Monday 31 January 2022

Norfolk Day: 31.01.22


Wren at dusk, Titchwell car park


Bar tailed godwit into the high tide roost

White fronted geese, Holkham Freshmarsh

Off to a very breezy North Norfolk this morning. 

Checked Wells Harbour as I thought some seabirds may have taken shelter there from the high winds and rough North Sea, but here, that was not the case. 

Moved on to Cley beach for a sea watch but it was impossible to keep the telescope still in the high winds. So strong my tripod was blown over and it was difficult to stand still, never mind walk directly into the wind, so I moved on to the East Bank where usual fare was found: redshank, dunlin, wildfowl, cormorants but very little was flying apart from geese sp, a Marsh harrier and gulls.

Back to the car and I thought somewhere sheltered would be better, so parked outside Holkham Hall for a long walk searching for the White tailed eagle that roosts here but not to be seen. Big numbers of wildfowl on the large lake along with plenty more geese overhead. A Barnacle goose was consorting with a pair of Egyptian geese.

Back to the car, a quick check down Lady Anne's drive where there was a flock of White fronted geese in with greylags and pinkfoots before lunch at Brancaster Staithe where the birds were sheltering on the leeward side of a mud bank. Still tricky to get photos as the wind battered the camera before I concluded with a 3-4 hours stay at Titchwell. Here, the highlight was a pair of Red breasted mergansers on the Tidal Pool, sheltering from the turbulent sea. It was high tide so the waders were all sheltering on the far side of the Tidal pool where, as I returned from the beach, a party of 4 Pintail dropped in.

Took loads of photos as the camera was getting such a buffeting from the wind, I need up to 10 of each subject in the hope one would be relatively sharp. Not many made the grade.

Species list. NFY= New for year

  1. Red throated diver NFY
  2. Great crested grebe
  3. Little grebe
  4. Cormorant
  5. Grey heron
  6. Little egret
  7. Great white egret
  8. Mute swan
  9. Greylag goose
  10. Pink footed goose NFY
  11. White fronted goose NFY
  12. Brent goose
  13. Barnacle goose NFY
  14. Canada goose
  15. Shelduck
  16. Eyptian goose NFY
  17. Mallard
  18. Gadwall
  19. Wigeon
  20. Teal
  21. Pintail
  22. Shoveler
  23. Pochard
  24. Tufted duck
  25. Common scoter NFY
  26. Red breasted merganser NFY
  27. Red kite 
  28. Common buzzard
  29. Marsh harrier
  30. Kestrel
  31. Red legged partridge
  32. Pheasant
  33. Moorhen
  34. Coot
  35. Oystercatcher
  36. Avocet
  37. Ringed plover NFY
  38. Golden plover
  39. Grey plover NFY
  40. Turnstone
  41. Lapwing
  42. Dunlin NFY
  43. Knot NFY
  44. Sanderling NFY
  45. Redshank
  46. Curlew
  47. Black tailed godwit
  48. Bar tailed godwit NFY
  49. Black headed gull
  50. Herring gull
  51. Common gull
  52. Lesser BB gull
  53. Great BB gull
  54. Kittiwake
  55. Wood pigeon
  56. Collared dove
  57. Barn Owl x 2 NFY
  58. Green woodpecker
  59. Great spotted woodpecker
  60. Skylark
  61. Meadow pipit
  62. Pied wagtail
  63. Robin
  64. Blackbird
  65. Mistle trhush
  66. Redwing
  67. Long tailed tit
  68. Great tit
  69. Coal tit
  70. Blue tit
  71. Wren
  72. Chaffinch
  73. Goldfinch
  74. Linnet
  75. House sparrow
  76. Starling
  77. Magpie
  78. Jay
  79. Jackdaw
  80. Rook
  81. Carrion crow.
Windswept Egyptian geese, Holkham Hall

Coot: Holkham Lake

Grey Heron, Holkham Lake

Pink footed geese

Fallow buck


Fallow hind

Looks like she is about to sneeze.

Fallow hind

Barnacle goose, Holkham

Drake teal sheltering from the gale.

Brent geese into Titchwell

Herring gull

More Brent geese


Grey plover

distant Ringed plover

Red breasted mergansers

Drake red breasted merganser

Sanderling, Titchwell beach

Thursday 27 January 2022

Species list from Oare Marshes and Elmley NNR yesterday 26.01.22

  1. Cormorant
  2. little egret
  3. grey heron
  4. mute swan
  5. greylag goose
  6. brent goose
  7. shelduck
  8.  mallard
  9. gadwall
  10. pintail
  11. shoveler
  12. wigeon
  13. teal
  14. pochard
  15. marsh harrier
  16. kestrel
  17. common buzzard
  18. sparrowhawk
  19. peregrine falcon
  20. pheasant
  21. water rail ((heard)
  22. moorhen
  23. coot
  24. oystercatcher
  25. avocet
  26. golden plover
  27. lapwing
  28. turnstone
  29. redshank
  30. black tailed godwit
  31. curlew
  32. snipe
  33. black headed gull
  34. lesser black backed gull
  35. herring gull
  36. wood pigeon
  37. collared dove
  38. skylark
  39. meadow pipit
  40. pied wagtail
  41. wren
  42. robin
  43. stonechat
  44. song thrush
  45. redwing
  46. blackbird
  47. cettis warbler (heard)
  48. great tit
  49. blue tit
  50. long tailed tit
  51. magpie
  52. jackdaw
  53. carrion crow
  54. rook
  55. starling
  56. house sparrow
  57. chaffinch
  58. linnet
  59. reed bunting

Mute swan


Grey heron



Saturday 8 January 2022

2022 Bird List Updated 29.11.22


Bird List 2022.  

  1. Great crested grebe

2.     Little grebe

3.     Cormorant

4.     Little egret

5.     Cattle egret

6.     Great white egret (Dungeness)

7.     Grey heron

8.     Mute swan

9.     Greylag goose

10.  Canada goose

11.  Bean goose (Dungeness)

12.  Mallard

13.  Gadwall

14.  Teal

15.  Shoveler

16.  Pochard

17.  Goldeneye

18.  Tufted duck

19.  Scaup

20.  Red kite

21.  Common buzzard

22.  Marsh harrier

23.  Kestrel

24.  Sparrowhawk


Peregrine falcons


25.  Peregrine falcon

26.  Moorhen

27.  Coot

28.  Redshank

29.  Black headed gull

30.  Herring gull

31.  Caspian gull

32.  Lesser black backed gull

33.  Great back blacked gull

34.  Kittiwake

35.  Stock dove

36.  Green woodpecker

37.  Great spotted woodpecker

38.  Nuthatch



39.  Wood pigeon

40.  Collared dove

41.  Tawny owl

42.  Little owl

43.  Meadow pipit

44.  Pied wagtail

45.  Wren

46.  Robin

47.  Black redstart (Dungeness)

48.  Mistle thrush

49.  Fieldfare

50.  Redwing

51.  Blackbird

52.  Cetti’s warbler

53.  Goldcrest

54.  Great tit

55.  Blue tit

56.  Long tailed tit

57.  Bearded reedling

58.  Magpie

59.  Jay

60.  Jackdaw

61.  Carrion crow

62.  Rook

63.  Starling

64.  Chaffinch

65.  Goldfinch

66.  Bullfinch

67.  Greenfinch

68.  Siskin

69.  Reed bunting

70.  Yellowhammer

71. Marsh tit (Bloodhounds Wood)

72. Pheasant

73. Raven

74. Skylark

Red Kite on a bright January morning

75. Linnet
76. Song thrush
78. Common gull
79. Lapwing.
80. Stonechat
81. Mandarin
82. Snipe
83. Pintail (Rainham Marsh)
84. Shelduck.
85. Woodcock (Millennium Wood)
Pintail at Rainham Marsh

86. Red legged partridge
87. Tree creeper
88. Curlew
89. Redshank
90. Oystercatcher
91. Short eared owl (Elmley)
92. Brent goose.
93. Avocet
94. Golden plover
95. Turnstone
96. Black tailed godwit
97. Hawfinch (Hatfield Forest)
Short eared owl.

98. Red throated diver
99. Pink footed goose
100. White fronted goose (Holkham)
101. Egyptian goose
102. Barnacle goose
103. Common scoter
104. Red breasted merganser (Titchwell)
105. Ringed plover
106.Grey plover
107. Dunlin
108. Knot
109. Bar tailed godwit
110. Sanderling
111. Barn owl (Brancaster)

Barnacle goose

Egyptian goose


Red breasted merganser

112. Kingfisher (River Stort)
113. Grey wagtail
114. Goosander (Abberton)
115. Smew (Abberton)
116. Ruff (Abberton)
117. Rose ringed parakeet (Much Hadham)

Grey wagtail

White fronted geese at Holkham

Ruff at Abberton

Goosander at Abberton

118: Jack snipe (Minsmere)
119. Lesser yellowlegs (Minsmere)
120. Whooper swan (Minsmere)
121. Grey partridge (Little Hadham)
122. Merlin (Suffolk near Pebmarsh)
123. Chiffchaff (Stansted Airport Lagoons)
124. Green sandpiper (Stansted Airport Lagoons)
125. Mediterranean Gull (Cliffe)
126. Greenshank (Cliffe)
127 Garden warbler (Cliffe)
Whooper swan

Lesser yellowlegs with Redshank at Minsmere.

Mediterranean Gull with ring that I have reported.
Edit: Ringed in Brussels, reported from Belgium and France before this record being first for this bird in England.

128. Spoonbill (Thornham Marsh)
129. Garganey (Cley)
130. Hobby (Titchwell)
131 Little ringed plover (Titchwell)
132. Brambling (Titchwell)
133. Red crested pochard (Rye Meads)
134. Gannet (Dungeness)
135. Glossy ibis (Dungeness)
136. Willow warbler (Dungeness)
137. Reed warbler (Dungeness)
138. Wheatear (Dungeness)
139. Swallow (Airport lagoons)

Brambling, Titchwell

Drake Garganey, Cley

Red crested pochard at Rye Meads RSPB Reserve


Glossy ibis

Little Ringed plover at Stansted Airport Lagoons 08.04.22

140. Whitethroat (Amwell)
141. Sedge warbler (Amwell)
142. Sand martin (Kelling Quags)
143. Sandwich tern (Cley beach)
144. Dartford warbler (Kelling Heath)
145. Common sandpiper (Stansted Airport Lagoons)
146. House martin (Standon village)

Common sandpiper at SAL.

Sedge warbler at Amwell HMWT Reserve 16.04.22

147. Swift (Amwell)
148. Common tern (Amwell)
149. Great Northern Diver (Portland Bill)
150. Fulmar (The Bill)
151. Balearic shearwater (The Bill)
152. Shag (The Bill)
153. Arctic skua (The Bill)
154. Guillemot (The Bill)
155. Razorbill (The Bill.)
156. Little Tern (Ferrybridge)
157. Rock pipit (The Bill)
158. Spotted flycatcher (West Cliffs, Portland)

Common tern




Rock pipit


159. Stone curlew (Weeting Heath)
160. Common crane (Lakenheath)
161. Cuckoo (Lakenheath)
162. Bittern (Lakenheath)
163. Water rail (Lakenheath)
164. Hoopoe (Hinxworth)

Bee eaters at Trimingham Quarry

Pied flycatcher at Gramborough Hill

Whinchat Ash Valley Golf Course, Little Hadham

Hoopoe at Hinxworth near Baldock

165. Wood lark (Kelling Heath)
166. Bee eater (Trimingham)
167. Spotted redshank (Titchwell)
168. Yellow wagtail (SAL)
169. Pied flycatcher (Wells Woods)
170 Whimbrel (Titchwell)
171. Lesser whitethroat (Wells Woods)
172. Pectoral sandpiper (Cley)
173. Whinchat (Little Hadham)
174. Long billed dowitcher (Cley)
175. Pallas's warbler (Holkham Pines)
176. Wood warbler (Holkham Pines)
177. Firecrest (Holkham Pines)
178. Red necked Grebe (Holkham)
179. Hen Harrier (Choseley)
180. Shore lark (Holkham)
181. Water pipit (Titchwell)
182. Twite (Salthouse)
183. Lesser Redpoll (Titchwell)
184. Long tailed duck (Abberton)
185. Slavonian grebe (Abberton)
186. Little Stint (Abberton)

This is me

This is me
At the end of another Norfolk Coastal footpath walk. 47 miles, 3 days 99 species of bird. September 2009

Caley Wood view

Caley Wood view
sunshine through the canopy 29.05.08

A walk along the Warta Valley, Poznan, Poland. Feb 2007

A walk along the Warta Valley, Poznan, Poland. Feb 2007
Best birds on this walk: black and middle spotted woodpecker and short toed treecreeper

About Me

My photo
A primary school teacher for 30 years, I retired from teaching in July 2009 to set up my own science enhancement and communication company. The Primary Works offers science clubs, workshops and staged science shows nationwide. I have always been interested in bird watching since my early years. Apparently my first tick was after inquiring about a chaffinch and then receiving the Observer book of birds. By the age of 9 I had moved on to Tory Peterson's collins guide and was now involved on YOC birding holidays to Northumbria, Essex coast, Slimbridge and Yorkshire. My twitching rule is that I will willingly travel 1km for each gram the bird weighs. However, I have had many rarities just by being in the right place. I have travelled widely throughout Europe and also visited Australia and Sri Lanka. In 2016 I spent time at Portland Bird Obs and two trips to Aviero, Portugal. 2017 found me back in Sri Lanka in Feb/March, then July and back for New Year's Eve celebrations in December. Also returned to The Camargue in May for a 4 day trip. Few plans for 2018, but nothing yet booked apart from a trip to the IOW.

Grey heron

Grey heron
Over the allotment 28.09.08

Southern Hawker

Southern Hawker
Ridge footpath 27.08.08

Juvenile green woodpecker (17.08.08)

Juvenile green woodpecker (17.08.08)
Note the stripes, denoting a bird fledged this year.

common blue

common blue
Ash Valley G.C. 15.08.08

Indian balsam (impatiens glandulifera)

Indian balsam (impatiens glandulifera)
River Ash

azure damselfly

azure damselfly
River Ash 28.07.08

marbled white

marbled white
Discovered at Westland Green 22.07.08

ruddy darter

ruddy darter
Bush Wood 21.07.08

honeysuckle 19.07.08

honeysuckle 19.07.08
growing in hedgerow in Chapel Lane

cinnabar moth caterpillar

cinnabar moth caterpillar
Photographed on ragwort 19.07.08


Study of petals 11.06.08

male yellowhammer

male yellowhammer

common blue butterfly

common blue butterfly

River Ash

River Ash
looking south from the bridge at Hadham Ford

Common poppy (papaver rhoeas)

Common poppy (papaver rhoeas)
in rape field 29.05.08

Caley Wood sunshine

Caley Wood sunshine

Millenium Wood fox

Millenium Wood fox

common comfrey (symphytum officinale)

common comfrey (symphytum officinale)
06.05.08 banks of the River Ash

Garlic Mustard or Jack by the Hedge,(Alliara petiolata)

Garlic Mustard or Jack by the Hedge,(Alliara petiolata)
flowers, leaves and fruit edible . Good in salad and pesto

April showers

April showers
Double rainbow 30.04.08

Caley Wood bluebells

Caley Wood bluebells

Yellow Archangel

Yellow Archangel
Chapel Lane (20.04.08)

sunlight 16.04.08

sunlight 16.04.08
looking south west from Bush Wood

snowy buds

snowy buds
06.04.08 in Bush Wood

Looking north west

Looking north west
05.04.08 evening shower approaching

Back Garden

Back Garden
Easter Sunday (23.03.08)

Brick Kiln Hill

Brick Kiln Hill
Looking east (23.03.08)

No play today

No play today
The 2nd hole at Ash Valley golf course

Teasel head

Teasel head
Bush Wood (21.03.08)


daffodils at Bush Wood pond (21.03.08)

Swollen River Ash

Swollen River Ash
The river at the bottom of Winding Hill 16.03.08

Daybreak over the chapel

Daybreak over the chapel
Thursday 13th March

Wild daffodils (narcissus pseudonarcissus)

Wild daffodils (narcissus pseudonarcissus)
growing in Bush Wood

January snowdrops

January snowdrops
Banks of River Ash, north of Much Hadham

Good Moon

Good Moon
From garden 24.01.08

Village Green

Village Green
Looking east towards Acremore Street

Looking south before Hadham Ford

Looking south before Hadham Ford
rare January blue sky

Useful sites

The following are some useful websites that may interest readers of this blog.
Firstly, Bishop's Stortford Natural History Society

Fellow birder, Gary Whelan's blog. Gives reports from our trips out together plus reports from his trips abroad. The official herts bird club website. Frequently updated, listing bird sightings around the county. Offers links to many other websites. Both of these sites also offer links to yahoo discussion groups. An international site. You can enter as a guest but become a member( free) to post comments, bird sightings and just about anything to do with wild birds. Good news updates, classified section for binoculars, cameras etc. A new site set up where you can contact people worldwide who will help you find good birds in their country. UK section being set up presently.
Fellow birders blog. Strtford resident, Graeme Smith regulary birds the area south of Stortford as well as around Spellbrook and the River Stort from Spellbrook to Twyford Locks. Some superb bird photography: Graeme uses a digital camera attached to his powerful telescope to get detailled images of the birds he sees. Well worth a browse.
Two local sites that may be of interest can be found at

South Easterly walk

South Easterly walk
black, normal, red extended walk

South Westerly route.

South Westerly route.
Black usual, red extended

North Easterly walk

North Easterly walk
black short, walk. Red, extended

North West Patch

North West Patch
black route regular. Red route the extended wander