Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Water Rail at Thompson Water, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Saturday, 13 April 2013

............and departures

LITTLE and GREAT CRESSINGHAM 0515-0645
What a beautiful pre-dawn and sunrise it was this morning. At 0515, I set off well before sunrise along Fairstead Lane, Little Cressingham, for a 5 mile circular dog-walk taking in Great Cressingham via Priory Road and the Peddars Way.  The sky was clear and early morning mist hung over the river valleys - tranquility.
The first birds of the morning were calling Stone Curlews and Common Curlews on the wide expanses of land south of Fairstead Lane.  How pleased was I at listening to the wailing Stone Curlews following some recent tragic losses of this species due to the very cold March and early April (sounds silly but I put my thumbs up to these birds as I was walking along).
It was clearly evident that the previous nights conditions was good for Thrush passage.  As I was walking along Fairstead Lane and onto Great Cressingham, both Fieldfare and Redwings were either calling from hedgerows or passing overhead. The Redwings familiar "seeeep" call was frequently heard in the sky above me, however, light was not quite sufficient to see them, but as I got closer to the village and with improving light, I saw Fieldfares passing over in a north-easterly heading.  Both Thrush species were encountered further along the route and at the Priory Road/Peddars Way junction outside Great Cressingham, an unsettled flock of 50+ Redwings were seen in the treetops and hedgerows.  During daylight hours these Thrushes will rest and feed before continuing their passage at night and making for their Scandinavian breeding grounds. 
As I arrived back at the village of Little Cressingham at sunrise, Nuthatch and Coal Tit were singing and a pair of Long-tailed Tits seen in dense cover in the Watton Brook valley.  The large rolling field north of Fairstead Lane adjacent to the valley held a number of Lapwings including displaying birds. A few Fieldfares continued a steady overhead northerly passage.

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