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.

Finding the insanity line, and then crossing it.

8th May 2010
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I decided in advance that I would get up at 4am in the morning and go down to Whitlingham. My logic was a sort of vague "I'll see more birds if its early" type thing. The weather was drizzly, hardly ideal for a dawn chorus, but I was up, so I went anyway. No sign of any owls, I once saw a Barn Owl along Whitlingham Lane and despite never seeing another one I always look out expectantly. The drizzle was persistent enough for me to abandon plans to do some counts, maybe I need to get some waterproof paper (does that exist?). All the birds you'd expect to be singing were, the pick probably being a Reed Warbler that was doing a slightly odd call (not odd enough to be Marsh though, unfortunately).
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I finished my wandering around the Great Broad just before 7, and still hadn't seen another person, let alone a canoeist. Looking down the river produced a single Common Tern, rather than the swarm of Black Terns I had secretly hoped for. Similarly I didn't hear any Cuckoos, and even a walk around the ever-so-slightly pointless area that is Whitlingham Marsh failed to serenade my ears with a Grasshopper Warbler, or in dreamland a Savi's. My one and only notable bird of the trip was a pair of Bullfinches along the edge of the sewage works. Wet and somewhat demoralised I returned home.
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That should have been the end of the days birding, were it not for some crazy fool calling me and offering me a lift to Cornwall. Figuring that I had the afternoon free anyway I went along, and seven and a half hours later I was queuing up to look over a tall gate and into the garden of England's most westerly birdwatcher. We saw the House Finch (which hopefully didn't escape from an aviary in Sennen) for a few minutes before the owners shut the gates. It was yellow and finchy. A quick look over the cliffs revealed a Gannet and a small party of Manx Shearwaters, and following that we headed back to Norfolk, arriving back in Norwich at 3am. To say I was tired would be an understatement.

Picture courtesy of Gary White. Note the look of wildness of the bird.

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