A diary of my birding activity covering highlights and photos from my birding adventures. Mainly Norfolk (UK), occasionally beyond. I might mention the odd thing that isn't avian, but for moth and other insect news check out my mothing diary.

Monday, 12 January 2015


With extremely strong SW winds forecast together with a dose of heavy rain during the morning I didn't really fancy the exposed setting of Burnham Overy that would be my default choice for a Saturday morning.  Somewhere with hides to shelter in seemed a more preferable option.  So I picked Dave up from Dereham and we headed off to Welney having had a drive round by Denver Sluice on the way.

From the observatory we could see plenty of birds but failed to pick out anything terribly exciting from among the hordes.  I found the Muscovy Duck x Mallard hybrid I'd seen on my last visit, which caused Dave no end of excitement (not), and a Wigeon with white on the head.  It's at least the seventh such Wigeon I've seen but I've still no idea why this species more than any other (except Brent Goose perhaps) is susceptible to such leucism always affecting the head.  


Wigeon, Welney, 10th January

Muscovy Duck x Mallard hybrid, Welney, 10th January

There were a few Ruff among a large flock of Black-tailed Godwits and a Goldeneye or two were among the ducks in the distance.

As we headed down the path towards Lyle Hide I picked up a flock of geese flying in from the fields.  They looked interesting and I watched them through the scope - a good view in good light and all 14 were Tundra Bean Geese.  This was a nice surprise - I knew there had been some reported at Welney during the winter but not as many as this (in fact just one report of 5 from 2nd January, though up to 9 down the road at Ouse Washes).  I enjoyed watching them but slightly regretted not switching to the camera before they went out of view - they weren't too far off and would have made a worthwhile photo.

Grey Heron, Welney, 10th January

From the hides we enjoyed plenty more duck and waders - vast numbers of Wigeon everywhere and some huge flocks of Lapwing and Golden Plover over the back. A few Pintail were seen and raptors included Peregrine and a distant Marsh Harrier.  But we couldn't find the geese again - they must have carried on over to the fields beyond.

Wigeon, Welney, 10th January

Pintail, Welney, 10th January

Back at the observatory we had one final go at sifting through the hordes of wildfowl in order to find that something a bit more exciting, but we had to make do with this fellow again.

Muscovy Duck x Mallard hybrid (again, sorry), Welney, 10th January

Pochard, Welney, 10th January

Tufted Ducks, Welney, 10th January


Whooper Swan, Welney, 10th January

Mallards, Welney, 10th January

After leaving Welney we drove to Lakes End and down to Cock Fen in the hope of finding the Bean Geese here.  Huge numbers of swans here - far more than we saw the reserve side - but too distant to get a good look at them.  A flock of 50 Stock Doves was nice, and followed by an additional 23 Stock Doves.  No geese though.

We then ventured into Cambridgeshire but being outside of Norfolk was making Dave nervous so we returned home via the Brecks (not much doing there).

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