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Old Thursday 30th August 2007, 19:33   #1826
Connor Rand
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Balearic shearwater lingering off Titchwell this afternoon also a few arctic and great skuas through and little stint, 27 spotshanks and juv garganey on the fresh marsh.

Large falcon sp ( espcaped falconers bird) at Snettisham over the high tide this morning along with 20,000+ knot. Worth a look if you are not doing anything over the weekend.

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Darn have yet to see one in Norfolk. New I should have been sea-watching off Holme today...
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Old Thursday 30th August 2007, 19:43   #1827
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currently under an enforced lay-off but managed to sneak out this morning and have a look down Breydon

counted ...

9 Little Egrets
c200 Avocet
big mixed flock of waders (? in the 100's) - looked like mostly Black-tailed Godwit and Curlew, with a good few plovers, Lapwings & wotnot (no scope, so not entirely sure what was there)
1 Swallow
5 Little Grebe

1 Peregrine (took and made off with a Starling from the muddy shoreline adj. Asda entrance road)

3 Swifts over Caister beach, going south about dinnertime-ish

would be interested if anyones done a 'proper' count-up on Breydon recently (no need to mention whatever something special i might have missed in amongst the flocks...)

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Old Thursday 30th August 2007, 19:53   #1828
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would be interested if anyones done a 'proper' count-up on Breydon recently (no need to mention whatever something special i might have missed in amongst the flocks...)

Absolutely no idea Karl!

But very good to hear from you again

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Old Thursday 30th August 2007, 20:13   #1829
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Karl - worth looking at the Great Yarmouth Bird Site, which often has counts (if a few days out of date) see link:
http://www.gybc.org.uk/year/recent.html

Paul - how long did the Balearic 'linger'?
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Old Friday 31st August 2007, 00:31   #1830
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Blakeney Point Thursday - 30th August

Arrived at Coastguards at 9.50am and started my expedition along the shingle (high tide). Did not see anything special today, but it was a stunning walk in the sunshine. I counted a massive flock of 42 ringed plover (inc. Juvs) amongst loads of dunlin sitting on the shingle ridge before Half Way House. Lots of terns fishing in the sunshine. Walked up to the end of 'Long Hills' and watched black tailed and bar tailed godwits, 2 little egrets, a juv. grey wagtail flicking about in the muddy creakes along with 2 grey plovers. 3 curlew. Counted a flock of 60+ lapwing over Blakeney harbour, 28 mute swans, 50+ oystercatchers, lesser blacked gulls, great blacked backed gulls, herring gulls, turnstones. 2 small coppers, still some yellow horned poppies out. Sat and had half lunch and cup of tea and then walked back and around to the plantation where I sat and had 2nd half of lunch and set up scope to watch a robin , after lunch fell asleep for half an hour in the glorious sunshine with hat over face (boiling hot now) and when I woke up got excited because I caught a glimpse of a 2nd bird in plantation - looked through scope - robin!!!!!!! and that was it, nothing else in there. Left here and walked along Yanky Ridge where I startled a red legged partridge and then walked back along sea's edge, watching terns fishing and seals inquisitively playing. Could see the seal colony in the far distance. I messed up here big time (I thought only townies did this!!!) - followed edge of sea for most of the way. Now there was another birder about 20 minutes in front of me - tide was coming in again and there was a wide fairly deep chanel to my right and up ahead the sea had now joined that chanel!!!! - well through my bins it didn't look very deep and the man ahead of me had made it! - its surprising how 20 minutes can make a difference - well when I got there it was a choice of walked through a serious, swirling, strong current of waves or turning right and wading half way up to my knees through the chanel - I choose the chanel option, it looked safer, I was laughing my head off and squelching all the way back to coastguards!!!! It was a good job that I had a pair of sandals in the car! Have immersed boots again at home in bowl, plus washing up liquid to get all seasalt out and they are hanging on line, so you can bet your bottom dollar it will be freezing tomorrow and Saturday because I will have to wear my walking sandals for both days!! Went to Walsey Hills for bit to say hello to Pete (volunteer warden) and watched a marsh harrier, greenshank and golden plover went over. Coal tit on feeder. Seawatching tomorrow.

Best Wishes Penny

Last edited by Penny Clarke : Friday 31st August 2007 at 00:34.
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Old Friday 31st August 2007, 10:03   #1831
Ilya Maclean
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currently under an enforced lay-off but managed to sneak out this morning and have a look down Breydon

counted ...

9 Little Egrets
c200 Avocet
big mixed flock of waders (? in the 100's) - looked like mostly Black-tailed Godwit and Curlew, with a good few plovers, Lapwings & wotnot (no scope, so not entirely sure what was there)
1 Swallow
5 Little Grebe

1 Peregrine (took and made off with a Starling from the muddy shoreline adj. Asda entrance road)

3 Swifts over Caister beach, going south about dinnertime-ish

would be interested if anyones done a 'proper' count-up on Breydon recently (no need to mention whatever something special i might have missed in amongst the flocks...)

Hi Karl

Breydon Water is counted regularly as part of the Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS): http://www.bto.org/webs/. As it happens, I'm actually responsible for the design and maintainance of the WeBS website (any comments welcome), although the time I spent on it is necessarily limited. One of the forthcoming developments on the website (as soon as I've got a bit of spare time) will be an info sheet for most of the important estuaries around the UK, which will detail numbers and trends of birds on each site. At the moment you can get information on actual numbers from the WeBS annual report, available here:

http://www.bto.org/webs/news/webs-downloads.htm

You can get a bit more information on the Breydon Water SPA, on which species are important and trends in these species from here:

http://www.bto.org/webs/alerts/alert...81/9009181.htm

The latter doesn't include actual numbers though.

Cheers

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Old Friday 31st August 2007, 12:01   #1832
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Darn have yet to see one in Norfolk. New I should have been sea-watching off Holme today...
Me to, I was manning the information desk and couldn't get out. Going to look this evening but I think I am too late

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Old Friday 31st August 2007, 13:51   #1833
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Thinking about heading to the coast tomorrow. Had all of last week off but the weather was so bad I didn't end up going anywhere. Then OH drove our car into a bollard so its off the road. But tomorrow I might get the train to Sherringham then the coasthopper to somewhere. I'd like to get out and do some bird sketching/painting. Was thinking of Cley but does anyone out there have any better suggestions that are easily accessible from the bus?
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Old Friday 31st August 2007, 14:11   #1834
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Thinking about heading to the coast tomorrow. Had all of last week off but the weather was so bad I didn't end up going anywhere. Then OH drove our car into a bollard so its off the road. But tomorrow I might get the train to Sherringham then the coasthopper to somewhere. I'd like to get out and do some bird sketching/painting. Was thinking of Cley but does anyone out there have any better suggestions that are easily accessible from the bus?
You might get closer views of waders at Titchwell, but thats a solid hour from sheringham!, Cley would be a safe bet, should get good close views from Dawkes hides of various waders, ducks and the greylag flocks (lots of those there at the mo)

The area around Salthouse is good for close views of Ringed Plovers, Redshank, Ruff, Whimbrel and Avocets, they seem to be more trusting here than anywhere else for some bizare reason? also watch out for wheatears around the fence posts etc.

Was tempted to go up myself tomorrow but the transport etc will be mental at the weekend!!

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Old Friday 31st August 2007, 15:11   #1835
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Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week looking very interesting, with strong northerly winds + rain, starting slightly westerly and then veering easterly. Expect amazing sea-watching and a deja-vu haul of scarce / rare passerines: greenish warblers, red-backed shrike, wryneck, icterine warbler, barred warbler. Ortolan bunting, rosefinch and rose-coloured starling for the more ambitious. Or if you really want to pull the stops out: citrine wagtail or even yellow-breasted bunting.
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Old Friday 31st August 2007, 15:22   #1836
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Thanks for the info Matt. I do think Twitchwell might be too far to go on the bus. Are there any scarcities at Cley or Salthouse atm?
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Old Friday 31st August 2007, 15:23   #1837
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Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week looking very interesting, with strong northerly winds + rain, starting slightly westerly and then veering easterly.

Just curious as to where you got this forecast from? - I normally use the met office website and it has a very different forecast to this for early next week.
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Old Friday 31st August 2007, 15:26   #1838
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Are there any scarcities at Cley or Salthouse atm?
I don't think so, all a bit quiet after last weekends rush of goodies. There should be some stuff about though - garganey, curlew sands and the like.
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Old Friday 31st August 2007, 15:41   #1839
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Just curious as to where you got this forecast from? - I normally use the met office website and it has a very different forecast to this for early next week.
Used the BBC one: http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/w...ope/wind.shtml
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Old Friday 31st August 2007, 15:47   #1840
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thanks that looks like a useful one.
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Old Friday 31st August 2007, 16:02   #1841
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Sorry Ilya,

I'm down there next week and I've already decided this forecast will apply: http://www.accuweather.com/ukie/fore...208HA&metric=1

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Old Friday 31st August 2007, 16:04   #1842
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met check gives a different forecast http://www.metcheck.com/V40/UK/FREE/...=Norfolk&day=4
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Old Friday 31st August 2007, 16:36   #1843
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On the topic of weather sites I still think the surface pressure charts at the Met Office website are worth checking daily. The current chart predicts as far ahead as Monday pm, and the post cold-frontal stream of northerlies ought to produce some interesting seawatching. I feel that the weather over Scandinavia, with the associated occluded front, may be just too mucky for any exciting drift migration...

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Old Friday 31st August 2007, 17:50   #1844
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Wait and see I guess. Agree though - looking at pressure charts in more detail, seawatching looks good, but a bit too cloudy over Scandinavia to get the migrants going in the first place. See how it goes...
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Old Friday 31st August 2007, 19:46   #1845
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Arrived at Holme at 9am and went straight up to dunes for seawatch. It was extremely high this morning - an 8.3 tide, lapping the dunes, spectacular and it was colder than I expected this morning. Had 8 gannets, 8 teal, 1 dark phase arctic skua, 1 bonxie, several sandwich terns, 2 swallows, 1 great crested grebe and 6 sanderlings made their way along the tide mark. Went back to observatory to hear something dreadful, Ray R. had watched an Osprey fly past along the sea edge (sea lapping dunes, imagine the scene under your nose!!!) going west at 8.45am, 15 minutes before I stood there absolutely gutted!!!! Anyway less said about the better, there seemed to be a flurry of birds for a while, watched at least 4 common whitethroats, a few long tailed tits, a great spotted woodpecker flew from pines and flew over to Thornham sluice. I walked back to coastal path and walking to Thornham chanel where I counted 28 ringed plover, 17 beautiful grey plovers all standing in a row huddled against the wind, 38 sanderlings, 5 turnstones and lots of gulls that I could not be bothered to count! Walked back and then decided after chin wag to go and have early lunch at 12.30pm. Ambled up to carpark, got picnic rug out, sat and had lunch and cup of tea and then decided to have 40 winks, which turned into a glorious couple of hours (still shattered from Blakeney Point yesterday, see previous post). Whilst sitting here 11 curlew went over and had 6 goldfinches. Left and went to In Focus to look at bins again (still have not decided) and went to mother's and father's for cup of tea and photographed a Palpita Unionalis moth that father had caught this morning in moth trap and then went home.

(last day of holiday tomorrow )

High tide tomorrow at Holme is 9.34am and is 8.2 metres

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Old Saturday 1st September 2007, 12:29   #1846
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Karl - worth looking at the Great Yarmouth Bird Site, which often has counts (if a few days out of date) see link:
http://www.gybc.org.uk/year/recent.html
cheers for that link, interesting. Thanks too Ilya

Interesting too how 5 Spoonbills were on Breydon til a couple of days before i went !

Anyone know south Norwich well ? .... In particular, whats worth an hour or so around the new N&N hospital, or somewhere between the city and hosp on the way out there. Next week i'm starting 6 weeks worth of mon-fri visits up there so seems maybe an opportunity to look in on somewhere a bit different
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Old Saturday 1st September 2007, 14:39   #1847
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Anyone know south Norwich well ? .... In particular, whats worth an hour or so around the new N&N hospital, or somewhere between the city and hosp on the way out there. Next week i'm starting 6 weeks worth of mon-fri visits up there so seems maybe an opportunity to look in on somewhere a bit different
There are a couple of walks I would recommend in that area, although they will probably only turn up fairly common species at this time of year.

1. From the hospital go back along Colney Lane towards the B1108, then turn right near the research park. This takes you across the playing fields to the River Yare. Going left goes along the woods through Earlham Park, where there are sometimes a pair of Grey Wagtails near the bridge under the main road. If you go right, you can walk round to the UEA broad and nearby woods. Round the Broad makes a nice circular walk, there are sometimes flocks of long-tailed tits in the alders nearby, and green woodpecker is quite common.

2. Go back down Colney Lane as before and head back towards the city, then take the first left down to an area called Three Score. To your left there are some wet meadows to walk through, complete with inquisitive horses, and at the far end there are views over Colney Gravel Pits, which usually turn up a rare grebe or too in winter, although there probably won't be too much at the moment. There are some dead trees that are good for Great Spotted Woodpecker, and a heron usually around. On the right side of the road to Three Score are Bowthorpe Marshes. This side has Reed Buntings, and you can follow the River round to Earlham Park, keeping an eye out for the aftorementioned Grey Wagtails and Kingfisher.

Let me know if you see anything good!
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Old Saturday 1st September 2007, 17:45   #1848
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Excellent high tide at Snettisham this morning. Highlights included 2 little stints (ad + juv) and purple sand roosting on the beach between the chalets and the Shore Hide. 30,000+ knot over the high tide with at least half of the birds roosting on the pits.

Couple of hours at Titchwell this afternoon produced 3 common buzzards and red kite west along the ridge inland of the reserve and good numbers of waders on the lagoons.

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Old Saturday 1st September 2007, 21:19   #1849
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Couple of hours at Titchwell this afternoon produced 3 common buzzards and red kite west along the ridge inland of the reserve and good numbers of waders on the lagoons.

Paul
Grrrrrrr.... I hate that stupid ridge!!!

Seawatching at Holme today produced two really nice Pom Skuas, also 7 Great Skuas, 6 Arctic Skuas, good numbers of Gannets and scoters, Guillemot, 4 Fulmars etc.etc.

Belated news from yesterday concerning two Red-backed Shrikes in the dunes. Birder I know met photographer at Flitcham who showed him pic apparantly taken yesterday of two RBShrikes on Blackberry bush in dunes, halfway between house and gate. No sign today in good search this afternoon

Had the Sacred Ibis go over at c.12:00am but little else bar a few Warblers, Whimbrel, Greenshank and Hobby.

see www.noa.org.uk for best of rest

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Old Saturday 1st September 2007, 21:33   #1850
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Arrived at Holme 10.00am - driving down Firs road had about 20 goldfinches fly into hawthorn bush. Seawatching produced 6 bar tailed godwits, 3 great crested grebes, several cormorants, 2 gannets inc. 1 juv going east, 2 fulmars, 2 red throated divers, 1 arctic skua chasing tern. Quite a big movement of swallows today. In Forestry area had 3 whimbrel going west, 1 lesser whitethroat, 1 turtle dove and over Holme marsh 6 egyptian geese and 1 marsh harrier. I watched something amazing by the pond in forestry - a emperer dragonfly catching and eating a common darter!! got some photos too! Back in the pines a couple of goldcrests and several speckled woods flitting about. Went back to parents for lunch and then spent afternoon trying out new bins at In Focus and Cley Spy. Tried in vain to see the Sacred Ibis! Drove home via Choosely and about 2 miles from barns a very striking wheatear flew off the road as I sped past, so keep a look out tomorrow, I am presuming it was just a common wheatear!?

Back of work tomorrow.

Good Birding everyone.

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