7th March 2015
On Saturday I headed down to Whitlingham for March's wildfowl count. The weather was unseasonably warm, with the accompanying huge increase in people. Despite the sunshine I didn't see a single butterfly, although as there were few flowers out they had probably made a wise decision. Another omission were any singing Chiffchaffs, which I had hoped to hear. The final thing that I didn't see was Garganey. The arrival of five of these ducks at Titchwell had raised hopes of one locally, but my wait for a patch one goes on.
Wildfowl numbers had continued to decline since last month. There were still quite a few Tufted Ducks, but the only Gadwall were across the river at Thorpe Broad. Great-crested Grebes were all in breeding plumage, and the absence of all but two Egyptian Geese suggest that some are currently incubating. Two of the Herring Gulls were of interest, one with a red VKB ring is a bird I've seen here several times and was ringed as a pullus at Havergate in Suffolk. The other one had a particularly long bill, giving it a rather Caspian Gull-like appearance, albeit without some of the other features you would look for in that species. The only 'new' bird for the year was an Oystercatcher on the shingle at Thorpe.