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 http://www.honeyguide.co.uk/documents/ThorpeMarshesWildlifeReport2016.pdf

WHITLINGHAM: A few more migrants & insects

21st April 2017

Having been busy in the week, a bit of free time on Friday evening allowed me to get down to Whitlingham to have a look at what had arrived since my last visit. The weather was breezy and overcast, but that did mean that a flock of hirundines were swooping low over the Great Broad. Most were Swallows, but after a bit of scanning I was able to make out some Sand Martins and a couple of House Martins. Birdsong was muted, but I heard my first Sedge Warbler and saw my first Whitethroats of the year, and also was treated to a few bursts of Nightingale song.

At the east end of the broad I was looking across to Thorpe when I noticed Ricky and Mary Walker on the far bank. Ricky called across, confusing a man in a boat that had just gone past, before reverting to mobile phone. They had seen two Common Sandpipers, which weren't visible from Whitlingham, but just after I had continued on my way they had a Marsh Harrier, and thanks to another phonecall I headed back to the bank and saw it soaring over the marsh.

I stopped and had a look at a small weevil on a Garlic Mustard plant, that Tim Hodge kindly identified as probably Cabbage-stem Weevil. Around the corner was a real highlight, a Water Shrew scurried brazenly across the path and down to the waters edge. I've only ever seen one before, so to get such good, close views was a real treat. There wasn't much more about birdwise, but the Bibio flies were worth a mention - as well as the large St Mark's flies there were lots of orange-thoraxed Bibio anglicus amongst the nettles, and I saw another interesting sawfly, possibly Pachyprotasis rapae, but it is hard to be sure when there is no available field guide to them.




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