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Old Friday 22nd January 2010, 17:01   #8301
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So Josh,

I have seen your blog and agree that the 'Scaupy thing' is ugly. Has everyone ruled out an ugly Scaup?
I know it is sad to care too much but I spent far too many years birding in London reservoirs and having not much else to look at rather than various Aythya hybrids..including some that seemed to have bits of Ring necked in them (duck not parakeet that is...although that would be interesting!)

Anyway.... its winter ...just craving some ID challenges. Lets get a 'turtle dove' in Norfolk, like the one in Holland right now. That would be fun
ah mate i'm not knocking hybrids at all, think their weirdness is beguiling, they are either like one of the kids books where you turn the different pages to create a new creature - a hipporillaroo - that sort of thing. Either that or they are like mythical beasts - half this half that, the Gypo X Shelduck saw last week was cool i'll look for it next time i'm off, just that i'd rather have a laugh at their grotesqueness/bizarreness rather than think to hard about how they got conceived!
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Old Friday 22nd January 2010, 17:08   #8302
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Aaargh

I don't suppose anyone saw the Slav grebe at Whitlingham today? I have been hoping it would stay until the weekend, but a quick trip as the light went this evening was negative, and it hasn't been reported on BirdGuides.

Cheers,
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Old Friday 22nd January 2010, 22:46   #8303
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Buzzard migration Spring 2009

In early spring 2009 there was a higher than normal count of migrating Common Buzzards moving along the North Norfolk coast. I collected data on the birds and mapped their movements. A full write up of the report can (hopefully) be seen below, but the map was created on Microsoft Word 2007, so the arrows may not show up on some peoples computers. It's been a long time coming, but enjoy...
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Old Friday 22nd January 2010, 23:16   #8304
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Looking forward to going birding tomorrow - have not been out for 3 weeks!!

Very difficult typing this with one finger on my new Apple iPhone when I usually touch type at high speed! Just updated my new blog.

Best Wishes Penny

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Old Friday 22nd January 2010, 23:35   #8305
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Looking forward to going birding tomorrow - have not been out for 3 weeks!!

Very difficult typing this with one finger on my new Apple iPhone when I usually touch type at high speed! Just updated my new blog.



Best Wishes Penny
Thought you had no money! As you are not year listing, where are you off to?
Three weeks of no birding!! Not good!! Go and bag a male hen harrier or a Rough legged Buzzard!
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Old Saturday 23rd January 2010, 00:39   #8306
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Thought you had no money! As you are not year listing, where are you off to?
Three weeks of no birding!! Not good!! Go and bag a male hen harrier or a Rough legged Buzzard!
Early birthday present to myself!!! "where Am I off to"...... I will be zipping about all over the place tomorrow......
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Old Saturday 23rd January 2010, 07:53   #8307
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just having a peruse of a few websites http://mostlyhappisburgh2010.blogspot.com/ noticed there is a flock of 44 Pale-bellied Brents near Walcott, is this a Norfolk record?
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Old Saturday 23rd January 2010, 10:05   #8308
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just having a peruse of a few websites http://mostlyhappisburgh2010.blogspot.com/ noticed there is a flock of 44 Pale-bellied Brents near Walcott, is this a Norfolk record?
Thanks Roy Castle!!: Ummm thats a lot!!
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Old Saturday 23rd January 2010, 12:52   #8309
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Mark, get off the norfolk thread don't you live in bedfordshire now and I don't want to hear about any quails this year, that cost me 100 in bumpers repairs !!
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Old Saturday 23rd January 2010, 16:17   #8310
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Slight fright sight at Mt Muckleburgh

On parking across the road from the peak, I immediately heard a Tawny Owl hooting from the direction of the wood just west of the Collection. I was to hear this a few times . . . until I got closer !

Having thus quickly given up on this, I started looking at the thrushes (Blackbirds, Redwings and Song) which were flying in and out of cover. One gave me a frisson: it was somewhat brighter and more gingery than usual. However, once it came out from under its bush, I was able to see that it was just a Song Thrush, albeit brighter on the upperparts. Its breast was slightly more dappled and spotty in a different way from its companions- but it WAS just a Song Thrush. A different population ?

The beach car park at Salthouse again was holding the Snow Bunting flock, of which the accompanying and extremely accommodating individual was a member.
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Old Saturday 23rd January 2010, 17:11   #8311
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Originally Posted by mr.sim View Post
In early spring 2009 there was a higher than normal count of migrating Common Buzzards moving along the North Norfolk coast. I collected data on the birds and mapped their movements. A full write up of the report can (hopefully) be seen below
Fascinating article Sim, thanks very much for sharing it. It'll be interesting to get out there in suitable conditions late March / early April and see what turns up this year.

Irene
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Old Saturday 23rd January 2010, 20:52   #8312
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There was a Firecrest showing well today in the western car park of Felbrigg Park (access via the Lions Mouth) plus the mobile flock of c35 Crossbills were still there too.

Other highlights of recent days were c30 Whitefronts which flew east along the Cromer ridge on Thursday, only the second ever flock I've had go through the patch, and a Chinese Water Deer at Sidestrand which was my first record for the patch.

Pic of the W.Runton Med Gull taken on Tuesday attached.

Simon
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Old Sunday 24th January 2010, 00:44   #8313
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Saturday 23rd January

After going to bed at 3.30am it was impossible to get up early this morning, but forced myself out by 9am - still felt sleepy but just simply had to go birding. See my blog as to why I went to bed at 3.30am!

Dull day with no sun but did stay dry all day.

On the way to the reserves I stopped by the horse paddocks next to village pond in Holme to watch at least 40+ Redwings along with a good number of blackbirds. Continued around the village and not far along the Firs road I stopped the car to watch 8 Greenfinches sitting about in bushes. The Firs road is famously rough to take the car down but today it was the worst its been for many years - obviously because of the snow laying about for so long - the potholes are atrocious! As I rocked down the road - I stopped by the left hand corner just after the Forestry area to view the pools near the road in front of the NWT hides - several wigeon, teal, pochard etc and also 9 curlews and distant Marsh Harrier by Holme Church.

Sat in the car attempting to photograph Fieldfares in bad light - there were at least 300 feeding off the sea buckthorn berries opposite the carpark along with a few magpies hopping about. Had a quick cup of coffee and a sandwich as it was now 12.30pm and then carried onto the observatory. Lots of scrub management had been going on I noticed - you can now see all of Holme marsh from observatory - it had become very overgrown. They have also added another pond next to the existing one in front of the obs.

David Roche very sharply pointed out 2 White fronted geese (approx 2.15pm) with a huge flock of geese that came over and then landed on the marsh the other side of the broad water. We all rushed outside, but it was difficult to see them from where we were - stood on the main bank and had better views. Also a barn owl and a marsh harrier floating about and David also spotted a Stonechat across the other side of the broadwater balancing on bramble stems and also a Water Rail squealed close by.

Walked alone along the Thornham Bank - but the weather was so miserable I diverted back half way along through the Lavender marsh and across to the beach. Tons of waders and gulls on the beach. Thought I saw a diver sp. sitting close in on the sea, so walked closer to get a better view, but on closer inspection it had completely vanished! A few people with loose dogs about (usual scenario). Walked back up through the NWT steps and down to the Firs house where I had better views of the 2 White Fronted Geese through Gary's scope that he had set up.

Drove to Holme Marsh Reserve - not much there apart from heron sitting on the wooden posts on far side of pools BUT distant views of a Bittern (around 4.15pm) over the the NWT pools by the Firs road sharply picked up by M.G. who was also in the hide with another birder.

Best Wishes Penny
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Old Sunday 24th January 2010, 09:00   #8314
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Fascinating article Sim, thanks very much for sharing it. It'll be interesting to get out there in suitable conditions late March / early April and see what turns up this year.

Irene
yes great work Sim, i'm betting it will be a different movement this Spring, maybe more birds back East - but it will add to the pattern
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Old Sunday 24th January 2010, 15:52   #8315
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Titchwell January 24th

Today's highlights

Red kite - 1 hunting over saltmarsh
Common buzzard - 2 feeding on grazing marsh
Spotted redshank - 2 on saltmarsh pool
Mealy redpoll - 1 feeding with goldfinch flock although mobile
Twite - 4 on tidal pool
Snow bunting - 30 at Thornham Point
Water pipit - 1 on fresh marsh

Does anyone know anything about the grey phal that was reported to be at the reserve on Friday?

Paul
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Old Sunday 24th January 2010, 16:58   #8316
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Mark, get off the norfolk thread don't you live in bedfordshire now and I don't want to hear about any quails this year, that cost me 100 in bumpers repairs !!
should not year list stu!!
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Old Sunday 24th January 2010, 17:32   #8317
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A brisk evening walk near Ringland produced a Little Egret just NW of Wensum Valley GC (which left NW up the river at dusk), 36 Greylags and cracking views of Barn Owl hunting in a wonderful orange-lit sunset.
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Old Sunday 24th January 2010, 19:16   #8318
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Male hen harrier this morning flew SE over Cley Marshes towards Barn's Drift / Foreland wood area and then picked up a distant ringtail coming in from the east and dropped in with a few marsh harriers to go to roost - a male marsh flew and hassled it for a bit but then let it go down onto the deck. Lovely finish to the day.
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Old Sunday 24th January 2010, 22:19   #8319
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Patch birding at its best

Having failed miserably to catch up with a Yellowhammer on the patch so far this year, I thought I'd take a look around Sidestrand where they are fairly regular, and as I walked their usual hedgeline I inadvertently flushed a goose sp. from the beet field on the other side. I quickly narrowed it down to a Pinkfoot/Bean and its deep call made me strongly suspect the latter. However as it was fast disappearing into the distance I thought it was going to be the one that got away but thankfully it suddenly started to circle and eventually back-tracked and appeared to come down about a mile or so inland.

I decided the best course of action was to go back and get the car and my scope and then see if I could relocate it. I quickly made my way back onto the coast road but as I was passing along the opposite side of the beet field I noticed a large bird slowy gliding down into the field. Initial thoughts were the goose returning but I quickly realised the shape was wrong and I assumed it was the Heron that I had seen a couple of minutes earlier......I raised my bins to where it had landed and was shocked to see a Bittern standing in the middle of the beet field!

It quickly walked over to the cover of the hedgerow and then stood there motionless as I made a few frantic phone calls to get locals to the site. Thankfully it hung around long enough for a couple of them to arrive and we watched it distantly to avoid disturbing it especially as others were on their way.

I made a quick dash back to grab my scope and camera to record what is probably a once in a lifetime patch bird, and on my return I was greeted with the sight of the goose sp. circling overhead and it came down back into the field in front of us. It was quickly confirmed that it was indeed a Bean Goose so there was the incredible situation that not only had I found two patch firsts in the space of a few minutes, they were both on show in the same field!

For no apparent reason, other than it probably just feeling out of its comfort zone, the Bittern eventually flipped up over the hedge and although we didn't think it had gone far, subsequent searching by half a dozen of us failed to relocate it and it had apparently moved off inland, but fortunately the Bean Goose stayed long enough for everyone to connect.

I then carried on my walk and indeed located 4 Yellowhammers but these seemed rather incidental to what had gone before, so what I thought was going to be a quiet afternoon stroll turned into an awesome time and just shows that you just never know what you are going to see and makes all the effort of patching worthwhile.

As an aside the Bittern was the 100th species that I've found on the patch so far this year, the earliest I've ever recorded 100 before was by the 15th March, so I'm really pleased with that too.

Simon
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Old Monday 25th January 2010, 09:25   #8320
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so what I thought was going to be a quiet afternoon stroll turned into an awesome time and just shows that you just never know what you are going to see and makes all the effort of patching worthwhile.

Simon
cheers mate, you've just inspired me to get out there when i had been grumbling about the drizzle.
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Old Monday 25th January 2010, 11:51   #8321
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cheers mate, you've just inspired me to get out there when i had been grumbling about the drizzle.
I'll second that - cracking write up and, as you say, you never know what might be about if you're in the right place at the right time. I got quite sadly excited about a patch tick on Dersingham Bog the other day .... a Crow (I really should get out more!)

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Old Monday 25th January 2010, 14:35   #8322
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Redpolls

A frustratingly mobile but interesting flock of redpolls was seen at Strumpshaw today, when the whole flock is together there must be c50 Lessers and 2-3 Mealy along with c70 Siskin. We had chased them around the reserve but then got our best views in the car park. Definitely worth a look if you like redpolls, could be something rarer in there if you're patient enough. There is also a fairly pale looking bird, but I never saw the rump !
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Old Monday 25th January 2010, 16:57   #8323
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Titchwell January 25th

Today's highlights

Bittern - 1+ in reedbed
Red kite - 1 over Thornham saltmarsh
Common buzzard - 1 over Thornham saltmarsh
Mealy redpoll - 1 in feeders around visitor centre

Paul
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Old Monday 25th January 2010, 18:22   #8324
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Whistle stop tour of Strumpshaw and Buckenham

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Redpolls

A frustratingly mobile but interesting flock of redpolls was seen at Strumpshaw today, when the whole flock is together there must be c50 Lessers and 2-3 Mealy along with c70 Siskin. We had chased them around the reserve but then got our best views in the car park. Definitely worth a look if you like redpolls, could be something rarer in there if you're patient enough. There is also a fairly pale looking bird, but I never saw the rump !
Saw the redpolls too
Birds would not settle but 2 or 3 birds mealies as far as I could tell. One adult male a mealy and perhaps a young male too, plus a third probable mealy.

From Buckenham Station over 40 bean geese and around a 100 white-fronted geese. Scope views only but not as far away or as hidden as when viewed from Cantley.
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Old Tuesday 26th January 2010, 22:08   #8325
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Booked my birthday off tomorrow to go birding - I will be 21

Have a horrible cold and could do with a lie in but have go to a garage very early before I go birding, so may not be starting out too early!

Best Wishes Penny
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