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Old Monday 7th August 2006, 22:44   #126
dbradnum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinD
Hello Norfolk Birders!
I am coming up to Norfolk for a two week family holiday next saturday. The first week is at the top edge of the Broards, the second based at Heacham (Don't ask, the holiday cottage company double booked!). The benefit of this is that we will have plenty of opportunity to explore the county. I have only been in winter before!

I have looked at a couple of site guides for good places to go for birds. My question is which places are suitable to visit with young children? My four year old is an enthusiastic birder but gets quite noisy, the one year old just does noisy! A bit of an exaggeration but you don't want them in hides too long, they're better on a walk or a beach!

Also, assuming I get some time off, will there still be a chance of Honey Buzzards at either of the watchpoints and what of the Montys at the known site? Will they still be there and if so could someone please pm me where?!

Thanks in advance,

Robin
Honey Buzzards have reportedly been excellent at Swanton Novers today - four birds up at one point, including a dark phase individual. The yound ought to be up and about either now, or very soon, so August is a good month to go for them.
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Old Tuesday 8th August 2006, 21:28   #127
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great day out today

Honeys were awesome for a while with one bird almost non-stop wing-clapping for about 20 mins.

Pleasant afternoon pootling about, couple of pints and a meal in the sailors then bumped into Rob at Burnham Norton and refound his Cattle Egret of 20 mins previously. Although there were a couple of escapes knocking about, neither has been seen since Nov to the best of our knowledge. This was non-breeding plum and very dark-legged, with no signs of rings (these were very hard to see on last years bird though)

Move on to Cley and finished the day off with seven Spoonbills coming in from the west and putting down on Sea Pool.

worth keeping eyes open for WWBT, Camberwell's etc

Tim

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Old Wednesday 9th August 2006, 08:36   #128
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Silver-washed Fritillary at Strumpshaw Fen by visitor centre

Sat and Sun - not reported y'day as far as i know
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Old Wednesday 9th August 2006, 12:35   #129
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Thanks for your suggestions everyone.

ATB

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Old Friday 11th August 2006, 02:02   #130
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I'm gonna be way too busy to post much, if at all, for the foreseeable future, so if anyone can keep this thread going I'm sure many people will be greatful...


Tim
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Old Sunday 13th August 2006, 00:36   #131
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Smile Saturday 12th August, Seawatching, Holme

Went to Holme Bird Observatory today, fantastic morning. As soon as I got out of the car on NOA carpark, I could hear the sea roaring. Very, very high tide this morning at 9.02 precisely. Walked round the back of pines and could feel spray from the sea on me!!!!! never known this before!! The sea looked fantastic, I could hardly stand for the wind, there was no question about walking on the beach, the sea was furiously chopping its way into the dunes. Its scary how close the sea has got, I remember, as a little girl there were a lot of dunes before the edge of the pines!!!! and now here we are with the pines starting to tumble on the beach, their roots exposed to the fury of the sea! Nobody local (who has known Holme for a long time) would ever be stupid enough to buy a house down the Firs (Broadwater Road) Road!!!!!!! Its only a matter of time now, one big tide eg the EXTREMELY HIGH TIDES in September (9th and 10th) and October (7th, 8th and 9th) and bad weather could be disasterous!

Anyway, as I expected Jed Andrews - Warden and Sophie Barker (Assistant Warden) plus crew were doing some serious seawatching on the edge of the dunes, I joined them to see the following:

22 Manx Shearwaters
3 Sooty Terns
2 Pomerine Skuas
8 Great Skuas
9 Arctic Skuas
10 Kittiwakes
4 Sandwich Terns
Gannets, both adult and immature
Guillemot

OK I'll be honest now, I didn't see all of these!!!!! I just love bonxies, they are just awesome, reminds me of Fair Isle, anway I then went back to HBO for tea and banter and chatted about the Bird Fair etc. Oh just remembered watched a sparrowhawk with prey flying west from HBO.

This list might of changed later on, but thats where it was when I left late morning.

As I drove down the reserve road, a wheatear flew bounced in front of me which was lovely considering the appalling weather. Went to Redwell Marsh Reserve Hide (NOA) for members only (key) see website noa.org.uk and saw 7 egyptian geese, 2 stock dove, 1 pied wagtail, 27 common, gulls, 2 black-headed gulls, I'm afraid that was it!!!!! - didn't help when 2 STUPID ignorant holiday makers who has gone astray suddenly walked right past the hide window, I firmly pointed where they should have been!!!!!

Went to parents for lunch and then went on to Titchwell. When I arrived in carpark it was TORRENTIAL rain and wind, so even though I have all the waterproofs and gear, I thought I would wait awhile... waited.... waited etc etc, gave up, it was torrential for the rest of the day, waste of time, as I left, I could hardly see half way across the marsh for rain etc. Never mind maybe the sun will be out next Saturday?!!!! (My next available birding day)
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Old Monday 14th August 2006, 09:57   #132
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Went to Titchwell last week and was very pleased on the Friday to see the 8 Spoonbills however I do have a query for you regular Tichwell visitors :-

As I walked down the main path to the sea early on the Friday I was amazed to see that the marsh on the left was completely flooded.Not having seen this before I thought the sea wall had been breached.I later found out that there had been a high tide and this often happens.What I would like to know is how the sea gets in as I've not seen any gaps in sea wall ?

Max.
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Old Tuesday 15th August 2006, 20:30   #133
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Holiday in Norfolk - July 26- August 6

I thought it would be polite to give a short account of the recent holiday in Norfolk seeing as what several people provided some background info when I asked.

We had a tremendous time - great campsite at Burnham Deepdale, excellent birding. We saw a total of 111 species, including 4 British lifers. I doubt if 111 will impress too many but what about the quality? We deliberately chose that particular time to go, not expecting any great rarities but definitely hoping to see plenty of waders in as much breeding plummage as possible and were not disappointed (black Redshanks in particular).

We ended up spending a good deal of time at Titchwell as there were plenty of good birds showing well. It was so good in fact that Susan decided that her birding was going to have to move up a level and that entailed getting her own scope. Sadly, she left it to the day before we left. She opted for the Nikon ED 50. Very impressive piece of kit and immediately raised her enjoyment levels significantly. The quality of the glass certainly contributed but just not having to share a scope and be able to look at what you want, when you want for as long as you want made it a completely different day.

We arrived on Wednesday, July 26 so Thursday was our first days birding. We opted for the Wensum Valley raptor watch point. When we arrived at about 11.30 a lone observer was just leaving. He’d been there for about an hour without any luck. Undeterred, we got set up and prepared to wait. About an hour later, we, along with another couple who had arrived, got onto a group of 3 “buzzards” and a smaller falcon. Concentrating on the “buzzards” we both quickly agreed that the uppermost bird was a Common Buzzard. Spending a bit of time on the mid-altitude bird had both of us fairly certain that it was a Honey Buzzard, but were not 100% sure. Both of us got onto the lower bird and almost in unison announced that it was a Honey Buzzard. The ID of both that and the mid-altitude were confirmed shortly after when we were treated to a show of “wing-clapping”. The falcon was confirmed as a Hobby. Great start.

We spent the rest of the day at Titchwell. A good decision as the place was filled with waders. Not just waders, but lots of waders in the plumage that we had hoped to see - Black Redshanks, Ruff, Curlew Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwits and as an additional treat: 5 Spoonbills.

On Friday we went to Lakenheath on the off-chance of seeing the Golden Orioles. We were hardly on site when we were accosted by a couple of ladies who’s “driven all the way from Cornwall and been here since half seven”, demanding to know where they could see the orioles!! We had no luck either but saw at least 10 species of butterfly. Mind you, for someone from north of the border 2 Green Woodpeckers was reasonable enough compensation. We called in at Weeting Heath and spent an hour and a half in the east hide and left without seeing any sign of the Stone Curlews but having been well entertained by a family of Stoats hunting - saw several kills which seemed to be small mammals such as mice but including 1 fully grown rabbit.

An early start on Saturday morning saw us heading out along the seawall heading east from Burnham Deepdale. Quickly rewarded with a flock of about 150 Golden Plovers and shortly after by 2 pale-phase Arctic Skua’s which showed well for about 10 minutes. Lots of Greenshanks were calling out on the salt marsh and Little Terns were fishing the creeks. Later in the morning a pair of Marsh Harriers put up a large number of birds form one of the inland lagoons including a group of at least 30 Greenshanks,

We had pre-booked a ranger-led walk at Strumpshaw Fen - Wildlife at Dusk. Consequently, we decided to have leisurely day ending up at Strumpshaw for 19.30. Not for the only time we had a bit of a mystery tour as got the road confused and ended up having a ciggie break on the shingle bank at Cley and picked up 2 pale-phase Arctic Skuas - same birds as yesterday? Went to Hickling Broad for a couple of hours. There were not many birds showing in the heat of the afternoon but it was a most enjoyable walk round the reserve.

I figured we should have time to call into the docks at Great Yarmouth for some Med Gulls. My timing was much too tight so we gave it a miss after having driven halfway around the place. Anyway, any disappointment was soon forgotten as we enjoyed watching 2 parent Barn Owls hunting over the meadow while 3 juveniles encouraged them to greater efforts from around the nest box.

We spent a good part of a day at Cley picking up a couple of Whimbrel from the East Bank to add to our list. Also, noted Sand Martins for the first time not having spotted any at Titchwell. On the way back to Burnham Deepdale we went to look for Montagu’s Harrier and were lucky to get brief but good views of a juvenile away from the “official” watch point.

Almost all birding from Wednesday onwards was done at Titchwell although we did try Salthouse Heath for Nightjars - unsuccessfully. A short walk around the Dunes at Holme turned up a Ruddy Duck accompanied by w very small duckling on one of the Observatory polls.

On Monday we had added Grey Partridge, Wood Sandpiper, Grey Plover at Titchwell and Common Eider, Common Scoter, and Gannet off-shore with Sanderling and Turnstone on the tideline. Wednesday was the day of the Pectoral Sandpiper (not even an official rarity anymore?) In addition, we had great views of juvenile and female Bearded Tits and a Water Rail.

The Pectoral Sandpiper showed really well and it was often easy to look at it almost side by side with the Wood Sandpiper for longish periods and sometimes with a Green Sandpiper.

We found a Rock Pipit and Yellow Wagtail from the path at Titchwell. The latter along with the Pectoral, Sandpiper, the Honey Buzzards and juvenile Montagu’s Harrier was the fourth British lifer.

As I said at the beginning - a top holiday. Possibly, not a huge number of species, nothing “mega” (or even considerable less which would have been really something for both of us), but undoubted quality. We’ve visited Norfolk 3 or 4 times in the past but usually in October/November and have never been disappointed: nor were we this time. Will definitely be back.

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Gordon
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Old Tuesday 15th August 2006, 21:10   #134
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Great trip report, Gordon - glad Norfolk continues to live up to expectations!

Pec Sand, Bunny Hazard (apologies to whoever I nicked this spoonerism from - like it a lot!), Monties: all quality birds.

For anyone else seeking the many Med Gulls in Yarmouth - the best place is usually the beach behind the Marina Centre (on the seafront), as long as it's not packed with people! Failing that, at this time of year, numbers build up strongly on Breydon Water - when low tide coincides with dusk, you can see well in excess of 50 birds arriving to roost.
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Old Wednesday 16th August 2006, 16:47   #135
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I've just noticed that I refered to Spotted Redshank as "black Redshank" in the second para of my report - ooooopppps!!!!!

cheers
Gordon

P.S.
dbradnum - I liked that spoonerism re the Buzzards
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Old Sunday 20th August 2006, 09:29   #136
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an amazing 36+ dotterel at Choseley this morning (according to birdguides), I'm hoping to get out there and take a look shortly...
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Old Sunday 20th August 2006, 09:55   #137
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reading back I see that there hasn't been so much on this thread in the last week, so though I'd post details of some interesting bits and bobs in the last week (not seen by me).

Thursday 17th saw a Pacific golden plover at Snettisham (reported again on Friday) and buff-breasted sandpiper at Titchwell (seen at Wareham on Friday). Thursday evening saw a small fall of pied flycatchers, with good numbers at Cley, Kelling and West Runton, also a fair few winchats about. A barred warbler was at Waxham yesterday morning.

Friday saw a number of camberwell beauty in county with at least 6 reported, including ones at Stiffkey and Norwich. Silver-washed fritillary saw seen again in Glandford on Thursday.
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Old Sunday 20th August 2006, 22:06   #138
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Birding Today, Dotterel and Spoonbills

Saw at least 6 dotterel including two juveniles, very difficult to count in the stubble field!!! There were a lot more than this I'm sure. There were beautiful. Saw them 1pm. Went to parents for lunch, went to Holme NOA for a short while, nothing much there apart from usual sandwich and common terns flying past on the tide, then on to Titchwell to see 7 spoonbills sitting in a row, got a distance picture from hide!! A gull put them all up late afternoon and they flew west. Went back to see dotterel and saw 6ish... again in semi light at 7.30pm tonight.

To view dotterels, take the narrow road opposite church at Titchwell and drive up the road until you get to over a brow of hill and they are on fields to your right.
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Old Tuesday 22nd August 2006, 19:11   #139
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went to titchwell today.
3 dotterels still in the field west of the church.100+ golden plovers at reserve and 7 grey plovers, 5 spoonbills saw only 1 green sandpiper. + all the normal waders.Was very busy thier today and nice and sunny.
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Old Tuesday 22nd August 2006, 22:02   #140
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Still a few Swifts about - 2 going south over caister early today & 6 over Whitlingham Broad mid morning
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Old Friday 25th August 2006, 14:10   #141
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Please keep it up guys, very useful thread. Can't wait to go there ("here" to you lot).
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Old Friday 25th August 2006, 17:28   #142
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Just heard reports of a Barred Warbler at Holme 'on the reserve' (don't know if NOA or NWT though, or what time? Also a Male Montague's Harrier at Titchwell, a Temmincks Stint, 5 Spoonsbills and 4 juv Curlew Sandpipers. Between Holkham and Wells, 2 Red Kites north of A149 in the morning. (none of these seen by me - just thought someone would be interested).

Wow, exciting news about the Fan-tailed warbler in Kent!!!, I have seen one at Holme, many, many years ago - can't remember when though, can anyone else?

Going on a BIG birding day tomorrow, so will post here when I return - Penny

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Old Friday 25th August 2006, 23:10   #143
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Fan tailed Warbler was at Holme between the 29th August to 5th Sept 1976
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Old Saturday 26th August 2006, 00:42   #144
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Fan tailed Warbler was at Holme between the 29th August to 5th Sept 1976
Fantastic!!! Thank you very much for that, blimey I was VERY young then!!!! I remember it being in the reeds next to NOA car park and if I remember rightly, SOME twitchers had trampled the reeds down in their desperation to see it. Its frightening how time disappears - thats 30 years ago!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks Penny
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Old Saturday 26th August 2006, 08:59   #145
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Fantastic!!! Thank you very much for that, blimey I was VERY young then!!!! I remember it being in the reeds next to NOA car park and if I remember rightly, SOME twitchers had trampled the reeds down in their desperation to see it. Its frightening how time disappears - thats 30 years ago!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks Penny
It is as if it was yesterday,but there was no need to trample down the reeds it was most obliging.

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Old Saturday 26th August 2006, 22:30   #146
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It is as if it was yesterday,but there was no need to trample down the reeds it was most obliging.

POP
You were there!!!! Gosh still can't believe it was that long ago
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Old Sunday 27th August 2006, 00:03   #147
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First of all I can't believe no one has posted to this thread today!!!!

Other birds in Norfolk today (which I didn't see!) included a Yellow Breasted Bunting at West Runton, a Hoopoe at Cantley Sugar Beet Factory, a Barred Warbler at Holme NOA (which they rang) a Barred Warbler at Sheringham, a Pomarine Skua at Horsey Gap, a Temminck's Stint at Titchwell RSPB and a Nightingale (probable Thrush Nightingale) at Winterton Dunes.

See Post 142

My BIG birding trip today was BLAKENEY POINT

The alarm went off at a bizarre time and I left later than I intended at 6.30am, arriving Coast Guard Cottages, Cley 7.30am and apart from 2 crazy people swimming - yes swimming I was the first one in the car park!

Very dull weather, I was expecting rain, so I was all kitted out with waterproofs, MASSIVE picnic etc etc. A few pied wagtails were flicking about in the car park, saw a couple of sand martins, several swallows flitting about, a black tailed godwit on marsh by carpark. I started my trudge along the shingle as it was high tide at 8.20am, the odd seal kept popping up to see what was going on. I noticed a dead guillemot on the tide line and a bit further along another one was sitting on the shore, looking very tired, poor thing. The skies looked brighter, as I walked along and everything started to light up as the sun started to flood through the clouds.

7.50am - Not far along the beach, to my left errupted a bird I have NEVER SEEN in my life before and I still don't know what it is????!!!!!!

Very difficult to describe, couldn't really see the colour of belly, coverts or throat as it was flying away from me diagonally (if you see what I mean) in the direction of the carpark, but all the back, rump, wings and tail were slate grey in colour and the outer edges of the wings were jet black; the tail was really long and was NOT forked (someone suggested long tailed Skua). It flew in a boyant manner and with quick wing beats and it made a 'Queek' noise , a couple of seconds interlude and then another 'Queek' a couple of secs etc etc as it flew away. My first thoughts were it must be an 'escape of some sort'. But even if it were WHAT THE BLEEP WAS IT????!!!!! Anybody any ideas, because its going to bug me forever if I don't know!!!!


After this!!!! I carried on to the 'Hood' and looked over at the brambles in far corner to a beautiful scene - lots of Swallows, adults and juvs and House Martins, all looking very busy, waking up, preening, chattering etc in the now beautiful sunlight. I noticed something very different just in front of them, again on the bramble, a female Ortolan Bunting!!!!!!!!!!!! It sat in the same spot quite a while, quite content to just sit in the sun. Wow! what a morning so far!

There was a continous stream, of common and sandwich terns and lots of ringed plover I noticed, counted 8 ringed plover on the shore and another 23 in flight further up. Saw several Little Egrets, so common now, but still lovely to see. Another birder caught me up and together we saw two lovely Yellow Wagtails. On reaching the 'Plantation' it was alive with birds and I got very excited, but ONLY Linnets, there was not ONE warbler in there!!!!! Only Linnets and OH wait for it - female Reed Buntings and yes they looked lovely in now glorious sunlight, but an icterine or even maybe a bee eater or something would be have been better!!! Sat down had a cup of tea and early lunch, it was now 10.30ish, my stomach told me it was about 1.30pm!

Further along had a chat with the Assistant Warden who said he had seen nothing but a chiff chaff by the lupins which has been here 3 months anyway! I shouldn't laugh but a really amusing incident happened, a lady asked the A.W. the way back to the village from here (she had walked from carpark 5 miles, same as me and thought she could just cross over!!!!) She was horrified when she realised she had to walk the same 5 mile route back!!!! I turned and smiled (wicked I know!). Anyway, walked round to Tern Hide, not a lot there, 3 curlew and 1 whimbrel. Walked back round to plantation to bump into a birder I knew who had come out to see my Ortolan Bunting (he hadn't seen it). There was virtually nothing in plantation now, it all went dead, so trudged back along the beach for a while, just to walk on hard sand (lovely treat!) and then turned back in just before 'The Hood' to see if I could see my bunting again. The birder and his friends I knew appeared ahead of me and they were walking along the shingle faster than they should be on a return journey from the point! He explained when we met, that someone else had seen the Ortolan on 'The Hood' - so we all headed in that direction - nobody could find it. Don't know who saw it again. But on the same bramble a beautiful female Whinchat appeared for us. Saw a wheatear on the way back and a quick glimpse of a odd looking pipit, that was very upright, bigger than meadow pipit, and had a burst of running, then stop, run, stop -disappeared into thin air!!! Got back to carpark 4pm, collapsed in my camp chair, stuffed chocolate and guzzled tea and then left.

Wanted to go to Walsey Hills while I was here, but needed to collect something from Cley Spy so headed in that direction instead. There was a MASSIVE traffic block of holiday makers in Cley, never seen it like that before, took aged to get through and got to Cley Spy at 4.59pm (they close at 5pm!).

Stopped at Holkham, Lady Anne's Drive for a quick scan and tea break. Did not walk anywhere, absolutely shattered. Stopped again at Burnham Norton car park in hope of seeing something in carpark bushes like a woodchat shrike or something (ha ha), but nothing and then carried on to Holme and even though I was tired, something made me go to Holme Marsh Bird Reserve, where they have 3 hides and pools (brilliant little spot this) Sedge was overgrown in 1st hide, nothing in here. Hide 2, not much there either (very unusual this) Oh a headless Snipe was stuck on a branch of tree about 5ft up just here (hope you are not eating at this point!). Hide 3 - more eventful - a Saturday night barbeque get together of 39 Egyptian Geese! Normally see marsh harrier from here, but not today. 2 or 3 herons waiting for fish, but not alot else. Jay on the way back. Dropped in parents for a yarn and then back to King's Lynn to get ready for work in the morning. Have to work Bank Hol Mon for a few hours, think I will go to Holme after that. Happy Birding
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Old Sunday 27th August 2006, 01:16   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penny Clarke
7.50am - Not far along the beach, to my left errupted a bird I have NEVER SEEN in my life before and I still don't know what it is????!!!!!!

Very difficult to describe, couldn't really see the colour of belly, coverts or throat as it was flying away from me diagonally (if you see what I mean) in the direction of the carpark, but all the back, rump, wings and tail were slate grey in colour and the outer edges of the wings were jet black; the tail was really long and was NOT forked (someone suggested long tailed Skua). It flew in a boyant manner and with quick wing beats and it made a 'Queek' noise , a couple of seconds interlude and then another 'Queek' a couple of secs etc etc as it flew away. My first thoughts were it must be an 'escape of some sort'. But even if it were WHAT THE BLEEP WAS IT????!!!!! Anybody any ideas, because its going to bug me forever if I don't know!!!!

What shape was it and how big, Penny - some idea would help! Call and flight jizz sounds vaguely like a tern - black tern maybe (although tail slightly forked & not very long!)? Did the person who suggested it was a LT-Skua actually see the bird? Fine tail streamers are very long and couldn't really be confused with too may other things!
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Old Sunday 27th August 2006, 12:33   #149
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Brief description and call could both point to L-t Skua, but as Deb says more info would help.

If it was you are probably one of the few birders to have heard one in the UK, most of us have to make do with distant fly pasts!
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Old Sunday 27th August 2006, 12:51   #150
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Hi Norfolk people,

Also planning a trip to Norfolk soon, never been to this part of the world before. My question is where would be a good place in Norfolk to stay for a couple of nights, in easy reach of some of the good birding sites. We'd like to stay somewhere with a few good pubs and restaurants so we can chill out in the evenings

Any advice would be much appreciated

kstar
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