Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Hockham Fen and Merton

I took Toby, my beautiful border Collie for a walk along the forest trails leading down to the fen.  Everywhere was eerily quiet, however, overhead, unseen Crossbills, Redpolls, and Siskins were heard, no doubt these birds had just left their roost sites in the forest.

Another local birding spot is Merton Park, specifically, the churchyard where commanding views over the estate can be had.  Merton Park is the seat of Lord Walsingham, this is a beautiful estate comprising extensive mature woodland and parkland, part of which is accessed as the Peddars Way footpath passes around the periphery of the estate. 
The ancestors of the current Lord Walsingham collected a variety of tree specimens from around the world as well as native trees to enhance the extensive 'Merton Wood'. These trees are now large, mature specimens.
My knowledge of some tree specimens is a bit limited, however, a walk around the Peddars Way will bring you into contact with some fantastic trees specimens.
Today's visit to Merton Park produced a pair of Egyptian Geese courting and flying/chasing around the park.  This species was introduced into Norfolk in the late 17th century as an ornamental species for the enhancement of parks and estates, now the species breeds commonly on my Breckland patch.

Egyptian Goose 
Very little variety seen this morning with most birds seeking warmth in the woodlands in the area, however, a few Redwings passed overhead.
A single Treecreeper was working trees around the entrance to the churchyard and a Green Woodpecker flew directly in front of me within a few feet. 
A Robin searched leaf litter around the edge of the churchyard, it would often search the ground where the resident Shetland Ponies had been.
Robin Merton Park 20/01/13

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