16th October 2010
I had every intention of getting up early, getting the train to Sheringham, bus to Stiffkey then walking to Warham to see what would be my first Pallas Warbler. When it came to it, I just couldn't be bothered. I transferred Pallas Warbler from my "birds that I should really be finding myself in 2010" list to my "birds that I should really be finding myself in 2011" list, and went for a walk around Whitlingham instead.
Starting near the Yacht Club I stood in the drizzle sorting through the Long-tailed Tit flock, which still doesn't have any Coal Tits or Goldcrests in it. I've even had Goldcrest in my garden this week damnit. Looking over the Little Broad to start my wildfowl count two big red beaks immediately stuck out. Red-crested Pochards (105)! Not particularly nice ones, I presume 1st winter or coming out of eclipse, but still only my second patch record and the first semi-decent bird I've found this autumn. I put the news out in case any local birders were interested. The good thing about Whitlingham is that its so busy a few more birders makes no difference at all. The Black Swan was still accompanying the Little Broad Mute Swan family.
Scanning the Great Broad the thing that stuck out immediately was that there had been an influx of gulls. Lesser Black-backs have ranged from 2-15 over the past few months, mostly around the posts, but today there were rafts of 41 and 26 birds. Careful scanning revealed one Yellow-legged Gull (106) that I was happy with, although there may have been another. Black-headed Gulls were also very common, with 190+ spread out across the broad. Flocks of Redwing and Goldfinch flew over, and better from my point of view were two Linnet (107). Constant scanning of the far shore rewarded me with three Kingfishers around the broad, and 81 Tufted Ducks were at the eastern end, completely segregated from 60-odd Pochard on Thorpe Broad. Not a bad mornings birding all in all.