21st July 2012
Well it looks like the Caspian Tern has left the valley, so instead I went looking for gulls. In the past few days there has been a large build up of Med Gulls in the south (nearly 500 in West Sussex on Thursday) and an even larger build up of Little Gulls in Yorkshire (820 at Hornsea last Sunday). They would make a nice addition to the six Lesser Black-backs that are at Whitlingham now. Maybe next time?
With hardly any gulls or anything of interest on the Great Broad I was checking the scrub when I saw a Grass Snake basking by the path. Unfortunately it saw me at the same time and slithered away into the long grass. This was my first reptile at Whitlingham, although a dog walker did tell me last year that he had seen one crossing Whitlingham Lane. I didn't see anything scanning across to Thorpe, so I carried on along the river and round to Whitlingham Marsh, seeing a Treecreeper on the way.
Reaching the river at the far end of the patch I looked along towards Postwick in the hope of a Grey Wagtail. I saw a small yellow flower that I didn't recognise, which I stuck on Ispot. It was identified as Common Fiddleneck, a naturalised American species. That is as exciting as it got. The path from the marshes to the sewage works was overgrown, and in one place had a fallen Yew tree across it, resplendent with Jew's Ear fungus. One sleeping Oystercatcher was near the stirring tanks, but as I walked back towards Whitlingham it flew over calling manically, and was joined by five equally noisy friends. Nothing much seen on the walk back Fingers crossed for some local excitement soon - Red Kite and Whimbrel would represent a productive summer I think.