Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Water Rail at Thompson Water, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Little Cressingham (Fairstead Lane) mid-late p.m.

It is hard to believe that within 4 weeks from now, the first summer visitors will be arriving back in the Brecks in order to breed, or to make their passage through the area to their northern summering grounds.  I say this as today the visit to Fairstead Lane seemed quiet, the visibility was good, but the light was very poor with a very grey feel, and it remains quite raw at the moment.
With the promise of a much milder weekend ahead, thoughts of song and territory defence in readiness for the forthcoming breeding season are in the mind.
It is true of course that territory defence occurs not long after the end of the previous autumn/first winter period, it just goes unnoticed for much of the time.

The walk along Fairstead Lane this afternoon initially produced a flock of some 50+ Linnets and a number of Lapwings on the land west of Watton Brook.
I heard a couple of calling Common Buzzards, I then saw one of these birds flying fast and purposefully towards another, it then peeled off having driven what I suspect was an intruder in its territory.  I have seen Common Buzzards in previous years collecting nesting materials about this time, therefore, this behaviour would indicate defence of its chosen territory.
To the distant south, I saw a very large flock of Crow species heading slowly east, these were undoubtedly were making for their roost site.
The walk back along Fairstead Lane produced the odd Thrush species, however, back at the field west of Watton Brook and Shorten's Covert, several Fieldfare and Starlings were feeding on the land.
Finally, back at the car and ready to depart, a small flock of about 23 Skylarks flew over south - it is likely that most, if not all of these birds, are of continental origin. 

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