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WHITLINGHAM: Early Blackcap

28th March 2017

Tuesday saw a passage of Little Gulls across the country, including 31 at Barton Broad, 6 at Colney GPs and 1 at Whitlingham. I had left my phone at home and didn't have any optics on me either, so after work I called in at Margaret's and she kindly let me borrow her binoculars. I then headed down to Whitlingham, hoping that the Little Gull was still around, or ideally there were more about. 

I walked along the south shore but didn't see any Little Gulls (later I found out that it was still present until at least 5, so I could have just missed it, or overlooked it). A singing Blackcap near the pumphouse was my earliest spring record here, although not unexpected as one had returned to Lakenham Way the previous day, and the arrival of Chiffchaffs at both sites was similar. Looking over to Thorpe Broad I saw a Shelduck fly in, a good sighting here nowadays.

Walking back I kept an eye out for any birds flying over, a couple of Mistle Thrushes being the highlight. There was one further bird of interest, a Grey Wagtail that flew from the direction of the barn and landed a few feet away from me on the slipway. Grey Wagtails used to be quite a common sight at Whitlingham, but after the Little Broad beach was covered over they seemed to be less frequent. In recent years they have become more obvious again, and are being reported quite frequently in the area.

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