A morning stroll around Whitlingham started with a female Bullfinch by the Little Broad, a Kestrel over the meadows and a Great Spotted Woodpecker nearby. Walking the river bank i saw many young fledgelings including Reed Warbler, Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat. From the bird hide i picked up my first Great Black-backed Gull at Whitlingham this year. Thorpe Marshes had little of note so i thought about heading home. I then heard a Cuckoo calling in the direction of Whitlingham Woods and had to go investigate. I walked through the woods stopping near the pines to investigate a small flock of tits and in the same tree i also found my first Goldcrest on the patch this year. Stopping to see if i could still hear the Cuckoo i found a Spotted Flycatcher, perched up in the sparse pines. A new 'patch life' bird. Leaving the woods i sat on a bench by the river and Cuckoo then appeared, flying across the river and over Thorpe Marshes, capping off a nice morning. An evening trip to Cley Marshes NWT, failed to show the ChileanFlamingos that had been present the previous, but a summer plumageSpotted Redshank was nice to see, and from the Visitor Centre mound a distant Spoonbill was a year tick, but not the most satisfying.
I recently moved back to North Walsham and needing a new local patch, I soon settled on a few of my old favourite sites, but they were spread around town. All are close to the old railways track beds and my new house sits at the apex of all 5 lines that once radiated out from North Walsham, these form the arteries joining everything up. My 'Birding Alone Old Lines' patch was born, revisiting the old birding sites of youth, via the Old Railway Newtworks.