Leader: Ray Gribble
Reporter: Emily Leonard
We started the day off just before 10am in the NWT car park at Hickling. We said our hellos to all and introduced ourselves to our new members who had recently joined the club. Ray explained how the day would run and we had an introduction talk from a lady who works at the NWT reserve; she explained to us what had been seen and what we were likely to see.
We split off into 2 groups, as we were operating at full capacity for the trip. Ray lead one group and Steve Chapman lead the other.
We all headed onto the reserve and towards the Cadbury hide.
Ray’s group were surprised to find a Hooded Crow, it came down and gave us very good views. A few Marsh Harriers were seen quartering the marsh, as well as a Great White Egret. Steve’s group spotted a Stonechat while they were visiting the hides, as well as Marsh Harriers, to name just a few species.
We walked around to the view point over Hickling Broad. To say it was windy was an understatement!! Lots of small sailing boats were taking advantage of the strong winds. A Mute Swan was seen on the Broad but the birds seemed to have taken cover. We headed back to the visitor centre for some lunch, the two groups joined up again.
After lunch, around 6 members stayed for the afternoon session which was walking down to Stubbs Mill and watching the Raptor Roost.
As we walked along the track, there were lots of ducks present on the scrapes; including Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall, Shoveler and one male Mandarin was spotted too. A flock of Curlew flew over, along with one Godwit present in the group. We had good views of a group of Snipe which were out in the open and feeding on the mud flats. 2 Mistle Thrush were seen in the fields next to the scrape, in the bright sunshine – which had decided to make an appearance in the mid-afternoon.
We arrived at the Raptor Roost site about an hour before sunset. We had a total of 10 cranes fly past which were a group of 4, and three groups of 2.
The wind had started to pick up again, and the temperature dropped. Marsh Harriers could be seen all over the marsh, both male and females. A pale Male Marsh Harrier was seen often which kept making us panic thinking it was a male Hen Harrier! Unfortunately, the regular male Hen Harrier didn’t make an appearance.
A Ringtail Hen Harrier was spotted by Steve in amongst the Marsh Harriers.
We headed back down the lane with a stunning sunset to our west.
A truly brilliant day out, with great company.
Many thanks goes to Ray for leading the day and Steve for leading the second group.
Species List for WVBS Trip to NWT Hickling
Blackbird Black-headed Gull Black-tailed Godwit
Blue Tit Buzzard Carrion Crow
Chaffinch Common Gull Cormorant
Crane Curlew Dunnock
Gadwall Goldfinch Great Crested Grebe
Great Tit Great White Egret Greenfinch
Grey Heron Greylag Goose Hen Harrier
Herring Gull Hooded Crow House Sparrow
Jackdaw Jay Lapwing
Lesser Black-backed Gull Linnet
Little Egret Long-tailed Tit Magpie
Mallard Mandarin Duck Marsh Harrier
Mistle Thrush Mute Swan Pheasant
Pied Wagtail Pink-footed Goose Reed Bunting
Redshank Robin Shelduck
Shoveler Siskin Snipe
Sparrowhawk Starling Stock Dove
Stonechat Teal Tufted Duck
Wigeon Wood Pigeon
Please feel free to read through our reports from our monthly outdoor meetings.