4th February 2012
Well its the cold snap we wanted (sort of), and it was down to Whitlingham, where birding would surely be as simple as spotting a Smew in an ice hole. As it happened, the Great Broad wasn't frozen at all, although the Little Broad was almost completely covered. There was a welcome return for the bird table near the car park, and a Great Tit was taking advantage of a fat ball hanging nearby. News onsite wasn't promising, no sign of any Smew, and some wild swans, probably Whooper, had flown over earlier. A few Wigeon were new for the year here, but it wasn't the birdfest I had hoped for.
I went up into the woods, partly to look for Woodcock, and partly to look down at Thorpe Marshes. Looking down from the viewpoint there were a lot of gulls, but no sign of any waders. Further round I found a Treecreeper whilst watching some Goldcrests. After a brief detour to look at a Snowdrop covered bank, I returned to the main path and again looked over Thorpe Marshes. I was slightly concerned that I was missing something when two birders met and after talking one immediately got on his phone, but that's paranoia for you. I spent a while at the conservation area, and eventually found a Goldeneye, which brightened up the trip. On the way back three Lesser Redpolls flew over and the Wigeon x Gadwall was in a small area free from ice on the Little Broad.