The Whitlingham Bird Report 2017 can be viewed or downloaded here. For previous years (2012-2016) see the links on the Whitlingham Bird List page.

You may also be interested in Chris Durdin's Thorpe Marsh Wildlife Report for 2017, which is available http://www.honeyguide.co.uk/documents/ThorpeMarshesWildlifeReport2017.pdf

4 out of 5 grebes prefer Whitlingham*

* based on a non-scientific observation study of grebes on Whitlingham, carried out Jan 2010. When asked to explain the absence from said water body, a Slavonian Grebe replied that "I would rather freeze my arse off being battered by waves a mile off Titchwell than turn up at that hellhole". Which I think was rather offish.
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The day started in Big W carpark (Soon to be Big W SSSI), where we watched the rather tubby Waxwing, still gorging itself on apples. We then went down to Whitlingham, where we watched the diver, still going strong. There were only a couple of other birders there, but as luck goes the one I talked to told us that one of the first birds he had seen that day was a Red-necked Grebe. The bird was soon relocated, close to the bank near the watersports centre. A lovely little bird, starting to gain summer plumage, with a deal of red on the neck. I also counted 28+ Great Crested Grebes and a Little Grebe. This brings up the strange situation where a Slav Grebe in the next fortnight would bring the complete set within a month, so cross any spare limbs!
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A series of quick and fruitless trips to several locations in the west of the county were interspersed between trips to Snettisham and Titchwell. At Snettisham I added to my meagre wader list for the year, with Knot and Grey Plover. A Water Rail happily fed in the open in the paddock near the carpark. At the far end, a Shorelark happily hopped around, although whenever I tried to photograph it, it turned its back on me.
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At Titchwell the carpark was heaving, anyone would think that something good had been seen there. After a lengthy queue for hot food, we sat down for lunch. Walking down the main path we saw some Ruff fly over, and 2 Water Pipits on the freshmarsh. The sea was full of Goldeneye, and Adam made a failed attempt to direct us to a bird by announcing "it's to the left of it", without telling us what he was referring to as it. This quickly became a catchphrase, and may appear at opportune moments. A small flock of Common Scoter were also offshore, as were 3 Red-breasted Mergansers.
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What should have been a happy day with the Red-necked Grebe at Whitlingham was slightly soured with the news that a Bittern (and a Scaup) was seen in the afternoon, as I know I can't get down there until next weekend. Still, no-one can see everything. On another note, I again failed to see Little Owl and Tawny Owl today, if anyone knows any good local sites then I'd appreciate an email or pm :)

2 comments:

  1. Hahaha! Slav Grebe on Birdguides today for Whitlingham, also RN Grebe still present...

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  2. I've just seen that! Ridiculous. I'd like to think I goaded it into coming. Unfortunately I can't get down there until the weekend, so I'm crossing everything that it sticks till then. If I do see it I will then play my part by bemoaning the lack of Pied-billed Grebes too...

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