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

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Black Brant at Cley NWT.
Glaucous Gull, Black-necked Grebe, Long-tailed Duck at Snettisham RSPB.
Caspian Gull at Buxton.
Shorelarks x 8, Snow Buntings x 50 at Blakeney Point.
Snow Buntings x 4 at Caister-on-Sea.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 51 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Tundra Bean Geese x 2 at Cantley Marshes RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! LITTLE BUSTARD SSW of Bridlington, Yorkshire.

No sign of Little Bustard in Sussex today.
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.

NEW YEAR'S EVE!

Hope everyone enjoys the last hours of 2014,
be it birding, dancing, drinking, relaxing or working!


24 hours to 2015

Beach Road, looking towards Salthouse, Norfolk.


23.45
Today I have worked so hard, did my normal day job and then came home at 5pm, quick tea and then went back to work for three hours until 9pm (double time!). Shattered is an understatement!

Andy W. very kindly offered me a seat to go and see the Little Bustard in Yorkshire, leaving at some crazy hour tomorrow. Opted out, too tired after the day I've had, plus I have beginning of a cold, just taken paracetamol with my small glass of brandy! I have more chilled plans for New Year's Day!

'Queen' on BBC1 right now are awesome, as was Ellie Goulding singing 'Blame it on the Boogie' on Jools Holland later on.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Bird Race OR Birding on 1st January?

I usually do a crazy bird race, which is always fun, but at the same time quite stressful, as I'm sure those of you that do the same, will agree with! So I may just go birding from dawn 'til dusk!

I'm at work all day on New Year's Eve. I may even work some extra 'bank' hours in the evening – might as well, nothing social on, no hot dates etc etc! All bank staff are being paid more than the usual rate (at any time of day or night) over the Christmas/New Year period, so too good an opportunity to miss financially! Back at work on Friday 2nd January. May work an afternoon shift on Saturday and will be working all day on Sunday.

Here is my Bird Race list for 1st January 2014.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Cley NWT.
Snow Buntings x 30 at Holme.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owls x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Twite x 65 at Thornham Harbour.
Water Pipits x 2, Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB.
Crossbills x 2 at Wymondham.
Bewick's Swans x 9 at Horning.
Tundra Bean Goose, Pink-footed Geese x 1,700 at Stanhoe.
Tundra Bean Geese x 7, Pink-footed Geese x 2,000 at Brancaster.
Glaucous Gull, Black-necked Grebe, Long-tailed Duck at Snettisham RSPB.
SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF possible near Nelson's Head at Horsey.
Hen Harriers x 4 at Warham Greens.
Shorelarks x 8, Snow Buntings x 40 at Blakeney Point.
Bewick's Swans x 22 at Sea Palling.
Snow Buntings x 10, Purple Sandpiper at Happisburgh.
Snow Buntings x 33 at Eccles-on-Sea.
Caspian Gull at Buxton.
Snow Buntings x 4 at Caister-on-Sea.
Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl at Berney Marshes RSPB.
Purple Sandpipers x 2 at Sheringham.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! LITTLE BUSTARD at 9.30am only, then flew south, 2 miles NE of Rye at East Guldeford Levels, Sussex.
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT at Balranald RSPB, North Uist, Western Isles.

My Hot Birding 2015 Calendar!

I purchased a "Create your own 2015 Photo Calendar" from WHSmith's. I decided that my photos were better than those in the RSPB Calendar!!! Selected these fairly quickly this evening, printed out and now in the calendar, ok its cost me some ink, but much more personal than buying a bog standard calendar off the shelf.

Perhaps I should publish Penny's Hot Birding Calendar 2016 !?

Here are my 12 photos:

JANUARY
Parrot Crossbill

FEBRUARY
Common Crossbill

MARCH
Grey Partridge

APRIL
Sedge Warbler

MAY
Grey Wagtail

JUNE
Red-spotted Bluethroat

JULY
Swallow

AUGUST
Spotted Flycatcher

 
SEPTEMBER
Firecrest

OCTOBER
Steppe Grey Shrike

NOVEMBER
Long-eared Owl

DECEMBER
Desert Wheatear

Monday, 29 December 2014

Birds 'heard tornadoes coming' and Fled One Day Ahead!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30531060

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Glaucous Gull, Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB.
Black Redstart flew in off sea at Winterton.
Golden Pheasant at Wolferton.
Pomarine Skua, Great Skua at Cley NWT.
Tundra Bean Geese x 8, Barnacle Goose, Pink-footed Geese x 7,500 at Brancaster.
Black Brant, north of Walsey Hills NOA carpark.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Bewick's Swans x 8 at Halvergate Marshes.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Short-eared Owl at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Twite x 60, Hen Harrier at Thornham Harbour.
Green-winged Teal, Rough-legged Buzzard at Welney WWT.
Hen Harriers x 3 at Warham Greens.
Velvet Scoter at Holkham.
Snow Buntings x 3 at Caister-on-Sea.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.

MEGA! AMERICAN COOT at Balranald RSPB, North Uist, Western Isles.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

The Trouser Saga & Titchwell RSPB!

Wasn't worth posting yesterday really..... finished work at 2pm and went into town to buy three pairs of trousers and a dressing gown for my father, who is stubbornly sitting around in shorts at aged 88 and in a house which is always cold. What do you do with someone who sits in shorts with a blanket wrapped round his legs and refuses to wear trousers!!!! I am exasperated to say the least. Arrived at Holme with the trousers to be greeted with lots of hostility and temper from father. He can't wear his old trousers – they don't fit anymore, so he needed some new ones anyway... or did he? He said he will not be wearing them and if they are left within his reach, they will be cut up! Count to 10..... very, very slowly. What do I do? Nothing I suppose, I give up. I work with older people, I go to people's homes, care homes and have seen it all, but I have NEVER seen anyone sitting in bloody shorts in December wrapped in a blanket!!! I was told to 'go away' and 'not to come back until next year' – which I then pointed out to father, was only a few day's away (he had forgotten this)! Poor mother gets shouted at for opening the back door when she goes out to get coal in, feed the birds, deal with the stray cat and empty the ash pan etc, because he is cold, but STILL won't wear the trousers. Ok, that's enough about trousers!

Today did not go to plan at all. My mind is in turmoil over a big decision. I was kept awake again by next-door's dog until 3am and someone texting me. Annoyingly I had to go into town to take yesterday's dressing gown back and pay some cash into the hole in the wall – the town was packed with bargain hunters and it took me half an hour to find a free parking space. What was left of the day, I spent at Titchwell RSPB.

On route I stopped at Choseley, where I watched 3 Blackbirds, 4 Mistle Thrushes and a Fieldfare feeding in a field just south of the barns (by the sharp corner). Also a huge flock of Linnets in the hedgerow.

At Titchwell RSPB, as I was walking towards the visitor centre, I thought I saw Eddie M...... but this person was wearing wellies, so it couldn't be Eddie? Or was it?... he never wears wellingtons (except for E.H.). I then heard a familiar voice ordering Carrot Cake at the food hatch – it was Eddie! I was in a bad, grumpy, volatile mood and it would have been better if I didn't bump into anyone I knew today! So apologies to Eddie and to my sister Vivien XX.

It was icy cold today and I quickly swapped my gloves for mittens which were considerably warmer. Huge numbers of dog walkers – much more than normally here. I walked around the Fen Trail, but didn't see much at all. I walked the whole length of the main path enjoying views of the usual waders and wildfowl here including: several Avocets, Teal, Wigeon, Redshanks, Black-tailed Godwits, Shelducks, Shoveler, Little Egrets, Gulls, 6+ Little Grebes, Male and a Ring-tail Hen Harrier, Barn Owl, Kestrel, 2 Marsh Harriers, Pink-footed Geese and a few Robins around. Eddie had seen a Merlin before I bumped into him.

On route home, I flushed a Barn Owl sitting in the middle of the road, via Ringstead. Back at home I collapsed on the sofa and fell asleep. Back to work tomorrow.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owls x 2 at Halvergate Marshes.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 3, Short-eared Owls x 3 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Glaucous Gull, Black-necked Grebe, Great White Egret, Long-tailed Duck, Velvet Scoters x 4, Water Pipit at Snettisham RSPB.
Hen Harrier at Foulden.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Hen Harriers x 3, Water Pipits x 2, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB.
Tundra Bean Goose between Docking and Brancaster.
Great White Egret at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB.
Great Grey Shrike at Grimston Warren NWT.
Green-winged Teal at Welney WWT.
Snow Buntings x 75 at Sea Palling.
Hen Harrier, Snow Buntings x 70 at Holme.
Long-eared Owl (briefly) at Holkham.
Black Brant at Cley NWT.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.

A Norwich Scientist’s Plight To Save The Kakapo Parrot!

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/video_and_photo_gallery_a_norwich_scientist_s_plight_to_save_a_rare_flightless_parrot_1_3898623

Saturday, 27 December 2014

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB.
Long-eared Owl (probable) in off sea, Snow Buntings x 30 at Cley.
Red-necked Grebe, Velvet Scoter at Gorleston-on-Sea.
Hen Harriers x 5 at Warham Greens.
Great White Egret at Lyng.
Purple Sandpipers x 4 at Sheringham.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Lapland Bunting, Twite x 7, Water Pipits x 2, Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB.
Black-throated Divers x 2 at Hunstanton.
Great Grey Shrike at Grimston Warren NWT.
Twite x 8 at Happisburgh.
Hen Harrier at Foulden.
Green-winged Teal at Welney WWT.
Twite x 40 at Thornham Harbour.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.

MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN at Nimmo's Pier, County Galway, Ireland.
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT at Balranald RSPB, North Uist, Western Isles.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Major Fire This Evening at Hickling Hall, Norfolk!

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/video_major_fire_at_grade_ii_listed_hickling_hall_1_3899105

Morning of the 27th December – just a shell remains!!!
http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/video_and_photo_gallery_it_s_really_sad_just_a_shell_remains_after_devastating_fire_guts_norfolk_hall_1_3899247

Boxing Day Birding and Snow Blizzard!

Went to bed late last night which resulted in getting up late this morning. Had breakfast or brunch, whatever you want to call it and then cruised along the A148 to deliver some stuff to a friend and then off to do a bit of birding. No sunshine today, well there was a glimmer of sun for a short while, but most of the day was dull with uninspiring skies and felt colder than of late.

I decided to spend the afternoon at Kelling Water Meadows for a change and hoped to see some Stonechats, if I was lucky. The track was pretty muddy and there were lots of dogwalkers around, but they all seemed pretty well-behaved (the dogs that is!), which was a refreshing change. Considering the weather and the time of day, I ended up with a nice afternoon list.

I was lucky enough to see two (a pair) of unringed Stonechats, towards the end of the path along the brambles and also watched them feeding on the flat area of short turf, next to the shingle seabank. Other birds seen were: large flock of Brent Geese on the far fields by Muckleborough Hill, 9 Curlew, Wigeon, several Teal, a Shoveler, 2 Eygptian Geese, flock of Goldfinches, several Blackbirds in the hedges, Chaffinch, a Reed Bunting bounding across the marsh and 2 Hedgesparrows. I also disturbed a Hare, which was resting in the long grass, up on the hill above the pool – if only I had seen it, before it saw me – it was unbelievably close!

At Cley Coastguards I saw my third Stonechat of the afternoon! Perched on the fenceline in the car park at dusk! Sat and enjoyed a piece of my Carrot Cake with coffee and went home.

Watched the 'Boy in the Dress' starring David Walliams, Kate Moss etc which I really enjoyed. I opened the door to put some rubbish outside and was shocked to see big snow flakes falling!!! Oh dear, really wished I hadn't booked a Nursing Auxilliary shift tomorrow now! I have not worked in my second job for at least a couple of months now, if not more – due to my recent ankle and hand injuries, but the bank balance is hinting that I need to start working again – so back to the grindstone! Will be finished by mid-afternoon tomorrow though. Not working Sunday, so hopefully will be out birding for longer than today!

PICTURES TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Boxing Day
Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'

Twite x 50 at Thornham Harbour.
Snow Buntings x 20, Twite x 32 at Cley NWT.
Tundra Bean Goose, Pink-footed Geese x 3,000 south of Choseley Drying Barns.
Bewick's Swans x 23 flew west over Norwich.
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 47, Velvet Scoters x 3 at Holkham.
Short-eared Owl at Breydon Water.
Great White Egret, Whooper Swan, Water Pipit, Yellow-legged Gulls x 5, Bewick's Swans x 17 at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB.
Hawfinch x 2 at Lynford Aboretum.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Short-eared Owls x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Black-necked Grebe, Hen Harrier, Great Northern Diver at Snettisham RSPB.
Common Cranes x 25, Hen Harriers x 2, Short-eared Owl, Whooper Swans x 2, Marsh Harriers x 50 at Stubb Mill Roost, Hickling Broad NWT.
Great Grey Shrike at Grimston Warren NWT.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Christmas Day
Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'

Pomarine Skua, Great Skua, Velvet Scoter, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Snow Buntings x 30 at Cley NWT.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Snow Buntings x 40 at Holme.
Rough-legged Buzzard at South Wootton.
Twite x 40 at Thornham.
Snow Buntings x 45 at Old Hunstanton.
Hawfinches x 3 at Lynford Aboretum.
Hen Harriers x 3 at Warham Greens.
Snow Buntings x 24, Hen Harriers x 2, Velvet Scoter at Titchwell RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

It's Christmas Day!!!

I was up early cooking the roast potatoes, mashed potatoes and a vegetable crumble main course (for mother and I) and it took forever to load the car up! It was a beautiful sunny day here in Norfolk. Went to pick up Lucy and Vivien and arrived at my parent's house. Mother cooked a Turkey 'Crown' don't know what this means exactly, apart from the fact it cost a ridiculous amount of money. No one can cook Yorkshire Pudding aswell as my mother, scrumptious! Dessert and lovely tea later, which included my Carrot Cake, which father really enjoyed.

We decided not to bother with presents this year, which I think we regretted a little bit – felt a bit strange not having any presents to open. But then that's not what Christmas is all about really.

Had a lovely day at Holme with my family, but I ran out of time to go out for my usual Christmas walk, so need to escape somewhere tomorrow to shed some pounds!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas Eve Part Two!

I have been at work all day with the 'dream team' as I wrote on the diary board, but we finished about half an hour earlier than normal. I feel so sorry for patients who are in hospital over the Christmas period, such a difficult time.

Back at home I made a Carrot Cake and left to cool. I started to watch Skyfall, but missed the second half as had to whizz over to Holme to deliver a few bits to my parents. Arranged a set of Christmas lights on their Christmas tree, which Mother was really pleased about. Whizzed back home and finished off decorating the Carrot Cake.

Up early in the morning to make a vegetarian main course and do the roast potatoes for mother.

Merry Christmas to you all again!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS AND MEGAS!

Christmas Eve
Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Snow Buntings x 50 at Cley Coastguards.
Twite x 60, Black Brant at Cley NWT.
Snow Buntings x 4 at Caister-on-Sea.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 30 at Holkham.
Pomarine Skua, Twite x 8 at Holme.
Tundra Bean Goose, Pink-footed Geese x 970 at Stanhoe.
Tundra Bean Geese x 2 at Docking.
Bewick's Swans x 9, Whooper Swans x 5 at Lessingham.
Firecrest at Beeston Common, Sheringham.
Great Skuas x 2 over Brancaster Marshes.
Twite x 15, Snow Bunting, Hen Harrier at Breydon Water.
Red-necked Grebe, Great Skuas x 2 at Hopton-on-Sea.
Great Grey Shrike at Roydon Common.
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 22 at Cantley Marshes RSPB.
Water Pipit at Cantley Beet Factory.
Common Cranes x 8 at Acle.
Richard's Pipit, Common Cranes x 2 at Horsey.
Hen Harriers x 5 at Warham Greens.
Short-eared Owls x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Holkham.
Great White Egrets x 2 at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath Fen RSPB.
Water Pipit, Bittern, Spotted Redshank at Titchwell RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.

CHRISTMAS EVE!


Wishing Everyone a

Fabulous Christmas and a

Happy Bird Filled New Year!

Thank you all for the continued support of my blog – it is much appreciated. I have got behind with pictures again over the last few months, as I'm sure you have noticed – I have been extremely busy with important life stuff lately – all will be revealed soon! Pictures will be added though!

Another year has slipped away and very soon I will be hitting half a century – how did I reach that age!!! On a good day, I only feel 20! Scary how time just disappears, scary indeed. You don't realise until you are much older how short life actually is – enjoy, love and be happy every day and if you're not, then make the effort to change things – 'make that change' (Michael Jackson)

Anyway, I hope very much that you all have a wonderful Christmas and look forward to the New Year with good health and happiness. Hopefully I'll bump into some of you over the Christmas and New Year period. Roll on Spring and to more 'Hot Birding'!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Monday, 22 December 2014

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Eurasian White-fronted Goose at Egmere.
Tundra Bean Geese x 2, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 12 at Holkham.
Twite x 40 at Thornham.
Water Pipit at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Northern Bullfinch at Beeston, Sheringham.
Grey Phalaropes x 2 at Filby.
Hen Harriers x 2 at East Hills, Wells.
Common Cranes x 6 at Pensthorpe Waterfowl Park.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Weekend and Christmas Update!

Not much to report at all really – no more mishaps, no gossip – well there might be soon, but can't say anything at the moment!

I spent Friday evening with my colleagues round Sara's house for drinks, excellent buffet with log fire and lots of laughter. Got home at a reasonable time. Absolutely shattered as had a particularly hard day at work with emotional stuff going on.

Up late Saturday and lots of chores to do in town, which was dead boring and very tedious with all the crowds, but had to be done. Managed to get my parent's a real Christmas tree from 'The Range' on Hardwick Industrial Estate for £7.50 (reduced from £14.99) – bargain!!! Picked up a pizza with spicy wedges from Gallanios Pizza (best one in Lynn) and watched the Strictly Finale! Whizzed over to Holme to deliver the tree, which fitted a treat in the corner of the dining room.

Sunday has been spent at work all day. Fell asleep when I got home.

I have been working six years exactly to the day tomorrow in my job as a Therapy Assistant – there has been so many changes in my time there and I have worked with alot of fabulous people.

I am at work every day this week including Christmas Eve, as I usually do. Christmas Eve (evening) will be spent making my Carrot Cake that I made recently to take to my parent's on Christmas Day. Christmas Day will be spent with all the family. Boxing Day I hope to escape out into the wilds of Norfolk! I also have the Saturday and Sunday off. Back to work on the Monday all week. Nothing exciting happening on New Year's Eve unless anyone has any suggestions!!! New Year's Day will be my annual BIRD RACE!!!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Great Grey Shrike at Roydon Common.
Golden Pheasant at Wolferton.
Great Northern Diver at Cley NWT.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Great White Egret at Admiralty Point.
DESERT WHEATEAR Male, reported yesterday still on beach north of carpark, North Dunes, Winterton.
White-fronted Geese x 12 at Holkham.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Tundra Bean Goose at New Holkham.
Hen Harriers x 3 at Titchwell RSPB.
Common Cranes x 15, Marsh Harriers x 60 at Stubb Mill Roost, Hickling Broad NWT.
Short-eared Owl at Haddiscoe Island.
Shag, Snow Buntings at Holme Dunes NWT.
Hen Harrier at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Blakeney Downs.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.
MEGA! SNOWY OWL probable, yesterday at St Buryan, Cornwall

Saturday, 20 December 2014

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Hen Harriers x 6 at Warham Greens.
Great Grey Shrike at Roydon Common.
Richard's Pipit, Hen Harrier at Horsey.
Tundra Bean Geese x 5 at New Holkham.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Twite x 50 at Thornham Harbour.
Black Brant at Salthouse.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.

MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN at Newtownlynch Pier, County Galway, Ireland.
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT at Balranald RSPB, North Uist, Western Isles.

Friday, 19 December 2014

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Bittern at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Caspian Gull at Aylsham.
Swallow at Winterton.
Tundra Bean Goose, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Pink-footed Geese x 3260 at Sedgeford.
Snow Buntings x 40, Black Brant at Cley NWT.
Tundra Bean Geese x 2, Pink-footed Geese x 396 at Egmere.
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB.
Hen Harrier, Great Skuas x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Twite x 40, Hen Harrier at Thornham Harbour.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Penny’s Hot Birding Quiz!

Sarah and I were asked to do the Christmas Quiz at work this year and naturally I had to include some birdy questions for the team – well they didn't get much choice really!

I'm sure you all know the answers, but it was very amusing testing my colleagues out, they didn't do too badly though, considering none of them are birders. Only one person knew the emblem of the RSPB and it took alot of guessing to get No. 11 question right. The only person to get No. 5 correct was Anne-Marie who is Scottish, so expected her to know this! I did 15 nursing questions aswell, but havn't bothered to add them here.

Sarah and I dished chocolates out for the winners of the three teams, chocolates for the runners-up and I threw in a couple of bonus questions to win my two RSPB complimentary reserve tickets – which Andrea and Sara won. You never know, it might encourage some of them to take up birding!

  1. What bird is the emblem of the RSPB?
  2. In the Christmas song ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ what bird sat in a pear tree?
  3. Where is the famous British Birdwatching Fair held?
  4. Which county is the furthest that Penny has twitched a rare bird?
  5. What is the largest UK bird?
  6. What is this bird (picture A)?
  7. What is the smallest UK bird?
  8. Who is the nation’s best known birding celebrity?
  9. What is Britain’s national bird?
  10. What is this bird (picture B)?
  11. What is the most common bird in the UK?
  12. Which county is renowned as probably the best all round county for birding in the UK?
  13. Norfolk’s oldest nature reserve, Cley Marshes NWT (Norfolk Wildlife Trust) was established in which year?
  14. What bird is traditionally eaten in the 12 month of the year?
  15. Where is the best place to find out all the Norfolk bird news on a daily basis along with mega bird news for the UK?
Picture A

Picture B

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
SNOW GOOSE (possible) at Cantley Marshes RSPB.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Welney WWT.
Hen Harrier at Blakeney Freshes.
Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Cley NWT.
Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Geese x 2 at Admiralty Point.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Water Pipit, Jack Snipe at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.

MEGA! AMERICAN COOT at Balranald RSPB, North Uist, Western Isles.
MEGA! BRUNNICH'S GUILLEMOT at Loch Maddy, North Uist, Western Isles.

Albatross Lays an Egg - at Age 63!

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/wisdom-laysan-albatross-lays-egg-age-63-n270341

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Velvet Scoter at Holme Dunes NWT.
Snow Buntings x 45 at Gore Point, Holme.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Tundra Bean Geese x 7 at Holkham.
SNOW GOOSE at Welney WWT.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Ten Mile Bank.
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 30 at Cantley Marshes RSPB.
Hen Harrier, Spotted Redshanks x 4 at Titchwell RSPB.
Twite x 65 at Thornham Harbour.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.

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

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2014-50.aspx?s_id=173968995

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Taiga Bean Geese x 30 at Cantley Marshes RSPB.
Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Whooper Swan, Lapland Buntings x 2 at Salthouse.
Barnacle Goose x 3 at Heigham Holmes.
Barnacle Goose at Repps.
Velvet Scoters x 4, Long-tailed Duck at Holkham.
Hen Harriers x 4, Whooper Swan at Warham Greens.
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB.
Hen Harriers x 2, Snow Buntings x 6, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB.
Snow Buntings x 15 at Holme NOA.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl at Burnham Overy Staithe.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.


I notice there is an Ivory Gull on the Western Isles – it's about time I saw my second one in Norfolk!!!
My first and the only sighting in Norfolk was 5th to 9th January, 1978. We are way overdue for another! This would get the youngsters running!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Blakeney Point Seals to Star in BBC Winterwatch!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-30310463

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Tundra Bean Goose x 3 at Weybourne.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Taiga Bean Geese x 30, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 25 at Cantley Marshes RSPB.
Hen Harrier at Breydon Water.
Hawfinches x 4 at Lynford Aboretum.
Long-tailed Duck, Velvet Scoters x 3 at Holkham.
Hen Harriers x 2 at Thornham.
Water Pipit, Twite x 4, Caspian Gull at Titchwell RSPB.
Taiga Bean Geese x 29, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 4 at Cantley Marshes RSPB.
Common Cranes x 2 at Horsey.
Common Cranes x 5 at Stubb Mill Roost, Hickling Broad NWT.
Bewick's Swans x 12, Whooper Swans x 17 at Sea Palling.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.

MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN still County Galway, Ireland.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Cley NWT!

Being a party animal at my age is exhausting to say the least. I just couldn't get up at a decent time this morning either. I did manage to get out considerably earlier than yesterday though, which was something I suppose.

My mother asked me if I could get her a real, small Christmas tree – so I phoned round a few places and was horrified by the extortionate prices..... £21.00 for a 4ft tree in one place, £29 in another – she agreed that it was ridiculous and there was no way she was paying all that. It's cheaper to get a artificial one! Even cheaper if I spot some nice overhanging larch branches somewhere!!!

Spent the afternoon at Cley. Sat and had a cup of tea and a scone in the visitor centre. The wind was really cold today. Took a leisurely stroll along the East Bank. On the new pools west of the bank, there were Black-tailed Godwits, Wigeon, Teal and a Grey Heron flew over west. Further along by the sluice there were huge numbers of Wigeon on the Serpentine. 2 Marsh Harriers glided over the reedbeds and a Little Egret was feeding at the far end of East Bank. Good numbers of gulls on Arnold's Marsh. Walked across the shingle and took arty farty pictures of the beach. I spent a while here, simply listening to the awesome sound of the breakers crashing on the shingle, contemplating life and all that jazz.

Walked back along the East bank and had a fabulous sighting of a Bittern flying west at 4.25pm over the path and dropped down into the reeds fairly close to Bishop's Hide.

At home I watched X Factor and although Ben is obviously a brilliant singer, it should have been Fleur East that won – she is exciting to watch and is an absolute Mega Star. I was quite shocked when Ben's name was called out as the winner.

PICTURES TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Bewick's Swans x 4, Whooper Swans x 13 at Sea Palling.
Black Brant, Snow Buntings x 50, Twite x 20 at Salthouse.
Tundra Bean Geese x 6 at Weybourne.
Common Cranes x 15, Tundra Bean Geese x 3, Barnacle Goose at Waxham.
Pale-bellied Brent Geese x 3, Bittern at Cley NWT.
Tundra Bean Geese x 5 at Repps.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Hen Harrier at Stiffkey.
Lesser Snow Goose at Martham.
Richard's Pipit, Great White Egret, Spotted Redshank at Breydon Water.
Tundra Bean Goose, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 12 at Hilgay.
Common Cranes x 3, Hen Harrier at Horsey.
Great Grey Shrike, Hen Harriers x 2 at Roydon Common.
Caspian Gull at Titchwell RSPB.
Hen Harrier, Twite x 4 at Thornham Harbour.

MEGA NEWS! 
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Holme Reserves!

As I predicted yesterday, the day started in a chilled way, literally! Pity I got up so incredibly late as when I eventually crawled out from the under the duvet and peeped through the curtains, I was greeted with a sparkly white frost and blue skies – this was 12.45pm. Wicked to get up that late, but you can't burn the candle at both ends at my grand old age!

I had brunch around 2.30pm and could have easily dozed on the sofa, but forced myself out to get some air. Arrived at Holme at around 3.45pm – yep, I know it was late, but better late than never! Parked by the 5-bar gate along the Firs Road and set off on a long walk. A couple of Little Egrets were on the pools opposite the car park. I followed the boardwalk east, through the NWT Forestry and bumped into Robert who was with some other birders, waiting in hope of seeing a short-eared owl. I managed to see a Marsh Harrier and a Barn Owl over Holme Marsh. Walked all the way to Holme Bird Observatory, took some pictures of the broadwater with the red glow of the setting sun and walked back along the Firs Road. It was now completely dark and bitterly cold. Skeins of Pink-footed Geese filled the skies overhead and then plummeted down to settle on the marshes.

Went to buy some sacks of sticks from a local farm for my parent's fire and then spent a couple of hours chatting to them about last night's party, health issues and Christmas dinner!

Spent the rest of the evening watching X-Factor, thank goodness Fleur East got through – she has to win tomorrow, there is no doubt that she is a Super Star. I will try and get out earlier tomorrow!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Tundra Bean Geese x 3 at Weybourne.
Pomarine Skua at Gorleston-on-Sea.
Snow Buntings x 20 at Salthouse.
Water Pipit at Cantley Beet Factory.
Great Northern Diver, Tundra Bean Geese x 6, Pale-bellied Brent Geese, Water Pipits x 2, Snow Buntings x 7 at Cley NWT.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Hen Harrier at Stiffkey.
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB.
Snow Goose, Lesser Snow Goose, Tundra Bean Geese x 5 at Sea Palling.
Great Grey Shrike, Hen Harriers x 3 at Roydon Common.
Tundra Bean Geese x 2 at Clippesby.
Jack Snipe at Nunnery Lakes NNR, Thetford.
Twite x 14 at Breydon Water.
Firecrest at Holkham.
Hen Harriers x 4 at Warham Greens.
Short-eared Owl at Horsey.
Common Cranes x 6, Bittern at Waxham.
Common Cranes x 5, Hen Harriers x 2, Marsh Harriers x 50 at Stubb Mill Roost, Hickling Broad NWT.
Pomarine Skuas x 2, Caspian Gull at Titchwell RSPB.
Short-eared Owl at Holme Golf Course.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! FIRST FOR IRELAND!!! NAUMANN'S THRUSH at Ballyhooley, County Cork.
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.

Friday, 12 December 2014

The Weekend!

Saturday will be chilled due to tonight!!!

Weather
Frosty, chilly and dry all weekend, but windier on Sunday!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2652856 

High Tides
  Saturday: 10.19    Sunday: 11.12

Christmas Party & The Shooting Star!!!

Our meal was at Rathskellers Wine Bar & Bistro in King's Lynn, which is situated on the quayside, very close to the Bank House Restaurant which is where we went last year for our party. I personally wanted to go to the Bank House again, but the general consensus was that people wanted to try somewhere new. Our table was booked for 8pm.

At 7.35pm I was almost ready, but still had nails to paint! So whilst painting a coat of red and then a second coat of sparkly red, I had a wonderful triple glass (or it might have even been a quadruple come to think it) of finest brandy topped up with Cranberry juice. The taxi pulled up outside my house at 7.45pm and I felt very much in the party spirit!!! I then had the usual scenario of trying to get into a car with nails that are not dry! Amy and Sarah were already in the taxi and we then picked up Ann-Marie on the way. All the girls looked stunning and sparkly – great seeing everyone out of their boring uniforms.

We arrived on time, and were led to our two tables – pity it wasn't one big table, but there we go. Very nice setting, quality christmas crackers, although I didn't have a hope in hell of reading any of the jokes, I could only just about see the tiny piece of white paper!!! Staff very nice and service was good. I decided that I should drink water, as the brandy had now completely taken over!
Penny, Gemma and Sarah.
Photo taken by Sara Withers.

I had the "Fresh Fig, Walnut and Mardler Cheese Salad, Honey and Sesame Dressing" to start followed by a special order (I don't like mushrooms very much) of Nut Roast with Cranberry Sauce, Yorkshire Pudding, Roast Potatoes and Vegetables and for dessert I choose the "Dark Chocolate Mousse, Cointreau Sorbet, Almond Tuille". My starters was pretty boring and not one that I will remember in a few months time – I had a total of two walnuts and two pieces of cheese that were the same size as the walnuts along with a few small fancy lettuce leaves. My main course was faultless though apart from one thing – the waitress asked me 'do you eat beef gravy'? Ehhhh.... 'No' I replied..... and that was that, so I had no gravy at all, which obviously made the meal very dry! It doesn't take much to make vegetarian gravy does it! My dessert was the best dish and I gave it a 10/10 and would have happily have eaten several of these! As another colleague and I discussed, its the first Christmas meal that we had been too where there wasn't any coffee included in the menu or maybe mints, mincepies etc as is normal in most places. There was a band playing downstairs in the bar, but we left more or less straight away to go to "The Social" which is a cocktail bar and karaoke venue!

It was quite a walk from here, all along the quayside, through the town and it was freezing cold! At The Social, several people had a go at the karaoke and did really well, especially Caitlan who was really going for it! Scott and James did Tom Jones's 'Delilah' and there was lots of fun and laughter. Shared a cocktail jug of Archers, Vodka and Cranberry Juice with Sarah – very nice! A band then started playing who were good, but my not my cup of tea really. Some of our party then left to go home. The time just flew and it was 12.45pm before we got into Kudos which is a small club in town. Well I said 'club' there aren't any clubs as such in King's Lynn, its more like a pub with a couple of small dance areas! I usually enjoy being in here, but it wasn't up to much at all. The tunes had been set for the entire night and there was no DJ at all, so you couldn't request anything, which I was very disappointed by. There was no life in there at all really. Rachael Casey who was with us last year (now left and returned to Ireland), usually spices things up with her crazy antics, but with her not here and no DJ, it just wasn't the same. Everyone left by 1.30am, but I decided to stay and dance. There was still no DJ, but the music seemed to improve and I continued to fly round the floor! At 2.30am I had had enough and left.

It was frosty and chilly outside and for some crazy reason I decided to walk home. Attempted to cover my blond hair with my red pashmina and speed walked home – took my mobile phone and house key out of my bag and hid them on me, just in case I got mugged. Shouldn't have walked home really, but I did – it only took 28 minutes, not too bad for 2.5 miles! The skies were filled with sparkly stars and as I was looking up at them I witnessed a Shooting Star!!! It was 3am – I couldn't believe my luck – it was only yards from my house. This was without a doubt the highlight of the entire evening!!! See information here, about the Meteor Shower showing tonight and tomorrow.

As soon as I walked into my house, I played "Hideaway" by Kiesza and danced. Had a shower, tea, toast, watched a bit of TV and went to bed at 4.55am! Good Morning!

MORE PICTURES TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Lesser Snow Goose, Tundra Bean Goose at Egmere.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Cromer.
Black Brant at Cley NWT.
Snow Buntings x 2 at North Beach, Great Yarmouth.
Great Grey Shrike at Grime's Graves.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Hawfinches x 7 at Lynford Aboretum.
Jack Snipe at Horsey.
Black-necked Grebe at Snettisham RSPB.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Snow Buntings x 20, Twite x 30 at Salthouse.
Short-eared Owls x 3, Hen Harrier at Admiralty Point.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.

MEGA! AMERICAN COOT still at North Uist, Balranald RSPB.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Shetland Storm 10/12/2014

Back to Work!

Returned to work today, but still don't feel on top form. Had to go for a blood test today..... long story. I will hopefully now make the Christmas Party on Friday, but havn't made my mind up about dancing or drinking yet – will probably just go for the meal and go home, but I'm female so may well change my mind!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Short-eared Owls x 2 at Breydon Water.
Bittern at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Lesser Snow Goose, Tundra Bean Goose, Pink-footed Geese 2,270, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 4 at Holkham.
Tundra Bean Geese x 4, Water Pipit at Cley NWT.
Bewick's Swans x 4, Whooper Swans x 21 at Ingham.
Water Pipits x 2 at Cantley Beet Factory.
Tundra Bean Geese x 5, Pink-footed Geese x 1,400 at Egmere.
Tundra Bean Goose at Horsey.
Hen Harriers x 3 at Stubb Mill Roost, Hickling Broad NWT.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Purple Sandpiper at Sea Palling.
Common Cranes x 2 at Waxham.
Lesser Snow Goose, Tundra Bean Geese x 3 at Holkham.
Lapland Buntings x 3, Snow Buntings x 30, Twite x 20 at Salthouse.
Common Cranes x 2, Hen Harrier at Horsey.
Bewick's Swans x 4, Whooper Swans x 19 at Ingham.
Water Pipit, Scaup, Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Titchwell RSPB.
Shorelarks x 8 at near Yankee Ridge, Blakeney Point.
Caspian Gull at Aylsham.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Black Brant at Binham.
Taiga Bean Geese x 30, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 6 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Twite x 55 at Thornham Harbour.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 3rd to 9th December!

By Jon Dunn
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2014-49.aspx?s_id=1038554302

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Weather Bomb To Hit UK!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/features/30397614

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Taiga Bean Geese x 32 yesterday at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Lapland Buntings x 5, Snow Buntings x 30, Twite x 28, Black Brant at Salthouse.
Snow Buntings x 5 at North Beach, Winterton.
Great Grey Shrike, Hen Harriers x 10 at Roydon Common.
Lesser Snow Goose, Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Barnacle Geese x 10 at Holkham.
Twite x 50 at Thornham Harbour.
Firecrest at Beeston Common, Sheringham.
Tundra Bean Geese x 7, Eurasian White-fronted Goose at Weybourne.
Black-necked Grebe yesterday at Snettisham RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT still at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.

At Home & Feeling Rubbish!

Yesterday I had to leave work as I felt really sick. My stomach has continued churning today with gripping pains. Awful metallic taste when I had a piece of dry toast last night – spoke to GP on phone today who said that is probably linked to my heartburn that I have been getting lately. I had delayed taking the tablets that were prescibed to me for this, but now started this evening as continued heart burn can lead to a stomach ulcer and worse. GP advised me to stick to soup, rice and plain foods. Had lentil soup and rice today. Now this evening I have developed a kidney infection, agonising! Feel really rough. Hopefully this will be it! Not looking good for work for the rest of the week, never mind the christmas party on Friday!

Monday, 8 December 2014

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Tundra Bean Geese x 11 at Weybourne.
Lesser Snow Goose, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 38 at Holkham.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Barnacle Geese x 10 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Firecrest at Beeston Common, Sheringham.
Lapland Buntings x 11, Snow Buntings x 20, Twite x 10 at Salthouse.
Common Cranes x 3 at Lambrigg Mill, Hickling.
Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Geese x 4, Great Northern Diver at Cley NWT.
DESERT WHEATEAR Male 1.5 miles north of beach carpark at North Dunes, Winterton.
Common Cranes x 2 at Horsey.
Common Cranes x 7 at Stubb Mill Roost, Hickling Broad NWT.
Hen Harrier at Stiffkey.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BLYTH'S PIPIT at Pugney's Country Park, Yorkshire.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Cley NWT!

Woke up Saturday with sorethroat virus and felt rubbish, so no birding on Saturday. Felt the same this morning, but forced myself out of the house.

I didn't have the energy to drive 70 miles each way to Winterton, even though it would have been nice to see my third Desert Wheatear this year! This virus has made me feel sleepy all day and I regret driving anywhere to be honest.

Arrived at Cley Coastguards to a wonderful view of a double rainbow, sunshine and a downpour. I felt utterly shattered and curled up the car and dozed. No birds of note on the sea. Turnstone and Black-headed Gull on the beach. Brent Geese on the Eye Field. Walsey Hills NOA held only Great, Blue Tits and a Chaffinch, but I did see a Sparrowhawk over Arnold's Marsh. Walked along the East Bank and bumped into John F – bitterly cold late afternoon.

Dauke's Hide NWT – I was the only person here. Shelducks, Teal, Widgeon, Little Egrets, Mallards, Marsh Harrier and bird of the day was a Bittern flying over the reedbed!

I was going to drive to my parent's via coast road, but felt too tired to drive the extra miles, so went home. Felt so sleepy on the way back and had to keep stopping. Had a unexpected surprise visit from both my sister's, a few moments after arriving home. They both sampled my fruit cake (made on Friday) watched 'Strictly' with me and then departed. It was lovely to see them both even though I felt exhausted. Not one of my best weekends!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Lesser Snow Goose at Great Bircham.
Tundra Bean Geese x 11 at Weybourne.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Hen Harrier at Scolt Head Island NNR.
Bewick's Swans x 4 at Horsey.
Common Cranes x 15 at Billockby.
Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Gramborough, Salthouse.
Lapland Buntings x 7, Twite x 11 at Salthouse.
DESERT WHEATEAR Male on beach one mile north of beach carpark, Winterton.
Hen Harrier, Jack Snipe at North Dunes, Winterton.
Waxwings x 3 flew south over harbour, Twite x 65 at Thornham.
Black-throated Diver, Long-tailed Duck, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB.
Snow Buntings x 17 at North Beach, Great Yarmouth.
Black-winged Stilt esc at Welney WWT.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Breydon Water.
Taiga Bean Geese x 32, Water Pipit, Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 13,  Whooper Swans x 2 at Buckenham Marhes RSPB.
Great Grey Shrike, Hen Harrier at Roydon Common.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Common Cranes x 12 at Acle.
Hen Harriers x 3 at North Wootton.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Berney Marshes RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT at Balranald RSPB, Western Isles.

MEGA! AMERICAN COOT at Lough Gill, County Kerry, Ireland.

BTO Satellite tag shows Chris the Cuckoo has travelled 60,000 miles in four years!

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/bto_satellite_tag_shows_chris_the_cuckoo_has_travelled_60_000_miles_in_four_years_1_3872328?usurv=skip

Saturday, 6 December 2014

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Great White Egrets x 2, Whooper Swans x 23 at Lakenheath Fen RSPB.
Lapland Buntings x 5, Snow Buntings x 8, Black Brant at Salthouse.
Pomarine Skuas x 14, Water Pipits x 2, Hen Harriers x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 2, Twite x 55, Long-tailed Ducks x 2, Scaup x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
DESERT WHEATEAR Male on beach one mile north of beach carpark, Winterton.
Short-eared Owl, Snow Bunting at North Beach, Winterton.
Common Cranes x 8 at Acle.
Pomarine Skuas x 7, Great Northern Diver, Shorelark x 3, Snow Buntings x 50 at Holme.
SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF (probable) , Firecrest at Beeston Common, Sheringham.
Snow Buntings x 3 at Horsey.
Water Pipit at Cley NWT.
Great White Egret (yesterday) at Attleborough.
Golden Pheasant at Wolferton.
Tundra Bean Geese x 11 at Weybourne.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owls x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Lesser Snow Goose, Tundra Bean Goose at Great Bircham.
Great White Egret at Snettisham RSPB.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Breydon Water.
Short-eared Owl at Claxton Marshes.
Little Auk at Waxham.
Hen Harriers x 4 at Warham Greens.
Twite x 40 at Thornham Harbour.
Water Pipit at Cantley Beet Factory.

MEGA NEWS!
None.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Storm Surge – One Year On!

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/one_year_on_from_the_tidal_surge_hemsby_receives_good_news_in_battle_to_save_beach_1_3875025

 http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/remembering_the_night_the_worst_floods_in_60_years_swept_through_norfolk_and_suffolk_1_3875022

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/photo_gallery_tidal_surge_heroes_who_battled_to_save_lives_and_property_honoured_one_year_on_1_3876259

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/warrior_spirit_keeps_the_hemsby_community_fighting_after_last_year_s_tidal_surge_1_3875497

The Weekend!

A crazy week, with two leaving lunch parties for colleagues – very sad to see Louise and Caraline departed, but wish them both happiness in their new posts. My yearly Appraisal was today, glad that's over with. I saw a Stoat running along the grass verge opposite the ward I work on today – the first time I have seen a stoat in the hospital grounds! Took a big bouquet of flowers and card from the team round to a colleague's this evening who is in much need of support right now. Made my third cake this evening in the last two weeks! Tonight's effort was a fruit cake – doesn't look anywhere near as scrumptious as my Carrot Cake, but hopefully edible.

Hairdressers next week and the Team Christmas Party on Friday Night, which will involve drinking, dinner and dancing until the small hours! My once a year stint of consuming alcohol!

Can't believe the year has disappeared so quickly and that it was a year ago today, that the Storm Surge engulfed our coastline.

It looks like its going to be a sunny, frosty weekend – good for photo opportunities and hopefully the Desert Wheatear at Winterton!

Weather
Saturday: Westerly winds. Isolated showers possibly along the east coast will clear to leave dry and mostly sunny conditions, but chilly. Becoming a little cloudier towards the end of the day.

Sunday: Westerly winds. Wet and windy initially, clearing to colder, mostly dry and bright conditions.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2652856 

DAWN: 7.12am  SUNRISE: 7.53am  SUNSET: 15.44 

Tides – Wells Bar
Saturday: 5.39am and 18.05    Sunday: 6.25am and 18.44

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Hen Harrier at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Common Cranes x 5 at Acle.
Lesser Snow Goose, Tundra Bean Goose at Bircham Newton.
Black-throated Diver, Snow Buntings x 2, Purple Sandpiper at Cley NWT.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Snow Buntings x 25 at North Beach, Great Yarmouth.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Market.
RAVEN 1/2 mile NE of  North Creake.
Great Grey Shrike at Roydon Common.
Little Auk, Long-tailed Duck, Snow Buntings x 120 (all yesterday) at Holme Dunes NWT.
Hen Harrier Male at Holme NOA.
Twite x 45 at Thornham Harbour.
DESERT WHEATEAR Male on beach 1/2 mile north of beach carpark, Winterton.
Taiga Bean Geese x 32 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owls x 3, Hen Harrier, Caspian Gull at Breydon Water.
Hen Harrier at Haddiscoe Island, vieweable from Waveney Forest.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.

MEGA NEWS!
None.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Carrot Cake – My Best Cake EVER!

CARROT CAKE

I don't often bake cakes, as its far too dangerous. What I am trying to say is, that if I cooked cakes on a regular basis, I would end up weighing 50 stone!!! My very good friend and work colleague Caraline is leaving our team this week and we had a little party at lunchtime today. I made my first Carrot Cake last night and it turned out to be the best tasting cake I have ever made – even though I say so myself!!! It was consumed very quickly by the girls at work!

I adapted the recipe slightly and added vanilla essence and juice/zest of an orange to the topping ingredients and baking powder and cinnamon to the main cake mixture. Here is the recipe:

CAKE INGREDIENTS
  • 250ml Olive Oil
  • 250g Coarsely Grated Carrots
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 225g Light Muscovado Sugar
  • 225g Allinson Wholemeal Self-Raising Flour
  • 1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

TOPPING INGREDIENTS
  • 250g Mascarpone Cheese
  • 25g Billington's Unrefined Golden Icing Sugar (I couldn't find this, so just used normal bog standard icing sugar, but used around 100g!)
  • Zest of one orange and 5 teaspoons of orange juice
  • Vanilla Essence – 1 teaspoon
  • Chopped walnuts for decorating

METHOD
  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/Fan 160˚C/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 20cm (8") cake tin with grease proof paper.
  2. Whist the oil and sugar together, then whisk in the eggs one at a time
  3.  Gently fold in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, followed by the carrots. Mix gently until combined then turn into the prepared tin.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes (allow much longer than recipe states! Open oven at 60 mins and then check) until golden brown and skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  5. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.
  6. Mix together the mascarpone cheese, icing sugar, orange zest, juice and vanilla essence. Split the cake in half and sandwich together with half of the mascarpone mixture and then spread the remainder on top (with palette knife). Finish with Walnuts (I also added Tesco's 'Gold Crisp Pearls' and 'Gold Glimmer Crunch' to the centre of the cake).
S C R U M P T I O U S ! ! !

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Waxwing at Wiveton.
Twite x 30 at Thornham Harbour.
Short-eared Owls x 7 at Snettisham RSPB.
Black Brant, Hen Harrier at Cley NWT.
Lesser Snow Goose, Pink-footed Geese x 2,000 in field west of Choseley Road, SW of Brancaster.
Black Redstart at Hunstanton.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Bewick's Swans x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Salthouse.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT at North Uist, Balranald RSPB, Western Isles.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Pomarine Skua, Red-necked Grebe at Great Yarmouth.
Lapland Buntings x 5, Snow Buntings x 7 at Salthouse.
Black Brant, Great Northern Divers x 2, Long-tailed Duck, Purple Sandpiper, Eurasian White-fronted Goose, Bewick's Swans x 6 at Cley.
Lesser Snow Goose, Pink-footed Geese x 1,000, Tundra Bean Geese x 2 south of Choseley Drying Barns.
Pomarine Skuas x 2, Great Skuas x 2, Slavonian Grebe at Weybourne.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Slavonian Grebe at Holkham.
Little Auk at Caister-on-Sea.
Hen Harrier, Spotted Redshank, Yellow-legged Gull, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2, Lapland Bunting, Twite x 14, Short-eared Owl, Hen Harrier, Spotted Redshank at Breydon Water.
Great Grey Shrike at Roydon Common.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! AMERICAN COOT at North Uist, Balranald RSPB, Western Isles.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 26th November to 2nd December!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2014-48.aspx?s_id=961483540

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Lesser Snow Goose, Pink-footed Geese x 5,000 at Burnham Thorpe.
Barnacle Geese x 12, Pink-footed Geese x 6,000 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Pomarine Skuas x 12, Little Auks x 3, Great Skuas x 16, Sandwich Terns x 2, Little Gulls x 7, Long-tailed Duck, Great Northern Diver at Cley NWT.
Lapland Buntings x 7, Snow Buntings x 7 at Salthouse.
Pomarine Skuas x 5, Great Skua, Purple Sandpiper at Sheringham.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Breydon Water.
Pomarine Skuas x 2, Little Auk, Arctic Skua at Holme NOA.
Great Grey Shrike, Hen Harrier at Roydon Common.
Short-eared Owls x 8 at Berney Marshes RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
None.

Monday, 1 December 2014

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Whooper Swan flew over Nunnery Lakes NNR, Thetford.
Pomarine Skuas x 3, Snow Buntings x 12 at Cley NWT.
Hen Harriers x 2 at Warham Greens.
Twite x 40, Hen Harrier at Thornham Marsh.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Welney WWT.
Rough-legged Buzzards x 2 at Burnham Overy Staithe.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Halvergate Marshes.
Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Salthouse.
Snow Buntings x 8 north of Britannia Pier, Great Yarmouth.
Great Grey Shrike at Roydon Common.
Slavonian Grebe, Velvet Scoters x 4, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB.
Tundra Bean Geese x 3, Pink-footed Geese x 4,000 at Mundesley.
Snow Buntings x 42 at Holme Dunes NWT.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owls x 3 at Breydon Water.
Purple Sandpipers x 2 at Sheringham.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN at Nimmo's Pier, County Galway, Ireland.

Life After Stroke at 34

An incredibly moving and well written story.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/nov/22/it-felt-as-if-i-had-become-fear-itself-life-after-a-stroke-at-34