Norfolk Trip Report – Day 1

Black-bellied DipperWe all met up for breakfast at the Little Chef just outside Mildenhall early on a dreary, wet and generally miserable morning. Not the greatest of starts especially with the uncertainty surrounding the hotel.

Traffic had been kind to most of us as we sat and planned the days’ events. We left Mildenhall around 10am and headed for our first destination – Thetford for the Black-bellied Dipper (continental Continue reading


Singing male Woodlarks have been reported on the Forest. These birds are early breeders and they can start even earlier, sometimes with snow still on the ground.

Other early breeders include Tawny Owl, Crossbill and some raptors. Nesting early can sometimes be beneficial, it can allow for multiple broods or larger species’ nestlings fledging at the optimal time when food is most plentiful. In recent years early nesting has been more successful as wet Spring and Summer months are killers.


Well unfortunately the Pheasant Hotel isn’t going to be finished in time so we have been relocated by the kind people at the Pheasant to the Links Hotel. The Links Hotel is primarily for golfers looking to stay in and around the local golf courses, it even has it’s own 9 hole course!

The Links Hotel website doesn’t seem to work very well so here are a few details… Their address is Sandy Lane, Cromer, Norfolk NR27 9QH. Link to a working map HERE. Telephone 01263 838383 for any enquiries.

If any one is unsure on how to get there say so on Thursday morning and we’ll sort it out.

Scotney Pit, Dungeness, Camber, Pett Pools – 31st January 2013

Al, Martin, Mick and I set forth at about 08.45 on a bright but blustery morning. Birds seen on the way were collared dove, song thrush, house sparrow, blackbird, magpie, herring gull, rook, crow, jackdaw, robin, black headed gull, mute swan. Camber produced a flurry of sanderlings on the shoreline, and oystercatcher. On the way to Scotney Pit, we saw a big flock of fieldfares. We were hoping to see Continue reading

Red Kite over the Forest

Reported today by one of our recorders, two Red Kites near Wych Cross heading north. This species has been slowly moving in to the South East after release and feeding programmes on the Chilterns and surrounding areas.

Another recorder has seen them previously over Uckfield and along the A26.

Buzzards too are becoming a far more common sight in the South East, naturally expanding their range. It is not uncommon to see Buzzards along Sussex roadways and across the Downs where they are doing well.

ABG Trips and Events 2013

Many of you will have noticed the lack of information about upcoming trips, outings and events throughout the year. This is due to the low turn outs in previous years, it was felt that we shouldn’t set hard-n-fast dates.

Any one interested in coming with the group on our outings should keep a close eye on this website. We will be posting up new trip dates as and when they are agreed.


ABG Norfolk Trip 2013

Doesn’t time fly! Our Norfolk trip this year had to be postponed until the Pheasant Hotel re-opens after renovations by the new owners, Kelling Estates. At one point it looked like the trip would be cancelled as there was a breakdown in communications between ourselves and the new manager of the hotel.

With (hopefully!) these problems all resolved below is a suggested programme of events, comments always welcome!

Thursday Meet Little Chef, Mildenhall, 9.30 a.m. for breakfast (yes, the Little Chef is still open)
Then, to Lynford Arboretum (hawfinches). Parking free.
Hickling Broad (cranes, hen harriers, marsh harriers, etc.) Park in main car park and walk up.
Friday Titchwell – all day, starting with a sea watch. Snack lunch at the centre, then to the Fen Hide for bittern, harriers, etc. Parking free for RSPB members.
Saturday Salthouse for snow buntings, etc., Cley in the afternoon. OR Holkham, if you prefer. (Parking is now 6 pounds)
Sunday Kelling Water Meadows, then whatever people would like to do on their journeys home.

It should be a good trip this year, plenty of birds are around as the bad weather at the beginning of the year has kept many things in place. Numbers of wildfowl will be down slightly as January is normally the peak. There have also been movements of sea-going species, sadly many being affected by the horrific oil-type leak.