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Norfolk birding

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Old Tuesday 15th January 2008, 21:58   #2926
Edward woodwood
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Hi Guys

I've finally got round to putting together my birding website: http://www.uea.ac.uk/~e039/ilyabirding.htm

It's a bit basic at the mo, but hoping to turn it into a useful Norfolk birding resource. In addition to my latest sightings I hope to include tips on where to go birding, what to look out for and gen on some of the rare/scarce stuff that doesn't make it onto the pagers. Any thoughts, request to link to your page, sightings or anything else, welcome.

Edit: The photos are more of a wish list at the mo, but will become more relevant when I get my telephoto lens shortly
Watcha mate

good to see birding is 'devolving' back to the individual birders with these sites springing up...

great stuff - particularly the 4x4 bit and the proscribed remedy!

thanks for the link, I'll reciprocate on mine - but the east Norfolk mafia will be after you if they see that suppressing bastards bit... and you know how serious they are...
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Old Tuesday 15th January 2008, 22:57   #2927
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Always nice to hear mate! Thanks, and well done on what looks like will be a very good website. I certainly find the "what to look for" section very interesting. No doubt the site will be popular.

Jason


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I'd go with your shout - I had a 1st winter Caspian Gull at Edgefield later on that day (about 15:30pm)!
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Old Tuesday 15th January 2008, 23:01   #2928
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Thanks for that John. Certainly a very leggy bird there. The bill on mine appeared much longer (is yours unusually short?), but otherwize was a good match to yours, structurally.

Thanks for the help.

Jason


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I can't say that I have seen a first winter myself but here are a couple of photos of a second winter I took a couple of weeks ago (in the West Midlands I may add) that might help.

John
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Old Wednesday 16th January 2008, 10:45   #2929
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yeah it requires a bit of timing, think the train gets in about 11ish can then spend the day at lakenheath (sorry know its suffolk), i think theres a very limited service back from lakenheath but can then cycle to weeting heath area then back to Brandon (about 4-5 mile cycle), just need the timetable booklet and a map.

in regard to train services to the coast i've never yet had trouble getting my bike on although if theres a few people with bikes wanting to get on make sure you're in front of the queue.

If you going to Cromer/Sheringham theres a ticket you can get called the bittern rover (theres also a similar one that goes to cantley/buckenham/yarmouth/lowestoft area called The Wherry Rover).

What a Bittern rover ticket (which costs about 6-7) allows you to do is get a train ticket and go on the coast hopper bus. Unfortunately , you can only get these tickets after 8.30am so no good if your getting the 5.20am train. HOWEVER, what i have found is that most of the bus drivers on the coast hopper are incredibly sound and even if you have not bought a Bittern Rover they will allow you on free with a normal ticket (i've found its because they are just very nice people!) - so be courteous and be prepared to pay for a bus ticket if they request it (but also do a bit of haggling or plead ignorance - its paid off for me!),

www.thetrainline.com
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Old Wednesday 16th January 2008, 10:48   #2930
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last post is in reply to karl J's post about public transport

report of GG Shrike near West Beckham yesterday, off to check it out
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Old Wednesday 16th January 2008, 10:54   #2931
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kittykat23uk


love your pics and artwork

keith
Thanks! I have almost finished another pastel painting- this one of the White crowned sparrow. Will hopefully post it in the next couple of days.

ETA: Ilya, are you based in Norwich (judging by your URL)? If so if you ever fancy some company on your birding trips please let me know. Does anyone know if the hawfinches are still present at UEA? I might try and get up there at the weekend.

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Old Wednesday 16th January 2008, 11:58   #2932
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Thanks! I have almost finished another pastel painting- this one of the White crowned sparrow. Will hopefully post it in the next couple of days.

ETA: Ilya, are you based in Norwich (judging by your URL)? If so if you ever fancy some company on your birding trips please let me know. Does anyone know if the hawfinches are still present at UEA? I might try and get up there at the weekend.
Hawfinches (a pair) were at UEA Monday. Scrappy looking female and neat male. Still with the brambling. Also small flock of redpoll using the feeders.

good luck
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Old Wednesday 16th January 2008, 12:23   #2933
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Thanks all for the comments on the website - will it this evening with links and tone down language about those supressing b*******s from East Norfolk (NB I should point out that I'm all in favour for a bit of supressing as it might mean people start using their brains and bins to bird instead of their pagers!).

Kittikat - yes I am based in Norwich. Always good to have a bit of company, so drop me a pm if you fancy going out birding anytime. I go out most weekends if the weather's OK. Dipped on the Hawfinches on Sunday although didn't have my bins on me (only heard about them through a chance encounter with a fellow birder when I was at UEA for other stuff). I used to patch UEA campus, and still keep a list for there and need Hawfinch for there. Were they around the rabbit compound or where and are the feeders still just up from there near Colney Lane?
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Old Wednesday 16th January 2008, 15:24   #2934
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Finally!!! After many-a days scouring of Sculthorpe Moor for Willow Tit, I finally found one! Glowing, all-white cheek and calling regularly, giving a pretty distinctive "si si chaar chaar" sound. All this backed up by the pale pannel on both wings and generally stocky build. Well pleased, as its the first definite Willow I've seen in 10 years. Did have a couple of false alarms, with Great Tits frequently producing an annoyingly similar "ti ti zuur zuur" in one area. Also saw 3 Water Rails under the bird table, 2 Bramblings, 1 Barn Owl, around 6 Marsh Tits and c30 Siskins in Alders.

Now for that non existant Lesser Spot!

Jason
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Old Wednesday 16th January 2008, 15:43   #2935
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I'd quite like to look for the hawfinches this Saturday morning if you fancy meeting up Ilya. They are supposed to be in the rabbit compound.
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Old Wednesday 16th January 2008, 16:15   #2936
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great stuff - particularly the 4x4 bit and the proscribed remedy!
Utter environazi, opinionated bollocks ofcourse, but funny nonetheless.
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Old Wednesday 16th January 2008, 21:15   #2937
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Jimbob, know you were asking about Black Brants a little while ago, good photos of one of the Wells ones on Birdguides by Russell Hayes.

Cheers,

Connor
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Old Wednesday 16th January 2008, 21:32   #2938
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Cheers Connor Ill have a look.
Enjoying these individual websites cropping up, good effort folks. Need to pull my finger out and do the same......
Jim.
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Old Wednesday 16th January 2008, 22:12   #2939
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whats the deal with these shorelarks at Holkham? About 20 were reported not so long ago, no news since. Just wondered if anyone has seen or heard of them lately?

Cheers
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Old Wednesday 16th January 2008, 22:16   #2940
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Ross's, Tundras and Barneys in east Norfolk today

and a lovely sunset around Horsey with cranes bugling away

I've started a webpage of Past Glories for my local patch... to inspire me and to marvel at the untapped potential on offer... http://www.freewebs.com/eastnorfolkb...astglories.htm

Tim

Last edited by Edward woodwood : Thursday 17th January 2008 at 00:01.
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Old Thursday 17th January 2008, 10:23   #2941
Ilya Maclean
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Ross's, Tundras and Barneys in east Norfolk today

and a lovely sunset around Horsey with cranes bugling away

I've started a webpage of Past Glories for my local patch... to inspire me and to marvel at the untapped potential on offer... http://www.freewebs.com/eastnorfolkb...astglories.htm

Tim
Speaking of past glories - I uncovered this gem not too long ago about Emma Louise Turner, who in 1911 photographed Norfolks first breeding Bitterns for 40 years near Rush Hill scrape.

"concealed beneath marsh litter, despite slowly sinking into the swamp I watched and waited. During the lengthy sessions Snipe and Redshank constantly settled on me; on one occasion four Redshank and a Snipe running over me together"

Miss Emma Turner - we salute you!
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Old Thursday 17th January 2008, 10:38   #2942
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Can't imagine many present day photographers spending hours half submerged in mud and covered in dead reeds to 'get the shot'. Respect.
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Old Thursday 17th January 2008, 11:03   #2943
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Can't imagine many present day photographers spending hours half submerged in mud and covered in dead reeds to 'get the shot'. Respect.
John Aitchison came pretty close in last week's Bill Oddie programme, spending seven hours lying in a 'shallow grave' on a beach in the winter, covered by boards with stones on top. All that to produce some stunning footage of Knot at eye level.

I must admit Miss Emma Louise Turner does sound a very impressive lady.

Ron
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Old Thursday 17th January 2008, 11:25   #2944
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Hi all.

Me and fellow 'backwater birder' 'Bun' have just returned from a four day trip to Norfolk. It was really superb. I would just like to thank the Norfolk birders, especially Tim and Sue for the gen they offered us before the trip - we scored with all sites!

Saw lots of amazing things which I know you Norfolk birders are used too, also saw many of the rarities/scarcities which have been present recently (Waxwing, Sparrow, etc...). But here are some of the sightings which may be of local interest:
Six Whooper Swans (4 ads, 2 imms) in fields off minor road south of Burham Market (towards Creake), also a Green Sand besides a dyke near South Creake on Tues 15th. A Tundra Bean Goose between Stiffkey and Cockthorpe with Pink-feet and Greylag (also 15th)
Jack Snipe on Holkham Freshmarsh (no Shorelarks anywhere in sight!) with a Firecrest in the woods.
Five adult Cranes on Heigham Holmes on Mon 14th mid afternoon showing well.
Off Holme yesterday (we parked in a carpark then walked along track over golfcourse to view sea): a flock of eight Scaup (incl. 2+ ad drakes) - they drifted E with the current, a Long-tailed Duck and a surprise imm Pom Skua close west.
Yesterday afternoon/evening whilst watching the Grey Grey Shrike at Roydon at least five Hen Harriers came in to roost ncluding one ad male and one tiny immature male.

Attached is our trip diary listing all our sightings with a few photos. Thanks again for the sites guys
Attached Files
File Type: doc Norfolk.doc (461.5 KB, 126 views)

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Old Thursday 17th January 2008, 13:57   #2945
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Long Eared Owl

Dudes.

Please can anybody tell me of a place/area where it would be possible to see a long eared owl. I have no idea where to look for one and haven't seen one for a few years now. I really am itching to see one. I live in the Dereham area so am pretty much able to reach all corners of the county.

If anyone can pm me helpful info, I will appreciate it greatly.

Many thanks.
John.
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Old Thursday 17th January 2008, 14:16   #2946
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In my experience Long-eared Owl is one of the few species that really seems to suffer from disclosure of wintering sites. Perhaps they are transitory anyway but it seems that any roost site that becomes well known is soon abandoned by the birds. Perhaps I'm over-cautious but I'd think hard before disclosing the whereabouts of any roost.
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Old Thursday 17th January 2008, 16:50   #2947
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Dudes.

Please can anybody tell me of a place/area where it would be possible to see a long eared owl. I have no idea where to look for one and haven't seen one for a few years now. I really am itching to see one. I live in the Dereham area so am pretty much able to reach all corners of the county.

If anyone can pm me helpful info, I will appreciate it greatly.

Many thanks.
John.
Hi firefox,
i'd agree that there probably are some Leo roosts in the county, but people keep them quiet because they can quite easily get ruined, from my experiences down south i feel this is definitely the best thing for the sake of the birds.
I've been extremely lucky/jammy and found a number of roosts over the years (in sussex) and there do seem to be some common factors to where they roost. They seem to like steep embankments with very thick cover so they can look in front but don't have to worry about what is behind them, railway embankments and wooded islands also seem to be a favourite. Of course even if the habitat is good for roosting they need suitable hunting grounds nearby as well, i.e. rough pastures and over grown fields. Scan thick cover of medium size trees - willow, rhodedendron, I know all this is a long shot but searching is always half the fun - i am certain theres a lot out there waiting to be found.

Failing that do lots and lots of seawatching! i've had 3 fly in off in favourable wind conditions in autumn, i.e northerlies with squally showers, usually when alot of other stuff is flying past, all these sighting have been in the afternoon, there does seem to be a bias towards blakeney eastward although i believe holme's good as well, also once they have flown in they sometimes can be seen in dunes/scrub at coastal sites i.e winterton, waxham, cley etc.
Also looking in bird reports can help, if you have say the last 5 years norfolk bird reports you may be able to detect some common threads / locations. Good luck
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Old Thursday 17th January 2008, 16:53   #2948
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no sign of GG shrike yesterday near West Beckham but a Black Brant near Hempstead (which is the Hempstead near Holt not the Hempstead near Eccles on Sea).

4 drake Mandarin strutting their stuff today at Felbrigg Hall and 3 ducks, also the Waxwing is still at Rainbow Food Store at Cromer.
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Old Friday 18th January 2008, 21:28   #2949
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White Crowned Sparrow still at Cley for anyone that hasn't seen it yet.

Weather does not look good for weekend - don't forget your waterproofs!

Best Wishes Penny
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Old Friday 18th January 2008, 21:46   #2950
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White Crowned Sparrow still at Cley for anyone that hasn't seen it yet.
Err........that would be me then

Please make it stay till 24th Feb
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