1st January 2010
A new year, but the same cold and cloudy weather greeted me as I stuck my head out of the window. A leisurely morning, with ten species seen in Cathy's garden whilst I chain-drank tea, the first of which lest you care was a Blackbird. It was then time for our new years jaunt around Whitlingham.
Along the lane the flock of Greylag Geese was present, although smaller than the previous visit (c100 birds). Investigating the feeders near the car park we found that almost all of them were empty, which didn't help the tally. The best bird here was a Coal Tit, making a mockery of my 10-month Coal Tit drought last year. Heading down onto the slipway we saw that most of the Great Broad was still frozen, with two main open areas. Scanning the first bit of water we saw the normal wildfowl (Pochards, Tufties etc) along with a pair of Wigeon and a Canada Goose. On the ice a number of Black-headed and Common Gulls were loafing, as was a 1st-winter Herring Gull.
Walking further around the broad a couple of Skylarks flew over, calling. Another decent patch bird followed in the form of a female Goldeneye, which flew west from the second patch of open water. Scanning the area around the island we added Shoveler, Teal, Little Grebe and 29 Cormorants. The walk around the north shore was relatively quiet birdwise, probably directly linked to being rather noisy peoplewise. The Redpoll that had been in the alders along the Little Broad in midweek were absent, but a reasonable flock of Siskins had replaced them. Last bird of the visit was a Magpie, the 36th species. This total is well short of last year, but thinking positively that increases the fun of finding the missing birds.