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

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

YARE VALLEY: End of 2019, start of 2020

1st January 2020

The end of 2019 saw a couple of short visits that I didn't get round to blogging about. Firstly a visit to a flooded Thorpe Marshes, where I was surprised by the amount of tree removal that had gone on, meaning the pools south of the marsh path are now completely visible and the edge of the broad has an open area. Of course its swings and roundabouts, there is now less scrub for small birds in that area but some potentially interesting new edge habitats. Two Stonechats were the only birds of note.

 Note that this is the path rather than a dyke

We also called in to Strumpshaw as a family one afternoon. Having shown Rose a Chinese Water Deer out on the marsh she announced she wanted to see "more deer". On our way back we then spotted two Muntjacs in the woods. Rather than satisfy her desire to see deer, this was greeted by "MORE deer" - I hope that each trip out isn't now going to be judged solely on the presence or absence of deer sightings.

The new year began in similar style to the previous one, as we had stayed at home watched Jools Holland and said rude words about people releasing fireworks all the time (seriously, if you have bought fireworks to celebrate New Years Eve, why release them at 23:30 or 00:30?) I managed to see 14 species from the house/garden, one up on 2019, followed by a Jay that flew over as we got in the car. We then headed down to Whitlingham for a family walk, seeing 24 species. The resident Barnacle Goose plus Shoveler and Little Egret were probably the most notable birds - Justin's drake Red-crested Pochards from the morning had departed and there was no sign of Schrodinger's Mandarin, which seems to exist in a quantum dimension inhabited only by other birders.

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