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Old Tuesday 20th December 2011, 08:43   #14501
firstreesjohn
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John - how does this online tide table from Aunty Beeb suit your needs?
Thanks, James.

This small (!) issue is becoming unbelievably onerous. However, I do put more than a token value on my life and understand that drowning is not the most pleasant way to depart this existence.

I’d already looked at this one, which fleetingly appeared interesting. Then, I compared it with my current tables, to find that it’s the data for Wells Quay. In fact, Hunstanton is closer (in times) to what I want.

One of my acquaintances is acquainted with a certain Harbour Master. I shall pursue that line of enquiry.
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Old Tuesday 20th December 2011, 13:35   #14502
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Norfolk bird recorders email address

Yesterday David and Jacquie Bridges (Norfolk bird recorders) and Martin Horlock (Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service) came to the Nunnery for a meeting about bird record flow / usage in Norfolk. The outcomes were all very positive - more of which in due course. One immediate thing David and Jacquie asked if we could reiterate was that they had serious email issues (thanks to AOL) and have subsequently changed their email address:

dnjnorfolkrec at btinternet.com

David downloads BirdTrack records on a monthly basis so if you're using BirdTrack, there's no need to do anything other than add your records in a reasonable time-frame.

Cheers
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Old Tuesday 20th December 2011, 15:51   #14503
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A thin, frozen sheet covered most of Felbrigg Lake. I cannot remember having seen so many Mute Swans here (Simon and/or Rob can assist with this): 20 white, one brownish. To save anyone counting: not all are in the shot.
John

Yes unprecedented numbers by a long way as far as I can recall, and each time I go there there are more present, with 23 today including two brownish ones now. Makes you wonder where they are coming from, the possibility of them being released birds from a rescue centre did cross my mind.

It'll be interesting to see the effect of the current works going on there, with the intention of letting the meadow north of the lake flood during the winter. Hopefully some more wildfowl and waders etc will be attracted in, especially as there is a lack of that kind of habitat in the area, just hope they don't disturb the bit of the stream nearest to the boardwalk too much as it could have a detrimental effect on the dragonfly population.

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Old Tuesday 20th December 2011, 16:24   #14504
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BirdTracking in Norfolk 2011

Given that this thread attracts many active Norfolk birders, thought I'd share some stats on BirdTracking in Norfolk in 2011 that we looked at in yesterday's meeting, by way of thanks for all your efforts in helping to record birds throughout the county this year:
  • All records (casual records plus all individual records from complete lists) = 127,907
  • Complete lists = 4,685
  • Observers who submitted any type of record = 424
  • Observers who submitted 1+ complete list(s) = 243
Complete lists are submissions that include everything you've identified (by sight or sound) during a visit to a site. They're particularly valuable to conservation science because they are used to produce reporting rates (eg Blackcap), which in turn are being used to look at changes in arrival/departure time of migrants. From a personal point of view, they're also fantastic way to increase your understanding of your patch(es) because you can very quickly establish what conditions/time of year offer the most diversity and where the 'common' species hang out on your patch (especially useful if they turn out not to be so common a few years down the line). I find that 'making sure' I've logged all the common stuff on a wander round my local patch (or a trudge out to Scolt Head) makes me concentrate harder too... I'm hoping that might pay off one day!

The more complete lists that folk add, the better these reporting rates can illuminate between-year changes in migration timing, and the finer the scale at which they can be used. Despite all the intensive patch-watching that goes on in Norfolk though, only 17 people submitted 50 or more complete lists in 2011, with just 4 breaking the 100 mark. It would be fantastic to see more Norfolk birders getting stuck in to BirdTrack in general, and the complete list element in particular, in 2012 (which would tie in nicely with some more competitive/community-based elements we're planning to develop next year). So if you're looking for an achievable and rewarding New Year's resolution, what is there to lose?!

Cheers
Nick

ps Attached are a couple of egs of the sorts of county-specific outputs you can now get from BirdTrack - as long as your records are in there!
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Old Tuesday 20th December 2011, 16:37   #14505
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Titchwell December 20th

Today’s highlights

Coues’s Arctic redpoll – 1 around visitor centre/picnic area but mobile and elusive
Mealy redpoll – 2+ with redpoll flock
Chiffchaff – 1 in picnic area
Caspian gull – 1st winter on fresh marsh @ 1600
Yellow-legged gull – adult in roost on fresh marsh

Paul
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Old Tuesday 20th December 2011, 16:51   #14506
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Frustrating colly

No, neither an irritating sheep-dog, nor an annoying brassica- but a Chiffchaff which called and called, but would not show itself for half an hour.

I prowled in and out of and around the Dell, a tit flock not assisting, until I eventually pinned it down, creeping through some brambles. The bird, not me.

The Goldeneye on The Bosom have gone up to 2 drakes and 4 brownheads.

A long walk to all the likely redpoll places resulted in nul oiseaux.
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Old Wednesday 21st December 2011, 12:10   #14507
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63 Whooper Swans, 3 juvs. behind Flo-Gas depot, Ludham, this morning.
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Old Wednesday 21st December 2011, 13:27   #14508
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I understand that access to the reserve has been unofficially sanctioned before the published opening time. It is assumed that people doing this will pay later at the Visitor Centre. For some reason, this does not always happen !

I have been told that The Bird is often better seen first thing from Bishop’s Hide- the one nearest to the coast road.

Then, it is better from the central hide complex.
Back from my trip to Norfolk. The western sand was easy to find first thing yesterday morning and showed well from Dauke's and Avocet hides. The Coue's redpoll at Titchwell was also pretty easy to find at around midday right behind the Visitor's Centre. Very quiet on the sea at Cley and no luck at Wolferton for the goldies.

If anyone's interested there's a trip write-up and photos on my blog

Adam
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Old Wednesday 21st December 2011, 16:11   #14509
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After recent discussion of pet pheasants, can anybody confirm it the plastic Mandarins remain at Felbrigg? Thanks. I presume these are considered tickable or perhaps even suitable for roasting!
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Old Wednesday 21st December 2011, 16:44   #14510
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Titchwell December 21st

Today’s highlights

Yellow legged gull – adult on fresh marsh this morning
Med gull – 1 on fresh marsh
Water pipit – 2 on fresh marsh
Long tailed duck – 3 offshore
Hen harrier – 2 (1 male) over saltmarsh this afternoon
Spotted redshank - 1 on tidal pool
Chiffchaff - 1 on Meadow Trail

Paul
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Old Thursday 22nd December 2011, 08:06   #14511
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Italian migrant in winter plumage at Wells Woods ?

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can anybody confirm it the plastic Mandarins remain at Felbrigg?
Mark: Simon is the one to give a definitive answer, here. I’ve not seen them (鴛鴦) in my two recent visits; I did look, but not all that hard and they can be impossible to see, if they roost on the tree roots on the north-western shore. I’ve never seen them with rings, flags or other bling.

As for ‘ticking’ them: they are classified (by the BOU) exactly the same as, for example, Pheasant and Red-legged Partridge. The decision’s yours.

As regards ‘roasting’ them, the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Mandarin_Duck) says: “apparently they taste really bad!”. In traditional Chinese culture, they are regarded 'as a symbol of conjugal affection and fidelity' and used as a symbol in weddings (thanks, Wikipedia). ‘Peking Duck’ is now made using white birds with yellow bills, a sub-species of Mallard. Don’t forget your pancakes, I’m sure you know your (spring) onions and being a bit saucy (hoisin) helps !

At Wells yesterday, the Chiffchaff was calling as I arrived, showed immediately- then shut up and promptly disappeared. It seemed to have relocated to near where the old kissing gate was, when I left.

From a little earlier there, the grey vehicle (this word doesn’t seem adequate, somehow) below. I moved my own jalopy away, before I took the snap: they were not worthy companions. I’d thought their summer plumage was red; but a quick GoogleImage search showed that they do not seem anything like as flashy as the marque that begins with ‘F’.
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Old Thursday 22nd December 2011, 08:53   #14512
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Today’s highlights

Yellow legged gull – adult on fresh marsh this morning
Med gull – 1 on fresh marsh
Water pipit – 2 on fresh marsh
Long tailed duck – 3 offshore
Hen harrier – 2 (1 male) over saltmarsh this afternoon
Spotted redshank - 1 on tidal pool
Chiffchaff - 1 on Meadow Trail

Paul
No sign of the Yellow-browed for a while???
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Old Thursday 22nd December 2011, 10:03   #14513
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Mark: Simon is the one to give a definitive answer, here. I’ve not seen them (鴛鴦) in my two recent visits; I did look, but not all that hard and they can be impossible to see, if they roost on the tree roots on the north-western shore. I’ve never seen them with rings, flags or other bling.

As for ‘ticking’ them: they are classified (by the BOU) exactly the same as, for example, Pheasant and Red-legged Partridge. The decision’s yours.

As regards ‘roasting’ them, the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Mandarin_Duck) says: “apparently they taste really bad!”. In traditional Chinese culture, they are regarded 'as a symbol of conjugal affection and fidelity' and used as a symbol in weddings (thanks, Wikipedia). ‘Peking Duck’ is now made using white birds with yellow bills, a sub-species of Mallard. Don’t forget your pancakes, I’m sure you know your (spring) onions and being a bit saucy (hoisin) helps !

At Wells yesterday, the Chiffchaff was calling as I arrived, showed immediately- then shut up and promptly disappeared. It seemed to have relocated to near where the old kissing gate was, when I left.

From a little earlier there, the grey vehicle (this word doesn’t seem adequate, somehow) below. I moved my own jalopy away, before I took the snap: they were not worthy companions. I’d thought their summer plumage was red; but a quick GoogleImage search showed that they do not seem anything like as flashy as the marque that begins with ‘F’.
A lovely looking Maserati Gransport there John, the thinking mans Ferrari, Ferrari mechanics without the flash image. An early Christmas present to yourself?
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Old Thursday 22nd December 2011, 10:28   #14514
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By now I would think the Fellbrig mandarins could be regarded as naturalised and wild birds. They may have originated from a wildfowl collection at Dilham , just north of Stallham . 40 years ago there were a number of free winged birds in the collection. In addition at Little Snoring and Fulmostone about 150 mandarins were released over a number of years in the 1970s . There use to be a good flock in the river Wensum valley below Fakenham of about 20 birds ( they did not originate from Pensthorpe ) , but in recent years I have only seen very small numbers here. There was a sizable flock in the Dersingham\Sandringham area , but i have not heard much of these birds in recent years. Are they still present ? Of course there have been a number of other releases\ escapes across the county over the years and its surprising that mandarin have not become established in the county in the same manner as they have done in the Thames valley and southern England. I would have thought we have plenty of suitable habitat in the county.

Norfolk mandarins do move about the country as one I ringed at Pensthorpe was retrapped a few years later in one of the London Parks and another ringed in Slimbridge ( with WWT not BTO rings ) was retrapped 10 years later at Pensthorpe.

As for ticking mandarins , if thats what floats your boat good luck , but I could never see any point in ticking anything.

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Old Thursday 22nd December 2011, 10:39   #14515
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A lovely looking Maserati Gransport there John, the thinking mans Ferrari, Ferrari mechanics without the flash image. An early Christmas present to yourself?
Given the price of fuel and the need to cut down greenhouse gas emissions (not to mention the speed limits on British roads), something that gets you from A to B(ird) - and ideally back again - in one piece, on <0.5 tank of petrol, is surely the thinking person's vehicle of choice... 'lovely looking' though Maseratis might be?!

ps Did you mean to post here, chaps?
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Old Thursday 22nd December 2011, 11:19   #14516
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Given the price of fuel and the need to cut down greenhouse gas emissions (not to mention the speed limits on British roads), something that gets you from A to B(ird) - and ideally back again - in one piece, on <0.5 tank of petrol, is surely the thinking person's vehicle of choice... 'lovely looking' though Maseratis might be?!

ps Did you mean to post here, chaps?
Was more a case for a thinking mans Ferrari. People that want to be seen buy Ferraris, people that want an Italian sports car but dont want the image buy a Maserati.
In a general context a 4.2 V8 Maserati isnt giving much thought to the current financial and environmental issues as you say.
Still wouldnt turn one down if it was given to me though.
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Old Thursday 22nd December 2011, 11:32   #14517
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we can all dream and hope.[mine s coming in three days time!]
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Old Thursday 22nd December 2011, 16:15   #14518
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No sign of the Yellow-browed for a while???
Hi Viv

It didn't quite make it to being present for 2 months, last seen on December 8th

Paul
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Old Thursday 22nd December 2011, 16:19   #14519
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After recent discussion of pet pheasants, can anybody confirm it the plastic Mandarins remain at Felbrigg? Thanks. I presume these are considered tickable or perhaps even suitable for roasting!

Mark

Yes they are, however they seem to spend the majority of their time somewhere else now and only make the occasional appearance on the lake at Felbrigg and in much smaller numbers than in recent years. Not sure if that is an indication of their dwindling population or just that the majority of the birds are staying put wherever they are going to (Gunton Park?).

Having said that there was a pair there today (the first I've seen there in over a month), and with the path along the west side of the lake temporarily closed at the moment, their favourite corner is at present undisturbed so they may spend at bit more time on the lake as a consequence.

As to their origins I think a B&B in Aylmerton might have something to do with that as a number of Mandarins were present on the pond in their front garden some years back.

Simon
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Old Thursday 22nd December 2011, 16:21   #14520
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Titchwell December 22nd

Today’s highlights

Coues’s Arctic redpoll – 1 in trees around visitor centre but elusive
Mealy redpoll – 1 with redpoll flock
Water pipit – 2 on fresh marsh
Snow bunting – 20 on beach

We are now finished for the Festive Period so I hope you all have a great Christmas and bird-filled New Year.
Thank you for your continued support of the reserve this year and I hope to see you here for the 'big one' in 2012

Paul
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Old Thursday 22nd December 2011, 16:25   #14521
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Thanks for the info Simon. Perhaps they have gone back to their original cage!!
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Old Thursday 22nd December 2011, 17:09   #14522
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Nice walk from Bucks to Cantley today. Hunting female Peregrine awarded close views, common buzzards, marsh harriers, kestrel and a female sparrowhawk added to the BoP. Both Bean Geese recorded, a helicopter flushed them and they gave brilliant views as they fled from the giant yellow shape in the sky. Bearded tit were calling but not seen, reed bunts, skylark, goldfinch, linnet and starling the passerines. Golden plover, lapwing, ruff and a curlew calling wader wise, a waterrail was skrieking but unseen, nice morning :)
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Old Saturday 24th December 2011, 16:13   #14523
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Ok then, how many of you "twitched" the sperm whale?
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Old Saturday 24th December 2011, 16:15   #14524
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The Darling Buds of . . . December ? !

Last winter, I’m sure BudWatch didn't begin as early as this at Gramboro’. Spring is on its way ! (You read it here, first.)

No sight nor sign of the Chiffchaff in Wells Woods. I could still see 2 drake and 3 (I think) brownhead Goldeneye on The Bosom, though.

And I’d got back to Holt, before I found out where the Fakenham Shrike was.


Merry Christmass



to all my long-suffering readers and

Very Happy Birding in the Olympian New Year.
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Old Saturday 24th December 2011, 17:29   #14525
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[quote=firstreesjohn;2319171]Last winter, I’m sure BudWatch didn't begin as early as this at Gramboro’. Spring is on its way ! (You read it here, first.)

Merry Christmas John and everyone else!
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