Gary, James and myself had planned a trip out in North Norfolk, but with Gary suffering more ligament damage James and i slid and skated around an icy Whitlingham. Walking down the lane we first inspected the large flock of Greylag Geese on the meadows, the usual 'little hybrid' and 2 new Greylag/Domestic Geese were with 145 other Greylags. Walking along the edge of Little Broad we located a Coal Tit and at least 3 Lesser Redpoll in the Alders, but with the broad frozen solid no wildfowl. The Great Broad was almost as frozen, with only 2 ice free pockets containing most of the birds. Whilst scanning through the gulls on the ice i located a juv. Herring Gull adorned with a large red ring 'YZC' and a smaller metal tag. James has since found out this bird was ringed at Halvergate Island and has been seen in Southwold this autumn. While James was counting Coot and Gadwall, i found a single female Goldeneye amongst the Tufted Duck, Pochard and Coot. I had been told that Nuthatch had been on the feeders and knowing Jame still need it as a patch tick we paused to check. After only a few minutes a Nuthatch briefly appeared on the feeders joining the Blue Tit, Great Tit and large group of Long-tailed Tit. The second ice hole held a lone Teal, Little Grebe and lots more Tufted Duck, Coot and Gadwall. We watched a fox run across the ice and 2 Redwing flew over, before a walk through the woods revealed little of interest.
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.