23rd March 2013
A Lesser Scaup in Lincolnshire acted as a spur to get down to Whitlingham today, along with my eternal spring target, Garganey. It was sleeting as I left, which later turned to snow, and finally ended up being blown horizontally at me by the strong easterly winds. Stopping alongside the Little Broad I got excellent views of a feeding Water Rail, and also a quieter than normal flock of Siskins.
On the Great Broad I saw that a pair of Egyptian Geese had six goslings, around a week earlier than the past couple of years. Further round I saw another Egyptian Goose looking very squat as it shielded its brood from the snow. I didn't disturb them, but caught up with them again at the end of my walk and counted at least eight goslings in a big huddle. Elsewhere around the broad I heard a Bullfinch, saw 19 Pochard, 60+ Tufted Ducks, a displaying pair of Great-crested Grebes and a Mute Swan on a nest.
There was a final point of interest before I left. I had seen a caravan in the overflow car park last week and wondered why it was there. I went over to read a notice on the gate nearby and saw that a camp site is opening in that area. I don't have a particular issue with this, but I did notice that it features boutique-y Shepherd's Huts, which sounds rather like one of those "masterplan" schemes that there was meant to be another consultation about. A brief bit of further investigation also suggests that these aren't mentioned on the planning application that was accepted by the Broads Authority, so this may warrant a post of its own once I have done a bit more research...