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Norfolk birding

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Old Friday 22nd February 2008, 11:00   #3401
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSpringChicken View Post
I will be interested in any tips you get Jo. I have been trying to spot one for months. There was one reported at Strumpshaw near the Reception when I was there on Saturday but I didn't have any luck finding it. Two more were reported near the Tower Hide when I was there a couple of weeks ago. I keep listening and scanning the tree tops but no luck so far.

Ron
My Dad spends a reasonable amount of time at Strumpshaw, and hasn't seen a LSW there yet this year - although there are certainly a few pairs in the area, they've not been very obliging so far.

Best sites that I know of are Holkham Park (go through the main gates, and immediately turn right down to the monument and lake), and Santon Downham, near the bridge over the river.

Wherever you're looking, make sure you know the sound of the call and drumming - this is the easiest way to find the birds when they're high up in a tangle of branches.
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Old Friday 22nd February 2008, 11:12   #3402
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Thanks for the information David.

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Old Friday 22nd February 2008, 14:16   #3403
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Quick to of some sites in the Brecks at lunchtime today produced a Yellow-legged Gull at Langmere and stonking male Golden Pheasant somewhere else. Also a Stoat nailing a Rabbit.

Re: Lesser-spots - had one doing my Atlas square at Buckenham Carrs not too long ago.
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Old Friday 22nd February 2008, 16:09   #3404
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Went for a walk around Whitlingham C.P. today in the hope of finding one of the rarer grebes pushed inland, but no luck. A pair of goldeneye were with the pochard and tufted ducks, and the tame lesser white front x barnacle goose cross pictured on Punkbirder is still feeding with the greylags.

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Old Friday 22nd February 2008, 18:22   #3405
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My Dad spends a reasonable amount of time at Strumpshaw, and hasn't seen a LSW there yet this year - although there are certainly a few pairs in the area, they've not been very obliging so far.

Best sites that I know of are Holkham Park (go through the main gates, and immediately turn right down to the monument and lake), and Santon Downham, near the bridge over the river.

Wherever you're looking, make sure you know the sound of the call and drumming - this is the easiest way to find the birds when they're high up in a tangle of branches.
Had a look for LSW at Holkham today without much luck.. Just Treecreepers and Nuthatch. Did bump into someone who had just relocated the Black Brant at Lady Anne's Drive (presumably the Wells bird) and there was also a leucistic Pink foot there.

Stopped off to look at Great N Diver on the lake at Blickling on way back towards Norwich and saw the WCSparrow again!
Now i really have promised myself i wouldn't twitch many birds in Norfolk this year and just look for my own...that's not a good start ..
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Old Friday 22nd February 2008, 20:01   #3406
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I went over there this morning, along with a dozen or so others. The bird showed quite well and although fairly small was indeed just a scaup. A nice supporting cast though with 3/4 kingfishers flying around and a bittern in the reedbed.
just in case anyone is interested here's a record shot of the scaup from Thompson Water - very distant so I've had to rely on a video grab.
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Old Saturday 23rd February 2008, 08:29   #3407
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RBA have just sent a message on the pager saying two Lesser Spotted Woodpecker were seen at Strumpshaw Y'day!
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Old Saturday 23rd February 2008, 09:17   #3408
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hmm. interesting! Thanks for the info.
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Old Saturday 23rd February 2008, 19:39   #3409
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As one would expect for the time of year, quite a quiet day at Holme but a few highlights, most notably a Peregrine, 3 Lapland Buntings and a Velvet Scoter west (thanks Sue!)

More sighings from the day on my blog, was good to meet BF members Sue, Norfolk birder and Penny, as well as many other friendly faces.
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Old Saturday 23rd February 2008, 20:29   #3410
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Has anybody visited Strumpshaw in the past few days? Would be interested in knowing if anyone has seen Red-crested Pochard!
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Old Saturday 23rd February 2008, 21:14   #3411
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Goshawks.

Hi,

Can anyone help me with some sites for viewing Goshawks, I'm hoping to spend some time around the Brecks over the next few weekends and would appreciate any advice from forum members.

thank you,

Bill
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Old Saturday 23rd February 2008, 22:13   #3412
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5 Water Pipits while doing a timed tetrad visit for one of my Atlas squares. Also got collared by the police. Details on my website...
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Old Saturday 23rd February 2008, 22:21   #3413
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Enjoyed the rant Ilya. Surely you aren't leaving it like that. Abuse of power comes to mind and is a reportable offence.

John

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5 Water Pipits while doing a timed tetrad visit for one of my Atlas squares. Also got collared by the police. Details on my website...
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Old Saturday 23rd February 2008, 22:34   #3414
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As Connor has just said - a very quiet day at Holme, but it probably didn't help that I didn't get up very early!!! In fact the only birds that I saw, was half way down the beach road to Holme reserves (byroad going off the A149 main road) in a horse paddock, a fantastic scene of 20 redwings feeding in the paddock, along with a pair of red legged partridge, 1 chaffinch and 1 pied wagtail. Down the reserve, was a good old social gathering including Sue Bryan, Chris Mills and friend, John Shepherd and of course Connor. After eating my sandwiches (didn't take long, as on boring weightwatchers diet!!!!!) I walked up to the forestry - I have never walked up here and seen nothing, but that was the result, not even a chaffinch, it was like everything had died! Walked back along the road and saw a kestrel and a few teal, wigeon, lapwing etc on the marsh, but not alot else. Walked back to car and drove to Cleyspy to drop my scope in to be mended (my fault, long story) - my beady eye noticed they sell Richard Brooks's Lesvos book (where I am going in May) and had to buy that! Then drove all the way back to Holme via Docking to help father with his laptop and only just now home.

Best Wishes Penny
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Old Saturday 23rd February 2008, 23:19   #3415
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Hi,

Can anyone help me with some sites for viewing Goshawks, I'm hoping to spend some time around the Brecks over the next few weekends and would appreciate any advice from forum members.

thank you,

Bill
Thetford forest is a good area for them around the Parsonage heath area,seen them there before and Santon Downham and Mayday Farm.These are well known places for Goshawks so i am not giving any secrets away my stating them.Fancy a Northeast birder telling a local birder where to find Goshawks very strange .

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Old Saturday 23rd February 2008, 23:49   #3416
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Enjoyed the rant Ilya. Surely you aren't leaving it like that. Abuse of power comes to mind and is a reportable offence.

John
Cheers - did have half a mind to lodge an official complaint just on principle, but decided in the end there's more constructive ways to spend my spare time.
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Old Sunday 24th February 2008, 13:30   #3417
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Hi Rural,

I was there Saturday afternoon and the bird was showing very well, but i do agree many of the people there got way too close to the bittern.

Ian

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Old Sunday 24th February 2008, 16:52   #3418
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Has anybody visited Strumpshaw in the past few days? Would be interested in knowing if anyone has seen Red-crested Pochard!
Hi Rural,

I was there last Tuesday and it was very quiet, certainly no Red-crested Pochards in evidence. I also heard the reports of the LSW, but could see nor hear any sign of them either. I also spent some hours at Holkham looking for the LSW's, nothing last Sunday, but heard one calling and drumming on Wednesday. However, as the story normally goes i could not locate the bird.

Ian
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Old Sunday 24th February 2008, 16:58   #3419
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As Connor has just said - a very quiet day at Holme, but it probably didn't help that I didn't get up very early!!! In fact the only birds that I saw, was half way down the beach road to Holme reserves (byroad going off the A149 main road) in a horse paddock, a fantastic scene of 20 redwings feeding in the paddock, along with a pair of red legged partridge, 1 chaffinch and 1 pied wagtail. Down the reserve, was a good old social gathering including Sue Bryan, Chris Mills and friend, John Shepherd and of course Connor. After eating my sandwiches (didn't take long, as on boring weightwatchers diet!!!!!) I walked up to the forestry - I have never walked up here and seen nothing, but that was the result, not even a chaffinch, it was like everything had died! Walked back along the road and saw a kestrel and a few teal, wigeon, lapwing etc on the marsh, but not alot else. Walked back to car and drove to Cleyspy to drop my scope in to be mended (my fault, long story) - my beady eye noticed they sell Richard Brooks's Lesvos book (where I am going in May) and had to buy that! Then drove all the way back to Holme via Docking to help father with his laptop and only just now home.

Best Wishes Penny
Hi Penny,

I noticed that it was getting quieter as the week went on, i managed to increase the year list to 156 whilst i was in your wonderful county (now 159 after a brief trip to Langstone Harbour this morning).

I am trying to not by Richard Brookes' book at the moment (a group of 6 birders plus spouses going there in May 2009). I hope you have a fantastic time over there.

Ian
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Old Sunday 24th February 2008, 21:29   #3420
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Titchwell today.
Havent been for a while, and had a non-brding mate along for the ride, so Titchwell seemed like the ideal place.
Good numbers of Pintail on the reserve, and had a Spotshank and Redshank in the same Scope view for comparison. Goldeneye, RB Mergansers and Eiders at sea.
Star bird was a Woodcock in the undergrowth on the way back to the car. Whoever picked that out, well done! Crippling views! Thats 2 in 2 weeks for me, had one on route to Stubb Mill last week.
Popped in at Cley for my second helping of the Sparra. Brief views around 4pm, better views of 1/2 hunting Barn Owls, superb stuff. Only in Norfolk I guess!
Cheers,
Jim.
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Old Sunday 24th February 2008, 22:43   #3421
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Hi Penny,

I noticed that it was getting quieter as the week went on, i managed to increase the year list to 156 whilst i was in your wonderful county (now 159 after a brief trip to Langstone Harbour this morning).

I am trying to not by Richard Brookes' book at the moment (a group of 6 birders plus spouses going there in May 2009). I hope you have a fantastic time over there.

Ian
Thanks Ian, I am very excited about going to Lesbos, as I have always wanted to go, also I have not flown since 1998!!!

Best Wishes Penny
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Old Monday 25th February 2008, 09:35   #3422
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This weekend, spent a bit of time birding locally. Firstly trying the graveyard off Dereham road. A few finches, including brambling and tits, and good but fleeting views of a sparrowhawk flying low to the ground were about all I could find, but the light wasn't great and it was rather overcast. Then on to check out Sycamore Wood and Mile Cross/ Sweet Briar Marsh. Found a large flock of goldfinches with a single lesser redpoll amongst them. Again not much else, great spotted woodpecker but no lessers.

Thought I'd try the site again yesterday, pretty similar stuff, couple of nice nuthatches, green and Gt spotted woodpeckers, sparrowhawk, Treecreeper heard but again no lesser peckers. Still, this and the woods off Larkman lane do seem to have plenty of commoner woodpeckers so I wonder if they would also be good habitat for lessers? Worth keeping an eye on I'd say.

Bumped into a photographer who I'd met previously at UEA, he mentioned that some people had been seeing otters along that stretch of the wensum- he himself had seen something that could have been otter or mink at one point. I had also spoken to some dogwalkers previously who said they had seen three otters on two separate occasions. However, more worringly, this guy said he'd spoken to another guy who was a regular drinker on the allotments who had bragged about shooting the otters with an air rifle.

Forgot to add that last weekend went on the guided walk at Berney Marshes. On the train on the way we saw roe deer, red fox and a pair of red legged partidge. Lots of lapwing, golden plover and snipe along with a couple of little egrets and a marsh harrier at the site. Also several pairs of hare and a chinese water deer. No geese during the walk but as we were waiting for the train back we finally saw a small skein of pink feet fly over.

Anyone fancy a meet up weekend after next for some birding?

Jo
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Old Monday 25th February 2008, 18:12   #3423
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Hi
popped out to try and see tree sparrows today, directions spot on, many thanks to Mark and Jason. Unfortunately no luck but quite a nice day all the same. Lovely views of a barn owl hunting beside the car, stoats and hares a yellowhammer, common buzzard and a very obliging skylark. worth going out just for all that.
Will keep trying for the sparrows though

Charlie
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Old Monday 25th February 2008, 21:30   #3424
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Thanks Ian, I am very excited about going to Lesbos, as I have always wanted to go, also I have not flown since 1998!!!

Best Wishes Penny
Hi Penny,

Same here it has been an ambition to go for many years, but i must admit i have flown since 1998. I am taking my parents to Mallorca this Whitsun (not been there since 2002) and S'Albuefera marsh is always superb. However, Lesvos will be much better, i shall keep my fingers crossed for a good year for you.
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Old Monday 25th February 2008, 21:43   #3425
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great weekend in north northfolk

many thanks to all the people on here and who i met who made this trip brilliant ..first off.
too much to write about really so will keep it shortish..
highlights included..(from our northern eyes)
friday...snettisham.. unreal views of r.t.diver on a small pond, huge flocks of waders on the mud flats along with shellduck,goldeneye displaying and the pinkies crossingthe sky to roost.
(odd type rosses goose here with the greylags?)
sat....
the little star sparrow showed after about 20 mins. at cley village.
mass amounts of brents on the blakeney flashes(some passing within 30 feet of our heads).2 marsh harriers...
holkham..lady annes
1000+ pinkies here and a few brents,another 2 m.harrier, nothing in the wooded area except goldcrest and treecreeper..
7 little egrets at roadside pool east of stiffkey..also 10 black t. godwit.
burnham overy staithe
2nd barn owl of the trip here, a egyptian goose with greylags briefly before flying off, a buzzard over the hill top to the south and great view of female m. harrier (5th of the trip) flying accross the main road..
sunday..
titchwell..
3 brambling and 4 siskin around the feeders..
2 m.harriers(7th)..6 pintail..20+ avocets..1 spotted redshank..1 jack snipe with 3 other common ones..10 black t. gods..40+ linnet..
sea watch..from here.-2 g.c.grebes,1 red necked grebe, 14+r.b.mergansers,9 female eiders,40+ goldeneye.
salthouse...
around 30 snow bunting and also 2 lapland bunting with them..(3rd pic shows one)and another barn owl here(3rd)
drive around inland produced another barn owl(4th) and loads of partridge mainly red legged.
today
quick couple of hours at welney
3 tundra bean geese, 4 corn bunting on the approach along with hundreds of fieldfare.. not seen so many pintails in one spot as here today.
......................................
great holiday..loved the geese especially
have kept the account as short as i can. some of the pics are record shots.
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