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Old Wednesday 13th February 2008, 19:56   #3276
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Hang on, so the Bittern has been surpressed, but just not for 6 weeks. It was seen Y'day before dark when the message came out on the pager and, unless I read it wrong postcardcv saw it in the week.
I'm not saying this is a problem, but I am saying that we may as well call it as it is and try not to cover it up in flowery language.
I have just received a PM about the other birds and the situation was explained quietly and privately. This is the way supression should be handled, not with stories and covers!!!
As I understand it the bittern has been there for a few weeks (4-6 depending on which local you talk to) but was only seen by birders in the last few days. I received a call about a showy bittern, but had to agree not to tell anyone else where it was or put shots on the web until it was made public. As I understand it the fear was/is that large numbers of people may disturb the bird causing it to abandon the food supply that it's found.

I went along that day (Monday) and was surprised to find half a dozen long lenses already pointing at it. It was instantly clear that it would not stay secret for long. As long as people are sensible and don't disturb the bird I don't see a problem with this. I went back for a second helping on Tuesday, there were less people there than the previous day and the bird was noticably more confident. I have spent four hours watching the bird and the one thing that clearly disturbs it is people getting down to the waters edge. I'd urge anyone going to stay on the paths, trust me you'll get decent enough views from there (all my shots were taken from the public footpaths).
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Old Wednesday 13th February 2008, 20:03   #3277
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No problem postcardcv, your shots are excellent.
Only one person (photographer) ventured onto the lower bank of the pond today (when I was there) everybody else behaved impeccably, as did the bird.
A dog walker, with his dog on a lead walked within 5 m of it with no harm done.

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Old Wednesday 13th February 2008, 21:53   #3278
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Did not go out until late afternoon, due to family stuff. Took me hour and a half (be warned if you are coming this way) to get from King's Lynn to Holme, because of the traffic lights being installed at Heacham by the Lavendar fields, was queing for ages and also while sitting in queue there were 3 horrible men with guns shooting down hares in the stubble field immediately next the main road, I was absolutely livid watching these hares run for their lives, obviously some didn't make it.

Went to Titchwell late pm with my sister and was just scanning with scope along the beach and realised I was looking at a Peregrine sitting on the beach!!!!!!!! (4.45pm) it got up and so did all the waders! 1 slavonian grebe on the sea, along with loads of common scooter. On the way back I counted my biggest ever count of Marsh Harriers coming into roost - 13!!!!!!!!! couldn't believe it, Barn Owl too and several little egrets in the beautiful sunset, coming into roost. 2 Black Brants, several spotted redshanks, goldeneye, pintail and several reed buntings. Woodcock flew over the carpark in the dusk.

Best Wishes Penny
Hi Penny
Sorry to hear about your experience with hares. I'm not pro-shooting at all,
but I suppose on the plus side where cover and winter feed are put out for game birds, small birds do benefit and also of course raptors are attracted.
In Lincolnshire our problem concerning hares is that of illegal hare coursing, although I read today that a police operation to target illegal hare coursers in rural areas around Sleaford has met with some success.
More shocking has been the recent deaths of 6 Buzzards in Lincolnshire - 5 birds being shot and a sixth bird being caught in a pole trap!
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Old Wednesday 13th February 2008, 22:08   #3279
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Hi guys,
Coming to join the masses over the weekend, can anyone answer these questions:


2) Grid reference for car park at Burnham Norton?
3) Grid reference for layby at Beeston Common?
5) Where is East Hills?

Thanks,
tom
Connor has answered 1 and 4, I can answer 2 & 5, maybe someone else can answer 3?


2. - http://www.geograph.org.uk/browse.php?p=309712 (basically going along A149 coast road east (from King's Lynn) turn left into Burnham Norton, going through village, when you get to a VERY sharp left hand bend, turn off right on the bend into rough carpark and then follow foopath signs north.

5. - http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/582646 (do not walk out to East Hills without going with someone else that knows how to get out there, VERY dangerous with tides etc, I have never been out there, but hoping to have a guided tour out there, with someone this year!

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Old Wednesday 13th February 2008, 22:15   #3280
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Hi Penny, although for the best views of the Rough-legged Buzzard you would be wise to park up at Burnham Norton and walk north along the seawall, I got very satisfactory views from the A149. I pulled into the last layby/pull in before the main concrete pad at Burnham Norton. From here there is a line of Willows and Poplars. The Buzzard was sitting on a post out to your right across the marsh by a metal gate. I suppose a bit of luck is needed for the bird to be visible from here, but walking across the marsh between Burnham Norton and Burnham Deepdale should see you right (as you described)... Otherwise you could get luck by pulling in at other strategic points between Norton and Deepdale

Please note the bird was not visible from the mian concrete pad...

Hope this helps,

Connor

p.s. Wales trip report and report from y/day now on my website.

Thanks Connor
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Old Wednesday 13th February 2008, 22:43   #3281
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1) Are there any big Pinkfeet flocks at the moment?

5) Where is East Hills?

Several thousand at Holkham yesterday close to A149 west of LAD and not easily watchable as would be flushed by someone on foot and nowhere to park car and watch flock

5. Presume question was asked as RLBuzzard has been seen in area. Best viewed distantly from east end of Wells Quay or from Warham Green. Walking out there not to be attempted.
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Old Wednesday 13th February 2008, 22:44   #3282
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1 - one way of finding the pinks during the day is just to drive around the lanes inland of the coast, and watch for flocks flying over, and follow their course. If you draw a rectangle between Thornham to the NW and Walsingham to the SE, then there should be some decent size flocks out there.... though obviously they do wander more widely! Haven't heard any specific details in the last few days, though.

2 - TF829441
3 - TG167426, I believe
5 - TF927457... but don't even think about going out there unless you know exactly what you're doing with regard to tide times and the precise route across the saltmarsh.


Quote:
Originally Posted by teamsaint View Post
2) Grid reference for car park at Burnham Norton?
3) Grid reference for layby at Beeston Common?

5) Where is East Hills?
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Old Thursday 14th February 2008, 13:37   #3283
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Hang on, so the Bittern has been surpressed, but just not for 6 weeks. It was seen Y'day before dark when the message came out on the pager and, unless I read it wrong postcardcv saw it in the week.
I'm not saying this is a problem, but I am saying that we may as well call it as it is and try not to cover it up in flowery language.
I have just received a PM about the other birds and the situation was explained quietly and privately. This is the way supression should be handled, not with stories and covers!!!

Take care (and don't take me too seriously)
I'm just glad I was able to share this remarkable sighting

David
i didn't know i had flowery language, must be that wasted English degree
Ok, bird was suppressed initially (over weekend), or (and this is a bit flowered up) - news went out to locals first and then spread very quickly as you'd expect it would, everyone was behaving this morning, so no problems right? Suppression doesn't really bother me as i like finding my own stuff as i'm sure you do to from your decent sighting this year.
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Old Thursday 14th February 2008, 16:52   #3284
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Agree with all your comment pomskua!
Keep up the good bird finding, so I can come and see them!!
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Old Thursday 14th February 2008, 17:05   #3285
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Thanks guys and girls,
looking forward to a good weekend, maybe meet a few a BFers while I'm there

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Old Thursday 14th February 2008, 18:29   #3286
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Agree with all your comment pomskua!
Keep up the good bird finding, so I can come and see them!!
ah i'm glad my 'i'm not bothered about suppression' wasn't misconstrued (sorry flowery!) as i'm a suppressor cos i want to share finds with other people, its just that i don't care if other people suppress, if this Bittern had been covered up and i'd only found out about it afterwards, the only irritation i would have felt would have been that i'd been too stupid and bone idle to not have been checking one of the best areas on the patch.
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Old Thursday 14th February 2008, 19:30   #3287
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I presume you missed out a 'not'!
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Old Thursday 14th February 2008, 20:47   #3288
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I have to say I was disappointed today with the fieldcraft shown at the Bittern. The pond was just about encircled. I saw one woman actually walk over to the bird and try to use a hand held.

Most of those there this morning were probably those who couldn't get any shots in the mist on Wednesday, and yes the bird had shifted overnight, but it couldn't then get back to where it was favouring beyond the bench on Wednesday.

I couldn't understand why birders couldn't stay in the far corner below the bench in one group. It's not as though you need to get nearer - crikey it's near enough. I got plenty of good shots this morning from there.

I have to say the fieldcraft was equally poor on the WCS. Yes it and the other birds on the seed are fairly confiding, but why the booming voices and loud laughter - it seems to be once I've seen it and got my shots I don't give a toss.

I pity the poor Bittern this weekend - it's rare I say this but I hope it clears off.
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Old Thursday 14th February 2008, 22:21   #3289
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Must say I think this Bittern ought to be left be. No bird like this should be botherd to this extent. They're one of our rarest breeders, and yet it gets no respect. Must say it's not something I enjoy reading about. I just hope the situation is different to what it actually sounds like.

Anyway, Salthouse at 7:30 till 9:00 this morning, before work, produced 57 Snow Buntings (no Lapland Bunts at that time, or this evening), 1 Hybrid GR Teal/Teal, 10 Red Throated Divers and 3 Common Scoters on the sea. Also had what was a 99% probable Richards Pipit, just on the east side of Gramborough Hill. Took off from long grass, flew powerfully a short distance, landed nearby and could not be relocated after 5 mins of searching. Innitial split second thought was Skylark, based on size, but further views gave the very long tail and slender pipit-shaped body. It was deffinitely a large Pipit. On alighting, a slight fanning of the tail showed white outer-tail feathers. The bird didn't call sadly. I tried again for it this evening, but no sign.

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Old Friday 15th February 2008, 10:24   #3290
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Must say I think this Bittern ought to be left be. No bird like this should be botherd to this extent. They're one of our rarest breeders, and yet it gets no respect. Must say it's not something I enjoy reading about. I just hope the situation is different to what it actually sounds like.
Have you actually been to see the bird and observed any bad behaviour? I have been for the bird twice, both times there were people on at least two sides of the pond. However the bird continued to feed quite happily, ignoring the people and only reacting when dogs went close by. The big problem is when people go right to the waters edge as the bird clearly does not like this and does not feed so freely. I think so long as those who go this weekend stick to the paths it should be fine.

No news on the pager yet about this bird, so perhaps it has cleared off. Personally I hope not, it's found a reliable food source to see it through the winter.
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Old Friday 15th February 2008, 12:58   #3291
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Dudes.

When I went to see the the bittern, there was a handful of people there. All were behaving well. I think the behaviour of the people who go to see it is more important than the amount of people who go. You are going to get large numbers, simply because it is what it is. You won't be able to stop people going. It is a golden opportunity to see a truely awesome bird. The bird is gonna move on at some point, no doubt the critics will blame the birders for when it does, everone has their own opinion. Get down there, see it, behave and leave happy.

I take it the people who protest against the mass numbers visiting the Bittern didn't go to see the white crowned sparrow, the most harrassed bird this century.

Happy birding.

Fox.
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Old Friday 15th February 2008, 14:19   #3292
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Hi

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Dudes.

When I went to see the the bittern, there was a handful of people there. All were behaving well. I think the behaviour of the people who go to see it is more important than the amount of people who go. You are going to get large numbers, simply because it is what it is. You won't be able to stop people going. It is a golden opportunity to see a truely awesome bird. The bird is gonna move on at some point, no doubt the critics will blame the birders for when it does, everone has their own opinion. Get down there, see it, behave and leave happy.

I take it the people who protest against the mass numbers visiting the Bittern didn't go to see the white crowned sparrow, the most harrassed bird this century.

Happy birding.

Fox.
Hi
I am one of those who has made the trip to see the WCS three times but did not really find out properly about the Bittern until after my third trip so have missed out on going to see it. Therefore I can't speak about birders' Bittern behaviour.
What I would say is that the WCS has not been harrassed. It has been provided with a continuous supply of seed and even the large numbers of birders present at times have not prevented it from feeding, resting and preening etc. Precisely because the bird has been where it is, birders have had to stay on the roadside and watch and wait for the bird to show.
By contrast there have been in the past and no doubt will be in the future many occasions when birds are harrassed ie. as I witnessed and many others the Golden-winged Warbler chased around gardens on a housing estate.
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Old Friday 15th February 2008, 14:44   #3293
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Hi All

Relocated the Great Grey Shrike near Grime's Graves about half an hour ago. Access a bit tricky as you can't get there from the Santon Downham end at the moment at it's not at Grime's Graves itself (basically ESE of gorse area about 1/2 a mile from visitor centre). Will pop a map with detailed directions on my website this eve for anybody interested in going for it tomororw

Ilya

Edit: ps also singing woodlark, firecrest & crossbill in "generally area" and a lesser-spotted woodpecker nearby
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Old Friday 15th February 2008, 18:52   #3294
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A look at some of my favoured Brecks sites today was unfortunately almost entirely unproductive but a cracking Willow Tit was showing well, singing and calling at Santon Downham in the trees by the river alongside the road.

May have another look around tommorow, trying for those Lesser-peckers, Goshawks, Golden Pheasants all over again...
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Old Friday 15th February 2008, 19:28   #3295
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Sounds like we all hit the brecks today....
Apologies for any crossover into Suffolk but many sites I visited were on or not far from the border.
I had a few Hawfinch earlier in the week, so gave Lynford a miss. A site near Thetford produced a cracking Goshawk (many thanks to Dbradnum and Oakes12 for directions). The bird drifted into view as I arrived at a clearing in the forest, and drifted away just as quick.
Santon Downham produced zero Lesser peckers, and today a few Redwing and Greater Pecker were no consolation. I spoke to a couple of birders- was one of them you Connor?
Mayday farm didnt have any Goshawks but there were some lovely Brambling and Siskin drinking from a pool off the main track. Where were all the Crossbill that are supposed to hang out in these parts?
Finished off at Wayland wood- not a sausage, no calls from Golden Pheasant let alone a sighting.
A typical day in the brecks, some fantastic moments but ultimately you are left wanting more.
Ill be back.
Cheers,
Jim.
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Old Friday 15th February 2008, 19:35   #3296
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Indeed I was the younster in the car-park. Good to meet you. As I said in previous post had a singing Willow Tit after you left but no Lesser-spots...

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Old Friday 15th February 2008, 19:53   #3297
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and you too.
wel done on the willow.
good luck if you hit it again 2moro
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Old Friday 15th February 2008, 20:17   #3298
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Connor - you have mail!
Where did you look for Golden Pheasant?
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Old Friday 15th February 2008, 20:31   #3299
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have replied (PM) on both counts David.

Connor
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Old Friday 15th February 2008, 20:32   #3300
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Map of GG Shrike location now on my website.

Seems like the Brecks is the new place to bird! Anybody wanting gen on Brecks birds feel free to PM me, but please be a bit sensitive to how widely things like the favoured locations of Goshawks get spread.

Sorry nobody had the lesser-pecker. It was damn elusive when I found it (5th time of trying and took me over an hour). Not sure it regularly favours the spot they always used to be in as it wasn't being at all vocal. I do wonder if recent visitor pressure has contributed to this....

BTW - the Goshawks at Mayday are basically string. They simply aren't there (I know birders who work there and havn't seen one in 5-years). There are more reliable sites...
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