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Old Friday 25th January 2008, 22:51   #3051
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KittyKat,
I popped to the compound at UEA yesterday, sorry I missed your post. Would have given some advice had I seen it. Well done on the Bullfinch, one of my target birds for tomorrow.
Had little success at UEA, male Goosander on the broad but little else, very few birds in the trees around the compound. Looks good for Lesser Spot along the river though. I did see 2 Egyptian Geese fly low over the broad, first this year and nice birds to see. Good to hear the Song Thrushes singing. 3 Mistle Thrushes in Earlham Park.
Jason, keep us updated on your owl exploits, superb stuff!
Cheers,
Jim.
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Old Friday 25th January 2008, 23:07   #3052
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Essentially the same. I might check it out again tomorrow and see if its easy to refind.

Jason

EDIT: I'm a bit confused by the illustration of guttata in Collins. It shows a bird with an entirely dark underside, whereas my bird just had the breast band. Are these two plumages considered to be of the same ssp? I cant find any mention of other european ssp' that are likely to end up here.


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Originally Posted by Frootshoot View Post
Mmmmm.... those LEOs sound good. There was a small roost not too far from here a few years back; just a small clump of bushes on some meadows near a river. Must go check it out again...

Re: the D-b Barn Owl, how does it compare to the one pictured here?

James

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Old Friday 25th January 2008, 23:48   #3053
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Mostly seen in the big trees in the middle of the paddock but certainly not guaranteed. I visited 7 times over Christmas holidays and only saw them once. Apparantly there have been more frequent sightings lately and in larger numbers.
As regards other places where they get to, I have seen them disappearing away from the paddock roughly towards the area of the bridge that crosses the bottom(lower) bridge over the lake.
There are some suitable hornbeams inside the army training area and thus off limits to all but a very few but I could not find any there on one recent visit.
There have been quite large numbers of Siskins 130+ but very very few Crossbills or Willow Tits approx zero.
Thank you Peter and Peter (postcardcv) for your helpful replies. I will see if I am lucky in the morning. Have been out having a double birthday dinner this evening, a close friend of mine is 50 tomorrow and I will be 21 again (Hahuhummmmm!!!!!) on Sunday! I am absolutely crazy as I will be getting up very early to go and see Hawfinches soon!!!!!

Good night Penny

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Old Saturday 26th January 2008, 07:08   #3054
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Tree Sparrows.

Just wondering if anyone can tell me why Tree sparrows are so hard to find? Have they always been tricky? I am lucky, my missus' grandparents farm have tree sparrows on it, so I just pop about a mile up the road when I want to see them. Though I haven't made the effort this year yet.

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Old Saturday 26th January 2008, 09:33   #3055
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A big thanks to Matt who I meet up with y'day. What a great bunch birdforum members are. Matt saw c30 Tree Sparrow at the site you mentioned (went west not east!)

Ended up at Wayland Wood. One Golden Pheasant heard and a golden streak seen through the vegetation. Any one know the current postion of the Golgen Pheasants here?
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Old Saturday 26th January 2008, 11:14   #3056
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Ei!!!!!! What site! Not the one I've been toiling over I hope!

Jason


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Matt saw c30 Tree Sparrow at the site you mentioned (went west not east!)
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Old Saturday 26th January 2008, 11:52   #3057
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Re: Dark Breasted Barn Owl

A group of us found one roosting right on the coastal path at Stiffkey in November. It was definitely a lot darker and mottled around to head. We all agreed that it was different but we were 75% sure but no further conformation came

The bird had been seen coming in off the sea and after 2 hours we found it asleep in a very thick patch of Hawthorn
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Old Saturday 26th January 2008, 13:03   #3058
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A big thanks to Matt who I meet up with y'day. What a great bunch birdforum members are. Matt saw c30 Tree Sparrow at the site you mentioned (went west not east!)

Great stuff!! glad you got onto them

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Old Saturday 26th January 2008, 15:42   #3059
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Horrah! Finally connected with some Tree Sparrows! About 5 in total in a hedgerow outside a big converted barn in West Barsham (Thanks for you help with that Mark). Super smart little birds. Big shame they're so scarce.

On looking for the D-B Barn Owl I did find a 3rd bird (I saw it the other day sharing a field with what looked to be 2 Barn Owls that are paired up already), but it dissapeared over the brow of a hill without showing its front. Just as I was about to blast up the hill to find it again a Red Kite flew over! Sorry to say the Owl slipped my mind and I rode on after the Kite. It flew over North Barsham, glided about a bit and then landed in the middle of a ploughed field. Nice! Also seen: c2000 Pink Footed Geese, 2 Egyptian Geese, several Yellowhammers and plenty of both English and French Partridges.

Jason

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Old Saturday 26th January 2008, 15:50   #3060
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Got the train to Brundall and walked around Strumpshaw & Buckenham today. Not much at Stumpshaw, four snipe from the tower hide and a merlin over.

At Buckenham had a bit of a goose-fest, with Greylag, Canada, Bar-headed (in with Canada), Barnacle, Blue-morph snow goose (with Barnacle), a good number of white-fronted geese and distant bean geese. Also saw first Cetti's warbler and Great Spotted Woodpecker of the year.

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Old Saturday 26th January 2008, 15:52   #3061
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Horrah! Finally connected with some Tree Sparrows! About 5 in total in a hedgerow outside a big converted barn in West Barsham (Thanks for you help with that Mark). Super smart little birds. Big shame they're so scarce.

Finally

Glad to be of help
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Old Saturday 26th January 2008, 15:54   #3062
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A few bits and pieces today. At Holkham Park 3 Marsh Tits, 5 Treecreepers, 10 Nuthatches, 2 Great-spotted Woodpeckers. Good views of the White-crowned Sparrow at Cley Village and what appeared to be a near adult Caspian Gull at Blackborough End Tip.

Update on my blog...

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Old Saturday 26th January 2008, 16:21   #3063
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Yeah! Clocked up a good 40 odd miles looking though. Did my knees a world of good :P.

Brings the Norfolk list up to 228 and the year list to 110.

Jason


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Finally

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Old Saturday 26th January 2008, 17:31   #3064
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walked down to Waxham. About 1000 Pinks on the way, nothing in them. Despite a pager message to the contrary, the Grey Phal was on some pools near the pipe dump because i was watching it. Watched it with a couple of mates in peace and quiet for an hour or so at amazingly close range. A chap who was also around rang it in and the pager birders descended. So we departed.

Other recent stuff out this way includes Ruddy Duck, LEO, BTDiver, Snow and Ross's Geese, Peregrine etc. More on website.
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Old Saturday 26th January 2008, 19:49   #3065
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A bit of a walk along the Great Ouse from Denver Sluice back up to Downham Market and a bit beyond this afternoon. A pair of Goosander on the river (probably more on the relief channel) and a male Merlin was nice. A mammal tick was a Mink on the bank of the relief channel at Downham (would have preferred to see an Otter for numerous reasons).

On to Welney, where the Tundra Bean Geese were showing well from the visitor centre, plus 4 Corn Buntings in the bushes by the feeders. The female Scaup-type Aythya hybrid and male Pochard x Tuftie hybrid were on show in front of the observatory, but couldn't find the Chinese Spot-billed Duck that I saw last time I was here. Female/immature Scaup still being reported on the sightings board - has anyone actually ever seen this - I've not in 3 visits - is it perhaps the hybrid that they're referring to?

Didn't stay late enough to see whether the Crane came in with the swans tonight.
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Old Saturday 26th January 2008, 22:25   #3066
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Arrived Lynford Aboretum with a friend (Andy W.) at 7.45am, beautiful sunrise this morning. At 8.05am had stunning views of 3 Hawfinches in the hornbeams in the middle of the usual paddock. They really are bootiful!!!! birds. Bumped into BF Pete Dolton too! Walking round we had very close views of siskens by the lake in front of Lynford Hall, along with nuthatches, green woodpecker, great spotted woodpecker, great and blue tits and chaffinches. Also had brief views of the hawfinches again!!! as they dropped in the alders in front of us for a few seconds and then flew off across the lake towards the Hall. We walked up to the gravel pit area, which looks completely different to how I last saw it! A new hide overlooks the pit, but it was locked! Saw tufted duck and great crested grebe and to the right of the hide, a massive area has been landscaped with grass and more pits to view and with an area of sand in front with a sign warning of quick sand! - on here we saw great crested grebe, tufted duck, 5 egyptian geese, shelduck, tufted duck and a couple of herons.

Moved on to Santon Downham, on route we stopped for a coffee in a pull in area and had brilliant close views of a stunning Firecrest in the sunshine, along with goldcrests too!!! At Santon Downham we saw a marsh tit, treecreeper, nuthatch, long tailed tits, a common buzzard. Something really bizzare happened - I watched a great spotted woodpecker fly into a tree close to us carrying something large in its beak!!! - when it landed the item it was carrying was a big chunky fircone!!!!!!! - it then preceded to knock against the tree with it!!!!! most interesting. Has anyone else seen this? Also bumped into BF Norfolkbirder here! (Chris M.)

Went onto Lakenheath Fen (1pm) afterwards and stopped in Brandon (Andy needed to get some lunch) and we gave in to a bag of chips as well, which definately warmed us up. Arrived Lakenheath and walked round the whole reserve. There was a big gull roost, including some lesser black backed gulls - we hoped to maybe see a glimpse of a crane or maybe a marsh harrier or something interesting, but produced very little on the whole walk. We counted 64 mute swans in a distant field, 3 roe deer, a pair of stonechat was very nice. A big flock of goldfinches went over the reed bed and had brilliant views of a barn owl hunting close to us and the odd greenfinch. Also several new seats have been added I noticed and a beautiful new open, thatched hide has been added to the site - at the far end after 2nd poplar wood - roll on the spring!

Best Wishes Penny

(Year List 118)

Last edited by Penny Clarke : Saturday 26th January 2008 at 22:27.
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Old Saturday 26th January 2008, 22:52   #3067
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I spent two days roaming around Norfolk and Suffolk, and seeing some stunning birds along the way, but the most bizarre was the Grey Phalarope at Waxham. It has landed on a rain puddle on the Friday night. Too late for me to go for it as I was at Stubbs Mill at the time.

Thinking it would have gone the next day I proceeded into Suffolk and spent all morning down there. Whilst watching a Black-throated Diver the message came up that the Grey Phalarope had returned to the puddle so I decided to go for it, via the Acle straight on the A47 (for the Lesser Snow Goose).

I had to phone Tim Allwood for directions as RBA's directions threw me. I thought I knew how to get there from near Brograve farm but RBA were saying from the village.

Anyway upon arrival at the site it was even more bizarre when it had just been joined by a Sanderling. I would never have thought a Phalarope would land on a puddle, never mind a Sanderling, but here they were, sharing a few feet of water. On top of that I wouldn't have expected a Sanderling to be so confiding but both birds came within four feet of me. I had stood well to the left of them but still they moved toward me.

Here are a few photos of them.

John
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Old Saturday 26th January 2008, 22:57   #3068
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I spent two days roaming around Norfolk and Suffolk, and seeing some stunning birds along the way, but the most bizarre was the Grey Phalarope at Waxham. It has landed on a rain puddle on the Friday night. Too late for me to go for it as I was at Stubbs Mill at the time.

Thinking it would have gone the next day I proceeded into Suffolk and spent all morning down there. Whilst watching a Black-throated Diver the message came up that the Grey Phalarope had returned to the puddle so I decided to go for it, via the Acle straight on the A47 (for the Lesser Snow Goose).

I had to phone Tim Allwood for directions as RBA's directions threw me. I thought I knew how to get there from near Brograve farm but RBA were saying from the village.

Anyway upon arrival at the site it was even more bizarre when it had just been joined by a Sanderling. I would never have thought a Phalarope would land on a puddle, never mind a Sanderling, but here they were, sharing a few feet of water. On top of that I wouldn't have expected a Sanderling to be so confiding but both birds came within four feet of me. I had stood well to the left of them but still they moved toward me.

Here are a few photos of them.

John
Wow - fantastic photos John!!!!!

Best Wishes Penny
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Old Sunday 27th January 2008, 15:04   #3069
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Shore Larks

For anyone interested Birdguides are reporting 3 Shore Larks just west of north end of East Bank mid-afternoon today.
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Old Sunday 27th January 2008, 17:24   #3070
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Can anyone give me directions to this grey phalaroe at Waxham as I'm tempted to pop over for it tomorrow. Also what are the paths like, would I be OK with the pushchair?
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Old Sunday 27th January 2008, 18:14   #3071
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KittyKat,
I popped to the compound at UEA yesterday, sorry I missed your post. Would have given some advice had I seen it. Well done on the Bullfinch, one of my target birds for tomorrow.
Had little success at UEA, male Goosander on the broad but little else, very few birds in the trees around the compound. Looks good for Lesser Spot along the river though. I did see 2 Egyptian Geese fly low over the broad, first this year and nice birds to see. Good to hear the Song Thrushes singing. 3 Mistle Thrushes in Earlham Park.
Jim.
Hi Jim, thanks for your post. I am on their mailing list but I always seem to find out about the ringing sessions too late to get involved, or to make other plans if I want to bird the same area as them. But never mind. I still had a nice afternoon. I also saw the two Egyptian Geese.

Anyway, spent most of the weekend birding. Had BF member Richard Powell over for the weekend because he wanted to twitch the sparrow. So we headed up to the North Norfolk coast, first stopping off at Salthouse getting good views of one lapland bunting and the snow buntings and turnstones. Then on to see the sparrow which gave good views again.

Most importantly it gave me the opportunity to meet up with Richard Porter and present the painting of the WCS to the Bendings and they seemed a bit taken aback and I got the feeling that they really loved the picture and so will treasure it. In fact it was a significant birthday for Sue Bending recently, so this was an unexpected surprise for them. I believe the collection bucket has raised over 3500 now as well. On the way back to the village hall car park we also had a sparrowhawk cross in front of us..

So, after a quck cup of tea at Cley visitor centre we went out onto the reserve and got some great views of huge flocks of golden plover and lapwing along with brent geese, shoveler, black tailed godwits, avocets and the usual ducks. There was also a lone marsh harrier.

We then headed back to Norwich for lunch before heading out to Stubb Mill for the raptor roost. This was my first time at the roost and I wonder now why I've never been before. It was amazing! There were over 50 marsh harriers, 3 ring tailed hen harriers, one male hen harrier and a couple of merlin, along with barn owls quartering over the field. Just as the last light was fading, two cranes also flew in to roost.

Then today we headed out to Cantley to catch up with the Bean Geese. Saw those (including a small flock that did a fairly close fly past), along with a few white fronted and canadas. Headed on to Strumpshaw Fen and typically, not too many birds around, except for a couple of bullfinches in the woods, shortly after which some 100 or so pink feet flew over and we also got a couple of stonechats from the tower hide. But best of the bunch was a stoat which we saw run across the track. It then stoped, turned and stared right at us before disappearing down a hole. Lots of woodpeckers were drumming and a song throush was singing it's heart out. I think spring is in the air!

Some pictures:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8773601...7603681736458/
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Old Sunday 27th January 2008, 18:22   #3072
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Most importantly it gave me the opportunity to meet up with Richard Porter and present the painting of the WCS to the Bendings and they seemed a bit taken aback and I got the feeling that they really loved the picture and so will treasure it. In fact it was a significant birthday for Sue Bending recently, so this was an unexpected surprise for them.
What a lovely thought!

Sue
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Old Sunday 27th January 2008, 18:29   #3073
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Ended up at Wayland Wood. One Golden Pheasant heard and a golden streak seen through the vegetation. Any one know the current postion of the Golgen Pheasants here?

I thought these had all gone ages ago. I know NARvos would be interested if they are still around Dave as regular members visiting there haven't seen any for a long time now (even though only a small part of the wood is inside NARvos)

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Old Sunday 27th January 2008, 18:32   #3074
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A walk at Snettisham produced a Purple Sandpiper on one of the islands at the southern end of the pits. Goldeneye put on a wonderful display infront of one of the hides. A drake Scaup was on one of the pits too.
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Old Sunday 27th January 2008, 18:46   #3075
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I have tried, and failed many times there myself. I also haven't heard any there for a few years. In fact since they coppiced it back in 2001 (I think) I have only seen them twice, the last time was April 2003.

John

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I thought these had all gone ages ago. I know NARvos would be interested if they are still around Dave as regular members visiting there haven't seen any for a long time now (even though only a small part of the wood is inside NARvos)

Sue
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