On Saturday me & Cathy took the train to Hoveton and walked to Wroxham Broad. I was surprised that no other birders were there when we arrived. To the left (west) of the car park a group of Pochard were partly visible, and I found the Ring-necked Duck with them, although it had it's head down so i couldn't make out the beak. It drifted out of sight towards the yacht club jetty, so we settled down to wait for its re-emergence. A local birder joined us for a while, but decided to leave looking through the fence to us. Standing in the scrub at the edge of the car park and 'scoping through the metal fence I watched the Pochard flock around the jetty, and was eventually rewarded with a better view of the R-N Duck as it swam through my field of view. Not as good views as Whitlingham last year, but at least we saw it. Back in Hoveton a Black Swan was on the river near the Tourist Information Office.
On Sunday me & Adam went down to Whitlingham. As we arrived it started to piss it down with rain, a feature of the trip. Conclusions are that my new coat is waterproof, but this makes my trousers very wet. A Kingfisher flew across the Little Broad, and a Grey Heron stood close in to the path. We saw little other than the usual geese and Coot along the southern edge, and almost turned back as the rain strengthened and it became apparent that the path was flooded near the east end. We carried on (my new walking boots are waterproof too, thankfully) and were rewarded with a large number of birds in the conservation area:
Lots of Coot, Mallard, Tufted Duck & Gadwall
Pochard - 57 (33m, 24f)
Teal - 12 (7m, 5f)
Little Grebe - 7
Wigeon - 4 (2m, 2f)
Shoveler - 3 (2m, 1f)
Adam picked out a Snipe preening on the edge of one of the islands, and Cormorants had displaced all the gulls except one LBBG from the posts. Another Grey Heron was on the main island, and a couple of Common Gulls were loafing with the Black-headed Gulls. A walk up the tree avenue failed to produce any signs of mythical Tawny or Little Owls, but did turn up Green Woodpecker and Jay. Two pairs of Egyptian Geese argued over the road, one pair having the field as a territory, the others settling for the Little Broad carpark. The field pair won, so the carparkers don't even have access at the moment! Still no sign of any Brambling or Waxwings, but Northerlies forecast this week.