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WHITLINGHAM: Fog, crab legs and a Goldeneye

19th November 2011

As many of you will have guessed from the lack of news from Whitlingham at the weekend, "track the Eider" was not a successful campaign. After being seen drifting past Strumpshaw it was not reported again, presumably re-orientating itself and flying back to the sea. Nevertheless I was at Whitlingham on Saturday morning to have a good look myself. This initially seemed harder than it should have been as fog was still hanging over the broad, but as the sun rose it soon dissipated. There was a strong smell of the sea in the air, surely an omen? No, actually, it was someone's discarded seafood. One of the stranger items of litter to be found on site.

Wildfowl numbers were similar to the previous week, with a slight increase in Tufted Ducks. Are Aythya and Gadwall numbers still low in the broads I wonder? Last weeks Goldeneye was still around to the east of the island. I walked along the river as far as the bypass in case the Eider was still on the river, but saw nothing unusual. A couple of flyover Lesser Redpolls suggest there may be a small flock locally that move around rather than continuing passage. I went into the woods to get a vantage point over Thorpe Marshes, and saw a bit of late fungi, including my first site record of Verdigris Toadstool (pictured below).

Rubbish Goldeneye record shot


  1. Darn - I missed the Goldeneye on the count a few hours later, although a flock of Lesser Blacks had dropped in to bathe and included 3 YLG.


  2. The Goldeneye was along the Northern shore, just east of the Cormorant posts & island with c15 Tufted Duck. It was constantly diving though, so would have been easy to miss.

    Good to hear about the Yellow-legged Gulls still being around, hopefully the pig farm will encourage more big gulls to the area this winter.