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 here.

Keep off the ice, fools.

Whitlingham looks very nice in the snow, but I still couldn't believe that a camera crew had braved the weather just to film some snow. It turns out that people have been walking out onto the ice, with some enterprising muppet even moving a bench out onto the Little Broad! There is a strong arguement for seeing it as evolution in action, but unfortunately if people start getting hospitalised it will no doubt reduce access for non-suicidal visitors. Read the story on http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/.
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Anyway, there were also some birds in the ice holes. The Great Northern Diver continues to shoot up and down the shoreline, the Ruddy Duck was asleep but drifting equally quickly, and redhead Smew and Goosander were near the bridge. The most interesting bird was a large gull, with a slate grey back, fleshy yellow-pink legs, dark streaking around the eye and a distinctive greyish bill with a bright yellow tip. The bill doesn't match exactly with any pictures I've found, but I'm presuming it was a 3rd winter graellsii. If you can make out anything else from my poor quality photo (intermedius, maybe Britain's first Heuglin's Gull etc) then please do.
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There were two candidates for bird of the day, the first being a male Sparrowhawk. I was drawn to it by the agitated calls of Long-tailed Tits, and it sat in a tree close to the side of the road before gliding into the woods. The second bird was a Cetti's Warbler in reeds alongside the river. It hopped about, regularly coming to the top of the reeds, providing me with my best views of this species for ages. I also got my first Whitlingham Song Thrush and Great Spotted Woodpecker of the year, plus a Kingfisher at Trowse Meadow.

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