Showing posts from January, 2022

Potter Heigham marshes, 28 January 2022

Honeyguide’s first ever local guided walk was at Potter Heigham Marshes, and a weather forecast suggesting sunshine prompted a return visit. The reality was a very misty start to the day, with the sun looking more like a full moon first thing, though happily the day became steadily brighter. Potter Heigham Marshes is usually a good place for birds and so it proved as soon as we were overlooking the grazing marshes, with the backs of riverside chalets behind us. A crow on the grass and rooks on wires were followed by three gull species, for easy comparison: herring, black-headed and common gulls, the last with a ‘kind face’, as Chris A noted. More on common gulls later. The nearby lapwings were looking very smart, a male with his long fascinator-style crest. A little egret flew through, and two snipe dashed away. Moving on, a flock of 70 or so pink-footed geese flew over, then returned in the other direction. Arriving at the lagoons area there were more geese, namely a group of grey

Holkham, 17 January 2022

The sun was shining as eight of us gathered in Lady Anne’s Drive, with birds all around us. Noisiest were hundreds of pink-footed geese on the marshes to the west. There was a hunched-up hare by a bramble bush just beyond a curlew. On the other side of the road there were good numbers of wigeons and a large flock of lapwings, with buzzards on two perches. Pink-footed geese (digiscoped). After a quick visit to the loos at the Lookout Café, we headed through the pines, pausing to pick a piece of the abundant spring beauty under a bush. We turned right and headed for where several birdwatchers were coming and going, the draw here a flock of snow buntings. They were certainly confiding, often mobile with flashes of white in flight, so much so that counting them was quite a challenge: somewhere in the 85-90 range was the conclusion. With them, here some distance from the shore, was a group of 15 sanderlings. A few of the snow bunting flock (digiscoped). Holkham Estate wardens Andrew Bloomfi

Whitlingham Country Park, 14 January 2022

Mandarin drake. A perfect winter’s day: a crisp frost, to harden muddy paths, with sun coming through to warm Honeyguiders. From the car park at Whitlingham Country Park we could see that the lone shag, here in this unusual inland setting since 3 January, was in its usual resting place on the pontoon floating in Whitlingham Great Broad. Whitlingham Woods. Winter sunshine (Ann Greenizan). However, we set off in a slightly different direction, through the picnic meadow and into Whitlingham Woods. On a January day, enjoying a walk in the sunshine was rewarding enough, though there was wildlife to steady and identify. A pile of very big logs was a good place to see fungi. Turkeytail was abundant; the biggest fungi were chunky southern brackets; also here were hairy curtain crust and the emerging yellow tips of some yellow stagshorn. Southern bracket. Turkeytail. A little further along, Ann was alert to some yellow brain fungi; this parasitic and distinctive species is always nice to see. B