Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

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.

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