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Time for an update

Having not felt myself for a while, birding time has been limited but having said that I have still added species to both my patch and British life lists! Such is the luck of living and birding in this fine county.

Back at the start of the month, Debs and I were treated to views of at least 4 Hobby over Claxton and Rockland marshes hawking for insects. I was pleased to see at least one was still in situ last night when I dropped in for a late evening visit. I finally scored with a Garden Warbler at Rockland, and at least 2 Common Tern were still present and thankfully this species is usually present throughout the summer despite not breeding.

A real highlight of the month so far has been connecting with the Pectoral Sandpiper at Buckenham, from Claxton! I could see some birders across the river and figured Ricky may be one of them, so I phoned him and after waving manically at each other he managed to get me onto the Pec. Top man! As you can imagine views were distant but compared with the Redshank it was easy to spot, dumpy-looking and with a much lower centre of gravity than the elegant shanks. Back on the Claxton side, a male Wheatear was new for the year. 

On the 10th, having planned to sleep and recover, news of a Citril Finch at Burnham Overy gave me no choice, I was in the car again and heading to the coast. Like 100s of others I made the long walk from the carpark in fine warm Spring weather and connected with the bird upon arrival, and needless to say it was a cracker and a quite outlandish addition to my British list.Sunday morning before the Norfolk Birdfair, Debs and I made an early start at Church Marsh, a Cuckoo in flight the avian highlight of the morning. The hedge opposite the Church on the north side was alive with insects, including our first Damsels of the year: Common, Azure, Blue-tailed and Large Red. I am reliably informed by James that our Hoverfly was Helophilus pendulus, and the Spider was a Nursery Web Spider. The Birdfair itself was decent, and I am surprised more Norfolk birders did not support this event.

On the way home from work today, a Red Kite was low over the A146, just past Thurton before the Rockland turn off, not far from home.






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Estonia Trip Report, April 2011

Estonia April 12th-19th 2011, Jim Bradley. ice_bear1@hotmail.com
Ice at the ferry crossing


Exploring the ancient forest



Red-breasted Goose at Audru



Pick the bones out of that!


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Introduction.
Estonia is a place of real wilderness, yet easy to explore with the possibility of some cracking birds. Recent literature from both Gerard Gorman and Dave Gosney means that there is now plenty of useful information on birding Estonia, yet this country remains relatively unknown compared to other eastern European states such as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Steller’s Eider, Owls and Woodpeckers in early Spring, Citrine Wagtail, Great Snipe, Great Spotted Eagle, Black Stork and Greenish Warbler in May and beyond are just some of the birds you may encounter.

We used Estonian Nature Tours http://www.naturetours.ee/ to help plan and guide our trip. We are a young couple, so did not fancy being part of a tour bus scenario, and were keen to do most of the birding ou…