The day dawned very bright with almost cloudless skies, however, the main feature of the weather today was the very strong WSW wind. By mid-day cloud and showers moved in but the wind started to abate slowly.
At dawn, I walked east along Common Road, Ashill, to as far as Quidney Farm, and returned again via the same route whilst keeping a close eye on the fields for migrant species. The most productive area on this route is generally the well-wooded disused rail cutting where both single Chiffchaff and Blackcap were is song, it is likely that more were present, however, the wind was too strong to hear properly.
A single Meadow Pipit was watched for some time overflying north until lost to view, clearly a passage bird possibly making for upland Britain to breed.
A check of a field for migrants produced a single White Wagtail, a scarce passage bird in inland Norfolk.
A short sit down break and some soup in the shelter of an old hedgerow brought welcome relief from the wind. Following this break, I then made my way back west along Common Road when I saw some Wood Pigeons fly up from the rail cutting, seconds later, a Peregrine Falcon appeared low over fields from the east, passed over some trees and then folded its wings back for a stoop towards the Pigeons, I then lost sight of the raptor.
Also seen in the area between the rail cutting and Quidney Farm was a small flock of 15+ Golden Plover whilst further along the road a pair of Grey Partridges was seen.
|Red Fox 18/04/13 Ashill, Norfolk|
With the wind slowly abating, I visited the flood plain adjacent to the B1108 and Watton Brook valley hoping to find more migrant Wagtail species. Whilst walking alongside the road, I sadly found a dead Woodcock. On this visit to the flood plain there was no Yellow Wagtails, however, a small count of 15+ Pied Wagtails and 14+ Meadow Pipits were present along with my second White Wagtail of the day. Also on the flood plain, 3 Oystercatchers seen included a pair displaying, and about 6 Lapwings. A pair of Common Curlews flew from the nearby Bodney Army Camp where display/song flight was seen earlier.
Small numbers of Passerine species seen on the flooded meadow included Linnet (6), Starling (8), and a single Fieldfare.
Over a nearby conifer a pair of Common Buzzards was seen.