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WHITLINGHAM: February wildfowl counts

16th February 2014

Some bright sunshine today for a change, and as I left the car park a Skylark flew over calling. Starting as always with the Little Broad there had been a decrease in Gadwall numbers to 127, but on the up side the 12 Shoveler was my highest count here since 2010.Single Little and Great-crested Grebes were also present, along with 32 Tufted Ducks.

Nothing except Black-headed Gulls broke the hundred barrier on the Great Broad, with 91 Coot and 89 Tufted Ducks coming closest. 20 Pochard, 9 Teal and 36 Mallard completed the duck interest. I finished the main part of the count just in time, as one of the inflatable motor boats then proceeded to do flat out manoeuvres and turns along the length of the broad. Incidentally the south-east corner of the broad is still very muddy, wellies would be recommended if you intend on walking here.

Thorpe was relatively quiet, with no sign of the masses of Snipe present last month (although I presume they are still present just on the marsh rather than the broad). I did count 58 Tufted Ducks, 8 Pochard and 30 Gadwall, along with a Great-crested Grebe and Common, Herring and Black-headed Gulls. 


  1. I think I saw you scoping from the Whitlingham side James while strolling around Thorpe. Incidentally did you see the Seal in the river? Your count checks out with what I observed although I did not show the same degree of dedication to count! The Snipe are not as visible but I did observe three overhead that were disturbed.

  2. Hi Paul. Quite possibly - I was there late morning and saw a few people across the river at Thorpe so you could well have been one of them. I didn't see the seal which is a shame, I'd love to have one on my Norwich list! The furthest upriver I have seen one was a Grey Seal near the mill at Buckenham a few years ago. I'll mention it around in case it is still nearby.

    1. A grey seal bull was present today on the river yare at stumpshaw fen.