!!!!!Latest Additions!!!!!

~ ELEGANT TERN June 20th 2002 (accepted by the BBRC February 2018)... ~ CASPIAN GULL December 2nd 2017... ~ GREAT WHITE EGRET December 8th 2016...~ BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS October 6th 2016... ~ BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR May 28th 2016...~ WATER PIPIT October 31st 2015... ~ LITTLE BUNTING October 6th 2015... ~ BARRED WARBLER October 30th 2014... ~ RUSTIC BUNTING May 30th 2014... ~ GLOSSY IBIS October 18th 2013...

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Current total = 254 species

Species in RED have not been seen in Happisburgh by myself but are either British Birds Rarities Committee/County Record Committee accepted records or considered reliable by myself.

Mute Swan ~ occasionally seen either on the sea or passing through.

Mute Swan, Happisburgh ~ 16.01.2018

Bewick’s Swan ~ an irregular passage migrant or Winter visitor.

Whooper Swan ~ as with Bewick's, an irregular passage migrant or Winter visitor with small numbers usually present most Winters with the Bewick's herd in the Ludham/Catfield area. 

Bean Goose ~ small numbers of the Tundra breeding race 'rossicus' occur as an occasional Winter visitor usually in the company of Pink-feet. November 2011 saw a large arrival of 'grey' geese into north and east Norfolk and several Tundra Beans were viewable in fields around the parish, the largest count being 35+ between Cart Gap and Eccles-on-Sea. Other geese involved were Eurasian White-fronts, Greylag and Barnacle Geese. These were all doubtless fully wild birds displaced from across the North Sea.

Tundra Beans with Pink-feet, Eccles-on-Sea ~ 16.11.2011
Photos by Bob Cobbold

Pink-footed Goose ~ Birds marked with coded plastic collars have been recorded within the parish as follows...

'CGFDB'. Happisburgh 8th November 2000. Ringed as an adult male at Arness, Iceland on 29th July 1999.

'CGICS' ISR 131403. Cart Gap 27th November 2003, 15th December 2006, 18th - 20th January 2008. Happisburgh 17th January 2008. Ringed as an adult female at A-Huna, Iceland on 25th July 2000.

'CGJPF' GBT 139713?. Happisburgh 23rd October 2006. Ringed as an adult male at Balmedie, Aberdeenshire on 26th October 2003.

'CGLCZ' ISR 130949. Happisburgh 28th October 2006. Ringed as an adult male adult male Arness, Iceland on 29th July 2000.

'CGCCI' GBT1361945. Cart Gap 15th December 2006, 19th January 2008. Ringed as an adult at Blackburn, Aberdeenshire on 6th April 2002.

'CGFIY' ISR 129656. Happisburgh 14th January 2008, Cart Gap 16th - 21st January 2008. Ringed as an adult female at Arness, Iceland on 30th July 1999. She was again seen on 29th December 2012 just over the parish boundary in Ridlington.

'CGCFX' . Cart Gap 19th - 20th January 2008. Ringed as an adult male at Balmedie, Aberdeenshire on 26th October 2003.

'CGLCT' ISR 132013. Eccles-on-Sea 16th November 2011. Ringed as an adult male at Oddkelsalda, Thjorsarver, Arness,  Iceland on 27th July 2000.

'CGLNV' GBT1397314. Walcott 28th November 2011. Ringed as an adult at Balmedie, Aberdeenshire on 2nd April 2006. Paired with 'CGLSK'.

'CGLSK' GBT1397343. Walcott  28th November 2011. Ringed as an adult at Balmedie, Aberdeenshire on 2nd April 2006. Paired with 'CGLNV'.

Pink-footed Geese flighting in to feed
on sugar beet tops, Happisburgh ~ 24.12.2011

White-fronted Goose ~ an irregular visitor, usually within flocks of Pink-footed Geese.

White-fronted Geese, Cart Gap ~ 23.01.2008
Photo by Bob Cobbold

Greylag Goose ~ although very common in Broadland it remains rather scarce in the parish. Birds that do turn up are usually seen within larger flocks of Pink-footed Geese and are likely to be from further afield than the chiefly resident Broadland population.

Lesser Snow Goose ~ an adult white morph (of unknown origin) flew SE over the garden within a flock of Pink-footed Geese at 11:15 on 7th October 2007. Not included in total.

Ross’ Goose ~ an adult white morph (of unknown origin) was in fields east of the lighthouse with Pink-footed Geese on at least 16th & 19th January 2008. It or another flew NW over the garden again with Pink-feet at 08:40 on 24th February 2009.
Not included in total.

Ross's Goose with Pink-footed Geese, Cart Gap ~ 19.01.2008
Photo by Bob Cobbold

Canada Goose ~ again, very common in Broadland but a rather scarce visitor to the parish.

Barnacle Goose ~ occasionally encountered, especially during influxes of 'grey' Geese. Such records are likely to be wild Barnacles rather than wanderers from the feral populations in East Anglia.

Barnacle Geese with Pink-footed Geese, Cart Gap ~ 13.01.2008
Photo by Bob Cobbold

Barnacle Goose family party, Eccles ~ 16.11.2011
Photo by Bob Cobbold

Brent Goose ~ a regular passage migrant with some occasionally stopping off to linger on fields of Winter sown cereals. Birds are almost always of the dark-bellied form 'bernicla', the pale-bellied form 'hrota' being much more scarce in this part of the UK.

Dark-bellied Brent Geese, Happisburgh - 09.03.2018

Egyptian Goose ~ rather scarce away from their usual areas of residence. A flock of 7 flying south over the garden early morning on 30th October 2007 was a bit unexpected.


Mandarin ~ two have been recorded passing Walcott; one flew south on 25th April 2008 (Norfolk Bird Report 2008) and a drake flew west on 6th October 2012.



Teal ~ a common Autumn passage migrant, less frequent in Spring.

Teal, Walcott ~ 24.08.2013

Mallard and Teal, Happisburgh ~ 27.11.2018


Shoveler flock, Happisburgh ~ 13.10.2018


Tufted Duck


Immature male Eider, Happisburgh ~ 17.09.2018

Common Scoter

Velvet Scoter ~ a scarce passage migrant and Winter visitor.

Velvet Scoters, Happisburgh ~ 30.11.2018


Red-breasted Merganser


Red-legged Partridge

Grey Partridge ~ formerly common throughout Norfolk this species has become increasingly scarce in recent years.

Grey Partridge, male, Happisburgh ~ 27.03.2016

Quail ~ a scarce Summer visitor.


Golden Pheasant ~ a dark-throated male (of highly suspect origin!) used to frequent the village but he seems to no longer be with us. Not included in total.

Red-throated Diver

Black-throated Diver

Great Northern Diver

White-billed Diver ~ one seen flying past Walcott on 6th November 2007.

Black-browed Albatross ~ extremely rare visitors to the Northern Hemisphere. Following the passing close inshore of an immature along the Yorkshire coast on 5th October 2016 news was quickly released of presumably the same bird heading east past Cley at 3:35pm the following day. Although missed at some watch points, other lucky observers managed to connect with it at Cromer and Overstrand and at 4:45pm it was watched cruising east at c.1½-2 miles range from the clifftop at Happisburgh.

Black-browed Albatross, Happisburgh ~ 06.10.2016

An unidentified Albatross was seen passing offshore 9th November 1986; the record is still in circulation with the British Birds Rarities Committee.


Fulmar, Happisburgh ~ 30.05.2016

Fulmar, Happisburgh ~ 30.05.2016

Sooty Shearwater

Manx Shearwater

Balearic Shearwater ~ occasional offshore Summer/Autumn visitor. There are perhaps less than 3,000 pairs of this endangered Mediterranean species in the world.

European Storm Petrel ~ a rare migrant. One was seen heading south offshore on 15th August 2014.

Leach’s Petrel ~ an occasional offshore Autumn visitor usually during strong onshore winds.


Cormorant ~ a common year round visitor. A juvenile seen during October 2017 had been colour-ringed GREEN 'ZGU' as a nestling on Puffin Island, Anglesey on 25th June 2017. This was the first reported resighting. It was again seen several times in the second half of 2018.

Leucistic Cormorant, Happisburgh ~ 17.10.2016

UK ringed Cormorant 'GREEN 'ZGU' 5282040

Shag ~ an occasional visitor, chiefly in Autumn and Winter. As part of an influx into NE Norfolk 23 - including a flock of 19 - and 18 were seen flying north on 30th October and 6th November 2011 respectively. It seems these birds were using the Sea Palling/Waxham reefs as a roost site.

Juvenile Shag with Herring Gulls, Happisburgh ~ 21.10.2011

2cy Shag, Happisburgh ~ 09.03.2018
1cy Shag, c-ringed BLUE 'RPN', Happisburgh ~ 18.10.2018

White Pelican ~ an individual soaring to the south of the village October 2002 was seen at several sites in the east of England and was considered to be an escape. Not included in total.

Great White Egret ~ a scarce but increasingly regular year round visitor to the county. Two were seen flying south over the village on 8th December 2016 and a lone bird headed south offshore on 4th May 2018.
Great White Egret, Happisburgh ~ 04.05.2018

Little Egret ~ an increasingly regular visitor to the parish.

Little Egret, Ebridge ~ 24.02.2014

Little Egret, Happisburgh ~ 15.10.2017

Grey Heron
Grey Heron, Happisburgh ~ 12.10.2018

White Stork ~ a rare visitor to the UK, the true picture is clouded by escapes and free-flying wanderers from collections such as that at Thrigby Hall in east Norfolk. A red-ringed bird flew NW over the village on 19th April 2017, the same bird having been seen overflying Salthouse and Cley three days earlier. Moreover it had also been seen in Broadland earlier in the year and was back there a few days after the Happisburgh sighting. At the time of writing it's credentials are unknown and it is generally treated as a bird of 'suspect origin'. Not included in total.

White Stork, Happisburgh ~ 19.04.2017

Glossy Ibis ~ a rare visitor from southern Europe. A party of four were tracked eastwards along the Norfolk coast 18th October 2013 and passed south-east over Happisburgh before appearing to turn inland over Waxham.

Little Grebe ~ common throughout the UK but scarce at sea. One was seen close inshore on 8th November 2010.

Great Crested Grebe ~ occasionally seen offshore.

Red-necked Grebe ~ a scarce visitor.

Honey-buzzard ~ a very scarce passage migrant.

Black Kite ~ a rare vagrant/migrant. One passed through 27th April 2003.

Red Kite ~ a rare passage visitor. Some birds may be of genuine wild stock, others undoubtedly are derived from reintroduced birds.

Red Kite, Happisburgh ~ 20.08.2016

White-tailed Eagle ~ a first-winter bird which appeared at Snettisham RSPB on 27th October 1990, then relocating to Hickling from 30th November to 2nd December, was seen in the parish on 14th December 1990 (The Birds of Norfolk 1999)

Marsh Harrier ~ an occasional Broadland wanderer and passage migrant.

2cy male Marsh Harrier, Happisburgh ~ 17.11.2016

Hen Harrier

Sparrowhawk ~ a passage migrant and resident.

Sparrowhawk, Happisburgh ~ 17.08.2013

Common Buzzard ~ a common passage migrant, winter visitor and probable local breeder.

Common Buzzard, Happisburgh ~ 15.02.2018

Rough-legged Buzzard ~ a scarce passage/Winter visitor.
Rough-legged Buzzard, Happisburgh ~ 04.11.2018

Osprey ~ a very scarce passage migrant. Individuals often make quite lengthy stopovers at the larger lakes and broads in E Norfolk.

Osprey, East Norfolk ~ 10.05.2013

Kestrel ~ chiefly resident although occurs on passage during the Spring and Autumn.
Kestrel, Happisburgh ~ 14.09.2014

Red-footed Falcon ~ a rare vagrant. Females seen 14th May 1992 and 19th May 2007


Hobby ~ an increasingly common Summer visitor.

Juvenile Hobby, Happisburgh ~ 25.09.2016

Peregrine ~ a fairly regular Winter visitor, occasionally seen in Summer.

Peregrine, Happisburgh ~ 21.01.2018
Peregrine, Happisburgh ~ 21.04.2018

The images above are both believed to be of the same bird, a large, very pale individual showing characteristics of one of the most northerly breeding races known as 'tundrius' (USA) or
'calidus' (USSR). It was seen on several occasions between Mundesley and Sea Palling during
Winter 2017/2018 and early Spring 2018, a very striking looking bird indeed.

Water Rail ~ one found dead on our drive 17th November 2008 had either been caught by the cat or had struck overhead cables. Another was found dead under overhead cables along the Coastwatch track on 30th October 2014. Otherwise the species is probably a mostly undetected passage migrant and Winter visitor.

Moorhen ~ a resident breeder in small numbers on ponds and wetter areas. Also a probable and occasional passage migrant and Winter visitor.

Common Crane ~ despite a healthy population just a few miles to the south and regular birds seen coasting each Spring, I didn't see my first Crane in the parish until 16th November 2011 when an adult flew low SE just south of Cart Gap. It transpired that this bird had earlier been in a field at East Ruston until spooked by a light aircraft. This individual was probably a 'fresh in' European migrant, part of the recent influx of new birds into the UK and will hopefully provide some new blood to the Broadland population.


Avocet ~ Three flew west on 4th May 1983. Another was seen 9th November 2010 and three flew north with Shelduck (!) on 6th November 2011.

Stone Curlew ~ a scarce coastal migrant that breeds in the Breckland of south-west Norfolk. One was in the large field south of Upton Way during the afternoon and evening of 16th April 2011. It had been colour ringed but unfortunately couldn't be traced.

Stone Curlew, Happisburgh ~ 16.04.2011

Ringed Plover ~ passage migrant, Winter visitor in small numbers and an occasional breeder.

Ringed Plover, Bacton ~ 09.08.2008
Photo by Bob Cobbold

Ringed Plover, Happisburgh ~ 22.05.2016

Dotterel ~ a scarce passage migrant. The fields in the Happisburgh area have historically been favoured as stop off posts by migrating Dotterel.

Female Dotterel, Happisburgh ~ 23.04.2018

Golden Plover

Grey Plover


Knot ~ a fairly common passage migrant, usually passing offshore with birds occasionally stopping off on the beach.

Knot, Happisburgh ~ 08.05.2016

Sanderling ~ most familiar at Walcott on the beach and seawall.

Sanderling, Bacton ~ 09.08.2008
Photo by Bob Cobbold

Sanderling, Happisburgh ~ 11.05.2016

Little Stint ~ no doubt regular on passage but rarely seen, they have occasionally turned up in flooded fields.

Curlew Sandpiper ~ one flew in from the sea with 7 Curlew and 2 Bar-tailed Godwits 4th September 2011.

Purple Sandpiper ~ a Winter visitor sometimes seen flying past or in small numbers along the seafront at Walcott.

Purple Sandpiper, Walcott ~ 23.12.2009
Photo by Bob Cobbold

Dunlin ~ a common passage migrant and Winter visitor.

Juvenile Dunlin, Happisburgh ~ 28.10.2016

Buff-breasted Sandpiper ~ a rare vagrant. A juvenile with Ringed Plovers on the lighthouse field 25th - 30th September 2007 . Another juvenile was on the same field 28th September 2012.


Jack Snipe ~ a scarce passage migrant and Winter visitor, probably often overlooked.

Jack Snipe, Happisburgh ~ 06.10.2016

Snipe ~ occasionally seen on passage but probably regular during the Winter months on the wetter areas in the parish. Probably bred in the past.

Snipe, Cley NWT ~ 11.04.2013


Bar-tailed Godwit ~ a regular Spring and Autumn passage migrant. A colour-ringed bird was recorded on the beach at Happisburgh as follows...

C-rings 'Y7RYYB'. Happisburgh 26th April 2009. Colour-ringed as an adult at Vinkenbaan, Castricum, Netherlands on 5th May 2005. Google Map - http://g.co/maps/xzmp9

Bar-tailed Godwit, Happisburgh ~ 11.09.2011

Whimbrel ~ a regular passage migrant, often picked up by call, a series of repeated, whistled notes. An old Norfolk name for them is 'Seven Whistler'.

Whimbrel, Happisburgh ~ 02.05.2016


Common Sandpiper ~ a passage visitor, sometimes in small parties.

Common Sandpipers, Happisburgh ~ 05.05.2016

Green Sandpiper


Wood Sandpiper


Turnstone ~ a passage migrant and Winter visitor.

Turnstone, Happisburgh ~ 21.04.2017

Grey Phalarope ~ a scarce Autumn/Winter visitor to the county.

Pomarine Skua

Arctic Skua ~ the commonest Skua species in Norfolk, most regular in late Summer through the Autumn, occasional in Spring.

Arctic Skua, Happisburgh ~ 10.09.2011

Long-tailed Skua ~ the scarcest of the four Skuas in Norfolk.

Great Skua
Great Skua, Mundesley ~ 29.10.2017

Sabine's Gull  ~ a scarce Autumn passage visitor to Norfolk. A juvenile flew north on 2nd November 2008.

Kittiwake ~ a passage migrant and occasional Winter visitor to Happisburgh. The nearest site for this 'cliff' nester is at Lowestoft where they can be seen nesting on the Catholic church.

Kittiwakes, Walcott ~ 28.07.2008
Photo by Bob Cobbold

Black-headed Gull ~ ringed birds have been recorded within the parish as follows...

'VOGELTREK ARNHEM HOLLAND 3.656.031'. Walcott on 23rd October 2011 - 4th March 2012. Ringed as a 3y+ at Harlingen, Friesland, NL (53°10'N 5°25'E) on 15th July 2008. It was noted again on  its favourite section of the seawall on 12th December 2012. Google Map - http://g.co/maps/vjhkw

Dutch ringed Black-headed Gull 'VOGELTREK ARNHEM HOLLAND 3.656.031'

'MOSKVA MA044287'. Walcott on 21st January 2012. Ringed as a pullus at Kandalakshskiy Zapovednik, Murmanskaya Oblast, USSR (66°42'N 33°52'E) on 27th June 2010. Up to November 2017 there had been 19 recoveries of Russian ringed Black-headed Gulls to the UK, three of which have been in Norfolk. This bird was the third of those, the previous two being at Breydon Water in 1909 and Downham Market in 1914. Google Map - http://g.co/maps/ab9yb

White c-ring 'TTEM' - FS06124. Happisburgh on 27th November 2018. Ringed as a 2cy+ at Zbiornik Przykona, Radyczyny, Turek, Wielkopolskie, Poland (52º 0' 20"N 18º 39' 29"E) on 2nd June 2015. This re-sighting was the first report of it since ringing. Google Map - https://bit.ly/2RiGG0r

Polish ringed Black-headed Gull 'WHITE TTEM', FS06124

Little Gull ~ can occur year round but most commonly as an Autumn passage migrant.

Little Gull, Happisburgh ~ 20.10.2015

Laughing Gull ~ a rare vagrant. A 1st winter bird was first seen at Walcott on 25th December 1991 and remained in the general area until 8th January 1992. It constituted the first record for Norfolk.

Mediterranean Gull ~ most regularly seen at Walcott seafront in small numbers. An unprecedented 40+ were on fields and offshore west of the old Coastwatch on 28th September 2016.

First winter Mediterranean Gull, Happisburgh ~ 11.09.2018

Adult Mediterranean Gull, Walcott ~ 01.12.2007

Mediterranean Gulls, Happisburgh ~ 28.09.2016

Common Gull

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Herring Gull ~ ringed birds have been recorded within the parish as follows...

Yellow c-ring '2N3B' - GF57126. Walcott 24th April 2011, 20th May - 20th October 2011 (5 sightings), 3rd - 6th February 2012. Ringed as a 2nd calendar year bird (hatched 2010) at Blackborough Tip, King's Lynn, Norfolk on 19th March 2011. Google Map - http://g.co/maps/8b4kj

UK ringed Herring Gull 'YELLOW 2N3B'  GF57126

Red c-ring 'VAU' - GR36557. Happisburgh 30th September 2011, 13th October 2011. Ringed as a pullus at Havergate Island, Orford, Suffolk on 3rd July 2011. Google Map - http://g.co/maps/64rvg

Red c-ring 'ZKD' - Walcott 8th September 2013. Ringed as a chick at Felixstowe during July 2013.

Yellow c-ring '6Y5B' - GV08177. Walcott 23rd November 2015. Ringed at Great Yarmouth on 22nd November 2015.

 UK ringed Herring Gull 'YELLOW 6Y5B' GV08177

Orange c-ring 'D8RT' - GV33785. Happisburgh 23rd March 2016. Ringed as a 5cy+ at Pitsea Landfill, Essex on 16th January 2016. This bird was again seen at Happisburgh on 22nd November 2016. See North Thames Gull Group - http://www.ntgg.org.uk/map/GV33785

UK ringed Herring Gull 'ORANGE D8RT' GV33785

Orange c-ring 'JV6T' - GR15635. Happisburgh 17th November 2016. Ringed as a 1cy at Rainham Tip, Greater London on 12th November 2011. See North Thames Gull Group - http://www.ntgg.org.uk/map/GR15635

UK ringed Herring Gull 'ORANGE JV6T' GR15635

Orange c-ring 'L7WT' - GV47207. Happisburgh 13th April 2017. Ringed as a 1cy at Pitsea Landfill, London on 19th November 2016. This bird is interesting in that it shows some features pointing towards Yellow-legged Gull and the following response was received from the ringing group when its identity was queried upon submission of the sighting - "It was ringed as a Herring Gull, however there are a few interesting things about it. The bill is quite blunt. The tertials are very plain and brown. There looks like there are some moulted lesser and median coverts. It also has a white"ish" head which all point towards YL. However, the greater coverts don't look right, the anchors on the scaps are very Herring Gull like rather than YL and unless you have a shot with an open wing and the rump I can't rule out an advanced Herring or even a hybrid. I checked who ringed this bird and it is also one of our regulars so would have expected him to have picked up a YL in the hand - he normally does as he knows what he is looking for. The few that have slipped through in the past tend to be ringed by a trainee or new person that has little experience of gulls. So all point towards an advanced Herring Gull to me." See North Thames Gull Group - http://www.ntgg.org.uk//map/GV47207

UK ringed Herring Gull 'ORANGE L7WT' GV47207

Yellow-legged Gull ~ a scarce, year round visitor most regular in Summer.

Caspian Gull ~ a scarce visitor. 

1st winter Caspian Gull, Walcott - 02.12.2017

1st winter Caspian Gull, Happisburgh ~ 29.01.2018

Glaucous Gull ~ an uncommon winter visitor.

1st winter Glaucous Gull, Mundesley ~ 29.01.2018

Great Black-backed Gull ~ c-ringed birds have been recorded in the parish as follows...

Black c-ring 'JP261' - 3031711. Happisburgh 26th October 2014. Ringed as a chick at Buanskjeran i Remesfjorden, Lindesnes, Vest-Agder, Norway (58°02'34"N 007°11'33"E) on 6th July 2011. It was again present on 15th November 2015. Google map - https://goo.gl/t23QFX

Norwegian c-ringed Great Black-backed Gull 'JP261'.

Black c-ring 'JP924' - 3032024. Happisburgh 15th November 2015. Ringed as a nestling at Lauholmen Båly, Lindesnes, Vest-Agder, Norway (58°02'10"N 007°09'08"E) on 5th July 2012. Google map - https://goo.gl/gVCjxZ

Norwegian c-ringed Great Black-backed Gull 'JP924'.

Black c-ring 'JH385' - 3031585. Happisburgh 17th November 2016. Ringed as a nestling at Lauholmen Båly, Lindesnes, Vest-Agder, Norway (58°02'10"N 007°09'08"E) on 9th July 2010.

Norwegian c-ringed Great Black-backed Gull 'JH385'.

Black c-ring 'JU540' - 3020791. Walcott 20th September 2018. Ringed as a nestling at Ferkingstadøyane, Ramnaskjer, Karmøy, Rogaland, Norway (59°13'40"N 005°04'14"E) on 24th July 2016. Google map - https://goo.gl/ahkC7z

Norwegian c-ringed Great Black-backed Gull 'JU540'. 

Little Tern ~ one of the UK's rarest breeding seabirds, Little Terns can often be watched during the Summer months as wanderers from Norfolk's wardened breeding colonies fish offshore.
 Little Tern, Happisburgh ~ 11.07.2016

Black Tern

White-winged Black Tern ~ a rare vagrant. One was seen by Keith Bailey on 3rd September 1980.

Sandwich Tern ~ a common Summer visitor which can often be seen fishing or passing offshore.

Sandwich Tern, Walcott ~ 24.08.2013

Lesser Crested Tern ~ a very rare vagrant. An adult was off the end of the Beach road 17th July 2005; it was seen at various sites along the north and north-east Norfolk coasts between 16th - 20th July.

Elegant Tern ~ 20th June 2002. An 'orange-billed' Tern present just south of the village was considered by some observers to possess characteristics of this American species and was submitted to the appropriate records committees as such. On 13th February 2018 the BBRC published their  updated 'work in progress' file which listed this record as accepted and that it was the same bird seen at Dawlish Warren, Devon on 8th July 2002.

Common Tern ~ a fairly common Summer visitor and passage migrant, the sea defences off the old Decca site often host several post-breeding birds during July and August. One on 17th November 2011 was rather late.

Common Tern, Walcott ~ 24.08.2013

Roseate Tern ~ a rare Summer visitor. Probably the UK's rarest breeding seabird.

Common, Sandwich and Roseate Terns, Walcott ~ 24.07.2008
Photo by Bob Cobbold

Arctic Tern

Five Guillemots, two Razorbills and a Goldeneye, Mundesley ~ 29.10.2017


Black Guillemot ~ a very scarce passage migrant and Winter visitor.

Little Auk ~ a late Autumn visitor in varying numbers usually in periods of strong northerly winds.


Stock Dove ~ resident with a few pairs around the parish.

Stock Dove, Happisburgh ~ 31.07.2016


Collared Dove

Turtle Dove

Great Spotted Cuckoo ~ a rare vagrant. One at Cart Gap 31st March 1999 was previously seen at Horsey and Waxham.


Barn Owl

Little Owl ~ a localised resident.

Little Owl, Witton ~ 16.05.2016

Tawny Owl

Long-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl

Nightjar ~ one on 25th September 2001. It or another was picked up dead as a road casualty at Bacton three days later (Norfolk Bird Report 2001).

Swift ~ a common Summer visitor.

Swift, Ebridge ~ 19.08.2014

Pallid Swift ~ a very rare vagrant, chiefly during late Autumn. Singles seen 25th October 1999, 26th October 2013 and 12th November 2018.

Kingfisher ~ one was seen briefly sitting on railings at the paddocks near Laurel Lodge on 11th August and again nearby on 26th September 2008.

Hoopoe ~ a rare Spring or Autumn vagrant, the most recent was at Holly Farm in October 2005.

Wryneck ~ very rare in Spring, less so in Autumn but still an uncommon visitor.

Green Woodpecker ~ although fairly common and widespread it is only an occasional visitor to the parish.

Green Woodpecker, Happisburgh ~ 24.04.2017

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Golden Oriole ~ a juvenile or female 3rd October 2011 (Norfolk Bird Report 2011).

Red-backed Shrike ~ a scarce passage migrant, chiefly in Autumn.

Great Grey Shrike ~ a scarce passage migrant and Winter visitor.

Great Grey Shrike, Walcott ~ 17.10.2015

Woodchat Shrike ~ a rare passage migrant to the UK, chiefly in Spring. One was seen by local farmer and naturalist Murray Ferguson 19th May 1965.


Jay ~ generally recorded as a passage migrant.

Jay, Ebridge Mill ~ 15.09.2014



Carrion Crow

Hooded Crow ~ a scarce visitor, mainly on passage.

Raven ~ a very scarce visitor to Norfolk, one was seen soaring to the NW from the garden early afternoon 10th April 2009.

Goldcrest ~ probably a scarce breeder within the parish Goldcrests can be a very numerous Autumn passage migrant given the right conditions with high double figure counts not unheard of.

Goldcrest, Happisburgh ~ 13.10.2014

Firecrest ~ a scarce but regular passage migrant.

Firecrest, Happisburgh ~ 30.09.2013

Blue Tit

Great Tit

Coal Tit

Marsh Tit

Woodlark ~ a scarce passage migrant.

Skylark, Happisburgh - 21.05.2017

Shorelark ~ a scarce passage visitor mostly in Autumn/Winter, occasionally in Spring.

Shore Larks, Happisburgh ~ 22.01.2017

Shore Lark, Happisburgh ~ 19.04.2017

Sand Martin


House Martin ~ a common passage migrant with a small number of breeding colonies most years.

House Martin, Witton ~ 02.06.2016

Red-rumped Swallow ~ a scarce passage migrant. One was seen on 11th November 1987.

Long-tailed Tit

Greenish Warbler ~ a rare vagrant. Singles seen 2nd-3rd September 1995, 25th August 2007 and 22nd August 2011.

Pallas’s Warbler ~ a rare Autumn vagrant. The late Mary Unsworth trapped and ringed single birds at Cart Gap in the late Autumns of 1974, 1975, 1984 and 1985.

Pallas's Warbler, Happisburgh ~ 09.10.2016

Yellow-browed Warbler ~ a regular Autumn vagrant.

Yellow-browed Warbler, Happisburgh ~ 12.10.2014

Yellow-browed Warbler, Happisburgh ~ 12-13.11.2011
Videograb by Keith Bailey.

Radde’s Warbler ~ a rare Autumn vagrant. Singles have been seen in the old beach road hedge 12th October 1991, in hedges behind St. Mary’s House 26th September 2001 and in the churchyard mid afternoon 25th October 2013.

Dusky Warbler ~ a rare Autumn vagrant. One was trapped and ringed by the late Mary Unsworth at Cart Gap 3rd November 1982. Also recorded in the hedge behind St. Mary’s 7th - 11th November 1987.

Western Bonelli's Warbler ~ a very rare vagrant. One was found by Richard Moores in the hedge at the cricket field on 25th August 2013 representing the 12th county record. It was relocated during the evening at the west end of the churchyard where it frequented the Ash belt, mostly staying very high up and tricky to see.

Western Bonelli's Warbler, Happisburgh ~ 25.08.2013

Wood Warbler ~ a very scarce Spring and Autumn migrant.

Chiffchaff ~ a common passage migrant and probable breeder with a few birds occasionally overwintering.

Chiffchaff, Happisburgh ~ 23.09.2011

Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler, Happisburgh - 22.08.2016

Blackcap ~ common on passage with a small number stopping to breed. Birds occasionally overwinter.

Blackcap, Happisburgh ~ 30.05.2016

Garden Warbler

Barred Warbler ~ a scarce Autumn migrant. A rather late individual was in the Coastwatch track Sallows with  4 Blackcaps on 30th October 2014.

Barred Warbler, Happisburgh ~ 15.09.2018

Lesser Whitethroat ~ a fairly common passage migrant and Summer visitor.

Lesser Whitethroat, Happisburgh ~ 02.05.2016

Whitethroat ~ a common Summer breeder and passage migrant.

Fledgling Whitethroat, Happisburgh ~ 17.08.2013

Dartford Warbler ~ aside from a few resident birds at a couple of sites in the county, this remains a very scarce bird in Norfolk. Whilst trying to obtain views of an uncooperative (Reed) Bunting in sugar beet on 28th October 2012 a Dartford Warbler was flushed and seen several times in flight. On 19th April 2017 an occasionally singing male was a surprise find amongst lush Alexanders. It remained until at least 25th April.

Dartford Warbler, Happisburgh ~ 19-25.04.2017

Grasshopper Warbler

Icterine Warbler a very scarce migrant, chiefly in Autumn.

Melodious Warbler ~ an extremely rare bird in the county, one was found in the belt of trees by the cricket pitch 8th November 2011. It later moved into the garden of 'Thatchers' where it was added to the Norfolk list's of many county listers. It remained until 10th November.

Melodious Warbler, Happisburgh ~ 8 - 10.11.2011
Photo by Rob Martin (Punkbirder)

Sedge Warbler ~ a widespread UK breeder of marshes and reed-beds which occurs within the parish as a rather scarce passage migrant.

Juvenile Sedge Warbler, Happisburgh ~ 15.08.2017

Marsh Warbler ~ one stopped off in a rough hedgerow close to Beach Road 29th September- 6th October 2010.

Reed Warbler ~ recorded occasionally in Happisburgh, the comment under Sedge Warbler can also be applied to this species.

Juvenile Reed Warbler, Happisburgh ~ 10.08.2017


Treecreeper ~ status unknown. May breed and probably occurs as a Winter visitor. Any information on this species in the parish would be most welcome.



Rose-coloured Starling ~ a rare visitor. An adult was present along Grubb Street, June 2001.

Ring Ouzel ~ a regular Spring and Autumn passage migrant.
Male Ring Ouzel, Happisburgh ~ 12.04.2015


Fieldfare ~ a regular visitor in varying numbers from September to April with occasional records during May.

Fieldfare, Happisburgh ~ 26.10.2015

Song Thrush

Redwing ~ status very similar to that of Fieldfare.

Redwing, Happisburgh ~ 27.10.2015

Mistle Thrush

Spotted Flycatcher ~ an increasingly scarce Summer visitor and passage migrant. May occasionally breed.
Spotted Flycatcher, Happisburgh ~ 18.09.2014
Spotted Flycatcher, Happisburgh ~ 15.09.2018

Robin ~ Common. The resident, breeding population is boosted during the Winter months by visitors from the Continent.

Robin, Happisburgh ~ 15.10.2016

Red-flanked Bluetail ~ an increasingly occurring rare passage migrant to the UK, chiefly in Autumn. A first-winter was found by Jim Bradley at the end of the lane by the paddocks at Whimpwell Green during the afternoon of 13th October 2013. It remained to the following day and was enjoyed by many birders.

Red-flanked Bluetail, Happisburgh ~ 13.10.2013

Nightingale ~ a singing male stopped off in some thorn scrub April 11th 2011.

Bluethroat ~ a rare passage visitor, formerly more regular.

Red-breasted Flycatcher ~ a scarce Autumn vagrant. One or two were trapped and ringed by the late Mary Unsworth who visited Cart Gap each Spring and Autumn for many years in the 1970's, 1980's and early 1990's. 
Red-breasted Flycatcher, Happisburgh ~ 05.10.2016

Pied Flycatcher ~ a regular passage migrant, chiefly from mid-August to mid-October, uncommon in Spring.

Pied Flycatcher, Happisburgh ~ 07.09.2014

Pied Flycatcher, Happisburgh ~ 06.09.2018

Black Redstart ~ a regular passage migrant in small numbers. Occasional in Winter.

Black Redstart, Happisburgh ~ 10.11.2011
Photo by Bob Cobbold

Black Redstart, Happisburgh ~ 14.10.2013

Redstart ~ recorded most years in Spring but more regular on Autumn passage.

Redstart, Happisburgh ~ 30.09.2011

Whinchat ~ an irregular passage migrant. A pair summered in the parish in 1990 (The Birds of Norfolk 1999). An exceptionally late bird was present on 8th December 2013.

Whinchat, Happisburgh ~ 18.09.2014

Stonechat ~ a regular passage migrant and occasional Winter visitor. A pair successfully raised young in May 2016. One of the Siberian race maura or stejnegeri on 27th-28th October 1991.

Female Stonechat, Happisburgh ~ 01.11.2014

Male Stonechat with fledgling, Happisburgh ~ May 2016

Wheatear ~ a common passage migrant, one of the first Summer visitors to arrive. Has bred in the past.

Wheatear, Happisburgh ~ 07.09.2013

Aberrant Wheatear, Happisburgh ~ 13.09.2014

Black-eared Wheatear a female of the eastern race 'melanoleuca' was found at Doggett's Lane early morning on 28th May 2016 by James Gilroy. As such, it constitutes the first county record of this form. It frequented the sea wall and gardens but had disappeared before other would be observers arrived. A female had been present on the German island of Helgoland prior to the discovery of the Happisburgh bird and it is reasonably supposed that both records relate to the same bird. The following photos are some of those taken during this exciting encounter and have kindly been provided by James for inclusion here.

Black-eared Wheatear, Happisburgh ~ 28.05.2016 (© Dr. James Gilroy)

House Sparrow ~ a common resident with several colonies around the parish. Also seen on passage.

Post-breeding House Sparrow flock, Happisburgh ~ 08.08.2016

Tree Sparrow ~ formerly common, now very scarce. Any information on this species in the parish would be most welcome.

Yellow Wagtail ~ a passage migrant and irregular breeder on farmland. 50+ near the lighthouse mid-May 1992 included racial variants known as 'Grey-headed' (Scandinavia) and 'Blue-headed' Wagtail (Central Europe). In 2017, a 1st summer male 'Blue-headed' Wagtail paired and successfully bred with a female 'British' race Yellow Wagtail, raising young in a pea crop. They fledged hours before the crop was harvested. A stunning male 'Black-headed' Wagtail was found on the horse paddocks along the old Coastwatch track mid afternoon on 12th May 2018. It happily fed for it's admirers until 7:20pm when it was chased off by a male 'British' Yellow Wagtail.

'British' Yellow Wagtail, Happisburgh ~ 07.05.2015

'British' Yellow Wagtail, Happisburgh ~ 26.05.2016

'Blue-headed' Yellow Wagtail, Happisburgh ~ 17.04.2017

'Black-headed' Yellow Wagtail, Happisburgh ~ 12.05.2018

Grey Wagtail ~ a regular flyover during periods of migration, occasionally stopping off to feed.

Grey Wagtail, Happisburgh ~ 12.10.2015

Pied Wagtail a common resident, probably breeding, passage migrant and Winter visitor. The nominate race 'alba' from mainland Europe, White Wagtail, occurs in small numbers chiefly on Spring passage.
White Wagtail, Happisburgh ~ 27.03.2016

Pied Wagtail, Happisburgh ~ 17.01.2018

Richard’s Pipit ~ a rare Autumn vagrant, has occurred in Spring.

Richard's Pipit, Happisburgh ~ 19.11.2012

Blyth’s Pipit ~ a very rare vagrant. One in fields by the lighthouse 25th - 28th September 1999 was the 2nd record for Norfolk.

Olive-backed Pipit ~ a rare vagrant most regularly recorded in the northern isles of the UK. One was picked up on call before being seen to land on the roof of 'The Hill House' pub late in the afternoon of 22nd October 2012. It soon flew towards the school but was not seen subsequently. What was probably another, or perhaps a Tree Pipit, was heard to call twice as it overflew the cricket pavilion towards the village at 5:40pm on 25th October 2012.

Tree Pipit ~ an uncommon passage migrant.

Tree Pipit, Happisburgh ~ 26.05.2018

Meadow Pipit

Red-throated Pipit ~ a rare passage visitor. An unprecedented 3+ birds were present with 50+ Yellow Wagtails near the lighthouse 14th-18th May 1992. Singing was observed.

Rock Pipit ~ irregular passage migrant and Winter visitor to the clifftops. Most records probably refer to the Scandinavian race 'littoralis'.

Water Pipit ~ a scarce passage and Winter visitor to the county, more usually associating with freshwater or coastal marsh. Two were seen on the undercliff at the end of Beach Road 31st October 2015 with presumably one of the same seen again 15th November.

Water Pipit, Happisburgh ~ 31.10.2015 Richard Moores)

Water Pipit, Happisburgh ~ 15.11.2015


Brambling ~ chiefly recorded as an Autumn migrant.
Brambling, Happisburgh ~ 15.10.2016


Serin ~ a rare visitor to the county. Single fly-overs were noted on 16th April 2013, 3rd May 2014 and 7th May 2015.




Twite ~ a scarce Winter visitor/passage migrant. A flock of up to 19 which fed along the cliff face just south of the village during December 2011 - January 2012 was exceptional. A colour-ringed bird seen during April 2015 had been marked at Machrihanish Bird Observatory on the west coast of Scotland and as such becomes the first recovery of an MBO marked Twite from Norfolk. Unfortunately, the code could not be discerned so exact details remain unknown.

Twite, Happisburgh ~ 14.12.2011

Lesser Redpoll

Mealy Redpoll

Common Crossbill


Snow Bunting ~ a Winter visitor to coastal fields, beaches and sand dunes.

Snow Buntings, Happisburgh ~ 14.12.2011

Snow Bunting, Happisburgh ~ 20.10.2013

Lapland Bunting ~ an passage migrant and Winter visitor, usually in small numbers.

Lapland Bunting, Happisburgh ~ 20.03.2011


Ortolan Bunting ~ a very rare Spring and Autumn vagrant.

Rustic Bunting ~ a female was briefly at the Coastwatch on 30th May 2014.

Little Bunting ~ one was seen briefly at the clifftop end of the hedge along Beach Road on 6th October 2015.

Reed Bunting ~ a Winter visitor and passage migrant.

Reed Bunting, Happisburgh ~ 25.01.2016

Corn Bunting ~ formerly a common breeder, now rather scarce. Any information on this species in the parish would be most welcome.