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Norfolk birding (1 Viewer)

Bittern2010

Well-known member
A great walk by Breydon Water this afternoon - started with two short-eared owls together, quite a number of curlew flying over from the water which I later found in a field of 150+, and the rough-legged buzzard (my first) hovering in the distance later obliged with a fly-past. And a stupid question - are the birds on the wire redpolls?

Incredible photos of the Rough Legged Buzzard.

I walked from Reedham to the Berney Arms pub and back again yesterday. Unfortunately, I didn't see any Buzzards (not even a Common Buzzard suprisingly) or SEOs. I scanned eastwards towards Breydon but to no avail.

However, I did have a close encounter with a Ringtail Hen Harrier and a Barn Owl at dusk on the trudge back. There were also some impressively large flocks of Pink Feet flying in and feeding on the Berney Marshes as well as several small parties of Bearded Tits flitting around the reed beds.

There were 5+ Common Darter and 1 Migrant Hawker near Berney Mill.

Cheers

Steve
 

stuart white

Well-known member
Despite getting soaked to the underpants at holkham this afternoon, the sun came out and the drake SURF SCOTER showed very nicely with a drake Velvet and Common Scoter all in one scope view. Very pleasing, the sausage roll and woodforde's wherry at the victoria were pretty bloody good too !
 

Hethersett birder

Well-known member
From the Spurn log today

A possible/probable female Steller’s Eider flew south past the sea-watching hut around 1pm and its worth those Norfolk boys keeping an eye out for it.

A long shot perhaps, but who knows....?!

David
 

lostinjapan

Well-known member
No sign of the Steller's Eider at Titchwell or Holkham today, but hope Stuart is right!!

The male Surf Scoter showed well along with Velvet & Common Scoter and there was a rather nice Slavonian Grebe further to the west. There was a single Bonxie & Red-necked Grebe at Titchwell early doors and had Black-throated Diver on Sunday at Holkham on Sunday.

No sign of the Rough-legged Buzzard today, but saw on Sunday before the downpour at Holkham Pines, as well as a nice obliging adult Red Kite over the dunes and a male Merlin at Burnham Norton.

The Great White Egret eluded us on Holkham Freshmarsh, but did manage 2-3 Twite at Titchwell & a Swallow at Burnham Overy Staithe on Sunday.

Not bad considering it wasn't a birding trip!!

Also had this wee little fella of a gull roosting at Titchwell on Saturday night.
 

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SteveClifton

Well-known member
I read (via Birdguides) that a Basking Shark swam east past Salthouse beach this afternoon.

I've just had a week in Norfolk (last Mon-Fri) and this reminded me of seeing a Sunfish swim past the same spot close in last Thursday. How common are they off Norfolk? or anywhere in the North Sea for that matter? Presumably the same mild conditions brought them both into the area...

Also, a bit late but a 3/4CY Caspian Gull was at Titchwell in the evening roost on Friday pm.
 

Dave Appleton

Well-known member
I read (via Birdguides) that a Basking Shark swam east past Salthouse beach this afternoon.

I've just had a week in Norfolk (last Mon-Fri) and this reminded me of seeing a Sunfish swim past the same spot close in last Thursday. How common are they off Norfolk? or anywhere in the North Sea for that matter? Presumably the same mild conditions brought them both into the area...

Also, a bit late but a 3/4CY Caspian Gull was at Titchwell in the evening roost on Friday pm.

I suspect that most Norfolk birders, even those who watch the sea a lot, will have never seen either Basking Shark or Sunfish in the county. Both are rarely recorded from land here so far as I know. My only encounter with Sunfish was one off Sheringham/Weybourne in 1995 - that was also a surprisingly late record, 27th October. I've never seen Basking Shark in Norfolk though I remember one being seen from Sheringham a few years back.

Don't know if fishermen can throw any more light on how (in)frequent they are offshore? I guess only a tiny proportion must get seen from land.
 

lostinjapan

Well-known member
I'm not a fisherman, but I did spend two years surveying the Southern North Sea and we encountered a single Basking Shark in October & I saw, but wasn't believed at the time a Sunfish in February (though I wasn't believed at the time) both some 40-50 miles offshore. Those were my only encounters during that period & I think both species, but especially Sunfish remain scarce wanderers in the Southern North Sea.

Sean

I suspect that most Norfolk birders, even those who watch the sea a lot, will have never seen either Basking Shark or Sunfish in the county. Both are rarely recorded from land here so far as I know. My only encounter with Sunfish was one off Sheringham/Weybourne in 1995 - that was also a surprisingly late record, 27th October. I've never seen Basking Shark in Norfolk though I remember one being seen from Sheringham a few years back.

Don't know if fishermen can throw any more light on how (in)frequent they are offshore? I guess only a tiny proportion must get seen from land.
 

SteveClifton

Well-known member
Thanks Dave and Sean for your replies.

Sunfish do indeed seem to be scarce in the North Sea, and understandably, I can understand why some would be reluctant to believe the record. However I've seen a few before off the west coast of Ireland and Scotland, as recently as last year, so I'm confident of the ID.

A little bit of research came up with this: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2253352/Sunfish-invasion-continues-massive-marine-beast-washed-Norfolk.html

and this: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1235132/Rare-baby-Sunfish-dies-washing-Norfolk-beach-despite-valiant-attempts-fisherman-save-her.html

Mine was no giant and I would estimate it was no bigger than the one in the second link, so just a baby? It was surprisingly close in (200-300m or closer) which might indicate that it was in difficulty?
Is there anywhere such records should be sent in to? I normally focus on birds, but surely this is equally as scarce as many description species in the county. It will be interesting to see if other recent records come to light.

Steve
 
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RyanI

Well-known member
I read (via Birdguides) that a Basking Shark swam east past Salthouse beach this afternoon.

I've just had a week in Norfolk (last Mon-Fri) and this reminded me of seeing a Sunfish swim past the same spot close in last Thursday. How common are they off Norfolk? or anywhere in the North Sea for that matter? Presumably the same mild conditions brought them both into the area...

Also, a bit late but a 3/4CY Caspian Gull was at Titchwell in the evening roost on Friday pm.

I know of a few been seen a bit further north off the Lincs/Yorks coast this autumn Steve
 

Budgiegal

Well-known member
Cetacean recording

Thanks Dave and Sean for your replies.

Sunfish do indeed seem to be scarce in the North Sea, and understandably, I can understand why some would be reluctant to believe the record. However I've seen a few before off the west coast of Ireland and Scotland, as recently as last year, so I'm confident of the ID.

A little bit of research came up with this: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2253352/Sunfish-invasion-continues-massive-marine-beast-washed-Norfolk.html

and this: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1235132/Rare-baby-Sunfish-dies-washing-Norfolk-beach-despite-valiant-attempts-fisherman-save-her.html

Mine was no giant and I would estimate it was no bigger than the one in the second link, so just a baby? It was surprisingly close in (200-300m or closer) which might indicate that it was in difficulty?
Is there anywhere such records should be sent in to? I normally focus on birds, but surely this is equally as scarce as many description species in the county. It will be interesting to see if other recent records come to light.

Steve

I'm sure the Norfolk cetaceans recorder would be interested in your sighting, the office number is 01263 576995 or visit the website wwww.norfolk cetaceans.wordpress.com and you can record the sighting there.
 

Lightthiscandle

David Bryant
Gull!

I freely admit to being average at Gull I/d: is this a Caspian Gull? It seems to have the right bill shape and wing-tip pattern....
 

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TerriD

New member
I read (via Birdguides) that a Basking Shark swam east past Salthouse beach this afternoon.

I've just had a week in Norfolk (last Mon-Fri) and this reminded me of seeing a Sunfish swim past the same spot close in last Thursday. How common are they off Norfolk? or anywhere in the North Sea for that matter? Presumably the same mild conditions brought them both into the area...

Also, a bit late but a 3/4CY Caspian Gull was at Titchwell in the evening roost on Friday pm.


Hello - this is my first posting to the forum, I hope it works!

Thanks for Steve Clifton and Penny Clarke for mentioning the sighting of a Basking Shark, because now I know what it was I saw in the hazy distance as I looked out to sea from Cley NWT, after leaving the North Hide around 3pm yesterday (Tues 4th Nov). Never seen one before, and I could not make out what the 3 equi-distant black blobs were (right-handed one very rounded but bigger than a seal's head), and no-one around at the time to ask. Now wishing I had more time watching!
 

Lightthiscandle

David Bryant
Thanks for that, Sean! I'm sure you're right
The reason I considered Caspian was the bird's size: on the deck on Pat's, it was with Herring Gulls and was the same size: I was looking into the Sun and had to wait for it to fly to get photos....
 

James Emerson

Norwich Birder
Being at work whilst there are large amounts of birds on the move can be very frustrating, but my lunchtime has been brightened up a bit by reading the BirdGuides website and seeing Little Auk - Salthouse - "1 chilling offshore" :-O
 

SDV

Well-known member
Just seen the report on the Holt based gamekeeper, who poisoned 10 buzzards and a sparrowhawk to protect his master's pheasants, an introduced species, of which hundreds are killed on Norfolk roads every week. A suspended sentence, so therefore non-custodial. Disgraceful, where is the deterrent?
 

Mark Batten

Well-known member
Just seen the report on the Holt based gamekeeper, who poisoned 10 buzzards and a sparrowhawk to protect his master's pheasants, an introduced species, of which hundreds are killed on Norfolk roads every week. A suspended sentence, so therefore non-custodial. Disgraceful, where is the deterrent?

Actually it is a deterrent. If he commits a further offence then the custodial sentence comes into force by default. The alternative is to fill our already full prison system with more non violent offenders. No doubt "outraged UKIP from Norwich" will disagree, but national sentencing guidelines for a first time offence is about right. Cheers.
 

Lightthiscandle

David Bryant
Lovely walk at Breydon today: three / four Rough-legged Buzzards and a decent flock (20+) of Twite, Also a couple of Kingfishers & a raft of Pintail - lots more pictures on my blog....
 

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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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