7th January 2011
My visit on January 1st had been rather rushed as the light was going, so this week I took a bit more time and went around more of the patch. I picked up a number of common birds along Whitlingham Lane and various bits of scrub before I got to the broads. 4 Little Grebes were on the river, and Snipe numbers had halved (back to one). At least 170 Teal were in the conservation area bay, these are worth keeping an eye on with a Green-winged reported from Strumpshaw recently. Gull-wise a Great Black-backed was with the regular loafers.
There was very little of note on the river or on Whitlingham Marsh, although a flock of Fieldfares flew over. The sewage works held more gulls and some Rooks. On my way back I went through the woods, and scanned Thorpe Marshes from the viewpoint above the car park. The marshes looked completely flooded, but once again it was only loads of gulls that were taking advantage. A small flock of Goldcrests in the conifers was the third time I've seen them in a week, anecdotally appearing to be benefiting from the warm after a couple of harsh winters. I spent a while watching an area of beech mast near the picnic area, seeing lots of Chaffinches and Great Tits, but nothing more exciting. 12 new birds for the patch year list, taking me up to 48.