The Whitlingham Bird Report for 2016 is now available to download here.

The previous reports are also availble: 2015 here,
2014 report here and the 2013 report here. Thanks to everyone who has contributed sightings, information and photos to these reports.

You may also be interested in Chris Durdin's Thorpe Marsh Wildlife Report for 2016, which is available

4 out of 5 grebes prefer Whitlingham*

* based on a non-scientific observation study of grebes on Whitlingham, carried out Jan 2010. When asked to explain the absence from said water body, a Slavonian Grebe replied that "I would rather freeze my arse off being battered by waves a mile off Titchwell than turn up at that hellhole". Which I think was rather offish.
. .
The day started in Big W carpark (Soon to be Big W SSSI), where we watched the rather tubby Waxwing, still gorging itself on apples. We then went down to Whitlingham, where we watched the diver, still going strong. There were only a couple of other birders there, but as luck goes the one I talked to told us that one of the first birds he had seen that day was a Red-necked Grebe. The bird was soon relocated, close to the bank near the watersports centre. A lovely little bird, starting to gain summer plumage, with a deal of red on the neck. I also counted 28+ Great Crested Grebes and a Little Grebe. This brings up the strange situation where a Slav Grebe in the next fortnight would bring the complete set within a month, so cross any spare limbs!
A series of quick and fruitless trips to several locations in the west of the county were interspersed between trips to Snettisham and Titchwell. At Snettisham I added to my meagre wader list for the year, with Knot and Grey Plover. A Water Rail happily fed in the open in the paddock near the carpark. At the far end, a Shorelark happily hopped around, although whenever I tried to photograph it, it turned its back on me.
At Titchwell the carpark was heaving, anyone would think that something good had been seen there. After a lengthy queue for hot food, we sat down for lunch. Walking down the main path we saw some Ruff fly over, and 2 Water Pipits on the freshmarsh. The sea was full of Goldeneye, and Adam made a failed attempt to direct us to a bird by announcing "it's to the left of it", without telling us what he was referring to as it. This quickly became a catchphrase, and may appear at opportune moments. A small flock of Common Scoter were also offshore, as were 3 Red-breasted Mergansers.
What should have been a happy day with the Red-necked Grebe at Whitlingham was slightly soured with the news that a Bittern (and a Scaup) was seen in the afternoon, as I know I can't get down there until next weekend. Still, no-one can see everything. On another note, I again failed to see Little Owl and Tawny Owl today, if anyone knows any good local sites then I'd appreciate an email or pm :)


  1. Hahaha! Slav Grebe on Birdguides today for Whitlingham, also RN Grebe still present...

  2. I've just seen that! Ridiculous. I'd like to think I goaded it into coming. Unfortunately I can't get down there until the weekend, so I'm crossing everything that it sticks till then. If I do see it I will then play my part by bemoaning the lack of Pied-billed Grebes too...