The Whitlingham Bird Report 2020 is available now (click here)

For previous years (2012-2019) see the links on the Whitlingham Bird List page.

BEER: Norwich Beer Festival 2013

29th October 2013

It is of course Norwich Beer Festival week. Karl & I went on Tuesday, and very nice it was too. My favourite beer was Blackberry Porter from Mauldons, whilst two "Beer-with-bird-names" ticks were had with 'Golden Pheasant' and 'Knot Just Another IPA'

Details and the full beer list can be found here:

Drink responsibly!

NORWICH: Earlham Cemetery fungi

28th October 2013

I went along to Earlham Cemetery for a fungus foray, organised by the Friends of Earlham Cemetery and led by Jon Tyler. We saw a large number of species, including a couple of Waxcaps, White and Grey Coral fungi, Fly Agaric, Death Cap and Lilac Fibrecap. We also saw Jelly Ear growing on Weeping Beech as opposed to the more usual host tree (Elder).  A selection of the more photogenic specimens are below:

White Coral
Golden Waxcap
Shaggy Scalycap
Fly Agaric
Death Caps
Grey Coral
Scaly Earthball

EAST NORFOLK: Looking for Crossbills

27th October 2013

This afternoon Cathy & I went for a walk in Witton (aka Bacton) Woods. Having grown up in North Walsham, it was here that I saw my first Common Crossbills in the early nineties, so it seemed a fitting location to attempt to see Parrot Crossbill. I had been given directions to an area of trees where they had been seen earlier in the week, but other than Coal Tit and Goldcrest there weren't many birds about. The strong wind hindered any attempts to listen for distant calls or falling pine cones. Hopefully they will continue to be seen, and I can have another go later in the year.

On our way round we did see quite a bit of fungi - Cathy found an unopened Parasol and a number of Mycena sp, whilst there were also Fly Agaric, Amethyst  Deceiver and Beech Sickener. We also saw some Hard Fern, a species that I have presumably seen here before but not recorded. On the way back to North Walsham a Stoat ran across the road.

Hard Fern


20th October 2013

Still not a lot of birds of note at Whitlingham - around 20 extra Gadwall, 30 extra Greylags and 37 Cormorants went to roost. Only flyovers were Redwing.

Loads of fungi about though, including my first Norwich-area Dog Stinkhorns, growing on bark chippings at Whitlingham Marsh.

Dog Stinkhorns
Honey Fungus
Common Earthball
Death Cap
Porcelain Fungus
Russula sp. or Mycena pura
Shaggy Ink Cap
Yellow Field Cap

WHITLINGHAM: October count & Migrant Hawker

12th October 2013

With heavy rain forecast for much of the weekend, I decided to get the wildfowl count at Whitlingham done on Saturday in case Sunday was a washout.With my inland patcher's hat on I was at least hopeful that there may be a sea-bird of some description around (several sites in other counties managed Great Skuas and Leach's Petrels). As it was the weather was actually rather pleasant, and there was nothing out of the ordinary at all on the broad. Some small flocks of Redwings were flying over as they have been for the past few days, and a Redpoll sp. also flew over calling. Across the river at Thorpe at least six Snipe were on the spit, probably a fraction of the actual number there.

In terms of other wildlife there were some Shaggy Ink Caps and Sulphur Tuft, and I managed to photograph a Migrant Hawker resting in the vegetation at the edge of the broad.

Migrant Hawker

Young Shaggy Ink Caps

NORTH NORFOLK: Titchwell trip

6th October 2013

It had been a while since we had been to the coast, so we went to Titchwell for the afternoon. In the trees near the car park a Yellow-browed Warbler called, but I couldn't see it. We walked slowly around the Meadow Trail in case it was showing there (it wasn't). There were lots of dragonflies, including mating Migrant Hawkers and ovipositing Common Darters.

Mating Migrant Hawkers

Back on the main path I looked back towards the coast road and saw a white goose in a field apparently with a small flock of Pink-footed Geese, although there were also some Greylags a bit further over. As I started setting up my telescope the Pink-feet and white goose flew off. Cathy got binoculars on them and noted that the white goose had black wing-tips, but felt that the black appeared to carry on along the trailing edge of the wing. We did check the field again on our way back, but there was no sign of the geese there or between Choseley and Docking, so it remains a mystery.

Further along a female Red-crested Pochard was on the reedbed pool. Lots of waders on the freshmarsh, the best of which were two Little Stints and two Curlew Sandpipers. Past the Parrinder hide turning we saw a nice Grey Plover still almost in summer plumage, and a Greenshank was stood close to the path. The tide was out when we got to the beach, a single Eider, a Great-crested Grebe and lots of Gannets were the only things I could make out. On the way back the Greenshank had moved into the channel and was feeding by lowering its bill into the water and running forwards, which was interesting to watch.


NORWICH: A little bit of gold

6th October 2013

It doesn't look like I'll be able to moth trap at my new(ish) house, and there isn't any oaks nearby either, so Merveille de Jour remains on the wishlist for the time being. There are still a few moths around though - Margaret found this Large Ranunculus in her garden. From a distance it looks mostly grey, but click to enlarge the photo and you'll see gold spangling over it.

WHITLINGHAM: Still butterflies about

28th September 2013

Still quiet at Whitlingham - one Teal had joined the small numbers of Tufted Ducks and Gadwall already present on the Great Broad. A Kingfisher flew off the river and onto Thorpe Broad, and several butterflies were still flying.

Speckled Wood