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

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

THORPE MARSH: Spring migrants and a catchup

14th April 2015

I haven't written up a few brief trips out, but probably not enough to do a full update post about. The highlight was an early local Common Tern, found at Whitlingham by Joe Harkness on 9th April. I was out at the time but was able to call in and see it later in the evening. Whilst the 9th April doesn't sound that early it was actually over a week earlier than my previous first  patch sighting, and may end up being the earliest site record (if you have seen an earlier one at Whitlingham then please let me know). I have also been enjoying watching the bees and bee flies in my front garden during the sunny spells we've had of late.

On the 14th I went to Thorpe Marsh after work, hoping to see some migrants. During the day a Ring Ouzel had been found at UEA (still a bird I don't have on my Norwich list), so I was hoping Thorpe would turn up one of them. I usually head to the scrape first, but knowing there had been some sandpipers on the shingle spit I headed there first. Some local kids were playing music, so I stayed long enough to pick out a Common Sandpiper and a Green Sandpiper then headed round to the bird screen.

On the broad itself a brood of six small Mallard ducklings bobbed past, but there was little else of interest. A Sedge Warbler was in full song from the ditch nearby, and a second one was singing from the marsh between the path and the railway line. There were a lot of butterflies about, mostly Small Tortoiseshells. I also heard one each of Willow Warbler and Blackcap, and got great views of a hovering Kestrel. A pleasant evening to be out, and there's still plenty of time to find that Ouzel...


  1. I think we met you on the 14th at the scrape. We went down evening of the 24th and spotted our first make cuckoo of 2015 on the marsh area.

    1. Hi Jennifer. I remember speaking to a couple at the bird screen, probably around 6ish if that was you? If so then nice to meet you.

      Thanks very much for the Cuckoo sighting. I did pop down to Whitlingham on the evening of the 23rd but didn't hear much, although a Cuckoo was apparently heard in the area on the 21st.

    2. Yes, that was us, we're just learning as you may have guessed! We didn't hear the cuckoo but got a really good sight of him for at least 10mins. I have some pictures, but can't make out a tracker on him at all.

    3. Thanks for looking for the tracker. Since your post another birder has also emailed me saying that he got a good look at the local Cuckoo and no radio-tag was on it. Obviously it could be a different bird, but I'd like to think the tag just fell off in Africa and Skinner returned safely without it.