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WHITLINGHAM: A river away...

9th May 2011

A walk around Whitlingham with Cathy just before dusk was shaping up to be a typical summer walk, nice weather, not many birds. As we reached the east end of the broad Cathy went and looked through the nettle beds for moths (Green Carpet was her best find) whilst I scanned the spit. I could see several birders with 'scopes, which made me feel slightly uneasy. What if something really good was the other side, out of sight. We moved on, and then I found out what they were looking at. 2 Wood Sandpipers on the "New Cut". I have birded Station Marsh a fair bit, and have never heard anyone refer to the new cut, so that didn't help. Could it be one of the drainage ditches across the marshy bit? If it is then there was no chance I could see it from my vantage point. With the light fading and Cathy still patiently waiting for me to continue our walk I went back and re-scanned the spit, then waited to see if a walker would flush them, and finally waited until a train had gone past. Darn it. Still, there's always next year.


  1. The river Yare originally flowed past Thorpe Green. The New Cut is the channel south of the railway line by Great Broad, between the two railway bridges near Thorpe Green. It was built to allow navigation into the port of Norwich. (Formerly between Foundry and Carrow Bridges)

  2. Thanks Paul. What you're saying makes sense (I did know that the river was re-routed but hadn't equated that with the cut). However I'm still confused as to where the Wood Sands actually are. If they are on what is to all intents and purposes the river, why call them out as Station marsh? I scanned the muddy river edges from Whitlingham that evening and saw nothing. Also Chris apparently saw them from the woods car park, suggesting they were on Thorpe Broad. I would appreciate feedback from anyone that has seen them!

  3. I met Chris Durdin at Thorpe Marshes and he saw them on Thorpe Broad spit.

    Did a n other see them on the mud by the river at new cut, presumably from the boat moorings?

  4. I spoke to a birder at Thorpe last night (I recognised him but I hardly know any birders by name), who said that he had seen them on the spit, and the Tues sighting was in flight around that area, so I think the whole new cut thing was a mistake. Never mind.