EAST WRETHAM HEATH
The visit to this reserve started with a long chat and catch up with Darrell Stevens, the head warden at East Wretham Heath. Darrell manages a number of reserves in the Breckland area and it is thanks to him that Stone Curlew now breeds on the reserve following an absence of 30+ years - a big well done to Darrell.
My visit today started with large numbers of Crow species often dispersing noisily from the old Pine woodland.
At Langmere (viewed from the hide) a few Tufted Duck, Shoveler (2 pairs), Gadwall, 40+ Teal, Mallard, and Coot were all seen on the water. Around the shore a pair of Shelduck were present.
Walking through the Pine woodland, a Woodcock was disturbed and flew up from the bracken covered woodland floor. This woodland Wader species will soon be performing its conspicuous 'roding' display above its territory.
A walk around the adjoining Croxton Heath produced few birds; the only species seen were Bullfinch, Song Thrush, and more Crow species.
Parking by the wind and water mill, I walked along Fairstead Lane and then back towards the village along Green Lane.
After a quiet period, a pair of Common Buzzards were seen soaring high above the land, later, one of these birds was seen to alight in Shorten's Covert. A few Fieldfare and Yellowhammers moved through trees on Green Lane.
A small flock of 60+ Lapwings approached from the west and then alighted on the land. Most of these Lapwings are likely to be of continental origin.
A Barn Owl was watched hunting along the Watton Brook valley at Little Cressingham, then once back in the village, 2 Little Owls started calling, one in a garden and the other further along Fairstead Lane.
As the sun was setting, a flock of 50+ Bewick's Swans were seen approaching high from the west. Having left their wintering grounds in the Ouse Washes, they were watched passing directly above me and off to the east to make for Siberia where they will breed. A great end to the day.