Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Merton and East Wretham

An early morning walk around Merton Park produced good numbers of Fieldfares on land west of Home Farm Lane. Although uncounted, it appeared that their numbers totalled three-figures. These winters visitors are on passage for Northern Europe and have stopped to re-fuel before continuing their journey after dark.
At Merton village hall, 30+ Tree Sparrows were gathered in Hawthorns. This has always been a reliable site for this nationally declining species.

Whilst driving through East Wretham village, a pair of Barn Owls were seen on a protected area of land close to the army camp.
My arrival at East Wretham Heath nature reserve coincided with the start of light rain, as I ventured out onto the large expanse of heath east of the A1075, the rain became persistent and moderately heavy.  This belt of rain eventually passed to give a few brighter spells.
Typically, large numbers of Rooks noisily called from a belt of Scots Pines along the southern boundary.  A Meadow Pipit passed overhead.
Along the eastern boundary of the heath, where the main Norwich to Thetford rail line passes, a single Woodcock was disturbed from an area of Bracken and scrub.
Very little was seen on the heath (to be perfectly honest I didn't look due to the rain which made going uncomfortable), so I therefore concentrated my efforts in nearby Pine woodland.  Singing and calling Goldcrests, and singing Mistle Thrush were heard and a pair of Yellowhammers (including singing male) was seen.  A Wren was close to where I was sitting and skulked through tangled ground-cover in a mouse-like fashion.  A single Siskin passed overhead.
A hunting Kestrel was seen off by an angry Crow species.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like your week-end was as bad as mine out here in southern Spain. Lovely on Friday and again this morning. More rain forecast for tomorrow but then, hopefully, nothing but mainly dry and sunny weather. Some good birds seen on Friday but too wet to go out at the week-end and only the occasional resident (and breeding)Stonechat and Sardinian Warbler came to visit me. Even my wintering Black Redstart which has been roosting on the end of the washing line on the sheltered terrace did not show up last night.