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

THORPE MARSH: Grasshopper Warblers and common things

22nd April 2016

With bad weather forecast for the forseeable future, I headed to Thorpe Marsh after tea on Friday evening. It was a crisp, cold evening, which ensured that the marsh was quieter than usual, and I was able to scan the broad in peace. I saw a flurry of 'common' things - a Common Sandpiper flew low across the broad, and later I picked up a second bird working its way along the western edge. Turning round I saw two Common Buzzards soaring up over Whitlingham Woods, and from scrub near the river I heard my first Common Whitethroat of the year.

Common Sandpiper, about two thirds across, along the waterline

Despite the low temperatures I kept an eye out for insects as I walked along to the bird screen. Little was flying, but I stopped to look at a Spear Thistle covered in Copse Snails and noticed some small bugs. A closer look told me that they were Spear Thistle Lacebugs, a new species for me and another one for the patch list. I also saw a reddish coloured ant, but didn't identify it to species.

I had almost completed a circuit of the marsh and had yet to hear any Grasshopper Warblers. They don't always 'reel' if the weather is cool, so I checked with Ricky where he had last heard some. With his directions I located two. They hadn't been reeling earlier, so it was just a case of waiting a bit longer. One in particular was very vocal, although as is often the case they remained hidden in the vegetation. As I listened to the louder individual I was treated to a lovely orangey-pink sunset, a fitting close to another excellent local patch evening.

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