2nd January 2013
Time to get the patch (and 'Foot It') lists started, so I shouldered my 'scope and headed off to Whitlingham. I was surprised to see Whitlingham Lane so empty after the road-as-car-park scene from my last visit - perhaps they had checked the weather forecast. I walked around Trowse Meadows hoping for a Kingfisher, but there was no sign of any. Two Mistle Thrushes in the field south of Whitlingham Lane were a nice surprise - it took me until August to see these last year. Heading down to the Little Broad the drizzle started.
Two Egyptian Geese stake their claim for a territory and also suggest a possible statue
Two Lesser Redpolls flew over calling and three Cormorants were perched on the huge pylons across the river. At the conservation area I saw my first Pochard and Teal. Further round I stopped to scan Thorpe Broad and noticed a flock of nine Snipe flying around. I saw more in the margins, and they joined the first lot, with around 25 flying at one time. In total I counted 40, but I'm sure more were present a bit further into the vegetation.
The rain was getting heavier by now, so I headed into the woods. Birdsong was muted, with nothing of interest with the Long-tailed Tit flock. Back down Whitlingham Lane there was a Great-crested Grebe on the river, and a lone Lesser Black-backed Gull perched on a buoy. A flock of around 30 Siskins flew over, briefly settling in the Alders, and some movement in the vegetation looked rather like untickable views of a Water Rail. Some Starlings on Whitlingham Lane brought this years patch list up to 40, and my Foot It list to a rather disappointing 42 so far.