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

More half-term birding

I've lumped wed-fri together so people don't get sick of the constant updates.

Wednesday saw me & Adam brave the crowds for another patch visit to Whitlingham. The birds were all crammed into the conservation area, and amongst the Coot I saw a Wigeon with what looked like a green Teal-like stripe on its head. I was thinking Teal x Wigeon, although American Wigeon x Wigeon would look similar. Either way, I moved to get a better view and couldn't pick it up again. The bright sun on the water could well have created an artefact, so although exciting at the time I won't be dwelling on it. The only other sighting of note was three flocks of Redwing over going determinedly west (10, 21, 22).
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On Thursday Cathy & I got a lift to Snettisham via Flitcham. Unfortunately the Little Owl wasn't showing, but we did see a Bullfinch, a number of Red-legged Partridges running (always an amusing sight) and a Common Buzzard. At Snettisham we both noticed a Water Rail simultaneously in the reeds, and picked out eight wader species whilst waiting for the Knot to flock. We left before the last remaining birds had taken to the air, but were still pleased with the views of Knot and Golden Plover flocks twisting and turning above us. We diverted via Brancaster in case the Snow Goose was still around, but were just in time to see the remnents of the Pink-feet fly North.
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By Friday I was ready for a more local trip, and took the bus south to the village of Shotesham. I waited on the edge of the common with a small group of birders (seeing Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher by the ford), until one of them located the Siberian Chiffchaff in a hedge. I saw it flitting about in a willow before it emerged from the top and flew across the road into someones garden. The call seemed to be straightforward tristis, although I don't think I've heard abietinus calls to compare it with. The residents very sportingly gave us permission to go down their drive, but as it hadn't called in a while I had a quick scout of the nearby trees and then got the bus back home. The bird has been heard to sing and has been recorded, so it should get clinched either way. I had planned to have a drink in the local pub, but it was shut when I got to it. Later in the day a possible Parrot Crossbill was reported from Wells Woods, which sounds like a tempting trip for Saturday!

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