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

It was going so well

23rd April 2010
A midweek trip to Whitlingham had failed to turn up any migrants, and arguably the best bird of the week was a Grey Heron cruising down Earlham Road at streetlight height. A message from Paul informing me of a Lesser Whitethroat at the back of the woods acted as a spur to go back on Friday for a thorough look around.
In glorious sunshine my visit started well, Kingfisher at Trowse Meadows, Grey Wagtail in an alder along the Little Broad and my first Reed Warbler of the year soon after. There was no sign of the Lesser Whitethroat, but a number of Blackcaps were feeding in the scrub. From the lookout point in the woods I watched over Thorpe Broad for a while, picking up a sleeping Shelduck, two Little Ringed Plovers and two Green Sandpipers (another year tick). Even better was to come, whilst walking further down Whitlingham Lane a male Marsh Harrier rose up from north of the river and soared over.
Whitlingham Marsh was quiet as usual, and I took the path under the bypass to the sewage works. With all that short cropped grass and flies, I was hoping for migrant Yellow Wagtails, or something along those lines. Behind the settling pools a beautiful yellow colour glowed. Dandelions. Bloody flowers. A pair of Oystercatchers and some Swallows were the only birds of note, so my eye was drawn to a warning sign. It read "Articles in these premises are protected with SmartWater". Are they really that worried? If the smartwater wasn't protecting the sewage, would people be shovelling it out? Hmm.
Anyway, other than the smell of well-protected sewage the evening was a success, sunny weather, birdsong and four year patch ticks. A Cetti's Warbler gave a blast of song from right next to the path, giving crippling views until I got my camera out. On my way home I was looking down river just before Trowse Meadow, when my retinas were blasted by the site of two chavs having sex on a bench. Not knowing the correct etiquette for this situation, I pretended I hadn't noticed and kept walking. I hate to think what it will be like when it gets really warm.

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