Following a clear, cold night, the day dawned bright and sunny with a moderate frost, however, the rising sun soon cleared the frost and the day would become quite warm with almost wall to wall sunshine throughout the day.
At 0600, I set off from 'The Arms' at Little Cressingham and made for the River Wissey valley as it meanders through Bodney to Great Cressingham. The route taken today is the only footpath within the whole of STANTA on which the public can walk, except on occasions when the 'red flag' is flying which indicates military activity.
As the day progressed it was evident that the fine conditions has favoured the arrivals of Warbler species with both Willow Warbler and Blackcap (2) singing from the outset at 'The Arms'. A further 2 Willow Warblers were singing at Bodney in typical Hawthorn and bracken scrub habitat and in total, the Blackcap numbers increased to a total of about 8 singing males.
|Mute Swan on nest in the Wissey Valley at Bodney, Norfolk 20/04/13|
The Wissey valley between Bodney and Great Cressingham held Meadow Pipit on the damp grassland, a single male Reed Bunting, and a pair of Mute Swans (including an incubating bird on the nest).
The only evidence of passage was of a Redpoll heard passing over in a northerly heading.
ASHILL (Common to Quidney Farm)
A mid-afternoon walk along Common Road was especially productive in the Quidney Farm area where a newly planted area of Alder, Ash, Oak, and Larch woodland, with an understorey of bramble scrub, produced 2 singing Willow Warblers, singing Blackcap and Chiffchaff (including pair seen). This farm has a plentiful tall hedgerows and associated scrub habitat which will in turn hold further Warbler species as April comes to a close.
Also noted in this area this afternoon was calling Reed Bunting, a number of Stock Doves, and 5 Common Buzzards soaring together overhead.
Finally, it is worthy of note that the Quidney Farm area has always held good numbers of Turtle Doves, I expect to hear and see these beautiful Doves here before the end of April. Turtle Doves are a favoured quarry for those b******s in the mediterranean who choose to shoot them, let's hope they all arrive back in the UK safely, and of course return safely back to their wintering grounds in west Africa in autumn.