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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 12:10   #7051
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100% reliable ?! No matter how honest one is with their own sightings, as Will says we all make mistakes. Now before this thread descends into a slanging match or similar i would just like to say that Amazon sell the "clicky things" for just under 3. Is that right that you can get them in Poundland ?
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 13:11   #7052
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I'll check out Poundland, thanks for the info. Will, you're right about nobody being 100% reliable, but earning that kind of rep usually comes from being able to admit if you had the slightest doubt about the ID of a bird, so with something as rare as a Norfolk Great Shearwater which requires you to think carefully about what you've just seen I think Penny's use of the phrase might possibly be justified.

It is true that Holme gets birds that other places don't. It's actually not too badly shadowed by Scolt Head - the coastline edges out to the north at Holme (almost half a mile further than Titchwell) so it should be in a nice position to get most of the birds going past, whilst Titchwell ought not to and yet does have does produce some great seawatching. I remember a big seawatch off Titchwell last year at the same time Connor and others were seawatching off Holme. We both got a few of the same birds, such as a group of Sab's (and a Cory's if I remember rightly) but there was also a fair bit on both sides that was missed by the other team. And both the Holme and Titchwell watchers were going "Huh?" at what was being seen at Sheringham and nowhere else !
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 13:32   #7053
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Ian was saying he bought a clicker in pound land but apparently it was advertised for counting girls at the local night club ?!

While looking for a great grey shrike at Cley a couple of years ago, one of the top birders mis-identified a magpie as the bird ! That was in good light conditions on the land. Sea watching can be a minefield, wind speed, direction, distance, light etc. all make the same species look very different under different conditions. There are some more experienced than others obviously and if they claimed a fea's petrel off norfolk you would be more likely to believe them. But nobody is infallible

Holme versus Sheringham, I think you are often going to get different birds on the same day. Obviously they are 30 miles apart and it depends where the birds hit the coast, quite often stuff comes down the North sea and goes into the wash, round and back north. Hence would not be seen from sheringham. Other times they might hit blakeney point and carry on east, hence no chance at Holme and every chance at cley & sheringham. What is interesting is the difference between cley and sheringham on the same day. Maybe they should build a sea watching hide on stilts in the beach car park?
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 13:36   #7054
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The Little Auks (in the plural) do seem quite exceptional and certainly at this time of year young Auks and Puffins can be a confusion species, I remember last year a 'Little Auk' being reported at Cley in close company of a Razorbill. Also Great Shear is an extremely rarity off Norfolk and i would think a comprehensive description will need to be submitted to get it accepted - black cap, oil stain, flight action, rump pattern etc.

However at the end of the day what does it matter if reports of seabirds come through on the pager that people don't believe even if they are only a few miles along the coast. When birding i'm firmly of the belief that 'the birds i see are the birds i see' and everything else should be irrelevant. If there is a rare seabird being reported along the coast flying towards me, but which I don't see myself, i can think one of a number of things, the bird was misIDed, the bird was strung, the bird flew out to sea so i wouldn't have seen it flying past or i missed it flying past. Ive contended with all these views at one time or another but finally got into a headspace where i'm quite happy with what i see and don't really care whats going on around me - 'ok i missed a Cory's past Sheringham - (good vantage point, multiple observers) but I saw a few Sooties and a Pom instead'. Being cynical/critical/objective whatever you want to call it and dwelling on birds that others are claiming is simply going to get you down in the dumps.


So what does it matter if a few dodgy seabirds are reported and even slip into the bird report, with seabirds once they are gone you're never going to know if they were genuine or not even if you interrogate the person who saw them. Surely the main concern is being thorough and honest with yourself and making sure you don't fall into the same trap. Its easy to disbelieve reports from other the people but if you claim something good you can quickly be put in the same position.
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 13:51   #7055
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Originally Posted by Blakeney Resident View Post
The Little Auks (in the plural) do seem quite exceptional and certainly at this time of year young Auks and Puffins can be a confusion species, I remember last year a 'Little Auk' being reported at Cley in close company of a Razorbill. Also Great Shear is an extremely rarity off Norfolk and i would think a comprehensive description will need to be submitted to get it accepted - black cap, oil stain, flight action, rump pattern etc.

However at the end of the day what does it matter if reports of seabirds come through on the pager that people don't believe even if they are only a few miles along the coast. When birding i'm firmly of the belief that 'the birds i see are the birds i see' and everything else should be irrelevant. If there is a rare seabird being reported along the coast flying towards me, but which I don't see myself, i can think one of a number of things, the bird was misIDed, the bird was strung, the bird flew out to sea so i wouldn't have seen it flying past or i missed it flying past. Ive contended with all these views at one time or another but finally got into a headspace where i'm quite happy with what i see and don't really care whats going on around me - 'ok i missed a Cory's past Sheringham - (good vantage point, multiple observers) but I saw a few Sooties and a Pom instead'. Being cynical/critical/objective whatever you want to call it and dwelling on birds that others are claiming is simply going to get you down in the dumps.


So what does it matter if a few dodgy seabirds are reported and even slip into the bird report, with seabirds once they are gone you're never going to know if they were genuine or not even if you interrogate the person who saw them. Surely the main concern is being thorough and honest with yourself and making sure you don't fall into the same trap. Its easy to disbelieve reports from other the people but if you claim something good you can quickly be put in the same position.
I need a Facebook 'like' button at this point

Maybe I should get a clicky thing before I go back to uni...
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 13:53   #7056
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There does seem to be an increase in rubbishing at the moment ! I suppose pagers have their pros and cons. While on the subject of pagers, at Cley on sunday there were loads of people sea watching in the afternoon, the wind was south west and their wasn't a single bird flying by ?? I think visiting birders looked at their pagers and saw the good passages from thurs to saturday and though there must be loads to see!
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 14:08   #7057
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Cley/Blakeney v Sheringham

Having been a regular seawatcher off Sheringham last year but now having moved to Blakeney its interesting to compare the two sites. Most people would argue that Sheringham is a better site because of the number of good observers and that fact the shelters are quite raised enabling viewers to see further out. Additional more contentious points are that perhaps seabirds, incoming passerines + Owls are able to see the landmarks of Sheringham, building and lights from the town and Beeston Bump from further out. There is also the theory (well my theory!) that some birds such as LTS use certain points of the coast to navigate and that experienced adults remember certain places from previous years.

However i think there are many disadvantages to Sheringham, not wanting to be too crude but the shelters do smell of pee, it can be hard work in the summer with all the bucket and spaders and at times even the local plod start questioning you as to what you are doing. The biggest thing though for me is the 'naturalness' that is missing at Sheringham and present at places further along the coast. The shelters with the solid concrete pillars blocking part of the view give quite an austere feel to the place as well as hampering viewing, I once had a LEO disappear behind a pillar which i then missed as it flew over the shelter. Compare this to Cley and the seawatching hide at Blakeney which always feels more wild, you need to find any protection you can on the wind and rainblown shingle ridge and the fact the viewing is more difficult adds to the excitement and challenge. Although you can see less birds you can certainly get closer views with birds sometimes flying over the beach or even behind you. Also there usually seems to be more on the sea than Sheringham possibly because the sea gets a lot deeper just off shore.

I do miss Sheringham but for atmosphere, challenge you can't beat places where you're more exposed to the elements.
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 14:33   #7058
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When I said interesting differences, I was talking about how sometimes 15 LT skuas are seen from sheringham and only one from Cley !! Those pillars are bl00dy annoying, maybe we could chop them down! Weather looks good for a fall on wednesday, low pressure over northern france and the low countries with rain coming in and the high moving over Scandinavia.

Anyone know where on blakeney point the RB fly is ? Very tricky to catch up with last year, hopefully a few more in the coming days
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 14:40   #7059
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Just took a call:

Two Red-breasted & one Pied Fly on Blakeney today...

Also, Icterine yesterday.

I wish I wasnt at work - in Suffolk!
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 17:03   #7060
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Booted Warbler just been found on Blakeney Point. Apparently at the boat landing area. Also 2 Red-Breasted Flycatchers in the plantation there and an Icterine Warbler at nearby Warham Greens, plus a few Pied Flycatchers dotted around!
Good work!
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 17:05   #7061
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Thumbs up Looks good for next week

Looks good for a bit of everything next week!

http://magicseaweed.com/UK-Ireland-M...rts/1/wind/in/

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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 18:16   #7062
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Does no one sea watch at Hunstanton any more? Used to be popular years back and I still call in there but am usually alone.

Hugh
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 18:21   #7063
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Yep weather forecast look absolutely amazing for Tues/Wed.
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 18:46   #7064
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I don't belieeeeeeeeve it !

Having traipsed around WRunton, Gramboro', Friary Hills, all the way out to Stiffkey Meals, Walsey Hills and Gramboro' again today, seeing a few Chiffchaffs and a Wheatear, I really find it demoralising that all this stuff is in other places.

Now there's an RBFly at Walsey. I can only think that birds are flying in, as the Wheatear at Gramboro' seemed to do. I went around Walsey TWICE, for crying out loud.

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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 18:53   #7065
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Thats proper bad luck John, does anyone think the point will hold any birds until tomorrow ? It's such a long walk and I've got tiling to do !!
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 18:56   #7066
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Having traipsed around WRunton, Gramboro', Friary Hills, all the way out to Stiffkey Meals, Walsey Hills and Gramboro' again today, seeing a few Chiffchaffs and a Wheatear, I really find it demoralising that all this stuff is in other places.

Now there's an RBFly at Walsey. I can only think that birds are flying in, as the Wheatear at Gramboro; seemed to do. I went around Walsey TWICE, for crying out loud.
Sorry to make your evening worse John but after you drove past I had an Icterine Warbler in the quarry at the house on the hill @ 6pm (just West of Blakeney).

you have had the lions share this year though, need to give the mere mortals a chance.

Could some person put this on RBA as i currently have no access to mobile or landline.

Havent got Birds of Blakeney Point to hand at the minute but remember a quote saying sometimes when the weather conditions are marginal they produce very few common migrants and very few birds in general but the ones that do turn up are scarce or rare. Maybe when the weather chart looks perfect next week we are going to get lots of common but not much scarce therefore fill yer boots time this weekend!

I too missed the RBfly at Walsey or maybe it was misIDed or strung ; - )
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 19:50   #7067
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Thats proper bad luck John, does anyone think the point will hold any birds until tomorrow ? It's such a long walk and I've got tiling to do !!
I reakon that although the wind is going round in a more westerly direction that could be just what we need and act as holding weather. All the stuff from today may well stick + more stuff should come in + new stuff should be found that arrived today because of weekend coverage.
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 20:11   #7068
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Small consolation

A few of the images I managed to capture on my pilgrimage around birdless spots of Norfolk- at least they were when I was there.

Meadow Pipit at Gramboro'.

Red Admiral and male Migrant Hawker at Walsey. I was on my knees for the last- and not because I was praying for some birds.

Re #7072: I'd rather the pillars remained. They support the roof of the shelter ! This is yet another place I can go to see nothing.
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 20:26   #7069
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Saturday

Hi all.

It would be interesting to hear peoples predictions for tomorrow. Is it gonna be a good day for rarities? Seawatching? C'mon, let hear your verdicts?

Cheers.
Billy.
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 20:27   #7070
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Originally Posted by Blakeney Resident View Post
Cley/Blakeney v Sheringham

Having been a regular seawatcher off Sheringham last year but now having moved to Blakeney its interesting to compare the two sites. Most people would argue that Sheringham is a better site because of the number of good observers and that fact the shelters are quite raised enabling viewers to see further out. Additional more contentious points are that perhaps seabirds, incoming passerines + Owls are able to see the landmarks of Sheringham, building and lights from the town and Beeston Bump from further out. There is also the theory (well my theory!) that some birds such as LTS use certain points of the coast to navigate and that experienced adults remember certain places from previous years.

However i think there are many disadvantages to Sheringham, not wanting to be too crude but the shelters do smell of pee, it can be hard work in the summer with all the bucket and spaders and at times even the local plod start questioning you as to what you are doing. The biggest thing though for me is the 'naturalness' that is missing at Sheringham and present at places further along the coast. The shelters with the solid concrete pillars blocking part of the view give quite an austere feel to the place as well as hampering viewing, I once had a LEO disappear behind a pillar which i then missed as it flew over the shelter. Compare this to Cley and the seawatching hide at Blakeney which always feels more wild, you need to find any protection you can on the wind and rainblown shingle ridge and the fact the viewing is more difficult adds to the excitement and challenge. Although you can see less birds you can certainly get closer views with birds sometimes flying over the beach or even behind you. Also there usually seems to be more on the sea than Sheringham possibly because the sea gets a lot deeper just off shore.

I do miss Sheringham but for atmosphere, challenge you can't beat places where you're more exposed to the elements.
Oh for the enthusiasm of youth! For those of us of a certain age, who can forget seawatching from Cley in a howling NW with squally showers trying to find some shelter behind an upturned boat on the beach or huddling behind one of the tractors usually sitting on top of the ridge. Agree that sometimes the birds were either in the breakers or over your head but cleaning bins and scope every two minutes got a bit tiring after an eight hour session (and never did see the great shearwater that went past there in 1997).
My advice would still be forget the smell, the concrete pillars and the holidaymakers and enjoy the five star (relatively!) comfort of Sheringham shelter!

Mick
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 20:54   #7071
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Evening Everyone, was just wondering whether the birds that are now starting to appear this afternoon and later in the day in Norfolk are just a result of how the birds on this day in time are migrating ? Birds wake up this a.m in Scandanavia (or wherever they are) and decide to push on as the weather is good and a gentle North Easterly pushes the birds across the North Sea into the bulge of East Anglia where they make landfall. I am no expert in the mechanics of migration just a witness of how brilliant it is and a lucky recipient of good birds (and insects !!) to see.

I seem to remember some photographs of common migrants e.g willow warbler/chifchaff at Gramborough Hill on Cleybirds that had clearly arrived that afternoon as the bushes were empty in the morning in 'favourable conditions' but birds were present in the p.m

Nothing i can draw from this apart from check everywhere, check again and then check once more for luck !!!!!!

Good luck to any any Ladies and Gents out and about tomorrow and may your force be with you.

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p.s can anyone recommend a good/thorough/easy to understand book on migration i can have a read of ?
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 21:03   #7072
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Hi all.

It would be interesting to hear peoples predictions for tomorrow. Is it gonna be a good day for rarities? Seawatching? C'mon, let hear your verdicts?

Cheers.
Billy.
Having just had to cancel my drive up to Norfolk for a full day tomorrow, I predict something very nice turning up mid-morning
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 21:43   #7073
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My brother has a decent book on migration "Time to Fly" by Jim Flegg. I haven't read it but he recommends it. It is an easy read but has lots of decent information.
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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 22:39   #7074
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Sorry to make your evening worse John but after you drove past I had an Icterine Warbler in the quarry at the house on the hill @ 6pm (just West of Blakeney).

you have had the lions share this year though, need to give the mere mortals a chance.

Could some person put this on RBA as i currently have no access to mobile or landline.

Havent got Birds of Blakeney Point to hand at the minute but remember a quote saying sometimes when the weather conditions are marginal they produce very few common migrants and very few birds in general but the ones that do turn up are scarce or rare. Maybe when the weather chart looks perfect next week we are going to get lots of common but not much scarce therefore fill yer boots time this weekend!

I too missed the RBfly at Walsey or maybe it was misIDed or strung ; - )
Congratulations Josh on your Icterine in MY house on the hill spot (RBS!).

RBfly at Walsey is 100% reliable!!!!!!!!!! Pete Snook found this and he IS a top birder and very good friend. He found it in the willows at the back of Walsey. The 2nd one he has found he told me this evening.... the 1st one on Bardsey Island. Well done Pete (early birthday present!)

Best Wishes Penny

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Old Friday 11th September 2009, 22:41   #7075
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Yep weather forecast look absolutely amazing for Tues/Wed.
I am sooooo excited that I have booked Thursday/Friday off next week and the whole following week!!!!!!!!!

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