on Reepham Road, Norwich
Hen Harrier at Choseley Drying Barns
Black-necked Grebe at St Andrews Broad, Thorpe Marshes
Glaucous Gull on beach at Sheringham
Glaucous Gull flew east, Hen Harriers x 4 at Warham Greens
Hawfinches x 59 at Lynford Aboretum
Shorelarks x 30 east of Holkham Gap at Holkham Bay
Great Grey Shrike at Brake Hill Farm, Swaffham
Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl, Twite x 40 at Lynn Point
Great White Egret at Pentney Gravel Pits

MEGA NEWS
BLUE ROCK THRUSH Male
 
In garden at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire

Saturday, 11 February 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Snow Buntings x 50, Slavonian Grebe, Black-throated Diver at
Thornham Point
Black-necked Grebe at St Andrews Broad, Thorpe Marshes
Waxwing at Napier Place, Glaucous Gull, Caspian Gull at Burrell Way, Thetford
Shorelarks x 32 east of Holkham Gap at Holkham Bay
Mealy Redpoll from Tower Hide at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve
Waxwings x 6 by Tescos fuel station, Hunstanton
Glaucous Gull, Caspian Gull, Snow Buntings x 10 at Winterton
Great Grey Shrike reported in garden at Cockley Cley
Hooded Crow, Iceland Gull in pig fields south of Mautby Lodge
Glaucous Gull at Breydon Water
Long-tailed Ducks x 2, Velvet Scoters x 20, Snow Buntings x 62 on beach west of path, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Glaucous Gull, Spoonbill at Blakeney Freshmarsh
Black Redstart at East Quay, at Wells
Glaucous Gull east of Beach Road on Cricket Marsh at Cley NWT
Red-necked Grebe at Filby Broad
Hen Harrier at Rockland Broad
Russian White-fronted Geese x 10 at Welney WWT
Glaucous Gull east of beach access at Overstrand
Great Grey Shrike at Brake Hill Farm, Swaffham
Waxwings x 6 on Reepham Road, Norwich
Great White Egret on Freshmarsh, Black Brant at top end of Lady Anne's Drive, Holkham
Tundra Bean Geese x 6, Greylag Geese x 137 by River Wensum, Ringland
Hen Harriers x 4 at Warham Greens
Common Cranes x 18 between Repps and Ashby
Glaucous Gull at Hemsby
Hen Harrier at Clippesby
Hawfinches x 60 at Lynford Aboretum
Bittern at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB

MEGA NEWS
SIBERIAN ACCENTOR

In area with no general access (for 4th day), near Invergordon, Highland
BLUE ROCK THRUSH Male
In garden at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
NORTHERN HARRIER

North Ronaldsay, Orkney