A message yesterday alerted me to a single juv Black Tern at Whitlingham, a would be patch tick, but after a meal at the in-laws meant i was hoping it would stay around. After the briefest of lay in courtesy of the gas man, Laura and i went down to Whitlingham about 9.30-10.00. We hadn't stopped the car and i had a Black Tern flying over the Great Broad, and upon stopping i soon located a further 3 birds. The last couple of years despite the regular passage I've only seen Black Tern while sea watching so it was nice just to spend some time looking at the plumage detail. A Black Swan has also returned to the area and was in the conservation area, and just as we were leaving a Common Buzzard flew over the car. We then moved onto Rockland Broad in the hope of catching up with an Osprey in Norfolk. Walking along the track i peeped through the trees to see another juv Black Tern but little else on the Broad, so we continued onto the hide. Just prior to the hide i scanned out towards Buckenham and Cantley Marshes, and found the Osprey although at distance flying along the river. We sat in the hide for about 30-45 minutes. Two Black Tern were present along with the usual waterfowl and gulls. The Osprey didn't return while we were there, but a Kingfisher flew past the hide just before we left to cap off a pleasant morning.
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.