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HOLME BIRD OBSERVATORY WINDOW APPEAL, PLEASE HELP! — £1,350.00 Raised So Far By 28th March!

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Spoonbills x 7, Spotted Redshanks x 6 at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbills x 8, Curlew Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper at Stiffkey Fen
Spoonbills x 4, Wood Sandpiper x 4, Spotted Redshanks x 3, Little Gulls x 4, Yellow-legged Gulls x 4, Continental Black-tailed Godwits x 2 at Cley NWT
Crossbills x 2 at Bacton
Wood Sandpipers x 6 at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
BOOTED EAGLE, unconfirmed report, dark morph 1.25 miles west of Edgefield + just SE  of Hunworth flew over hill a Pinkney Lane

RBA Weekly Round-up 24th-30th July

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2013no31.aspx?s_id=147904396

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Happy 30th Birthday to Cara!

Cara (one of my work collagues) was 30 today. We decorated the room, put up posters and banners and had one of our usual lunch parties, which involved lots of naughty food! Apologies to Gemma who I photoshopped out of this picture (took me nearly two hours last night to do). Gave this photo to Cara in a funky, glass frame from my one of my favourite shops: TK Maxx.
CARA at her birthday party last week.

HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY CARA!

The Rutland BIRD FAIR– 16 Days to Go!!!

So who is going to the Rutland Bird Fair this year?

I will be going on the Friday and Saturday and hope to bump into some of you whilst there. It's the 25th Anniversary this year, so should be an extra special event. Now, wouldn't it be cool if they had a birders' disco on the Saturday night – that would be huge fun!!! I might suggest this to Tim Appleton for future events! My imagination is running wild – with LGRE as the DJ – how cool would that be!!!!? They definately need to do this, would spice up the bird fair no end! Just tweeted this to Tim A. I can't see why this still can't go ahead this year, maybe after the "Bird Fair Effect" Chat Show Party which finishes at 8.30pm? I will post Tim's response here.

Buy your tickets on line here:
http://www.birdfair.org.uk/buy-tickets/

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Curlew Sandpipers x 2 at Breydon Water
Wood Sandpipers x 5, Little Gulls x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 3, Yellow-legged Gulls x 2, Spoonbills x 3 at Cley NWT, also yesterday evening at Cley: Garganey x 6, Yellow-legged Gulls x 6
EAGLE sp. unconfirmed at Kelling Heath
Spoonbills x 11, Garganey, Spotted Redshanks x 6, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Wood Sandpiper, Little Gull at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbills x 2 at Holme Dunes NWT
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL at Lynford Aboretum
Spoonbills x 11 at Stiffkey Fen

Monday, 29 July 2013

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Little Stint, Wood Sandpipers x 8, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
AVOCETS x 446 yesterday at Titchwell RSPB
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILLS x 2 at Lynford Aboretum
Spoonbills x 14, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint, Spotted Redshanks x 20, Little Gull at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbills x 8 at Stiffkey Fen
Garganey x 5, Wood Sandpipers x 6, Little Stint, Little Gulls x 3, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Cley NWT
Wood Sandpiper at Redwell Marsh NOA , Holme

Other News
MEGA! BRIDLED TERN remains on the Isle of May, Fife

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Dersingham Bog and Holme Reserves

I ventured out for a little while this morning and started off at Dersingham Bog to look for Crossbills, but didn't find any. It was so hot there I didn't walk too far to be honest.

Parked at Holme NOA carpark and walked straight across the dunes to sit and sea watch at high tide. Very few birds were seen: 5 Dunlin going west, a single fem. Eider sat on the sea, a few Sandwich Terns flying past and also some Swifts. The highlight was a Tortoiseshell butterfly in off the sea! Lots of holidaymakers, children and dogs charging around. The temperature sitting here was perfect, as there was a nice breeze. It would have been idyllic if all the people and dogs weren't here! The Firs Road is much improved to what it was, since it was repaired and its a much smoother ride now!

Visted my parents for a while before returning to King's Lynn to do a 6 hour shift. Watched 3 Pied Wagtails flitting about in the puddles after a thunderstorm at work in my break.

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Black Tern at Trimingham
Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Redshanks x 3, Little Gulls x 2, Spoonbills x 3 at Cley NWT
Pomarine Skua, Spoonbills x 12, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Little Stint, Garganey at Titchwell RSPB
BLACK SCOTER, possible still at Titchwell RSPB although distant
Golden Oriole – unconfirmed report at Cromer
Wood Sandpipers x 4, Little Stint at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
Southern Emerald Damselfly at Winterton
Spoonbill, Curlew Sandpiper at Stiffkey Fen
Black Tern at Lynn Point, King's Lynn
Spoonbill at Holme Dunes NWT
Common Cranes x 3 at Welney WWT

Other News
MEGA! MONGOLIAN SAND PLOVER remains in County Cork, Ireland

Titchwell RSPB News
Paul Eele, Warden at Titchwell RSPB reports on Birdforum that "the Autumn Trail running past the dead trees to the screen in the SE corner of the fresh marsh is now open. This will allow views over the lagoon with the sun behind you in the mornings. Now the big high tides have passed, the water levels are dropping again so there should be plenty of mud in the next few days to attract in the 'big one'... "

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Cley, Kelling and a Girly Night In!

Well today's post won't take long to write! Tossed and turned all last night, too hot, couldn't sleep and also worried about pain in my temple, after I bumped my head at work yesterday. Through lack of sleep, my plan of arriving at Kelling for dawn to look for the Two-barred Crossbill, went completely to pot! I arrived about 10am. The Two-barred Crossbill was seen at 6.10am by someone who had had a good night's sleep! It was a boiling hot, sunny day. Rain and thunder were forecast for late afternoon/evening. I chatted with Steve West, his friend Graham and several other people whilst waiting for the crossbill to show, but all I saw were goldfinches and greenfinches. Through my bins distantly, I could see what looked like a turtle dove sitting in a pine tree, which Graham confirmed for me when he scoped it. Someone else also saw a linnet in the tree – one bird in and one out! I saw Purple Hairstreak here, which Eddie found and also some stunning Silver-studded Blues, Gatekeepers and Graylings. I stayed here until around 2pm. The Two-barred Crossbill was sadly not seen again for the rest of the day, which was very frustrating for lots of people who had travelled great distances to see this bird. If one more person says 'well there's been plenty of time to see this bird during the week.......' SOME of have to go to work in the week and are too tired to go out in the evenings, funny that!

Re-located to Salthouse Beach Carpark and met up with Pete where we sat and ate our sandwiches and had a cup of tea. Eddie and Simon also joined us a bit later. The mist was rolling in and it felt really cold! Went to the Cley Deli and bought a massive section of the Pear and Ginger Cake to take to a friend's house this evening.

Parked at the bottom of Old Woman's Lane, Cley and walked to Dauke's Hide NWT. The fog was rolling in and visibility was poor, but still managed to see some nice birds including a Little-ringed Plover with the cutest chicks ever, 1 Whimbrel, 4 Summer Plumage Knot, 6 Dunlins, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpipers x 2, 1 Green Sandpiper, Redshanks, Ruff, Shelducks, Teal, Avocets, Pied Wagtails, loads of gulls, Black-tailed Godwits, Marsh Harriers.

Went back to Kelling Heath for one last attempt to see this Two-barred Crossbill – complete waste of time. The fog had rolled in as far as Kelling now, it must have been dense on the coast!

Drove to Syderstone and had a cracking evening of banter, laughter and wonderful food with Caraline, Hiliary and Helen. The pear and ginger cake went down a treat!

PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE ADDED

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
BLACK SCOTER or Aytypical Common Scoter at Titchwell RSPB
Black Tern, Wood Sandpiper, Crossbill x 2, Curlew Sandpiper x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 17, Spoonbills x 15, Crossbills x 7 at Titchwell RSPB
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL at Kelling Heath, by railway crossing at 6.10am only
Great White Egret at Long Stratton
Curlew Sandpiper at Breydon Water
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL at Salthouse House at 10.27am only
Spoonbills x 4, Continental Black-tailed Godwits x 4, Curlew Sandpipers x 3, Wood Sandpipers x 5, Yellow-legged Gulls x 3, Spotted Redshanks x 4, Little Gulls x 4 at Cley NWT
Southern Emerald Damselfly
Curlew Sandpipers x 10, Little Stint, Spotted Redshanks x 5, Arctic Skuas x 2 at Snettisham RSPB
Wood Sandpipers x 6 at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
Pectoral Sandpiper on North Scrape, Cley NWT (probably for 3rd day)

Other News
MEGA! MONGOLIAN SAND PLOVER at County Cork, Ireland
MEGA! SWINHOE'S PETROL, Fair Isle, Scotland

Friday, 26 July 2013

Norfolk Bird News etc!

Main Highlights – RBA
Great White Egret, Curlew Sandpiper at Breydon Water
Wood Sandpiper x 4, Little Stint x 2, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Gulls x 12, Spotted Redshank, Spoonbills x 7 at Cley NWT
Red-necked Grebe at Sheringham
Curlew Sandpipers x 4 at Snettisham RSPB
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL at Lynford Aboretum
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL at Kelling Heath by railway crossing
Curlew Sandpipers x 3, Spotted Redshanks x 3, Little Gulls x 4, Spoonbills x 12 at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbills x 7 at  Stiffkey Fen
Southern Emerald Damselfly at Winterton

Other News
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER remains at Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire
MEGA! BRIDLED TERN re-located to the Isle of May, Fife
Willow Emerald Damselflies x 3 at Trimley Marshes, Suffolk

WEATHER For Saturday –  SE with sunny start with thunder and rain later:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2652856

HIGH TIDE For Saturday: 10.13am and 7.8 metres (King's Lynn Docks)


In Remembrance of
Robin Abel who passed away this day last year

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Great White Egret at Breydon Water
Spoonbills x 8,  Curlew Sandpipers x 4, Spotted Redshanks x 6, Wood Sandpiper at Titchwell RSPB
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILLS x 2 at Lynford Aboretum
Great White Egret (probable) flew distantly past Coastguards at Cley
Spoonbills x 6, Wood Sandpipers x 4, Spotted Redshanks x 2, Yellow-legged Gulls x 2, Continental Black-tailed Godwits x 4 at Cley NWT
Little Gulls x 4 at Salthouse
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL at Holkham
Little Gulls x 3 at Hopton-on-Sea
Spoonbill at Cromer

Other News
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER at Frampton Marsh RSPB

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

RBA Weekly Round-Up 17th-23rd July

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2013no30.aspx?s_id=975480297

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL in garden at Cross Street, Salthouse briefly at 8.05am
Common Cranes x 3 at Welney WWT
Montagu's Harrier, Spoonbills x 7, Wood Sandpipers x 3, Little Stints x 2, Yellow-legged Gulls x 5, Continental Black-tailed Godwits x 5 at Cley NWT
Corncrake, possible at Walpole Highway in garden
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILLS x 4 at Lynford Aboretum
BOOTED EAGLE, possible dark morph 1 mile NW of Edgefied at 12.52pm
Curlew Sandpipers x 2 at Buckingham Marshes RSPB
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL at Kelling Heath by level crossing
Spoonbills x 9, Wood Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpipers x 6, Spotted Redshanks x 6, Velvet Scoter, Little Gull at Titchwell RSPB

Other News
WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, Montagu's Harrier at Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire
Willow Emerald Damselflies x 3 at Trimley Marshes, Suffolk
PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER at Burwell Fen, Cambridgeshire
MEGA! BRIDLED TERN remains on Inner Farne, Northumberland.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Norfolk Bird News etc!

Main Highlights – RBA
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILLS x 3 at Lynford Aboretum
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL at Kelling Heath (in garden by level crossing)
Spoonbill, Curlew Sandpiper, Wood Sandpipers x 2, Continental Black-tailed Godwits x 2, Little Gulls x 2 at Cley NWT
Little Gulls x 5 at Breydon Water
Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Wood Sandpiper, Black Tern juv. at Titchwell RSPB
Black Tern flew past Winterton

Other News
MEGA! BRIDLED TERN remains on Inner Farne, Northumberland.
Pectoral Sandpiper at Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk

There was a Monster thunderstorm early this morning, that woke me up at 4am and I remained awake throughout the thunder and lightening until I had to get up at 7am. I collapsed on the sofa this evening and had no energy to go birding or do anything really. Fell asleep with TV on and woke up at the moment where Kate and William emerged from the hospital with their new baby – how lovely! Video HERE

Monday, 22 July 2013

The Big Bunting and Little Owls!

I had full intentions of going to Lynford Aboretum this evening to see the Two-barred Crossbills, but I was so exhausted, I just didn't have the energy to drive over there after work. I decided to go and find my own and stay local. I went to Sandringham, main carpark and had a good look at all the larch trees, but found nothing at all. Billy R. arrived on site shortly after me, also looking for Two-barred Crossbills!

I decided to go and have a look for crossbills at Ringstead Downs NWT which has good numbers of larch trees. On route, I was driving along the minor road, that runs from Sedgeford to Ringstead when I noticed lots of birds on telegraph wires along a narrow, tarmac road off to my right. I spun the car round and parked in a pull-in area along the narrow road. Through my scope I could see yellowhammers and goldfinches, all lined up along the wires. Looking back to the road I had just pulled off, I realised that there was also a very large bunting sitting alone on a wire – this bird was silhouetted against the sun and because of the size I just presumed Corn Bunting. I walked underneath the telegraph wire to get the sun behind me in order to get a better view of the bird, which had a big bulky yellow bill. I was surprised that the bird remained on the wire after I walked underneath it, but it didn't budge! I can't really explain why, but this bird somehow seemed different, I mean –  it had to be a corn bunting, but it seemed bigger and well there was just something about it. After photographing the bunting, I studied the view finder to look at my shots and when I next looked up the bird was gone and I couldn't re-locate it, very frustrating. But when I posted the photos to someone later this evening, they confirmed that it was indeed a corn bunting, so sadly nothing more exciting! There was a massive field fire in the distance which I think must be have been near Docking and fire engines were on the scene – the smell of smoke filled the air. There was swathes of wild flowers and thistles along this road which should have been teaming with butterflies, but I only saw a Ringlet and a Gatekeeper.

I returned to the main road and on the way to Ringstead I had wonderful views of a Little Owl perched in a Beech Tree and also another flying across the road between Ringstead and Holme! The time had run out and it was now too late to walk to Ringstead Downs. Went to visit my parents for a while before returning home.

PICTURES TO BE ADDED

Kate gives birth to a baby boy!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23413653

Congratulations to William and Kate
on the birth of their Son!

Hottest Day for Seven Years!!!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23408504

I felt sick with the heat today at work,  unbearably hot!!!

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Spoonbill at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILLS x 4 at Lynford Aboretum
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL at Kelling by Pheasant Hotel at 9.10am
Spoonbills x 9, Little Gulls x 9, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Redshanks x 14 at Titchwell RSPB
BOOTED EAGLE (probable) Dark Morph just south of Holt over Holt Lowes 11.30-11.35am then drifted south and then again later 1 mile south of Edgefield drifted SE at 12.15pm and then again finally at 1.40pm 1 mile NW of Edgefield over Edgefield Tip and then drifted south and wasn't seen again.
Spoonbills x 6, Little Gulls x 4, Spotted Redshank at Cley NWT
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILLS x 2 reported yesterday at Kelling
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL at Kelling Heath by level crossing at 5.45pm and upto 7.10pm

Other News
Ferruginous Duck at Burwell, Cambridgeshire
MEGA! SWINHOE'S PETROL, Fair Isle at South Haven around Storm Petrol tape for 5 minutes early morning.
MEGA! FEA'S PETROL at Newbiggin by the Sea flew north past Church Point at 9.27am
BONELLI'S EAGLE, Probable at Walderslade, Kent
MEGA! BRIDLED TERN remains on Inner Farne, Northumberland.
MEGA! ROCK THRUSH remains in Aberdeen!!!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Birding at Cley!

I was woken up at 8.30am by a text. Now, after having 4.5 hours sleep I really should have sat and chilled ready for my afternoon shift. But that would be far too sensible! Flew in the shower and got out of the door pretty quick and headed to Cley. I wasn't going to miss out on any Two-barred Crossbill action that may occur this morning!

I arrived at Cley Deli and bought my usual scrumptious Pear and Ginger Cake and then went to Coastguards, arriving at just before 10.30am. Joined Mark G. and Graham E. who were sea-watching and had seen a Pom Skua and several Arctic Skuas. Lots of jovial banter going on, which was a good start to the morning! I watched 7 Gannets going east and a raft of approx. 15 Common Scoter. There was no sun out today and it was considerably cooler, which was really nice! I walked to the pill box and gazed at the fence posts, where the stunning male Two-barred Crossbill was found by Steve G. yesterday. I plodded through the shingle and yellow-horned poppies and walked almost up to North Hide and back to the carpark. A family of Avocets were dozing on the edge of the Eye Pool, but no other birds of note really.

Had a look round Walsey Hills NOA, but no Crossbills were found or anything else really. None of the feeders had seed in or on the bird table, so few birds around here.

Relocated to Salthouse, Gramborough Hill for the 1pm influx!!! One Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipit, 2 Goldfinches and several Sand Martins. I also had a juv. Little Gull flying east along the shoreline. A Grayling was posing on a large stone at the bottom of Gramborough Hill. Walked back to the car and felt absolutely wrecked. I just didn't know how I was going to drive home, never mind work a 6 hour shift.

I arrived home with 20 minutes to turn myself around for work. Powered through a crazy, crazy shift – tough 'ol Norfolk gal me!!!

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Spoonbills x 7, Arctic Skuas x 31, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpipers x 3, Little Gulls x 5 at Titchwell RSPB
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILLS Fem./Juv. x 3 with 30 Crossbills at Lynford Aboretum
Pomarine Skua, Arctic Skuas x 11 at Cley Coastguards
Spoonbills x 9 at Stiffkey

Other News
MEGA! BRIDLED TERN remains on Inner Farne, Northumberland.
MEGA! ROCK THRUSH remains in Aberdeen!!!

THREE, TWO-BARRED CROSSBILLS at Lynford Aboretum!!!

Two-barred Crossbill fem./juvs x 3. at Lynford Aboretum in Larch Trees in the main carpark!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Holkham Pines and Cara's 30th Birthday Party!

Today was a complete and utter disaster for me. But what an exciting day for others. I just knew something good would be found this afternoon. I rarely go out socialising, the last time I went out was our Christmas Party at work. Today was Cara's 30th Birthday Party and Cilla and Sarah were picking me up at 7.30pm. I got up very late today, exhausted from work and the heat. I had to go into town to the hairdressers and to get bits and bobs for the party tonight. I was still at home when Eddie phoned me whilst running, puffing and panting about John Furse finding a juv. Two-barred Crossbill at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse – Eddie didn't get there quick enough sadly. The pictures were on John's camera and they were brilliant. Why was I in King's Lynn? I spend so much time at Cley, why hadn't I been there this morning!!! Anyway the bird had flown off and John Furse was the only observer. I drove into town and on route I heard there was now another TBC, a male at Holme that Connor had found!!! As I was having my fringe cut in the hairdressers, there was now a voicemail message about a male Two-barred Crossbill showing brilliantly at Cley Coastguards sitting on the fence wire, posing and showing down to 10ft! I could have cried! S*d it, I needed to get over there. BUT as I left town, the traffic was grid locked and I mean at a complete standstill. I crawled, painstakingly in first gear all the way home, it must have taken half an hour at least. Threw birding gear in car and made my way along the A148. I then heard that the Cley bird had flown off and there was no more news on the Holme ones either. My heart sank. Plan B: find my own. If there were 4 Two-barred Crossbills at Holme and Cley there just had to be some at Holkham surely? So with the day disappearing fast and the fact that I had to be showered, hair washed and straightened and blinged up for a party by 7.30pm, I was getting stressed me big time. I decided to give Holkham a speedy search. I even broke my rules and paid Lord Coke £3.00 to park right at the top of Lady Anne's Drive.

I walked all through the pines, both along the main path and the seawards side of the pines. I searched hard and just couldn't believe I couldn't find any crossbills at all. The only birds I found were a single female blackbird, 1 marsh harrier and a family party of blackcaps. I was horrified by the disappearance of three Holm Oaks by the Salt Hole that hung over the water – it has visually opened up the pool, but I would have preferred the trees to have stayed. I looked at Burnham Overy Dunes and realised there were no time left to search here aswell. I speed walked back to my car and left.

I arrived home at 7.07pm. Cilla was picking me up at 7.30pm. It was the quickest I had ever got ready. There would be no straightened hair for the party. Sarah phoned me at 7.25pm to say they were here – arghhhh..... I only made them wait 10 minutes. With half wet, curly hair and no make-up, I flew out of the house. Cilla and Sarah were highly amused at me doing make-up and nails in the car on route to the party! I finished in time, just as we pulled into the carpark.

I drank vodka to blank out the rest of the day and tried to forgot about birds and how frustrating they can be. I boogied round the dance floor and had a fabulous time with work colleagues who all looked wonderful. It's great seeing everyone all dressed up and out of boring work attire. I took videos and lots of pretty pictures. The DJ played some hot tunes which kept everyone on the dance floor until the end. We left at 12.50am and got home around 1.30pm I think.

HOT 'BIRD' PICTURES TO BE ADDED!

STOP PRESS! Two-barred Crossbills at Holme in Norfolk!!!

Another 'possible' Two-barred Crossbill, juv. at Holme Dunes NWT found by Keiran Nixon in pines by the Firs House

Then a second Two-barred Crossbill, Male found by Connor Rand in the tall pine by the NOA Staff Carpark.

STOP PRESS! Two-barred Crossbills at Salthouse and Cley, Norfolk!!!

Two-barred Crossbill fem./juv. at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse AND Another Male at Cley Coastguards, Norfolk!!!

Just found by John Furse at 1pm and seen just enough to photograph it before it flew off west!!! BUT not re-located yet as of 1.32pm. Eddie, John and Pete S. looking for it now.

Then another male found by Steve Gantlett. at Cley Coastguards – see pictures from John Miller HERE and Steve Gantlett HERE and Julian Bhalerao HERE

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Crossbill, Spoonbills x 8, Little Stint, Little Gull at Titchwell RSPB
BLACK SCOTER or atypical Common Scoter remains at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbills x 5, Spotted Redshanks x 3, Wood Sandpiper, Arctic Terns x 9, Continental Black-tailed Godwits x 2 at Cley NWT
Little Gull at Breydon Water
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL fem/juv at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse at 1pm and then flew off, found by J.F.
Three Common Cranes, Welney WWT
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL 'possible' at Holme Dunes NWT
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL, Male at Cley Beach Carpark at 2.19pm-3.01pm
BALTIC GULL, probable at Cley NWT on North Scrape, then flew south
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL, Male and fem/juv. flew over East Bank, Holme NOA at 3pm

Other News
MEGA! BRIDLED TERN remains on Inner Farne, Northumberland.
MEGA! ROCK THRUSH remains in Aberdeen!!!


TWO-BARRED CROSSBILLS – one found at Spurn Point, Yorkshire and also two at Havergate Island, Suffolk

Friday, 19 July 2013

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Spoonbills x 14, Wood Sandpipers x 3, Spotted Redshank, Continental Black-tailed Godwits x 7, Little Gulls x 3, Yellow-legged Gulls x 2, Arctic Terns x 2 at Cley NWT
Spoonbills x 11, Little Stint, Little Gulls x 4 at Titchwell RSPB
RED-FOOTED FALCON Fem. probable, flew east over campsite, Stiffkey at 2.55pm
Arctic Skuas x 3 at Hopton-on-Sea
MEGA – BLACK SCOTER or atypical Common Scoter 1s drake remains at Titchwell RSPB

Other News
MEGA! MONGOLIAN SAND PLOVER, Male on Tuesday at Lossiemouth on East Beach – Moray – but no sign since.
MEGA! BRIDLED TERN remains on Inner Farne, Northumberland.
MEGA! ROCK THRUSH remains in Aberdeen!!!

MEGA! ELEONORA'S FALCON unconfirmed report of Eleonora's Falcon at Abberton Reservoir from Layer Breton Causeway at 8.45am but no further sign

High Tides for Saturday: King's Lynn Docks 4.35 and in the afternoon 17.09

MEGA!! MONGOLIAN SAND PLOVER!!!

Mongolian Sand Plover, Male on Tuesday
at Lossiemouth on East Beach – Moray – but no sign since.


Picture HERE and discussion HERE and entry on the "Birds in Moray and Nairn" website HERE

Holme Bird Observatory Moth Day!

SATURDAY 20th July – 10am Start
and the Firs Road has been re-furbished!!!!!


See information HERE

Thursday, 18 July 2013

MEGA!!! ROCK THRUSH in Aberdeen!!!

ROCK THRUSH in Aberdeen, female, 1 mile east of St Fergus at Scotston, in field 275 yards south of carpark then flew to bushes at 9.25pm. Found by Margaret Cowie who also found/saw the Frigatebird at Peterhead!!!

Information and pictures HERE

MEGA!!! BLACK SCOTER at Titchwell RSPB!!!

MEGA – BLACK SCOTER or atypical Common Scoter 1s drake at Titchwell RSPB

At work I had three text messages from birders saying there was a BLACK SCOTER at Titchwell. The girls at work were amused by my frustration of having to wait until the end of the day to go and see this first for Norfolk! I was out of work dead on time! Flew home on cycle. After working in intense heat all day, I was on fire - jumped in shower before going to Titchwell. Because of this I didn't leave the house as quickly as I had intended and also received messages from friends saying that the ID of this bird was not definate and I was advised not to break my neck to get there!

When I arrived at Titchwell there was nobody there but Paul W. standing on the beach. I was shocked, as I had expected tons of people here. But they had already been and gone I heard. Saw bird through my scope distantly. Dick Filby and Will Soar arrived shortly after me and we walked to the sea to get closer views which we did, but bird still very distant. Every so often it would dive and then jump quite high out of the water flapping its wings before settling down again. Through my scope I could see yellow on the bill when it faced you, but none when it was side on. Bird needs to be loads closer – maybe it will be tomorrow whilst I am at work! Dick and Will left about 8pm when it was making its way west. I stayed until 8.30pm watching it make its way back east and was directly in front of me, but again very distant where I left it at 8.30pm. I was the only person here when I left.

Walking back a Spoonbill flew west over the main path, another one distantly on fresh marsh along with 2 little egrets, tons of avocets and the usual birds – very tired, so no energy to list them all.

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Spotted Redshanks x 14, Spoonbills x 8, Arctic Skua, Continental Black-tailed Godwits x 5 at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbills x 4, Continental Black-tailed Godwits x 3, Woodsandpiper x 2, Yellow-legged Gulls x 3, Spotted Redshanks x 3, Arctic Tern at Cley NWT
Spoonbills x 3 at Blakeney
Spoonbills x 2 at Stiffkey
MEGA – BLACK SCOTER or atypical Common Scoter 1s drake at Titchwell RSPB

Other News
MEGA! BRIDLED TERN remains on Inner Farne, Northumberland.
MEGA! ROCK THRUSH in Aberdeen!!! 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

How to sleep in Hot Weather!

Some very useful tips here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19319499

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Spoonbills x 16, Spotted Redshanks x 4, Little Gulls x 5, Arctic Skua, Crossbills x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbills x 9 at Stiffkey
Spoonbills x 3, Little Gulls x 4, Woodsandpipers x 4, Spotted Redshanks x 5, Continental Black-tailed Godwits x 3, Garganey, Yellow-legged Gulls x 4, Short-eared Owl at Cley NWT
Clouded Yellow Butterfly at Blakeney Point NT
Crossbills x 2 at Thornham

Other News
MEGA! BRIDLED TERN remains on Inner Farne, Northumberland.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 10th-16th July

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2013no29.aspx?s_id=815002304

MAG mentions: "Britain’s first-ever Semipalmated Sandpiper was found on Arnold’s Marsh, at Cley, by long-time Holme warden Peter Clarke 60 years ago to the day, on July 19th 1953 (a further 267 ~ to the end of 2011 ~ have followed, tho’ Norfolk has managed just three more). "

Video: Report from Bawsey Pits following double death tragedy - News - Eastern Daily Press

Video: Report from Bawsey Pits following double death tragedy - News - Eastern Daily Press

Heart breakingly two people have died in separate incidents at Bawsey Pits last night and STILL people are swimming there today – unbelievable!!! What don't they understand!!!

I just watched the report on the news and I had no idea that this place was being used by party goers all weekend!!! It was a nature reserve the last time I visited!!!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-23338340

http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/uk_national_news/10553527.Warning_as_two_drown_at_beauty_spot/?ref=rss

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A very sick, cruel man!

Be warned before you open this, it will turn your stomach.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-23327740

This makes me feel sick – there are some people who are just simply not human – I just don't understand how on earth someone could do this to a living creature! Only banned for five years - are they serious?

Breaking news: Emergency services search for two men at Norfolk beauty spot - News - Eastern Daily Press

Breaking news: Emergency services search for two men at Norfolk beauty spot - News - Eastern Daily Press
I don't understand why people even attempt to swim at Bawsey Pits, its quick sand/mud - there are signs up warning of the dangers, not safe for people at all. I read somewhere on the net recently that its being increasingly used by people having picnics who leave tons of rubbish and cans behind and other crap (literally) and the whole place is run down. It's supposed to be for enjoying the wildlife, its not Hunstanton!!!!

Beaver Spotted in Devon!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-23332669?post_id=1382479134_10201653577326208

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Spoonbills x 5, Wood Sandpiper at Cley NWT
Spoonbills x 13, Spotted Redshanks x 4, Little Gulls x 5 at Titchwell RSPB
Med. Gulls x 24 at Holkham Park
Spotted Redshanks x 6 at Broadwater, Holme Bird Observatory

Other News
MEGA! BRIDLED TERN remains on Inner Farne, Northumberland and latest info HERE
Wood Sandpipers x 4 at Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire
Black Kite, possible at RAF Wittering circled over then drifted west

Monday, 15 July 2013

89-year-old World War II veteran honoured for work at Titchwell reserve - Environment - Eastern Daily Press

89-year-old World War II veteran honoured for work at Titchwell reserve - Environment - Eastern Daily Press

£1m plan to conserve Cley marshland takes firm step forward - Environment - Eastern Daily Press

£1m plan to conserve Cley marshland takes firm step forward - Environment - Eastern Daily Press

Two Eagle Owls & Two Parrots in King's Lynn!

As I informed the EDP, there are in fact two Eagle Owls on the loose in King's Lynn and apparently the owner of both birds has not been able to catch them. See the following links for the latest news on them!
• http://www.lynnnews.co.uk/news/local/latest-local-news/eagle-owl-still-on-the-loose-in-king-s-lynn-causing-some-fear-among-pet-owners-1-5270007
• http://www.klfm967.co.uk/news/klfm-news/1020038/two-owners-of-lost-eagle-owls-come-forward/
• http://www.klfm967.co.uk/news/klfm-news/1019159/owner-of-kings-lynns-eagle-owl-reveals-it-escaped-eight-weeks-ago/
• http://www.kingslynnonline.com/2013/06/owl-on-the-prowl-in-kings-lynn

Also two parrots described as green with red heads, were seen this morning in the play area next to Fairstead Primary School at 8.30am
• http://www.lynnnews.co.uk/news/local/two-parrots-loose-in-king-s-lynn-1-5268861

MEGA! Possible TRUMPETER FINCH!!!

TRUMPETER FINCH reported, Middleton-on-Sea, on seafront, but no sign this evening.

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Great White Egret at Breydon Water
Red-backed Shrike at Burgh Castle
Spoonbills x 9, Little Gulls x 7, Spotted Redshanks x 7 at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbills x 4, Arctic Skua, Med. Gull x 2, Little Gull at Cley NWT
Little Gulls x 2 at Salthouse
Little Gull, Med. Gull x 15 at Hopton-on-Sea

Other News
MEGA! BRIDLED TERN remains on Inner Farne, Northumberland and latest info HERE
MEGA! Possible TRUMPETER FINCH reported Middleton-on-Sea on seafront, but no sign this evening

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Sunday – a day of rest?

It was so unbelievably hot at work this morning, it was unreal. So glad I didn't have a double shift today – finished at 1pm. Grabbed a vegetable samosa and a cornetto from my local shop, whizzed home and went straight outside to start the mammoth task of cutting the hedges with my shears. I do have a hedge trimmer but its a re-chargeable one and its heavy. I have what seems is a permanently painful left shoulder, arm and wrist that is constantly in pain and it was even worse by the time I finished, even with having taken voltarol. I have never left it so late in cutting the hedges, its the first time I have cut them this year! It was hot work, but got it done eventually. It takes just as long to sweep all the cuttings up! Continued to weed the front garden and stopped at 6.30pm. Had a shower and washed my hair. Hung some washing up. Nipped to garage shop to buy some urgent food items and then sat down for half an hour. Got work gear ready. Started to write blog. Funny old rest day!

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Arctic Skuas x 2 at Hemsby
Spoonbills x 8 at Brancaster
Hen Harrier at Burgh Castle
Crossbills x 18 at Brundall
Roseate Tern flew east over 'Little Eye' at Salthouse
Spoonbills x 9, Little Gulls x 5, Spotted Redshanks x 15 at Titchwell RSPB
Med. Gulls x 53 at the Lifeboat Station, Wells

Other News
MEGA! BRIDLED TERN remains on Inner Farne, Northumberland

See write-up and more pictures taken this weekend of the Bridled Tern HERE!!!

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Very Hot Birding at Cley!!!

Hot, sticky weather all day, but cool sitting on the shingle ridge at the end of East Bank, Cley!

Cley, East Bank
Arrived at Cley fairly early and got the last parking space in the carpark. It was a beautiful, sunny day and it was already, very warm. I counted 8 Spoonbills chilling on 'The Serpentine' adjacent to the East Bank – some were asleep and some were preening. Common Terns were fishing on 'Arnold's'. At the end of the East Bank I also decided to chill and sat down on the high shingle path and sat and watched the sea crashing onto the shingle. It was beautiful here, warm and with the sea breeze in my hair I felt very relaxed – a good place to be. I watched a constant stream of Sandwich Terns, Little Terns and Common Terns flying west and east and fishing just in front of me, what more could you ask for? Well a Bridled Tern would be good, but that's decided to stay in the north – silly bird! I sat here from 9.30am to 12pm. I saw a Golden Plover west, several Cormorants, 15 Dunlin west, 5 Curlew West, 2 Eider east. Enjoyed my breakfast of ginger and marmelade sandwiches. Eddie came and joined me and pointed out a dark phase Arctic Skua flying west at 10.40am, fairly close in which was very nice. Eddie then left to get a coffee fix. I walked back along the East Bank alone and watched 7 juv. Bearded Tits swaying on the reed stems, also 2 Little Egrets and 2 Reed Buntings were seen. 7 of the 8 Spoonbills remained on The Serpentine and also some other birders pointed out a Yellow Wagtail at 12.30pm, flicking about on the water's edge.

Lunch and the Church Fete!
I hadn't bought any lunch with me today, fed up with making sandwiches daily, so decided to have lunch at the Cley NWT Visitor Centre. The prices have gone up, but I do like their new choice of Houmous toastie with salad. It was nice to sit here in the cool and delayed leaving, as I didn't want to roast outside! Jovial banter with Pat before I left! Mr Furse made a grand entrance in his summer attire and informed me that he was going to the Cley Church Fete and then onto Holt Country Park to look for Silver-washed Fritillaries, which is exactly what I had planned to do, so we teamed up. I went to the church fete last year, but there were tons more people there this year. This may have had something to do with the fact that Anneka Rice was there to judge a fancy dog show. John bought some cake, I was very good and bought only a card for a friend. Rummaged through the bird books with Richard M., but didn't find anything I wanted. Richard Porter, Trever and Gill and a few other birders there. I didn't see Anneka Rice, maybe she was chilling in someone's house with tea and scones! It was a really good fete, if you like that sort of thing – there was a band playing, all sorts of games to participate in, home-made cake stall, plant stall, bric-a-brac etc etc. The artworks and photographs in the church were fascinating and there were cream teas and more tempting cakes to buy. Musicians also playing! They must have made a good bit of money for the church funds, it was jam packed! Escaped the crowds and left.

Holt Country Park
John parked in a secret free place! I parked in the carpark and had to pay £1.50 – its gone up from a £1!!! Don't even think of not getting a ticket for your car, as John and I saw TWO carparking attendants arrive to check the cars whilst we were there!

We checked out the first ride (the first one on your left as your drive along the track to the carpark) and found a very crisp White Admiral, but no fritillaries showing. Walked to the pond where we saw an Emperor Dragonfly and several damselflies, but again no sign of fritillaries. A frog posed for my camera, which another birder pointed out in the grass. Back at the first ride we looked in, we were very pleased to find, not only one, but three Silver-washed Fritillaries – they really are special butterflies! John left and I stayed on to take lots of pictures of butterflies with my macro lens. I wanted to go to Holt Lowes to look for black-tailed skimmers, but with the risk of adders around and open toed sandals, I decided this was not a sensible idea! Walked back to the car and had my tea which was a fruit salad I had made.

Daukes Hide, Cley NWT
I can't remember the last time I had sat in this hide – it was lovely to be here. The light this evening was stunning and there was a good mix of birds on the pools. I wasn't in the mood for counting, but I would estimate 300+ Black-tailed Godwits. Loads of Avocets, Shelducks, Redshanks, Ruffs, a single Spotted Redshank, a few Dunlin, Little Egrets, Black-headed Gulls, Herring Gulls, Great Black-backed Gulls and also 1 1s Little Gull flying around. 3 Marsh Harriers including one passing food to another. Ringed Plover with juvs., Common Terns, Grey Heron, Pied Wagtails etc! Also lots of Sand Martins skimming through later on. I reluctantly left at 9pm.

PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE ADDED

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Osprey at Breydon Water
Spoonbills x 8 on the Serpentine, East Bank, Cley
Spoonbilss x 9 at Brancaster
Meditterranean Gulls x 21 at Holkham
Little Gull at Breydon Water
Little Gull at Cley NWT

Other News
MEGA! BRIDLED TERN back on the Inner Farne, Northumberland!!!

Festival Too Finale!!!!

Tonight in the Tuesday Market Place, King's Lynn. Headline Act: BLUE!!!!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, 12 July 2013

Norfolk Bird News etc!

Main Highlights – RBA
Osprey at Hardley Flood
Spoonbills x 7 at Brancaster
Spoonbills x 10, Spotted Redshanks x 17, Little Gulls x 4, Velvet Scoter at Titchwell RSPB
Little Gull at Great Yarmouth
Med. Gulls x 15 at Holkham Park between lake and cricket pitch
Arctic Tern at Wells Harbour
Honey Buzzard at Swanton Novers

Other News
Leucistic Sand Martin at Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk
Swift with no tail at Cley!

James at work reported seeing the Eagle Owl in Suffield Way, King's Lynn on Wednesday.

Its about time that BRIDLED TERN made an appearance! I didn't go looking for it this evening, too tired. Tomorrow though, I will be. Dawn start I think before it gets too hot. Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

High Tide: King's Lynn 9.08am
Weather: HOT, HOT, HOT!! 23° or if you're old skool: 73 F!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Titchwell RSPB

Cycled home from work. Boiling hot and blue skies all day in King's Lynn. Got changed, drove to Choseley Barns where I sat and ate fish 'n' chips for my tea – lovely! Only saw greenfinches, goldfinches, yellowhammers and a few swallows on the wires. The weather was totally different here, cloudy, no sun and really cold, like seriously cold. Arriving at Titchwell I just could not believe the difference in the weather, it was so cold, I wish I had bought my coat and gloves with me. Loads of Black-tailed Godwits, Avocets, Knot, Spotted Redshanks, Ruff, Dunlin, Little Egrets etc etc. Whilst chatting to Mark and Tracy Bradbury a large adult Med. Gull dropped in. No sign of any interesting terns though! I was hoping to see Bridled and Caspian Tern together, hey ho!

Visited my parents before going home.

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Manx Shearwaters x 8, Artic Skuas x 11, Spoonbills x 6, Black-tailed Continental Godwits x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 3, Yellow-legged Gulls x 4 at Cley NWT
Spoonbills x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 15, Little Gulls x 6 at Titchwell RSPB
CASPIAN TERN flew NW past Walcott at 1.35pm
Crossbill at Norwich
Hoopoe at Stow Bardolph (on Monday and Tuesday)
Crossbills x 2 at Honing Lock

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

RBA Weekly Round-Up 3rd-9th July

ASCENSION FRIGATE BIRD IS THE HEADLINE ACT!
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2013no28.aspx?s_id=618148618

Owl on earth did that get there- Eagle Owl takes up residence in King’s Lynn churchyard - Environment - Eastern Daily Press

Owl on earth did that get there- Eagle Owl takes up residence in King’s Lynn churchyard - Environment - Eastern Daily Press

This bird looks much younger and is a different to the one I photographed on the 28th May – see my post and pictures HERE

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Little Gull, Spoonbills x 6 at Cley NWT
CASPIAN TERN flew north past Hopton-on-Sea at 12.10pm
Little Gulls x 3 at Breydon Water
Spoonbill, Spotted Redshanks x 17, Little Gulls x 5 at Titchwell RSPB
Montagu's Harrier at Blofield

Other News
BRIDLED TERN flew south past Flamborough Head at 11.15am!!!

STOP PRESS!!! ASCENSION FRIGATE BIRD – unconfirmed report yesterday 17 miles NNW of Campbeltown at Rhunahaorine Point on beach just south of Point Sands Caravan Park at 7pm

MEGA! BRIDLED TERN NOW HEADING SOUTH!!!

BRIDLED TERN flew south past Flamborough Head at 11.15am!!!
Seen on this morning's seawatch – record documented HERE

Keep going – all the way to Norfolk please! Eyes to the skies!!!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Spoonbills x 11, Little Stint at Cley NWT
Little Gulls x 2 at Breydon Water
Spoonbill, Spotted Redshanks x 7, Little Gulls x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbills x 2 Burnham Overy Staithe
Spoonbills x 2 at Redwell Marsh Reserve, NOA (Note: hide is locked, for NOA members only)

Other News
BRIDLED TERN remains in Northumberland, off Croquet Island from Boat Trip

The Eagle Owl is still around in King's Lynn, see latest comments on my post HERE

Monday, 8 July 2013

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Spotted Redshanks x 12, Little Gull, Spoonbill at Titchwell RSPB
Little Gulls x 2 at Breydon Water
Spoonbills x 5, Black Tern, Little Gull, Continental Black-tailed Godwit at Cley NWT

Other News
BRIDLED TERN remains in Northumberland at Chevington NWT (about time you started flying south I think Mr Tern and when you do don't forget to stop in Norfolk!!!)

BBC News reports on the
MEGA Ascension Frigatebird

Also another account and picture HERE

Blimey No. 26 in the Birding Top 1000 Fatbirder ratings, climbing steadily to steal Birdforum's No. 1 spot!!! Ha Ha!

Titchwell RSPB

Sunday Evening
Worked this morning, which wasn't in the least bit funny in this heatwave. Got home, cleaned bike up, as I now have to cycle to work every day  – can't take the car any more as new rules have been implemented – if you live within two miles of the hospital you can not park at 'Peak Times'. This is because of the dire car parking situation at the hospital. I don't like being told how I am going to travel to work!

Watched the most exciting Wimbledon Final since Virginia Wade won in 1977 – showing  my age now! I can remember my mother, sisters and I jumping up and down and screaming with excitement when she won that final! Had a shower, cooked my tea and then left to go birding in celebration of Andy's win!

Titchwell RSPB – Island Hide 8.00-9.30pm
It was a beautiful evening and there were tons of birds on the scrapes. 1 Spoonbill, 6 Spotted Redshanks, 3 Little Gulls, 280+ Black-tailed Godwits, loads of Knot, a few Ruffs, Avocets with chicks, Common Terns with 3 teenage chicks, Redshanks, Shelducks, Lapwings, Little Egrets, Pied Wagtail and juvs, Starlings etc. The Spoonbill flew over the main path in the setting sun towards Thornham at 9.30pm.

PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE ADDED

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Norfolk Birding!

Main Highlights – RBA
Spoonbills x 7 at Cley NWT
Spoonbill at Titchwell RSPB
Arctic Tern, Spotted Redshank at Breydon Water
Honey Buzzard at Swanton Novers

Other News
BRIDLED TERN remains in Northumberland at Cresswell Pond and Chevington NWT


BIGGER NEWS
ANDY MURRAY HAS WON WIMBLEDON!!!!!

ANDY MURRAY HAS WON!!!!

OMG!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/23217393

"Andy Murray won his first Wimbledon title and ended Britain's 77-year wait for a men's champion with a brilliant victory over world number one Novak Djokovic."

Saturday, 6 July 2013

THE BIG TWITCH!!!

BRIDLED TERN, Northumberland
with Andy Wilkinson and Justin Lansdell


On Friday evening Andy asked me if I wanted to twitch the Bridled Tern and I found myself saying yes – well, eventually! I had thought seriously about that Ascension Frigatebird too, but the logistics of getting to Islay, the cost, time and high risk of not seeing the bird, seemed impossible. Even Eddie was tempted, who 'needed it for his world list'. But in the end common sense took over and I opted for the Bridled Tern!

Every twitch I have been on with Andy and Justin is always guaranteed to be hugely entertaining. All of us have fascinating conversations and they both make me roar with laughter. So whatever happens, their company is always excellent. Every bird I have twitched with them has been bagged and I have become used to this and it has become expected. I have never thought for a moment that we wouldn't see a bird we were twitching, the thought has never entered my head!

After phoning Andy back at around 10.45pm to confirm I was going, I left the house to get cash and snacks from the garage. I then had a shower, washed hair, made sandwiches, got birding and camera gear ready by door and had no time left for even a minutes nap! Andy left his house at 12am, got to Justin's at 1am and then picked me up (Justin driving), just after 2am Saturday morning. Justin was currently on holiday with his family and was not exactly supposed to be twitching, luckily he has a very understanding wife! We made good time and stopped at a MacDonalds near our destination for a take away breakfast – I had egg and cheese in a bun, which was really nice. The sunrise was really beautiful with an unsually bright red sun and it just looked like it was going to be a scorcher today.

We arrived at Cresswell Pond at 6.20am. We parked up on the verge, along the narrow road. To our left was Cresswell Pond, which is a large brackish lagoon and on the opposite side of the road are dunes and the sea. Well this all looked very easy and relaxed – pull up and wait for bird to appear over the pond! So we waited and we waited. Nice to bump into Rob Lambert here and also Coventry birder John Jennings. We ate, dozed and we waited. Birds seen here were: 11 Little Gulls, 3 Arctic Terns, Common Terns, Linnets, Herons, 3 Dunlins, 2 Avocets, Barn Owl, Curlew x 4. Even though it was very beautiful here, we got a bit bored in the end and decided to follow the short path opposite the pond out to the dunes to have a look at the sea. It was absolutely fabulous to be watching Puffins, loads of them dotted all over the sea! Also saw 3 Arctic Skuas, Common Terns, 3 Eider, Guillemot, Red-throated Diver, loads of Common Scoter. Also Goldfinches flying over and 2 Tree Sparrows! Coquet Island is visible from here and there was talk of the Bridled Tern possibly roosting there at night. Norfolk birders Ian B. and Richard were also here and lots of birding stories were told whilst we stood here to keep us entertained. Andy flagged after a while and collapsed in the dunes for a nap (see picture).

Suddenly we were running – news of the bird over the pond had come through. But, on reaching the pond, we found the news was inaccurate and it was actually at another pond, further along the road or so we were led to believe, so we all flew up the road to find absolutely nothing. No one knew where that message came from or if the tern had actually been seen or not, but it kept us on our toes! We decided to carry on up the road a few miles away to Chevington NWT to have a look at the pools there. Arctic and Common Terns and also a Lesser Whitethroat and female Marsh Harrier were seen, but nothing else of note. It was incredibly hot now and there was no shade. We returned to Cresswell Pool and re-parked the car, back where we had started. We all had a nap in the car at different stages! 2 Ruddy Shelducks flew south over the pond, an adult Summer. plumage Med Gull flew over the dunes and a Little Grebe and Common Buzzard were added to the day list.

At 12.52am a message came through on the pager to say 'MEGA, Cleveland, Bridled Tern Ad Saltholme RSPB on island from visitor centre at 12.52pm'. We were off, with every other car in convoy! As Justin said, at least it was south and on our way back to Norfolk. We drove like the wind and I waved at a few people we knew, as Justin overtook them!!! Our hearts sank, as the traffic very suddenly came to a complete standstill. We didn't know what was going on, but we crawled along for what seemed like ages. Another pager message came through that the bird was still there at 1.45pm. A further message stated that the bird was still there at 2.07pm as we drove along the track to the carpark. All of us were excited and we felt like we were going to see this bird, we were there and so close. Abandoned the car in the carpark at 2.10pm as did other birders and I ran, as did others, along the path, through the visitor centre, left and onto a viewing platform that overlooked the island. Everything then seemed a blur and all the voices with those words 'its flown' 'was mobbed ferociously by the common terns' just seemed unreal, we slumped into disappointment and despair! How could we have missed it by so few minutes. It later turned out that the 2.07pm pager message was 'erroneous' and that the bird was last seen at 1.50pm and flew NE over the A178 towards Tees Estuary. So we had missed it by 20 minutes! We obviously hoped that the bird would return and we stood with approximately another 100+ birders to wait. We had fantastic views of an Adult Roseate Tern sitting on posts with Common Tern and Arctic Terns at 3.30pm. It turned out that the Roseate Tern WAS in fact bird of the day! Loads of Sand Martins here. Because of the rush from the car earlier, I had forgotten to bring my scarf with me and I really started to suffer with heat stroke, as did Andy and Justin. We were completely exposed to the sun where we stood and it was the hottest time of the day. All of us dared to leave this spot to go into the Visitor Centre to loos and the cafe. Justin returned with a scrumptious looking cheese scone with butter. It was too tempting and in the end I succumbed and off I went to the cafe, but I was moments too late, the last cheese scone had just been sold, so I had to make do with a cherry scone which although nice, was not quite the same. On my return Richard (Norfolk birder) declared with a smile, that he had bought the last cheese scone, great! Lots of birders here including Neil Glen, Rob Lambert again along with John Jennings etc.  The longer we stood here the more we realised this bird was not coming back. We just had to face the fact that we had dipped, big time! On a separate note, I was very impressed with this reserve and the layout of the huge visitor centre with the cafe upstairs on another level and a viewing point/veranda adjacent to the cafe and all the staff seemed very helpful. Sheer exhaustion and heat got the better of us and we decided to leave and head back to Norfolk. As we walked back to the visitor centre I passed John Jennings, who said 'I know..... don't say anything' – his face said it all (see his account of the day HERE). Back in the carpark the car was so hot you could have cooked burgers in there! We set off at 5.20pm and Justin said if the bird returned in the next half an hour we would head back.

As we cruised home a message came on the pager that at 6.34pm the Bridled Tern was seen again, but not at Saltholme! It had flown back north to Chevington NWT where we had been this morning – arghhhhhhh!!!!!! Bl**dy bird, my god how frustrating was that!!! I expected it to turn up again somewhere this evening, it was always going to! We had wonderful views of a Red Kite alongside the car, north of Wetherby Race Course along the A1. We stopped at Burger King on route and had a healthy tea of more burgers and chips and then continued home. Justin and Andy dropped me off at just after 9pm. I stumbled into the house and sorted my gear. It felt heaven to get in the shower after the intense heat today. Goodness knows what time Justin got back to his holiday cottage in Suffolk!!! I wrote one sentence on my blog: 'heatstroke, shower, bed, work in morning, blog write up on Sunday.' Got into bed by 10.15pm.

Huge thanks to Justin for driving and for both Andy and Justin's excellent company as always. Our record of seeing all rares twitched together has been broken – I suppose it had to happen one day! Looking forward to the next twitch with them, although it won't be for the Bridled Tern again, I will wait until it arrives in Norfolk! I later heard that several people have been a second time and a third in attempt to see this magnificant tern and frustratingly dipped every time. We heard far worse stories than ours! The title of this post should really be changed to "THE BIG DIP"!!! So, I dipped on a Bridled Tern and a cheese scone, oh well!

PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE ADDED

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA

Spoonbills x 5, Spotted Redshanks x 6, Little Gull at Cley NWT
Spoonbill, Crossbill, Spotted Redshanks x 15 at Titchwell RSPB
Black Tern at Horsey

Other News
Honey Buzzard at Ouse Fen, Cambridgeshire

MEGA! BRIDLED TERN! again today, but at Saltholme Reserve RSPB, from Visitor Centre at 12.52pm for less than 18 minutes and then not seen again until 6.40pm where it was found having flown north to Chevington NWT and then again at 8.25pm briefly.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Andy Murray wins Wimbledon Semi-Final!!!

A thrilling match, can't wait until Sunday for the final!!!

STOP PRESS!!! MEGA, 'FRIGGAN' MONSTER BIRD!!! ASCENSION FRIGATEBIRD!!!

ASCENSION FRIGATEBIRD Juv. 

ISLAY at Bowmore on Pier, SCOTLAND OMG!!!
Seen at 8.25am on the Pier wall, then in flight at 8.43am and last seen at 9am!

Latest pager message - 4pm Islay c2mls north of Bowmore flew over Carnain

ACCOUNT, PICTURE and finder HERE!!! Found by Jim Sim and his family from Renfrewshire – Congratulations!!! Wow!!!

Pictures HERE and HERE

http://blog.islayinfo.com/article.php/ascension-frigatebird-on-islay 

The picture of the bird on the wall is so unbelievable, it looks like a giant stuffed toy!!! Second for UK, last one in 1953!!! Bl**dy H*ll!!!!!

Discussion HERE

No words can describe the birds that are turning up over the last two weeks - just jaw dropping!!!

STOP PRESS!!! MEGA!!! Unconfirmed Report of a GREAT BLACK-HEADED GULL!!!

GREAT BLACK-HEADED GULL at Titchwell RSPB
Unconfirmed report – seen from Island Hide, Titchwell last night at 7pm. Information HERE

Last sighting in UK according to RBA Previous Records was "May to Jun 1859 - Exmouth, Devon"

MEGA Norfolk Bird News!!!

Main Highlights – RBA
MEGA GREAT BLACK-HEADED GULL!!! – unconfirmed report at Titchwell RSPB seen from Island Hide last night at 7pm. Information HERE (Birders searching this evening!)
Spotted Redshanks x 14, Spoonbill at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbill at Cley NWT

Other News
MEGA!!! ASCENSION FRIGATEBIRD, ISLAY at Bowmore on pier, SCOTLAND OMG!!!

MEGA! BRIDLED TERN! again today, but now 3 miles south of Amble in Druridge Bay off Chevington Burn, then flew towards North Pool, East Chevington NWT.

I can't quite believe the MEGA birds being found over the last couple of weeks, absolutely spectacular!!!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Norfolk Bird News etc!

Main Highlights – RBA
Little Gull at Breydon Water
Mediterranean Gulls x 44 at Holkham Park
Arctic Tern, Dark-bellied Brent Goose at Hopton-on-Sea
Spoonbills x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Cley NWT
Spotted Redshanks x 7, Little Gulls x 3 at Titchwell RSPB

Other News
Pectoral Sandpiper at Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire

BRIDLED TERN at Inner Farne Islands still this morning, but not seen after 12.45pm. See fantastic video of this bird HERE

Local birders searched for the possible Grey-necked Bunting at Blakeney today with sadly no luck.

I had a real couch potato evening. Got home from work, collapsed on sofa and dozed. Such a beautiful evening, but I was exhausted from work. I don't do hot weather, can't bare being at work in this heat. Roll on the weekend. Annoyingly though, I have to start working on Sunday's again. I have not done any Sunday shifts for two whole months, just because I wanted to ensure I had May and June free for birding. I have got used to this normality of having an entire weekend and its going to be tough to work every Sunday again, but sadly I need to. But I am only doing a morning shift this Sunday, so will be free to escape in the afternoon if I wish.

HOT NEWS: Simon King's sister is now following me on Twitter – now maybe that will lead to Simon following me – I wish he would!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO EILEEN! x

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Andy Murray gets through to the Semi-finals!!!

Andy Murray recovered from two sets down to record a magnificent 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 win against Fernando Verdasco and now reaches the semi-final of Wimbledon!!!
This was such an exciting match – I was on the edge of my seat, congratulations Andy!

RBA Weekly Round-up 26th June to 2nd July

http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2013no27.aspx?s_id=1484095

Fabulous write up from Mark Golley with accounts of MONSTER MEGA'S: White-throated Needletail, Bridled Tern and also the Norfolk 'Bunting' which has now turned out to be a 'possible' first for Britain!!!

STOP PRESS!!! Possible GREY-NECKED BUNTING at Blakeney!!!

Just come up on the RBA pager, Noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!

The supposed Ortolan Bunting that was found at Blakeney Freshes which was seen at 5.30pm and phoned out late Monday evening, was possibly a Grey-necked Bunting! All correspondence about this bird from the finder went through BIRDGUIDES.

RBA Pager reads 'possible Grey-necked Bunting male reported on Monday Blakeney Freshmarsh NT near sluice along foopath north of Blakeney Manor Hotel at 5.30pm but no sign on Tuesday (probably not Ortolan Bunting)'

People need to get out there and search, it could still be there somewhere! Done my bit this week, arriving at 4.20am on Tuesday before work!!! (still recovering from that!)

LGRE tweeted last night "This is a pretty remarkable date for an Ortolan - could it be a Grey-necked or Cretzschmars? and then tweeted BirdingNorfolk and myself: "Top Lady - thx to Penny and DJH for checking this sighting out. We will NEVER know the answer but I fear we lost a major record here - perhaps it will relocate to Spurn, Holy Island or Fair Isle!"

I REALLY hope birders keeping looking for this bird, it could have simply re-located within a few hundred yards or a few miles away. Keep looking PLEASE!

I have just contacted BIRDGUIDES this evening to ask why the report has changed from Ortolan Bunting to 'possible' Grey-necked Bunting' – will post reply when I get one.

BIRDGUIDES replied and explained that they had tweeted this afternoon saying: "Finder of Norfolk 'Ortolan' has just told us he didn't consider Grey-necked at the time and has now said there was a strong possibility it was."

10.53pm – Josh Jones, Bird News Manager at BIRDGUIDES has just posted the following further update on Birdforum HERE

Just for interest/pictures etc there was a Grey-necked Bunting in Heligoland on 10th June this year and the account is HERE

Maybe James McCallum will find it on Blakeney Point for us!!!

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Spoonbill x 3, Continental Black-tailed Godwits x 4, Spotted Redshanks x 4, Whimbrel at Cley NWT
Spotted Redshanks x 2, Whimbrel at Breydon Water
Spoonbill at Titchwell RSPB
Spoonbill at Blakeney Chanel

GREY-NECKED BUNTING Male – possible reported on Monday Blakeney Freshmarsh NT near sluice along foopath north of Blakeney Manor Hotel at 5.30pm but no sign on Tuesday (probably not Ortolan Bunting)'

Other News
BRIDLED TERN remains on the Inner Farne Islands

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Ortolan Bunting OR First for Britain Twitch!!!

The Ortolan Bunting appeared on the pager late last night and was seen at 5.30pm. This sighting stirred several people up and there was talk amongst birders that it was an unusual time of year to see an Ortolan, but it was the right time of year to see a Grey-necked Bunting, which would have been a first for Britain!!! OMG!!! No one seemed to know who found last night's Ortolan Bunting at Blakeney Freshes. So no one knew if it flew off at 5.30pm or stayed around a bit longer etc.

The thought of being at work all day with a possible first for Britain at Blakeney, was too much to cope with, so I made the crazy decision to drive to Blakeney this morning before going to work! Total insanity I know! The last time I went on a twitch before work was for the Great Snipe at Cley. I painted the following picture in my mind – find bird, re-id as a Grey-necked Bunting (did loads of homework on GNB last night!), photograph bird, obtaining cracking shots. Drive back home with a big grin on my face, before the hoards turned up and be insanely happy at work all day. Wake up Penny! But it would have still been fabulous to have seen an Ortolan Bunting aswell! Anyway, the following is an account of what actually happened!

Arrived at Blakeney Freshes before sunrise at 4.20am! I can't quite believe I am typing this to be honest (crazy). Parked by the gate to Friary Hills. Started walking along the footpath opposite the Blakeney Manor Hotel. The light was so beautiful and as the sun started to rise, the sky filled with an orange glow, it really was magical indeed. At 4.35am three Spoonbills flew west overhead, which was a lovely start to my morning! I reached the sluice where the OB was seen last night – several Sedge Warblers were flicking about in the reeds, Reed Buntings singing, Meadow Pipits chilling out on posts, Goldfinches in bushes and several Redshanks were seen. Godwits, Oystercatchers, Mallards and Shelducks were zig zagging overhead and in a single tree not too far past the sluice, I watched Wrens, a juv. Great Tit, Linnets and Hedge Sparrows. I climbed up to join the coastal footpath and then followed the path opposite which peters out to mud flats. Standing at this point I can see Half Way House (BP) on my left. I photographed a Reed Bunting silhouetted against the orange light, before re-tracing my steps back. As I climbed over the bank to drop down onto the lower path, I bumped into Dave Holman who's greeting to me was "Good to see another loony here"!!! I smiled and said good morning. Dave said he also had been thinking about Grey-necked Bunting. We both covered the area with a fine tooth comb and Dave walked back via the top coastal path and I followed the bottom path. Got some nice pictures of a Meadow Pipit sitting on a post. Back at my car I could see Steve G. who also then searched the area. I walked around Friary Hills and saw Chiffchaffs, Greenfinches and Jackdaws. Back at the car I saw Dave again who took my mobile number in case he found the bird. I then drove to Walsey Hills to have a quick look along the bottom path. The path is becoming very overgrown with bracken – heard Chiffchaffs and Chaffinches, but that was about it apart from photographing a Speckled Wood. A Grey Heron was perched up and preening in the top of a pine tree at Snipe's Marsh and the sun was started to warm things up. I was going to Bishop's Hide, but I remember looking at my watch at 7.00am and deciding that there wouldn't be enough time to go there. I returned to Blakeney, just to make sure I hadn't missed anything and passed Steve G. on route who had had no joy. I left Blakeney at 7.22am and arrived at work at just after 8am! Sat in my car and had a coffee and ginger marmelade sandwich and walked into work on time!

I managed to get through the day very productively I felt and didn't really feel tired at all. Although when I got home, my eyes started to drop as I typed this post and I am now struggling to keep awake. A VERY early night is required I feel!

I have found out this evening that the finder of the Ortolan Bunting was an S. G. Nicholls, so Congratulations to you! Its just a pity it didn't hang around this morning, but that's the way it goes sometimes!

Good Night!

PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE ADDED

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Spoonbills x 3 flew west over Blakeney Freshes at 4.35am (P.A.C.)
Spoonbill, Spotted Redshanks x 15 at Titchwell RSPB
Osprey at Rockland Broad
Spoonbills x 2, Continental Black-tailed Godwits x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Cley NWT
No sign of Ortolan Bunting by 11am

Other News
BRIDLED TERN still on Inner Farne Islands
Cracking pictures HERE and HERE and HERE

Monday, 1 July 2013

Norfolk Bird News!

Main Highlights – RBA
Manx Shearwater east past Trimingham
Spoonbills x 4 at Wells
Continental Black-tailed Godwits x 7, Little Gulls x 6, Spotted Redshanks x 8, Red-crested Pochard x 7 at Titchwell RSPB
Little Gull at Breydon Water
Spoonbills x 3 at Cley NWT
ORTOLAN BUNTING, Male at Blakeney Freshmarsh NT near sluice along footpath north of Blakeney Hotel at 5.30pm – found by S. G. Nicholls

Other News
Peregrines with three young at Lynn Docks (usual place)

MEGA!!! BRIDLED TERN, Farne Islands!

On Inner Farne, discussion HERE and pictures here:
http://farnephoto.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/bridled-tern-on-inner-farne.html?m=1

http://www.surfbirds.com/gallery/display.php?gallery=gallery9

What a beautiful tern!!!!