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

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



Me & Cath went to Cley, partly to enable her to see her first Spoonbill, and partly to try and catch some good returning waders (Lesser Yellowlegs was there the same time last year, plus Wood Sands starting to spread across the county). As it was we didn't see too much, but a couple of Bearded Tits, a Ruff, 4 Spoonbills and a Little Ringed Plover were a decent return for the morning. After lunch we spent a bit of time seawatching (pretty much just Sandwich Terns) and had just settled into North Hide when thick mist started billowing across the marshes, halving visibility. After 20 mins or so we gave up, completed our loop and got the bus back. A number of butterflies and moths about, including these...

Leucistic Blackbird

20th June 2009

I know, everyone liked the Swallowtail picture, but it's just not a bird is it? I don't really talk about beer that much either (I have AA meetings for that). Luckily on my way to a music fair in the city I bumped into this partially-leucistic blackbird. I had been told by another local birder that there was one in Chapelfield Park, but I hadn't seen it on my daily walks through. The bird was initially feeding near Vauxhall Road until pedestrians flushed it, and further investigation showed it was feeding a fairly well-grown juvenile near Pedros restaurant. The juvenile bird showed normal plumage as I would expect (presumable leucism is a recessive trait), but that got me thinking whether juvenile plumages show albinism/leucism or not? Opinions welcome.

Hickling Broad

14th June 2009

A day out in the broads to photograph butterflies and dragonflies. It was a successful day with a very obliging Swallowtail, the first one that I have seen for a prolonged period of time. It happily rested in front of us for 15 minutes, allowing many pictures to be taken. We also saw Norfolk Hawker, Black-tailed Skimmer and Four-spot Chaser Dragonflies, as well as a Large Skipper butterfly.

Sculthorpe Moor

13th June 2009

An evening trip to Sculthorpe Moor to look for Glow-worms. We arrived early and sat in the Frank Jarvis Hide, watching the male Golden Pheasant and a pair of Bullfinches. Walking along the river we spotted a Water Vole swimming across, and a Barn Owl hunting along the woods edge. From Whitley Hide we saw another two Barn Owls, a pair of Marsh Harriers, a Hobby, and four more Bullfinches, including a male with two white primaries on each wing.

Near the education centre my first Spotted Flycatcher of the year was sitting near the top of an oak tree, before the group went for a walk back down to the end of the reserve. Whilst waiting for dusk we saw 10+ Woodcock roding, a flyby Cuckoo and a large bat, probably Noctule. Eventually it became dark enough to look for the Glow-worms, and I picked out 24, although some people managed 30. A lovely evening at probably my favourite nature reserve.

Carey's Meadow

12th June 2009

An after work jaunt down to Carey's Meadow to look for orchids.

A happy Pratincole experience

6th June 2009

Following a couple of misses with the Collared Pratincole a few weeks ago, better luck this time, with good views of the Black-winged Pratincole. I was in no way confident of seeing it, giving the tendency or NN Coast Pratincoles to go on little excursions, and the still-galling knowledge that the Collared Pratincole probably flew past me whilst searching the marshes between Salthouse & Kelling.
Me & Adam got the train and bus to Thornham, with Gary informing us that the Pratincole had been seen at Thornham 20 minutes ago. We still had a long walk up the hill to reach the corner of the field near the reservior. A number of birders were very helpful, a woman allowing me to get my first glimpses of its head through her 'scope, and two guys around the corner both letting me have a look whilst I set up my telescope. The Black-winged Pratincole finally played ball, getting up and wandering around in front of a small shed, a great reference point in a field of many earthy lumps. After a while it became obvious that the only flight views we were likely to get were of its arse as it flew to Titchwell, so we walked back, completing a loop back to Thornham.
In the afternoon we managed to get a lift to Potter Heigham to have a scan around the back of Hickling. Rush Hills held 50+ Ringed Plover and a similar amount of Black-tailed Godwits. Adam saw a Curlew Sand, but it wasn't there when I scanned round. A few butterflies and damselflies were around, including the first Peacock and Tiger Moth caterpillars of the year. Chips at Potter bridge, and then home.
Year list 206 species