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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Osprey at Far Point, Lapland Bunting at The Hood, Blakeney Point.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 3, Temminck's Stint, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 4, Spoonbills x 4, Short-eared Owl at Titchwell RSPB.
Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshanks x 6 at Breydon Water.
Short-eared Owl at Snettisham RSPB.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Arnold's Marsh, Balearic Shearwater at Cley.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Firecrests x 2 at Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
Ospreys x 3 at Elsing, Lyng.
Whinchat, Firecrest, Lapland Bunting, Short-eared Owl at North Dunes, Firecrest at South Dunes, Winterton.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Firecrest at Weybourne Camp.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Redstart at Holkham Pines.
Firecrest at Horsey.
Harrier sp. ringtail at Acle.
Whinchat at Holme Dunes NWT.
Eurasian White-fronted Geese x 5 flew east past Brancaster.

Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-FOOTED FALCON still at Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve.


Suffolk Highlights
RED-BREASTED GOOSE flew south past Languard Nature Reserve.

 
MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! PECHORA PIPIT still at Loch of Norby, Mainland, Shetland!

RBA Weekly Round-Up 23rd to 29th September!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2015-38.aspx?s_id=436554834

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Yellow-browed Warbler in scrub by dunes between toilet block & beach at Holme Dunes NWT.
Balearic Shearwater flew east past Sheringham.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Redstart between boat lake and Dell, Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 west of caravan park in sycamores by track at Wells Woods.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Ring Ouzel, Continental Coal Tits x 2 at Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Breydon Water.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at West end of Holkham Pines.
WRYNECK, Firecrest at North Dunes, Winterton.
Yellow-browed Warbler at North Beach Road, Heacham.
Hen Harrier at Roydon Common NWT.
RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER reported at The Hood, Yellow-browed Warbler, Hen Harrier, Spotted Redshank, Pied Flycather, Redstart at Blakeney Point.
Osprey at Elsing, Lyng.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Firecrest at Beeston Common.
Bittern flew over reedbed at Burnham Overy Dunes (no access pm/evening because of unexploded bomb)
Yellow-browed Warbler, Temminck's Stint at Titchwell RSPB.

Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-FOOTED FALCON still at Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve.


MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! PECHORA PIPIT at Loch of Norby, Mainland, Shetland!

Monday, 28 September 2015

Cream Crackered!!!

I'm utterly burnt out – hiking up Blakeney Point, photographing the sunset, Supermoon, Lunar Eclipse, editing photos and working the next day after half an hour's kip! This is me this evening – a very sorry state!!! Tough old Norfolk bird! Good Night!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 (plus 2 along track at west edge to Pinewoods Caravan Park) , Firecrest, Wood Lark, Wells Woods.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Great Yarmouth Cemetery, another at Caister Road Cemetery and another two at Bure Park.
Balearic Shearwater, Richard's Pipit (at Little Eye), Short-eared Owl (in off sea) at Cley NWT.
Yellow-browed Warbler in trees east of Cley Visitor Centre NWT.
Pied Flycatcher at Garden Drove, Yellow-browed Warbler in pit west of middle track, Warham Greens.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Holme Dunes NWT.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Wood Farm Lane and another in Lowestoft Road, Gorleston-on-Sea.
Osprey at Sparham Gravel Pits.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Redstart, Black Redstart, Lapland Bunting at North Dunes, Yellow-browed Warbler at Duffles Pond, Low Road, Winterton.
Curlew Sandpiper at Breydon Water.
Ospreys x 2 at Swanton Morley Gravel Pits.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Titchwell RSPB.
Yellow-browed Warbler at King's Loke, Hemsby.
Osprey at Elsing, Lyng.
Yellow-browed Warbler west of Brancaster Staithe Harbour.
Yellow-browed Warbler still at Walsey Hills NOA.
Firecrest at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.
Great White Egret, Firecrest at Holkham.

Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-FOOTED FALCON at Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve.

MEGA NEWS!
 
MEGA! GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH in walled garden at Ollaberry, mainland, Shetland!
MEGA! SWAINSON'S THRUSH at Sanday, Orkney!
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS again, Whippingham, Isle of Wight! 
MEGA! ELEONORA'S FALCON Dark morph, possible, flew east through Solent at 7.45am, then flew south at Hill Head, Hampshire! 

SUPERMOON LUNAR ECLIPSE!

 S U P E R M O O N
L U N A R  E C L I P S E
Taken outside my house in King's Lynn, Norfolk
Phone-scoped with Apple iphone 6 and Swarovski Scope
Last two pictures taken with Canon 7D and 300mm f4 lens

Sunday, 27 September 2015

THE SUPERMOON!!!

S U P E R M O O N

Walking back from Blakeney Point this evening. Unfortunately I didn't get back to the carpark soon enough to set up the tripod, never mind! Awesome to see and lit up the sea as it rose higher and higher! Spent ages phonescoping the moon in the car park when I got back.

My first sighting of the rising Supermoon as I turned round from taking the sunset!

S U P E R M O O N

Phone-scoped from Coastguards, Cley 

BLAKENEY POINT!

Stunning Sunset over Blakeney Point this evening!


I had a fabulous walk to Blakeney Point today, but only produced a handful of birds. Nothing in The Plantation at all, much to my disappointment. Flushed a Blackbird in the elders on Yankee Ridge, Chiffchaff at Long Hills, Stonechat at The Hood, a flock of Linnets and a few Meadow Pipits! Bumped into James Mc., Ashley M. and Pete D. who hadn't had too much more than me with two Redstarts and a possible Crake sp. that got away. Richard P. hadn't seen any 'small birds' but did see a Honey Buzzard.

Sat on the picnic table at Halfway House on the way back with a Racing Pigeon that was either knackered or not very well or both. It sat on the windowsill looking very sorry for its self and then on the step – I poured some water into a shell for it to drink and threw various bits of my lunch down for it to eat, but it didn't seem to want any of it. The setting sun over the tidal water was the most beautiful I have ever seen it here.
The Environment Agency patrolling Blakeney Point

The poorly Racing Pigeon on the windowsill of Halfway House

Had a wonderful time photographing the sunset and as I turned round to head back, the Supermoon appeared over the sea – it was massive! Took several hand held shots of the supermoon (see seperate post above). Lots of Turnstone roosting on the shoreline on the way back. As is usual, it seemed to take forever to get back to Coastguards!

The Lifeboat House, Blakeney Point
All pictures above take with Canon 7D and 300mm lens

Landing stage opposite Halfway House



Halfway House


Spectacular Sunset – Blakeney Point

All pictures above taken with Apple iphone 6

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint at Breydon Water.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Walsey Hills NOA.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Pied Flycatcher at Garden Drove at Warham Greens.
Hen Harrier at East Hills, Wells.
BARRED WARBLER still at Kelling Water Meadows.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 4, Pied Flycatchers x 2, Firecrests x 2, Redstart at Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 3, Redstart at Bure Park, Snow Buntings x 2 on beach at Great Yarmouth.
RED-FOOTED FALCON on Thursday (ID'd from photos) at Ormesby Broad.
Great White Egret, Yellow-browed Warblers x 3, Firecrest, Redstart at Holkham.
Yellow-browed Warbler in garden at Wereham.
Richard's Pipit flew west, Yellow-browed Warbler, Hen Harrier at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Ospreys x 2 at Sparham Gravel Pits.
Yellow-browed Warbler (plus one at NOA), Pied Flycatcher at Holme Dunes NWT.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at Caister-on-Sea Cemetery.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Pied Flycatcher at Warren Lane, Gorleston-on-Sea.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2 at Hemsby.
Yellow-browed Warblers x 2, Redstarts x 4, Lapland Bunting, Redstart x 2 at South Dunes, Lapland Buntings x 2 at North Dunes, Winterton.
Yellow-browed Warbler between Brancaster and Brancaster Staithe.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Wells Woods.

Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-FOOTED FALCON at Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! LANCEOLATED WARBLER at Sukka Mire, Fair Isle, Shetland!
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN at Rogerstown Estuary, County Dublin, Ireland!

MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS again, Whippingham, Isle of Wight!

Saturday, 26 September 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshanks x 5 at Breydon Water.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Walsey Hills NOA.
Yellow-browed Warbler , Hen Harrier at Garden Drove, Warham Greens.
BARRED WARBLER still at Kelling Water Meadows.
Woodlark flew east over Beeston Common, Sheringham.
Leach's Petrel flew west 10.53am, past Cley.
Lapland Bunting at Kelling Quags.
Ospreys x 2 at Sparham Gravel Pits.
Velvet Scoter at Winterton.
Short-eared Owl at Blakeney Freshmarsh.

Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-FOOTED FALCON at Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve.

MEGA NEWS!
 
MEGA! LANCEOLATED WARBLER at Dale of Walls, Mainland, Shetland!
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS again, Whippingham, Isle of Wight!

Supermoon Lunar Eclipse!

1am Monday Morning!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/space/11891850/Supermoon-lunar-eclipse-Where-and-what-time-can-I-see-it-on-Sunday-and-how-long-will-it-last.html

Friday, 25 September 2015

The Weekend!

Thank goodness its Friday! Easterlies winds forecast from 9am tomorrow, throughout the weekend and all of next week!!! Should produce some rare birds for us all to enjoy, hopefully anyway. Extremely tired, won't be able to get up early tomorrow, but will be out early on Sunday. I'm glad the 'Flycatcher left Dungeness, saved me a trip and fuel!!!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
BARRED WARBLER at Kelling Water Meadows.
Hawfinch, Crossbill at Lynford Aboretum.
Great White Egret at Holkham.
Honey Buzzard, Common Buzzards x 60 at Cley NWT.
Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Breydon Water.
Lapland Bunting at Titchwell RSPB.
Ospreys x 2 at Sparham Gravel Pits.
Spoonbills x 7 at Warham Greens.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Walsey Hills NOA.
Snow Bunting at Old Hunstanton.
Short-eared Owl at Holme.
Short-eared Owl at Blakeney Freshmarsh.

Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-FOOTED FALCON at Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS again, Whippingham, Isle of Wight!

Super Blood Moon eclipse on night of September 27-28 | Tonight | EarthSky

Super Blood Moon eclipse on night of September 27-28 | Tonight | EarthSky

Thursday, 24 September 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
BARRED WARBLER at Kelling Water Meadows.
Little Stints x 2, Red-crested Pochard at Titchwell RSPB.
Great White Egret, Osprey at Holkham.
Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Holme Dunes NWT.
BALTIC GULL Ad. possible (unringed), in pig fields north of Norwich.
Osprey again at Lyng.
Arctic Skua at Winterton.

Lincolnshire Highlights
RED-FOOTED FALCON at Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! THICK-BILLED WARBLER Mainland below Quendale Mill, Shetland!

MEGA! PECHORA PIPIT, Porth Hellick, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly!
MEGA! GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH still at St Warna's Cove, St Angus, Isles of Scilly!

MEGA! BONELLI'S WARBLER Sp again on The Garrison, St Mary's Isles of Scilly!
MEGA! GREATER YELLOWLEGS yesterday, (but no sign today) Whippingham, Isle of Wight!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
White-rumped Sandpiper flew west past Weybourne.
Grey Phalarope flew west past Horsey.
Osprey at Hockwold Washes.
Garganey at Cantley Beet Factory.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Walsey Hills NOA.
Osprey again at Lyng.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! BLACKPOLL WARBLER at St Warna's Cove, St Angus, Isles of Scilly!

MEGA! GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH at St Warna's Cove, St Angus, Isles of Scilly!

RBA Weekly Round-Up 16th to 22nd September!

By Mark Golley
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2015-37.aspx?s_id=227409122

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Desert Wheatear reported yesterday at Cley was a Wheatear.
Rough-legged Buzzard at Cley NWT.
Spoonbills x 3 on marshes at Warham Greens.
Great Skuas x 2 at Wells.
Osprey again at Lyng.
Spoonbills x 9, Little Stints x 3, Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshanks x 9 at Titchwell RSPB.
Common Cranes x 2 at Holkham.
Osprey at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB.
Short-eared Owl at Holme.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA!
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER probable, in garden of South View, along road to lighthouse at Dungeness, Kent and found by Martin Casemore!

MEGA! PECHORA PIPIT, mainland at Melby, Shetland!

MEGA! ACADIAN FLYCATCHER Probable in Kent!!!

A probable Acadian Flycatcher has been found in a garden of South View, along road to lighthouse at Dungeness, Kent by Martin Casemore!

Lots of discussion around ID, but seems to be swinging towards 'Acadian'. If confirmed as Acadian, this will be a first for Britain and 'only the second for the Western Palearctic following one found dead in Iceland in 1967'!!!

Discussion on Birdforum HERE with links to pictures.

In the news: http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/607209/Ultra-rare-Acadian-flycatcher-makes-spectacular-landing-at-Kent-s-Dungeness

Here is the link to the Alder Flycatcher pictures that I took at Blakeney Point on 25th September 2010: http://pennyshotbirdingandlife.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/mega-mega-mega-mega-day.html

Wings Over The Brecks, Reveals Secret Lives Of Stone Curlew, Nightjar And Goshawk

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/wings_over_the_brecks_reveals_secret_lives_of_stone_curlew_nightjar_and_goshawk_1_4238874

Monday, 21 September 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Black Tern juv. still at Holkham Park Lake.
Tundra Peregrine (form calidus) (on Saturday) possible, flew west at 11am, though distant at Cley.
DESERT WHEATEAR 1w fem. 300 yds east of beach car park at 9.10am-9.20am, but no further sign by 11.30am at Cley. 
Little Stint, Spotted Redshanks x 3 at Breydon Water.
Woodlark at Beeston Bump, Sheringham.
Osprey again at Lyng.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! COLLARED FLYCATCHER at Sumburgh Lighthouse, Shetland.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Chilled Last Day Of My Holiday!

I was up early and decided to have a different approach to birding on the last day of my holiday. By 6.55am I was sitting in the hides at Holme Marsh NWT! I had no intention of staying there longer than a couple or three hours, but it was so peaceful, I ended up staying all day! I didn't see anything spectacular, but a good general selection of birds were seen: Common Buzzards x 2, Marsh Harriers x 4, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Siskins x 17 west, Little Grebes x 2, Gadwall, Tufted Ducks, Swallows x 3 west, Blue Tit, Wren, Moorhen, Coot, Cetti's Warbler (heard), Robin, Heron, Egyptian Geese x 6 flew east, Barn Owl and the usual Woodpigeons and Magpies.  I met and chatted with some lovely people today – Alex who is a volunteer at Sculthorpe Moor NR and also John from Glasgow who was staying in Norfolk on holiday (lovely to meet you), Gary H. also popped in and Eddie M. briefly. I left at 3pm to make my breakfast/lunch at my parent's house and then returned to the hides where I bumped into Richard B and his better half Jessica (only joking Richard!).

There was nothing exciting on the pager for Norfolk, until messages came up about a Red-footed Falcon roosting yesterday and then seen again late afternoon today. Another poor day for new birds generally. I'm sure the next few weeks will become increasingly exciting for us all though. I will have to hope the megas don't get found too far away, as I can only get so far light wise after work now. I don't think I will be able to walk Blakeney Point after work before the sun hits the deck, oh well! Roll on next weekend!

Will update this a bit more tomorrow, but shattered now and at work in the morning.

PICTURES TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
RAVEN probable, flew over Kelling Heath.
Osprey again at Lyng.
Black Tern juv. still at Holkham Park Lake.
Spoonbills x 6, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Spotted Redshank, Little Stints x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Short-eared Owl at Cley NWT.
Spoonbills x 17 at Stiffkey Fen.
Hen Harrier over marshes at Stiffkey.
Richard's Pipit, Woodlark flew over Beeston Bump, Sheringham.
RED-FOOTED FALCON Juv yesterday over Church Farm Marshes then roosted 7.23pm-7.25pm at Burgh Castle.
RED-FOOTED FALCON Juv at Berney Marshes RSPB.
Short-eared Owl, Spotted Redshank over grazing marshes, Holme.
Caspian Gull at Weybourne.
Pied Flycatcher at Muckleburgh Hill, west of Weybourne.
Short-eared Owl at Surlingham.

MEGA NEWS!
None.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Titchwell RSPB, Burnham Norton & Holme!

Delivered some shopping early morning to my parents, father was eating his breakfast, so I only stopped for 10 minutes and visited properly later. A beautiful sunny day, but it was dire for birds and I have never seen so many fed up looking birders as I did today!

Titchwell RSPB
I started my birding off in the Titchwell RSPB carpark, in hope of finding a Yellow-browed Warbler, but best I could do was: 2 Blackcaps, 1 Whitethroat, a Wren, Robins, Goldfinches, Chaffinches, Magpies and Woodpigeon! Oh and four Siskins flew over west.

I spent a long time around The Fen Trail where I found a Goldcrest (a Firecrest would have been nicer!), Cetti's Warbler, Long-tailed Tits, Great Tit, Blue Tits, Greenfinches and on to The East Trail to the furthest point, where I found 3 Spoonbills on the main pool. Met some nice people who had walked in from Briarfields Hotel via the new walk that links up with the East Trail path and chatted to them about birds at Titchwell and Binoculars etc. Very pleased to see there are now benches and seats all the way along the East Trail to the furthest viewing point. On Patsy's Pool there were 2 Little Egrets, 1 Heron, Snipe, 1 Pochard, Little Grebe, Mallard, a good number of Lapwings, another Cetti's Warbler singing and a Marsh Harrier glided over the reed beds. Ambled back to the 'Feeding Station' and had lunch outside and was joined by some local birders. Met a nice lady who introduced herself as 'one of your blog readers' in the shop. There was a Binocular and Telescope event going on, so it was extra busy at Titchwell RSPB today.

I left to go to Burnham Deepdale to buy another one of those scrumptious peanut butter Cornetto's, topped with dark chocolate. There were some beautifully attired wedding guests walking around the car parking area, who's outfits looked like a year's worth of my wages! They looked like they should be getting into a Rolls Royce's at the very least for their departure, but to my amusement all piled into a coach for their next destination!

Burnham Norton
The weather remained beautiful, but the bird situation today was dire to say the least. 4 Curlews on the marsh, Greylag Geese, 2 Mute Swans, 1 Marsh Harrier. It was so birdless, I didn't walk the normal full circuit round.

Memory Lane!
Returned to Holme to visit my parents and spent a good while with them. Father looked loads better on his new medication and a whole lot calmer. I was reminiscing with him about things we could remember at Holme Bird Observatory, to try and bring a smile to his face. I tried to recall all the NWT wardens before Gary Hibbard, who included Bill Boyd, John Newton (remember Ethy the goat that used to eat the tyres from visitor's cars in the car park!?), Peter Singleton, Major Cotter (his children Margaret and Patrick when to Holme Primary School with me) and Group Captain Christie. We talked about our fond memories of the chestnuts on the tortoiseshell wood burner, that would suddenly explode and scatter over the concrete floor and the jacket potatoes cooked in silver foil. We remembered characters that have remained in our memory banks, including twitcher Big Jake who always appeared at every twitch, he wore a long black trench coat and had long black hair (bumped into him since moving back), Ron Longstaff (RIP) who would mimic a Cuckoo brilliantly and you always knew of his arrival, especially in mid winter when you would hear a cuckoo calling somewhere along the main bank!!! Jim and Beryl Jolly who lived at Snettisham who made (Beryl) lots of craft type goods for the NOA to sell and were the funniest people ever and always had everyone roaring with laughter on the weekly Saturday visits. John and Mary Dixon who were the first members (I do believe) of the NOA and wonderful people – John assisted to build the Sea-watching hide, which is still in place today. Malcolm and Eileen White who also visited most Saturday's and remain good family friends. Malcolm was an excellent photographer and I used to find lizards for him to photograph. I didn't bring up the subject of Richard Richardson as I knew this would upset Father. We remembered dear Geoff Want (another RIP) who lived in Norwich and would also visit with his collie dog called Sandy – Geoff was an excellent birder and also artist. Geoff painted a wonderful watercolour of a Pekin Robin that visited the reserve, a wonderfully colourful cage bird – I still have that picture. Also Dave and Eve Pond who lived in Hertfordshire, but regularly came up on the train, then bus to Thornham and would walk along the Thornham bank to HBO – they were one of my favourite couples from the good old days. Our Great Aunty Ile who lived in Hanover Gardens, Hunstanton made the best coffee sandwich ever and she would bake one for us weekly – father would visit her once a week with one of his daughters on the back of his vespa scooter (some of you may remember this) and bring back a coffee sponge – but he never bought the tin (with cake in) into the house – he would put it straight into his work bag and it would get taken straight down to the observatory the following morning – that way, the cake lasted much longer and if you wanted any, you had to come down to the obs!!! I can understand why he did this with four females in the house – it would have been consumed in minutes! We could have talked all day about memories at the observatory, but I could see the Father could only take in so much. I was going to return to Titchwell to walk along the main path and photograph waders etc, but the day had disappeared and not much time left, so decided to nip to the village hides, know officially as Holme Marsh Reserve NWT.

Holme Marsh NWT
I have not been here for ages. You can tell that my Mother hasn't been here for a long time. She used to sweep the hides out with dustpan and bush, wash the cushions that she supplied for the hides and generally keep everything tidy. The hides didn't look like they had been swept out in months, there was rubbish in all three hides and generally looked neglected – I felt quite sad seeing it like this. Some lazy, selfish person had left a discarded paper hot chocolate cup on the shelf – wonder how long that had been there! A couple whom I met in the second hide, said the first hide view had been non-existent and had been overgrown for months, but had recently been cut only a couple of weeks ago. But the second hide was a complete waste of time – I have never seen so much reed growth in front. You could hardly see any of the water in the pool, needs a massive trim back – hopefully this will be done soon by NWT staff. I didn't get as far as the third hide to investigate the state of affairs there. Whilst in the second hide I saw a Short-eared Owl, Barn Owl and a Common Buzzard over the marsh. I don't know if there were any birds on the pool, as I couldn't see the pool!!! Walked back to my car as the sun was setting and then drove home via Ringstead.

PICTURES TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Great White Egret at Holkham.
Black Terns x 2 flew west, Honey Buzzard flew east at Weybourne.
Redstart at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.
Sooty Shearwaters x 4 at Sea Palling.
Ring Ouzel, Redstart at South Dunes, Pied Flycatcher north end of allotments at Winterton.
Short-eared Owls x 2, Spoonbills x 3, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Little Stints x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Osprey again at Lyng.
Black Tern juv. still at Holkham Park Lake.
Little Stint at Welney WWT.
Honey Buzzard flew WSW over Thetford.
Garganey at Cantley Beet Factory.
Honey Buzzard over Kelling Heath.
Snow Bunting at Horsey Gap.
Osprey, Ring-necked Parakeet in garden north of North Walsham.
Osprey at Ringland.


Lincolnshire Highlights
BALTIC GULL Ad, possible this evening on Apex Pit at North Hykeham.
MEGA NEWS!
None.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Friday Update!

I don't feel like I have had seven day's holiday already and with hardly under rare birds seen either, its been a poor birding break from work! Still, two day's to go though, so won't give up yet!

Had to wait until 11.30am for the British Gas man to come out and he couldn't do the assessment without checking with the 'bosses' first, because of the previous smoke damage and loft insulation already being taken out – long boring story, but he had to wait for the phone call to go ahead and he/I didn't hear anything by the end of the day. Nothing is ever simple and straight forward is it! The same situation with the car today – there was I thinking I would get a yes or no answer straight away, but the Skoda garage had to take photographs of the windscreen and send them off to head office who will decide my fate!!! The very nice ladies on the skoda reception arranged for my car to be washed for me, free of charge, which did cheer me a little, thank you – nice shiny car again, but with bl**dy great L shaped crack in windscreen!!!

It was early afternoon by the time I got home and cooked breakfast/lunch and then had forty winks on the sofa. I felt tired and fed-up. I had full intentions of going birding, but decided to continue with some tedious, but necessary jobs instead.

I have not seen my parents all week, so going birding locally tomorrow. This means that something big will turn up east and I will have to bomb (or rather crawl behind Sunday drivers) along the coast road, you watch!!! Someone find a mega in Norfolk for the weekend PLEASE!!! James McCallum come on!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Osprey at Lyng.
Osprey again on post again at Thornham Harbour.
Pomarine Skua, Red-necked Grebe, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpipers x 3, Spotted Redshanks x 10, Spoonbills x 6, Redstart at Titchwell RSPB.
Osprey flew south west over Weybourne.
Black Tern juv. still at Holkham Park Lake.
RED-BACKED SHRIKE still in Lupins at Blakeney Point.
Redstart, Ring Ouzel in South Dunes, Winterton.
Turtle Dove at Black Barn Road/The Street, Tibenham.
Great White Egret at Holkham.
Honey Buzzards x 2 flew south east over Salthouse.
WRYNECK at Welney WWT.
Pied Flycatchers x 2 at Wells Woods.
Honey Buzzard flew east over Blickling.
Redstarts x 2 at Beeston Bump, Sheringham.
Rough-legged Buzzard Ad fem. 1/2 mile south of and then flew SE from Walsey Hills NOA.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Redstart at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! LITTLE SWIFT at 9.50am, (but no further sign by midday) over South Scrape at Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve, Hampshire.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Dawn 'til Dusk Birding!

Stonechat at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse

I was up and out by dawn (ish!). It had been raining all night with a North Easterly wind, but the rain how now stopped – there had be birds surely? As I drove out of my estate I heard an odd noise which sounded like a creaky/cracking sound – didn't know what it was and presumed it was something to do with the heating system, more on that later!

Arrived at the layby for Burnham Overy Dunes at 6.45am and felt excited, I was the first person here and scanning the coastal path out there, no one had yet walked in from the Burnham Overy Staithe Quay car park either! With a spring in my step to find all the goodies myself, I commenced along the track. There had obviously been an arrival of Robins, as I could hear several calling in the hedges and also Hedgesparrows. Saw a Chiffchaff in the sallows by the farm gates and stile, nothing more though in the sallows and brambles as I continued to the seawall apart from a few goldfinches. Through the gate and up onto the seawall path I saw two Reed Buntings feeding on the path and a few more on the lower path. Two Snipe flew across and the usual gulls and Redshanks were feeding in the harbour. A Marsh Harrier put everything up on the marsh including 70+ Golden Plover. Two Grey Partridges ran from the corner of the field into hiding and a very smart Wheatear appeared on the last corner before reaching the bushes at the end of the boardwalk. Several Meadow Pipits in the sueda bushes.

The bushes at the end were supposed to produce red-breasted flycatcher, greenish warbler, yellow-browed warbler, pied flycatchers and red-backed shrike perched at top at the very least in my wild (obviously) imagination!!! In reality they produced one Robin, one Whitethroat and a few Hedgesparrows – a massive let down!!! I continued west to Gun Hill. The tide was very high this morning and the marshes were flooded close to the footpath. At Gun Hill I had one Kestrel perched on the elder on the very top of the hill and one Robin in the seaward side bushes. Lots of Swallows going through west all day. That was it!!!

Trundled back to the bushes at the end of the boardwalk. Other birders now out here and met a very nice couple who read my blog and helped them to ID a bird they had seen. I then sat round by the apple tree and enjoyed my cold fried egg and vege sausage roll with coffee – scrumptious! Things started to look up when I saw a flashy red tail, flick round by the dead docks, just to the right of the apple tree – a lovely redstart which I saw again later, but it was elusive and didn't want be on my camera! It was now 9.20am and bumped into Oriole Birding's Ashley Saunders with group of birders. Whilst having a brief chat with Ashley about the state of birding today, he declared 'the big one always travels alone' – true, 'carry on regardless'!

I headed east through the dunes in my search for birds. Found at least four Wheatears and good numbers of Meadow Pipits and Hedgesparrows. In the Subalpine pit (as its know locally) I found what must have been the same Redstart I photographed the other day, but it didn't want to get on camera a second time. At the west end of the pines I sat on the high dunes and watched the elders and brambles, where I saw at least three Redstarts, a Garden Warbler, a Chiffchaff, male Blackcap and 11 Siskins flew over west. Ashley S. was sitting here with his group and had seen a flock of Siskins before I arrived, so obviously a big movement of Siskens going through (lots noted from NARVOS members recently). Chatted to another birder briefly, who said 'how's your dawn 'til dusk' going Penny? I sometimes forget when I'm out what I have written on my blog the day before! Anyway, I headed back to my car seeing very little apart from a party of Long-tailed Tits in the hedge just before I got back to the car.

My plan was to walk Blakeney Point in the afternoon, but with lack of migrants at Burnham Overy I wasn't inspired at all. Ok, there was a Red-backed Shrike at BP, but then there was one at Kelling Water Meadows too – a considerably easier walk! As I headed east along the A149 I suddenly noticed a perfect horizontal line in my windscreen, directly below the mirror. You know when you are driving along and looking at something you shouldn't be when you are driving....this line puzzled me, was it there before? Was it one of those lines you see to do with the heating system? The more I looked, the more worried I became, especially when I could then see a perfect vertical line coming down from the top of the windscreen to meet with the horizontal line and made a perfect L shape. I had to investigate properly. Pulled off the road into the middle Warham track. Got out of the car and was horrified to confirm that I had a massive L shaped crack running from the roof of the car down and across, approx one hand's length down and and two hand's length across!!! So that was what the cracking noise was I heard earlier. In all my driving years I have never had this happen to a windscreen. I wasn't aware of a stone chipping the windscreen either and in any case it would be unlikely, as I heard this cracking noise as I left my estate and wouldn't have been doing more than 20 miles an hour. My heart sunk and £ signs flashed in my mind. Phoned my Skoda garage to ask for advice and they said to bring the car in tomorrow to have a look at it – surely that must be a manufacturer's fault! Windscreen glass shouldn't do that surely?! If Skoda don't agree to sort it, it will cost me £75 excess with my insurance policy. Felt very upset that my new car had been damaged already! I know its only glass, but that isn't the point. Feeling p*ssed off, I continued to Coastguards at Cley and sat and had lunch in my car in the sunshine. I also then decided to have a long nap.
A Gramborough Hill Mega!

I don't know where the rest of the day disappeared to, but it did. I met up with Andy W. (also on holiday this week) and we blitzed Gramborough Hill at Salthouse. One very smart Stonechat flitted around on the brambles and barbed wire fence and three Linnets. Sat on the top of the hill for ages, willing something exciting to appear out of the bushes. 18 Curlew flew over and one Snipe. A couple of Little Egrets feeding on the marsh. Had a coffee back at my car and drove home.

Tomorrow I have wait in from 8am-1pm for a British Gas Surveyor to come out about putting the loft insulation back in (after my smoke damage) – no doubt he will turn up late rather than early, knowing my luck. Then I have to take the car to Skoda. Hope to get a bit of birding in at Titchwell RSPB later on maybe – at least I will see some birds!

MORE PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Osprey again on post west of main footpath, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpipers x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 10, Slavonian Grebe at Titchwell RSPB.
Balearic Shearwater at Mundesley.
Redstart at end of boardwalk, Spoonbills x 2 at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Redstarts x 5 at west end of Holkham Pines.
RED-BACKED SHRIKE in Lupins at Blakeney Point.
RED-BACKED SHRIKE Juv. again, Whinchats x 6 at Kelling Water Meadows.
Ring-necked Parakeet still in back garden, Mill Road, Surlingham.
Black Tern juv. at Holkham Park Lake.
Spoonbills x 7 at Thornham Harbour.
Pied Flycatcher, Redstarts x 3 at Winterton.
Convolvulus Hawk-moth on bag of sand by house in Bush Road, Winterton.
Great White Egret at Holkwold Washes.
Redstarts x 2 at Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
Redstart, Red-veined Darter Dragonflies x 2 at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Ring Ouzel, Pied Flycatcher at Waxham.
Osprey at Lyng.
Whinchats x 5, Redstarts x 3 at Horsey.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN GODWIT Adult Male still on Aran Islands at Inishmore, County Galway, Ireland.
MEGA! BONELLI'S WARBLER Sp. at Dirk Bay, Galley Head, County Cork, Ireland.

MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN again at west end near Rush Sailing Club at Rogerstown, County Dublin, Ireland.
MEGA! LITTLE SWIFT probable at Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve, Hampshire.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Holiday Update!

I havn't left the house for two days! I was so exhausted when I eventually got to bed on Monday night that I slept in ALL morning on Tuesday!!! Typing the blog daily, work and life in general had caught up with me!

Late on Tuesday I decided to ring TalkTalk about my email not working on my iphone 6 – it didn't work properly on the iphone 5s and I presumed when my phone copied over to new one that it just took whatever bad settings it had etc across. So after spending ages copying all my 'Notes' with pen and paper (this gets deleted when you delete your email account on an iphone, take note) I deleted the email account and attempted to re-install and of course as expected, it didn't work properly. Cutting a very, very long story short, TalkTalk couldn't get to the bottom of it and suggested I ring Apple. I had a 'live' text conversation with an Apple technician for several hours and yes it kind of got solved. I learn't alot too – so basically we are all connected to a POP server or an IMAP server. An IMAP server allows you to send/receive emails on all your computers, phones etc so eg if I send an email on my phone, it shows up in my sent box on the phone and on my Macbook laptop, BUT my email account wouldn't work using IMAP, so had to go with the POP server, which now means for the first time in at least a year, I can now use the email facility normally – apart from the fact that if I send an email on my iphone, it WON'T appear on my Macbook as a sent email!!! So if I want to keep a copy of sent email on my phone, I will have email the sent mail to myself!!! Technology! I won't even tell you what time I went to bed this morning. When I tried to get to sleep I was woken up by the builders next door with machinery, banging, singing and 'boom, boom, boom' from open van door/radio in the front garden! I took so much of the music and then blew my top and asked them to turn it off, but they sneaked it back on again later, although much quieter than before, so I let it go.

I was going birding this afternoon and packed the car up all ready, but got involved in sorting lots of important jobs out and arranging appointments for things like boiler service and surveyor to survey my loft to put back the loft insulation etc etc. I received my free £500 visa card from Skoda today – fabulous!!! In any case, re birding, the rain didn't start until much later than they had forecast, so unlikely to have had that much time before dusk to see anything.

Sandwiches are done and birding gear ready by door. Dawn til dusk tomorrow – there HAS to be birds tomorrow surely after NE and rain all afternoon and evening?! Currently uploading Andrea's birthday videos on youtube!

WOW! I got a reply from Bear Grylls on Twitter today!!! See screenshot below.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Osprey on post west of main footpath, Spoonbills x 7, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshanks x 17, Black Tern at Titchwell RSPB.
Redstart at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Redstart at east end of Garden Drove, Spoonbills x 8 at Warham Greens.
Redstarts x 5 at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Osprey at Ranworth Broad.
Osprey at Lyng.
Balearic Shearwater, Black Tern, Arctic Terns x 4 at Cley.
Whinchat at Nunnery Lakes, Thetford.
Spoonbills x 24 at Stiffkey Fen.
RED-BACKED SHRIKE Juv. briefly at 3.25pm, at Kelling Water Meadows.
Firecrest, Redstarts x 2 at North Dunes, Winterton.
Firecrest at Wells Woods.
Spoonbills x 4 flew over Holme NOA.
Balearic Shearwater at Sheringham.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN GODWIT Adult Male still on Aran Islands at Inishmore, County Galway, Ireland.
MEGA! PECHORA PIPIT possible, flew North over Portland Bill at 10.10am calling, Dorset.

MEGA! EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER still (heard only) in plantation at Skaw, Whalsay, Shetland.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 9th to 15th September!

By John Dunn
www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/weeklyroundup2015-36.aspx?s_id=232030907

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Great White Egret at Holkham.
Osprey still, Turtle Dove, Red-necked Grebe, Little Stints x 3, Yellow-legged Gull, Spotted Redshanks x 2, Whinchat, Arctic Tern, Spoonbill, Curlew Sandpiper at Titchwell RSPB.
Osprey at Wroham Broad.
Caspian Gull, Yellow-legged Gull at Cromer.
Little Stints x 2, Wood Sandpiper at Cley NWT.
Redstart in Forestry, Short-eared Owls x 2 at Holme NWT.
Garganey at Cantley Beet Factory.
Redstart at Felbrigg Hall NT.
Yellow-legged Gull at Spink's Lane, Wymondham.
Caspian Gull at Cley NWT.
Spoonbills x 5, Whinchats x 2, Short-eared Owl between Stiffkey & Warham Greens.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! HUDSONIAN GODWIT Adult Male on Aran Islands at Inishmore, County Galway, Ireland.

MEGA! BONELLI'S WARBLER Sp. 1w at Unst at Burrafirth at Shore Station, Shetland.

Monday, 14 September 2015

The BIG Search!

 Gramborough Hill, Salthouse

Garden Drove, Warham
Started off early in my big search for migrants. It was raining heavily as I drove along the A148. Christened the new car by taking it up the muddy, roller coaster track to the concrete pad to walk Garden Drove at Warham. It was spitting with rain as I set off down the track. A party of Long-tailed Tits, Blue and Great Tits and 2 Robins were all I found along the track and nothing in the copse at the end – very disappointing. Walked left to the Western most pit and again found nothing – I could not believe that there wasn't a single bird in this pond area! Further along from this 2 Whitethroats were in a small sueda bush on the edge of the marsh and presumably the same tit flock were flicking around a large elder in the hedge line. Hundreds of Swallows and House Martins were flying around the marsh, looking towards East Hills. Plodded back to the car and distressingly had to listen to pigs screaming and squealing, as they were being loaded into a lorry for 'departure'!!! I also noticed that one of the pigs in the field stood motionless and gazed in the direction of the squealing pigs until the noise stopped and then she/he turned back to join the other pigs – how sad.

Stiffkey Campsite
As I descended down to the car park a Redstart flew west across the track – this was bird of the day! I walked the whole length of the clifftop wood and was rewarded with a Wood Pigeon  – Whahoooooo! oh and a Robin!! All exciting stuff! Oh yeah..... and a few Pied Wagtails in the campsite field, how could I forget! Just managed to miss another heavy downpour before returning to my car. I was boiling hot and had not dressed for southerly winds. I do wish they would get the forecast correct – the last time I looked it was NE and rain all day, now it was south and blazing sunshine for the majority of the day!

Walsey Hills NOA
A Common Buzzard was circling in the blue skies as I walked along the bottom path. A Painted Lady butterfly was feeding on the ivy flowers at the end of the path and I found a Stinkhorn which had freshly sprung up along the now ridiculously narrow path, between the gorse to the hide – I almost had to step sideways to get along that path! Heard one Chiffchaff, nothing else of note.
Kestrel hovering over Gramborough Hill
 
Whitethroat showing briefly at Gramborough Hill


Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Kestrel hovering over the hill in the glorious blue skies. 2 Whitethroats in the big bramble bush, just before the scrub at the hill. 3 Linnets in the main scrub and a few Swallows flying around. Nothing more exciting I'm afraid. I phoned Blakeney Point Ranger Ajay, to see what they had at BP and all he had found migrant wise was a Wheatear! Hmmmm....... my plan had been to walk Blakeney Point this afternoon, so decided to scrap that idea! Bumped into John F. who advised me which shop to buy a notebook from, which was Bertram Watts in Sheringham. Now, you'll be wondering why I needed to go all the way to Sheringham to buy a notebook – well, my birders notebook had run out apart from a single page left and I always have a new spare one in the house, but when I looked I hadn't and I refuse to go into King's Lynn town centre in my holiday to buy another, so I was looking for a tough/quality lined notebook, preferably with elastic strap. I found it highly amusing yesterday, that neither CleySpy OR Cley NWT Visitor Centre sell a birder's notebook! The visitor centre sells big fluffy parrot hand puppets and jams, jewellery, cups, trinkets.... the list goes on, but no birder's notebook!!! I know that Titchwell RSPB sell one, perhaps I should have waited.

Sheringham
Parked up in the high street and found Bertram Watts, primarily a book sellers. A very helpful lady in the shop showed me an array of notebooks including a very posh and expensive 'Birder's Notebook' for £9.99 with list of UK species in the front. Ok, so I didn't want to pay that much, but there are people that will, CleySpy and Cley NWT V.C. are losing out on valuable sales in my opinion, only saying! Anyway, I found a very nice 'Silvine' mossy green coloured notebook, lined and with elastic strap. You can tell there's not much bird news when I'm waffling on about notebooks!!! Asleep yet?! I should be!

Beeston Bump, Sheringham
Searched for the reported Redstarts that came up on the pager late afternoon, but couldn't find them anywhere. Found 2 Whitethroats in the main little gully of scrub in the middle, a Blackbird and 2 Wood Pigeons, Whoopie Doo! Far more dog crap than birds. Beeston Bump is a beautiful place and has huge potential for migrants being next to the clifftop, but don't walk along looking for birds, you have to stop and look, otherwise you'll being stepping in all kinds of little surprises!

Sheringham Cemetery
This was my last hope of finding something exciting. The road that leads up to the cemetery always looks brilliant for birds with the mowed grassy verges and trees, but have never found anything half decent here. I walked around the entire cemetery and didn't find a single bird. Found a few mushrooms and took a picture of the beautiful sunset. Peered into all the allotment gardens around the car park area and again found no birds at all – I didn't even find a Wood Pigeon this time, sad state of affairs! It seemed to take forever to get home. Rescued a baby hedgehog scurrying around my street with two onlooking cats – picked it up and placed in my front garden – plenty of cover in there! Going to have a jobs day tomorrow with the SW winds and rain forecast all day. I might even add some pictures to the blog!
 
Toadstools and Sunset at Sheringham Cemetery


MORE PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE ADDED

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Osprey on post at Thornham Saltmarsh.
Redstarts x 2 at Thornham Point.
Spoonbills x 9, Little Stints x 3, Curlew Sandpiper, Whinchats x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Redstart, Black Tern at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Spoonbills x 23 at Stiffkey Fen.
CORNCRAKE near Highs and Creek campsite at 4.25pm, Redstart flew over track to campsite car park at Stiffkey.
Pied Flycatcher, Redstarts x 3 at South Dunes, Winterton.
Pied Flycatcher, Redstarts x 2 at Wells Woods.
Little Stint at Cley NWT.
Osprey at Ranworth Broad.
Redstarts x 3 at Beeston Bump, Sheringham.
Pied Flycatcher at Weybourne.
Pied Flycatcher, Whinchats x 2, Redstarts x 3, Common Cranes x 3 at Horsey.
Spoonbills x 3 west of Garden Drove, Warham.
Great White Egret at Holkham.
Caspian Gull 3w in area with no general access, north of Norwich.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! SHORT-TOED EAGLE Juv. circled over Slackstead Farm at Braishfield, then drifted NE towards Hursley, Hampshire.

MEGA! BONELLI'S WARBLER Sp. at Sumburgh Head Lighthouse, Shetland.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Burnham Overy Dunes & Salthouse!

Searching for migrants at Burnham Over Dunes!

Loads of Swallows were gathering on telegraph wires at Stanhoe, as I headed to Burnham Overy. Parked up in the lay by at Burnham Overy to search for migrants. A Reed Bunting flew out of the hedge, as I headed off along the track. 11 Curlews were feeding on the marsh and 2 Chiffchaffs were in the big sallow, just west of the farm gates and stile. Bumped into Andrew B. with two ladies on route, who had seen 3 kingfishers, a sedge and willow warbler.

I could hear Bearded Tits 'pinging' in the reed beds, east of the sea wall. In the bushes at the end of the boardwalk, I sadly didn't see any birds. I was then going to head west to Gun Hill, but was drawn east through the dunes, when I spotted a Redstart and 3 Wheatears on the barbed wire fence about 100yrds along! Good numbers of Meadows Pipits and Linnets around and several more Wheatears as I headed through the dunes, at least 6. I watched a Garden Warbler high up in a bush on the dunes briefly and then continued on through the dunes to the Subalpine pit (local birders will know where I mean). I sat here for ages watching a Redstart, Robin and a Chiffchaff. With patience I did eventually get a half decent shot of the Redstart. Also heard a Green Woodpecker.

Continued my quest to find something exciting, up dunes and down – hard work these dunes for a olden'!!! Anyway, the highlight of the day was sitting overlooking the biggest hollow, right next to the pines. In one hawthorn bush there was a bird rave going on! Seriously! There was about 20 minutes of bird frenzy in that one bush! All of these birds appeared in here, not all at the same time, but several species together at a time – 3 Robins, Pied Flycatcher (briefly), Spotted Flycatcher, Chiffchaffs x 2, male Blackcap, Goldcrest, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Coal Tits x 2, Long-tailed Tits x 3 and a Redstart. When the hawthorn bush eventually emptied, it was silent for ages and no birds returned. I moved round the dune to watch a Redstart in the dead elders and also 2 Hedgesparrows and 1 Chiffchaff.
Common Redstart at Burnham Overy Dunes

Spotted Flycatcher at Holkham

I then walked back at a fairly fast pace, as I wanted to get to Cleyspy before they closed at 4pm. On route I saw a Stoat, a Marsh Harrier and a Common Buzzard. There was a Redstart briefly in the bushes at the end of the boardwalk, but I didn't have time to wait for it to appear again.

I arrived at Cleyspy at 3.58pm! Phew! Made it. Collected my Paramo coat and waistcoat – both which have had their zips replaced and waterproofed again. This means I will be able to search for migrants in the forecast torrential rain and North easterly winds this week and stay dry! Great!
My new car - still 'showing well' at dusk!

Sat at Beach Road, Salthouse to have my very late lunch. Steve G. pulled up to walk to Gramborough Hill, as did John F! They both went on ahead of me. I joined them as they were leaving the hill, but John walked back with me and we were then joined by Rob H. Rob had walked BP today and hadn't seen anything spectacular, apart from a couple of Redstarts and a juv. Golden Plover (which he got a stunning picture of – see here). The three of us peered into the bushes – no sign of anything mega, but did have a nice Redstart. Walked back to our cars and then I re-located to Meadow Lane and walked to the two big sallow bushes, in hope of a Yellow-browed Warbler, but they were both devoid of birds. Stunning sunset as I drove home.
Sunset just south of Blakeney

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Redstart, Whinchat at Beeston Bump, Sheringham.
Pied Flycatcher, Osprey, Spoonbills x 6, Little Stints x 4, Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Titchwell RSPB.
Caspian Gull, Yellow-legged Gull at Cromer.
WRYNECK, Redstarts x 6, Whinchat at South Dunes, Pied Flycatchers x 3, Redstart, Whinchats x 3 at North Dunes, Sooty Shearwater flew south over Winterton.
Curlew Sandpiper at Breydon Water.
Osprey sitting in dead tree east of drying barns, Hen Harrier at Choseley Barns.
Pied Flycatcher at Gorleston-on-Sea.
Pied Flycatchers x 2 at Stiffkey Campsite Wood.
Pied Flycatchers x 2, Redstarts x 3, Whinchat (west end of pines), Great White Egret at Holkham.
Redstarts x 7, Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Pied Flycatchers x 3, Redstarts x 2 at Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
WHITE-WINGED BLACK TERN Juv. still viewed from A149 at Rollesby Bridge, Ormesby Broad.
Osprey, Redstarts x 2 at Holme.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Redstarts x 3, 2 miles west of Sheringham plus just east of Dead's Man's Wood in hedge, viewable from railway bridge (no access to D.M.'s Wood).
Caspian Gull at Cley NWT.
Redstarts x 2, Whinchat at Blakeney Point.
Honey Buzzard flew over Stiffkey Fen, Spoonbill on saltmarsh at Stiffkey.

Suffolk Highlights
DEATH'S-HEAD HAWKMOTH at Minsmere RSPB.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! AUDOUIN'S GULL probable, 2s flew NE over Holland Haven Country Park at 1.30pm, then NE past Frinton-on-Sea at 1.35pm.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Andrea's 50th Birthday Party!

Cèilidh Dance at a Local Hall
I LOVE dancing with a passion, but I had to sit this one out for several reasons –  I have a really dodgy left ankle and didn't want to finish it off and also didn't want to ruin my birding week with one night of dancing! So I spent the evening watching my work colleagues and Andrea's friends doing some crazy moves. Took some cracking video of them all – will be on my youtube account this week.

Andrea Pearson's 50th Birthday Party. Two videos with Andrea Pearson, Tim R., Sarah Barber, Emily Mathers, Chloe Hill , Kelly Lehmann, Scott Ablett and Sarah to be Ablett, Anne-Marie Hurst, Suzy Butler, Hilary Palmer, Gemma Vivash, Lesley Kemp and Bob!

Holme Reserves!

Visted my parents briefly. Much to my delight I found a Pied Flycatcher in the scrub opposite the toilet block, next to the village carpark at Holme, but unable to get a photo and I spent a long time trying! It was very sheltered in these sallows and brambles and there was a nice selection of birds in here including: 2 Willow Warblers, 50+ Housesparrows, Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Great Tit, Blue Tit and a Wren.

1 Redstart in the NWT Forestry and 11 Black-tailed Godwits flew east. A Pied Flycatcher opposite the NOA seawatching hide with loads of Goldfinches, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wren and a Whitethroat which I seriously thought look like a 1w Barred Warbler!!! Can't go in to it all now as have 15 minutes to get ready for a party, but it had a bulky head, bumbled around the bramble like Barred's do and just didn't seem like a whitethroat, but I suppose it is – sadly, sent picture to E.T.M. and also R.S. thought the same – oh dear, back to birding school!!! Seriously though, my first instinct on jizz and size was certainly not a Whitethroat!

Then had to fly home for the party!!! Looking forward to the rest of my holiday! Several House Martins around the farm along the Ringstead road on route home. Fell weird returning home in daylight!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Pied Flycatchers x 10, Redstarts x 4 at Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
WRYNECK, BLUETHROAT, Whinchat at South Dunes, Pied Flycatchers x 3 at North Dunes, Winterton.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Osprey, Spoonbills x 4, Little Stints x 4, Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshanks x 6 at Titchwell RSPB.
Red-necked Phalarope at Caister-on-Sea.
Pied Flycatchers x 2 (1 opp. Sea-watching Hide NOA, 1 opp. toilet block next to village car park), Redstarts x 5, Turtle Doves x 3, Short-eared Owls x 2 in paddocks at Holme.
Pied Flycatcher, Redstarts x 6 at Burnham Overy Dunes.
Curlew Sandpiper at Breydon Water.
RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER Adult Male in garden at Wells.
WRYNECK at Long Hills, Blakeney Point.
Pied Flycatcher in pit at Warham Greens.
Pied Flycatchers x 2, Redstarts x 2 at North end of Garden Drove, Warham.
WHITE-WINGED BLACK TERN Juv. still viewed from A149 at Rollesby Bridge, Ormesby Broad.
CORNCRAKE, BARRED WARBLER, WRYNECK, Pied Flycatchers x 5, Redstarts x 8, Tree Pipit at East Hills, Wells.
Hen Harrier flew over East Bank at Cley NWT.
Osprey flew east over Claxton.
Redstarts x 4 at Wells Woods.
WRYNECK in pine belt east of cliff top carpark at West Runton.
Spoonbills x 4 at Thorham Harbour.
WOOD WARBLER at Earlham Cemetery, Norwich.
Redstarts x 3 at Beeston Bump, Sheringham.
WRYNECK on eastside of railway embankment at Wymondham.
Yellow-browed Warbler at Hemsby.
Caspian Gull at Cley NWT.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER trapped & ringed 1.45pm at Skaw, Whalsay, Shetland.

MEGA! PALLAS'S GRASSHOPPER WARBLER still, mainland at North Roe, Shetland

Friday, 11 September 2015

NINE DAY'S HOLIDAY!!!

At Last!!! Out birding on Saturday, but need to pray that no one finds a mega late afternoon, as I have to be back in King's Lynn by 5pm 'ish to get ready for a work colleague's 50th birthday party. Typical that it is raining in the morning with south easterly winds and then sunny in the afternoon, equals perfect conditions for finding rares in the afternoon. A day where I would normally be out until dark. Need to keep my fingers crossed! Sunday please for megas!

Took a long time to type up all the bird news this evening. I was very tempted to go birding this evening, but had jobs to do. Roll on Sunday and beyond!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Norfolk Bird News via 'Rare Bird Alert'
Pied Flycatchers x 2, Redstart at Walsey Hills NOA.
Pied Flycatcher, Redstarts x 2 at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.
Pied Flycatcher, Spoonbills x 3 at Warham Greens.
Yellow-browed Warbler (probable) at Wymondham Sewage Works.
Osprey flew north over Hunstanton Cliffs.
Redstart at Stiffkey Saltmarsh.
BLUETHROAT reported, Firecrest, Redstart at South Dunes, WRYNECK (probable), Pied Flycatchers x 2, Redstarts x 4, Tree Pipit, Firecrest at North Dunes, Winterton.
Osprey, Pied Flycatchers x 2, Spoonbill, Redstarts x 7, Whinchat, Spotted Redshank at Holme NOA.
WRYNECK (probable) & Quail, Yellow-browed Warbler (in paddocks behind pay hut) all yesterday at Holme Dunes NWT.
MARSH WARBLER in sallows by beach car park, Weybourne.
Redstart, Whinchat at Beeston Bump, Sheringham.
Snow Bunting at Caister-on-Sea.
Pied Flycatchers x 10, Redstarts x 25 at Blakeney Point.
Pied Flycatchers x 11, Redstarts x 25, Whinchats x 14, Grasshopper Warbler x 3 yesterday at Blakeney Point.
Redstarts x 2, Tree Pipits x 2, Whinchats x 7 at Kelling Water Meadows.
Pied Flycatchers x 2, Whinchats x 5, Redstarts x 6, Osprey between Great Yarmouth & Caister Denes.
Pied Flycatchers x 6 at Great Yarmouth Cemetery.
Spoonbills x 3 yesterday at Snettisham Coastal Park.
Osprey, Whinchats x 2, Little Stints x 2, Curlew Sandpipers x 3, Spoonbills x 3 at Titchwell RSPB.
WOOD WARBLER at West end of Holkham Pines.
Pied Flycatcher between Kelling and Salthouse.
SAKER, Hawfinch, Pied Flycatchers x 10, Redstarts x 4, Short-eared Owls x 2 at East Hills, Wells.
Pied Flycatcher on south side of Franklin Hill, Sheringham.
WRYNECK on west side of Incleborough Hill, West Runton.
Pied Flycatcher, Redstart at Wells Woods.
WHITE-WINGED BLACK TERN Juv. still viewed from A149 at Rollesby Bridge, Ormesby Broad.
Caspian Gulls x 2 at Cley NWT.

MEGA NEWS!
MEGA! PALLAS'S GRASSHOPPER WARBLER Mainland at North Roe, Shetland (the second earliest found in Britain!).

MEGA! SHORT-TOED TREECREEPER yesterday in garden, but no sign today, Dungeness Point.
MEGA! FORSTER'S TERN yesterday, still at Rogerstown Estuary, County Dublin, Ireland.