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CENTRAL NORFOLK: Wensum valley

3rd October 2015

Passage Ospreys seem to have become commoner in Norfolk in recent times, but I am still yet to encounter one along the rivers either side of Norwich. There have been up to three individuals seen along the Wensum this autumn, so Cathy & I decided to make a brief visit to one of the places where there have been regular sightings, Three Bridges Farm lake. I was familiar with nearby Sparham Pools, but hadn't been to this particular part of the Wensum before. The lake is between Lyng and Fustyweed, although a local woman who we chatted to whilst scanning told us that the area we were in is actually in the parish of Elsing.

Three Bridges Farm lake is a private fishery, which explains its attraction to passing Ospreys. Accordingly we parked up and viewed from the roadside. A dead tree looked like a good perching spot, but whilst we were there we didn't see any of the Ospreys (I am told one was seen later on in the day). Nonetheless we enjoyed our visit, the sunny autumn morning being accompanied by constant bird calls, in particular a flock of Long-tailed Tits and another of Siskins constantly flying around us. We headed a bit further along to the bridge at Mill Street, but there was no sign of any Ospreys from there either. Hopefully the day when Ospreys are present in the county as breeding birds rather than just migrants isn't too far away.


  1. Breeding Ospreys in Norfolk...
    now THAT would be very nice!!
    I'm surprised, given sightings, that it hasn't happened already...
    unless Broads fish aren't quite like Scottish salmon...
    or Rutland Water carp??

    1. I suppose there is an outside possibility that it has happened, as these things tend to be kept quiet at the time to minimise the risk of disturbance or egg collection. Given we have the broads and loads of private fishing lakes I think the habitat is there, but their tendency to return to areas where they were born may be holding back any colonisation.

  2. It may have happened...
    but Norfolk must have more naturalists per square inch than anywhere else in the world.
    It really would be difficult keeping that quiet!!