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: April WeBS count & insects

21st April 2019

An online discussion that arose from Nick Moran's monthly patch species graph suggested that April is the most species-rich month for inlnad patches, and a quick number crunch showed that this was true for me too. So lots of potential for a good find on the April WeBS count?

With that build up, the quietness was almost inevitable. The tame Wigeon was still around the slipway, and looks like it might even oversummer. The reason for its tameness is unknown - I don't think it's ringed (although typing this I can't actually remember seeing it out of the water) so perhaps it has just attached itself to the Mallard. Certainly earlier in the year a flock of 8 Wigeon arrived and it didn't link up with them. Of the other ducks:

Tufted Duck 13
Gadwall 4
Teal 1

A Mute Swan was visible on a nest on the Great Broad, level with the ruined hall but the other side of the ditch so affording at least some protection from predators. A Great-crested Grebe was also on an easily-visible nest in thr conservation area. Two broods of Mallards were noted (both different to a brood seen on my last visit) and an Oystercatcher flew over. A Common Tern had a metal ring on its leg - no chance of reading it, but I'd be interested to hear where the nearest place is that rings Terns? There were no hirundines, but I did see my first Reed Warbler and Whitethroats of the year.

Amongst the other things noted, several Pied Shieldbugs showed well and I saw an interesting caterpillar with a pink stripe down the back. Very shoddily I forgot to record the foodplant (I suspect it might be a freshly-opening Sycamore based on the pictures) - if you recognise the caterpillar please let me know!

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