Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Tuesday, 12 March 2013


HILBOROUGH (Swaffham Gap)
Yellowhammer (female) Hilborough 12/03/13

Forest clearfell are valuable habitats here in Breckland, especially following recent felling and the planting of saplings.  This was the case today when I visited two cleared areas, both of which had singing Woodlark on them.  One bird was seen in typical pose singing from a log pile, whilst the other was in song on the wing.
Also seen today was a hunting Barn Owl, on one occasion, this beautiful Owl passed over me at no more than 10 feet away as I was hidden in a log-pile, as soon as it saw me it gave out a harsh shreek.
At least 4 Common Buzzards were seen, this included a displaying bird.  A Kestrel was watching the ground from a tree.
Yellowhammers also utilize forest clearfell, on this visit, a singing male was on one site whilst a pair plus a singleton was on the other.

LITTLE CRESSINGHAM (Great Cressingham road from 'The Arms' to Watton Brook)
Redpolls 12/03/13 Little Cressingham

This short visit produced a small flock of Linnets on stubble and a weedy area of a field where they fed along with about 6 Skylarks.
At Watton Brook, a pair of Mallard was seen and looking west towards Bodney, a single Lapwing approached and headed east, whilst several Gulls were attracted to the flood water adjacent to the Brook.
I always make a point of checking the Larch belt which runs alongside the road to the STANTA access gate, and on this occasion, 2 Redpolls were perched high in one of the trees.  Redpolls are now sadly very scarce breeding birds in the Breckland area, the vast majority of these tiny Finches will be winter visitors from Northern Europe. 

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