The Whitlingham Bird Report 2020 is available now (click here)

For previous years (2012-2019) see the links on the Whitlingham Bird List page.

Ranworth at dawn

3rd May 2009

Turning down the chance to twitch the Dungeness Lark, me & dad took the Broads Authority electric boat trip out for a dawn chorus day ride. Malthouse Broad produced two Kingfishers, a number of Grey herons and Common Terns. The most interesting bird was a male Wood Duck, which was paired up with a female Mallard and had 6 ducklings. I'd be interested to see them when they grow up. Along the Bure we saw Barn Owl, Common Sandpiper, Marsh harrier, Teal (a male with green on the back of the head, possibly a hybrid) and another Kingfisher. A spell in the hide overlooking Cockshoot Broad was largely birdless.
A leisurely route back to North Walsham took in Salhouse Broad and Crostwight Heath, but there was little of interest at either. After lunch and beer at the Goat Inn (Skeyton) we decided to head for West Runton to check out the Short-toed Lark. Initially I thought I'd re-found it, but unfortunately this was just lark inexperience, and as it hasn't been seen since, i suspect I narrowly missed it. The bird I saw was pale, but had a marked breast with a clean line between streaking and white, more like a Lesser short-toed lark, and certainly not the right bird. I guess it was just a "neat" looking Skylark. I made a mental note to add Lark and Pipit ID refresher to my bird call homework. Also, apologies to anyone I was grumpy too, this was around the time Norwich were getting relegated! Grrr.
Continuing my unauspicious evening, it appears that Mark Richardson has left Feeder (my favourite band) and a White Stork was in the Norwich area yesterday, but has just been put on BirdGuides. I think a motion should be passed that if you can't/don't want to put out news of a bird on the day it was seen, you should keep it to yourself.

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