28th March 2013
A day off work gave me some time to mount a thorough search of my recording area to look for migrants and the remaining commoner local species. The first place to check for Chiffchaffs was Trowse Meadow, which was notably devoid of birdsong. A Kingfisher did fly down the river, as did three Teal. Searching through a Long-tailed Tit flock I found a Treecreeper as I re-joined Whitlingham Lane.
At the Little Broad a Mute Swan was still on a nest, and a pair each of Pochard and Gadwall were present along with the Mallard & Tufted Ducks. In the scrub nearby a Bullfinch called softly. The brood of Egyptian goslings at the west end of the broad had dwindled from six to four. I had a quick look around the main car park for Conifer Mazegills - this has now been confirmed and is the only current site for this fungus in the county, so I wanted to be able to notify the Broads Authority to keep one of the logs that its growing on. There were no new ducks on the Great Broad, and no sign of the second Egyptian Goose brood - hopefully they made it through the cold snap and were out of sight on the island.
I headed up into the woods and walked along the 'telegraph pole alley' parallel with the A47. This is a good spot for warblers in early spring, but there were none today. I stopped at the viewpoint to scan Thorpe Marsh, where the shingle held a number of gulls but no waders. A loop around Whitlingham Marsh produced one Grey Heron and a couple of flyover Rooks (75). The walk was brightened up at this point with some large Willow Brackets growing in the wet woodland.
Further along Whitlingham Lane I stopped at the sewage works where a pair of Oystercatchers (76) were feeding near the settling pools (these later flew over my head and landed at Thorpe). I went up onto the farmland east of the sewage works to scan back, seeing four Lapwings. My walk back was largely uneventful up until I reached Trowse Meadow, when a Peregrine (77) flew in and spent several minutes flying over the Deal Ground, before heading off southwards.