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WHITLINGHAM: Too few birds, too many people

2nd March 2013

Mid-February to Mid-March can sometimes be rather dull at Whitlingham, with waterfowl numbers decreasing and too early for returning birds, and so it was today. Walking down Whitlingham Lane I was surprised by the amount of cars parked at every possible place, however it turned out there was a rowing event on.

The lack of birds was exacerbated by the behaviour of a number of other users of the park, I saw a full house of: dog mess not being cleared up, dogs being allowed to chase the swans, canoeists going around the edge of the broad and hard up against the conservation area boundary (flushing almost all of the remaining wildfowl in a single lap) and taking the prize today was a couple that decided that instead of taking a short detour along the road they needed to move a barrier across the path (where a digger was parked) walk along then move the barrier on the other side too.

Gee, I wonder what this big barrier means...

Looking over to Thorpe there were some actual birds, 50 or so each of Pochard, Gadwall and Tufted Duck. A Cetti's Warbler called briefly and the Little Broad Alders held Siskin, Lesser Redpoll and Goldcrest. The only real sighting of interest was a fungus, Blackfoot Polypore, which was a first for me here. I had hoped that I may finally see some wild swans flying over, but it was not to be. Later that night Cathy heard some birds flying over, and lo and behold they were Bewick's Swans flying over the house. 

Polyporus leptocephalus (Blackfoot Polypore)

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