Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Little Cressingham and Bodney

Following recent rainfall the Watton Brook valley from Watton through to Little Cressingham, and onto Bodney, is under unprecedented levels of flood water.  Further flooding is expected with further rainfall predicted.

LITTLE CRESSINGHAM
Today saw a respite from rainfall, it was a bright day, very mild, and with a fresh to strong south-westerly.
At dawn, I parked at Little Cressingham Mill and walked north along the Peddars Way for a couple of miles, little was seen due to the wind strength, although Bullfinches were heard and seen at a number of locations with the best party being 6 birds close to the Priory Road juction with the Peddars Way.
Back at Little Cressingham Mill, a flock of 60+ Siskins were seen in the Alders alongside the mill, whilst close by on farmland, 70+ Fieldfare were feeding.

BODNEY (Smuggler's Road)
An early afternoon walk along Smuggler's Road to the STANTA access gate produced 4 Common Buzzards.
Looking north from Smuggler's Road, over a field of sugar beet, I saw a large raptor appear low over the crop, my suspicions were confirmed when I picked it up in my binoculars, it was a Goshawk and it was hunting Wood Pigeons.  One particular Wood Pigeon was singled out, however, it just managed to evade the talons of this very large, powerful raptor.  Having failed to catch the Pigeon, the Goshawk was seen for a while against the sky and tree-line before it went out of sight behind a line of Scots Pines.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Little Cressingham - A productive early morning visit.

A dawn walk along the Peddars Way at Little Cressingham started well when 6 Crossbills passed directly over me.  These birds were initially heard calling from woodland known as 'The Nunneries', this woodland east of the Peddars Way holds good numbers of Larch trees - a favoured food source for this species.  A short while later, all 6 birds passed overhead giving their familiar repeated "chip" call.
Further north along the Peddars Way at North Bridge in the Watton Brook valley, good numbers of Goldfinches, Siskins, and Long-tailed Tits were seen.  The Finches would have been attracted to the Alders at this location.
From North Bridge, the Peddars Way climbs towards the Great Cressingham to Saham Toney road, prior to the junction, in the thick hedgerow, 2 Waxwings flew out of the hedge, above me, and then continued in an undulating flight in a southerly heading.  A check of the hedges at this localtiy revealed heavy crops of rose-hips.  This will be a locality worth checking during the forthcoming weekend.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Dawn at Thompson Water

I arrived at Merton Church in the early morning darkness and walked along Sparrow Hill and then south along the Peddars Way to Thompson Water, as expected, several Tawny Owls were calling along the route.
Little on the water this morning other than 18+ Mute Swans.  No evidence of any wildfowl on this occasion.  A single Cormorant was sitting in the usual tree with wings spread.
More activity noted around the water with singing Cetti's Warbler, a single Kingfisher, and Reed Bunting.  The woodland around the water held Long-tailed Tits, Nuthatch, and Treecreeper, and overhead, Siskins and Redpoll were seen and heard. 

Sunday, 9 December 2012

East Wretham Heath and Little Cressingham

East Wretham Heath 0800-1000
This morning I decided to walk around the vast area of heathland/grassland east of the A1075 road.  Light was excellent with good visibility.
Large numbers of Crows were the dominant species, also one Common Buzzard was seen circling over the grassland.  Rabbit warrens occur all over the heath, and indeed, Rabbits not only provide a good food source for Buzzards but undoubtedly contribute to the management of the heath.
A single Sparrowhawk passed over conifer woodland.
The mammal highlight was seeing 3 Red Deer close to, these included a young Stag which was photographed.
Red Deer Stag on East Wretham Heath 09/12/12.
Little Cressingham (mid-afternoon to dusk)
The vast, wide open farmland and heathland in the Little Cressingham area is always a prime area for wintering raptor species, and effort on this afternoons visit was given to searching for such species.
With the sun setting behind me, I was overlooking rolling grassland close to Fairstead Lane, when a Merlin appeared. This small raptor was flying into the fresh wind and remained in view for about 20 seconds before powering away to the west towards the valley at Southwater, Great Cressingham.
Also seen on this walk was a large female Sparrowhawk, large numbers of Crows and Wood Pigeons, about 20 Lapwings, and a pair of Egyptian Geese.
Several pairs of Yellowhammers were seen in the hedges at dusk along Fairstead Lane.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Dawn at Thompson Water

Today dawned bright and sunny with a slight to moderate frost.  I decided to visit Thompson Water this morning with scarce duck species in mind i.e. Goosander or Goldeneye, however, only common species were seen. 
At least 13 Mute Swans were on the water, these comprised adult and immature birds.  Duck species seen included a few Teal within patches of surface weedy growth along with some Mallard.  A single Kingfisher flew from a perch at the waters' edge.
A single Cetti's Warbler gave a burst of its incredibly loud and hurried song from within the scrubby habitat along the east side of the water.
Other woodland species in the area included Treecreeper, Marsh Tit and Goldcrest, whilst overhead single Redpolls and Siskins passed over.
The only raptor species seen today was a single Kestrel which attracted the attention of a mobbing Carrion Crow.

Whilst driving away from Thompson Water, I met a couple friends, firstly Maurice, with his lovely Collie, made some very nice comments about my blog (Thank you Maurice), and also I met Corinne and her 3 dogs.  Corrine is a French shepherdess who has settled in Norfolk.  It is always good to meet friends new and old and share my birding experiences with them.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Probable 'fall' of Thrushes at Great Cressingham

Today was a day of fresh northerly winds and frequent, occasionally heavy showers from early morning.  These conditions continued throughout the whole day.
At about 1500hrs, I set off for a 5 mile circular walk starting at Little Cressingham Mill, eventually meeting up with the Peddars Way footpath at Great Cressingham.  The heavy rain in recent days continues to see Watton Brook water levels rising to the point where some surrounding areas of land are under significant amounts of water.
Although birding was generally quiet, the final part of this walk along the Peddars Way saw most activity, especially as dusk approached.  A particular well-hedged 250 meter section of the Peddars Way held good numbers of Thrush species.  It was of note that the majority species seen was 50+ Blackbirds, I am sure that many others were present.  Redwings and Fieldfares were also noted in good numbers.
Given the weather conditions of the day and the relatively small area within which these Thrushes were seen, it was likely that this was a localised 'fall' of birds.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Little Cressingham.

Dawn was still very stormy, although the heavy overnight rain started to move off, however, the very strong wind remained a feature of the weather until the afternoon as wind speed decreased.
The heavy overnight rain left Watton Brook swollen with some of the lower lying valleys in flood.

The strong wind throughout the morning produced little due to the conditions, however, North Bridge with its dense cover, produced a number of Bullfinches and Chaffinches.
A walk later along Green Lane saw a large female Sparrowhawk disturbed from a possible kill in one of the ditches.  Bullfinch, Long-tailed Tits, Goldcrests, a few Fieldfare were all seen. A single Common Buzzard at Shorten's Covert attracted the attention of a few Crow species and 2 Kestrels were seen nearby.  A thousand plus Wood Pigeons and small roving flocks of Yellowhammer (10+), Chaffinches (30+), and Linnets (20+) were present.    
Low lying land adjacent to Prince's Covert was under flood water and attracted hundreds of Gulls .

Hockham Fen at dawn and notes from the garden 24/11/12

The first bird of the day was a calling Chiffchaff in a garden adjoining mine, a somewhat unexpected bird on a foggy, frosty, late November morning.

HOCKHAM FEN
A thickish fog at Hockham Fen and the surrounding woodland greeted me on my arrival. Little was seen on the fen due to the conditions, however, the woodland typically held common and expected species including parties of Long-tailed TitsGoldcrests and Treecreepers were heard at a number of localities.

GARDEN

                                                                               
An hour spent in the garden mid-morning produced a number of Blackbirds including this first year male which was feeding upon Ivy and Blackberries.  A party of Long-tailed Tits passed through and Robin, Chaffinches, Greenfinch, Blue, Great, and Coal Tits were noted.  There was no sight or sound of the early morning Chiffchaff, although it is likely to still be in the area.

Monday, 12 November 2012

A good day despite deteriorating conditions

LITTLE CRESSINGHAM (Peddars Way)
An early morning walk north of Little Cressingham along the Peddars Way to as far as South Pickenham produced some good numbers of Fieldfare, Redwings, Song Thrushes, and Blackbirds in the hedgerows and adjoining fields.  Close to the Priory Road junction, a pair of Marsh Tits and a mobile flock of Long-tailed Tits were seen.  A few Bramblings passed overhead giving their nasally "zweeeup" call. 
At Little Cressingham wind and water mill about 60 Mallard were on the mill-pond and a Kingfisher flew along the brook.  A few Redwings, 2 Jay, and a small flock of Goldfinches were seen.

THOMPSON WATER (early to mid p.m.)
Light deteriorated from early afternoon with low cloud and rain moving in, despite these conditions, some good birds were present.
On the water, a few Shoveler, GadwallMallard, and Teal were 'put up' by a circling Apache helicopter which was on exercise within the adjoining army training ground.  It must be noted that despite the noise from the battle area, wildlife thrives both within the area and around adjoining areas.
Also on the water was 2 Little Grebe, Cormorant, a few argumentative Mute Swans, and a single Kingfisher flew low close to the waters' surface.


A very impressive mixed flock of 300+ Siskins and Redpolls wandered around the tree-tops along the eastern side of the water. These small Finches were seen to alight in Alders where they would have fed from the cones, however, these birds were generally very restless and rarely settled for any long periods in the trees.
I left Thompson Water at about 1450 with light continuing to deteriorate fast.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Dawn at Hockham Fen

I arrived at Hockham Fen well before sunrise, the morning was cold with a moderate frost, and a slight mist hung over the fen, however, this was soon burnt off by the rising sun.
Prior to sunrise, Siskins, Redpolls, and Bramblings were heard overhead and it was evident that with improving light that Siskins was the most numerous species.
A mixed Tit flock passed by, this included Goldcrests and Treecreeper, however, it was very pleasing to see a single Willow Tit, a very scarce species these days.
2 Sparrowhawks (singles) passed over the fen, the latter, a large female, attracted the attention of a number of Siskins until the raptor went out of sight over the surrounding forest.
A small flock of Redwings rose up from a patch of Holly where they probably fed upon the wealth of red berries.  It is worth noting here that much of the woodland under-storey in the Brecks hold some fine specimens of Holly, some of which have attained huge sizes.


Red Deer are a reliable sight at Hockham Fen, especially at dawn, and on this occasion, 2 hinds were seen including this fine animal.
The surrounding forest typically held plenty of Coal Tits, Nuthatches, and more Treecreepers.  A calling Tawny Owl in pine woodland could not be located visually.






Thursday, 8 November 2012

Honey Buzzard - a great addition to my garden records

The 17th of September 2012 was the last day of my summer leave before returning to work, and being a warm sunny day, I decided to sit in the garden to watch for passing raptor species.
At 1345, I was about to pack up when a large, unusual looking bird of prey appeared in the north-west.  Immediately, I knew this was something different by the birds appearance. 
I raised the camera and started shooting, I could see through the lens that this was in fact a Honey Buzzard, later examination of the photograph showed this to be a dark juvenile bird.

The above shot shows the Honey Buzzard approaching the garden from the north-west.  A number of features of this bird separates it from Common Buzzard, this shot shows the yellow bill base, solid brown underparts, paddle-like tail, extensive black 'hands' and obvious head projection.

 
This shot of the Honey Buzzard was taken as it passed directly above my garden.  This silhouetted view shows the distinct head projection and the longer wings which separates this species from Common Buzzard.

The Honey Buzzard is a very scarce bird in the UK, so how lucky did I feel having this stunning raptor pass straight above me as I stood watching it from the garden.

This single Honey Buzzard would have eventually been one of several thousand Honey Buzzards and other raptor species flying south over Gibraltar in order to winter in Africa - a sight which I have yet to experience.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Close encounter with an Otter at Thompson Water 06/11/12.


This Otter at Thompson Water on 06/11/12 was porpoising through the water in its hunt for fish. When it eventually saw me I could actually hear it sniffing the air, it knew that something was wrong (not that I smell that bad).
This was a lovely encounter with this special mammal.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Thompson Water at dawn.

Thompson Water is a large Breckland mere lying about 4 miles south of my home in Watton, Norfolk.  This reserve is managed by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust an it forms a part of the more extensive Thompson Common reserve.
                                                      Thompson Water at sunrise 06/11/12

I arrived at Thompson Water prior to sunrise and thoughts were of possible winter duck species, therefore, it was a welcome find when a female 'redhead' Goosander was seen in the mist on the water.  This attractive Sawbill is generally a scarce winter visitor to Thompson Water with most birds being female, however, on occasions, the more attractive male visits.
Also on the water was 4 Shoveler, a family party of Mute Swans, a pair of Gadwall, and a Kingfisher flying low over the water.
Occasionally, the silence was broken by the sudden, explosive song of a Cetti's Warbler coming from within scrubby waterside Willow habitat.  The first pioneer Cetti's Warbler arrived at Thompson Water in the spring of 2007, since then 5 territories have been established around the site.
Overhead, Siskins and Redpolls passed by.

Goosander on Thompson Water 06/11/12
 
 
At sunrise, an Otter was seen porpoising through the water and scattering fish in all directions as it did so.  I have seen up to 3 Otters together at Thompson Water.
 
                                                          Otter - Thompson Water 06/11/12
 
 
In the forest and heathland habitats around the Thompson Water area, several good-sized flocks of both Redwings and Fieldfares passed overhead in an east to west heading.
 
 
I left Thompson Water at about 0900 happy with this productive visit.
 
 


 
 
 


Sunday, 4 November 2012

A treat before work.

It is always nice to have a little pick-me-up before having to start a days work, this morning it came in the form of 2 Green Sandpipers overflying Griston, Norfolk. 
Although generally a passage migrant, especially in Autumn, I am beginning to see Green Sandpipers as over-wintering birds in the Breckland area.  Although muck-heaps may not be pleasant to some, I find these great places to find Green Sandpipers and other bird species....check them out.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Little Cressingham (The Fairstead) and thoughts of wintering raptors.

Fairstead Lane is a  lovely hedgerow-lined route running from the village of Little Cressingham to 'The Fairstead'.  Adjacent to the south-side of this land lies vast tracts of arable and grazing land within M.O.D. ownership.  This is an outyling part of the much larger expanse of army training land in Breckland known as STANTA (Stanford Training Area).
This afternoon's short visit took in the large area of rolling grassland used for grazing sheep.  In the summer months this grassland supports a couple of pairs of breeding Common Curlew.
Todays visit produced a wandering flock of about 50 Fieldfare, a few Redwing, and single overhead Skylarks.
These vast open areas of Breckland always supports wintering raptor species, and this particular area along Fairstead Lane has seen both Hen Harrier and Peregrine within the previous 12 months.

Hen Harrier Little Cressingham November 2011
Hen Harriers are scarce winter visitors to Breckland with singletons, usually 'ringtail' females hunting over the vast open heath and  arable areas within my patch.

The Hen Harrier seen in this photograph was seen over the open grassland near Fairstead Lane in November 2011.  Here, it was seen hunting along the fringes of a stand of maize crop.




Peregrine Falcon Little Cressingham January 2012
On the 13th January 2012, I was overlooking the M.O.D. land adjacent to Fairstead Lane when to the distant east, large numbers of Golden Plover and Gulls were panicked and sent off in all directions, minutes later, a small flock of Lapwings were disturbed from a field adjacent to the lane.  I was aware that a raptor species was the probable culprit and then this Peregrine put in an appearance, it approached me and changed direction having seen me, it was then I took this shot.

Peregrine Falcons are regular but scarce wintering raptors in my part of Breckland with singles, or as in the case of the previous two winters, two birds present.  On these occasions, one was an adult, the other, a juvenile bird.   

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Peddars Way north of Little Cressingham (Early morning walk)

OK, so Norfolk does not have too many hills, neither, as some will tell you, is it flat. Parts of Norfolk, including my patch on Breckland, is quite rolling and undulating, with some decent ‘hills’ to get the heart pumping.  This mornings birding took me along a 2 mile stretch of the Peddars Way footpath north of the village of Little Cressingham for about 2 miles or so.

Peddars Way north of Little Cressingham
North Bridge Little Cressingham
The habitat along this route is mostly arable with good roadside hedgerows and pockets of deciduous, coniferous, and mixed woodland, and it was interesting to note that this morning I found a reasonable stock of Sloes at North Bridge, Little Cressingham.  The Sloe crop has been conspicuous by its absence this year as blossoms were devastated by spring rains and wind.  North Bridge is a wonderful little area with Watton Brook meandering through grazing and arable habitat, the roadside here comprises various fruiting bushes, Birch, Alder, and mixed woodland.   

Birding along the Peddars Way over the years has always delivered, however, most notably, in early July 1995, a Balearic Woodchat Shrike stayed for a few days in the hedgerows of the road shown in the picture 'Peddars Way north of Little Cressingham'

Todays birding was most productive in the trees and bushes in the area of North Bridge.
Winter Thrushes included a number of Redwings, Fieldfares, and probable continental Blackbirds and Song Thrushes were seen in the dense bushy habitat where they fed upon Sloe berries and other fruits.
Also in this area was 2 Grey Herons, a pair of Egyptian Geese, 1 hunting Kestrel, a distant Common Buzzard watching from a dead tree branch, and a single Kingfisher flying along the Brook.

Grey Heron on grazing land at North Bridge

A wandering flock of Long-tailed Tits also included a couple of Goldcrests.  A flock of 50+ Goldfinches were seen in the tops of Alders at the bridge.
Common species also present in the area included Bullfinch, Robin, and Wren.

Away from the vicinity of North Bridge, a number of small flocks of Fieldfare (max 50+) passed by from east to west, and several Redwings and continental Song Thrushes flew up from hedgerows along the route.

A distant flock of 30+ Lapwings were wheeling about low over farmland west of the Peddars Way.

The wide expanses of farmland either side of the Peddars Way in the Little and Great Cressingham areas can appear wild and bleak.  These open areas provide good wintering habitat for visiting raptor species.  In recent years I have seen Hen Harrier, Common Buzzard, Goshawk, Peregrine, and Merlin.
Wintering Wader species are present in good numbers in this area, this includes Golden Plovers in their hundreds, and equally high numbers of Lapwings.     Paradise I say.. 

 


  

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Sunrise at Hockham Fen 28th October 2012

Hockham Fen abuts the little known Cranberry Rough Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve within Thetford forest close to the parish of Great Hockham.  Hockham Fen has in recent years been managed by the NWT as ancient grassland, part of this management sees Highland Cattle grazing the site - magnificent beasts.

This mornings visit to Hockham Fen saw my mind wander (as it often does) with potential future thoughts of Hen Harrier and Short-eared Owl using this site for wintering at.

Back to reality, today's visit was productive in mammalian form with a magnificent Red Deer stag on the Fen. Although I was up-wind and relatively concealed, this animal eventually detected my presence and seemed somewhat edgy by looking my way.  It was sunrise, however, the light was poor, despite this I was able to take some poor quality shots of this animal.  Occasionally, the Red Deer gave a roar, this was incredibly loud and echoed around the adjoining forest.  A short while later a few Red Deer hinds entered the Fen from the nearby forest.

Some good sized flocks of Fieldfare passed above the Fen and nearby forest, some silent, others giving their familiar "shack shack" calls.
Also noted above the fen and forest was a number of Redpoll, clearly, these will be continental birds, however, a few Siskins may have been locally bred, although any great numbers will be of continental origin.

Common species seen and heard in the area included Nuthatch, several Goldcrests and Coal Tits.

Being something of a technophobe and therefore absent from blogging for some 3 years, I must thank my dear cousin Bob Wright (Birding Axarquia) for assisting me with being re-acquainted with blogging and setting this site up for me - Thank you Bob.

Winter Thrushes on the Move

Saturday 27 October 2012

After lying dormant for over three years readers will see that I have now been awoken.  It is now time to start recording, once again, my birding experiences in this most beautiful and birding attractive part of the country.  Not only the wildness and countryside that makes up the area known as "Breckland" but the nearby Norfolk coast which promises and delivers so much every year.  I now want to share my enjoyment of this birding paradise with others.

So, a short introduction to set the scene for autumn.  I was out with Toby earlier today and, joy of joys, above me passing at great height were the arriving flocks of Redwings and Fieldfares.  Early days but I am hoping also for a first Ring Ouzel as loads have been seen on the coast.

Newly-arrived Fieldfare  Turdus pilaris

And what of the wintering Hen Harriers with that exquisite male, even if he is generally outnumbered 3 to 1 by the less flamboyant female?

Weeting Heath and Lakenheath Fen.

Monday, 21 June 2010


WEETING HEATH

An early departure at 0500 with cousin Bob from Spain for a morning's birding at Lakenheath Fen.
First of all, we decided to stop of at Weeting Heath for typical Breckland species. A careful scan of the heath revealed a pair of Stone Curlews quite distantly on the heath. Nearby, a Little Owl was sitting on the ground. Other species seen on the heath included a number of Lapwings, including a single chick, Mistle Thrush, a pair of Stock Doves, and a single adult Lesser Black-backed Gull.
In the roadside pine belt, Nuthatch, Blue, and Great Tits (both species with juveniles), Chiffchaff, and Blackcap were all noted.


LAKENHEATH FEN

Our arrival at this site at about 0630 coincided with increasing warmth, a weather feature which has been sadly lacking in recent days.

The out-walk along the raised bank produced good numbers of singing Sedge Warblers, Reed warblers, and a single 'reeling' Grasshopper Warbler. One Cetti' Warbler was in song. A very welcome sight was the presence of 3 juvenile Reed Warblers being fed by adult birds, at least this pair successfully raised a family without attracting the attention of ever-present Cuckoo's, of which, at least 4 birds were present. These Cuckoo's were certainly attracting attention to themselves with incessant calling, which included the frequent sound of the female birds' bubbling call.

As Bob and myself approached the first Poplar plantation, the distinct fluty song of a male Golden Oriole was heard. I was not expecting to see this stunning species, how wrong I was. A beautiful male Golden Oriole provided stunning views as it broke with tradition and came out onto an exposed branch. At least a further 2 male Golden Oriole's were heard on this visit - wonderful.
Also noted was a pair of Common Buzzards, a pair of kestrels, and a single Sparrowhawk.
Two parties of Bearded Tits were seen, their numbers probably totaling 20+ birds.

A visit to the Joist Fen hide was productive with Bittern giving a strange grunting call. Occasionally, a single Bittern was seen over-flying the reed-bed. Marsh Harriers were seen over the reeds and single Kingfisher provided close views.  Unfortunately, there was no sign of the Common Cranes which apparently occur at this locality.

First Birding Week-end with cousin Bob

Sunday, 20 June 2010


The arrival of cousin Bob from Stamford, Lincs (but who spends most of his time at his Spanish home in the mountains above Velez Malage in Andulcia) resulted in our first, short, birding expedition to East Wretham. After a dull start the weather soon perked up and we eventually recorded over 20 species before returning home for a great trout supper.

Perhaps the best bird of the afternoon was a singing male Tree Pipit which gave both of us some great photo opportunities. Even better, a few minutes later, when we saw a second specimen. However, the visit started with an unsuccessful visit to the Wellington Plantation in the hope of seeing the breeding Redstarts. Plenty of corvids about, mainly Crows and Jackdaws plus a smattering of Rooks, Wood Pigeons, the odd Collared Dove but none of these gorgeous summer visitors. So, "Plan B" and off to the hide overlooking the shallow waters of Langmere.

Whilst there were a few Swallows feeding over the water, most of the bird life was either on or resting at the water's edge. A family party of Little Grebe, good numbers of Coots and Moorhens plus plenty of Mallards immediately in view and then the sighting of a pair of Oystercatchers, at least 5 Lapwing including a brooding female and 3 newly-fledged chicks. The occasional Crow came seeking a feeding opportunity and on the far bank the Egytian Geese had 7 goslings whilst, resting within a few metres were a
handful of Shelduck. At least 4 Gadwall moved up and down the water. Not surprisingly, a pair of Mute Swans had also taken up residence on the far side of the mere. Before moving off to explore the heath, a fleet of Canada Geese appeared from under the bank.

A walk along the track p
roduced little in the way of small birds other than a Robin, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and a pair of Goldfinch although both Willow Warbler and Whitethroat were heard. However, as above, the delight was to see 2 singing Tree Pipits. Returning on the same path we then headed off to Ringmere, passing Tim Burton from the nearby BTO on the way, and were greeted by more Canada Geese and Little Grebe plus a small party of Greylag Geese. Another pair of Oystercatchers and yet more Shelduck and then the arrival of 7 Gadwall to add to the 3 Tufted Duck on the water.

Leaving the water for the return walk to the car we then had a very clear view of a Muntjac Deer (
Muntiacus reevesi) followed by a Magpie that refused to depart until he had had his photograph taken. Green Woodpecker was heard and then a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over the warden's house where there were also at least 7 House Martins.

For a late afternoon visit, a very pleasing range of birds, totalling at least 30, which promises well for our (very) early morning departure to visit the RSPB's Lakentheath reserve.

Birds for the day:
Little Grebe, Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Egyptian Goose, Gadwall, Shelduck, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Swallow, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Tree Pipit, Robin, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Starling, Magpie, Jackdaw, Crow and Rook.