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

Whitlingham & NN Coast

29th & 30th January 2010

Friday evening saw the return of snow to the county. Informed by Neil that the Ring-necked Duck had been seen at Whitlingham, I decided to make use of finishing half an hour early by power-walking down to the country park and hoping there was still some daylight left. As it was I managed about 15 minutes birding. I failed to locate the Ring-necked Duck, but did see the RN Grebe, Diver and Scaupy thing, which it appears people have decided is indeed a first-winter odd headed freaky Scaup as opposed to an Aythya hybrid. I'm hedging my bets until I get close enough views to get decent photos or a sketch of it. The trip wasn't a total loss, as dusk fell a Woodcock flew out of the woods to the east of the car park and off into the night.
On Saturday I accompanied Gary to the North Norfolk coast, where we hoped to catch up with the Snow Goose. A walk around a few sites in the north-east was largely fruitless, although a Fulmar flying west at West Runton was a year tick. We also saw the Med Gull and a Grey Plover there. The large flock of Snow Buntings at Salthouse were very photogenic, and the pair of Scaup at Wells were definitely Scaup, as opposed to hybrids.
At Holkham we scanned thousands of Pink-feet, but no sign of the desired white goose. The area around Meals House provided us with great views of a Firecrest, although it moved constantly, ruling out the possibility of photos. The sea was out, and we failed to find anything rare in the extensive gull flock. Scanning the saltmarshy areas we found 2 Snow Bunting and around 5 Rock Pipit amongst the Skyark and Meadow Pipits. Scanning the geese from the coast road we finally found something other than Pink-feet, 14 Barnacle Geese and some White-fronts.
Some birders at Wells had told me that the Corn Buntings had returned to Choseley, so we went and had a look. There were indeed a good number there, as well as a couple of Yellowhammers. Titchwell wasn't great, but 3+ Velvet Scoter offshore was a good sighting, I missed Velvets last year. Again no sign of the Twite. We finished the day at Witton Woods, where I saw my first Tawny Owl of the year.

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