Day 5 of our five-day ‘Birding Adventure’ took Helen and me to Welney Wetlands Centre which is operated by the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT). We’ve been very lucky with the weather over the last few days, and whilst it was dry during our time here today, the breeze was making it difficult for the birds. This meant that, although we could hear any number of warblers in the reeds, we had almost no sightings of them at all.
The headline news from Welney today was that a Great White Egret was onsite and showing very well from Nelson-Lyle Hide. Sure enough, when we got there we soon found the bird, but unfortunately it was quite distant and lying down for a snooze! A few minutes on though, and a Mute Swan flew close to the egret and disturbed it. It took off and flew right towards the hide whereupon it settled only about 30-40 feet in front of us and began fishing in the pond. This gave us great views and photographic opportunities over the next ten minutes or so, before it once more took to the air and flew beyond our view. It was a magnificent bird, and clearly much larger than its much more common cousin, the Little Egret.
A number of other sightings at various hides along the trail, including a brief view of a Common Whitethroat and a group of Ringed Plovers, took our total bird species count for our five-day adventure to a grand total of 86. Not bad going at all.
Sadly, our Norfolk trip had come to an end far too quickly, and we reluctantly headed for home.
Here is the complete list of the 86 different bird species we saw: