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Post Info TOPIC: Norfolk


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RE: Norfolk


It`s a cinch with a Citril Finch. 10/5/2015
A quiet weekend doing household chores had been carefully planned, after the birding excesses of recent times. A good lie in on Sunday morning until 9am and then even before I had chance to check out the bird news a phone call from Mark K, who was birding near Sutton Bank,Thirsk. His pager broadcast the news of a male Citril Finch near Holkham Pines in Norfolk, PANIC ! Only a second for Britain. Quickly asking for time off from my understanding wife and ringing a couple of the A Team members, who could not get away, I arranged to meet the York team in Fairburn village with Nige, Paz and Mark K making up the team. We headed off to Norfolk with Nige at the helm at around 10-15am and after a few negative messages on the pager, the bird seemed to settle into a routine and was showing well as we parked on Lady Ann`s Drive at Holkham around 1-20pm. What followed was a 1 1/2 mile slog (like the walk to the Pacific Swift, though not as far) through the pines with lots of smiling birders heading in the opposite direction, all saying It`s still there. By the time we reached the sand dunes my legs were seizing up and I felt like a boil in the bag (ta Mark) after donning my big coat in good, sunny conditions! As we reached the birds chosen feeding area, the birders had it almost surrounded, with some high on the dunes and some within 25 yards of the bird.The bird was pointed out to me and our panic was over, what a cracking bird! Scope views were even better once you could get into the scrum. We all admired the second for Britain (the first had been on Fair Isle a few years ago) for a good 50 minutes and the bird suddenly flew back into the pine tree area calling as it went. Time for a social with fellow birders from near & far, all part of the scene. The bird came back about 30 minutes after we left and it was nice to see Lee Evans heading (running) towards the bird as we had a much more sedate walk back to the car, now we could smile at birders still arriving! A few Egyptian Geese were seen, along with a real Barnacle Goose at Holkham. We called in at Chosely Drying Barns to see the distant Dotterels that had gathered there and counted up to 12 or 20 depending on were you were stood! Our last stop was Titchwell RSPB Reserve, always a good place to stop at and we saw Little Stint, 3 Barnacle Geese (dark bellied form) but missed Scaup & Red Crested Pochard. Marsh Harriers doing a food pass and a booming Bittern made up for that though. Time for home after a cracking day out and all of us seeing a new bird, what could be better! Thanks to Nige for driving and the good company of the York lads. Reached my home by 10pm.
Dave O.


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After early morning reports of the bird and much pondering over whether to go straight away or wait, enough was enough and I decided to risk the opportunity of seeing the Citril Finch at Holkham Pines, Norfolk In what would be a mainland first and only a second for the UK. Arriving on site around 6pm, there was just the small matter of a 30 minute walk (it seemed 30 hours under the circumstances!). Eventually we found the area and the assembled crowd of twitchers present who's scopes were pointing towards a clearing under the pines where the bird was feeding. A fellow birder put me onto the bird through his 'scope to get the "much needed" initial view to my relief then we were treated to excellent views as the bird continued to feed in the sand and scrub at the base of a pine. We watched the bird for around half an hour with it's partial grey face and underparts contrasting with The yellow green plumage, the double wing bar and long tail being a feature of this bird which those present were saying was almost like a cross between a Siskin and a Greenfinch! Eventually around 7.15 pm, the bird flew up into a nearby tree before taking flight over the pines and lost to view. Arriving back at 2am was certainly worthwhile after seeing such an incredible sighting and many thanks to the finder!

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Jan 16th - 19th.

Riggers, Karen F, John R and I met up with Matt Potter at about 9 a.m. on Friday 16th at Roydon Common for the start of our usual January long weekend. An extensive search failed to find the Great Grey Shrike, but we did connect with a single Woodlark. Plenty of Fieldfares, looking very smart on a bright winter's morning, together with Red-legged Partridge, Redwing, Stonechat and Green Woodpecker were the highlights among the common species seen here. From here we headed to Chosely Barns where root vegetables were being dispatched for cattle fodder, so not much avian activity here. A quick scan of the hedges produced a single Yellowhammer and Song Thrush, then, as we headed back to the cars the 10,000 strong flock of Pinkfeet we'd seen and scanned en route relocated to fields just to the east of the barns. A quick circuit brought us a good viewpoint to scan the flock and eventually Riggers located a juvenile Tundra Bean Goose within the flock. As we all attempted to lock on to the bird the possibility of a second juvenile was discussed, but we were never able to confirm its' presence. The flock made a spectacular departure, with the Bean Goose obvious among the first group to leave, so we headed on to Titchwell. Here we had good views of a Water Rail and 3 Bearded Tits on the drained Thornham Marsh, but just missed a Jack Snipe. A small flock of Twite were located on one of the islands in the fresh marsh, along with the more usual collection of Greylag and Brent Geese (no Black Brant cry), assorted waders, gulls and seven species of ducks including a single Wigeon and some smart-looking Pintail. A watch from the Fen Hide produced 4 Marsh Harriers, a ring-tailed Hen Harrier and a Merlin but no Bittern, with 3 Woodcock emerging at the usual spot as we headed home .

Jan 17th started at Cantley on a very frozen marsh, where another large flock of Pinkfeet conveniently debunked to pastures new, leaving us with good if distant views of 32 Taiga Bean Geese on yet another crisp, sunny morning. We headed on to Great Yarmouth to continue the tradition of hurling cheap supermarket bread about the beach and attracted a mixed flock of gulls with at least 3 Adult and 3 juvenile Mediterranean Gulls among them. Our visit to Corton failed to find any Firecrests this year, so we continued to Lowestoft in the only snow we saw all weekend to add Rock Pipit and at least 5 Purple Sandpipers to the trip list. Heading on to Ludham Airfield we found a mixed herd of Bewick's and Whooper Swans, passing a flock of 25 Egyptian Geese on the way. (There was some discussion of the exact composition of the swan flock, but of there were at least 6 adult Whoopers among the 46 birds). We took the roundabout route to Stubbs Mill, to see if any Cranes were visible in the fields surrounding Hickling Broad but apart from completing our set of swans with a small herd of Mute Swans and finding a huge flock of feeding Golden Plover, we drew a blank. A Crane had just disappeared from sight when we arrived at the viewing platform, but there were plenty of Marsh Harriers kept our interest up as we waited for the bird to do more than bugle from behind a screen of reeds. Mr Potter spotted a cracking male Hen Harrier, a Kingfisher shot by in front of the viewing platform and 2 Merlins perched up in front of the harrier roosting area. Finally two juvenile Cranes appeared, indulging in rudimentary display, dancing and throwing clumps of grass before heading out of view. Three adult Cranes flew over before we left, and we had good views of Venus and Mercury as we headed back to the car park on a beautiful winter evening.

Jan 18th. We started Sunday morning with a Blackcap in full song in the bushes next to our hotel in Acle. Halvergate Marshes were fairly misty, but we were able to pick up a possible Rough-legged Buzzard upon our arrival. Visibility varied but viewing from the bridge over the railway line finally gave us good enough views to confirm the i.d. We had no luck finding the reported Twite flock at Salthouse (only a flock of 40 Linnet) and Cley seemed very quiet, so we headed on to Lady Anne's Drive. 59 White-fronted Geese were visible from the Jordan hide, feeding in two groups close to the edge of the marsh; both parties became alert when a Barn Owl appeared giving good, if mainly back-lit views, before a spectacular arrival of wave upon wave of Pinkfeet dropping into the marsh all around the 180 degree view from the hide. As we left Riggers was the only one to get a good view of a Firecrest in a large mixed flock of 3 Treecreepers, Blue, Great Coal and Long-tailed Tits and the largest number of Goldcrests most of us could remember seeing outside of an autumn "fall". We moved to a favourite viewpoint further west with views towards Burnham Dunes, where we had a good view of a Rough-legged Buzzard trying to steal prey from a Barn Owl. Several Marsh Harriers, a Merlin, a Sparrowhawk and at least 1 Common Buzzard were also in this area. Matt Potter headed off home to Aberystwyth and we set off back to Acle, seeing another Barn Owl near Fakenham.

Jan 19th. The Blackcap was singing from the bushes again this morning as we set off. "Gandalf" Rayner's weather spells were more effective this morning and visibility at Halvergate Marshes was much better. The Rough-legged Buzzard was in almost exactly the same area when we arrived, before going to perch in its' favourite tree. It hunted low along one of the fences before heading further out onto the marshes, hunting and hovering regularly in silhouette as the sun rose. Just as we began to lose the bird against the light it conveniently flew west across the road, giving good views of wing and tail patterns, then even better ones as it flew further away and hovered almost directly tail on to us. From here we headed back to a very frosty Roydon Common. It looked as if it was going to be another fruitless search for us but as we were heading back to the car park Karen looked back and spotted something perched near to what we'd been told was the bird's favourite tree. Scope views confirmed the i.d. (sorry Matt) so we went back for a slightly closer view, before heading home via Pugney's Country Park at the end of a good weekend.

Other wildlife seen: Hare, Muntjac, Brown Rat, Rabbit, Chinese Water Deer (Stubbs Mill), Grey Squirrel, Roe Deer (3, Roydon Common), Red Fox.

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Holme Bird Observatory. Today.
Juvenile Peregrine on kill, on beach.It then harassed Curlews and gulls for 40 minutes
unsuccessfully. It was sat on beach as I left.
12 Gannets east, c850 Common Scoter west.
Flocks of Lapwing, Starlings and Shelduck over sea. 20 Cormorant.
On beach were Curlews, Redshanks, Bar-tailed
Godwits, Turnstones ,Oystercatchers.many Common Gull.
34 Twite near the old coal shed, also 40 Goldfinch.
2 Kestrel
4 Fieldfare
2 Little Egret
4 Mistle Thrush
Lots of migrant Blackbirds
Earlier this week here:
Male Marsh Harrier , very close.
Little Grebe...6
Geese down:c600 Pink- footed,
200 Brent, 180 Greylag.
Big number Wigeon and Teal. Also many Gadwall and Shoveler.
6 Grey Plover and a few Sanderling on beach
8 Grey Partridge
9 Red-legged Partridge.

-- Edited by keith mills on Friday 7th of November 2014 10:03:48 AM

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Just spent two weeks on the north Norfolk coast based at east Runton walked the coastal path from Burnham ovary staiths to cromer birds seen as follows
Buzzard lesser whitethroat snipe woodcock wheatear jay sandwich tern whitethroat little egret pink footed goose oystercatcher sanderling common tern hobby little ringed plover turnstone redshank common sandpiper curlew black tailed godwit icterine warbler spotted flycatcher pied flycatcher redbreasted flycatcher linnet Egyptian goose marsh harrier ringed plover curlew sandpiper greenshank shelduck dunlin marsh tit grey plover garden warbller barred warbler whinchat redstart bearded reedling olive backed pipit yellow browed warbler gre. skua red throated diver gannet Brent goose common gull cettis warbler long tailed skua spotted redshank little stint red crested pochard ruff eider plus all the usuals five lifers in a fortnight quite a. Brilliant fortnight altogether

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A long weekend break with some great weather and great birds. Based in Snettisham but travelled all over.
Highlights were:
Red-backed Shrike (Blakeney fresh marsh)

Holme:
4 Spoonbill over
12 Eider ducks off the beach
1 Arctic Skua
50 Sandwich Terns
3 Gannets
1 Fulmar
6 Wigeon
12 Common Scoter
10 Grey Plover
Lots of the usual waders during high tide

Titchwell:
3 Curlew Sandpipers
3 Marsh Harriers
Ruff everywhere
Nothing out of the ordinary on a couple of visits

Cley:
1 Redstart on the walk to the hides
1 Whinchat
1 Little Stint
3 Curlew Sandpipers
1 Wheatear
1 Marsh Harrier




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A smashing weekend which took in Cley, Titchwell, Holkham pines, and Holme.

Highlights were a Turtle Dove at Holme this morning along with a Cuckoo.
Yesterday, Titchwell graced me with a Spoonbill, Cetti's Warbler (and yes I had great views), Marsh Harriers, Little and Common Terns, Grey Plover, single Turnstone, Red Crested Pochard, Grasshopper Warbler and more Cuckoos.
Nothing out of the ordinary at Cley, but the beach held 5 Little Terns. I missed a Curlew Sandpiper that was reported earlier.


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May 16th:
After a profitable morning in Lincolnshire Riggers, Karen F and I headed down to Weeting to meet up with Mike Ausberger, by way of Narborough Nature Reserve. Plenty of common woodland birds here, together with yet more Cuckoos, but the highlight of this reserve is chiefly its' lepidoptera. Among 8 species of butterfly and 6 of moth we had Dingy & Grizzled Skippers, Mother Shipton, 2 forms of Latticed Heath, Small Yellow Underwing and the similar micro moth Pyraustra aurata. Also a Common Lizard confident enough of its' camoflage to remain still for long enough for mr Rigby to take its' photosmile

The Spotted Flycatchers at Weeting proved more elusive than the Stone Curlew on this visit, with at least 6 of the latter present around the reserve. Also a pair of Turtle Doves and Tree Pipit in the area.

May 17th:
Apart from a stubbornly invisible Garden Warbler, Roydon Common was unusually quiet, so we headed up to the north coast. A Red Kite being mobbed by a Common Buzzard on the outskirts of Burnham Market was the highlight of the trip. Initially, only a single Corn Bunting was at Chosely Drying Barns, but, following local advice when we returned in the late afternoon there were a couple more, several Yellowhammers, 2 Yellow Wagtails and almost a full set of UK Columbiformes, with 3 Wood Pigeons, 9 Stock Doves, 1 Collared Dove and 1 Turtle Dove all perched along the same telegraph wire. No sign of the Dotterel at the concrete pads but 3 male and 1 female Wheatear here. In between, we visited Titchwell and added Red-crested Pochard, Bearded Tit, Cetti's Warbler and the elusive Golden Oriole to our trip list, among others. Visits to Holme and Thornham Harbour added Greenshank, Brent and Egyptian Goose, while Hunstanton was as usual excellent for fly-past Fulmars. We finished the evening with cracking views of Nightjar, several roding Woodcock and Round-leaved Sundew at a regular North Norfolk site.


May 18th.
Spent the morning and early afternoon in the Minsmere area (see that thread) then headed up to Horsey for the 2 Dotterel in the ploughed (and sprouting!) field between The Nelson's Head and Horsey Gap. After a pleasant pub dinner had a walk around Hickling Broad NWT reserve (great view of Chinese Water Deer and yet more Cuckoos)and headed down to Stubbs Mill where 3 Common Cranes were visible. Only Riggers was lucky enough to spot a Barn Owl as we headed home, but we all saw the Tawny Owl as it flew across in front of the car.

May 19th. Our planned retun home via North Cave fell foul of "an incident" on the A11, so we stopped off at Lakenheath instead, but only managed to add Kingfisher, Southern Hawker and Common Blue Damselfly to our trip list. Oh and a swarm of Honey Bees on the edge of Third Plantation. Our Total of 126 birds seen and 5 heard is one of our better ones in recent years

-- Edited by Mike Chorley on Friday 23rd of May 2014 08:27:55 PM

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A few of my ''Bits and Bobs'' during last week's holiday in North Norfolk.

Sunday 27/4...... 3 Red Kite up, near Little Walsingham.
...... At least 4 coveys of Red-Legged Partridge seen by the roadside while driving ( Walsingham area)
Wednesday 30/4.
....Spoonbill stood, just out on the mudflats, at Snettisham RSPB
.....Barn Owl hunting, mid morning, near the A149 at Burnham Overy Staithe
......A full on view of a Fox, as it paused in the grass verge of this same road at Thornham.


-- Edited by keith mills on Monday 5th of May 2014 06:10:48 PM

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Visit to RSPB Titchwell Reserve on 29/4/14
A full day in good weather. 58 Species seen.
Highlights:
Bearded Tit...2(a pair) my best ever close views. Seen several times carrying food.
Sedge and Reed Warbler...good views.
Red-crested Pochard...5 ( drakes 4) ; they have been breeding here for 4 years (9 on the Reserve currently)
Cetti's Warbler...1
Marsh Harrier...5 up at once.
Kestrel...1
Brent(dark bellied) Goose...40
Bar-tailed Godwit...80 plus more on the shore
Black-tailed Godwit...1
Spotted Redshank....1 nearly full breeding plumage.
Ringed Plover...2
Linnet...2
Little Egret...3
Little Tern...2 arrived on the reserve plus 2 flying just off shore.
Grey Plover...15...on the shore
Sanderling...shore
Dunlin....12 on reserve + more on the shore.
Ruff...1 female.
Common Tern...1
Skylarks ...several





-- Edited by keith mills on Sunday 4th of May 2014 10:10:43 PM

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Visit to Cley NWT Reserve on Monday 28th. April.

Since my last visit, just after the storm surge, much restoration has been undertaken. The East and West banks have been repaired, and a new fence against the shingle has been pushed out to help ground nesting birds. The broadwalks have been returned to position and the hides (except north Hide, which has gone) are now fit for purpose.
Sightings:
Yellow Wagtail...1
White Wagtail...2
Pied Wagtail...2
Meadow Pipit...4
Reed Bunting...1
Sedge Warblers....regularly seen.
Wheatear...4
Skylark....7
Little Ringed Plover...2
Black-tailed Godwit...1
Ruff...4.... one very dark
Whimbrel...1
Redshank...12
AVOCETS.. widespread ( hundreds in the areas)
Teal...6
Wigeon...2
Gadwall..2
Snipe...3
Pochard...pair
Little Egret....3
Shoveler...3
Swallows...12
Marsh Harrier...2
Grey Heron ...several.
Oystercatcher....c30
Shelduck... everywhere in good numbers on the reserve and the area (several hundred)
Greylag Goose.... everywhere as well! c1000 with broods up to 14.
Canada Goose 12
Brent Goose...4 on the reserve, but several hundred found later in the evening on Stiffkey Mash.
Mute Swans
Lapwing in good number.
Common Whitethroat.
Pheasant/ Chaffinch/Goldfinches
Herring Gull...2
Brown Hare across Arnold's marsh.






-- Edited by keith mills on Saturday 3rd of May 2014 10:28:21 PM

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Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.

Spent some time last Thursday and Friday, on this coastal hill, in an attempt for the Richard's Pipit which is around.
No luck for me, or the other birders who were on the same errand.

Sightings:
Whinchat...1 A superb male showing regularly, both days
Greenshank...1 seen both days.
Wheatear... 30+... often 4 in the scope at once. At least 3 Greenland Race, with 2 of them climbing the hill, before me on the footpath and one near the car park at 15 yards.
Meadow Pipits.....10
Linnet...10
Reed Bunting...7
Skylark....8
Common Whitethroat...1
Common Tern...1
Sand Martins...c35 around the top of Gramborough
Little Egret...2
House Sparrow...2
Oystercatcher....5
Avocet....5
Gadwall...2
Shelduck....4
Golden Plover...2
Grey Partridge...2
Great Black-backed Gull...6
Herring Gull...1
Goldfinch...4
A Black Swan, albeit with pale fringes, has recently taken up residence at Salthouse pool.
Brown Hares ...4 ...behaving like mad March ones.
N. B. the car park is still under several feet of shingle. A BT engineer attempted to dig for the emergency phone but gave up!




-- Edited by keith mills on Saturday 3rd of May 2014 08:12:41 PM

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Rumworth List 2018, species to date: 93 Latest: Lesser Redpoll, Spotted Redshank, Yellow Wagtail, Dunlin, Kingfisher, Redstart, Little Egret.



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Late post for Monday 14th April.
Missed a Golden Oriole by just a couple of hours that had been singing at Sculthorpe Moor before I arrived. I'm counting that as one that got awayno
Nice Marsh Harriers over the marsh. Marsh Tit pair and all the usuals from the hides.



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Sunday 13th April

Titchwell Highlights

2 Red crested Pochard
1 Spotted Redshank
1 Cetti's Warbler
1 Velvet Scoter in with about 20 Common Scoter out at sea but close to shore.
A few Swallows throughout the day. My first of the year.

Lots of activity all over the place and always nice to watch the Marsh Harriers

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Saturday 12th April 2014

Lynford Arboretum Highlights
1 Hawfinch
1 Two-barred Crossbill
24 Common Crossbill

Sculthorpe Moor
Alive with Blackcaps
2 Marsh Tits
4 Brambling
1 Reed Warbler heard

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In addition to the Stubbs Mill harrier roost, although technically just over the border into Suffolk, this winter at Lakenheath RSPB Reserve there has been an impressive roost of 20+ Marsh and at least 7 (including a few cracking males) Hen Harriers and a couple of Cranes, plus there has been Peregrine, Merlin, Bittern, up to 5 Barn Owls and an amazing Jackdaw and Rook roost. It's from the Joist Fen Viewpoint which is a bit of a walk in the current muddy conditions but on a nice evening it's well worth the effort!

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Just got back from an afternoon at Hinckley Broad finishing off at the Stubb Mill Raptor Roost. An amazing sight of Marsh Harriers converging from different directions. Numbers got to 40+ until the mist spoilt the view. Unfortunately no Hen Harriers or Cranes, however 2 were seen earlier crossing the reeds nearby. The raptor roost is a must for anyone visiting Norfolk at this time of year.

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Visit to Holt Country Park, Edgefield Heath and Woods, and Edgefield Tip on Tuesday 10th. December.
All these sites are close together, just south of Holt.

Red Kites....7 up at once over the tip! and 1 flying north over the heath.
Glaucous Gull...1... 1st Winter...by the Tip
Fieldfare....c60
Redwing...4
Great Spotted Woodpecker...1 or 2
Song Thrush...1
Good numbers of Common Tits
Marsh Tit...2
Chaffinch...4
Goldcrest...1
Kestrel...1...perched on the heath.

The Parrot Crossbills were present but elusive.
They showed on the south edge of Edfefield wood while I was down at the tip.
This is an excellent area for birders. Pity I dipped the Parrot Crossbills after several tries.

-- Edited by keith mills on Monday 16th of December 2013 05:12:10 PM

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As usual on any Norfolk holiday: the mandatory visit to Titchwell RSPB reserve on the 12th December.

The guy who calculated the heights for the new sea walls in last year's makeover, used his slide rule well!
Both on the bank along the public footpath to the beach, and the bank at the new Parrinder Hide the
tidal surge was contained by a few inches! Debris covered the front top edge only of the footpath bank.
The main damage is to the wooden walkway to the beach which is wrecked and the beach viewing platform
which has gone.
The sand dunes at the beach have also been greatly reduced and sadly the seal colony at the sea entrance
is not there now.

Off shore close in :
Long-tailed Duck...3 ... including 1 drake
Goldeneye...16
Great Crested Grebe...2
On the beach:
Bar-tailed Godwit...30
Knot.... 12
Grey Plover....2
On the reserve:
Golden Plover...90
Rock Pipit...3
Water Pipit...1
Pied Wagtail...3
Brent Geese...c250 coming and going
Shovelers...6+
Shelduck...c50
Black-tailed Godwit....6
Bar-tailed Godwit...1
Oystercatcher...c40
Redshank...c12
Avocets...c12
Curlew...1
Teal ...widespead
Wigeon...few only.
Pintail Duck...4
Gadwall...pair
Ruff....32 numbers increased to this by a flock landing as I watched.
Grey Heron...1
Marsh Harrier....1
Little Egret...1


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Rumworth List 2018, species to date: 93 Latest: Lesser Redpoll, Spotted Redshank, Yellow Wagtail, Dunlin, Kingfisher, Redstart, Little Egret.



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Tuesday 11th. December. Visit to Buckenham Marshes (RSPB)

My plan; to walk through to Cantley Marshes was thwarted as after crossing the major dyke, where Cantley
Marshes start, the River bank with its supporting steel piles had collapsed, and the footpath had gone with it and
was roped off.
However, parking at the old Buckenham railway station and walking along by the side of River Yare to this point was
over 2 miles each way, and my afternoon spent at Buckenham under clear blue skies was very enjoyable.

Wigeon....c 2500 they were everywhere in numbers, and during the walk their whistling could always be heard.
Teal....7 surprisingly few.
Peregrine......2 perched on different gate posts.
Redwing... flock of c25 over low.
Canada Geese...c50
White-fronted Geese.....12+.... my first viewing of the ssp. albifrons.
Pink-footed Geese...c250
Lapwing... good size flocks
Mallards and Mute Swans.
Linnets ...20
Chinese Water Deer...6+

As I returned from the river path, birders that I met up with, suggested that I stopped for the famous Corvid roost.
Before 4pm Rooks and Jackdaws started to cross the river and head over us, to beyond the church.
Flocks were 50, 100, 500 or so, in size.
At dusk, I was told to go up to the T junction and look back at the wood between the church and the Marsh.
As I arrived there the ''congregation'' was already streaming into the woods from beyond the church In a very orderly
straight stream. An absolutely amazing sight of thousand upon thousand, densely packed Corvids in a stream
a few hundred birds deep, which just went on and on coming, for a good 15 minutes. Their noise was impressive!
Estimates of the numbers varied between birders but their highest figure was 40000.
Personally I think that the number was much higher and, at the least, was in six figures.






-- Edited by keith mills on Sunday 15th of December 2013 06:16:11 PM

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Visit to Cantley Marshes by the River Yare (RSPB) on the 13th December.

My first visit to this site.

Taiga Bean Goose....60+
Canada Geese...250
Egyptian Geese....38+
Greylag Goose....1
Wigeon...c250
Lapwing...c150
Pied Wagtail....20
Meadow Pipits...2
Grey Heron....1
Cormorants....3
Kestrel...1
Marsh Harrier...1
Mute Swans...20+
Moorhen...4
Mallards.



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Visit to Cley NWT Reserve on Monday, 9th December....Post the Tidal Surge.

Council workers with diggers, bulldozers, and trucks,were busy clearing the coast road near Walsey Hills.
There was no way through to the Reserve so I sat in my vehicle. The work went on at a feverish pace and after
40 minutes we were waived through.
While I was waiting, 2 Red Kites were picking up carrion off the marsh just to my side, down to 30 yards.
The Warden from Cley drove up behind me, and these were his first birds on the day board..
The debris here was reed ''compost''. A mixture of Reeds and root soil. Piles of this stuff, up to 12 feet high ,
were on the road.
Even when numerous truck loads had been taken away, we had to drive between chicanes of ''compost'' piles.

With regard to the effect of the tide surge on the reserve:
The entire reserve was flooded so that only the roofs of the hide could be seen. Most of the thatch has gone.The surge stopped just before the visitor centre.
The North shingle bank has been totally flattened and pushed into the reserve.
The North Hide has gone completely!! Parts of it have been found at Kelling from where the hide plaques have been recovered.
West bank: totally breached in several places.
Reeds and their root balls piled up on East bank.
A substantial wooden walkway and bridge has been swept over the road.

Mammals and invertebrates drowned or killed by the salt in reed bed.

With another warden, I walked down East Bank and round the north and west sides. Later in the day, the East bank was closed as is the whole reserve, for safety concerns.

Plenty birds still there and the visitors centre open.

As I left for my walk round, the first clearing party was setting off to clear the reserve paths. Somewhat of an admirable Dad's army with Pitch forks and shovels. One wit enquired was my dog trained as a ''sniffer'' as they have not got to the hides yet.!

Red Kite ...2
Marsh Harrier...2
Stonechat
Rock Pipits...3
Pintail Duck...12
Wigeon... widespread.
Gadwall...3
Mallards... widespead
Rooks.... widespread
Lapwing .. widespread
Teal ...few
Shovelers...few
Shelduck...1
Grey Heron...1
Pink-footed Geese....c500 circled the reserve but dropped into fields behind.
Redshank...c30
Peregrine...1 on post
Brent Geese... everywhere with small flocks coming and going.
Common Gulls ...20
Greater Black-backed Gull...1
Little Egret...1
Curlew...1
Reed Buntings....3
Jackdaw...few.
Mute Swan...2
Golden Plover....c1000( similar estimate by the Cley Spy man)










-- Edited by keith mills on Sunday 15th of December 2013 08:40:35 AM

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Sunday 19th May 2013:

After an overnight stay and a bit of a lie-in following the Dusky Thrush twitch, myself and Alex Jones headed over to Norfolk for the afternoon.

Weeting Heath and surrounding area

1 Stone Curlew
2 Red-legged Partridges
1 Kestrel
1 Woodlark
1 Tree Pipit


RSPB Lakenheath

1 male Red-footed Falcon (showing superbly well through the binoculars over New Fen)
2 Marsh Harriers
2 Hobbies (one over New Fen , another perched up on the poplar plantation and showing well)
2 Golden Orioles (heard only)
1 Green Woodpecker
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
3 Cuckoos

Wicken Fen

1 Cetti's Warbler

A great few hours birding and nice to see some decent weather for a change.
biggrin

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Monday 20th of May 2013 07:36:54 PM

-- Edited by Phil Owen on Monday 20th of May 2013 08:29:47 PM

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Just back from three brilliant birding days 17th - 19th in Norfolk with Nick Isherwood and John Barber. Over the three days we recorded 124 species - the highlights were:-

Paxton Pits (on the way down) - we had really good views of one Nightingale that sang his head of for us from the top of a bush close to the path. We had fleeting views of another bird and heard several more. Kingfisher, Hobby and Cuckoo were also seen.

Weeting Heath - here three Stone Curlew were very visible from the west hide.

RSPB Lakenheath the star of the visit was the Red-footed Falcon that gave marvellous displays of insect catching along with a group of 6 Hobbies. We also heard a Golden Oriole calling but it didn't show itself. Also at this reserve 2 Common Cranes and a surprise Whooper Swan as well as a minimum of 4 Cuckoo, a booming Bittern and 2 Bearded Tits.

Holme Observatory and Dunes - several singing Lesser Whitethroat at the obs and in the dunes Nick found a a female Red backed Shrike, John and I were very impressed biggrin

Cley - a big reserve with a lot of walking produced a Little Stint and Common Sandpiper.

Sandringham Estate - Our Saturday evening attempt to find Nightjars proved unsuccessul although the twilight did give us many Woodcock flying over.

Titchwell RSPB - Marsh Harrier, Spoonbill, Barn Owl, Red-crested Pochard, Ruff, Knot and Dunlin with Common Scoter and Eider on the sea and 6 Gannet over.

Choseley Barns - 5 Corn Buntings and several Yellohammer around the yard.

I am sure that Nick got some great shots and that he will be posting in due course.

Nice to meet Richard Belter Manchester birder from Oldham.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Friday 31st of May 2013 11:42:29 PM

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Just back from my first Norfolk trip. The highlights included:

My favourite time was spent watching - 3 Marsh Harrier at Cley - consistent food passes and very close views - took me a long time to tear myself a way!

At Cley I also saw plenty of Avocets, Gadwall, Shelduck, Greylag Geese, 1 Common Sandpiper, etc
I enjoyed seeing a Hobby hunting for the first time - and even got a record shot!
It was an amazing experience to almost have a Sparrowhawk almost flying into the hide at one point even.
Little Egret....1
these were of most note....

Generally around other locations I enjoyed watching 2 Barn Owls hunting in the village where I stayed and was intrigued that the B&B had two slightly unsual visitors everyday to their garden in the form of two Red-Legged Partridge! They had named them Alan and Lin which did tickle me!

Unfortunately the rain and severe winds kept a lot at bay - but it was still a wonderful trip = uploading photos now :)

-- Edited by Lisa Naylor on Monday 13th of May 2013 11:45:15 PM

-- Edited by Lisa Naylor on Monday 13th of May 2013 11:51:57 PM

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Titchwell RSPB reserve 25/4 and 26/4

Two visits to Titchwell, but I spent a lot of time searching for one of the Cetti's Warblers that could be
heard from several different areas. Also I spent a lot of time watching two Water Voles.
One feeding (under) three feet from my feet.
And again I usually had my young dog so we had to keep to the Main Path!
So I never got to the Beach or Parrinder hide but I don't believe that I missed much

Best Sightings:

Cetti's Warbler..1 seen.
Blackcap.. 20 plus.On the Thursday there were at least a score of Blackcap in the bushes/trees from the car park
to the Centre. and more out towards Fen Hide. Both male and Female.
Water Rail ..1 In the ditch to the left of the main path going out to beach. Showing to 20 feet.
Sedge Warblers....several showing well, ''jumping'' up from the reeds regularly. Flight call or Insect catching?
Avocets ...plenty,
Swifts..2 on the 26th.
House Martin....5
Swallows..plenty.
Ruff...1
Redshank..10
Spotted Redshank..2...near full breeding plumage.
Sandwich Terns..2
Little Gulls..2
Whitethroat..1 female(called as A Lesser Whitethroat by a RSPB volunteer)
Curlew..1
Pintail Duck..pair
Grey Plover..1... asleep on the Shooter's Marsh!
Skylark..1
Dunlin..3
Herring Gull.... 2 pristine birds.
Geese...Brent and Greylag in abundance and 4 Canada geese.
Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff regularly seen.
Black-tailed Godwits ....c25 again very Red Islandica
Marsh Harriers..3... A pair up together and food pass seen( I missed the food pass!).Plus 1 more male.
Plus all the usual Ducks etc.
I enjoy this Placesmile

-- Edited by keith mills on Sunday 28th of April 2013 08:55:22 PM

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Hunstanton Cliffs and Norfolk Odds and Sods.

For the latter part of my week I moved from the Hotel at Kelling to a B&B in Old Hunstanton.
(This saved a lot of driving up and down the coast!)
Then each morning and evening, I walked my young dog on the Cliff tops.

Sightings:
25/4
Yellow Wagtail..10 plus
Swift..2 My First this year!
Swallows...12

Particularly in the evening up to 200 large Gulls (many immature) but mainly Lesser Black-backed
drifted along the cliff edge about 150 feet up. They do not move their wings. They appear often in rows,
one row after another, and all heading East.
They are totally silent and the parade just goes on and on.

The wintering Shag that I reported on on my last visit have left for their breeding grounds. They were
considered as Juvenile/1st -Winter birds and numbers got up to 100 plus.
The Fulmars are back on the Cliffs in numbers, flying just off the Cliff edge on fixed (stiff) wings.
Herring Gulls appear quite often over the Town, sometimes on chimney pots.
Along the bushes on the cliff edge are resident House Sparrows and Starlings.
Willow Warblers are in the Church Grounds.
At dusk 3 Kestrels were seen flying inland in a loose formation. The first time I have seen this.

I have been coming to Norfolk for over 30 years but I have never seen as many Pheasant and Red-legged Partridge
as this time. Pheasants appeared in many fields, and my Pheasant avoiding skills were honed to a fine art,
as on every journey some stepped out in front of my vehicle.

Although in lesser numbers, Red-legged Partridge were very common.Two even on the Pitch and Putt between Old Hunstanton and the town.

Greylag goslings were at several reserves, and a 10 strong brood of Mallard ducklings seen with their mother at Holme.






-- Edited by keith mills on Sunday 28th of April 2013 06:26:31 PM

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23/4 Walsey Hills NOA Site.

Next to Cley is this small NOA site. The main hide is on top of the hill and is entered by members key.
It overlooks the reeded pool, known as Snipe's Pool. Narrow tracks lead into the heart of a dense
mixture of bush and trees. The main track is a Public Footpath.
The site can attract rare birds, but not today. However I enjoyed 2 hours here.
Pheasant..1
Chaffinch.... 10 plus They seemed to be singing from every other tree using a range of song and call
Great Tits..4 plus
Dunnock..4 plus.
Wren..1
Willow Warbler..1 or 2
Blue Tit..2
Long-tailed Tit..1
Little Grebe...1
Coots..2
Pochard..4 (2 Drakes)
Greylag Goose..2
Sedge Warbler heard only.

22/4 Salthouse Marsh and Beach Road.

Peregrine..1 cruising overhead, lowish
Skylark..1
Meadow Pipits..4
Jay..1
Jackdaw..6
Great Tit..1
Little Egrets..3
Avocet..6
Curlew..19
Wimbrel...1
Herring Gull...12
Great Black-backed Gull...5
Cormorant..1
Swallows..6
Shelduck..3 over.
Wheatear..1
Rook..1
Teal..10
Redshank..5
Lapwing..3
Black-headed Gulls...few.
Greylag Geese ..plenty







-- Edited by keith mills on Sunday 28th of April 2013 04:46:23 PM

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22/4 Cley NWT Reserve.

Avocets...everywhere. The board gave 231 present this day.
Black-tailed Godwits..mostly well coloured Islandica birds . The board gave 156 present.
Curlews..in abundance
Shelduck..in abundance
Bar-tailed Godwit..1 on Arnolds Marsh
Marsh Harriers..3
White Wagtail..3
Pied Wagtail..3
Ringed Plover..3
Sandwich Terns ..18 flew in. Later up to a three figure number.
Reed Bunting..1
Shoveler..2
Gadwall..4
Common Snipe..2
Brent Geese..c40 ( All with dark belly except 1 with pale belly)

Nice to meet my namesake Chris Mills, who runs Norfolk Birding. He showed me an amazing video( on I-phone)
of pairs of Avocets pair bonding in groups.This is true folks!.... basically a few pairs form a circle,
just like in a Scottish Reel and then bow to the couple opposite. This performance goes on for sometime.
The video was taken this week.

-- Edited by keith mills on Sunday 28th of April 2013 10:25:52 AM

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23/4 and 24/4 Kelling Heath

A Dramatic Morning with the WOODLARKS

Two morning visits to this Heath. On the first I met the local Patch worker, and recorder, John Wagstaff,
who redirected me to the correct Woodlark area. Having managed a glimpse of a pair I returned for better views
the following morning. Again I got a glimpse of 2 as they flew off, but this time the wing markings could be seen.
I resolved to sit it out for their return. The preferred area is short vegetation near a wide path that runs
next to a railway cutting. Standing on the path for 50 minutes, there was little to see. Was I too obvious I thought?
So I started to sit down under a large gorse bush. Simultaneously 2 Woodlarks dropped down 15 yards in front
of me and started to feed. Showing really well. After 5 minutes a train came down the line powered by a steam engine.
The smoke from the engine hid the birds but then cleared. However after another minute the smoke started to drift back.
It appeared that the engine had started a fire in the cutting. As I had just signaled to a distant Birder,
that I was onto the Birds, he was making his way towards me, but was also making agitated gestures!
Looking at the fire, fanned by the breeze, I decided to cross the heath as the path back was suddenly cut off by flames!
The 2 Woodlark had already scarpered and I flushed two more on my escape ,as the Gorse that I had
been under went up in flames,with frightening ferocity
.
Other Birders had alerted the Crossing Keeper and 2 Fire Engines bounced along in under 15 minutes.
All was soon under control.

Apparently this is a regular event and the scorched earth soon regrows with new shoots to provide
a preferred habitat for the Woodlark.

In this case everyone seemed happy the Firemen were grinning(sorry), the Lady Gatekeeper was smiling,
A photographer was proud of his burning bush shot(flames 25 yards high).I had seen the Woodlarks
and I was told later, that they were back again within the hour.

Other Heath sightings:
Buzzards, Kestrels and Rooks nearly always over.
Willow Warbler
Chiffchaff
Linnets
Yellowhammer
Long-tailed Tit
I made A big effort for the Dartford Warbler , but alas no joy.






-- Edited by keith mills on Saturday 27th of April 2013 09:25:23 PM

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Glorious Norfolk weather for our weeks holiday, ending today.smilesmile Blue skies every day, and temperatures usually 20 degrees, except one day when it got to 23 degrees.

26/4 Choseley Drying Barns.

Red-legged Partridge..12
Pheasant..9
Yellowhammer..c35
Goldfinch..c15
Chaffinch..c25
Brambling..1
Greenfinch..1
Redstart(F)..1 watched for half an hour, as it went up and down from the hedge to the field.
Corn Bunting..2 perched in same hedge.
Common Whitethroat(F)..1 same hedge
Pied Wagtail..1
Kestrel..1

Brown Hares..4

There was not much human activity seen at the Barns( apart from a straying Birder) and I wonder how much are they being used?

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Jan 18th -21st

Friday:
After calling in at Little Paxton, Karen Foulkes, John Rayner, Riggers and myself headed over to Thetford, where a short walk along the river brought us brief but good views of the Black-bellied Dipper, as well as a flock of about 200 Siskins. After taking turns to spot the Kingfisher we headed off to Sculthorpe Moor to join Mike Ausberger. It seems the Golden Pheasant has decamped across the river, but we managed to find Marsh Tits, Water Rail, two Woodcock feeding at the side of the track and a very large flock of Bramblings.

Saturday:
In the dawn gloom at Whitlingham Country Park two male Egyptian Geese were having a right punch-up, with the female of one pair taking instant flight, while the other brayed abuse and/or encouragement from the sidelines (or possibly the Goose version of 'leave him, Farouk, he's not worth it) before joining in to chase off the looser. A possible glimpse of a Bittern, Lesser Redpoll, 21 Whooper Swans overhead and a good selection of the usual waterfowl and gulls. A brief visit to Great Yarmouth to add Mediterranean Gull to our trip list, then on to Brough Castle, where there were plenty of Marsh Harriers, but only one Buzzard, which managed not to reveal enough to be confirmed as the Rough-legged regularly reported here. A definate Bittern here as well. Reports from the Yare Valley at Cantley/Buckenham suggested that there were no geese of any kind to be seen so we headed to Stubbs Mill via the coast road where a second interesting Buzzard proved to be disappointingly Common. From the viewing platform we had 2 quartets of Common Cranes, male and ring-tailed Hen Harrier (the latter quite close) and the usual good numbers of Marsh Harrier. While digiscoping a Chinese Water Deer, messrs Rayner and Ausberger had a Barn Owl. One Lee Evans also sighted

Sunday:
We headed for Salthouse, where two Snow Buntings were feeding among the Turnstone in the beach car park. At Cley Eye we failed to find the two Shore Lark, but a brief sea watch produced several Gannets and two very distant shearwaters (species undetermined). 6 Brent Geese and 5 Little Gulls here as well. The White-fronted Goose flock was in fields just west of Lady Anne's Drive, where we also had Grey Partridge, and 12 Corn Buntings showed nicely, along with Yellowhammers and Chaffinches at Choseley Drying Barns. Titchwell was mostly frozen, but we managed to find Ringed and Grey Plovers, Sanderling, 3 Avocets and a nicely-marked Lapland Bunting from the public footpath. The resident female Red-crested Pochard was on the new pool east of Fen Hide, along with a pair of Pintail. A watch from Fen Hide produced 8 Marsh Harriers inc 2 males, a 2cy male Hen Harrier and 2 ring-tails (male and female judging by the size difference) and our best view of a Bittern for this trip. 51 Barnacle Geese on the grazing marsh were a bonus.

Monday:
As the weather seemed to have taken a turn for the worse we headed home early, after a brif and unproductive return to Whitlingham. No luck with the Smew at Pugney's Country Park either but a creditable 109 species for the weekend, given the weather.



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3rd to 10th ,November....
NORTH NORFOLK
A leisurely holiday but managed to get some birding in every day!
At Hunstanton there was an unusual phenomena of up to 60 Shags roosting on the cliffs. Arriving before dusk
I was treated to a fly past of 14 in front of my position, and then again as they turned back, before going in to roost.
Shag is usually scarce on this coast.

On the way to Snettisham Beach,in the grass field just before the car parks, was a mixed flock of
250 Pink-footed Geese together with c100 Egyptian Geese...70 of the Egyptian Geese were to one side of the Pink-footed Geese, the others were mixed in. I noticed that some of the Egyptian Geese were often in distinct small (family) groups,but this is the largest flock, in total, I have seen.
Pink -footed Geese were seen regularly flying over every day.
On Saturday leaving Titchwell late after dusk., over the car park came skein after skein. My estimate was 2500....heading towards Snettisham. More common sitings were in the order of 200-300. Quite often the skeins
would appear to change direction as though they were not sure of their course. I did not see many on the ground,
although I failed to visit Holcombe Fresh Marsh.

Brent Geese were everywhere,but not in vast numbers ,the largest gaggle was c200 on Well's Pitch and Putt. Skein's of 50 to 100 were common and some were on the shoreline at Hunstanton cliffs.
Greylag Geese were also about ,with 3 fair size skeins over, and a gaggle on marshy grass at Holme.

No sign of the White-rumped Sandpiper at Cley( last reported on the 4th Nov.)but great views of a perched juvenile Merlin near the hides. Also 2 Ruff and c250 Golden Plover.

At Flitcham Abbey Farm,the Red-legged Partridge (21) outnumbered the 2 Egyptian Geese and a Marsh Tit showed well in the bushes to the left of the hide. A Buzzard perched and ignored a Kestrel.
Two Marsh Harriers were seen at 3 sites... Holme, Titchwell,and Cley.

At Holme a Barn Owl hunted on Friday as dusk approached but the Bittern, seen regularly this week, would not show for me!

A highlight at Titchwell, on Friday afternoon, was a (real) Jack Snipe sleeping and then feeding with Teal near to the Parrinder Hide. 30 yards away from 5 common Snipe. I watched this bird for 40 minutes.
At Roydon Common, ( a first visit ) there was no sign of the Hen Harriers yet. In the scope I got great views of Redwings, Fieldfares,Blackbirds and a Wren drinking and bathing in puddles on the track.

Early on in the week flocks of migrants were seen, every few minutes, over the sand dunes and the sea at Old Hunstanton,
Among them were many Redwing and Blackbirds. At Holme, on a very wet Tuesday, virtually every bush held 3 or more Blackbirds, and on the verges,paths and roads!... an outstanding number in total.




-- Edited by keith mills on Saturday 10th of November 2012 10:44:00 PM

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We got quite excited about the northerly winds on the first day of our annual autumn Norfolk week (27th Oct) but on the beach at Titchwell frequent squally hail showers made it hard to stand up let alone see!. No birding that day. Sunday was a little better, but we got cold and wet on the sea wall at Burnham Overy looking for the little bunting which had sensibly gone off somewhere warmer. I left Mike to search Holkham Pines while I went round the Hall. Monday we did some proper birding, following a flock of 30 snow buntings from Salthouse to Cley. There was plenty of interest on the reserve pools including a white-rumped sandpiper, flocks of golden plover and marsh harriers overhead. Tuesday found us at Cley Spy where there was an obliging black redstart and the new Leica 65 on show which is now top of my Christmas list! A scenic trip through Broadland on the way to Hickling provided a small flock of waxwings, and we settled down at Stubb Mill to wait for the roost. The marsh harriers and one hen harrier put on a good display, as did a short-eared owl but for the first time in years no common cranes flew in. A small group had been seen flying over the Reserve earlier in the afternoon.

The next day we went back to Titchwell - tides and light were just right and we got superb views of 5 long-tailed duck, also slavonian grebes, eider, goldeneye and the usual busy flocks of waders on the beach. A brambling was on the Reserve feeders. Back at Salthouse at the third attempt we found the single shorelark feeding on horned poppy seeds, and in Wells Woods found a large tit flock containing scores of goldcrests and 2 yellow browed warblers. As it was raining heavily there were no dog walkers or other disturbance.

We were puzzled by the absence of large flocks of pink feet geese on the coastal grazings - previously we have seen several hundred. We found a large flock in a field of winter wheat near Chosely - perhaps they had only just arrived. Driving back through the Burnhams we spotted a Barn owl hunting close to the road and Mike was able to get some good photos.

A good week, with plenty of interest if few rarieties but I'd love to know where the geese are!

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Quick 2 day blast round norfolk,

Highlights

Titchwell

2 Slavonian grebes on the sea and a flock of Red brested mergansers, also Eiders, Found a flyby Red kite, Cettis Warblers singing, also Female Red crested pochard on the reserve, Spotted Redshank, lots of Wigeon and Pintail, Also Avocets still present

Saturday late afternoon, 4ish, White rumped Sandpiper at Cley, seem from the right hand hide of the three together in the middle of the reserve, great bird, nice to see the white rump and pale supercillium, looked great, kept itself to itself while we saw it, not mixing with the Dunlin or any other waders, also 200 ish Golden plover present, Ruff, Redshanks, marsh harriers, Barn Owl with a good sized Vole, and good starling roost here later

Salthouse

Red throated Diver at about 30ft out only, Kittiwakes and gannets on the sea

just 1 shorelark reported but not seen, quite a few bramblings about and redwings, no fieldfares?

dipped again on golden pheasant in the triangle

Egyptian goose at holkham pines,

Hunstanton had surprisingly 3 swallows and 1 house martin round the clifffs

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I had a quick visit to Titchwell last weekend and there was debate going on about whether an individual was a Baird's Sandpiper or a (mutant) Dunlin. A (not too good photograph) is in my Flickr photstream. Any thoughts, please?



http://www.flickr.com/photos/76345032@N04/

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Well I have had a blinding week in Norfolk 8th-15th . I have had 95 species and 10 lifers and it would have been greedy to expect more. Highlights

RSPB Titchwell (went there twice)
Pectoral Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Bittern, Egyptian Goose, Little Stint, Spoonbill (14 together), Great and Arctic Skua, Manx Shearwater (about 30 foot away in the water) Common Scoter, Brent Goose, Sandwich Tern, Golden Plover, Eider and all the usual waders and wildfowl

Rspb Snettisham
Spotted Redshank
Marsh Harrier
Big flocks of Knott and Grey Plover
Avocet

Holme NNR
Velvet Scoter
Common Scoter
Sanderling
Turnstone
(missed the Barred Warbler that was there all week)

Cley
Bearded Tit
Red Throated Diver
Pink Foot Geese.
Whimbrel

Went to WWT Welney as well but apart from good numbers of wildfowl, a few Yellow Wagtails and close views of marsh harrier nothing much else of note. Missed the Cranes that turned up after i left.

Stayed in Hunstanton which wasnt a bad base

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Cheers for that Nick, checked out the site and it looks a goodun' so i will use that i think.

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Bill Lavery wrote:

This is brill Rob as i am going on Saturday for a week, staying in Hunstanton. First time so this has given me confirmation of places to go.





If you can, get hold of a copy of 'Best Birdwatching sites in Norfolk'. It's got all the info you'll need.

Also check out www.norfolkbirds.com.

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This is brill Rob as i am going on Saturday for a week, staying in Hunstanton. First time so this has given me confirmation of places to go.

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Norfolk trip - last Friday 31st August to 1st September 2012

Highlights:

En route in the car:
Marsh Harrier - at the side of the main road into East Anglia (A17)
Kestrel

Ouse Washes:

Green Woodpecker on the path towards the southern hides
Black Tailed Godwits
Ruff
Great Crested Grebe
Little Egret
Kingfisher - up and down the water channel which runs in front of the hides
Greenshank (most hides)
Redshank
Snipe
Dunlin (winter and summer)
Cormorant
Spotted redshank
Ringed Plover
Teal
Wigeon
Garganey (over 20)
Shoveler
Tufted Duck
Common Tern
Pochard
Hobby
Green Sandpiper
Yellow Wagtail
At least 3 different Marsh Harriers

Missed the Glossy Ibis! An environment agency boat came down the channel and scared it to the other side of the reserve! But I saw the one at the Dee estuary so it wasnt so bad. It came back and its there again today.

Lakenheath Fen:

Tried for the common crane but it wasn't to be.
2 Marsh Harriers
Teal
Very quiet at this time of year really
1 Whooper Swan

Weeting Heath NNR:

Pheasant
Sparrowhawk
Common Buzzard
Willow Tit
Grey Partridge
Stock Dove
No sign of stone curlews, which is what this site is renowned for.

Hunstanton beach:

Sanderling
Knot - a load of them forming clouds as the tide moved in
Oystercatcher
Turnstone
Common Gull
Grey Plover
Curlew
Fulmar
Linnet
Sandwich tern

Cley NNR:

Barnacle Goose
Spoonbills (2)
1 Curlew Sandpiper
Shellducks
Little Ringed Plover
Little Stint
Wheatear
Common Sandpiper

RSPB Titchwell

Avocet
Robin
Common Scoter
Golden Plover

Great trip all in all










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22nd-24th June 2012.

A weekend birding in Norfolk brought a great change from the norm.
I stayed in Snettisham, but worked my way round reserves at Titchwell, Cley, Stiffkey and Hunstanton. I didn't get round to all those I wanted to as I found myself spending too much time at each. This was a good thing.
The main highlights for me were several life ticks which included Bar-tailed Godwit and Mediterranean Gull at Snettisham beach, Spotted Redshank, Little Gull and Spoonbill at Titchwell, and Bearded Tits at Cley.
A Sacred Ibis truned up in a field while we were at Cley, it's origin, a suspected escapee.
All in all it was a fantastic trip with good weather to boot. Nice to see something different for a change. Woodlands can be a bit samey some times.

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Nick Isherwood wrote:

Just added 20 photos from my Norfolk trip to my flickr page for anyone interested.





Loving the Hobbys and the Marsh Harrier!

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Just added 20 photos from my Norfolk trip to my flickr page for anyone interested.

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Just back today from my first ever birding trip to Norfolk. There should have been three of us going but due to unforeseen circumstances the other two had to drop out. Anyway, as I didn't want to miss out on the trip I decided to go by myself.

The accommodation was a small B&B in Hunstanton called Garganey House and is run by a keen birder so there was plenty of advice available.

After my first stop on the way down at Paxton Pits (see other thread) I arrived in Norfolk at around lunchtime on Friday. I decided to kill a few hours by doing a quick recce of a few places I wanted to see, these being Wolferton Triangle and Snettisham. After here I went for a small wander down by the dunes and marsh at Holme by the sea. Besides the masses of Meadow Pipits here I managed a Whinchat, a Cuckoo and a fly through Turtle Dove. A great start.

After checking in and grabbing some tea my next plan was to go and look fir Nightjars on Dersingham bog. I found the spot ok but turned up way too early and so ended up hanging around like a spare part for a while as I waited for something to happen. I was soon joined by another chap who was also looking for the Nightjar. At around 8.15 we started seeing the odd roding Woodcock
and a Grasshopper Warbler could be heard nearby too but it wasn't until about 9.10 that the action started. We first heard the occasional burst of churring and then our eyes were suddenly drawn to 30 yards to our right were four Nightjars had appeared and were chasing eachother around. From there it just got better; on odd occasion the Nightjars buzzed around our heads at a distance of only eight feet. The light was still quite reasonable and so you could pick out lots of detail on the birds. Definitely an experience I will not forget and as there was a bit of a breeze I only got bitten once by the midges.

Saturday morning saw an early rise as i tried for a Golden Pheasant at Wolferton. After an hour of hanging around though I decided to give up and went for a walk at RSPB Snettisham. A very big reserve with some very nice habitat. Key birds noted here were several Avocet, a Whinchat and plenty Reed and Sedge Warblers.

After a hearty breakfast I then headed to Weeting Heath for the Stone Curlews. Two pairs were present but quite distant. Reasonable views were still had though and another lifer was ticked. I then found myself a Woodlark on the Heath which apparently have been a little thin on the ground this year. Apart from this the only other bird noted was a yaffling Green Woodpecker.

After Weeting I went on to RSPB Lakenheath. The size of this place is
immense. Parts of it reminded me a little of Leighton Moss Hugo reckon Lakenheath is bigger. Walking around the reserve in the heat of the sun with all my kit was a little hard work at times but the rewards were excellent. Besides the odd Marsh Harrier hunting over the reed beds there were also 6 Hobbies hawking for Dragonflies. Forty Hobbies had been reported two days earlier though - unbelievable! At one point on my walk around I came up to the river bank where two Hobbies were completely absorbed in catching dragonflies. As such, I ended up getting views down to twenty yards and also
getting probably the best photos I've ever taken.

A Golden Oriole in the second Poplar plantation kept everyone busy by constantly calling but it was impossible to locate the bird in the trees. It was hard work hanging around in the hot sun so I didn't wait around for this bird too long. Further around on the reserve I was also treated to two Cranes that have apparently bred there. The chick wasn't on view but the two adult birds' heads were clearly visible above the reeds. An excellent reserve and one I'll
definitely return to again in the future.

A short visit in the evening to a site called Gypsy Lane (at the back of Titchwell) gave me a fly over Spoonbill and a couple of Marsh Harriers too.

Sunday morning saw me visiting RSPB Titchwell. A very nice reserve with loads of good habitat. I spent a nice few hours wandering around here and besides the hoards of Reed and Sedge Warblers I also had three Cetti's Warblers and several Bearded Tits which were happily feeding young in the reedbeds in front
of me. On top of this I also had brief views of a Crane hidden in the reeds as
well as half a dozen Little Gulls and four Little Terns feeding on the saltwater
pools.

After lunch I made my way down to Cley next the sea. Another similar type of reserve to Titchwell and here I had more Marsh Harriers and another three Cetti's Warblers - one even in the car park.

A tiring but really rewarding trip down here and I'll definitely be back in the future. Overall I managed 4 new lifers and saw loads of birds which are more scarce up here.

Once I've sorted all the photos out I'll put them up on my flickr page.

-- Edited by Nick Isherwood on Monday 28th of May 2012 10:15:04 PM

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Origally posted by Alex Jones on January 18th 2012:



Norfolk is one of those great places, and many birders can relate it to a past experience of a mega rareity. I went with The Biggest Twitch a couple of weeks ago to for 3 days with a aim to try and pick up as many birds as possible.
After an early start, we soon found ourselves (5 hours later) charging towards a hide at Cley Marshes for a very rare American species. The bird was a Western Sandpiper, not too dissimilar to our well-known Dunlin. He soon locked onto this very special bird feeding with a flock of Dunlin (just to try and confuse us). It wasnt too bad; the star bird was noticeably smaller and a lot fresher looking, appearing paler. We also picked up Wigeon, Teal, Golden Plover, Ruff, Brent Geese, Bearded Tit, Pintail and Avocet.

If interested in the Western Sandpiper, images from the trip here: http://www.birdingnorthwales.blogspot.com

This took us into the afternoon, where on our way to the next site, Alan spotted a Rough Legged Buzzard sitting proudly on show from the roadside. These birds are generally a lot paler in colour than the more well-known Common Buzzard and appear more Eagle-like than anything. We soaked up the views and moved on to Holken. For anyone who knows this place well, this is a real Goose fest, with thousands upon thousands of mainly Pink footed Geese. We also picked up a handful of White Fronted Geese and a couple of Barnacles there. Grey Partridge, a bird of real decline showed very well, as did the Marsh Harriers floating over the marshes. We then moved on to our last site of the day where we witnessed a raptor show with peregrines, Sparrowhawks, Hen and Marsh harriers flying across over the marshes.

The second day took us to Titchwell, another early start and we were down at the beach seawatching. Bar and Black Tailed Godwits, Grey Plover, Knot and Turnstones were all on show. A couple of passing Red-Throated Divers showed well along with 3 lovely Long-Tailed Ducks. Backtracking into the reserve, we caught up with Common Snipe, Tufted Duck, Little Egrets, Spotted Redshank and a young drake Scaup. Alan, with his excellent i.d nailed a Mediterranean Gull in flight and we were also blessed with fantastic views of Water Rail. There was also another special bird at the reserve: an Cours Arctic Redpoll which gave amazing views from the overhead birch trees. These were accompanied by their more familiar Lesser Redpoll which are browner in colour.

Moving on at the speed of light with no time to lose, we took off to Buckenham Marshes whereby another mega rareity was spending its winter. It was a Lesser White Fronted Goose typically from Russia! This one was proving a lot more difficult to track down. The goose was supposed to be hanging around with the Taiga Bean Geese which were a lot easier to see. After a good 45 minutes, the hope was fading until a guy who was watching nearby called it now when I say we saw the bird, we were incredibly jammy as the bird literally came straight up out of one ditch and walked straight down into another gone, all within a space of 10 seconds. Okay, no time to waste, lets go! We werent going to get any better views.
The next bird to get was a Ring Necked Duck showing well from a lake a few miles from the goose site and this was followed by 6 Common Cranes and a Yellowhammer at Hickling broad NWT to end the day off nicely.

The next day was spent at Wolferton Triangle where a splendid male Golden Pheasant but on a fantastic display. It waltzed across the road without a care in the world, it hardly stirred when a speeding car zoomed past it. Amazing! Soon after, we were rewarding with brilliant views of Barn Owl on the side of the road on the way back to the hotel for breakfast. We were staying at Hunstanton so after breakfast we decided to seawatch from the cliff. Fulmars cruised past while on the sea, Red Breasted Mergansers, Common Scoter, Eider, Razorbill and 4 Velvet Scooters showed off nicely.

After a nice view of a Short Eared Owl, we thought wed leave Norfolk for some quality time at Stirtloe Sewage Works. What was the attraction? Well, 7 smew and a Ferruginous Duck of course! These birds showed amazingly on a nearby lake. These were also joined by a cracking Yellow Legged Gull, Treecreeper and a Green Woodpecker also on site.
This marked a fantastic end to a mind blowing trip to Norfolk. Our trip total was just short of 130 birds which also made a great start to our yearlists.

Alex

Many Thanks to Alan and Ruth (The Biggest Twitch)

Images of Western Sandpiper, Arctic Redpoll, Rough-Legged Buzzard, Golden Pheasant and other specialities from the trip, please visit http://www.birdingnorthwales.blogspot.com

-- Edited by Alex Jones on Wednesday 18th of January 2012 09:26:35 PM


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Me and my better half spent the week in Norfolk/Suffolk from Monday to Friday.On the drive down there we had a yellowhammer at a service station near Corby red kite around the same area hunting low down giving good views.a couple of suicidal grey partridges flew across the motorway and not far from our destination was a red legged partridge sar on a manure pile.on the way we stopped off at weeting heath and just missed the stone curlew by 15 mins.did manage 3 woodlark green woodpecker displaying curlew plenty of muntjac and a marsh tit in full voice.
Picked up some cracking birds where we were staying including cetti's warbler Egyptian goose male marsh Harrier male hen harrier and a cuckoo calling from a tree opposite the barge we were staying on!
We then spent 3 days around minsmere and decided to stop off at welney wet on the way back.good start to the day when we saw a cuckoo from the car park perched calling from a tree on the reserve and saw a black tailed godwit performing display flight over lady fen.
On the reserve were a male yellow wagtail 5 little ringed plover stock dove 2 common tern avocet 9 whooper swan marsh harrier buzzard kestrel sparrowhawk and 3 little egrets(one in summer plumage).also on lady fen was a fortunate/unfortunate common gull with an injured wing but within the fox proof fencing.plenty of the usual stuff about.return journey produced very little as it was persisting down and I was half asleep!
Good trip and minsmere was superb.

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6 Bolton RSPB members spent Monday-Friday in Norfolk last week. Had brilliant weather - sunshine every day but slightly windy so was still pretty chilly on the coast.

Highlights as follows:

Monday 19/03/12:
Choseley Barns
Yellowhammer
Corn bunting
House sparrow (no tree sparrows)
Grey partridge
Red legged partridge

Titchwell
Chiffchaff
Lesser redpoll
Mealy redpoll - couldn't see any sign of the Arctic
Avocet
Dark bellied brent goose
Golden plover
Grey plover
Ringed plover
Bar tailed godwit
Spotted redshank
Marsh harrier
Sparrowhawk
Eider
Red breasted merganser
Long tailed duck
Red necked grebe
(last 4 on the sea).

On the way to the hotel we spotted a barn owl and then saw a tawny owl at the hotel itself.

Tuesday 20/03/12
Kelling Quags
Marsh tit
Egyptian goose
Dark bellied brent goose
Wheatear
Goldcrest

Cley
Marsh harrier
Bearded tit
Avocet
Bar tailed godwit
Stonechat
Water rail (really good views as it worked its way feeding up a channel)
Ringed plover
Knot
Cetti's warbler (heard only)

Wednesday 21/03/12
Fellbrigg Hall
Whooper swan
Mistle thursh
Treecreeper

Sea Palling
Eider
Red throated diver
Gannet

Stubb Mill
Common crane
Marsh harrier
Hen harrier
Short eared owl
Tawny owl at the car park

Thursday 22/03/12
Kelling Heath
Dartford warbler
Woodlark
Stonechat

Holkham Gap
Shore lark
Red breasted merganser

Holkham pines
Firecrest
Chiffchaff
Marsh harrier
Blackcap (heard only - couldn't find it in the dense vegetation!)

Burnham Overy
White fronted goose

Didnt see any sign of the rough legged buzzard.

Friday 23/03/12
Titchwell
Garganey
Water rail
Egyptian goose

Hunstanton
Fulmar

Abbey Farm, Flitcham
Little owl
Egyptian goose
Grey partridge
Red legged partridge

Over the week the expected duck & wader species were seen at all the coastal locations: gadwall, wigeon, teal, shoveler,shelduck, pochard, avocet, redshank, dunlin, ruff, oystercatcher, lapwing. There were also plenty of the usual garden birds around and an unbelievable number of woodpigeons - you couldn't go 2 minutes without seeing them.



-- Edited by Holly Page on Thursday 29th of March 2012 08:19:53 AM

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Late report from last weekend. I ventured down with my wife and 3 month old baby son, so birding took on a new dimension, but was still pretty constructive with 109 species seen.

I went down last Weds evening till Sunday afternoon, so arrived in time for the start of the big freeze, which seemed to have spooked many of the birds off the usual north coast haunts. I was staying in West Runton and spent most of my time along the north coast, but the usual 1,000s geese and other wildfowl/waders were not in supply in the usual spots and the Western Sandpiper did a disappearing act along with the 1,000 odd of his Dunlin pals and spread themselves thin over many square km's of marsh and grassland, so was unable to find it despite my best efforts. However, here are some of the highlights of the trip, which to name a few were Black-throated Diver off West Runton, finding a male Firecrest at Holkham, watching a Rough-legged Buzzard come in to roost at Holkham, picking out Lapland Buntings from large Skylark flocks and splitting the Willow and Marsh Tits at Sculthorpe Moor!? All great fun:

THURSDAY - 2nd Feb 2012
West Runton 0730-0900hrs (cold light-mid easterly)

Red-throated Diver 70 (mostly W to E)
Black-throated Diver 1 (W to E)
Gannet 2
Fulmar 4
Cormarant 3
Guillemot 20+
Razorbill 6+
Wigeon 6
Common Scoter 2
Golden Plover 1
Lapwing 50+

Salthouse 1130-1200
Snow Bunting 50+
Turnstone 20+
Dunlin 80+
Marsh Harrier 2
Red-throated Diver 2
Dark-bellied Brent Goose 120
Greenland White-fronted Goose 29
Barnacle Goose 1
Ruff 8

Cley 1200-1330
Marsh Harrier 3
Merlin 1
Dunlin 200+
Curlew 30+
Golden Plover 14
Redshank 20+
Ruff 50+
Avocet 12
Pintail 8
DB Brent Goose 300+
Wigeon 150+
Teal 250+
Gadwall 2
Skylark 12

Holkham Pine 1400-1630
Firecrest 1
Goldcrest 5
Snipe 2
Rough-legged Buzzard 1 (spotted by the wife)
Common Buzzard 1
Kestrel 1
Barn Owl 3

FRIDAY - 3rd Feb 2012
Sherringham - 0800-0900hrs (clear, cold, mild westerly)

Red-throated Diver 55 (mostly W to E)
Great Crested Grebe 1
Gannet 3
Fulmar 3
Cormarant 1
Guillemot 6
Razorbill 2
Pochard 3
Dunlin 3
Ringed Plover 6
Turnstone 20+
Curlew 1

Salthouse - 0900-0930hrs (clear, cold, frozen water)
Snow Bunting 50+
Turnstone 20+
Dunlin 40+
Marsh Harrier 1
Red-throated Diver 6
Dark-bellied Brent Goose 28
Greenland White-fronted Goose 29

Walsey Hills 0940-1000hrs (water frozen)
Bullfinch 1
Skylark 1

Cley - 1000-1115hrs (cold, light westerly)
Marsh Harrier 4 (3f, 1m)
Peregrine 2 (pair?)
Dunlin 500+
Turnstone 40+
Curlew 10+
Redshank 20+
Ruff 45+
Grey Plover 3
Pintail 20+
DB Brent Goose 500+
Wigeon 1000+
Teal 1000+
Gadwall 3
Skylark 10
Linnet 20+
Goldfinch 40+

Sculthorpe Moore 1430-1600
R.L.Partridge 8+
Fieldfare/Redwing 50+
Woodcock 1
Marsh Tit 8+
Willow Tit 2
Bullfinch 2
GS Woodpecker 1 (heard only)
Common Buzzard 2
Water Rail 1
Goldcrest 1

Muntjac Deer 1

SATURDAY - 4th Feb 2012
Burnham 1100hrs

Lapland Bunting 6
Skylark 60+
Egyptian Goose 2+2 (nearby fields)

Titchwell 1130-1400
Little Grebe 1
DB Brent Goose 3000+
Shoveller 16
Pochard 8
Pintail 30+
Gadwall 4
Teal 300+
Wigeon 500+
Bar-tailed Godwit 1
Black-tailed Godwit 5
Dunlin 100+
Redshank 20+
Marsh Harrier 3
Little Egret 2
Lesser Redpoll 20+ (couldn't find Arctic, as flock very mobile and in poor light)

Chinese Water Deer 1

Holkam Pine 1430-1600
Common Buzzard 1
Wigeon 400+
Goldeneye 3
Little Grebe 3
DB Brent Goose 5000 (distant in flight)
Pink-footed Goose 100+
Skylark 200+
Coal Tit 2
Goldcrest 6

Muntjac 2

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As Rob's list but with Ferruginous Duck swopped for Shrike, plus 2 Bitterns, 5-9 Cranes and a passing Spoonbill.

You didn't recongnise Messrs Rigby & Rayner 'cos they were cunningly disguised as Oldham Birders.

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