Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Thompson Water and the Cressinghams.

The main feature of the weather today was the very cold east wind, the skies were leaden but visibility was good.  Despite the low light and cold wind, this was a reasonably productive day for birds.

With spells of cold wintry weather in recent weeks, it was heartening to hear a singing Cetti's Warbler within the swampy scrub along the east side of the water.  I have not heard this species on recent visits, therefore todays bird shows the resilience of this bird in hard weather.
A Water Rail was heard calling its pig-like squeal from deep within swampy/reedy cover.
On the water, a Cormorant was fishing, also Teal and Gadwall were present. 

The woodland around the water held Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Coal, Marsh, Blue, and Great Tits, whilst overhead, several Carrion Crows were typically noisy.

Treecreepers are very active little birds and in winter they join flocks of Tits in search of food. This species climbs limbs of trees in a mouse-like fashion whilst searching fissures and cracks for spiders and other prey items.

PEDDARS WAY (Great Cressingham/Little Cressingham) early afternoon.
Parking on the north-side of the Great Cressingham/Saham Toney road on the Peddars Way, I could see straight away that something was moving on the road ahead of me, it was a male Kestrel with prey.  The prey was ripped into mouth-sized pieces until it was small enough to be swallowed whole.
There appeared to be little about along the Peddars Way at Great Cressingham, clearly birds were sensibly keeping in cover for warmth away from the cold east wind. However, 2 Goldcrests (one seen) were moving along the roadside hedges.  A few Yellowhammers and Chaffinches were also seen.

At North Bridge north of Little Cressingham on the Peddars Way, a single Little Egret was feeding in flood-water in the Watton Brook valley.  This bird then flew to the steep banks of Watton Brook and in doing so showed off its beautiful white plumage, long black dagger-like bill, black legs and yellow feet.  It is amazing that just 15 - 20 years ago, this species would have attracted a lot of attention as it was then considered a rarity in the UK, however, it is now reasonably common and increasing and may even be encountered along urban waterways.
Also at North Bridge Bullfinch was seen, the habitat here is ideal for this very attractive Finch species.
On Watton Brook, about 6 Teal were seen, this tiny yet attractive bird is Europes smallest Duck species.
Driving towards Little Cressingham village along the Peddars Way, another Kestrel was seen in flight.

1 comment:

  1. Good to see that you are still getting out and about and I loved th epic of the Tree-creeper. My little Axarquia Bird Group was out on Thursday and we had Short-toes Tree-creeper plus Crested Tit and Firecrest amongst others.
    By the way, the site address has been slightly changed so you need to amend your link by adding a "2" as follows:
    (All to do with me running out of space for photos and having to create a "New" Axarquia Birding site.) But there is a link if the original site is accessed. Trust Pam is well and that your weather is warmer tan ours in southern Spain. Very cold wind and last night was down to 6C and, even with the sun, does not feel much warmer now.