Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Thompson Water and the Peddars Way.

A very spring-like day today with bright sunny conditions, however, the wind continues to feed in from the north-east giving a distinct chilly feel.  Conditions could be much worse and overall, this was a pleasant day with common birds in song.

A number of Song Thrushes were in song and a 'drumming' Great Spotted Woodpecker was affirming its territory high in a Silver Birch.
Several Treecreepers were in song in the damp woodland alongside Thompson Water as well as along the Peddars Way. These small arboreal species will use cracks, peeled bark, and dead wood as nest sites. Their song, as with other species, is used to either attract a mate, or, as in most cases, to defend and affirm their chosen territories.
Nuthatches were also present as expected with one bird seen on the ground where it may have been collecting mud to secure a nest site.  Nuthatches are hole-nesters, they use mud to reduce the size of the entrance to the nest-site so that it becomes a comfortable fit for the species to enter and leave.

The conditions today seemed ideal for displaying Goshawk, however, my only visual was of a single male passing over woodland.  This enigmatic raptor displays from late February into April, therefore, plenty of opportunity exists to see their stunning performance. I will say that I feel honoured and extremely privileged to have Goshawk on my local patch.

A pair of Common Buzzards were displaying above heathland/woodland habitat sometimes at height, although they did make a relatively low pass close to me.
The only other raptor species seen this morning was a lovely Kestrel hunting above heathland.  Other species seen along the Peddars Way included Siskin, Mistle Thrush (singing), Green Woodpecker, Carrion Crows, and singing Yellowhammer. A distant Skylark was singing above heathland, however, Woodlark is still yet to appear.

The return walk through the damp woodland habitat alongside Thompson Water produced singing Cetti's Warbler and a calling Water Rail whilst on the water was 2 pairs of Mute Swans, a pair of over-flying Greylag Geese, a pair of Gadwall, a pair of Mallard, one Cormorant, and many Black-headed Gulls.

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