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Old Saturday 28th August 2010, 06:49   #9576
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all I can say is roll on monday

you are talking about birds I have never seen and hope I will recognise when we go out
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Old Saturday 28th August 2010, 13:06   #9577
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Strong North Easterlies with rain currently!!!!! Really should be walking the point (Blakeney Point) but today I am going to be a pager birder - have bags and flask ready by the door just in case!!!! As I want to finish my birdfair photos.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/...t_weather.html

Will be out early tomorrow!!!

7.15pm - EXACTLY!!!

RBA: Bluethroat on Far Point this afternoon, Blakeney Point!!!!!
learn to do indoor thinks, when its too dark to bird. Who Dares Wins
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Old Saturday 28th August 2010, 15:31   #9578
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from what it looks like the wind is veering W to NW about 1 o'clock tomorrow afternoon then continuing that way into the evening, might be sea passage in the morning but i'd guess that the floodgates will open as soon as the wind swings, many a decent seawatch has been missed by people leaving too early, so might be an idea to chill out in the morning and have a lie in and mosey on down to the coast for a looksies after Sunday lunch ... or of course i may be completely wrong ...

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Old Saturday 28th August 2010, 21:38   #9579
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Cley again turns up trumps!

It was a job to get up this morning - I ached all over from walking Blakeney Point yesterday, but it had definately been worth it! (see last night's post)

Had a slow morning. I felt compelled to go to Cley again, my new patch! On route stopped off at The House on the Hill at Blakney to find MY Mega, and also the track the otherside of the road, but alas nothing at all! Then went straight to the Cley Visitor Centre and had jacket potato with cheese and coleslaw, salad etc. Really sunny weather, but windy. I did not have the energy to walk BP again to see the bluethroat that was showing through the day at 'The Hood'

Went to Walsey Hills where I bumped into Pete S. Had a walk through the centre path which was extremely busy with birds, including 2 lesser whitethroats, 1 garden warbler, fem blackcap, 2 chiffchaffs and a chaffinch all in one small area. No sign of the Icterine that I saw yesterday.

Pete and I then went to Kelling Quags in hope of a Barred Warbler or something anyway! It was teaming with rain when we arrived, so sat in the car for a nap. A bit later the sun shone again and off we went. Nothing of note until we got to the metal gate - the Common Crane was sitting in the field just right of the pool! 4.15pm. It then took off and flew in the direction of Salthouse - got some pictures too! Got some fabulous pictures of a fem. Ruff very close to the fence/path. Few reedbuntings and common whitethroats about. Walking round the corner from the pool we had stunning views of a Turtle Dove flying across the black skies in the sunshine!

Started to walk back and then I got a call from Andy Wilkinson that he, Justin Lansdell and Chris Mills had found a Short toed Lark a few hundreds yards west of Cley Coastguards! Walked as fast as I could back to the car. Pete couldn't go, prior engagement. Arrived at Coastguards and walked the few hundred yards to the area. Cutting a long story short it took a very long time to see it, in fact I nearly gave up as some people had already. I stubbonly walked a lot further than a few hundred yards in hope of seeing it and also the rain was now lashing down. When I looked back I could see a group of birders not far from the carpark and it was obvious they were watching something! The crowd then started to walk towards me, excellent I thought someone's flushed it in my direction. Eventually it did show itself to probably half the original crowd including John F., Robin A., Andy J., Eddie M., Carl C., and others I know by face but not by name. Saw the Short toed Lark at 7pm and got some records shots too. Walked back to car, sandwich and coffee and then drove home.

Best Wishes Penny

OTHER PICTURES ON BLOG
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Old Sunday 29th August 2010, 04:39   #9580
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MEGA DAY (note large font for MEGA!!!)

After oversleeping (read my blog) I eventually arrived mid morning(ish) at Walsey Hills which was perfect timing (thanks John!). Up on the pager Icterine Warbler and Pied Flycatcher, both of which I saw 11.45am - thanks Eddie for allowing me to look through your scope! Nice little party of birders including Eddie M, Andy J, Dave H. Robin A. and of course John F. to name but a few, all standing from a sensible distance and much too far for me to get a photograph.

Had a good look round Walsey and didn't find anything else of note.

Went to the visitor centre to remove thermal top - much too hot I decided to be wearing for 'The Point'! Whilst I was there I bought a buttered cheese scone to take away.

Parked at Coast Guards and started walking Blakeney Point at around 1.20pm. All I had was loads of Reed Buntings and a few Meadow Pipits up to Halfway House. Sat on the seat next the house and watched 3 Wheatears on the grassy area. Walked all round the sueda bushes and had lovely views of a Whinchat. Also had 2 Willow Warblers in exactly the same sueda bushes as Connor, his dad and I had the Icterine Warbler! You know when you are thinking, you wished you hadn't walked the point! I went through so many sueda bushes in hope of finding something good!

Continued on, half thinking about walking back, especially when 2 birders coming back said they had had nothing and also no birds in the plantation at all! I am sooooooo glad I didn't, anyway reached the Plantation and sat down having a cup of coffee and cheese scone when James McCallum appeared with another man. James very kindly told me where to find the Lapland Bunting at Long Point. He then got a very exciting phone call. Even before his finished the conversation I started to throw my half cup of coffee away and stuff things in rucksack!

Off we went to Long Hills to see a BOOTED WARBLER!!!!!!!!! And I did see it too, at 5pm and watched on and off (EXTREMELY ELUSIVE THOUGH) until 6.30pm. And to top it all I got some pictures too!!!!!! Found by Joe Cockram, Paul Nicholls and Eddie Stubbings at 4.30pm. Seriously though my photos won't win any prizes! Joe also got a flight shot (see: http://joesbirding.blogspot.com/). Think we were the only ones to get any pictures. Steve G. came along but I dont think he got any shots - I may be wrong though R.M and Andy S. also arrived later to view the bird.

Anyway I then decided to walk back to Long Point to see the Lapland Bunting which with the help of Eddie S. (thank you!) I did and also photographed it drinking from a puddle in the last of the sunshine! at 7.30pm - it then disappeared near a creek.

Sat down and had a coffee and a sandwich. I looked at the sun going down and you just know that you're going to be walking back in the dark, so whats the hurry!!!

Started walking at 7.45pm from Long Point and it seemed to go for ever and ever and ever! Also misjudged a few waves and got soaked feet to add to the already soaked feet from crossing creeks earlier to see the Booted Warbler. Got a partial message on pager 'Bluethroat...' Phoned RBA who told me Steve G. had a Bluethroat between the Hood and Halfway House - I smiled to myself and thought would I be that lucky to see that aswell!! On reaching that area, it was dark, so no hope there! Battery on phone almost run out, so had to turn it off for emergencies. Good job it was a full moon! I could just about see the triangle shape of the roof of the hut at Coastguards! It was such a relief to open my car door at 9.20pm!!! The drive home seemed almost as long as the walk back! Got home 10.30pm.

SLEEEEEP!!!!!

Booted Warbler and Lapland Bunting pictures will be on my blog tomorrow.

Best Wishes a very happy Penny

HERE ARE A COUPLE OF PHOTOS - OTHERS NOW ON BLOG
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Old Sunday 29th August 2010, 18:34   #9581
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A bit of a Lark, really- although it did bug me

Apart from a sustained view yesterday evening, this’s all I’ve seen of said Short-toed Lark: flypasts, as with the Red Arrows recently. I did hear it chirrup weakly (or, perhaps, it was the hurricane force wind and monsoon rain diminishing the decibels of the call) once, however, on flight.

I HATE shingle- and my knees are even more strongly agin it. Yesterday, I probably walked the equivalent of as far as Far Point, going back and fro, looking for and mostly not seeing a lark.

I carried a passenger home from the Cley area- unbeknown to me, until my arrival. The attachment shows, I believe, a shield bug which is not in my insect guides. Any IDs, please ?

Thanks, Rob. I should know this one, as we are alternatively eponymous !
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Old Sunday 29th August 2010, 19:40   #9582
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Looks like a nymph Gorse Shieldbug to me John, which would explain why its not in your field guide.
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Old Sunday 29th August 2010, 20:08   #9583
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Short post as shattered.

Arrived Walsey Hills, nothing much doing and went round again later and apart from a couple of lesser whitethroats, nothing else of note.

Had lunch in the visitor centre. Spent time chatting to a lovely couple about islands, Fair isle, Foula, Orkneys etc. Spent the rest of the time seawatching. Also had another look for the Short toed lark to obtain better picture - rather silly to even attempt to look for it in those winds!!!!

Too many holidaymakers about in shorts and light weight tops, they must have been freezing! I had loads of layers on and was still cold! Seawatching at Cley along with others, produced LOADS of Arctic Skuas, Bonxies, Manx Shearwaters, 1 Grey plover, 1 golden plover, an Arctic Tern, 1 Kittiwake, 3 red throated divers, good numbers of teal and common scoter, 1 guillemot sitting on sea, loads of gannets. It was beautifully sunny for most of the day, with incredible winds, but rain lashed down early evening. It was very difficult to hold the car door. I had a job to stand up in the wind (yep even me). I missed 2 Sooty Shearwaters - one Eddie M. (of course) picked up and Pat the other. Also a snipe was watched coming in off the sea, which I couldn't pick out either! Some good old banter and humour from Eddie to keep us entertained.

I realised it wasn't safe to drive at my normal speed home as the wind was rocking the car!

Best Wishes Penny

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Old Sunday 29th August 2010, 21:06   #9584
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Short post as shattered.

Arrived Walsey Hills, nothing much doing and went round again later and apart from a couple of lesser whitethroats, nothing else of note.

Had lunch in the visitor centre. Spent time chatting to a lovely couple about islands, Fair isle, Foula, Orkneys etc. Spent the rest of the time seawatching. Also had another look for the Short toed lark to obtain better picture - rather silly to even attempt to look for it in those winds!!!!

Too many holidaymakers about in shorts and light weight tops, they must have been freezing! I had loads of layers on and was still cold! Seawatching at Cley along with others, produced LOADS of Arctic Skuas, Bonxies, Manx Shearwaters, 1 Grey plover, 1 golden plover, an Arctic Tern, 3 red throated divers, good numbers of teal and common scoter, 1 guillemot sitting on sea, loads of gannets. It was beautifully sunny for most of the day, with incredible winds, but rain lashed down early evening. It was very difficult to hold the car door. I had a job to stand up in the wind (yep even me). I missed 2 Sooty Shearwaters - one Eddie M. (of course) picked up and Pat the other. Also a snipe was watched coming in off the sea, which I couldn't pick out either! Some good old banter and humour a from Eddie to keep us entertained.

I realised it wasn't safe to drive at my normal speed home as the wind was rocking the car!

Best Wishes Penny
although it was pretty spectacular sea and decent enough passage, was one of those days when decent stuff is passing everywhere cept in front of your eyes, at least my prediction was about right, not epic but worth a look, just reconnecting with Skuas and the sea was enough. We just had a power cut in the hotel, the winds blowing that hard, tomorrow should produce the fireworks and not just in the afternoon

the presence of the bucket and spaders largely passed me by Penny, they all looked like they had stilts on through the scope, however having had a bit of a summer sabbatical the clap-trap some of the aristocracy were coming out with certainly tickled me. I particular borish twerp continually reminded people of how rubbish the day was ' not in even a Kittiwake', 'thats why i don't even carry camera these day', 'people have lost their stalking skills' - utter twaddle - no wonder Long-tailed Skuas were giving us a wide birth - dude, if its all making you so miserable why don't you ... (shouldn't say more)
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Old Sunday 29th August 2010, 21:34   #9585
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Highlight on the patch during the last week was a Black-necked Grebe which I found at Sidestrand on Wednesday evening.

No sign of it there today but a Ringed Teal, which was living up to its name, was there instead.

A Balearic through on Friday morning was the best seabird over the last few days but hopefully the morning will live up to expectations.....

Simon
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Old Monday 30th August 2010, 17:32   #9586
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Rare crows at Stiffkey today

Sorry ! Misprint: should have read “Scarecrows . . .”

The excellent series of Stiffkey Scarecrows continues this year, with proceeds donated to UNICEF. View, laugh (there’s a saucy one, with wordplay on ‘marrow’) and give.

There are dragons, too. Yes, some (not all) dragons are able to fly.

There was also the handsome Red-backed Shrike, west of Walsey, with those delicate lines on its breast. I’m afraid the photo doesn’t do it justice (Rob!): I didn't go into the crop field, but was again at a sensible distance.
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Old Monday 30th August 2010, 17:34   #9587
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I actually did some specific-going-out-for-birding today. :-)
Got to Hunstan cliffs for 06:20. Spent a good few hours seawatching and in 5 hours (with 45 minutes nip to Tesco for a full English - £4 well spent) recorded;

51 - Gannet
26 - Arctic Skua
6 - Great Skua
1 - probable Long Tailed Skua
3 - Kittiwake
2 - Fulmar
1 - Arctic Tern
2 - Sandwich Tern
1 - Common Swift.

Rather more quiet than I'd hoped, seeing the weather forecast. No Shearwaters or little Petrels seen. But hey, I enjoyed my time there and will be back for more soon, weather permitting.

dave....
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Old Monday 30th August 2010, 20:13   #9588
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Did everyone have fun identifying small skuas today !
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Old Monday 30th August 2010, 21:17   #9589
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Fun it was Stuart! Sea-watching takes me out of my comfort zone, truth be told, and today was an education. A small Skua was called as a Long-tailed whilst I was present at Cley, no doubt by one of the local experts. Many thanks to the individual who made sure we had seen it; we had, and at that distance I personally could not say whether it was an Arctic or the much hoped for Long-tailed. I do not believe this is ignorance on my part (ok, maybe a tad) but honesty. Some folk seemed happy being told what they had seen, I prefer to be 100% knowing what I have seen. Maybe this is asking too much, considering the conditions today? Still, quite a day to be out and about.
Cheers,
Jim.

edit: just looked at Lee's recent blog post: http://uk400clubrarebirdalert.blogsp...-pitfalls.html

Now, to see one that close!
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Old Monday 30th August 2010, 22:16   #9590
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When I woke up this morning I could see that I had left the light on and was about to set the alarm to get up to go seawatching - the clock said 8.30am! Obviously I hadn't set the alarm, still felt tired, so went back to sleep!

Arrived at Walsey Hills, late morning for a general look round and had fabulous views of a male bullfinch who posed perfectly on a knotted piece of wood, but not quite long enough for my camera! Sat in the back stubble field for a good half an hour waiting for a good bird to appear from the willows, but nothing apart from a female blackcap and 1 chiffchaff. Pager goes off: Red backed Shrike between Walsey Hills and Salthouse - fabulous to be in the right place at the right time again this week! Flew back to car and relocated to the other end of Walsey where the bird was initially sitting in the hedge line, roadside that leads up to the main part of Walsey Hills, whilst standing there it flew over our heads to the other side of the long hedge that runs up from the roadside which is where I think it remained the rest of the day - got another one of my distant records shots! Left here and went back to Walsey to continue looking round. Someone had found a redstart, but I couldn't see it anywhere. Saw a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Linnets, another chiffchaff and watched Swallows twittering away sitting on a tree at the end of the bottom path.

Went to visitor centre. Wryneck up on the pager at Wareham, Waxham and a Wood Warbler at Holme NOA created silly thoughts about walking Blakeney Point to find something hot! I then drove to Coastguards and bumped into Pete S. and Richard and Eddie M. M.G on his way to North Hide called me to say a juv. Long Tailed Skua was flying towards and over the Eye Field!!! Alerted Eddie, Pete and Richard and we had splendid views of it flying right across us, but only got a picture when it was a bit too far away really! Decided to go for it - packed rucksack and set off for the Point at 5.30pm! I only got as far as Halfway House and sensibly decided to come back, bit of a waste of time really, only saw reed buntings, wheatears, meadow pipits, Teal going past on the sea and a single Kittiwake also The Red Arrows Display team flew past!!! Back at Coastguards I wished I had seawatched instead as missed a Pom Skua and 2 Sooty Shearwaters! I sat and had my tea, soup and bread whilst chatting to Eddie M., Simon and James M.

Back to work tomorrow

Best Wishes Penny

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Old Monday 30th August 2010, 23:30   #9591
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[quote=Penny Clarke;1914142] I then drove to Coastguards and bumped into Pete S. and Richard and Eddie M. M.G on his way to North Hide called me to say a juv. Long Tailed Skua was flying towards and over the Eye Field!!! Alerted Eddie, Pete and Richard and we had splendid views of it flying right across us, but only got a picture when it was a bit too far away really! QUOTE]

Hi Penny, could you put the Skua photo on the ID thread i'd be interested to see what people say - to me the bird has a long, thin bill, sloping forehead, is round bellied not muscular chested and has an extensively white flash on the base of the primaries - the arm seems broader and longer than the hand, pushing it a bit this - plumage seems slightly warm-toned - for me its an Arctic.
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Old Monday 30th August 2010, 23:40   #9592
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Fun it was Stuart! Sea-watching takes me out of my comfort zone, truth be told, and today was an education. A small Skua was called as a Long-tailed whilst I was present at Cley, no doubt by one of the local experts. Many thanks to the individual who made sure we had seen it; we had, and at that distance I personally could not say whether it was an Arctic or the much hoped for Long-tailed. I do not believe this is ignorance on my part (ok, maybe a tad) but honesty. Some folk seemed happy being told what they had seen, I prefer to be 100% knowing what I have seen. Maybe this is asking too much, considering the conditions today? Still, quite a day to be out and about.
Cheers,
Jim.

edit: just looked at Lee's recent blog post: http://uk400clubrarebirdalert.blogsp...-pitfalls.html

Now, to see one that close!
Hi Jimbob, what time did LTS pass Cley this morning, i was there 7ish to 8.30 before had to go to work, didn't see any and none were called, from experience they usually all saunter through in quite a short space of time,

did you get the the two (splendid) Poms that flew along the shingle ridge, one was spooned adult the one in front a 1st summer type, that one went over the road along inside of Point walk, on pager only one Pom reported!

In answer Stuey, yes and still am
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Old Tuesday 31st August 2010, 07:21   #9593
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Hi Jimbob, what time did LTS pass Cley this morning, i was there 7ish to 8.30 before had to go to work, didn't see any and none were called, from experience they usually all saunter through in quite a short space of time,

did you get the the two (splendid) Poms that flew along the shingle ridge, one was spooned adult the one in front a 1st summer type, that one went over the road along inside of Point walk, on pager only one Pom reported!

In answer Stuey, yes and still am
Sadly I missed the Poms, but these I would feel more confident calling myself. The LTS passed around 9.30 with a bunch of Bonxies. Glad some Poms were seen, I did better with this species last year, although plenty of time yet.
Last day of the holidays today, planning to grill both Happisburgh and Surlingham, no doubt some uneventful details to follow.
Cheers,
Jim.
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Old Tuesday 31st August 2010, 19:02   #9594
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A couple of shocks

With more than half the day spent wasting time in A Fine City, waiting for shock absorbers to be fitted, I was happy to speed northwards to the coast, after the Barred Warbler at Stiffkey. I wouldn’t have bothered, if I’d known I was just going to have flight views.

Taking the westernmost track at Warham Greens, in search of the Wryneck, I was even less lucky, with no sign. The small copse at the northern end compensated a little, with a Pied Fly.

About to grill Gramboro’, the pager alerted me to the smart Lapland Bunting pictured here. Thank you, Stevie G.
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Old Tuesday 31st August 2010, 19:26   #9595
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There are three Lap buntings to the West of Salthouse Beach car park. Seed has been put out so hopefully they will stay and attract more in.

John

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Old Tuesday 31st August 2010, 19:41   #9596
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Hi Penny, could you put the Skua photo on the ID thread i'd be interested to see what people say - to me the bird has a long, thin bill, sloping forehead, is round bellied not muscular chested and has an extensively white flash on the base of the primaries - the arm seems broader and longer than the hand, pushing it a bit this - plumage seems slightly warm-toned - for me its an Arctic.
Agree with you, BR - I'd not call this a Long-tailed on structure.
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Old Wednesday 1st September 2010, 07:16   #9597
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[quote=Blakeney Resident;1914167]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penny Clarke View Post
I then drove to Coastguards and bumped into Pete S. and Richard and Eddie M. M.G on his way to North Hide called me to say a juv. Long Tailed Skua was flying towards and over the Eye Field!!! Alerted Eddie, Pete and Richard and we had splendid views of it flying right across us, but only got a picture when it was a bit too far away really! QUOTE]

Hi Penny, could you put the Skua photo on the ID thread i'd be interested to see what people say - to me the bird has a long, thin bill, sloping forehead, is round bellied not muscular chested and has an extensively white flash on the base of the primaries - the arm seems broader and longer than the hand, pushing it a bit this - plumage seems slightly warm-toned - for me its an Arctic.
Hi Josh

Sorry could not reply earlier - first of all where were you Josh, when you saw the bird please? Or were you just looking at my picture on blog?

I suggest you discuss this with Mark G. and other Cley birders who also saw/ID'd the bird, next time you see them. I can't see the point in posting the picture on my blog onto an ID thread on here, being as my picture is Crap!!! If the picture was clear and in good light etc I don't think anyone would be questioning it in the first place and with another text and email etc I have received, I wished I hadn't bothered putting the picture on my blog!!! But there we go I have and if people which to discuss it, fine! But its a very bad shot as the bird was flying away in a white sky and doesn't show the bird in its true colours, so to speak. The bird flew with a dainty flight pattern as it came across the Eye Field, certainly didn't fly like an Arctic Skua!

Best Wishes Penny

Last edited by Penny Clarke : Wednesday 1st September 2010 at 21:09.
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Old Wednesday 1st September 2010, 08:13   #9598
firstreesjohn
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The start of September

Although I hope it won't be the last.

As I was leaving Walsey Hills NOA this morning, having failed to locate Barry's Pied Fly, a Redstart flicked and was gone. (An appointment with the sheep shearer beckoned.)

Nice ! My first and long-awaited one of the autumn.
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Old Wednesday 1st September 2010, 08:40   #9599
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GW Egret ?

Last night at Stifkey Campsite a what appeared to be large Egret flew east over the track and over the Campsite it seemed to have a yellow bill but the light was fading, another birder 50 yards up the track asked me straight away if I spotted the Egret flying that way as he thought it had a Great White feel about it. He also got a look at it near Herring Gulls and said it appeared much larger than them. It is only a possible but worth looking out for on the Saltmarsh maybe.
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Old Wednesday 1st September 2010, 17:01   #9600
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In order to avoid planning and work related content in general, I decided to bird all day yesterday.
Snapped a Wall Brown on the cliffs, and came across a field of ugly looking juvenile Herring and Lesser Black Backed Gulls, and in amongst them were 7 Sandwich Tern! Using the gulls as a security blanket maybe?
Hobby at Surlingham Marsh was new for the patch, followed by time to pop home, grab the other half from work and enjoy the Shrike at Waxham. Wryneck had been seen, but not by us.
Cheers,
Jim.
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