Leader and Reporter: Sue Gale
The first WVBS outdoor meeting since lockdown was not blessed with great weather. The North Sea struck again – a moderate but very cold NE wind blowing across a bleak and sunless landscape!
Nonetheless, 6 of us set out to make the best of it.
Leader: Alan Hughes
Reporter: Emily Leonard
Species List: David Gibbons
We started our trip out to RSPB Titchwell at around 9.15am, on a stunning morning. The sun was shining and there was a bit of warmth to the air as well. With our face masks and hand sanitiser in hand, our group of 6 ventured off onto the reserve to see what we could find. We had agreed that we would aim for the beach as high tide was around 5am, so the tide would still be reasonably close in and the birds would be closer to us. We glanced over the scrapes but knew we would come back to them at a later time. On the beach we had many adult and juvenile Gannets flying along the horizon, who were joined by 2 Great Crested Grebes nearer to the shoreline and gave us very good views. Also on the sea was a Red Throated Diver which is always a sight to see. We scanned the shoreline, which resulted in Brent Geese, Oystercatchers, Grey Plovers, Bar Tailed Godwits, as well as Sanderling whizzing up and down!
9 club members and 2 leaders (Ashley Saunders and Nick Parsons) from Oriole Birding, enjoyed a very successful trip to the Western Isles of Scotland earlier in the month – a great week of wonderful birds, scenery and each other’s company. Ashley’s excellent trip report is included as a separate attachment along with this month’s newsletter for anyone that would like to read a full account of the trip, but here I have recorded a few “favourite moments” plus some photographs, to provide a flavour of what we experienced. All of us would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Keith for organising this, and to Ashley and Nick for their excellent leadership and birding skills
Coordinator/Leader: Sue Gale
Reporter: David Laurie
Species List: David Laurie and Nick Edwards
A 7:00am start found eleven of us gathered in the Forestry Commission car park at Santon Downham in mild, overcast conditions with Song Thrush and Robin singing and a Green Woodpecker calling. We were in hope of seeing Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers* and headed out downstream by the Little Ouse. It was running high from recent rain but the path, though turning muddy in places, was thankfully not flooded. We saw Great Spotted Woodpecker, Siskin and two Mandarin Duck flying downstream before a band of rain set in, heavy at one time, which may have discouraged our main quarry from showing itself.
Coordinator/Leader: David Gibbons
Reporters: David Gibbons & Jacquie Fenn
Seventeen keen Wensum Valley birdwatchers met at the village car park outside the gates of Holkham Estate at 9.30am. It was a brighter than expected day with a keen bite to the air. Hats and gloves the order of the day. As we headed towards Lady Ann’s Drive we notched up Blue, Great and Long Tailed Tits as well as Jackdaws prospecting for nest sites in the chimneys of the estate houses. Greenfinches glowed in the top branches of nearby trees. Just as we were about to cross the road a Red Kite glided over from the fields on our right towards us. Once in view of the flooded fields we had our work cut out for us as there were lots of geese and ducks enjoying the wet conditions. Brent Geese were joined by Greylags and White-fronted and these in turn were surrounded by hundreds of Wigeon which looked spectacular in the winter sunlight, these were interspersed with Gadwall and a small number of Teal.