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January 14th

I've taken advantage of working a late shift this week to drop in and check out the wildfowl at Wroxham Broad on the trip in to Norwich. There are still large areas of ice here but most of this is around the edge; there's plenty of open water in the centre of the Broad which enables easier viewing of the ducks present. As usual, there are Pochard and Tufted present but their numbers tend to vary as they are predisposed to using neighbouring Broads and perhaps the River Bure at times. A contrasty grey, white and chestnut headed female/immature Goosander was the best on offer here yesterday with up to three Goldeneye also on show. Amongst the 'dabblers' were a fine drake Pintail and a few Teal, the bulk being made up of Mallard and Gadwall. I didn't have time either day to attempt making a proper count but got the impression that the numbers of Gadwall were possibly quite significant in regards to nationally important numbers as a wintering site for the species. Other 'water fowl' present were the usual Egyptian, Greylag and Canada Geese as well as Great Crested and single Little Grebe. Incidentally, I spoke to Bob this evening and he told me that he had seen an Otter on the ice here late this morning.

Back on the home patch, I managed to drop in at Walcott seafront yesterday morning where there was quite a swell which was being roughened up by the obliquely onshore wind. Amongst the Black-headed Gulls feeding in the surf was the adult Mediterranean Gull which can often be seen here. In three months or so, when summer plumage has been acquired, this bird will be a real cracker although it is likely to disappear during the breeding season. A small party of Turnstones were feeding along the sea wall but their numbers were low today. Offshore three Red-throated Divers were fishing and a small party of duck heading west were six Tufted. Walking Ossie shortly after, a pair of Bullfinches put in an appearance near Moat Farm and a flock of 11 flyover Stock Doves were noteworthy. A midday Barn Owl was new for the year too.

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