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

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

Cuckoo at last


Present and visible for a 5th day (2 originally, 3 this spell), I had somehow managed to be busy for the first four, and was desperate to see the Great Spotted Cuckoo now, rather than wait 10 years for another one. It seemed like I was doomed to fail, a lorry hitting a bridge outside North Walsham meant a 45 minute delay on my train, which then terminated at Cromer. A quick walk around Cromer (or "Ladybird Plague Town") failed to find a bus going to Sheringham, so I had to wait another 30 mins for the next train. The Coasthopper was full, but luckily I managed to stand near the front. I arrived at Kelling an hour and a half late, but the steady stream of birders coming from the beach looked content, which was a good sign. I needn't have worried, the cuckoo was showing well, and even when it disappeared from view, the constant mobbing from Linnet and Meadow Pipits helped relocate it.

I watched for a while, however the Ladybirds were now nipping with increased ferocity. You may laugh if you haven't experienced it, but it is a decent nip for an insect! And bizarrely they almost all went for the back of my neck. Little buggers. A seawatch on the still sea was almost birdless, a few Sandwich Terns and 8 Cormorant west was it. I walked west, past Gramborough Head and back to Salthouse, seeing 12 species of butterfly (Small Heath was first of the year) and watching some young Swallows flocking on an elder. On the way back to Salthouse village I picked out a distant Ruddy Shelduck, my first of the year, although its not BOU admissable yet.

Year list 210 species.

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