Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Hockham Forest and Fen (early-mid p.m.)

Snow still carpets the countryside, however, it was evident that there has been a slight thaw with some previously frozen puddles and ditches free of ice and with some running water.
The walk from the car down to Hockham Fen produced a couple of Goldcrests, typically, as with cold wintry weather, these tiny little jewels foraged on the ground amongst leaf litter where they have a better chance of finding food.  By the end of the afternoon, at least 5 Goldcrests were seen, including a single bird drinking from melt-water on one of the forest rides.
Goldcrest Great Hockham 24/01/13

As I was approaching Hockham Fen, a single Snipe flew up from the base of a bush, presumably the slighly softer ground there would have provided good feeding.  I watched the Snipe fly a circuit over the nearby woodland and then saw it descend onto a ride close to where melt-wster would again provide an opportunity for the bird to drink/feed.  I relocated the Snipe exactly where I thought it would be in an area which has seen flood-water for some time. 
Hockham Fen itself was reasonably quiet, however, one Kestrel and a Stock Dove was seen.
Several Robins were seen, usually on the ground where they were eeking out a living, whilst overhead, Redpolls were heard.
The return journey to Watton produced a further Kestrel in a roadside tree and some Fieldfare and Blackbirds on roadside verges feeding on the softer ground.


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