Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Wednesday, 30 January 2013


What a difference a week makes.  With the snow gone and a significant recovery in temperatures, we are now basking in temperatures in double figures.

Parking at Threxton Church, I did a 4 mile circular walk from the church to Saham Hall, onto the Peddars Way, south to Little Cressingham, and back to Threxton.
Upon my arrival at Threxton Church, it was evident that there was quite a lot of bird activity, this included my first singing Treecreeper of the year, a sure sign of the forthcoming spring and breeding activity. Also noted in the area of the Church and the sewage treatment works was Goldcrest, one Common Buzzard and Stock Dove.
Overhead, a small party of 6 Whooper Swans flew in an easterly heading, these birds would have left their wintering grounds at Welney earlier in the morning for their long flight to their Russian breeding grounds.
Walking along the Saham to Great Cressingham road, a further flock of about 25 Whooper Swans were heading east in their familiar V formation. Another single Common Buzzard was seen in a roadside tree nearby. Bullfinches were in the roadside hedges.
At North Bridge on the Peddars Way north of Little Cressingham, a small flock of Goldfinches were in the Alders whilst several Bullfinches were seen and heard.  Redwings were also present.
In Little Cressingham village a Nuthatch was heard and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was 'drumming'.
Back at Threxton Church 4 Mistle Thrushes were seen.

My last visit to Thompson Water saw the surface completely frozen over.  Now much milder, I expected wildfowl to be present, however, it was strangely quiet with the exception of some calling Teal.
The damp woodland around the water held a single Cormorant, lots of Crows, and small passerine species.  Treecreepers and Goldcrests were noted whilst closer to the water in the reeds, Blue Tits fed amongst the reeds stems.  A Wren was watched at close range making itself 'mouse-like' through a number of wood-piles.  A number of Robins also seen and on the woodland floor Redwings and Blackbirds foraged amongst leaf-litter.  Overhead, Redpolls and Siskins were heard.
Strips of maize for gamebirds are always worth checking for Finch species, therefore, one particular strip adjacent to Thompson Grove was checked and a number of Bramblings and Chaffinches were bathing in anumber of puddles.

This Brambling was one of a number of birds bathing in the puddle by Thompson Grove. This particular bird is a male, as we approach Spring this delightful Finch will become brighter and the head will become a solid Black, whereas at the moment it still has it winter plumage.

LITTLE CRESSINGHAM (The Arms/Great Cressingham road)
The most notable feature of the weather of this short afternoon walk was the very strong south-westerly wind.
A couple of pairs of Bullfinches were seen in the roadside hedges bringing the daily total to at least 12 birds seen.
A small party of 8 Redwings were seen and a single Sparrowhawk battled the strong wind at Hopton Farm.  

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