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Norfolk birding

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Old Sunday 27th January 2008, 22:55   #3101
Ilya Maclean
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Cheers for the info on DB Barn Owl - don't really feel informed enough to comment as I don't know the extent to which British ones can get a bit melanistic at times. Re: Golden Pheasants. Quite a few sites have em still - although I've not seen one for six months and they seem to be a bit harder to get these days. As far as I know they're still at some sites in Thetford forest, Thompson Water, Kings Forest, Wayland Wood & the Wolferton Triangle (possibly slightly hybridised with Lady As at latter). Best time's in April when they're very vocal. Call is a load harsh "crrrrotch-shree" uttered intermittently, quite reminiscent of a Jay except in being disyllibic. They stay very still most of the time interspersed with sudden jerky movements that last a very short time, and despite being brightly coloured can be suprisingly hard to see. That said, if you do, they can be seen quite close as they don't flush easily when distrubed - just go stock still so it's possible to get views down to about 2m if you creep up and are patient.
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Old Sunday 27th January 2008, 23:15   #3102
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added some nice Tundra Bean shots of the recent east Norfolk birds to my website (thumbnailed too - whoo-hoo!)

and Grey Phal too. http://www.freewebs.com/eastnorfolkb.../diary2008.htm

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Old Sunday 27th January 2008, 23:18   #3103
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Hi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penny Clarke View Post
Fantastic day's birding on my birthday today - it was an unusual birthday as its usually snowing, but today was a glorious sunny, beautiful day. Started off at Holme at 9.30am, stunning walk along 'my' beach! with nobody else on it but me, I noticed a massive flock of waders at the far end by Thornham channel and proceeded to walk towards them, when all of sudden the whole flock got up and disappeared - as I thought.... couple with a dog dispersed the whole lot, so crossed over to the dunes and up to post 10 (corner of Thornham bank), there were loads of pinkfeet and greylags grazing the Holme marshes - then walked back along top boards overlooking broadwater, few tufted duck on here. Went and had a chat with Sophie and Jed and they very kindly gave me an extremely amusing, rude birdy card which they had obviously spent alot of time creating. Didn't see much on the sea, except great crested grebe and a fulmar, oh and 1 long tailed duck going east. Fieldfare and brambling on the reserve.

Went onto Titchwell (12.30pm) to meet up with my friend Pete and his two friends Graham and Glyn. Arrived in carpark and I have never seen so many cars in the carpark! Viewed the woodcock along the entrance track on route and then along the main path Ray Kimber kindly pointed out a Mealy and Lesser Redpoll in the alders behind the feeders - also siskens! which was very nice. Continuing along the main path (my friends were on the beach at this point) I saw a Med. Gull which was showing nicely, 1 bearded tit shot into the reeds and also reed bunting. A very amusing incident then happened! a very dishy young man who was not a birder was walking towards me and as he walked past he said 'a glamorous twitcher, you don't often see that!' - that did make me smile. Straight after this, suddenly, somone ran along side me and excited voices were saying 'where abouts exactly' and scopes hurridly being set up - couldn't believe my luck, a Red Kite was gliding over Ringstead Mill!!!!!!!!! - most definately bird of the day! What more can a girl want on her birthday! I phoned Pete and co about the red kite and they picked it up further along the path too which was good. Had a lovely leisurely lunch and sat outside and then finished off the day at Holme Marsh Reserve with 2 Barn Owls, 2 Marsh Harriers, a sparrowhawk, 2 little egrets, 1 cormorant and a water rail.

Thank you to ever found the Red Kite!

I then went to my parents for tea and cakes and now back home.

Best Wishes Penny

(Year List 122)
Great to read the account of your eventful day's birding Penny. I think you did rather well! Glad you had a happy birthday.
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Old Sunday 27th January 2008, 23:25   #3104
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It was still there today. Make sure you get the right car park - it's the first one from the A road, and it more like an explanded driveway. It was viewable East of the car park today. Yesterday it was a short walk from the car park towards the beehives on the ridge.
Hi Marcus

Did you see the W.C Sparrow today on your weekend trip?

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Old Monday 28th January 2008, 08:00   #3105
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Interesting comments about the pheasants Sue (and reader)
As I stated the view was a glimpse, but definitely 'golden' although I can't comment on details. As for 'gone ages ago' Sue they are still recorded in the 2006 Bird Report (in reducing numbers - hence my question)

Look forward to any comments
David
Yes I think 2006 was (about?) the last time Golden Pheasant was definitely seen well at Wayland Wood. Unless anyone on the forum knows differently.....................?
I am sure even the Wolferton birds are reduced in number.
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Old Monday 28th January 2008, 09:15   #3106
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I bet they were bowled over with your picture - an extremely kind, generous thing to do - I mean't to comment on your picture when you posted it the other day, it is absolutely brilliant, your work is unique, keep using those pastels!!! I went to art college many years ago and I found pastels the most difficult medium to master, so even more credit to you.

Best Wishes Penny

Thank you for birthday wishes Kittkat
Thanks Penny!

Take care

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Old Monday 28th January 2008, 11:09   #3107
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A day's birding in East Norfolk.

Well armed with local info (Thanks Tim) Bob and I came to East Norfolk with our visitors knowledge and pagers at the ready! (yt = year tic)

We had this day planned ages ago target birds Taiga Bean Geese and Cranes.
Then it was whatever might be around.

After a terrific days raptor watching on Sheppey on Saturday, we were not focused on raptors for once!

On route we saw 3 different Tawny Owls (yt) (M25 nr M1 turn off) and two up the M11.

We were at Wayland Wood before 9.00 (breakfast at the Walkers Cafe in Thetford Forest)-
we heard Lesser SW, Nuthatch,Treecreeper,Bullfinch and Golden Pheasant at least two in quite different parts of the Wood. On one occasion we heard the call (strangled pheasant described Bob!) and saw something fly across but it was in a hollow so we just got the flurry or flash. Most frustrating not to see the bird when we clearly heard them!
Well no showing birds (it was quite gloomy and vvvcold) until the calling Marsh Tits (yt) were finally seen and then they got showy!
Usual tit flocks, Gioldcrests and other woodland suspects.

But I must admit we left there feeling down! 5 only heards! All required for the year list!

On to Cantley Marshes.A long search across the marshes from the bridleway nr the village....we scored Mistle Thrush (yt!) finally Bob spotted a Bean Goose. There they were Taiga Bean geese to go with our Kent Tundra's! Good top be able to really compare the two having only recently seen the Tundra.

I had spotted that a Ross Goose had been reported with Pink feet nr Acle so a change of plan....divert across...arrived to see another birder parked in layby what a dreadful road.(fast cars no supersonic!)no time to enquire so on to
next lay by we scanned and scanned the geese.....Chinese Water Deer (Lifer for me!) and a very nice young birder arrived (from the other layby) all three of us scanned and scanned/ not helped by text from Pete(Duxon) and Deboo who had seen a Ross (after or before seeing the WCS!) -We discovered we were all heading out to see the Grey Phalarope and decided to leave...
I am wondering now whether the very nice young man may have been Kit Day?Up from Suffolk and his Mother driving him ?

We then drove to Waxham and parked as instructed- good spot Tim.
We were all the time stopping to see if there were any Cranes in any of the recent places...dip!
After an exhilarating walk along the tops of the Dunes (don't fancy taking a buggy there Postcard!) looking out again for Cranes we eventually saw birders around a puddle!
No wonder you got good photo's John! Grey Phal (yt)
We didn't go as close - 3 Camera's were really close to the bird - we looked through the scope what a lovely bird!

Walked back with another birder and we were all on route for Stubbs Mill (if we couldn't see a Crane in a field!) Drove through Se Appalling (thought of you Tim!)and to the Visitor Centre.As I came out the loo, I heard Cranes!
At this point we both said oh no! Would we really dip seeing these?By now we had decided to be on a Bird Race so we could at least count the heard only!!

At the lookout there were lots(people) but we had been warned by the presence of a Coach in the car park!
All we wanted was to see a Crane!

Marsh Harriers, Ringtails, Merlins and a Sprawk - still early (no wind there-great) when a Chinese Water Deer was spotted and CRANES!
6 Cranes(yt) flew from right to left across us (not to roost) beautiful!

Happy we walked back saw two Chinese Water Deer in the area.

Time for the Barnacle Goose....or back to Acle?
It was getting late and we decided to go to seek the Ross. (Lifer for me even if I couldn't count it on BOU!) On route Bob spotted Egyptian Geese (wild) (yt) made a change from our local ones altho' they are self sustaining they all came from Kew !

This was now 6 (yt) same as on Saturday so we began to feel better!
it wasn't the lack of birds we hadn't seen that was frustrating just hearing them and not seeing them! If we hadn't heard them I think we could have lived with that!

We past some birders on that road, stopped and I ran back to see what they were looking for...in case it was our Ross. No the Dark breasted Owl....on we went..
back to our lay bye but that supersonic road had gone ballistic - drivers in our boot....needs a 40 mph speed limit! So we ended up in the Parking lay bye (the other lay byes were actually gate entrances!)


But it was better now as the Pink feet had moved across a field and were nearer...it didn't help we still couldn't spot the little Ross!
But we saw a Chinese Water Deer...then another and another...until we had seen 12!
Plus a fox eyeing up a Goose dinner but deciding there were too many!
A few Pink feet began flying off can we wait until they fly and perhaps have a last chance? Too dark so we left and guess what? Yes they decided to fly....
fabulous sight but we were on that mega fast road so had to be content with descriptions from the passenger seat - me!
Thousands of Geese in the sky is one of the sights of Norfolk!

We decided that it had been a thoroughly worth while day.

I ended up with a Lifer that I didn't expect all be it a mammal!

Again thanks Tim for the local info.

142 - 2008 Year List
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Old Monday 28th January 2008, 12:10   #3108
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Yes I think 2006 was (about?) the last time Golden Pheasant was definitely seen well at Wayland Wood. Unless anyone on the forum knows differently.....................?
I am sure even the Wolferton birds are reduced in number.
Sue
Had Golden Pheasant in Wayland last Jan (2007) and have them there every year, last years was only a single male, at the end of 2005 I had 4 males.

But to see them you normally have to creep around for hours.

Gary
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Old Monday 28th January 2008, 13:47   #3109
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re the phalarope

walk on the beach!

Pete - unfortunately you might have leave the pushchair at home - or put her in a rucksack!
With this in mind my wife took the morning off work so I could pop over for it without the girls. Got to Waxham just after 8am and had female hen harrier fly over as we got out of the car. Moments later we picked up an owl flying over the adjacent field, my inital reaction was short-eared, but it turned as was clearly a barn owl. It had very brown wings and a dark breast band, so appeared to be (from what I've seen and read) a dark-breasted barn owl. An excellent start to the day.

Then headed along for the phalarope, got to the pipe dump and found the puddles, but no sign of the bird... moments later in flew in a showed extremely well for the next hour (eventually I had to give up and head for home). Rounded the trip off with two groups of three cranes in road side fields while heading back to the A47.

Thanks again to those who supplied the info, just as hame I couldn't have take the girls, they'd have love the phalarope.
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Old Monday 28th January 2008, 14:24   #3110
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Spent yesterday birding North Norfolk with a couple of mates from "oop north".

We went for the White-crowned Sparrow first and, after a wait of about an hour, succeeded in getting great views of the stripey-headed wonder. We also saw a Barn Owl near the village and a single Ruff pottering around the edge of a wet area in one of the fields.

After seeing the sparrow we headed down to Salthouse beach where we had stunning views of 70-plus Snow Buntings and a single Lapland Bunting. We also had stunning views of three hot beverages which we purchased from the guy who dispenses said refreshments from his van at the shallow end of the car park: what a star!

Next stop was Saxlingham where we stopped to admire and photograph a Barn Owl sitting on a post by the roadside. We then had nice views of the two Ross's Geese as they mingled with Pinkfeet: nice and easy to pick out, what with being white and everything.

After the goosefest we headed down to Lady Anne's Drive at Holkham. A couple of hundred yards west of the drive we encountered a mixed flock of its and 'crests. Whilst scanning through the flock one of my companions locked onto one of the latter with a distinctly stripey head pattern, thus prompting the memorable announcement, "FIRECREST!!! IN THE PINE!!! HAVING A CRAP!!!". The statement was 100% accurate in terms of ID, location and behaviour and we all had great views of the scatological little bird as it foraged close to the path:a real gem!

Shortly after we lost sight of the Firecrest we were treated to the sight and sound of several thousand Pinkfeet rising into the air in panic. One of our number managed to identify the source of the consternation - a Peregrine blasting through at high speed - but I never managed to get my bins on the raptor which apparently kept going in a westerly direction.

We crossed the dunes near the Washington Hide and began to walk back along the saltings. Flight calls alerted us to the presence of two Snow Buntings as they bounded overhead and a tumultuous explosion of goose sounds from the landward side of the dunes suggested that the Peregrine might have made an unwelcome return visit. As we walked back up the drive a couple of Stonechats were making short sallies after insects from a barbed wire fence and we spent a few minutes taking in the spectacle of the geese before beginning the homeward journey.

As we approached Burnham Overy Staithe a Barn Owl peered "owlishly" at us from atop the 30mph sign at the edge of the village. Another hunted over the field by Briarfields at Titchwell; a great bird with which to end a great day's birding in a fantastic part of the world.
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Old Monday 28th January 2008, 15:20   #3111
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I must hasten to apologise on behalf of my friend the Pictish Percussionist who, rather embarrassingly, clearly failed to realise that the Crapping Firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus crapulensis) I spotted is now recognised by many authorities as a race. It's normally to be found in areas with a high raptor density and, being of a particularly nervous disposition, is even harder to see than the nominate race.
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Old Monday 28th January 2008, 15:25   #3112
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Moments later we picked up an owl flying over the adjacent field, my inital reaction was short-eared, but it turned as was clearly a barn owl. It had very brown wings and a dark breast band, so appeared to be (from what I've seen and read) a dark-breasted barn owl. An excellent start to the day.
well RBA are now saying that it is a normal barn owl so I guess someone else has seen it and has a different opinion to me... I'll have to read up on dark-breasted a bit more.
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Old Monday 28th January 2008, 16:07   #3113
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[quote=pcurpb;1114543]I must hasten to apologise on behalf of my friend the Pictish Percussionist (QUOTE]

*...pauses to consider suitably witty response, fails miserably and retreats back into Pictish hyperspace....which, for some inexpicable reason, seems to have been relocated to the West Country...*
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Old Monday 28th January 2008, 17:48   #3114
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well RBA are now saying that it is a normal barn owl so I guess someone else has seen it and has a different opinion to me... I'll have to read up on dark-breasted a bit more.
Hi Pete

they're very variable birds indeed - BWP long version has a lot on variation in Barn Owl and 'Dark-breasted' Barn Owl. As i mentioned above, the underwing coverts are a good point as they should be white on Barn and coloured on 'Dark-breasted'. The Barn Owl by Warburton et al. has some useful info in it it too...

hope you got some good phalarope shots

Tim
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Old Monday 28th January 2008, 21:19   #3115
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Belated thanks to Ray, Sue, Connor and Dryocopus re Twite. I explored some of your locations yesterday but unfortunately it was a Twite -free zone. I will have another go next month

I should have gone to Suffolk as Birdguides reported a flock of 38. Unfortunately the location is a no - go area for a West Brom fan - "Dingle" Marsh.

As I type this, Dryocopus, I see your lot are drawing 0 - 0 with about 20 minutes to play.

(Update 21.40 just seen final score)

Regards

Dave

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Old Monday 28th January 2008, 21:26   #3116
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I'm currently looking into guttata type Barn Owls with an aim to including something on my website

records for Norfolk since 1970 are as follows - singles unless otherwise stated:
75 76 78 79
85
90 (2) 91 94 95 (four)
97
Kelling 29th - 30th Oct 1999
Waxham/Sea Palling Mar 4th - Apr 5th 2003
Welney Jan 15th - Mar 23rd 2003 (photo)
East Ruston 19th -26th Jan 2004 (photo)
Weybourne Oct 18th - 19th 2004
Ludham Dec 21st - Jan 5th (photo) 2007/2008
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Old Monday 28th January 2008, 21:36   #3117
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I may be a bit behind on this one, But, are the two Ross's geese near Saxlingham considered as genuine? I heard that there have been escaped Snow and Ross's geese in norfolk in the last couple of years . . . but (as per Birdwatch article), numbers are really on the up in Canada etc . . .

cheers, dan
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Old Monday 28th January 2008, 22:04   #3118
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Hi Marcus

Did you see the W.C Sparrow today on your weekend trip?

Best Wishes Penny
Hi Penny - I had a great few days - there is a full report on the blog

http://www.freewebs.com/ebirder/blog.htm

Thanks for the gen too it was appreciated!
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Old Monday 28th January 2008, 22:22   #3119
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Hi Penny - I had a great few days - there is a full report on the blog

http://www.freewebs.com/ebirder/blog.htm

Thanks for the gen too it was appreciated!
Hi Marcus

Glad you had a successful weekend. Your pictures on your website are brilliant by the way, I especially liked the turnstones bathing.

Best Wishes Penny
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Old Monday 28th January 2008, 23:08   #3120
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I've added something to my website here about Dark-breasted Barn Owls. It might be rubbish but it's MY rubbish...
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Old Tuesday 29th January 2008, 09:30   #3121
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Shore Larks

Three this morning at 9.15am between the East Bank and North Hide at Cley for anyone interested.
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Old Tuesday 29th January 2008, 09:38   #3122
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I may be a bit behind on this one, But, are the two Ross's geese near Saxlingham considered as genuine? I heard that there have been escaped Snow and Ross's geese in norfolk in the last couple of years . . . but (as per Birdwatch article), numbers are really on the up in Canada etc . . .

cheers, dan
I don't think that many consider the Ross's geese to be genuine, and personally I don't see it making the British list without a ringing recovery. One of the biggest problems for them is that ~ a quarter of the flock at Pensthorpe are free-flying.
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Old Tuesday 29th January 2008, 11:47   #3123
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have decided to slog it away on my patch for the whole year which ive christened the Sheringham Square in honour of its more illustrious cousin

Was a slog on Sunday - expected seawatch - nothing more than RT divers and Auks + a chap who had taken his 5 yr old son seawatching, so was seeing more of the back of this kids head thro my scope than birds,

A Firecrest with a Tit flock near Beeston Regis and birds that are struggling elsewhere seem to be doing well in this area - Marsh Tit, Bullfinch, learning to resist the pull of the pager, hoping to find some decent stuff this year.
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Old Tuesday 29th January 2008, 12:50   #3124
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Were both white geese at Saxlingham this weekend Ross's? Was one a Snow? At a distance, there were differences in size and wing beat in flight.
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Old Tuesday 29th January 2008, 13:21   #3125
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I must hasten to apologise on behalf of my friend the Pictish Percussionist who, rather embarrassingly, clearly failed to realise that the Crapping Firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus crapulensis) I spotted is now recognised by many authorities as a race. It's normally to be found in areas with a high raptor density and, being of a particularly nervous disposition, is even harder to see than the nominate race.
If it suffers the "ignominy" of being split in the future they should call it regulus ignicrapillus.
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