Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Little Cressingham (Fairstead Lane and Mill areas)

Fairstead Lane
An early morning walk with my dog Toby along Fairstead Lane produced 3 singing Whitethroats in the roadside hedges.  A check of the river valley failed to produce any sign of migrants.
A small area of open, uncultivated farmland produced at least 4 sitting Lapwings and an Oystercatcher, whilst further along the lane on the large area of open grassland, a pair of Common Curlews were seen, this included song/display by the male bird.

Little Cressingham Mill
This was a productive short visit to the mill with the following seen:

1 Whitethroat (singing male)
1 Blackcap (singing male)
2 Goldcrest (pair including singing male)
2 House Martins
2+ Swallows
2 Wren (both singing males)
Canada Goose (incubating)
5 Greylag Geese                                                                                                                                        
Wren Little 28/04/13 Cressingham Mill
Once again, I find myself writing about the peaceful surroundings at Little Cressingham Mill and I apologise if I repeat myself when describing how beautiful I find this locality to be.
The variety of habitats seen here is clearly attractive to wildlife in all seasons, however, with warming weather and a surge in growth of habitats associated with fresh water, bird-life within the next couple of months will see a significant increase in activity.
Several migrant species are still to arrive at the time of writing, nevertheless, watching Whitethroat, Blackcap, Wrens, and Hirundine species side by side is a truly wonderful visual and audible experience.
After a life-time of watching birds, I still find it difficult to comprehend how small Warbler species like Whitethroat and Blackcap, which weigh only a matter of grammes, are able to negotiate not only the distance, but overcome natural, and sadly, man-made obstacles, in an effort to reach us to breed.  Even breeding has its problems, for example predation, poor weather, and egg thieving, and then at the end of the breeding season, preparations for building fat reserves for the return journey to Southern Europe and Africa is a priority. I will never tire of my admiration for these wonderful birds as they commit themselves to providing us (unintentionally) with beautiful sights and sounds whilst they struggle to survive.

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