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Saturday, 18 November 2017

Derbyshire Mini Break!

On Monday I'm booked on a day course in Derby (booked via work), so I decided to make a weekend of my visit and booked to stay Saturday and Sunday. I'm hoping to see some Dippers!

I arrived at my accommodation in Derbyshire this afternoon and managed to see some sights before dusk, but no birds of note seen yet.

Full update tomorrow.......

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Hawfinches x 2 at Felbrigg Hall NT
Iceland Gull at Kelling Water Meadows
Grey Phalarope, Black Brant, Bittern, Iceland Gull, Dark-bellied Brent Geese x 500, Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Cley NWT
Iceland Gull at Salthouse
Black Redstart at boating pool, Snow Buntings x 4, Purple Sandpipers x 2 at Sheringham
Long-tailed Duck at Brancaster Staithe
Goshawk flew over, Glaucous Gull flew past Trimingham
Cattle Egrets x 2 opposite Red Lion Pub at Stiffkey
Caspian Gull at Sidestrand
Lapland Bunting at Halvergate
Firecrest at Titchwell RSPB
Caspian Gull, Iceland Gull at Weybourne
Twite x 20, Yellow-legged Gull at Thornham Harbour
Purple Sandpiper, Shag at Overstrand
Snow Buntings x 35 at Happisburgh
Great White Egret at Holkham Freshmarsh

MEGA NEWS 
FORSTER'S TERN
Kinvarra, County Galway, Ireland

Friday, 17 November 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Glaucous Gull at Sidestrand
Purple Sandpiper at Bacton
Twite x 20, Spotted Redshank at Thornham Harbour
Slavonian Grebe, Long-tailed Ducks x 3, Purple Sandpiper at Sheringham
Shorelarks x 2, Snow Buntings x 26 at Happisburgh
Hawfinches x 7 at Felbrigg Hall
Black Brant, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Snow Buntings x 35 at Cley NWT
Richard's Pipit flew over, Lapland Buntings x 3 at Weybourne
Long-tailed Duck at Brancaster Staithe
Great Northern Diver at Titchwell RSPB
Cattle Egrets x 2 east of Stiffkey
Snow Buntings x 25 at South Beach, Winterton
Caspian Gull at Kelling
Rough-legged Buzzard at Flitcham

MEGA NEWS 
None

Thursday, 16 November 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Snow Buntings x 100 at Blakeney Point
Glaucous Gull at Bacton
Waxwing flew over Hunstanton
Great White Egret at Hockwold Washes
Snow Buntings x 20 flew over Cromer
Snow Buntings x 50, Black Brant at Cley NWT
Hawfinches x 4 at Felbrigg Hall NT
Shorelark, Lapland Bunting, Snow Buntings x 45, Glaucous Gull at Happisburgh
Hawfinches x 4 at East Wretham Heath
Glaucous Gull at Walcott
Cattle Egrets x 2 east of Stiffkey
Waxwings x 2 flew over Muckleburgh Hill
Snow Buntings x 2, Lapland Bunting flew over at Weybourne Camp
Black Redstart at South Beach, Hunstanton
Hen Harrier at Thornham Marsh
Slavonian Grebe at Titchwell RSPB
Water Pipit at Potter Heigham Marshes

MEGA NEWS 
None

Fascinating 1968 Film of the Railway Line from King's Lynn to Hunstanton!

https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-future-uncertain-1968-online

"A whistle-stop venture from Kings Lynn to Hunstanton via rail, in the company of Chib Thorp, amateur filmmaker and rail enthusiast from Leigh-on-Sea."

"Edward Thorp, known as ‘Chib’, an undertaker from Leigh-on-Sea, spent his weekends throughout the year visiting the rural railway lines in East Anglia with wife Edna and their dog Micky. Chib always took along his 8mm camera, a good supply of Kodachrome film, and a tape recorder, to document their trips. Chib would edit the film himself at home, have a magnetic stripe added to the film, and on his Kodak projector, which had a recording facility, he would record a commentary.

The train journey starts outside King's Lynn station, passing through the first station North Wootton, then to the lovely Wolferton - the station that once served the Sandringham Estate, stopping at Dersingham then Snettisham Station and Heacham, before hitting Hunstanton, the end of the line. Presumably the film's title "Future Uncertain" refers to the spate of line and station closures and therefore withdrawal of passenger services by British Rail following the Beeching Report."

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Great White Egret at Hockwold Washes, Lakenheath
Hawfinches x 2 flew over Thorpe Marshes, Haddiscoe
Iceland Gulls x 2 at Cley NWT
Hawfinches x 5 at Felbrigg Hall NT
Snow Buntings x 90, Hen Harrier at Blakeney Point
Yellow-browed Warbler ringed at Holme NOA
Iceland Gull flew past Kelling Hard
Iceland Gull flew past Weybourne
Shorelarks x 14, Snow Buntings x 40 at Happisburgh
Iceland Gull at Salthouse
Dartford Warbler at South Dunes, Snow Buntings x 19 at North Dunes, Winterton
Waxwings x 4 flew over Hunstanton Cliffs

MEGA NEWS 
FORSTER'S TERN
Newtownlynch, County Galway, Ireland
MEDITERRANEAN FLYCATCHER
reported on 24th-28th October, was a Spotted Flycatcher [confirmed by DNA analysis] at Cloughton, Yorkshire

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

By Jon Dunn
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2017-46.aspx?s_id=512239999

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
TUESDAY 4th NOVEMBER
Hawfinch flew over New Costessey
Waxwing flew over Norwich
Shorelarks x 9, Lapland Bunting, Snow Buntings x 40 at Happisburgh
Iceland Gull, Snow Buntings x 48 at beach car park, Cley
Black Brant, Little Stint at Cley NWT
Hawfinches x 6 at Felbrigg Hall NT
Snow Bunting between Overstrand & Cromer
Caspian Gulls x 2 at Cromer
Iceland Gull east of Kelling Hard
Waxwing at Stiffkey Campsite
Caspian Gull at Mundesley
Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Sabine's Gull, Little Auk, Long-tailed Duck, Little Gulls x 8, Snow Bunting at Holme
Dartford Warbler at Horsey Gap
Rough-legged Buzzard flew over Titchwell RSPB
Little Auk, Great Northern Diver, Snow Buntings x 3 at Thornham Point
Snow Buntings x 26 at North Beach, Winterton
Great White Egret at Colney Gravel Pits
Great Northern Diver at Sidestrand

MEGA NEWS 
None

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Holkham Plea On Controlling Dogs!

This was published on 5th October, but still relevant now and throughout the year. The photograph of the dog attacking the muntjac is horrific! I have said this many times – if all dogs were on a lead in public, there would be no issues with disturbance to wildlife, harassing or attacking other people.

http://www.lynnnews.co.uk/news/holkham-plea-on-controlling-dogs-1-8179604

Monday, 13 November 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Grey Phalarope, Little Stints x 2, Water Pipits x 2 at Cley NWT
Snow Buntings x 40, Glaucous Gull, Little Auk, Great Northern Diver, Long-tailed Duck, Red-necked Grebe, Velvet Scoters x 2 at Coastguards, Cley
Velvet Scoter at Great Yarmouth
Waxwing in garden at Hethersett
Little Auks x 5, Velvet Scoters x 2, Long-tailed Ducks x 2, Great Northern Divers x 2, Black-throated Diver, Little Gulls x 2, Shag, Short-eared Owl, Purple Sandpipers x 4 at Sheringham
Long-tailed Duck, Purple Sandpiper at Overstrand
Hawfinches x 4 at Felbrigg Hall NT
Little Auks x 2, Long-tailed Ducks x 2, Great Northern Diver at Titchwell RSPB
Little Auk, Short-eared Owl, Snow Buntings x 24 at Winterton
Shorelarks x 18, Lapland Buntings x 3, Snow Buntings x 38 at Happisburgh
Great White Egrets x 3 at Welney WWT
Cattle Egrets x 2 east of Stiffkey
Hen Harrier at Stiffkey Fen
Waxwing flew over Burnham Overy Dunes
Glaucous Gull, Little Auk flew past Waxham
Glaucous Gull & Caspian Gull east of Beach Road, Salthouse
Rough-legged Buzzard south of Choseley Drying Barns
Little Auks x 3, Little Gulls x 4 at Holme
Short-eared Owl flew past Weybourne Camp
Hawfinches x 2 flew over Blakeney
Long-tailed Duck at Sidestrand

MEGA NEWS 
None

Sunday, 12 November 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Hawfinch flew over car park, Snow Bunting, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Glaucous Gulls x 2, Little Auk, Velvet Scoter, Snow Buntings x 37, Caspian Gulls x 3 at Coastguards, Cley
Grey Phalarope at Cley NWT
Shorelarks x 8, Snow Buntings x 32 at Happisburgh
Glaucous Gull, Little Auk, Great Northern Diver, Black-throated Diver, Little Gulls x 26, Snow Bunting at Holme
Cattle Egrets x 2 east of Stiffkey
Leach's Petrel, Sabine's Gull, Grey Phalarope, Black Guillemot, Little Auks x 2, Puffin, Great Northern Diver, Pomarine Skua, Little Gull at Sheringham
Scaup at Holkham Hall
Great White Egret at Holkham Freshmarsh
Little Auk flew past Weybourne
Leach's Petrel, Purple Sandpiper at Heacham
Great White Egret at Welney WWT
Hawfinch (last night) flew over Norwich

MEGA NEWS 
None

Saturday, 11 November 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY VIVIEN!

Today, we spent a lovely day celebrating my youngest sister Vivien's birthday! Vivien and Ray are spending the weekend in Holt, so we arranged to meet for 1pm lunch in The Three Swallows pub at Cley. I picked Lucy up, then my mother and headed to Cley via Fakenham. We stopped at the Ernest Dow shop in Fakenham, so my mother could buy some wellingtons – a long ongoing saga, as we can't find any that fit her! This was a complete waste of time, as she still couldn't find a pair to fit her properly and this only resulted in her showing me up in the shop with her frustration and disbelief that wellingtons are not manufactured for ladies with wider feet (swollen), much to Lucy's amusement! You would have thought that there would have been some big enough for her in a shop like Ernest Dow, but there wasn't! I now give up on the wellingtons.

We arrived in Cley and had a wonderful lunch in the Three Swallows – shortly after we arrived, all the tables were taken and it was packed out. I was very upset to see an RIP poster up on the wall for the glorious big ginger tom cat called ASBO who used be in the pub – he died in October 2016. This charismatic cat was known to have a bit a temper and would strike out at people sometimes I was told, but I never had an issue with this lovely cat, who was always happy for me to make a fuss of him – he obviously had his favourites! The only thing I was not impressed with today, was the amount of dogs in the pub, had I known how many were going to be in an area I was eating in, I wouldn't have taken my family there, but to be fair they were mostly well behaved – but I don't really like smelling the doggy smell whilst I am eating! But as Vivien remarked, so many people have dogs nowadays, that if pubs were not dog friendly they would lose a lot of trade.

We then headed for Salthouse to walk off some of the lunch, but Lucy and Mother refused to get out of the car as it was 'too cold', so I left them sitting in the car with blankets etc, whilst Vivien, Ray and I went for a short walk to Gramborough Hill. Just at the end of Beach Road there were five Turnstones on the shingle, who seemed unperturbed by our close presence. We saw a Stonechat in the first main bramble bush and then bumped into John Furse who had seen nothing here but a Robin, which we also saw in the main bushes below the hill. There were tons of Pink-footed Geese flying over and a good number in the field close by. We walked to the top of the hill to view the sea – Vivien and Ray had not been here before and really enjoyed this little walk I think. A Meadow Pipit flew from the wooden seat by the gorse, but nothing else of note.

Back at the car, Lucy excitedly told us that she had watched a Kingfisher sitting on the fence wire! I couldn't believe she had seen that! I can't ever recall seeing a Kingfisher here myself. She saw it dive into the water to catch a fish and then disappear. We should have stayed in the car! We then headed to Cley Visitor Centre, but discovered we were too late as it closes at 4pm – I forgot about the new winter closing time. Vivien opened her presents from us and then we departed. Vivien and Ray went to their B&B in Holt and I drove along the coast road to Holme, where Lucy and I spent the evening with mother. I felt exhausted from all the driving. Took Lucy back to King's Lynn and then I collapsed on the sofa back at my house.

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Shorelarks x 17, Lapland Buntings x 2, Snow Buntings x 17 at Happisburgh
Great White Egret at Colney Gravel Pits
Long-tailed Ducks x 2, Slavonian Grebe at Titchwell RSPB
Dartford Warbler at North Dunes, Snow Buntings x 12 at Winterton
Grey Phalarope, Long-tailed Duck, Snow Buntings x 40 (beach car park), Caspian Gull at Cley NWT
Grey Phalarope at Kelling Water Meadows
Cattle Egrets x 2 east of Stiffkey
Hawfinch at Wymondham Abbey
Ring Ouzels x 2 at Gun Hill, Burnham Overy Dunes
Dartford Warbler at west end of Holkham Pines
Glaucous Gull flew along beach, Black Brant at Salthouse
Black Redstart at boating lake, Pomarine Skua flew past Sheringham
Scaup x 7 at Snettisham RSPB
Lapland Buntings x 4, Snow Buntings x 5 at Walcott
Tundra Bean Geese x 2 at Upton Fen NWT

MEGA NEWS 
None

Rest In Peace

I heard some very sad news this evening, that Lincolnshire birder Malc Almey passed away unexpectedly last night. His friend Ken Reeves posted this on Facebook tonight.

I don't know Malc personally, but bumped into him fairly regularly in the field, mostly at Titchwell RSPB. He always came across as a gentleman – a quiet man with a lovely smile and who always said hello to me. So sorry to hear this – my sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Rest in Peace Malc

Friday, 10 November 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Grey Phalarope, Black Brant, Caspian Gull at Cley NWT
Shorelarks x 12 at Happisburgh
Pallas's Warbler yesterday at Happisburgh
Long-tailed Ducks x 2, Great Northern Diver, Little Gulls x 2, Water Pipit, Richard's Pipit flew over at Titchwell RSPB
Twite x 12 at Thornham Harbour
Cattle Egrets x 2 east of Stiffkey
Snow Buntings x 30 at Salthouse
Snow Bunting at Snettisham Coastal Park
Hen Harriers x 8 at Warham Greens
Water Pipit at Halvergate Marshes
Richard's Pipit, Lapland Buntings x 2, Twite, Purple Sandpiper, Hawfinch, Snow Buntings x 3 at Breydon Water

MEGA NEWS 
None

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Big Thank You To My Derbyshire Readers!

Massive thanks to lots of very kind readers, who have taken the time to email me with advice on seeing Dippers on my forthcoming weekend trip to Derbyshire. I have replied to some of you already and will be answering you all by the end of the week. I didn't expect that many people to contact me! Thank you again, it is much appreciated!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Hawfinch flew over Attlebridge
Shorelarks x 8 at Happisburgh
Grey Phalarope at Kelling Quags
Hawfinch in garden at Kelling
Great White Egret at Holkham
Black Redstart on beach at Wells
Hen Harrier over East Hills, Wells
Great White Egret at Colney Gravel Pits
Grey Phalarope, Black Brant, Capsian Gull at Cley NWT
Cattle Egrets x 2 east of Stiffkey
Scaup, Snow Bunting at Snettisham Coastal Park
Snow Buntings x 5 flew over Weybourne Camp
Water Pipit, Long-tailed Ducks x 2, Great Northern Diver, Little Gulls x 30 at Titchwell RSPB
Twite x 7 at Thornham
Hawfinches x 8 at Lynford Aboretum
Snow Buntings x 5 at Winterton
Water Pipit at Rockland Broad
Water Pipits x 5 at Church Marsh, Surlingham

MEGA NEWS 
FORSTER'S TERN
Newtownlynch, County Galway, Ireland
AMERICAN COOT
Lough Gill, County Kerry Ireland

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Hawfinches x 2 flew over Felmingham
Cattle Egrets x 2 east of, Hen Harrier at Stiffkey
Long-tailed Ducks x 2, Great Northern Diver Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Great Northern Diver, Black-throated Diver, Scaup at Coastguards, Cley
Grey Phalarope, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Caspian Gulls x 2, Yellow-legged Gulls x 5, Snow Buntings x 35 at Cley NWT
Hen Harrier at Walsey Hills NOA
Pomarine Skua flew past Holme
Shorelark reported yesterday at Holme
Snow Bunting flew over Wells
Shorelarks x 5, Snow Bunting east of Lady Ann's Drive, Holkham
Purple Sandpipers x 3 at Sheringham
Firecrest at Great Yarmouth Cemetery
Purple Sandpipers x 2 at Waxham
Short-eared Owl flew in off sea, Spotted Redshank at Kelling Quags
Spotted Redshank at Brancaster Staithe
Black Guillemot, Great Northern Diver, Slavonian Grebes x 2, Red-necked Grebe at Sheringham
Hen Harrier at Morston
Hen Harrier flew over Hunstanton

MEGA NEWS 
None

RBA Weekly Round-up 1st to 7th November!

By Jon Dunn
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2017-45.aspx?s_id=347365382

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Hawfinches x 2 flew over Thetford
Hawfinch flew over Norwich
Ring Ouzel at Bloodgate Hill Fort, South Creake
Purple Sandpiper at Walcott
Shorelarks x 4, Lapland Bunting at Happisburgh
Hawfinches x 2 flew over, Long-tailed Ducks x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Twite x 6 at Thornham Harbour
Grey Phalarope, Great White Egret, Little Stints x 2, Black Brant, Caspian Gull, Snow Buntings x 40 at Cley NWT
Cattle Egrets x 2 east of Stiffkey
Purple Sandpipers x 3 at Sheringham
Dotterel with Golden Plovers x 350 south of Choseley Drying Barns
Greenland White-fronted Goose, Pink-footed Geese x 3,850 NE of Stanhoe
Grey-bellied Brant (possible), Taiga Bean Goose, Russian White-fronted Goose at Burnham Overy Marshes
Richard's Pipit, Crossbill, Snow Bunting, Hen Harrier, Great White Egret flew south over Hunstanton

MEGA NEWS 
None

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
MONDAY 6th NOVEMBER
Dotterel, Lapland Bunting, Water Pipits x 2, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Taiga Bean Goose at Burnham Overy Staithe
Shorelarks x 13, Lapland Buntings x 2 at Happisburgh
Sabine's Gull at Cromer
Grey Phalarope, Snow Buntings x 40, Black Brant at Cley NWT
WHITE-BILLED DIVER at Walcott
Yellow-browed Warbler at Lynford Aboretum
Russian White-fronted Goose at Kelling
Snow Buntings x 8, Little Gulls x 8, Purple Sandpipers x 3 at Sheringham
Hawfinch flew over Norwich
Hawfinch flew over Beeston Common
Common Crane at Potter Heigham Marshes
Twite x 9 at Thornham Harbour

MEGA NEWS 
WILSON'S SNIPE
St Mary's, Isles of Scilly

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Cley and Salthouse!

Dramatic skies at Cley Beach


I was up late last night booking accommodation for a weekend in Derbyshire. I have to go on a day course for work on a Monday within the next few weeks and can't possibly drive on the day, so have to stay the day before. So I decided that I might as well book two nights (Saturday and Sunday night) and try and find some Dippers to photograph whilst I'm there. I have never been to Derbyshire, so have no idea where all the good birding spots are. Any advice or help would be much appreciated. I'm staying in Derby itself and that is where my course is, so I don't really want to travel much more than half an hour away from Derby itself.

I fell asleep without setting the alarm last night, which was extremely annoying and woke up with my phone and glasses on the duvet and the beside light still on! Got ready quickly, had 'brunch', packed the car up and headed east.

I quite fancied seeing the reported Shorelarks, so headed to Cley and Salthouse. Parked my car up at the East Bank car park – as soon as I got out of the car, a very kind birder told me that the Grey Phalarope was viewable from the top of Walsey Hills NOA. I decided not to go there first and headed along the East Bank and then east to the sea pool to search for the Shorelarks. It was a chilly, but beautiful day. I had every layer on and was toasty warm. Lots of Wigeon, Pochard, Teal and Lapwings on 'The Serpentine' and a couple of Little Egrets.
Cley/Salthouse beach


It was slightly warmer when I headed east to the sea pool, as I was sheltered by the shingle ridge. No Shorelarks seen, but did have 25 Snow Buntings fly overhead and land on the beach briefly and then flew off east! Several Redshanks and Curlews were seen and several small flocks of Starlings. I also saw a Guillemot flying east over the sea. It started to rain, so put both my hoods up over my hat and continued east. I had grand thoughts of walking to Gramborough Hill from here, but realised I wouldn't have time with the fading light, so instead walked back along the Iron Road where I saw a Grey Heron by a small pool, Egyptian Geese, Little Egrets, Shelducks and some Reed Buntings flitting around in the reeds along the path.
East of Sea Pool, Salthouse


I then walked on the footpath alongside the A149 and through Walsey Hills, where I stopped to look over Arnold's Marsh for the Grey Phalarope, but didn't see it. There were a couple of Blackbirds along the path amongst the gorse, which has become very overgrown and I had to duck several times to avoid being scratched by gorse. A couple of Little Grebes were on Snipe's Marsh and that was about it. I just got back to my car in time, before the rain fell heavily again. It felt lovely and cosy in my car, drinking hot coffee and enjoying a marmalade sandwich, whilst the rain lashed on the windows. Drove straight home.
Sunset over Cley


It was not a very good evening, the fireworks exploded every two seconds and it became very tiresome indeed – it went on for several hours. What a waste of money – burning, noise pollution, stressing out animals and people. Fireworks should really only be for public displays in my opinion and should not be sold to the general public, its getting way out of hand. Unfortunately the fireworks will continue over the next few days, its not limited to 5th November!

Now, on the scale of things, Strictly Come Dancing is not that importantšŸ˜‰BUT, they voted Aston Merrygold off, who in my opinion should not only have stayed in, but should have won the entire show! The biggest mistake the judges (Craig) have made in Strictly history, well actually in the end it was down to new head judge Shirley Ballas – bring back Len Goodman! In protest I won't be watching it any more, as many others won't be either. There are several couples that should have gone before Aston – all fixed and has now lost all credibility. Good night!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Dotterel, Purple Sandpiper, Lapland Bunting at Titchwell RSPB
Little Auk, Velvet Scoters x 5 at Cley
Grey Phalarope, Little Stints x 2, Black Brant, Snow Buntings x 25, Lapland Bunting at Cley NWT
Hawfinches x 2 at Whitlingham Country Park
Caspian Gull at Cromer
Cattle Egrets x 2 east of Stiffkey
Yellow-browed Warbler at Campsite Wood, Stiffkey 
Little Auk, Great Northern Diver (probable) at Walcott
Water Pipit, Short-eared Owl at Halvergate Marshes
Hawfinches x 2 at East Wretham Heath
Shorelarks x 4 at Salthouse
Mealy Redpolls x 4 at Walsey Hills NOA
Black-throated Diver (probable), Snow Buntings x 9, Lapland Bunting, Short-eared Owl at Winterton
WHITE-BILLED DIVER flew east, Little Auk, Short-eared Owl at Sheringham
Shorelarks x 14, Lapland Bunting at Happisburgh
Great White Egret at Cockley Cley
Ring Ouzel, Taiga Bean Goose at Burnham Overy Staithe
Great White Egret at Thornham Harbour
Ring Ouzel at Waxham
Velvet Scoter at Kelling
Common Cranes x 3 at Welney WWT
Velvet Scoter at Hopton-on-Sea
Water Pipits x 5, Dark-bellied Brent Goose at Potter Heigham Marshes
Russian White-fronted Geese x 20 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Hawfinches x 13 at Oxborough Hall NT
Hawfinch flew over Taverham Garden Centre

MEGA NEWS 
None

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Lunch With Lucy and Vivien!

A horrible rainy day in Norfolk, not even a hint of bright skies. I didn't get up very early this morning. However, tomorrow is supposed to be a lovely sunny day!

Vivien was in King's Lynn having her hair done, so I suggested we all meet up for lunch – we don't often do this, I can't remember the last time we had lunch together! We decided to go to Crofters Coffee House in King Street. Crofters is set in a 15th century underground tunnel and is a unique, quiet and relaxed setting.

Lucy choose a salmon and veg quiche, I choose a brie and veg quiche and both came with the usual potatoes and salad etc. Vivien had a ploughman's. The food was beautifully presented and the waitress service was good, but the quiche was luke warm and mine tasted really odd – I soon realised that mine had a strong hint of salmon to it. I pointed this out to the staff and they told me that all the quiches are cooked in the oven together! Not really good enough! If I had wanted a salmon quiche I would have ordered one! The food here is limited, so the only other choice would have been a sandwich or a jacket potato. As a vegetarian, I wouldn't come here again for hot food. But the coffee cake I had was excellent and made up for the main course! Vivien and Lucy enjoyed their Sticky toffee pudding and ice-cream.

We then had coffee and tea at my house and it was nice to sit and chat. Vivien's birthday is next weekend, so hopefully we will all meet up again then. Vivien's, Lucy's and my birthday all fall on the same day every year – Vivien's is next Saturday, mine is on a Saturday in January and Lucy's is on a Saturday in February, when she will be 50! It sounds so funny, there is no way Lucy looks 50! Lucy looks about 35 – where do the years go! Vivien left around 4pm and drove back to Ely in poor driving conditions. I helped Lucy to find some sheet music she wanted to buy, which proved far more difficult than we expected. In the end, I had to phone a Cambridge music shop for help. Took Lucy home and then I spent the rest of the evening chilling on the sofa with cheese on toast, watching 'Strictly'!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Ring Ouzel at Cockley Cley
Cattle Egret east of Stiffkey
Hawfinches x 11 at Lynford Aboretum
Dotterel with Golden Plovers, Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Ring Ouzel at Winterton
Water Pipits x 2, Short-eared Owl at Holme
Black Brant, Caspian Gulls x 3 + hybrid Caspian Gull x Herring Gull, Little Stints x 3, Water Pipits x 4 at Cley NWT
WHITE-BILLED DIVER reported again at Walcott
Great White Egret at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Snow Buntings x 3 at Holkham Beach
Hen Harrier at Rockland Broad
Hen Harriers x 2 at Warham Greens
GREAT SNIPE, probable flushed from Beach Road, Salthouse
Taiga Bean Goose at Burnham Overy Staithe

MEGA NEWS 
GREAT SNIPE
probable, at Salthouse, Norfolk

Pied Wagtail Roost!

FRIDAY EVENING
As I was leaving work this evening, one of my colleagues excitedly rushed over to my car to tell me that the Pied Wagtails have returned to roost in the same courtyard garden as they did last winter! Thanks Lily! I parked the car up again and went to have a look. It was so nice to see them all flitting about in the same shrubs/hedge as last year. They managed to put up with their roost spot being drastically trimmed by the hospital gardening team last winter and I'm so glad its not put them off returning. There were probably around 30+ when I peered through the windows into the garden, but obviously there could have been many more that had already found their roosting spot and were not going to appear again until morning! This will give some of us some lovely entertainment when we finish work in the evenings, even though it will mean a little detour around the hospital.

Friday, 3 November 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Snow Bunting flew over Overstrand
WHITE-BILLED DIVER flew past Mundesley
WHITE-BILLED DIVER probable, flew past Cromer
Shorelark, Hen Harrier, Water Pipits x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Great Grey Shrike in gardens at Salthouse
Cattle Egrets x 2 east of Stiffkey
Black Brant at Cley NWT
Whooper Swans x 6 flew over Holme
Ferruginous Duck x Pochard ad. fem hybrid at Whitlingham Country Park
Taiga Bean Goose at Burnham Overy Staithe
Pallas's Warbler at Great Yarmouth Cemetery
Lapland Bunting at Breydon Water
Purple Sandpiper at Sheringham
Water Pipits x 3 at Cantley Beet Factory
Siberian Chiffchaff reported, Water Pipit at Thorpe St Andrews

MEGA NEWS 
ROCK THRUSH 1w 
Blorenge, Gwent

Thursday, 2 November 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Snow Buntings x 2 flew over Trimingham
Great White Egret flew over North Creake
Yellow-browed Warbler at Walsey Hills NOA
Snow Buntings x 15 at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Hawfinches x 26 flew over Upper Sheringham
Sabine's Gull, Little Gulls x 26, Snow Buntings x 3 flew past Sheringham
Cattle Egrets x 2 east of, Water Pipit flew over Stiffkey
Sabine's Gull flew past, Caspian Gull at Cromer
Black Brant, Dark-bellied Brent Geese x 125, Caspian Gull, Little Stint at Cley NWT
WHITE-BILLED DIVER reported, flew past Mundesley
Black-throated Diver, Little Gulls x 5, Great Skua, Great Northern Diver flew past Walcott
Little Gulls x 6, Lapland Bunting, Snow Bunting at Winterton
Hen Harrier at Thornham
Hawfinches x 4 flew over Kelling Quags
Spoonbill at Burnham Overy Staithe
Great White Egret at Holkham
Water Pipit, Spotted Redshanks x 6, Hen Harrier over Thornham Marsh, Titchwell RSPB
Siberian Lesser Whitethroat (form blythi) probable (elusive) at Holme NOA
Yellow-browed Warbler at Wells Woods
Water Pipits x 4 reported at Station Marsh, Thorpe St Andrew

MEGA NEWS 
ROCK THRUSH 1w 
Blorenge, Gwent

Happy Birthday

To My Dearest Father

       Wherever you are.....
        
                You are here with us, always and forever


A thousand winds that blow
Diamond glints on snow
Sun on ripened grain
Gentle Autumn rain
Quiet birds in circled flight
Soft stars that shine at night
You did not die
You are here with us
In our hearts and minds
Every day, and always

Adaption from 'Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep',which I read at your funeral.

Today you would have been 91 years old. It's going to be a difficult day. It will be the first time I won't be buying coffee cake for your birthday! How much you used to love having chestnuts on your birthday too! Such fond memories of us cooking chestnuts on the tortoiseshell wood burner at the observatory in the winter – we would nod off and be woken suddenly, by an exploding chestnut! In this picture which mother took, I was taking you out in my Hyundai Coupe – if I remember correctly, we were going to Dersingham Bog to photograph Green Tiger Beetles. So many memories, so many happy times we've had. I might have to buy a coffee cake today, how could I not!
All my Love Penny xxx
 
TAKEN BY MY MOTHER AT HOLME


This evening I sat with you. We listened to the calls of Pink-footed Geese on the marsh and the moon was bright – I didn't really need my torch to find you – I knew every footstep to where you are at rest. It was cold, you hated the cold and yet here you are in a cold place. Hopefully your spirit is warm up there in the skies above with sun and birds and all things bright. It was so hard to leave you, but I know you are now at peace and where you belong.

Mother and I had a piece of coffee cake in honour of your birthday and reminisced – we were both so sad, but also comforted that you had an amazing life up until your latter years. Rest in peace.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Great White Egret flew over, Little Stints x 2 at Cley NWT
Hawfinches x 3 flew over Norwich
Hawfinches x 2 flew over Taverham
Hawfinches x 6 flew over Hunstanton
Spotted Redshank at Breydon Water
Cattle Egrets x 2 east of Stiffkey
Taiga Bean Goose at Burnham Overy Staithe
Spotted Redshanks x 3, Hen Harriers x 2, Water Pipits x 2 (Thornham Pool), Short-eared Owl at Titchwell RSPB
Great White Egret at Snettisham Coastal Park
Snow Buntings x 7 at Salthouse
Lapland Bunting at North Dunes, Winterton
Snow Buntings x 9 flew over Kelling
Lapland Buntings x 5, Hawfinch, Yellow Wagtail at Sheringham
Caspian Gull at Cromer

MEGA NEWS 
ROCK THRUSH 1w 
Blorenge, Gwent

RBA Weekly Round-Up 25th to 31st October!

By Andy Stoddart
http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/WeeklyRoundup2017-44.aspx?s_id=182474328

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Richard's Pipit x 2, Russian White-fronted Geese x 3, Hawfinches x 10, Shorelark, Water Pipit, Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB
Black-throated Diver, Red-necked Grebe, Little Auk, Lapland Bunting at Cley
Hawfinches x 15 flew over Hunstanton
Hawfinch flew over Thetford
Hawfinch flew over South Lopham
Hen Harrier, Twite x 15 at Thornham
Pallas's Warbler, Snow Buntings x 4, Great White Egret (probable) flew over at Waxham
Great Northern Diver, Little Gulls x 21, Snow Buntings x 28 at Eccles-on-Sea
Great White Egret at Holkham
Cattle Egrets x 2 east of Stiffkey
Shorelark, Black Brant at Salthouse
Taiga Bean Goose at Burnham Overy Staithe
Scaup at Weybourne
Hawfinches x 2 flew over Hingham
Hen Harrier at Fritton Marshes
Great White Egret at Gapton Marshes
Lapland Buntings x 2 flew over Kelling

MEGA NEWS 
ROCK THRUSH 1w 
Blorenge, Gwent
WILSON'S SNIPE
St Mary's, Isles of Scilly

Monday, 30 October 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Bittern at Whitlingham Country Park
Water Pipit at Titchwell RSPB
Hawfinch flew over Titchwell
Surf Scoter fem/juv. drake flew past, Little Auk, Overstrand
White-billed Diver, Sabine's Gull at Walcott
Sabine's Gull x 5, Surf Scoter fem/juv. drake, Shorelark, Grey Phalarope, Short-eared Owl, Caspian Gulls x 3, Snow Buntings x 4, Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Cley
Little Auk x 2, Caspian Gull at Cromer
Little Auk at Mundesley
Little Auk, Sooty Shearwater at Great Yarmouth
Little Auk at Sheringham
Short-eared Owl at Burnham Overy Dunes
Taiga Bean Goose at Burnham Overy Staithe
Short-eared Owl at Scratby
Glaucous Gull, Black Brant at Salthouse
Little Auk x 2, Snow Bunting at Winterton
Lapland Bunting, Snow Bunting at Weybourne
Little Auk x 2, Short-eared Owls x 2 (probable), Pale-bellied Brent Geese x 4, Little Gulls x 2 at Sheringham
Long-tailed Ducks x 2 yesterday on River Yare, Cantley
Hawfinches x 6, Snow Bunting, Water Pipits x 3 Cantley Marshes RSPB
Ring Ouzel at Cantley
Pallas's Warbler, Little Auk, Velvet Scoters x 2 at Waxham
Cattle Egret east of Stiffkey
Hawfinches x 20 flew over King's Lynn
Pomarine Skua, Scaup, Snow Buntings x 2 at Holme
Snow Buntings x 5 north of Kelling Water Meadows
Hawfinches x 2 flew over Hingham
Black Guillemot, Black-throated Divers x 2 at Eccles-on-Sea

MEGA NEWS 
ROCK THRUSH 1w 
Blorenge, Gwent
FEA'S OR DESERTAS OR ZINO'S PETRELS x 2
North Ronaldsay, Orkney

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Sea-Watching at Cley and Salthouse!

update tomorrow night after I return from work!!!

but in brief...... I DIDN'T see a Leach's or Storm Petrel!

Blimey! I've had well over 6,000 views of my blog today!!!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Hawfinch flew over Whitlingham Country Park
Storm Petrel, Leach's Petrels x 2, Long-tailed Skua, Pomarine Skuas x 5, Little Auk, Grey Phalaropes x 2, Red-necked Grebe, Black Terns x 3, Sooty Shearwater, Long-tailed Duck, Velvet Scoter, Snow Buntings x 4 at Cley
Leach's Petrel x 2, Little Auks x 2, Pomarine Skuas x 5, Grey Phalarope, Great Skuas x 25, Red-necked Grebe, Purple Sandpipers x 2, Black-throated Diver, Great Northern Divers x 3, Little Gulls x 20, Black Guillemot, Velvet Scoters x 2, Long-tailed Duck at Sheringham
White-billed Diver (possible), Pomarine Skuas x 2, Sooty Shearwater, Red-necked Grebe, Grey Phalarope, Great Northern Diver, Long-tailed Duck at Winterton
Storm Petrel (probable), Leach's Petrel, Caspian Gull at Cromer
Pomarine Skuas x 4, Great Skuas x 49, Arctic Tern, Great Northern Diver, Common Crane, Spotted Redshank, Water Pipit, Hen Harrier at Titchwell RSPB
Black Brant at Salthouse
Snow Buntings x 3 at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse
Cattle Egret east of Stiffkey
Pomarine Skua flew past, Purple Sandpiper at Hunstanton
Hawfinches x 17, Ring Ouzel, Jack Snipe, Hen Harrier, Water Pipit at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Jack Snipe at Kelling Water Meadows
Little Auk, Pomarine Skuas x 10, Great Skuas x 66, Little Gulls x 2 at Holme
Puffin at Hopton-on-Sea
Leach's Petrel, Little Auk, Pomarine Skuas x 2 at Weybourne
Great Northern Diver at Sidestrand
Spotted Redshank at Snettisham RSPB
Common Cranes x 16 at Stubb Mill, Hickling Broad NWT

MEGA NEWS 
ROCK THRUSH 1w 
Blorenge, Gwent

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Shetland 8th-20th October Posts With Pictures, Now Complete!

All my photographs are now added to my posts for my Shetland Trip, from 10th-19th October!
This trip report has taken many hours to complete and is my biggest report to date! I have also amended and updated most posts, but I'm sure there will still be a few errors, which I'm sure a few of my personal proof readers will let me know about in due course! Hope you enjoy reading my posts and the many pictures I have added!
To save you searching/scrolling, click on the links here:
  1. Sunday 8th October DEPARTURE!
  2. Monday 9th OctoberMAINLAND BIRDING & ABERDEEN FERRY!
  3. Tuesday 10th OctoberFIRST DAY'S BIRDING ON SHETLAND!
  4. Wednesday 11th OctoberRAIN, OTTERS & A BLYTH'S REED WARBLER!
  5.  Thursday 12th October OTTERS & FLURRY OF MIGRANTS!
  6. Friday 13th OctoberTRAVELLING TO UNST & THE BLUETHROAT!
  7. Saturday 14th October A STUPENDOUS DAY!
  8. Sunday 15th OctoberRAINING HEAVILY AND THE SNOWBALL!
  9. Monday 16th OctoberFETLAR TRIP & AN OBP ON UNST!
  10. Tuesday 17th OctoberLAST DAY ON UNST!
  11. Wednesday 18th OctoberEAST WINDS & RARITY HUNTING
  12. Thursday 19th OctoberLAST BIRDING DAY!
  13. Friday 20th OctoberTRAVELLING HOME!

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Yellow-browed Warbler, Little Stint, Lapland Bunting at Titchwell RSPB
Snow Bunting at Breydon Water
Hawfinch flew over Whitlingham Country Park
Pomarine Skua (probable), Snow Buntings x 3 at Winterton
Little Auks x 2, Sooty Shearwater, Great Skuas x 6, Grey Phalarope, Great Northern Diver (probable) at Cley
Black Brant, Snow Buntings x 2 at Cley NWT
Black Brant at Salthouse
Twite x 3, Spotted Redshanks x 2 at Thornham Saltings
Russian White-fronted Geese x 22 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB
Snow Bunting flew over Holme
Grey Phalaropes x 4, Little Gulls x 650 flew over Eccles-on-Sea
Cattle Egret east of Stiffkey
Hawfinches x 11, Snow Bunting, Sooty Shearwater at Sheringham
Hawfinches x 2 flew over Beeston Common, Sheringham
Hawfinches x 14 flew over Hunstanton

MEGA NEWS 
MEDITERRANEAN FLYCATCHER
possible, Cloughton,Yorkshire
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT
Toe Head, County Cork, Ireland
WILSON'S SNIPE
St Mary's,Isles of Scilly
ROCK THRUSH 1w 
Blorenge, Gwent

Friday, 27 October 2017

NORFOLK BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

SUMMARY OF TODAY'S BIRD NEWS VIA "RARE BIRD ALERT
  For access to full details of daily sightings, please subscribe to one of RBA's Bird News Services  
Hawfinches x 3 at Lynford Aboretum
Leach's Petrel off Gun Hill, at Burnham Overy Dunes
Spotted Redshanks x 4, Little Stints x 2 at Titchwell RSPB
Leach's Petrels x 2, Arctic Skuas x 2, Great Skuas x 9, Pomerine Skua, Shag x 2, Hawfinch at Sheringham
Cattle Egret east of Stiffkey
Pomarine Skuas x 2, Lapland Bunting at Winterton
Great White Egret, Lapland Bunting at Holkham Freshmarsh
Black Redstart at Holkham Pines
Black Brant at Salthouse
Leach's Petrel flew past Snettisham Coastal Park
Little Stints x 2, Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Jack Snipe at Kelling Water Meadows
Yellow-browed Warbler in garden at North Creake
Long-tailed Duck at Holme
Long-tailed Skua, Pomarine Skuas x 4, Little Gulls x 241 at Hemsby
Hawfinch flew over Sparham Gravel Pits
Snow Bunting at Brancaster Staithe
Caspian Gull, Little Stint, Snow Buntings x 2 at Cley NWT
Caspian Gull at Cromer
Scaup at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB
Water Pipit at Cantley Beet Factory

MEGA NEWS 
ROCK THRUSH 1w 
Blorenge, Gwent
GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH
Red Strand, County Cork, Ireland
WILSON'S SNIPE
St Mary's,Isles of Scilly

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Crazy Day With......

My Mother!!!

Ok, so I didn't get out birding, but had a crazy, fun, productive and lovely day with my mother! Met my mother at King's Lynn bus station and took her to the hospital for an appointment, where she did her usual thing of embarrassing me in front of patients and staff with all kinds of eccentric nonsense! We then went to the town, so mother could buy some new clothes from the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Shop – she refused to go anywhere else, as she detests clothes shopping. Mother is way overdue to buy clothes, but won't leave the house and go on the bus, because of the spoilt and pampered cat – she doesn't like to leave it too long..... the elderly cat that sleeps all day, that has a choice of beds, food etc all around the house, the cat that rarely goes out at this time of the year, oh dear – poor cat!!! Anyway, after the usual scenes in the shop of 'I don't like that Penny, put that back etc' in a very loud voice for everyone in the shop and beyond to hear, we then made our way to Barclays before returning to the car, just before the parking ticket ran out.

We then went to my house, where I cooked mother some lunch and produced a microwaved bread & butter pudding too – just to prove a point that mother can have her usual little puddings she buys cooked in just over a minute, when she cooks them for 18 minutes in the conventional oven – she refuses to buy a microwave – why? 'Because of all the radiation they emit...' I can't remember the last time mother spent time at my house or have lunch together, I really can't, it was really nice and I got a compliment for the main course! Whilst sitting at the dining room table, mother thought she could see a cat on the bird table – it was in fact a Blackbird! She doesn't think she needs her cataracts done – I beg to differ!!!

After lunch we got some jobs done – mother wants a new oven, but nothing in the Clarke household is simple! She only has a 50cm width gap for her oven and it needs to be LPG ready and ideally wants one direct from Calor Gas. There is no mains gas in Holme and mother has been using propane gas cylinders since year dot. Mother has a serious phone phobia and will do anything to get out of phoning people, so she writes, doesn't get any replies and wonders why – I explain to her over and over again, that you have to phone or email to get anywhere with anything nowadays. So, after looking at the Calor Gas website and their choice of two ovens at the dimensions we required, I phoned up, paid for the oven and sorted it all out, including ringing a 'Gas Safe Registered Engineer' (who mother knows anyway) to fit it and dispose of old one etc – job done! Tick!

I have had a long standing issue with trying to find my mother wellingtons that fit – I could write a book about it all! She desperately wants some wellies, but every pair I have purchased, both on-line or not, have not fitted and I have had to return them all. She has small feet: size five and a half, but unfortunately has really bad bunions both sides (through wearing ill-fitting shoes as a child). I thought I had nailed it with my latest purchase for her, when I bought her the same (but shorter version) 'Muck' Men's Arctic Sport wellingtons that I bought for my holiday – they are the best wellingtons I have ever bought, so comfortable and warm – another league from your average wellington and highly recommended. We were just about to leave my house, when the new wellingtons arrived by courier! Mother huffed and puffed and got cross, as she wanted to get back to the 'poor cat', but she agreed to try them on – good! We were in hysterics – she couldn't even pull them over her ankle! I refused to believe that these boots would not fit and made her put them on properly – they were 'too tight and too heavy'. We had a job to get that one boot off again! Back to the drawing board!!! Another little job for me: post wellies back to Muck Boots Company tomorrow! I have noticed they sell a very short, lace-up welly – I wonder of they will fit?!

Took mother home – now dark, so no birding! The cat sat on the stairs with a puzzled expression – it was promptly greeted with 'oh, poor pussy cat...' 'being left all this time...' 'how wicked...' – this conversation continued for some time. I felt completely exhausted and nearly fell asleep, but managed to return to my house in one piece! Watched some of Autumn Watch and then started to edit a few more pictures. Day 5 of the Shetland trip will added before I retire for the night.