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

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

Right Place, Almost Right Time...

12th July 2009

My day plan was simple, first bus to Cley, North Hide to see the Buff-breasted Sandpiper, an hour or two seawatching, a bit of Spoonbill watching then home. I caught the bus in the rain in Sheringham, and walked around the East Bank, clocking up 20+ Burnet moths and a Grayling on the way to North Hide. The Buff-breasted Sandpiper was obligingly in clear view, so I spent a while watching that (a lifer) and a Curlew Sand, when a birder reading a pager message shouted "Lesser Crested Tern, Cley" and left the hide. It took me a few seconds to decide that he wasn't a) joking or b) mad, and I followed a small group to the Coastguards, where we found the birder who had seen it. Unfortunately, the Tern had carried on west, and wasn't seen again. A few hours seawatch produced nothing more than Fulmar and Arctic Tern. So very close to a spectacular bird, but on the other hand I would not have been able to separate Crested and Lesser Crested Terns at sea, so best someone else saw it! That arguement almost convinces me.
Gary arrived at lunchtime and we had another walk around the reserve, seeing 8 Spoonbills and a Yellow-legged Gull amongst other stuff. A walk around Kelling Heath failed to turn up a hoped for bird, but was full of butterflies. An orange and black butterfly was too big for Small Tort, Comma or Wall, and wrong for Painted Lady, arousing suspicions of Large Tortoisheshell, but it flew through strongly and we couldn't refind it, maybe the one that got away? The closest I could get to in size was Dark Green Fritillary, but the jizz was wrong (not to mention there aren't any of those there either!)

Year list 208 species.

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