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Norfolk birding

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Old Thursday 24th September 2009, 21:17   #7251
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Originally Posted by andyr View Post
Hi All

A big, big thank you - from this newish (two years or so) Midlands-based birder who spent three very enjoyable days in North Norfolk last week - to the dozen or so experienced campaigners who helped with some ID-ing queries I had (eg. Curlew Sandpiper at Cley etc).

To the one and only exception however, namely the gentleman who labelled a question I had on my mind at Blakeney Point "dumb" on his group blogsite, I would just ask for more tolerance and less cheap-shot "cleverness" when responding to politely-put, genuine queries from those far less experienced than himself.


To all other 'helpers' ...

Happy birding and thanks again

Best Regards


Andy Russell
Hi Andy,

I was also in North Norfolk for 3 days last weekend with my family and a 'Norfolk' birder family friend! I must say that everyone we met was most helpful with the odd ID needed, especially so one of the gentleman RSPB volunteers at Titchwell! I reckon 97% of the time your instincts tell you who will be helpful or not,wherever you are birding! At the end of the day each and everyone one of us are learning, never stops does it?
,You sound as though you thoroughly enjoyed your time spent in North Norfolk as much as we all did, which is what it is all about!
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Old Friday 25th September 2009, 07:47   #7252
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Hi,
Just thought I'd say thanks to all the norfolk birders I have met and who have helped me enjoy the past 3 years in the county. Having spent the past 3 years with the RSPB at Titchwell and in the Broads I have finally got a full time post as Warden of Sandwich and Pegwell Bay in Kent with the wildlife trust. (Fan-tailed Warbler on the first day cant be bad!)
So thanks for good birds and great company to all those who know me, I'll be back!
Hi Ben,
Glad to hear you are getting some good birds in Kent, I enjoyed my time on the Bittern surveys- it was good to see the final report giving a better result than expected.Good luck with your new job, Ron.
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Old Friday 25th September 2009, 16:23   #7253
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Missing...

Just viewed this on EDP24; keep your eyes peeled particularly if you're in the Acle area.

These embers have been rekindled too it seems...

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Old Friday 25th September 2009, 18:21   #7254
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Spotted Crake at Cley

Thanks to the persistence of the two "amateur" birders who first saw this on sunday and have been back every night since. It popped out at 4.30 this afternoon and showed well on and off close to the hide. Not great for the photographers but it looked good in my bins !!

They had told the warden what they had seen but felt they weren't 100% believed, which is fair enough. But good on them for keeping at it

It was also photographed this morning around 9am but the chap only checked his camera at lunchtime and realised what he'd seen !

Who needs american cranes, cuckoos and albatrosses. Its all happening right here in Norfolk!
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Old Friday 25th September 2009, 19:26   #7255
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Spent the day pottering down in the Waverney Valley today, main reason for the visit was to retrace part of a cycling route I did a few years ago and see the old windmill at Billingford again....nothing too outstanding but did flush a Little Egret feeding by the Hoxne Weir/bridge and get an overhead Common Buzzard, the area seems to hold good numbers of these as I counted five individuals in two groups in the Shimpling/Burston/Scole and Tivetshall area recently and seen singles on previous visits.

Basically followed the Angles Way between Billingford and Thorpe Abbots, nice bit of habitat and makes for a good walk on a sunny day. Easy to imagine a local or two spending the last of the day watching the Barn Owls hunting over the marsh and Kingfishers zipping up and down the river...maybe, maybe not!!!

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Old Friday 25th September 2009, 20:02   #7256
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Horrible, Horrible Day - rubbish holiday, will be glad to get back to work!

Today's Plan was to go into town to do some banking, then birding/looking for spotted crake etc straight after. Birding did not happen, because I have written my lovely little coupe off, sooooooooooo sad. All because of some STUPID IDIOT who decided to turn off/not signal and everyone in queue of traffic had to break hard and unfortunately I went into the back of someone else's car - their car looks completely undamaged to me, but mine looks like its been in a major accident, taken most of day to sort. No one was hurt. Insurer's garage collecting Monday. The only good news is its still driveable and I am allowed to (checked with my local garage and ins. company). So I will be hard core birding tomorrow. Wish I gone to Orkney now!!! From Monday will have no car, so thats the end of my surfbirds county list!!! So get ready for lots of rares turning up next week!!! My local garage said its definately looks like a write off and if it is, my insurers do not supply a courtesy car!!! only if its repairable, so that means no car until I get money from insurers AND have gone out to buy another car - not a happy bunny AT ALL.

Sad Penny

P.S. Any garage owners out there? - I LOVE MY CAR and want the same one again! - Hyundai Coupe 1600 in blue please

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Old Friday 25th September 2009, 20:23   #7257
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Tuesday - hardly worth posting really but....

Started off at the House on the Hill at Blakeney and the public footpath opposite, nothing of note apart from a kestrel and a few blue tits, great tits. Although I did notice a good number of house martins flying low, west.

Best Wishes Penny
Yes there was a huge movement of House Martins taking place along the coast on Tuesday morning with a few thousand birds streaming along the coast up until c11.30.

Can't remember seeing such a large scale movement before with groups of up to 100 birds coming through at a time, a really remarkable and spectacular passage.

Nothing else to report locally as have been up to bonny Scotland this week, and for anyone interested pics attached of the Sandhill and a very cute Red Squirrel at Loch Garten on the way home.

Simon
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Old Friday 25th September 2009, 20:28   #7258
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Any info on the reported Spectacled Warbler at Holkham today?
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Old Friday 25th September 2009, 20:42   #7259
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Glad you latched on to the H.Martins Simon, shame i wasnt able to see more of the movement. Looks like the quiet weather conditions will continue for a while so not so good for the birder but good for the birds. This weekend is the first of 3 this autumn that the Yahoo vismig group are trying to get co-ordinated counts of diurnal migrants across the country. Unfortunately i have a feeling it will be slow going, certainly here anyway. Attached is a gratuitous pic of the Cley Phalarope from yesterday morning.
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Old Friday 25th September 2009, 22:13   #7260
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Yet another one who has just come back from Norfolk after spending 5 days over there. It's not often you'll hear me say the weather was 'too nice' but as you're all fully aware a bit of east wind and some rain would certainly have helped ground some scarce migrants. Not disappointed though as we got some good stuff.

Monday

Holme first thing monday morning produced 1000's of Waders, mainly Knot and I certainly wouldn't dispute the figure of 74'000 that was on the sightings board at the NOA. c6 Stonechats were in the dunes and a single Whinchat just past the hut by the rough track.
Next stop Titchwell and of note on the reserve was 3 Little Stints, a bit of sea watching and a Red Necked Grebe was the obvious highlight, also good numbers of Common Scoter, c 20 Eiders and a juv female Peregrine on the beach.

Tuesday

Off to Snettisham this morning to witness the high tide spectacle. Not as impressive as previous years but still an awesome sight. Regarding the House Martin movement. We also saw several hundred moving through and a regular cley birder who we bumped into on the wednesday said that there had been 2'000 in an hour, or 2'000 an hour I'm not sure. Back to tuesday and after Snettisham we again went to Titchwell where we had 5 Marsh Harriers, 2 Red Throat Divers and a Rock Pipit on the beach. A quick visit to Holme before dusk produced a Barn Owl.

Wednesday

Drove down to Cley and started off on the east bank where we had two Stonechats and impressive numbers of Bearded Tits. A juv Curlew Sand was on Arnold's Marsh together with several Spot Reds and Greenshanks. Done a bit of seawatching and had a single Diver sp east, 2 female Common Scoter and 29 Pink Feet west with a single Barnacle Goose. The highlight for us was when we was walking back towards the east bank and CliveA saw a flock of 25 Snow Buntings. 2 separated from the flock but 23 remained and gave us good views around the Arnold's Marsh area. Popped in to Wells Woods on the way back but got very little apart from a few Willow/Chiffs.

Thursday

Had a walk through the dunes and the paddocks at Holme early today and had 3 Stonechats, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 2 male Blackcaps and a Whitethroat. On the sea an Auk sp and a Diver sp. Snettisham later in the day and three Whinchats were around the last hide area. From the hide itself was 5 Greenshanks and several Spot Reds. On the path back towards the car and we got a single Stonechat. A bit more action on a seawatch later in the day at Titchwell. 12+ 'Bonxies', 5 Arctic Skuas and at least 4 Manx Shearwaters. Also 2 to 3 Red Throat Divers.

Friday

At Holme first thing and again plenty of Waders on beach. Also a Sparrowhawk shot past us heading west. In the paddocks was 2 Whitethroats and a Blackcap. Our last bit of seawatching at Titchwell produced yet more 'Bonxies', several Arctics including a pale and dark morph together. A few more Manx Shearwaters and more Red Throat Divers. 5 Snow Buntings were on the beach. A single Brent Goose flew west.

112 species in total but with rain and easterlies then who knows what it could have been.
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Old Saturday 26th September 2009, 05:39   #7261
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Pishing

Following recent comments on the above art (sic), I recommend the book whose pic is attached.

Most helpfully, it includes a CD, with recordings of both bird and animal sounds and the author's 'versions', in addition to useful photographs of the different lip positions required to produce the effects. Also, the philosophy and psychology behind these.

Needless to say, some of the suggestions are tongue-in-cheek. This, of course, could be yet another technique !

It is currently available from a well-known internet book provider.

Without the assiduous practice, for many hours, of one of these sibillances, my photo of the Eyeless Firecrest (submission as new species to the BOURC pending) in Wells would not have been possible.
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Old Saturday 26th September 2009, 07:12   #7262
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Good book

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Originally Posted by firstreesjohn View Post
Following recent comments on the above art (sic), I recommend the book whose pic is attached.
Pete Dunn also wrote one of the best bird books I have ever read: 'The feather quest' (I have seen it with a different cover here in the UK)

I defy anybody who reads the Cape May fall-out chapter not to be moved!

Dave
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Old Saturday 26th September 2009, 08:20   #7263
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Several references to the large movement of House Martins on September 22nd it seems. I don't know what sort of numbers were passing here (if any) as I didn't get as far as the cliffs that day, but at Hunstanton Cliffs, in a watch from 10am - 1:30pm , GH logged an impressive 5,691 passing south. Details here...

James
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Old Saturday 26th September 2009, 14:06   #7264
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Small fall of common migrants (whitethroat, wiff wabblers) and probable 3 tree sparrows near the saltings at Holme this morning. Later on seven common buzzards kettling east over the village with one or two sparrowhawks. Not much offshore.
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Old Saturday 26th September 2009, 16:56   #7265
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Thumbs up Another good week in Norfolk

Just spent a week in your great county and despite the wind switching direction i managed to gain 4 lifers in the shape of Glossy Ibis,Spotted Crake,Red Necked Phalarope and Ortolan Bunting (ok it was in Suffolk but close enough)

Would have liked to have got some sea watching in but you can't win them all.

Highlight apart from the above 4 birds was watching 25+ Stone Curlews at there migration jump off point......1st time i have seen one fly or heard there call.

Low point was having to put a rabbit out of its misery in Waxham dunes...i guess it had Myxomatosis by its red eyes.

My apologies to the following people:

Sue Bryan....met you at Stiffkey Barns but didn't know it was you till you had gone.Hope you managed to find the Sandhill Crane the next day.

Stu_White....you were in Bishops hide at Cley on Friday and called the Water Rail but again it wasn't till later i found out it was you.

And lastly Irene Boston.....can't remember where you were but i know i saw you.

I would have said hello to all of you properly if i had known.
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Old Saturday 26th September 2009, 18:31   #7266
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Horsey Gap: Birding for a couple of hours with the girls this morning revealed three Wheatears, a couple of Chiffs, Willows and Blackcaps. Also, several skeins of Pinks landing in fields inland near Horsey Mere somewhere. Also, superb views of grey seals cavorting in the breakers and a couple of small coppers in the dunes.
Talking of myxi rabbits, the warden at East Wretham NWT said to leave them as any individual could be the one carrying resistance and might recover. If we kill them, bang goes the chances of the resistant genes being passed on. Horrible to see them suffering though I admit.
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Old Saturday 26th September 2009, 19:27   #7267
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Horsey Gap: Birding for a couple of hours with the girls this morning revealed three Wheatears, a couple of Chiffs, Willows and Blackcaps. Also, several skeins of Pinks landing in fields inland near Horsey Mere somewhere. Also, superb views of grey seals cavorting in the breakers and a couple of small coppers in the dunes.
Talking of myxi rabbits, the warden at East Wretham NWT said to leave them as any individual could be the one carrying resistance and might recover. If we kill them, bang goes the chances of the resistant genes being passed on. Horrible to see them suffering though I admit.
Cheers
Oh no........i felt bad when i did it but assumed i was doing it a favour but now i feel really awful.
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Old Saturday 26th September 2009, 20:30   #7268
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Horsey Gap: Birding for a couple of hours with the girls this morning revealed three Wheatears, a couple of Chiffs, Willows and Blackcaps. Also, several skeins of Pinks landing in fields inland near Horsey Mere somewhere. Also, superb views of grey seals cavorting in the breakers and a couple of small coppers in the dunes.
Talking of myxi rabbits, the warden at East Wretham NWT said to leave them as any individual could be the one carrying resistance and might recover. If we kill them, bang goes the chances of the resistant genes being passed on. Horrible to see them suffering though I admit.
Cheers
Hi Jono

I did Horsey also today - didn't see you, but didn't get there til about 10ish. Little of note except c3500 Pinkfeet and a couple of porpoises, plus one Chiff, about 30 Mipits south and one Skylark. In the afternoon, a Little Stint at Rush Hills along with 40 Ruff, 10 Dunlin, 2 Blackwits, one Curlew and 530 Teal.

Cheers

Andy
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Old Saturday 26th September 2009, 21:07   #7269
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MUCH better day than yesterday plus year tick!

Was going to leave in the dark, but realised when I went to turn car headlights on that neither front headlights were working, after yesterday's accident, so had to wait until light to leave!

Arrived Cley NWT just before 8am and joined a few other early birders on the path just before Bishop's Hide to watch the Spotted Crake on and off creeping through the reeds up to 8.15am. Thank you to Stuart who let me look through his scope when I first arrived!

Re-parked my battered car in East Bank carpark and started walking along East Bank. The musical chorus of Bearded Tits all the way along was awesome, the most I have ever seen and heard in one hit! I stopped counting in the end!!! Couple of Cetti's Warblers singing. On Arnold's Marsh, several black tailed godwits, redshanks, cormorants, wigeon, dunlin, 1 curlew sandpiper, 3 snipe, 6 little egrets, 1 grey heron. Looked at the sea, nothing much doing. Walked east as far as the Sea Pool along the top ridge. Lots of pipits flying about and feeding along the shingle ridge - had a possible Richard's Pipit, very large, upright stance, streaky breast, in the long grass bank that runs along the bottom of the shingle, from the top ridge, but did not call it in as not sure and it was a very brief view (had a look on the way back, but nothing - not far east, of north end of east bank). 8 Snowbunting at 9.45am on the beach flying west just before the Sea Pool. On the Sea Pool: 5 ringed plovers, 3 dunlin, redshanks, little egret, 1 black tailed godwit, teal. Several flocks of approx 20+ linnets flew west. 2 Wheatears at 10.30am on the shingle ridge between sea pool and Arnold's. 18 Snowbuntings flew west at 11am across Arnold's Marsh. 1 Red Throated Diver on sea at 11am. Water Rail squealing in reeds along the East Bank at 11.20am.

Walsey Hills 12pm - Nothing here apart from a wren and a rat clambering about together in a bush! in one of the net rides. Chris Mills was doing some scrub clearance at the top.

Muckleborough Hill 1pm - Nothing much either really apart from 1 Chiffchaff and a robin in an oak which eventually appeared after lots of 'pishing' - a tit flock of blue, great and long tailed but nothing else with them that I could pick up, 2 jays and 2 kestrels.

Kelling Water Meadows 1.45pm - Only walked as far as the 5-bar gate - lovely and sunny now and quite a few general birds about, great and blue tits, chaffinches, several robins, but STILL nothing special!

Cley NWT 2.45pm - Had another look for the Spotted Crake - thinking that it might be on show in the sunshine for my camera but no luck! Waders from Bishop's hide all looked spectacular in the sunshine. A male marsh harrier landed on the one of the islands momentarily. On the way back along the path a kingfisher shot across and there was a little grebe in the dyke just before I crossed the road.

Blakeney - House on the Hill - quick look here, nothing doing. Slowly, sadly made my way along the coast road to parents to show them the state of my car - father pointed out that it would stop me twitching (not having a car) to which he did not get a brilliant response! Had to go back to King's Lynn early - still in sunshine (against all my rules) and collect heavy items that I will not be able to get after Monday with no car and also had to get home before dark as lights not working.

Cancelled shift in morning to empty, sort my car before it disappears in a puff of smoke on Monday (thats what it feels like!) AND back to work on Monday!

Best Wishes Penny

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Old Sunday 27th September 2009, 08:12   #7270
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Great Cricked Back Gall

At least Penny's able to venture out in the daylight.

I've been largely confined to bed since yesterday morning (just before I was about to go Craking at Cley), having badly wrenched my back.

Hope to start having it sorted out in the morning.

Please, anyone, don't find anything much better than the above, if you can help it ! Being indoors in this wonderful weather is bad enough.
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Old Sunday 27th September 2009, 16:27   #7271
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Not in Norfolk. But i did want to share the fact that i saw 4 Glossy Ibis in flight from the train coming back from London to Norfolk this morning. Just south of Ely.
Not quite how i was planning to find a BBRC species this year!
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Old Sunday 27th September 2009, 20:27   #7272
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As expected the VisMig watch was quiet, although it did provide one of the best birds of the weekend, a flyby Richards Pipit. Shame it did`nt decide to pitch in for a while. In complete contrast the (attached) juv. Bar-tailed Godwit is now into its 3rd week on Sheringham seafront, quite a strange sight to see it strutting about the cobbles & for the most part oblivious to people.
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Old Monday 28th September 2009, 11:30   #7273
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Titchwell sanderling

This sanderling was present on Titchwell RSPB beach on 15th May 2009 and just 4 days later was seen again in Iceland.
The very same sanderling has been seen again in the last few days at Titchwell and Snettisham.
Many thanks to Chris Kelly for this information and the excellent image.

Dave
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Old Monday 28th September 2009, 12:47   #7274
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Quote:
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This sanderling was present on Titchwell RSPB beach on 15th May 2009 and just 4 days later was seen again in Iceland.
The very same sanderling has been seen again in the last few days at Titchwell and Snettisham.
Many thanks to Chris Kelly for this information and the excellent image.

Dave
Bet he is the envy of his mates with all that ankle bling
Fascinating movements though. Although in Suffolk, one of the Boyton Ibis trio was from Donana. Wonder where the Norfolk birds are from.
Cheers,
Jim.
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Old Monday 28th September 2009, 18:40   #7275
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I should imagine they are all from Donana. Its seems that quite a few moved north at the end of the summer (re the flock in Ireland). Whether these birds are part of that original group that has now split up i dont know. Anybody with any idea of how many are around the British Isles & Ireland at the moment ?
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