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

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

WHITLINGHAM: Last visit of the year

29th December 2017

My last trip out of the year, so fitting that it was at Whitlingham. It was raining when I arrived, so I decided to pop into the cafe for a cup of tea and some cake first. The rain had lessened when I emerged, so I had a look on the Great Broad, seeing the expected range of species. The rain begun to fall harder, so I moved onto the picnic meadow to shelter and look for a bit of fungi. There was quite a bit around still, including a few species I'd not recorded here before, including Fragrant Funnel (Clitocybe fragrans) and a pink bonnet sp (Mycena adonis). Witches' Butter (Exidia glandulosa) and Brown Cup (Rutstroemia firma) were also seen.

I was starting to get very wet, so I decided to walk back along the broad-side footpath. Part of the way along I noticed a Kingfisher perched up at the side of the dyke, and for once I saw it before it saw me! I got close views albeit obscurred by many branches, until it flew off down the wet road.

Happy New Year everyone, let's hope 2018 is a great year.

NORWICH: New to Norfolk - Bartheletia paradoxa

29th December 2017

The day saw constant rain for much of the time, but as I had dropped Cathy off at a friends house nearby I decided to call in for a quick walk at Earlham Cemetery. There was a bit of fungi about, but the unexpected highlight came when I noticed a dead Ginkgo leaf with a small black fungus growing on it. Members of the British Mycological Society helped me identify it was Bartheletia paradoxa. After checking with Tony Leech I found out that there are no previous Norfolk records, so this capped a productive Christmas period for me. That said, Ian Senior, who maintains the cemetery fungus list, tells me that he has seen it there before but was unable to identify it (there is no mention of it in plant fungi bible Ellis & Ellis). 

I also found a new leaf mine for me, Agromyza filipendulae on leaves that were either Strawberry or Cinquefoil.

NORWICH: Parakeet & leucistic Starling

27th & 28th December 2017

After Christmas I went for a couple of walks around the parks and footpaths around the north-west of Norwich. On Wednesday I walked along Train Wood, noting a Cormorant and three Little Grebes on the river opposite Wensum Park. Heading back through Waterloo Park I noticed some Crimped Gill (Plicatura crispa) growing in rows up a Cherry tree trunk.

On Thursday I started before dawn, hoping to see one of the Ring-necked Parakeets that have been frequenting this part of Norwich. I was successful, seeing one perched up in the area I tried yesterday. It called quite a bit before flying over Wensum Park and off towards Aylsham Road. Later on I heard what was presumably the second bird calling from near the recycling centre.

I then went to check Andersons Meadow and Sloughbottom Park looking for a Glaucous Gull that has been seen a couple of times around Norwich of late (firstly at Eaton Park and then at Andersons Meadow on Christmas Day). There was no sign of it - I also checked Wensum Park again and Pointers Field where there were more gulls but all common species. Apart from the parakeet the most interesting bird of the day was a Starling with abnormal pigmentation - it had a white rump and tail sides.

2017 - Some of my photographic highlights

As the year draws to a close I thought I'd take the opportunity to post photographs of some of my favourite species seen this year. There have been lots of highlights, so these are something of a mixed selection! Some of these I have found, some have been found by others whilst I've been out and the rest I have shamelessly twitched. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to my wildlife experiences throughout the year. All seen in Norfolk unless otherwise stated.

Golden species

Honeysuckle Sawfly (Zaraea lonicerae) an early-year highlight from my garden in Norwich
Ferdinandea cuprea (a hoverfly sp) - see at Swangey, Whitlingham and photographed here at Earlham Cemetery.
Broom Leaf Beetle (Gonioctena olivacea) found at Mousehold Heath

Rare plants

Field Wormwood (Artemisia campestris), at its main (only?) Breckland site, Brandon in Suffolk
Yellow Star-of-Bethlehem (Gagea lutea) at Wayland Wood
May Lily (Maianthemum bifolium) in North Norfolk
Spiked Speedwell (Veronica spicata) at Weeting Heath
Maiden Pink (Dianthus deltoides) at Weeting Heath


Inkstain Bolete (Cyanoboletus pulverulentus) at Earlham Cemetery
Lasiobolus macrotrichus growing on Red Deer Dung. A Norfolk first that I found at Barney Wood on a fungus study group foray.
Arched Earthstar (Geastrum fornicatum) - a slightly alien looking species seen at a Suffolk churchyard.
Common Morel (Morchella esculenta) at Holt C.P.
False Morel (Gyromitra esculenta) at Holt C.P.
Vinegar Cup (Helvella acetabulum) at Northrepps
Saw Sedge Rust (Puccinia cladii) - one of the Lost & Found Project fungi
Rutstroemia echinophila - a cup fungus found on sweet chestnut husks seen at How Hill
Powdery Piggyback (Asterophora lycoperdoides) parasitic on old Blackening Russula fruiting bodies. Seen at Fritton in Suffolk.
Mycena pterigena at Buckenham Carr
Parrot Waxcaps (Gliophorus psittacinus) from Felbrigg Hall - as featured on Springwatch!
Scarlet Caterpillar Club (Cordyceps militaris) - I've wanted to see this for ages! Found on an NNNS foray at Felbrigg Hall.
Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus) egg - these are common but usually round, wheras this one had taken on an odd shape.

Poronia erici on a rabbit pellet, taken at Holme Dunes. I'd looked for these several times before, so thanks to Mark, Rob, Gary and Andy for their help in seeing this.

Daisy Earthstar (Geastrum floriforme), undisclosed site
Piggyback Rosegill (Volvariella surrecta) - like larger versions of the Powdery Piggyback, these grow on Clouded Funnel.


Black Hairstreak at Glapthorn Cow Pastures, Northants
Wood White at Salcey Forest, Northants
Brown Hairstreak at Chambers Farm Wood, Lincolnshire
Currant Clearwing, another long-wanted species seen in Norwich thanks to Jeremy and Vanna.
Clouded Buff moth at Weeting Heath
Horehound Plume moth catperpillar (Wheeleria spilodactylus). One of my finds of the year, before this it hadn't been seen in Norfolk since 1945!


Spiked Shieldbug, new for me at Bawdeswell Heath
Breckland Leatherbug at Weeting Heath
Fallen's Leatherbug at Weeting Heath - I was proud of spotting this!
Bishop's Mitre Shieldbug - a long overdue species for me, seen here at Acle.
Juniper Shieldbug in Norwich - another new species of shieldbug for me.

Bees and wasps

Nomada sp - one of the red group with three possibles that can only be separated by examination, I was pleased just to see it!
 Wool Carder Bee at Earlham Cemetery
 Little Yellow-face (Hylaeus pictipes) - a rare solitary bee, this was the first Norfolk record in over 100 years, found by Jeremy and Vanna in Norwich.
 Fen Mason Wasp in the eastern broads
Hedychrum sp from a garden in Norwich. Quite possibly the most beautiful insect I've ever seen.
 Red-thighed Epeolus (Epeolus cruciger) seen at Weybourne Cliffs near a Colletes colony.
Coelioxys conoidea - a sharp-tailed Bee at Holkham pines

Other random invertebrates

 Centrotus cornutus - a treehopper at Tring, Hertfordshire
 Dusky Cockroach at Slacey Forest, Northants
 Anasimyia contracta at Cley Marsh
 Barred Snout (Nemotelus uliginosus) - a small soldierfly seen at Cley Marsh
 Chrystotoxum festivum at Trowse Woods
 Red-veined Darter at Winterton Dunes
Wasp Spider at Brandon, Suffolk.