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Post Info TOPIC: Norfolk


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Norfolk


Hi Mark,

Pine Martens are only locally common in the most remoter parts of Scotland - the only thing I can suggest is Polecat ?

EDIT - Just as an afterthought I have looked in the 2008 Norfolk Bird & Mammal Report (the most recent one I have), and it mentions a Ferret with a dark Polecat-like mask near Feltwell (don`t personally know where this is). No other mention of Polecats and definitely NO mention of Pine Martens....

Hope this helps you Mark. An interesting sighting either way

-- Edited by Ian Woosey on Sunday 23rd of October 2011 04:28:39 PM

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Apologies in advance for the mammal theme here (I was looking for Golden Pheasants at the time!), but earlier this year whilst curb-crawling around Wolferton Triangle at first-light I stopped to watch a Muntjac on the side of the road when a PINE MARTIN jumped into the road right in front of me! Excellent, if brief veiws and 100% certain of its ID. I was just wondering if anyone else has seen, or knows of these gorgeous animals in this well-birded area? And I didnt have mushrooms for brekky before anyone asks

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Cley - first winter citrine wagtail. Curlew sandpiper, two green sandpipers, spotted redshank, adult male marsh harrier.

Titchwell RSPB - Buff breasted sandpiper, cattle egret, little egret, male/female/jubvenile marsh harriers, cetti's warbler heard.

Colin

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Holkam fresh marsh - Spoonbill (1), Little egret (5), adult female Marsh Harrier.

Titchwell RSPB - 12 curlew sandpipers, 20 ruff. On beach - sanderlings, bar-tailed godwits, grey plover, knot, oystercatchers, sandwich terns. ringed plovers.

Colin

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Pensthorpe - 3 Buzzards, 1 hobby.

Holcombe fresh marsh - 1 spoonbill, 3 muntjac deers crossing path.

Colin

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Holkham Park - 9 Egyptian Geese.

Titchwell RSPB - Greenshank (1), Ruff (10), Avocet (1), Dunlin (2), Curlew Sandpiper (2).
Weather bad, could not access beach due to unexploded bomb found! RAF bomb squad arrived!

Colin and Sue



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Cley marshes - adult female yellow wagtail and two juvenile. Adult male marsh harrier and juvenile - green sandpiper, 4 spotted redshank, 1 little egret, 200 plus black tailed godwit.

Colin and Sue


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Week on the north Norfolk coast.
Sunday 4 September - Holme NOA
Artic Skua (2), Common Scoter 100 plus, Sanderling (5), Common and Sandwich Terns.

Titchwell RSPB - Little Egret (1), Curlew Sandpiper (6), Spotted Redshank (2), Hobby (1), Little Stint(3), Cettis Warbler (2) heard only.

Colin and Sue

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To continue my holiday thread (see new Dorset thread) I just spent several weeks away in the UK, a week in Dorset and a week in Norfolk. Not the usual combination of counties to visit you might think, but after the last two weeks I would certainly recommend a visit to them both, with 140 species seen over 16 days, 114 in Dorset and 117 on Norfolk and I wasn't even on a birding trip!?!

I have placed the highlights of the various walks and places I visited into the following, but I hope to write a proper trip list together for this holiday for the Forum:

Monday 8th August Cley and Holt
(Clear, but windy - from the W)


First day in Norfolk I always like to have a stroll around Cley, what a fantastic place. It was pretty windy though, so not many reed bound birds visible or heard, but the waders made up for it. We spent the afternoon in Holt, which was holding many art and craft exhibitions mostly on birds and wildlife, which was superb - though pretty much all of it was affordable - who are these rich birders that can pay £7,000 for a bronze owl!?!?

Spoonbill 13
Little Egret 4
Egyptian Goose 4
Gadwall 4
Marsh Harrier 1 (female)
Wood Sandpiper 1
Pectoral Sandpiper 1
Little Stint 3
Dunlin 400
Redshank 20+
Spotted Redshank 7
Greenshank 6
Ruff 1 (juv)
Knot 1
Sandwich Tern 4
Common Tern 20+
Guillemot 1
Yellow Wagtail 20+
Meadow Pipit 10+
Linnet 30+

It was fantastic seeing so many shanks all together, there are not many places where you can watch half a dozen of each species, some side by side for that photographers dream. A knot in the distance on one of pools was an added bonus.

Tuesday 9th August Titchwell and Wells
(cloudy with sunny spells, still a westerly and northerly wind
)

Today my wife and I opted for a more leisurely approach to the day (my wife is 6 months pregnant ). I thought it was time to investigate the Titchwell hide that everyone was talking about so much earlier in the year, so off we went.... All I can say on behalf of my wife and I is what a mistake they seem to have made there. The old hides were a little on the fragile side, but to take down low lying wooden hides and replace them with tall glass structures with banging doors and a strange concrete interior for people to stare at the sky from I am not sure what they were trying to do apart from upset birders?! Anyway, the reserve did not offer the usual birds, as lots of works were being conducted on the new banking. However, there were still a few birds here and there After Titchwell we had a stroll out from Wells along the sea wall, watching the terns and other birds on the flats there.

Little Egret 6
Gadwall 8
Teal 2
Dunlin 40
Turnstone 2
Grey Plover 1 - stunning bird in summer plumage
Lapwing 20+
Curlew 8
Whimbrel 3
Spotted Redshank 1
Greenshank 1
Snipe 1
Common Sandpiper 1
Redshank 12
Ruff 23
Little Tern 20+
Sandwich Tern 10+
Arctic Tern 1
Common Tern 40+
Guillemot 1
Yellow Wagtail 3+
Meadow Pipit 10+
Linnet 30+


Wednesday 10th August Sculthorpe Moor, Great Ryburgh, Wells and Cley

After spending a few days on the coast we opted for a few galleries and a stroll around Sculthorpe, where they have a few Harvest mice in the visitor centre - lovely little creatures, so small. The reserve gets better and better every time I visit, with new hides, extra walkways and maturing habitats and the £4 entry fee is well worth it to secure the area for future years.

Sculthorpe Moor
Little Grebe 1
Marsh Harrier 1 (adult male)
Sparrowhawk 2 (1 pair)
Willow Tit 6
Marsh Tit 2
Bullfinch 4
Grasshopper Warbler 2


Great Ryburgh

Not many Honey Buzzards have been seen here this year and so I expected to draw a blank to be honest. However, within 30 minutes, after watching a few Green Woodpecker, a couple of Common Buzzards and a few Hobbys fly by up one popped, giving me three views of it, whilst it perched on the tree tops after soaring over the woodland. I was made up.

Honey Buzzard
Hobby

Thursday 11th August West Runton, Cley & Cromer (also Amozona Zoo, Cromer)
(south westerly/westerly, with a mixture of sunshine and light rain)
West Runton


West Runton may not offer the wide panoramic views like Titchwell, Sherringham or Cromer, but you can park right next to the shelter and it is only a minute from the flat I stay in, so perfect for an early morning on holiday!"? Despite the wind being in the "wrong" direction I saw a few good birds flying about, but the best ones were pretty far out to be fair, shame it wasn't an easterly or even a northerly!?

Common Scoter 1
Manx Shearwater 1
Fulmar 4
Whimbrel 1
Oystercatcher 5
Common Tern 5
Sandwich Tern 46
Gannet 58
Arctic Skua 2

After seawatching for a couple of hours I popped over to Cley, but only to the hide overlooking the North Scrape.

Cley
Spoonbill 13
Egyptian Goose 5
Marsh Harrier 1 (female)
Little Stint 1 (juv)
Dunlin 250
Avocet 8
Ruff 14
Redshank 14
Spotted Redshank 1
Common Tern 8
Yellow Wagtail 2

After that I went for breakfast with the wife and we spent the day on the beach in Cromer, where I even got up close with a Little Gull whilst enjoying an ice cream on the pier


Friday 12th August Hickling Broad (boat trip)
(cloudy, but warm and little wind. Some brighter spells in afternoon)


All I can say about this day was wow. Having been to Hickling and Horsey Broads on many occasions and even going up the Tower Hide in the woods once (although not officially - ) I decided to take the wife on a boat trip. They weren't going to run the 11 o'clock boat, as nobody was signed up, but on request they took my wife and I on a 2 hour trip around Hickling Broad, to the Tower Hide and the remote hides on the scrapes that are only accessed by boats run by the NWT. Cracking to get so close to some of the birds and from the Tower Hide we saw Cranes dancing, Bitterns flying about and Marsh Harriers aplenty


Bittern 1 (in flight for long time)
Egyptian Goose 14+
Barnacle Goose 20+
Black Swan 1
Common Crane 3 (plus 7 at Stubb Mill incl 1 juv)
Teal 200+
Marsh Harrier 7+
Kestrel 3
Hobby 1
Sparrowhawk 2
Greenshank 3
Redshank 4
Ruff 5
Avocet 8+
Dunlin 2
Ringed Plover 1
Black-tailed Godwit 14 (incl 1 icelandic race bird)
Great Crested Grebe
Lapwing 70+
Common Tern 20+
Bearded Tit 2
Bullfinch

Saturday 13th August Cley
Last day of birding, as Sunday was for other things and Monday was packing and home . One last trip to Cley, while the sun shone and the wind had died a little. not quite as rich in birds as earlier in the week, but still cracking all the same.

Spoonbill 11
Little Egret 6
Egyptian Goose 20+
Teal 40
Marsh Harrier 2
Hobby 1
Little Stint 1 (juv)
Dunlin 300
Knot 1
Curlew Sandpiper 1 (adult)
Common Sandpiper 2
Green Sandpiper 3
Black-tailed Godwit 100+
Avocet 15+
Snipe 3
Ruff 15+
Ringed Plover 12+
Redshank 14
Spotted Redshank 7
Greenshank 6
Common Tern 20+
Sandwich Tern 2
Yellow Wagtail 10+


We had a walk around the cliff tops where I searched for passerines in the scrub and bushes around West Runton on the Sunday morning, as it had rained during the night, but nothing but hoards of hirrundines over the fields, lots of Skylark and Meadow Pipit and the odd Yellow Wagtail. All in all another cracking week and to get 140 species on any holiday when not all about birding is cracking, even more so when it is all in 2 counties in England in August!? Who needs foreign holidays heh!?

I can only dwell on birds I may have missed, such as Cetti's Warbler, Red-legged Partridge and Tree Sparrow, but having seen at close quarters my first Pectoral Sandpiper since I found on in NW Ireland about 20 years ago, seeing a cracking Curlew Sandpiper with a lovely red chest, the wife finding a flock of Cranes at Stubb Mill and having prolonged views of Bearded Tits I have no complaints, simply wonderful times had..............


-- Edited by Sean Sweeney on Tuesday 16th of August 2011 07:32:13 PM

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Just back from a four day trip to Norfolk staying at the very picturesque High Sands Creek Campsite in Stiffkey with my son and a friend.

Monday 11th April

Dersingham Bog and Wolferton Triangle

Glorious sunny weather but no sign of Wood Lark or Golden Pheasant, however Dersingham Bog proved to be a good sight for raptor watching. Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Buzzard and Red Kite all seen from here.

Stiffkey Fen

A brief heavy shower delayed our evening walk along the coast to this site. However it was worthwhile as we had fantastic views of a Barn Owl hunting. We reconnected with this bird a few minutes later as I spotted it sat on a post just 15 metres away, the bird was aware of our presence but did not seem to mind as it sat there for a few minutes. Highlights on the fen where a pair of Med Gulls and a pair of Little Ringed Plover, a Cetti's Warbler tormented us from the shrubs with its explosive song.

Tuesday 12th

Much cooler today with a strong North Westerley wind but sunny.

Titchwell RSPB

Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail and Grey Plover from the Parrinder Hide and a pair of Garganey skulking in a partially hidden pool from the main drag.

Choseley Drying Barns

Highlight here was a flock of 20 Corn Buntings feeding on the ground on the public footpath.

Holkham Pines

A number of Egyptian Geese and a reeling Grasshopper Warbler (Not seen) were the only birds of note.

Wednesday 13th

Again cool and windy but sunny throughout.

Stiffkey Fen

Nothing different from previous visit except Sedge Warbler sighted, Cetti's still playing hide and seek, guess what? We lost again!

Cley

Managed to see four Shorelark at the top end of the east bank but the reserve was VERY quiet today. No bearded Tits at all, the locals seem to think that they have been hit very hard by Decembers weather.

Stiffkey Fen

Another evening walk to the Fen gave us views of 400 Brent Geese in nearby fields and we bumped into our old friend the Barn Owl again.

Thursday 14th

Cloudy but still.

Titchwell RSPB

I decided to try Titchwell again on the way home, a good job too! From the Fen Hide we spotted a pair of Red Crested Pochard. An Iberian Chiffchaff was singing its head off and showing well, a Cetti's started singing and decided to show itself very well indeed! A House Martin joined the many Sand Martins flying over the reserve and a summer plumaged Spotted Redshank was seen from Parrinder.

Snettisham RSPB

Struggled to hear any birds at first due to our US friends flying F-15 Fighter Jets just offshore. Picked up our first Whitethroat of the year but no sign of Grasshopper Warblers in the scrub.

Five pairs of Med Gulls from the Roost Hide and a single Wheatear on the way back.

All in all not a bad little trip but quiet at times.

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A five day trip to North Norfolk by 6 Bolton RSPB regulars. Monday to Friday
(21/3 to 25/3) last week. Full Trip report to follow but smile.gifHIGHLIGHTS as:

Common Crane 4............ Feeding and flying, Horsey and Stubb Mill.
Jack Snipe 1.......... Feeding, Fen Hide Titchwell.
Green Woodpecker 1 ....Kelling Heath
Red Kite 1................... Kelling Heath
Bearded Tits 4................Cley and Titchwell.
Sand Martin 1..........Titchwell
Lapland Bunting 2.... West Runton
Water Rail 1... Titchwell
Water Pipit 1.... Titchwell
Red Neck Grebe 1 ..Titchwell,Sea
Velvet Scoter c12.....Titchwell,Sea.
Bramling 2.... Kelling heath
Spoonbill 1....Cley
Pale Bellied Brent Geese 4... at Cley
Ruddy Duck 2
Peregrine 1 ...on kill at Burnham Overy marsh
Ross's Goose 1..... with Barnacle Geese at Cley(see trip report for comments)
Shorelarks 6...... Cley
Marsh Harriers c20.. .spread over Sites
Barn Owls 3
Mandarin duck 3 ..Felbrigg Park
Goldcrest 1... Kelling Heath
Mediterranean Gull 1... Thornham Estuary.
Fulmar 5....Hunstanton.
Spotted Redshank 2... Titchwell
Corn Bunting .....12 Choseley Barn
Grey Partridge 4 Choseley Barn and Thornham behind sea wall.

Plenty other stuff...... Group count 120 species.





-- Edited by keith mills on Saturday 26th of March 2011 07:35:39 AM

-- Edited by keith mills on Saturday 26th of March 2011 07:54:13 AM

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Just got back from a weekend in Norfolk,
Have to agree the Parrinder is excellent well worth a visit.

Spotted
Black tailed godwit
Avocets
Golden Plover
Goldeneye
Widgeon
Redshank
Greenshank
Water pipiit
Sand Martin - YES on the far sand bank as you walk towards the parrinder - only saw 2 as the RSPB vol pointed them out. !!
Hen Harrer one on the right female and one the left male
Merganser
Velvet Scoter

At Cley - had two shore larks about 3 feet in front of us, - so well camouflaged we nearly walked on them.
Barn Owl
Little Egret
Marsh Harrier

We also did Penthorpe - lots of ususal waders about plus a spotted woodpecker and brambling.
We camped at Deers Glade and had a barn owl at the back of the woods - watched it quartering a field for ages, got a killl only to be stolen by a sparrowhawk!
Brilliant views of it. and some good pics too

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Have to say that the Parrinder was perfectly positioned for our stance at Thornham, the Northern Harrier was on the ground in line with the hide, and thus it was relatively easy to guide my wife on to the bird of the weekend. But it is a monstrosity (the hide not the bird).

Spent 3 days around Hunstanton with a group this last weekend, and racked up 121 species between us. Highlights at Titchwell were Water Pipit, Water Rail, Twite, Snow Bunting, Velvet Scoter, Spotted Redshank and Cetti's Warbler. 73 Corn Buntings at Choseley. 2 adult male Golden Pheasants at Wolferton, 15+ Lapland Buntings at Weybourne, 5 Shorelarks at Cley and a terrific performance by the Harrier.

And best of all I'll be back in a fortnight for another four days!

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Hi Keith.

It's not so much the size as the fact that it dominates both the fresh marsh and the surrounding landscape. We could see it over the top of the public causeway from Thornham.

A more sympathetic treatment - dark wood to blend with the bare earth, which would weather lighter as the bank got greener and some of those new-fangled living roofs that they've had at Martin Mere for the odd decade or three- would have helped the outside look.

You've a choice of Holly bush. Either the one in front of the hide, to the right of the feeders or the one on the right just past the hide behind the wicker screen. Happy pheasant-hunting

BTW we were told there are a few others around if you miss this one.

Cheers, Mike.

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cry.gifSounds like thumbs down on the new version of the Parrinder hide,Having read the comments of Riggers and Mike!
I recall sometime ago being asked to vote and comment on various new windows
being trialled in Titchwell's Fen hide. If I remember correctly mine were:
'Noisy, Stiff and break easily'

I'm not against big hides per se, as I do not like the inverted bath tubs at WWT Welney. However we will get a Bolton perspective on Parrinder in March as 6 of us visit for 4 days!

Glad you got the Northern Harrier but I need to know where the Holly bush is as I have dipped twice on the Golden Pheasant!

-- Edited by keith mills on Sunday 30th of January 2011 10:58:48 AM

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Glad to hear it Mr. P

At least you were spared the sight of a double reflection of Riggersbiggrin.gif

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Excellent summing up Mike! shame we had to leave Sunday morning due to illness! Both Mrs P and Mini P are getting better!

Saturday was excellent as was the company, beer and banter!

Looking forward to the next one! Cant belive we have been going for 15 years ish!! (thats a lot of beer!) wink.gifbiggrin.gif

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keith mills wrote:


The main work on the Titchwell redevelopment is now complete and the replacement for the Parrinder Hide will be open in the next 2 to 3 weeks. The volunteers who have
been inside the 'twin' hides are very impressed.





Having witnessed the said monstrosity for myself-I for one am not very impressed!disbelief.gif

It has fixed seating in front of most windows, which makes it impossible to sit down in the hide and 'scope' at the same time and also limits the number of people with a grand stand seat (no more moving along the bench to get a small one in!).no.gif

You need a degree in engineering to 'operate' the windows-some of which don't work already!and if you are unfortunate enough to be sat in the wrong seat, you have to look through 2 panes of glass to scan the whole marsh and get a poor view of the birds plus your own reflection twice!hmm.gif

As Mr.Chorley has pointed out-it looks like the RAC control centre building on the M6 and looks more like a modern art gallery than a bird hide!bleh.gif

Not impressed from Oldham (this is only a personal view of course!)

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Jan 21st -24th

Friday morning saw myself, Riggers and 'Bart' Rayner at Thornham, looking to link up with Iain Johnson. Once we'd worked out which 'muddy track' lead to him, we began the traditional pursuit of standing on a bank staring into the sunrise hoping to see a bird. The Northern Harrier duly obliged with a flypast against the light before sweeping around past Holme and across the saltmarsh to give us the same good views Iain had enjoyed a little earlier.

We moved on to Titchwell, where the North Norfolk RAC Traffic Centre appears to have collided with the recently rebuilt North Bankno.gif The new Parrinder hides are spacious, but, as we know, size isn't everything! This thread isn't the place to discuss the many things wrong with this 'monstrous carbunckle', so let's get to the birds. Several Water Pipits, Rock Pipit, Twite and a single Snow Bunting (Iain J) were the highlights, as well as Water Rail under the feeders and a rare glimpse of Cetti's Warbler, with 20+ species of waterfowl and waders on the reserve and another dozen on/off the shore, including several Velvet's in the large flock of Common Scoter.

We then headed to Sculthorpe Moor to meet the rest of the Oldham Birders group, notching up the first of the weekend's 10 Barn Owls. The male Golden Pheasant was in his usual spot (under a holly bush) while the nearby woodland produced Marsh tit and Goldcrest. More Water Rail and several fine male Brambling showed at Fen Hide and we had several sightings for the Wildlife Forum.

On Saturday we headed for Cantley and managed to locate the Lesser White-front in with the mixed flock of Bean Geese and Eurasian White-Fronts. On to Gt. Yarmouth for the usual Med Gull fest, followed by Iceland Gull, Purple Sandpiper and some bad stuntwork on my part at Lowestoft, before our usual roundabout route to Stubbs Mill. A family party of 3 Common Cranes gave us a nice fly past (with another distant trio) with 2 ring-tailed Hen Harriers, Merlin, Hooded Crow and a single Tundra Bean Goose enlivening the Marsh Harrier Roost


Sunday was another North Norfolk Coast day. At least 8 rather elusive Lapland Buntings at Weybourne failed to match up to the more showy 40+ Snowbuntings at Salthouse. The drake American Wigeon at Cley made up for the lack of bacon butties at the visitor centrefurious.gifdisbelief.gif We had no difficulty finding the 2 red-headed Smew at Wells but took two goes to find the 2 Black Brants at the harbour. There was no sign of the Ross's Goose at Lady Anne's Drive but a lunch-time stop just along the road produced 2 Rough-legged Buzzards over the dunes, 8 Waxwings at Burnham Harbour crossroads and a magnificent body swerve from Riggers to avoid Iain J's lethal reversing!biggrin.gifWe finished the day back at Titchwell, where the rest of the group got to see both the Northern Harrier and the Horrible Hide ( and that's not just our opinion of it) before bidding Mr. Johnson farewell.

We finished the trip today with 10 Shorelarks on the shingle at Cley, as well as 2 Red-throated Divers, Fulmar, Gannet and more Common Scoter. Having failed again to find any unusual geese at Holkham, Messers Rigby, Rayner and myself headed north to dip the Ring-bill at Mirfield while the others made a more leisurly return home. An enjoyable weekend, with plenty of good birding (127 species) and the usual laughs, good food/drink and pleasant company

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A visit to Norfolk today started off well with a nice Ring-tail Hen Harrier en-route to Cantley for our target bird the reported Lesser White-Fronted Goose.

After several attempts at scanning the 300 or so Eurasian White-Fronted Geese and 40 or so Taiga Bean Geese, the bird was finally located (thanks to my friend). biggrin.gif

It is quite possible that the bird was there all the time but was very difficult to locate as it was feeding in long grass and only "popping its head up" occasionally.

It was only when it came out into the shorter stuff that those present could take a good look and confirm it's ID.

For those who are thinking of going, it does tend to mix with the Beans and not the White Fronts apparently and that certainly was the case today.

Also present, Green Woodpecker, a dozen or so Barnacle Geese, Barn Owl, Marsh Harrier and hundreds of Wigeon.

Next stop was Weybourne where 4 Lapland Buntings were seen together with a flock of Skylark and Linnets.

A quick scan of the football field at Wells produced 200 or so Dark-Bellied Brent Geese with a nice Black Brant amongst them.

Finally a quick stop at Holkham where the Ross's Goose was showing well amongst the thousands and thousands of Pink-Feet. Quite a spectacle!!

Another 2 Barn Owls were seen on the country lanes on our way home.

A fabulous day out and a real Goose-fest today!!







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Stayed three nights in the Titchwell area, 16/17 /18th this week.
Usual long list of species but among the most noteworthy were:

5 Marsh Harriers (juveniles) close together at Holme marsh( hides near church)
Male Marsh Harrier... shooters marsh, Titchwell
2 Ringtail , shooters marsh
One of these Ring tail was very dark above, but quite russet below. It is being
considered as a possible Northern ( American) variant, or less likely as a Pallid Harrier.
(So I may yet get an Armchair tick)
Great White Egret .. shooters marsh
Spotted Redshank...shooters marsh
Brackish marsh Titchwell: (On seed) 12 Skylark with Meadow Pipits. 10 Twite.
A Bramling... on feeders
2 Avocets,Pintails, Blacktail Godwits. Titchwell Fresh marsh,
5 Little grebe Salt marsh
Bar tails..... Many along shoreline, with Common Scoter ,GC Grebes ,Goldeneye and Red beasted Mergansers at sea.
Chinese Water deer .. one on shooters marsh.
The main work on the Titchwell redevelopment is now complete and the replacement for the Parrinder Hide will be open in the next 2 to 3 weeks. The volunteers who have
been inside the 'twin' hides are very impressed.


-- Edited by keith mills on Saturday 20th of November 2010 01:39:58 PM

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Norfolk weekend


Three nights in Norfolk for Sue and I, in what was a quiet week last week. Weather a bit miserable and we were staying at the wrong side of the county really (Acle). We did get some decent birds though in a rather "bad" total of 109 species.

Highlights were:

A fantastic "white spot" Bluethroat at Welney - rather illusive on a dull wet day, on the way to Norfolk. It showed briefly several times but didn't sit around. But, a first for us of a brilliant bird. We followed this with our first ever Red-footed Falcon at Ouse Fen. A distant view of the bird at first thought to be a Kestrel as it was seen hovering in the sky. Once it flew down so that it could be seen catching and eating dragon flies, with trees behind it we could see that it was a first summer male RF Falcon. Another first! And singing Corn Buntings as well.

Day two saw us doing Salthouse where there was little of note apart from nesting Avocets everywhere. After that we went for a quick stop off to see a male Montagu's Harrier before moving on to Titchwell where highlights were a Bittern in one of the small pools by the path near the visitors centre, 1000+ Knot flying around, Little Gull (we could only find 1) and Bearded Tits eating grit about 6 feet in front of the hide!

Day three had us going on a mini twitch for a Marsh Warbler in a hedgerow near a disused factory at Long Melford in Suffolk. On arrival three birders already had it located and reasonable views of a rather "dull" bird were had. Luckily it was singing a fair bit which enabled us to confirm it's identity (thanks to MP3s and mobile phones!) - this was our third and final lifer of the trip. After that we went to Lakenheath to try for Golden Oriole. Despite standing around and scanning for two hours, we had no sightings although one bird was heard calling. Apparently there are only 3 individuals there this year, so it was never going to be easy. Nevermind, we were treated to a real Cuckoo fest - five seen together flying around us and in trees nearby. Best views we have ever had of Cuckoos by a long way. We also stopped off for good views of two Stone Curlew - saved us having to go to Weeting.

Day four - last day. We started out at Sculthorpe Moor - a great little place for a pleasant walk around. Had their one and only male Golden Pheasant in exactly the same place as we saw it last year. Good views of hunting Barn Owl (at 11am!) Then we watched a food pass from male Marsh Harrier to his mate, followed by her dropping down to the nest where she disappeared from view but appeared on the TV monitor in the hide so we could see her feeding the five chicks she had. With our short break coming to an end we finished off back at Titchwell where we picked up Red-created Pochard, three Little Gulls, Greenshank, Turnstone, 1000+ Kont again, several hundred Godwits (Black and Bar Tailed), Little Terns, Barn Owl and the Bearded Tits again in front of the hide.

A not too bad a trip considering the weather wasn't great. Disappointed not to have picked up the Orioles or Nightingales. We didn't manage a single Turtle Dove either which is disturbing. But, that Bluethroat...

-- Edited by Paul Wilson on Saturday 12th of June 2010 02:43:31 PM

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Hi this is my first post.

I was in Norfolk last week and got 132 species, highlights were Dartford Warbler two cock birds representing 66% of Norfolks population, Stone Curlew several birds in Breckland. Firecrest Lynford Arboretum, Garden Warblers several pairs at Santon Downham, Red Necked Grebe Gpsys Lane close to Titchwell, Turtle Doves at Kelling, Lakenheath and Holme NWT. Cuckoos fling freely at both Laken Heath and Holme, lots of Hobbies at Lakenheath, 3 bitterns at Lakenheath, Tree Pipit at Roydon no Woodlarks unfortunately. A good few Lesser Whitethroats. and Temninks Stint at Cley NWT I had a tour one day with a guy called Carl Chapman he was superb. Would recomend him 12 hours worth of birding including food and all transport significant distances driven for £45. More and more dissapointed with Titchwell fast becoming the Butlins of Birding!! Only Little Gull of note here.

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Returned this evening from a truly brilliant weekend in Norfolk/Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, highlights amongst over 120 species being:

Friday 21st May

Great Reed Warbler - Ilkeston (en-route)

Little Paxton - Evening 4.45pm- 9.00pm

3 Red-Crested Pochards (2 Males, 1 Female on Lake nearest Car Park)

Several Nightingales (calling but remaining very elusive, a return trip in the morning was soon agreed to avoid the crowds)

1 Turtle Dove (good views in dead tree close to 1st Hide)



Saturday 22nd May

Little Paxton - 5.45am - 7.00am

Nightingale (singing everywhere and great views of an individual in a bare tree)

1 Cetti's Warbler showing really well and calling away in a bush beind the visitors centre.

Weeting Heath

3 Stone Curlew (Great views through the 'scope from the hides) biggrin.gif

RSPB Lakenheath

Lots of Golden Oriole calls but no sightings for us and the 200 or so people on the reserve.

However, on our way back to the car park, myself and my friends decided to take a short break from the heat under a tree on the opposite side of the poplar plantation and almost immediately we were treated to a sighting of a male Golden Oriole chasing a Cuckoo away through the trees!! unbelievable luck!! biggrin.gif

Also, great views of Garganey, Marsh Harrier, 2 Bearded Tits, 30+ Hobbies in the air together (1 very close catching a dragonfly right in front of us) and a booming Bittern. Also 1 Mole seen on the path (never actually seen one before!!)

After refreshing ourselves and a nice meal was Dersingham Bog at 9.00pm where 2 Nightjars and 6 Woodcock were seen from the boardwark (this is definatley the best place to be there!!) 1 Muntjac Deer also seen. Don't know what I would have done though if I wasn't kindly given some insect repellant off another birder, those midges were absolutely unbearable!!!


Sunday 23rd May.

2 Woodlark giving really close-up views on the fields at Roydon Common early morning.

1 Montagu's Harrier (Male) Really good views (over 10 minutes) from an undisclosed site. biggrin.gif

A trip to Great Ryburgh for Honey Buzzards was unsuccessful but this was due to their non-arrival at the site.

Finally on the way home, we decided to stop off at RSPB Frampton where 10 Little Gulls gave great views close to the hide amongst others.

A totally unforgetable weekend in the hot sunshine and special thanks to Phil Hampson and Simon Warford for all their help!!!

What a time we had!! biggrin.gif










-- Edited by Phil Owen on Monday 24th of May 2010 01:36:15 AM

-- Edited by Phil Owen on Monday 24th of May 2010 01:39:58 AM

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Norfolk 14th & 15th Feb,

Participants - Simon Johnson, Melanie Beckford, Alan Warford & Myself.

Sites visited - Dersingham Bog, Hunstanton, Sculthorpe Moor NR(Excellent reserve), Cley, Matlaske, Horsey, Strumpshaw Fen, Buckenham Marshes, Great Yarmouth, Holkham & Titchwell.

Highlights- Great grey Shrike, 2 Woodlark, Red Necked Grebe, 40+ Bramblings, Marsh and Willow Tits Sculthorpe, 5+ Barn Owls including 2 at Sculthorpe, Glaucous Gull, 4 Black Throated Divers, 30 Avocets, Bearded Tits, Cettis' Wblr Cley, Cattle Egret nearby. 6 Common Crane Stubbs mill roost plus Hen and 20+ Marsh Harrier, Merlin, 15 Bewicks swans, Tawny Owl and another 2 Barn Owls. Bittern, 4 Water Pipits, Strumpshaw, Med Gulls galore at Great Yarmouth coming to bread, 20+. White Fronts at Holkham, although now seem more difficult than ever at this site. Peregrine Titchwell plus Med Gull, 4 Spotshanks, 20 Ruff plus all the usual ducks and waders.

All in all a decent weekend notching up 118 species(including feral pigeon)smile.gif

-- Edited by Simon Warford at 22:16, 2009-02-15

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Or just follow wife , whilst once telling a good friend what she had in the garden

" got a pair of Great Tits, today"

Waaay haaaay

Steve


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Too rude Mr. Wilsondisbelief.gif
What about
"Get your rocks off at Elton-with a Shagbiggrin.gif
Schoolboy humour at it's worsewink.gif
Cheers Ian

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Mike Chorley wrote:

Given the number of Manc birders at last years' Parkgate High Tides all standing within yards of each other without knowing, perhaps we could have a badge. Moorhens Rampant? Peregrines Proper Passant En Regardant? Crossed Telesopes over a Chinese Warbler?




I was thinking of doing an "Elton Rocks" one, or perhaps a "I've had a Shag at Elton"





-- Edited by Paul Wilson at 10:45, 2009-01-29

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No offence taken Cliffy! biggrin.gif

I have been going to Norfolk for the last 3 winters also, but have had 3-6 days there previously reaching 120 species and above including the cranes, yank sparrow, black eared kite etc etc. Only had two days this time though, so was very pleased with the 105 total, especially considering the poor weather on Sunday.

I must admit though, I went to some of the less visited sites this trip (Sculthorpe Hawk & Owl reserve, Brancaster Marsh and had a seawatch from West Runton), which all proved quite productive.

Salthouse was pretty dire on Sunday morning in the wind and rain though, looking in my notebook I was there about 9:30 myself, but having got the snow buntings there on Saturday with GN Diver off the coast I only ran up the shingle and had a quick scan, then ran back to my car to get out of the gales/rain!? wink.gif

As for the badge idea, like I said over Christmas drinks with other Manc Birders I think somebody should get that going, I'll order a few. Was it you Paul Cliff?

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How unkind Mr. Cliff disbelief.gif Unless you know something we don't biggrin.gif

Given the number of Manc birders at last years' Parkgate High Tides all standing within yards of each other without knowing, perhaps we could have a badge. Moorhens Rampant? Peregrines Proper Passant En Regardant? Crossed Telesopes over a Chinese Warbler? But you can't have an Owl on (in) a beer glass. That's Oldham Birders badge and has been for the last decadebiggrin.gifbeer.gif

If I remember your timetable Sean, I think you were probably ahead of us as we stayed near Norwich so didn't get to Salthouse until about 9.30. I must have another look through your list as we've been trying to reckon up Winter and Summer lists for Norfolk based on previous trips. We had 16 species this year that we didn't have last time and missed 8 from last year. (9 if you count the Yank sparrow, which isn't a likely bird for most years)

As for our book-end birds, Mr. Potter, serves you right for going to live in Walesbiggrin.gif

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Sean Sweeney wrote:

I imagine I must have passed you lot in my car at several of the sites I visited and maybe even passed you on a path here or there!! But if you were wrapped up like I was to keep the rain off it's hard to see who's who!??






unless they spotted you first mate! biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

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I imagine I must have passed you lot in my car at several of the sites I visited and maybe even passed you on a path here or there!! But if you were wrapped up like I was to keep the rain off it's hard to see who's who!??

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It sure was an excellent trip and well summed up Mr Chorley!biggrin.gif

I dont like the list of birds you had either side of our arrival and departure! wink.gif

We will get those pesky Snow Buntings somewhere!! The little sods!! haha!

It was great to catch up with you all! And Charly is even more hooked than before thanks to your wealth of knowledge!

Ta!

Matt and Charly!

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Oldham Birders & associates Jan 23rd - 26th. A soggy early start for myself, Riggers & John Rayner at Little Paxton Gravel Pits. No Smew but a good selection of woodland and water birds. On to Welney (via Pymoor for a distant, rain-lashed Great White Egret) where we were lucky to catch the Tundra Bean Geese before they headed south. Only saw Whoopers on the reserve, but a flock of several hundred Bewicks was a bonus en route to Lakenheath for the sheltering Great Grey Shrike and a Water Pipit. No Golden Pheasants at the group rendezvous at Weyland Wood, which isn't surprising now the thicker cover has gone.

Saturday started at Cantley with the usual mix of Taiga Bean, Pink-footed and White-fronted Geese, before calling at Great Yarmouth for the annual Med Gull fest. Various i.d's were noted including those of two trendy birds sporting thigh ringsbiggrin.gif. After a detour to Lowestoft for Purple Sandpiper on the groynes (ouch!) and the first of several Snow Bunting dips (at Caistor) we headed for Stubbs Mill the pretty way, ticking Barn Owl and a very visible group of 11 Common Cranes. The roost produced the usual high nos of Marsh Harrier, 2 more Barn Owls, 2 cracking male Hen Harriers , Merlin, Sparrowhawk, 3 more Cranes, and , for some of us, a Woodcocksmile.gif

A rather wet Sunday started with another Snow Bunting dip at Salthouse (and no Glacous Gull eithercry.gif) so we retreated to the new hide at Cley to scan the marshes, dry out a bit and consult our local sources,who were telling us how they'd failed to locate the Black-bellied Dipper that morning, at around the same time it was being posted on Birdguidesfurious.gifdisbelief.gif. After a 2nd dip at Salthouse we headed for Burnham Overy Staithe and bagged the Ross's Goose along with 2 Barnacle Geese with rather better credentials than the pair seen at Little Paxton. On to Titchwell via Chosely Barns bird-free zone for a 2nd Water Pipit, Peregrine, a selection of sea and shore birds and 2's of the following: RT diver, Black Brant, Bittern & Water Rail, together with another Woodcock for those who'd missed out the night before.

Better luck & weather today, with Snow Bunting at Salthouse (sorry Charley) as well as Dunlin coming to breadconfuse.gif, the Glaucous Gull at Cley, Bearded Tits from the East Bank, Fulmar, Eider and several hundred Common Scoter from Hunstanton. However, today's highlight, at least for me, was watching the aerial display from a pair of Marsh Harriers over Cley, as the male stooped and the female flipped over with extended talons to ward him off with great precision.

Total for the trip is currently 118 seen plus Tawny Owl heard, with the possibility of more to come from those who stayed into this afternoon. A good weekend and a pleasure to catch up with friends old and ,especially, new. Great to discover the joy of birding anew through you, Charley

Tuesday edit: the remaining trio added Nuthatch to the list so the total now stands at 118 WITHOUT the dreaded Feral Pigeonbiggrin.gif
-- Edited by Mike Chorley at 00:13, 2009-01-27

-- Edited by Mike Chorley at 23:26, 2009-01-27

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2nd Oldham birders trip of the year. Despite the later than usual date, and the elusiveness of some species, a good 4 days of birding. Mr. Rigbys' new driving resolutions meant that speeds of under 70 miles per hr. were observed (sometimesbiggrin.gif) and all parking areas entered bonnet-first.

Early Friday start for Riggers & self at Little Paxton GP. Turtle Dove overhead and Nightingales in every bush. Also Lesser Whitethroat & Kingfisher among the 44 species seen before breakfast. Rain stopped play at Mayday farm so on to meet the others at Weeting. Stone Curlew, Wodlark and the regular Spotted Flys. A very soggy Titchwell had only Little Gull and drake Garganey at about 30ft but the evening improved enough for the 1st of three great nights 'jaring with 2 males & a female showing well.

Saturday. To Dunwich and then Minsmere for Cetti's, 2 Kittiwakes, Marsh Harriers, Hobby, booming Bittern, Sandwich & Little Terns. Then back to Dunwich where Mr. Rigby had an exciting encounter behind the toilet block! He says it was a Sprosser that put a smile on his face: the rest of us couldn't possibly comment. North Repps for a cracking fog-bound bee-eater doing all it's tricks, Spoonbills at Cley, then even better views of the nightjars despite(?) the mist-including the singing branch trick

Sunday.To Great Ryburgh for the usual raptors including Honey Buzzard and Red Kite, Montys at the usual site, then Golden Oriole & Common Crane at Lakenheath. We failed to locate the Stiffkey Buff-breast cry.gif(thanks for the info Warfy) but were consoled with the best ever evening's nightjaring; seeing details and habits none of us had ever seen beforebiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

Back today via High Kelling for Wood Warbler ( a good local tick) and the Maxey's buff-breast-relocated out in the open by a Mr. M. Rigby while all the locals were debating which bit of the reedbed it was in! 122 species in all on a not too frantic trip

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Norfolk


This weekend was the first of Oldham birders' regular bi-annual visits to the Three Swallows. A good weekend with about 110 species between the five of us (self, Riggers and 3 other,non-computer -owning, survivors of Oldham RSPB). Highlights included Riggers emergency stop on the A149 for a mixed Bewick/Whooper flock, good views of THAT sparrow Fri.,Sat.,& Sun-the last due to Simon Johnsons' sharp eyes and ears-, a cracking male Hen Harrier at Warham Greens, the Lesser Snow goose (visible from the car without bins, twitching made easy or what!) the confiding Titchwell woodcock, a total of 11 Cranes at Stubbs Mill, Saturdays' unexpected shag on Holkham Lake, snow & lapland buntings at Salthouse and a displaying(!) woodlark at Roydon en route to the Great Grey Shrike. Not our best trip numerically but good views and all target birds achieved. Nice to meet the Warfords and Simon.

Incidentally, if anyone else is thinking of going for the yank sparrow word is that feding is going to be scaled down so the bird may be more wide-ranging. However, according to Mr. Millington it hangs around with the local sparrow flock, so it may just spend more time in the hedge by the bus stop.

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Saturday 12th of June 2010 06:47:23 PM

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