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Old Saturday 10th November 2007, 20:24   #2501
David Norgate
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The only way of looking for the Richard's today was via Kelling as there was no access down the beach Road at Salthouse (see Penny's 'Road Closed' photo - same today). Gramborough Hill was still visible - just about, but the area to the west, where the Lapland Buntings were was completely under water. Hopefully they have moved to 'higher' land until the water drops!

Tim, thanks for the comments about the Plover, can't decide if I will make my way over there tomorrow.

Penny, I didn't see a Goosander either (and I am not blond(e)!) in fact didn't even hear of one. I was sat in the part of the shelter to your left, like you, enjoying the company as much as the birds - good to catch up with Chris (Mr Egyptian Vulture) and reminisce!

PS I realise that the NOA website is reports from a variety of sources, just felt for Connor as he didn't see it...and as for the bird report Connor, yes good read, but one account still rather smarts!!

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Old Saturday 10th November 2007, 20:26   #2502
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Strumpshaw has just been on BBC News 24 with flooding pictures and salt water getting into the broads!
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Old Sunday 11th November 2007, 17:00   #2503
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After visiting Cley and Salthouse yesterday to walk down East Bank, I felt quite sad as I felt I was witnessing the beginning of the end of Cley as we know it. I am not sure how many storms the seabank will take.

Anyway as I knew the coast would be well covered today, Paul and I decided to visited some sites away from the coast in Norfolk. After watching a Red-throated Diver on the River Great Ouse, down river in King's Lynn and a Merlin flying over it, we counted 150+ Pintail at Tottenhill. Driving through Womegay we had a Red-tailed Hawk fly above us. We could not see any jesses on it and wondered just how many are breeding in the area now, as I know they are in the Mundford area. Moving onto Westacre we had a small flock of Siskin and 2 Redpolls. Infront of the hide 2 Water Rails were foraging in the mud. As I sit here and type this out Pinkfooted Geese are flying over the house in the pitch black as they make their way to roost on The Wash!
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Old Sunday 11th November 2007, 18:05   #2504
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Hi all
Another fine weekends birding comes to an end, things taking on a decidedly wintery feel now with Goldeneyes & 3 cracking male Goosanders today, although i also saw a female C.Darter still on the wing (just) in a sheltered sunny spot. Wishing to make no excuses, I just had to share this photo of the Pom Skua by the Iron Road today. After so many at sea recently it was nice to get up close & personal with one. A really formidable looking beast, absolutely fantastic. It even did a short lap of the flood, shame it was lacking the spoons though.
Rob.
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Old Sunday 11th November 2007, 19:53   #2505
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Hi all
just had to share this photo of the Pom Skua by the Iron Road today. After so many at sea recently it was nice to get up close & personal with one. A really formidable looking beast, absolutely fantastic. It even did a short lap of the flood, shame it was lacking the spoons though.
Rob.
Fantastic picture Rob, thanks

Best Wishes Penny
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Old Monday 12th November 2007, 14:47   #2506
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What a morning. Myself and Nathalie got to the Sherringham shelter late (around 10am) and plenty of Little auks passing close in (most in 2's and 3's). Most amazing sight was when everyone else had left: 3 Little auks landed right in front of us, gulls started circling overhead and the Auks tried to dive out of the way. It was too shallow and you could see the poor birds hitting the sand below with legs out of the water! A GbbGull caught one, dropped it then managed to catch it again and flew off with the doomed bird. I had always heard that this happens to many of the poor little things but never seen it before!
They must be one of the most helpless birds in Europe!
Also seen:
2 G N Divers
1 Pom (juv)
2 Purple Sands
1 Merganser
only 1 Gannet, plenty of kittywakes, R t diver, 1g c grebe etc etc
and about 21+ Little Auks - all the above between 10-11am only
Bit gutted to hear about the Brunnich's - can't imagine a fly-past getting accepted though... Anyone know how many saw the bird?
Sacha
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Old Monday 12th November 2007, 19:00   #2507
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Cley East Bank between 08:45 and 10:45, after the rain.

49 Little Auks all west, with the biggest group being 12 birds. All very close in. I'd only seen 2 before, so today was brilliant!
1 Great Northern Diver.
2 probable Black Throated Divers.
3 Mergansers
3 Snow Buntings
1 Glaucous Gull juv. Bloody scary looking beast.
1 Purple Sandpiper
2 Poms over floods: 1 pale adult and a juv briefly at around 8:40.

Planned on heading home, but ended up stopping along the way in the Bayfield Estate woodlands. 8 Woodcocks were flushed in total, and 4+ Bullfinches were heard. Also c10 Siskins, 1 male Sparrowhawk, 2 Nuthatches calling and the usual tits, Treecreepers etc. Lots of Blackbirds around, as well as Redwings.

Back at the East bank for a late seawatch, from 15:00 till about 16:00 produced:
6 Little auks; 4 east, 1 west and one on the sea
1 Drake Goosander
1 GCG
3 Goldeneye
c9 Snow Buntings on the beach.

Also came across the pale Pom eating what I think was a Chub, just off the footpath. Water Rail seen squealing nearby and a Kingfisher shot past in a gorgeous sunset. Bloody cold though. Need a bobble hat badly!

Jason

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Old Monday 12th November 2007, 19:13   #2508
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Re: Brunnichs Guillemot.

I'm having one of those 'in birding hindsight' moments. Had an auk sp past East bank sometime between 08:45 and 09:45 that confused me. Size was clearly between Guillemot and Little Auk. It had an obviously pointed bill, but the body shape more like a Little Auk, just not as small. At the time I first thought Puffin, but the bill threw me. It was flying east. Was gone in no time and I just forgot about it. I know nothing about Brunnichs, so it didn't even cross my mind. If I had more experience, and new what to look for at the time (looked it up since, having seen the possible report) I think I would have gotten very excited...

Jason

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Old Monday 12th November 2007, 20:27   #2509
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good seawatching again yesterday

past Sea Palling and Eccles well over 100 Little Auks, Storm Petrel, 7 Purple Sands, 7 Snow Bunts, Black-throated Diver. Large numbers of Shelduck passing in afternoon, several hundred Common Scoters, also a few Eider and Gadwall and a few Goldeneye. And the Lesser Snow Goose was at Waxham - and still there this morning too...
but no sign of the prob. AGP

Little Auks were getting tired with several over the dunes and a couple totally knackered on the beach...

last week a White-billed Diver was tracked as it headed north-west towards Sheringham from a couple of east coast sites, at least. Times fit in with the Sheringham bird...

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Old Monday 12th November 2007, 21:57   #2510
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I see on Birdguides that there's a gn diver at the Nar valley fisheries - does anyone know what the access is like at this site? Is it open to the public and will I get a pushchair round it?
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Old Tuesday 13th November 2007, 06:58   #2511
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I see on Birdguides that there's a gn diver at the Nar valley fisheries - does anyone know what the access is like at this site? Is it open to the public and will I get a pushchair round it?
Technically this is a permit only site as this is still a working gravel pit. However some people do walk around it at weekends (or evenings) when work ceases but you may be approached by a manager if he is present and challenged.
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Old Tuesday 13th November 2007, 11:52   #2512
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the records from Sea Palling / Eccles on today's pager are NOT from yesterday. They are from Sun. They have been copied off here wrongly.

juv AGP at Waxham again this morning

and GWEgret reported flying over too... hope my local co-observer got it.

Tim

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Old Tuesday 13th November 2007, 11:59   #2513
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I visited Strumpshaw on Sunday to see how it had been affected by the flooding. The water had obviously receded quite a bit but there was still a lot of water in the reedbeds. The only trail open was the walk through the woods, up to the river, along the riverbank and back past the Fen hide. Access to the Fen hide was still prohibited although it looked as if the track leading to it was no longer under water.

There was not a huge amount of wildlife to be seen, although I saw a Bittern fly past in front of the Reception hide and there were two other sightings of it in the afternoon. The Kingfishers haven't been seen over the reserve reedbeds since the flooding although someone had seen one at the riverbank.

There were lots of Stonechats about, several of them near the pumping station, and flocks of Goldfinches rising from the water meadows every so often. There was more Marsh Harrier action than I have seen for weeks with three of them in the air at the same time. I also saw several Chinese Water Deer in the meadows.

I took a walk to Buckenham marshes as I had been told that there were some Bean Geese there. I managed to see thousands of Widgeon and Teal but just as I reached the river the heavens opened and I got drenched. I decided to cut my losses and return to Strumpshaw and just as I was starting to dry out I got soaked once more. I was rewarded with a beautiful rainbow over the fields though (see pic.)

Here are a few photos which I took. They are: A couple of very friendly Stonechats. A view over the water meadows through the gateway. A teasel on the riverbank (doesn't the river look benign now). The closed off track to the Fen hide. The rainbow on the road back from Buckenham marshes.

Ron
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Old Tuesday 13th November 2007, 17:24   #2514
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Hi, Just thought i would tell everyone about my lovely visit to Sculthorpe Moor today. I saw Chaffinches,Greenfinches, 5 species of tit, robins,wrens blackbirds, siskins, Gt spotted woodpecker and to top it off cracking views of a water rail probably the closest i've seen about 3 feet away. The weather was rubbish i think if it had been a bright dry day i would have seen more, am looking forward to going back in the winter as i think the feeders will be used more then (still a lot of natural food about at the mo) perhaps some bramblings and redpoll would be nice. This reserve is very convienient to me as its about 20mins walk from my house and as i do not drive this is great!

Best Wishes
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Old Tuesday 13th November 2007, 18:27   #2515
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I was rung up yesterday by a parent of one of the children in my class concerned about a bird in her garden, that she thought unusual and couldn't seem to fly away. After discussing various options open to her, her daughter brought a photo of it into schoool today. Imagine my surprise when she had a wonderful photo of a Little Auk sat on her patio!

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Old Tuesday 13th November 2007, 18:37   #2516
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Seawatch - California
13/11/2007 12:30 to 14:10


24 Little Auks (N)
24 Brent Geese (N)
8 Gannet (S)
1 Shelduck (N)
1 Woodcock in off
1 Fieldfare in off
Several large flocks of starlings in off
1 Wigeon in off sea and settled on beach with gulls

Would liked to have stayed longer but at 14:10 the heavens opened and had to run like mad back to the car.

Ian
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Old Tuesday 13th November 2007, 22:19   #2517
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Just had a nifty weekend in Norfolk thought I'd give you the lowdown.

Highlight had to be Little Auk, first 4 floating just off the beach yesterday morning at Snettisham. Later on during that long walk back to the car park we found another one in the lagoon behind the holiday huts. Sad to watch really, as it gently drifted into the wind-blown foam, whereupon it soon rolled deep in the froth.
I'm not keen on intervension but such a pathetic thing, it seemed only humane to do was to pick up the stranded bird and give it another go at sea. Quick we rushed it down to beach and let it float off, only for the poor thing to drift back on the shingle. Our mistake I suppose.

Eventually, figuring we'd stressed out the bird enough, the girlfriend and I decided to place it back on the lagoon, this time on the sunny sheltered bank. A quiet place to make a miraculous recovery or to die with peace. Turned out to be the later when we later went back to check on it.

Sad but unforgettable stuff.

Other highlights at Snettisham were Merlin, Barn Owl and we picked up a Scaup too. Later fumbling through pictures it also turned out I accidentally photographed a Great Skua. A couple of Fieldfare went over the dunes too. One chap told me he'd seen a dark-morph Snow Goose go over with the departing Pinkies, and very well done to him.

Other places we visited were Holkham (on Saturday), surprisingly few geese about in the afternoon, nice views of Marsh Harrier though, which must have been as surprised as we were when a Peregrine swooped beneath it in an attempt to snatch a Teal disturbed by the harrier.
Nice numbers of Goldcrest, Treecreeper and Coal Tit about in the LTT flocks, alas we didn't pick up a Firecrest. Lots and lots and lots of Jays though, never seen so many.

Then it was Titchwell (Sunday). A good mixture if nothing special, Bar-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Avocet, etc. On the beach neat groups of Sanderling, Dunlin and other assorted common waders, with a dozen or so Brents. Off shore a small passage of more Little Auk kept things interesting, I noted 4 in ten minutes while splitting my time on the waders.
Leaving the car park, one Lesser Redpoll gave us a nice send-off.

Finally, a brief stop at Dersingham Bog in that secret car park just outside Wolferton. Why isn't it sign-posted? Anyway, it was 5pm now, and the best of it were the series of Curlew flocks commuting overhead and a Woodcock beside the road.

Okay so no Shore Lark or Snow Bunting, and evidentally the Royal Family have shot all the Hen Harriers, still the Little Auk were a lifer and the girlfriend got thrilled by the Knot and Pinkies at Snettisham.
We left happy.
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Old Wednesday 14th November 2007, 11:50   #2518
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Hi penny was at work saturday and only had 1 woodpigeon fly into the window!
still sounded like a good day on the coast.

Thanks for telling us about the WBD, Tim, i was chatting with locals on friday just before i heard that it had been seen further east and was happy with it before i heard, a close GND on Sun at same range made me 100% on it

Spent most of Sunday seawatching at Sheringham,
Hilights about 100 and something Little Auks, 15 Poms, 1 Grey Phal, a few GND's, BTD, Goosander, LTD, then went and saw the adult Pom at salthouse what a gentle looking creature!
Back to Sheringham had a LEO followed by a SEO then the SEO flew out to sea again, 230 Shelduck was also impressive.
Similar stuff on Monday although slight seawatching fatigue was setting in and missed Stormy. The Brunnich's which was IDed by a top birder a Cley may or may not have gone through while we were there - if it had it would have had to have stopped on the sea as the times we were there did not add up to when it went past cley.
There were no auks west while we were there, but looking at it, separating Guilli's and Razors is hard enough at range they go past at Sheringham and having no experience before - i'd have to have had a very good view...
Had glauc heading west at cley and that Pom again. Quitish for rest of day Holkham Bay surprising devoid of divers / grebes currently, but 1 Pom chasing gulls with sun glistening on bill and barring on underwing was the best bird out of all the Poms ive seen this autumn

Titchwell on tuesday - still Little Auks going through and cashed in on the woodcock influx - 1 flying west was a seawatching tick. There definitely seems to be an influx at the moment - i read somewhere that there is such a thing as a woodcock moon - corresponds with the spring tide and they move when the moon is full, anyone know more about this - what stage is the moon at at the moment.

Had a ringtail Hen harrier over saltmarsh heading south that had presumably just come in off. Was surprised to sea that from the logbook about 6 Hen's have flown in off in the last week. Its surprising because i've never seen them come in off at sheringham and havent heard many reports - yet Cley eastwards seems to get all the Owls, there werent any Owl in/off reports from Titch - anyone got any thoughts on whether this is just coincidence or why this seems to happen, hopefully this will help people try to see Owls

Sorry about the rant at Cley - don't think much more could have been done, just sad we seem to be losing this habitat
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Old Wednesday 14th November 2007, 12:11   #2519
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Re: Brunnichs Guillemot.

I'm having one of those 'in birding hindsight' moments. Had an auk sp past East bank sometime between 08:45 and 09:45 that confused me.
Jason

Hi Jason, the brunnich's went past at 11.55, so you can rest easyish, the two main ID features seem to be a mostly blackish head, some white on the throat but at range this appears dark, also the feet extend past the tail (as in guilli), and very clean plumage i think if you had a good view you'd be thinking why is there a summer plumage bird going past - the main confusion (apparently) is 1st win Razorbill, its pretty similar in size to the two common auks.

As i say the bird was Id'ed by one of the top birders in Norfolk and only on pager as a probable because noone else saw it.

However it could have been sitting on the sea so do any of these points ring a bell!?
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Old Wednesday 14th November 2007, 12:13   #2520
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Spent most of Sunday seawatching at Sheringham,
Hilights about 100 and something Little Auks, 15 Poms, 1 Grey Phal, a few GND's, BTD, Goosander, LTD, then went and saw the adult Pom at salthouse what a gentle looking creature!
not sure that's quite how I'd have described it stunning birds though. If anyone is in the area they are definitely worth spending some time with, how often will you get to see poms that well. So far I've spent two afternoons by the roadside watching them, hopefully I'll get a full day with them if they're still there tomorrow.

http://www.blueskybirds.co.uk/pomskua.php
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Old Wednesday 14th November 2007, 12:37   #2521
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not sure that's quite how I'd have described it stunning birds though.

http://www.blueskybirds.co.uk/pomskua.php
compared to the ugly brutishness of Bonxies, i'd say they look positively angelic, i had it dozing in the afternoon sun - it looked cute!

also had it eating some sort of duck - teal, have you seen any interesting behaviour, have you seen it catch anything? any unusual interaction with the other adult Pom?
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Old Wednesday 14th November 2007, 16:28   #2522
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http://www.blueskybirds.co.uk/pomskua.php

great photos, you can even see the pomarine bill -

Poma`rine
a. 1. (Zool.) Having the nostril covered with a scale.Pomarine jager

"pomarine jaeger" is from a combination of Greek and German words, "pomarine" meaning--believe it or not--a "horned nose" (having nothing to do with the distinctive spoon-shaped double tail of the bird which identifies it in the field but with a horny protrusion over the nostrils), and "jaeger" meaning "hunter" in German. Rhinocerous, by the way, is the opposite of pomarine, because it is Greek for "nose horn," and so the rhinocerous auklet is a seabird with a nose-horn!

"parasitic jaeger" comes from the way the birds hunt by robbing other birds, such as gulls. The name "skua" which is used by Europeans has a quite different origin, interestingly enough, from a Scandinavian word meaning "tassel," which apparently describes the peculiar tail feathers on all types of jaegers.

"phalarope" has a Greek origin from two words meaning "white-spotted" and "lobe-footed," and so it is a seabird that gets its name from its appearance, both the white on its neck or face and the lobed feet with which it swims.


some great photos (and impressive no's) on this site -

http://seawatchcgn.free.fr/
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Old Wednesday 14th November 2007, 16:58   #2523
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Titchwell on tuesday - still Little Auks going through and cashed in on the woodcock influx - 1 flying west was a seawatching tick. There definitely seems to be an influx at the moment - i read somewhere that there is such a thing as a woodcock moon - corresponds with the spring tide and they move when the moon is full, anyone know more about this - what stage is the moon at at the moment.
Still Little Auks going through today with 22 past Holme NOA. Also 6 Waxwings south there. I had 6 Woodcocks at Holme Saturday including 1 low west past and 3 in off-defo an influx with 10 overall that day and 6 still at Holme today.

I also had a ringtail hen Harrier go low south over the A149 at Titchwell RSPB on Sat.

Cheers,

Connor
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Old Wednesday 14th November 2007, 17:02   #2524
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compared to the ugly brutishness of Bonxies, i'd say they look positively angelic, i had it dozing in the afternoon sun - it looked cute!

also had it eating some sort of duck - teal, have you seen any interesting behaviour, have you seen it catch anything? any unusual interaction with the other adult Pom?
I guess so... I also watched it munching what looked to be a teal on Sunday, on Monday it was feeding on fish. Seemed to be making no effort to hunt, but then I guess the floods will have left plenty of food, which is no doubt why it's been hanging around. I've not seen any unusual behaviour, the only time the two were close together they both decided to have a kip (within two feet of each other). I'm hoping they stay another night as I'm planning to go back again in the morning, hopefully catch up with the purple sands at Salthouse too.
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Old Wednesday 14th November 2007, 20:14   #2525
Edward woodwood
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awesome birds

watching them scything through the winds at speed as they passed by close inshore at Eccles in good numbers has been one of the highlights of the year. And so close to home too! If I'd stood on the bed I'd have them on the garden list
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